Homemade Laundry Detergent & Lilla Rose Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Heidi Marie! You won a Lilla Rose hair clip of your choice from Anjanette Barr, Independent Consultant.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.

I made some laundry detergent a few weeks ago. It cleaned my clothes well. Although my clothes don’t smell like Tide, that’s fine with me. The cost effectiveness of making your own laundry detergent is worth the time spent making it. (It took me about 30 minutes.) Here’s the recipe I used in case you’re interested in making your own detergent.

Ingredients Needed:

* 1/2 cup of Borax: I use 20 Mule Team Borax.

* 1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: This isn’t the same as baking soda. Washing soda is sodium bicarbonate or soda ash. Washing Soda helps remove dirt and odors.

* 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (You can find this in the laundry aisle of your grocery store)

Making the Detergent

Step One: Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan.

Step Two: Add six cups of water and heat it until it melts.

Step Three: Add washing soda and borax and stir till it dissolves. Then remove saucepan from heat.

Step Four: Fill a large bucket with 4 cups of hot water.

Step Five: Now add your soap mixture and stir.

Step Six: Add 1 gallon plus six cups of hot water and stir.

Step Seven: Let the mixture sit for 24 hours and it will gel.

Step Eight: Use 1/2 per load of laundry.

**This is a low sudsing soap so if you don’t see any suds, that’s okay.**


Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 9

This is the last post for the series!

Today I want to talk about being all dressed up with a dirty neck, also known as clutter or ‘stuffitis.’

When we moved into our first apartment as newlyweds, all I brought with me was some clothes, a couple of books and shoes. Today, almost a decade later, I have two bookcases filled with books and teaching CDs, a netbook, a desktop computer, a television, two cribs, two beds, and clothes to outfit a family of four. Some of these things are necessary.

But some things have to go.

I occasionally get this urge to purge the house of stuff. I become a woman on a mission: toss, toss, toss. But later, as time passes, I collect more stuff. Other times, I don’t toss. I simply shuffle stuff around or hide it from myself in a poor attempt to fool myself into think I got rid of it.

Because I just can’t let it go.

In our society, the need to gather things can easily rule us. We are consciously bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day. We are told that we are somehow inadequate and having this or that item will make us better in some way. If we aren’t on guard, we’ll believe those marketing lies, spend money and end up in debt.

One day, while I was pondering all this, I felt the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit ask me: “How much stuff do you really need?”

When I thought about what I actually needed, I nailed it down to four simple things: food and water, a few outfits and shoes that can be flexible for different occasions, a clean, peaceful place to live, and some toiletries like deoderant, soap and toothpaste Laughing out loud. That was the bare minimum. If I had a great family to share that home and food with, that would be a blessing. I then realized that I already had all these things. The rest of the stuff was clutter. Clutter that was shuffled around, tossed and/or dusted to no end. Time wasters.

Being all dressed up with a dirty neck is about confronting the inner need to collect stuff, and it’s about examining the reasons behind this need. After doing those two steps, we embark on a gradual process of clearing out our living space to make room for the important things: like family.

Fly Lady says “You can’t organize clutter.”

Today, I spend about a half hour each week going through my things and seeing what I don’t need. I then give it away or sell it. During this process, my husband has warned me against collecting more stuff to fill the open space. He suggested I keep things as they are and don’t buy more. I can follow along with his line of reasoning but resisting the need to buy on impulse is a habit I am working on. For now, I’m clearing away for thirty minutes a week and learning ways to curb the need to collect more stuff.

Do you have too many things in your home that you don’t use or need? Does all this stuff weigh you down emotionally? Try de-cluttering for a few minutes each week and then examine why you collect, collect, collect. You may want to journal about it, you’ll be surprised at the solutions you discover for yourself.

On Monday, I’m starting a new series. This one will be about teaching our children at home. I have a two year old and a four month old, so I may be a little early Winking smile but I’m the type of person who likes to be prepared, especially when I don’t have a clue about what I’m doing. Homeschooling is one of those areas.

Have a great weekend.

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 8


Doesn’t that Jello salad look yummy?

Today we’re going to learn how to use the index system to make Jello salad.

(Just kidding.)

But we are talking about meal planning. There are two ways you can plan your meals:

  1. Create a card where you list the type of meal you’ll eat on certain days of the week. For example, Monday can be chicken, Tuesday is pasta, Wednesday is for leftovers, etc.
  2. Each week write down a specific meal using choices from your file of recipe cards.

I usually do option #2. After deciding what I want to eat for the week, I’ll check my pantry and fridge for what I don’t have and create a shopping list. I used to never plan meals, but after I looked at how much we were spending on eating out each month, I quickly changed.

We are almost done with our Sidetracked Home Executives series, only one post left. On Friday, we’ll discuss being “all dressed up with a dirty neck,” a term coined by Peggy and Pam, the authors of Sidetracked Home Executives.

This post is linked at:


Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 7

The Address File

Confession here…

I haven’t set up the address file yet for the system, but I’ll discuss how Peggy and Pam in Sidetracked Home Executives use it.

The S.H.E. address system is very flexible. In addition to having basic contact information on each card, you can add in things like clothing/shoe sizes, birthdays, anniversaries and even nicknames (in case you forget). You can even put the card in the month divider of that person’s birthday. When it comes time for you to set up your cards for that month, you won’t forget it.

The Blank Dividers

The S.H.E. book recommends labeling the blank dividers as follows:

  • Christmas
  • Special Projects
  • Storage
  • Family

The Christmas divider is a mini-holiday planner. You can create an activity list for the things you typically do to prepare for the holidays and then organize them on color coded index cards, just like the one you have created for your home. This is a huge time saver.

Special Projects

Use this space to dream. Maybe you’d like to start a business, complete a craft project – anything you can imagine. This is also your space to also plan your dreams. Create a project list, write them on color coded index cards, and file them away as you get one step closer to your goals.


Here you can catalog the items you’ve stored in your home: children’s clothes, holiday décor, etc.


This is where you can keep information about each of the members in your family. Keep track of their sizes, likes, dislikes. You can even use this space to write prayer points for each person.

On Wednesday, we’ll talk about menu planning using the S.H.E. system.

Read Other Posts In This Series:

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 1

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 2

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 3

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 4

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 5

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 6

This post is linked at:

Sidetracked Home Executives, Part 6

What To Do On The Days You Don’t Feel Like Cleaning Your House

Preslaysa, I never have a day where I feel like cleaning my house.

Me too. When I first started using the system, I was all gung ho for the first week. After the second week, my momentum slowed. If I skipped a task, I felt guilty. I began a neverending cycle of human zeal, human willpower, human failure and very human guilt.

Not good.

I’m so glad the Sidetracked Home Executives book had an answer to this.

Just skip it. Yes, skip it. On two conditions:

  • You have to write the date you skipped it on the card and file it in the time when it’s due next. For example, file monthly jobs in next month’s slot.
  • After you skipped it twice, it has to be done.

There you go, flexibility and freedom rolled into one.

You can smile now.

On Monday, we’ll discuss all those dividers I mentioned in part one.