Just a few days ago I made my own laundry detergent (as seen on Crystal & Co.)! It took us (the hubster helped with the mixing) less than 5 minutes to combine all the ingredients. I used the following recipe:
- 1 (55 oz) box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1 (4 lb) box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
- 1 (76 oz) box of Borax
- 3 bars of Fels Naptha Soap
- 1 (3 lb) container of OxiClean (I used the unscented one)
- 1 (13 oz) container of Downy Unstopables (I used Fresh) scent (optional)
This is what my laundry detergent looks like! Love it!
Crystal & Co. claims this recipe makes 271 loads of laundry. I’ll try to keep tract of how many loads of laundry I get out of this batch. The ingredients costed $26.67 which makes it a little less than $0.10 per load (can’t beat that!). I love that it makes a decent quantity of detergent, it’s inexpensive, and it smells great! [The first time I made laundry detergent, it was quite a small batch and felt more like an inconvenience.]
Just now, I moved the first load of laundry (washed using this detergent) to the dryer. It came out smelling fresh and clean from the washer. Way better than commercial laundry detergent which has left my freshly-laundered clothes smelling a little funky lately and in need of a re-wash. I’ll keep you posted about all the laundry happenings around here! :)
I love using Swag bucks! No, they’re not paying me any money (or swag bucks!) to say that. I’ve tried many survey-answering, point-accumulating, etc programs that don’t really give you anything. Swag bucks is one of two programs I use on which my time is rewarded with something I can use. [The other program is Pinecone Research.]
I joined on 2011, but it wasn’t until late last year that I really took advantage of what Swag bucks offers. These are the things I do everyday to earn Swag bucks:
- Search – Not every search will give you points, but I’ve earned up to 24 points on just one search. I search for stuff online anyway, so I don’t feel like I’m just using up my time.
- Answer the daily poll – Get a point everyday! It takes just a few seconds.
- Complete the NOSO everyday for a couple points It takes less than a minute.
- Use the toolbar everyday for a point. See #1.
- Watch videos on my phone for even more points!
- I take some time everyday to complete surveys. Lots of points can be earned this way but it requires a time investment.
- Keep an eye out for Swag codes and special offers.
I’m a very proud stay-at-home mom that tries her best to contribute $ anyway she can. Swag bucks has allowed me to redeem my points for useful gift cards (can you say Amazon!)! My goal is to use my Swag bucks to buy gifts (birthdays and special occasions) and board games throughout the year without having to use any “budget money”. Earning swag bucks is not hard and it doesn’t take all day. They’ve won me over. I encourage you to give it a try! It’s free! =D
So, I’ll give you a little backstory. I “collect” (or hoard… depends who you ask ;) ) recipes. I get them from the internet and from the million-and-one magazines I receive (another post completely). I’m starting to see a pattern here. In any case, I do keep the recipes that look interesting to me, but I couldn’t find a good way to organize them. What good are a bazillion recipes if you can’t find what you’re looking for? That’s when my OCD tendencies kick in and I go crazy looking for a solution to organize a huge stack of magazine clippings and links. I’ve tried many methods without any real success… including putting the clippings on binders. That requires a lot of time and shelf space. I live in an apartment and storage is at a premium. Accumulating clippings is not really the way to go. I had tried Evernote before but couldn’t get things to work like I wanted to… and I stopped using it altogether. So, I’ve been trying things… and I think I’ve found my solution.
The App Store was offering Scanner Pro (by Readdle) for free (as their App of the Week). You can scan documents using your phone’s camera. I got it without really thinking that I wanted to use it for my recipes… but it hit me when I saw that I can scan recipes and send them to Evernote! That means that I can scan my recipes (keep them forever on digital format) and recycle the clippings!!! I don’t have to save pages from magazines any longer… I can scan directly from the magazine and send to Evernote!
Evernote is also free! So this is what I did. I created a notebook which will become my Recipes: To Try repository. I will send all my scans there making sure that I tag every recipe. Tagging is essential since that’s what I’ll use to search for my recipes on Evernote. Once I try a recipe, it’ll go to my Recipes: Tried and True notebook or trash depending on how I like it. :D Recipes found on websites are super easy to send to Evernote using Evernote Web Clipper. Easy-peasy. Even if the website goes offline (or if I don’t have internet access), I’ll still have the recipe. I can access Evernote on my computer, iPad and iPhone. Awesome, right!?
Well, guess what?! It gets awesomer because I found out that Evernote has another product that is super appropriate for this project. Enter Evernote Food! You can use it to keep track of what you’re cooking and eating, restaurants, and, of course, recipes!!! Evernote Food links up to Evernote and finds your notes that contain recipes. So smart! I love that it all works together super smoothly. I have to play with this app some more (it is available for iPod, iPhone, iPad and Android devices). You probably don’t need to have both Evernote and Evernote Food if you just want to organize recipes, but I know that I will use Evernote for other things as well.
I can’t wait to scan my recipes and organize them! This is what my Recipes: To Try notebook looks like right now. The first note is a recipe from a website sent to Evernote using Evernote Web Clipper (an extension on your browser). The second note is a recipe scanned using Scanner Pro on my iPhone and sent over to Evernote. If you click on the Tag icon on the upper right hand side, you can search the tags.
I will come back and show you what it looks like and share updates once I have more recipes on my notebook.
On Sunday, we went apple picking! Of course, we picked way more apples than we should have… not a problem! What to do with extra apples, you ask? How about chocolate caramel covered apples? I used granny smiths for this recipe. Follow the caramel recipe exactly, it works perfectly!
I didn’t have any craft sticks, so I used plastic knives leftover from my son’s birthday last week. They were a bit flimsy for the apples but got the job done. Next time, I will use a sturdier handle. With this caramel you have to work fast and stick the apple in the fridge quickly to set.
Once the caramel sets, go ahead and melt the chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips (I just love it!). I think my apples were a bit to big and ran out of chocolate. I also like the pretty uneven swirl and that uses up a lot more chocolate. Stick them back in the fridge to set.
You can add even more to these delicious treats! I chose some ghost sprinkles (perfect for Halloween). Nuts would be great too.
Give them a try! They were a bit more work than I anticipated but well worth the effort, because these apples are delicious!!!