Friday, July 12, 2013

Our Little Garden

Something I have really learned to enjoy is working out in our yard.  I used to have very little interest in yard work.  Since having kiddos and spending a ton of time in the backyard, I have learned to love it!

This year, I decided to try a few things out. I ordered a couple of apple trees ( they are growing SO WELL)
our baby Pink Lady Apple

We also added 4 blueberry plants.  2 in large containers and 2 in the ground ( as an experiment) 
We had a handfull of fruit this year, can't wait to see next year!
one of the potted blueberry plants with a few immature berries.

This little garden is also an effort to get my extremely picky eater excited about healthy food.  He chose to plant carrots in a container on our back porch... we are still waiting on these ( it may be too hot for them)  If they don't work out, we will try again when the weather cools down.


G's Carrots 

We also planted a selection of Mint in our large front porch pot. ( Mint can take over if you aren't careful)
I also threw in some basil from seed and we have been using that like crazy!  Next year I may use that pot just for all different types of basil.  

Our front porch mint ( spearmint, lemon balm and grapefruit mint) 

I also just added a fig tree (potted) and I am thinking about replacing some dying azaleas with more fruit bushes.  I have been having a blast with this little garden and the boys love spraying each other and me with the hose helping me water.  :)

Next year, my husband said he would build a raised bed for a small vegetable garden. I'm hoping to use it year round, possibly with some type of cold frame for the winter.

It feels great to use fresh items that you know haven't been sprayed or treated with any chemicals.  What do you have growing? :)

Have a great week!







Tuesday, July 9, 2013

On the Bandwagon...

Well... I tried it and I am never going back!

No more ridiculously expensive laundry detergent in our house :)


I had pinned several different versions of this recipe and finally decided on trying out the Fels-Naptha version because that is the only laundry bar soap I could find.

The first recipe I tried was:
1 bar grated Fels-Naptha ( I used my kitchen cheese grater)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
Mix well until evenly combined.

I found using 3 tablespoons of this recipe worked better than the recommended 1-2.

The results I got were okay, nothing thrilling.

After doing a little more online research, I found many people found that ZOTE worked better for them.  ZOTE is a Mexican soap which I thought would be easy to find here in Texas.  I was wrong.
I ended up ordering a few bars on ebay.  I am so glad I did!  

The recipe I came up with using ZOTE is awesome!  I would say it works just as well as the powdered Tide I had been using previously.

Zote comes in a very large pink or white bar 
(I used the white version)  

Here is the recipe I used with great success using Zote:
1/2 bar grated ZOTE laundry bar
1 Cup borax
1 Cup washing soda
Mix well until evenly combined ( ZOTE stays a little chunkier than the picture above, more like grated cheese.  Don't stress, it works great!)

I found that using 2 tablespoons of this works well, for heavily soiled loads I add an extra tablespoon.

I have even been able to use this detergent on my sons' clothes.  My little one is super sensitive and this doesn't seem to bother him at all.   I was a little nervous to try it out as our washer is HE and nobody was there to reassure me that this recipe was HE safe. I watched the cycle and it was very low sudsing and perfectly fine for my HE machine. ( Be sure to check your owners manual to make sure using homemade detergents won't void your warranty)

The cost is super low since the only thing you need to buy fairly often is the bar of soap.   Each batch of this detergent costs me well under $1.50 and lasts my family of four about 3 weeks.  That is amazing. LOVE THE SAVINGS!

I've also heard you can use a plain Ivory soap bar as the soap ingredient. I am going to try that next.

P.S.  I have also been using white vinegar as a fabric softener and LOVE IT.  I use a quarter cup in the softener dispenser and it is wonderful ( it also helps keep your washer fresh!)

Let me know if you give it a try :)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fysiko Eyelash Serum- BEFORE

So excited to try Fysiko Eyelash Growth Serum!


I will be trying this product out for the next 16 weeks and documenting the trial on the blog.
I actually started out using it about a week ago and I am already seeing a difference.  Can't wait to see what the next few weeks look like!

Here is my "before" photo.
I do have a little mascara on because my eyelashes are blond.  This picture gives you an idea of my eyelash length and thickness :)

Can't wait to share the progress with you soon!





Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fossil Rim- An Amazing Day!

Hey there!  Recently, we took a little day trip to Glen Rose, TX to visit Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.  It was amazing and well worth the drive.

Such a beautiful area of Texas.  I had never been to Glen Rose prior.

We have decided against taking a "big" vacation this year.  Instead, we have planned out several day trips to places here in Texas.  Fossil Rim was our first of the series.

Fossil Rim is an wildlife center on several hundred acres.  It houses several different types of wildlife including deer, buffalo, ostrich, rhinos and giraffe to name a few.

The way Fossil Rim works is, you drive your own car through the park and observe the animals.  You also can purchase ( animal) food to try to entice some of the animals to come closer.  

The boys had a BLAST!
I was worried they would be nervous... NOPE.
Big G took his animal food throwing job very seriously.  

This guy wasn't very patient.  He stuck his head right into the driver's side window.  I guess he was hungry :)


This little friend was super creepy and a little aggressive.  The boys were laughing so hard because he would not stop pecking at the windows. ( I found it terrifying)

We had such a great time and made some great memories.

For more info on Fossil Rim click here

  


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Making the Switch (From Department Store to Drugstore Brands)



I knew when I quit my job that I would have to make sacrifices. I don't mind doing that at all! I actually really have learned to enjoy looking for ways to trim our budget. One of the ways I have done that is making the switch from expensive department store makeup brands to drugstore brands. 




I thought I would share some of my (NEW) favorite products with you.




Foundation:

I used to use CHANEL, at a cost of $45.00 this was definitely a splurge and I dreaded finding something to replace it...








ULTRA-LIGHT SKIN PERFECTING SUNSCREEN MAKEUP BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 15

$45.00Well. I found something that I like almost as
much as Chanel. 








L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream.
I am so happy with this. It gives me the
light coverage I got with the Chanel 
foundation. The only thing it is lacking is a
sunscreen, when I run out, I will try the version they make with a sunscreen built in.
I bought this for $7.99 at Walgreens!




Lips:
I also traded in my Chanel Lip Liner and Lip
Gloss for a lipstick(!!!)
Revlon Lip Butters. They are amazing, super moisturizing and they come in a bunch of different colors
( My favorite is Peach Parfait, I also have Strawberry Shortcake andCotton Candy) For less than 8 bucks?  Yes please! 












I have to mention one more product that both my husband and I really like. Ivory has a new product out that is a shampoo and body wash in one! To be honest, I didn't think I would be a fan because 2 in 1 products usually leave my hair feeling gross. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It smells amazing and was really effective as a shampoo. The price is right on this one too...it is
$4.09 at drugstore.com









What are some of your favorite drugstore products? Any concealer recommendations?







































Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SPRING!


How the HECK did LATE MARCH get here so quickly!? I personally love Spring, but I also dread it just a tiny bit because that means Summer is right around the corner... And for us, that means 100 degree days and high electric bills ( womp, womp)

There are some things that I am so excited to be doing, getting outside to work in the yard... Taking daily walks to the park with the short people in my house. And, getting reorganized and freshening up the house.

In spring I like to switch things up a little, a great way to do that for very little cost, is pillow covers!  

I have some new perfect-for-spring pillow covers that are in the Etsy Shop

A super simple update, some great mix and match options too!


Here are a few sneak peeks that are available currently:





All pillows above are $15.00- $16.00 and are available for purchase in my etsy shop

Dont Forget to use code FRESHP for free shipping!




  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tis the shopping season!

First things first:  Visit my shop SunandLavender on Etsy  to see the AMAZING discount that is available this weekend ONLY. The discount and code are posted in the shop welcome area on the top of the page.

You can click the link above or click on the shop icon in my side bar.


Second, I'll tell you a little secret.
I don't really like to shop.
I used to LOVE to shop ( when I was skinny and when I had disposable income and no children to spend it on.)

Now?  When I need something, I usually buy online.

So... I thought I would do a post featuring some of my favorite places to online shop.

My number one place for online shopping is Nordstrom.com

Why?  FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS ANYTIME.
Nordstrom is where I get my staples from, clothes, makeup, perfume. 
I know I can order hassle free from there anytime and it saves me the gas money and having to drag my two littles out to shop.

Another great place to shop online is Stella & Dot.
They sell amazing high quality jewelry and it usually arrives at your door within 5 business days. 

Right now I am obsessed with this necklace from Stella & Dot... It is the perfect Christmas gift.
You can shop for that necklace here


And all of you ladies with little girls?  You have GOT to check out this etsy shop...


I am totally in love with this dollhouse/bookshelf


I would totally have ordered one for Christmas if I had a little girl!



Where do you like to online shop?






Saturday, October 13, 2012

Funny How That Is...

Some days, no some weeks, I NEED a break.
This week was one of those weeks.  My house never got cleaned.  Well, I managed to do things that "needed" to be done.  I put away the laundry that has been sitting on the kitchen table for 5 days.  I washed the kitchen floors, I vacuumed, I washed sheets, wiped kitchen counters, washed dishes... 

But, I never got to scrub the bathrooms, get everything put away and smell that "clean house" smell that I like to enjoy while sitting on the couch listening to the dishwasher run in a silent sleeping house. ( I secretly LOVE sitting on the couch late Sunday night listening to the dishwasher run- weird I know) 

Thursday night I had planned to run around and at least pick up and wipe the kitchen down since my mom was coming Friday to watch the kids while I substitute taught. ( run on sentence)

That didn't happen.  I felt sick and both kids had a rough night, so I was on mom duty.

My mom offered to take Big G for Friday night to give him some one on one time.
I hate to admit it, but it was kind of a relief.  I thought, "oh that would be great, I can get things done around the house, finally."

And it's funny, how the minute he pulls away with my mom, I miss him.

The house is so quiet and empty. 
The baby went to sleep at 7:30.
My husband and I got to watch the two TV shows we DVR.  Then we spent the rest of the night talking about our babies and how awesome they are.

Then, I get this email from my mom about how G is busy bossing them both around and directing play and learning about different tools and taking apart their patio furniture and making friends with a girl at Chick-Fil-A and I giggle and remember that he'll be back talking my ear off and filling my heart in the morning.

And my house probably won't be clean and I am totally, completely, ok with that ;)