Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Leave proof

I absolutely ADORE this blog, called Under the Sycamore.

The photography is beautiful, the ideas unique and attainable, but most importantly, the blogger makes me think -- just when I need it most.

Most of you know that I love kids -- and if our resources were unlimited, I'd have a houseful. In my dreamy dreams I would:
- have the comfy, hangout house. Where everyone feels welcome to come in and open the fridge.
- have a pile of shoes at the front door -- my kids', mine and our friends
- have a car with a trunk full of soccer balls, lacrosse sticks and baseball bats rolling around
- hear laughter and feet stomping all the time
- always have room for one (or two or three) more at the dinner table

I don't want perfect. I don't need spic and span. My fridge will never be fully organized.

But I do want busyness and fun and laughter and, yes, I know that comes with dirt and boo boos and drama.

And that's what the blogger, Ashley, has accomplished.

And she also has style and and eye for photography. And in this post she reminded those of us who are always behind the camera not to be shy. And in this post, she shares how she makes sure she gets in the shot.

I putting her tips to work. Like, literally, as soon as I hit "publish," I'm busting out the manual to figure out that time thing-a-ma-jig.

Thank you, Ashley, for reminding me to leave proof.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Homemade laundry soap

A good friend of mine and fellow mommy-to-be is on a quest to make more of her household items ... laundry soap, cleaning supplies, deodorant, etc.

She raved about this soap -- and I've heard similar reviews online.

I love this recipe because:
-- there are only three ingredients
-- you can whip up a batch in less time than clipping soap coupons and picking it up at the store
-- it's hypo-allergenic

You'll need:
Fels Naptha Soap
Washing powder

Everything can be found in the laundry aisle. Trust me, they are there -- just hiding on the very top shelves and towards the ends. The basic formula is:
1 part Fels Naptha : 2 parts Borax : 2 parts washing powder

Grate the Fels Naptha (I used the grater blade on my food processor) and it made 2 cups of grated soap.

Then add 4 cups each of the Borax and washing powder. This is about 10 cups of soap.

Luckily, it all fit in this Ziploc container.Even though it said it held only 9 1/2 cups.

Add 2 tablespoons per load of laundry -- and boost with Oxiclean if you like.

Now, for the real question: how does it work?

Unlucky for us (but lucky for you) Ben was the sickest he's ever been this weekend. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say there was LOTS of laundry. It was so bad, I couldn't stomach rinsing some of the, uh, soiled, sheets. So, I tossed everything in the machine and said a little prayer.

The review: worked like a dream! And smells great!Let me know if you give it a try.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Something's been a little off...

Things have been a little off around here...

Occasionally, this sounds yummy even though I'm a vegetarian.

I've been making silly mistakes.

And just the smell of the garbage makes me want to hurl.

Add it all up and what do you get?

A special addition coming this fall!

The second Baby Laeng, due Sept. 18, 2011!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Actual conversation

[Scene: Brian is watching I Used to Be Fat in the living room. I am on the computer.]

Brian:  Whatever. This guy isn't even that fat. 

Me:  What do you mean? He should lose weight. 

Brian:  Yeah, but the show's called "I used to be fat" and he's not really THAT fat. I mean some people are HUGE. 

Me:  Whatever. I don't want to watch a show called "I used to be fat." I want to watch a show called "I lost the last ten pounds!"


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Master bath in progress...

I know I've been totally MIA for a while... like a few weeks... but I promise you that Monday, you'll see why.

I've been working on something since December, and I'll be ready to show all of you Monday. Monday!! Woo hoo!

Until then, how about a fabulous <$14 face lift for a room that I refuse to put any major amount of money into. It is waaaaaay last on my priority list. No one sees it but us, but that doesn't mean I can't improve it while we wait to hit the jackpot and/or Ben is proved to be a genius and get tons of college recruiting him for full ride scholarships.

Anyway, I do have ideas for this room. They include oil rubbed bronze things, quatrefoil, a neutral wall color that doesn't make me look yellow when I do my makeup, having two framed mirrors... I could go on...

For now, I got new knobs on clearance at Target

And used them to replace these knobs

To get a look like this

(you would think I would have cleaned off the counter top before taking these pics, but time was of the essence...)

And, I've been incorporating little things as I go. Like this clock (<$ 20 from Homegoods) and hand towels (from Kroger's clearance section) ... not to mention this great sample sale orchid thing whose base I spray painted with Oil Rubbed Bronze

And there's this Dollar Store tree I bought last Easter and spray painted as well. Now it's a jewelry holder...

Baby steps...