I like it here

It’s MAGIC HOUSE.

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Charlottesville Anniversary Travels

We traveled to Charlottesville today for our Anniversary! But also we picked up a beautiful full length mirror for our home. It’s fantastic. We picked up a tool set as well to work on a little computer job I had to work on from Deborah at The Madeline Centre. We had lunch at Burton’s Grill, a new place just off 29; delicious lunch. 

When we returned from our hair raising mirror transportation experience, we dressed up and headed to Dish for a lovely dinner with an excellent glass of wine. She looked fantastic in her long dark blue dress. Wayne saw us post about being there and came by to say hey. We walked around Monument Terrace and visited the Elder Rose Garden where our wedding ceremony was performed. It was a good day. 

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Our Indoor Garden Project

When we first moved in to our apartment we brought our plant collection we had individually started. Our sad beginnings included: 5 red Pier1 vases with struggling vines of Golden Pothos Ivy, a dying aloe plant and last year’s recovering Poinsettia. We have slowly grown our collection to include:

Golden Pothos Ivy- We’ve successfully transplanted these into two beautiful vases with 2′ cedar trellis and the ivy is climbing gloriously (pictures to come!)

Poinsettia- This once dying plant has been resurrected to the point of needing split into two pots! We researched and discovered that in order for poinsettia’s to turn colors they need absolute darkness for a minimum of 8 hours every night. Therefore we only have 4 leaves turning red.

Poinsettia

Dwarf Alberta Spruce- Before Christmas we bought two 3′ spruce trees in pots. Our trees were placed on either side of our large living room window and decorated for Christmas. They turned out beautiful!

Christmas Trees

We have grown other plants well we figured trees would be a similar endeavor. What a learning experience this has been! Our trees turned into Charlie Brown’s trees and needles were falling off if someone in the other room sneezed! We’ve learned since then that the pH is too Alkaline so we found a soil acidifier and we were under-watering them! We’ll revive them!

African Violets- We might have to give up on these… we’ve been told they’re a “Grandma Plant” as in, only a Grandma can grow them well.

Dwarf Roses- Our single Dwarf rose plant needs a buddy. We’re in the market for a second plant to share the dresser top with!

Herb Garden-

Prolific Herbs
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Tarragon
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Sage
Aromatic Delight

Cooking delight… “oh, don’t mind me, I’ll just head out to the garden for that ingredient!”

Laundry Soap Recipe

My friend Alissa get’s the real credit for editing the recipe below. I’ve included the original recipe FAR below if you want to actually make 3 gallons of laundry soap. A 96 oz bottle for 12 loads will suffice for my household. I’ve included my math below my edit of the recipe. The original article is at the bottom. As far as effectiveness, my clothes smell clean, and I exercise heavily, and Alissa’s 1 year old makes a mess and her clothes come out clean.

Here’s what you need

1/4 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; I used Dial because it was inexpensive)

Cheese grater (it’s just soap, you’ll be able to wash it :))

4 Tb spoons of Washing soda (I bought it at Kroger, but Meijer or Wal-mart should carry it- check near laundry supplies)

2 Tb spoons Borax (see above)

A big pot, or container for mixing (I just used a large stock pot)

Your empty laundry soap bottle (I’m storing mine in a 200 oz bottle, but this recipe only makes 96 oz, feel free to double or as you’ll see below, quadruple, based on your storage space)

1 C boiling water

12 C hot water

Step One: Put one cup of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. While you’re waiting, whip out a knife (or your cheese grater, it’s just soap, you’ll be able to rinse it off) and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Eventually, you’ll shave up the 1/4 bar, then stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.

Step Two: Put 12 Cups of hot water into the large pot. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add 4Tbspoons of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a 2Tbspoon of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool.

Step Three: transfer your mixture to your laundry soap container.

And you’re done.

When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a bucket of gelatinous slime that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used (in our case, it’s a very pale greenish blue). One laundry soap measuring cap full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. For me this means approx 12 large loads of laundry.

My quarter of a bar of soap cost approx .22 cents (your bar may be more or less) 1/24th my box of washing soda means i used approx .10 cents; 1/48th my box of borax means i used approx .05 cents. Total cost to wash 12 large loads of laundry=.37 cents, not counting the 15 minutes it took me to make it (I’m discounting the time it took me to go to the store to purchase my supplies, because I’ll be able to make this another 11 times ( 132 loads of laundry) before I have to go back for just more bar soap).

.37 cents times 12; or 144 loads of laundry= $4.44

Just as comparison Walgreens is selling All 2x concentrated, 12 loads, 20 oz bottle for $3.99 $47.88 would be what you would have to spend to wash 144 loads. (now you may use a less expensive brand, so you’ll have to do your own math)

Plus, you can make slime in the kitchen – and have a legitimate reason for doing so!

Or if you have space for a 5 gallon bucket….

Here’s what you need:
– 1 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; I used Lever 2000 because we have tons of bars of it from a case we bought a while back)
– 1 box of washing soda (look for it in the laundry detergent aisle at your local department store – it comes in an Arm & Hammer box and will contain enough for six batches of this stuff)
– 1 box of borax (this is not necessary, but I’ve found it really kicks the cleaning up a notch – one box of borax will contain more than enough for tons of batches of this homemade detergent – if you decide to use this, be careful)
– A five gallon bucket with a lid (or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters – ask around – these aren’t too tough to acquire)
– Three gallons of tap water
– A big spoon to stir the mixture with
– A measuring cup
– A knife

Step One: Put about four cups of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. While you’re waiting, whip out a knife and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Eventually, you’ll shave up the whole bar, then stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.

Step Two: Put three gallons of hot water (11 liters or so) into the five gallon bucket – the easiest way is to fill up three gallon milk jugs worth of it. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add a cup of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a half cup of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool.

And you’re done. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a bucket of gelatinous slime that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used (in our case, it’s a very pale greenish blue). One measuring cup full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. Thus, out of three gallons, you’ll get about 48 loads of laundry. If you do this six times, you’ll have used six bars of soap ($0.99 each), one box of washing soda ($2.49 at our store), and about half a box of borax ($2.49 at our store, so $1.25) and make 288 loads of laundry. This comes up to a cost of right around three cents a gallon, or a savings of $70.

Plus, you can make slime in the kitchen – and have a legitimate reason for doing so!

Laundry Soap Recipe

My friend Alissa get’s the real credit for editing the recipe below. I’ve included the original recipe FAR below if you want to actually make 3 gallons of laundry soap. A 96 oz bottle for 12 loads will suffice for my household. I’ve included my math below my edit of the recipe. The original article is at the bottom. As far as effectiveness, my clothes smell clean, and I exercise heavily, and Alissa’s 1 year old makes a mess and her clothes come out clean.

Here’s what you need

1/4 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; I used Dial because it was inexpensive)

Cheese grater (it’s just soap, you’ll be able to wash it :))

4 Tb spoons of Washing soda (I bought it at Kroger, but Meijer or Wal-mart should carry it- check near laundry supplies)

2 Tb spoons Borax (see above)

A big pot, or container for mixing (I just used a large stock pot)

Your empty laundry soap bottle (I’m storing mine in a 200 oz bottle, but this recipe only makes 96 oz, feel free to double or as you’ll see below, quadruple, based on your storage space)

1 C boiling water

12 C hot water

Step One: Put one cup of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. While you’re waiting, whip out a knife (or your cheese grater, it’s just soap, you’ll be able to rinse it off) and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Eventually, you’ll shave up the 1/4 bar, then stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.

Step Two: Put 12 Cups of hot water into the large pot. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add 4Tbspoons of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a 2Tbspoon of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool.

Step Three: transfer your mixture to your laundry soap container.

And you’re done.

When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a bucket of gelatinous slime that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used (in our case, it’s a very pale greenish blue). One laundry soap measuring cap full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. For me this means approx 12 large loads of laundry.

My quarter of a bar of soap cost approx .22 cents (your bar may be more or less) 1/24th my box of washing soda means i used approx .10 cents; 1/48th my box of borax means i used approx .05 cents. Total cost to wash 12 large loads of laundry=.37 cents, not counting the 15 minutes it took me to make it (I’m discounting the time it took me to go to the store to purchase my supplies, because I’ll be able to make this another 11 times ( 132 loads of laundry) before I have to go back for just more bar soap).

.37 cents times 12; or 144 loads of laundry= $4.44

Just as comparison Walgreens is selling All 2x concentrated, 12 loads, 20 oz bottle for $3.99 $47.88 would be what you would have to spend to wash 144 loads. (now you may use a less expensive brand, so you’ll have to do your own math)
Plus, you can make slime in the kitchen – and have a legitimate reason for doing so!

Or if you have space for a 5 gallon bucket….

Here’s what you need:
– 1 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; I used Lever 2000 because we have tons of bars of it from a case we bought a while back)
– 1 box of washing soda (look for it in the laundry detergent aisle at your local department store – it comes in an Arm & Hammer box and will contain enough for six batches of this stuff)
– 1 box of borax (this is not necessary, but I’ve found it really kicks the cleaning up a notch – one box of borax will contain more than enough for tons of batches of this homemade detergent – if you decide to use this, be careful)
– A five gallon bucket with a lid (or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters – ask around – these aren’t too tough to acquire)
– Three gallons of tap water
– A big spoon to stir the mixture with
– A measuring cup
– A knife

Step One: Put about four cups of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. While you’re waiting, whip out a knife and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Eventually, you’ll shave up the whole bar, then stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.

Step Two: Put three gallons of hot water (11 liters or so) into the five gallon bucket – the easiest way is to fill up three gallon milk jugs worth of it. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add a cup of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a half cup of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool.

And you’re done. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a bucket of gelatinous slime that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used (in our case, it’s a very pale greenish blue). One measuring cup full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. Thus, out of three gallons, you’ll get about 48 loads of laundry. If you do this six times, you’ll have used six bars of soap ($0.99 each), one box of washing soda ($2.49 at our store), and about half a box of borax ($2.49 at our store, so $1.25) and make 288 loads of laundry. This comes up to a cost of right around three cents a gallon, or a savings of $70.

Plus, you can make slime in the kitchen – and have a legitimate reason for doing so!