I love candles, they make our house smell so good and the ambiance they provide is wonderful. One thing I don’t like about a lot of store bought candles is that they are not clean burning. I wanted to have candles in my home to provide that same light and smell but without emitting harmful chemicals in the air. So I decided to create my own candles.
All you need is:
Soy flakes – I got mine at Hobby Lobby
Wicks -Hobby Lobby again
A jar – I reused a pasta sauce jarEssential oils
Pour soy flakes into microwavable measuring cup, place in microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, do this several times until flakes are melted entirely.
Dip the bottom of the wick in the melted wax. Sick on the bottom of the jar, wait about 1 minute until wax drys. Hold wick with one hand and pour melted wax into jar. Add 15 drops of essential oil, for this candle I did lavender. My next one I am going to do eucalyptus.
This is what the soy flakes should look like after they are all melted.
I love my candle so much. Leave me a comment and tell me if you have made your own candles or suggestions of essencial oils to try out!
As you know I love to save money, it is one of my favorite things! I make my own laundry detergent in the name of saving money! I while back I heard a friend telling how her and her husband will have a time every few months where they do not spend money during the work week, Monday through Friday. She was telling about how much they really caught themselves spending needlessly.
When I heard the idea I thought that we keep good tabs on our finances and we don’t spend that much. Then I really got to looking at our bank statement and realized we make a lot of purchases each week.
I decided to change that idea and run wild with it. That is how “No Spend Week” got started. For one week we spend no money, we don’t go grocery shopping, we don’t go out, we don’t even use gift cards. It is a spend free week.
We have to stretch our pantry staples and what ever we have in cans, fridge, or freezer to eat that week. It can be a lot of fun to see how much you can stretch what you have. It can also be fun to do without, but it is all about that attitude you go into it with.
In our house the only exceptions to No Spend Week are:
2. Church offering
3. Food for our pets
You may be suprised how much you really do spend in a week and how much you save trying our No Spend Week.
I would love to hear in the comment section how you and your family save money!
Last night for dinner we had one of my husbands favorites, pork chops.
This is one of our families favorite pork chop recipes, it is so easy and delicious.
Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops
A tender and juice pork chop with a sweet glaze and a nice spicy undertone. A family favorite!
-Thick cut pork chops (4)-1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix brown sugar and spices together in large bowl.
2. Place pork chops in brown sugar mixture and coat both sides. Being sure to use all mixture.
3. Heat olive oil in skillet over high heat. Place chops in skillet and sear each side until brown (about 7 minutes). Check regularly.
4. Place in baking dish and bake at 350 for 5 minutes after searing.
5. Take out of oven and serve.
They are so easy and so delicious. Let me know what rubs you like using for your pork chops.
Maybe you have heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness”, I believe it can. That is if that money pays an adoption fee for your new best friend.
Today I wanted to introduce you to three very important parts of my life, my fur babies! My husband and I are huge animal lovers, therefore we have three pets who we love so stinkin’ much!
Let the introductions begin……..
First the oldest brother, Rex, a German Shepard Cross.
Bobby and I adopted Rex when he was 8 months old, he had been badly abused by the people that had him before and one of the shelter workers said that she believed he was going to be used as a bait dog for dog fighting. Thankfully, one day the people who had abused Rex decided they were done with him and tied him to the door of the shelter. He sat in the shelter for about 4 months just terrified of everything. Then I saw his picture and heard part of his story and I had to help him. We went and picked him up and he became our baby.
It took months for Rex to start getting better, but with lots of love, and working to get him socialized Rex made a big turn around.
When we first brought Rex home he was scared of everything, even ceiling fan moving. We took him to the dog park, showed him what love was, and made sure he got to experience lots of new adventures.
Nearly two years later and he is doing amazing. He is a totally different dog, still a little nervous but so much better than he was.
Part of the process that helped Rex get better was when we got his brother, Boomer.
This was his first day home with us.
Boomer is a Bloodhound Great Dane cross. His name, Boomer says it all. He is the most accident prone dog I have ever met in my entire life. When we adopted him he had a big cut on his nose you can kind of see it in the picture above, because he was digging his face in the ground in his cage at the shelter. Not 10 minutes after we got him home he slid in the grass and ran into the house and cut his forehead. About a month later on a ride in the truck he saw a rabbit, jumped out and broke his back leg. Once that healed up he was playing in the back yard and summer-salted over himself and broke the end of his tail. Knock on wood, we have been accident free for about 3 months now.
Boomer was neglected by his last owners and they no longer felt like caring for him and dumped him off on a back country road. A woman came across him and took him to the pound. We saw his picture and knew he was meant to be our baby.
At first he didn’t like being touched or cuddled. Love was foreign to him and was really scary. Fast forward about 3 months and he can’t get enough love. He gets jealous if we are petting on of the other animals.
This is our boys playing out in the summer heat together.
And last but not least, Kitty. Her real name is Lily, but she never gets called that. 🙂
Kitty was born to a feral cat and was going to grow up eating out of trash cans until we came along. We took her in and she very quickly became a diva. She is spoiled rotten but how could we say no to that cute girl. She pretty much spends her days laying on the couch and on the window sill and occasionally hissing at her brothers.
So those are my sweet babies.
Remember, don’t shop, adopt.
And always spay and neuter your pets!
I would love to hear about your pets!
The other day my cousins and I were talking about Christmas goodies and our mouths started to water. At Christmas we always have pie, my favorite is strawberry rhubarb! (YUM!!) My cousin said pie with a little ice cream sounded to die for and then the cravings set in. I couldn’t kick it. So today I got busy and my some homemade vanilla ice cream!
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
7 egg yolks, beaten
3 Tablespoons vanilla
4 cups whipping cream
1. Add sugar, salt, and milk to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat.2. Beat eggs yolks and add to the milk mixture. Cook on medium heat. Stir constantly.
3. When bubbles appear around edge (around 10 minutes) take mixture off heat.
4. Cool milk mixture to room temp. You can do this creating an ice bath by filling one bowl with ice water and placing your pan in the water.
5. When mixture has cooled mix in vanilla and cream.
6. Strain mixture into ice cream canister. (Straining helps to reduce clumps)
7. If you wanted something other than vanilla now would be the time to add it. Cookies, chocolate, or candies.
8. Place canister into ice cream maker (if using the rock salt kind) pack ice and rock salt in alternating layers along the sides of the canister.
9. Plug in and let it make some yummy ice cream!
This recipe is to amazing! Let me know if you give it a try!
I have been wanting to try out a recipe for home made laundry detergent and I have finally done it! My husband gets itchy and gets little red bumps from a lot of different products so I wanted to create one that I knew was going to be safe for his skin and keep our clothes really clean! It smells so great and gets my clothes really clean, did I mention it is super cheap as well?!?! (I love to save money!)
I added a little more Oxiclean to mine than she did because we typically put it in every load to keep our clothes bright.
It makes 2 gallons of detergent.
76 oz box of Borax – $3.97 at Walmart
55 oz box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $3.97 at Walmart
3 lb container of Oxiclean -$7.52 at Walmart
4lb box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – $2.24 at Walmart
2 bars of Zote Soap (grated) – $0.97 each at Walmart
- Mix Borax, Washing Soda, and Oxiclean in large bucket. I used a plastic box. You could use a 5 gallon bucket.
- Grate Zote Soap with a food processor or cheese grater.
- Once Zote Soap is grated, place 2 cups of shredded soap and 1 cup of baking soda in food processor and blend again.
- Blend until it creates a powder.
- Add each batch of the soap and baking soda mixture to your other ingredients.
- Once all the soap and baking soda is blended and added begin mixing them all together. I used a large serving spoon to mix mine.
- Add to a container and your all done!
All the ingredients cost $19.64. It made 15 quarts of detergent, if I use 1 ounce a load I will get 480 loads out of this batch of detergent. That means it only cost $0.04 a load!
4 Cents a load!
You just can’t beat that! My husband even said it smells like the best laundry detergent he has smelled.
Let me know if you have ever made your own detergent liquid or powder.
As we near Christmas I wanted to share a fun tradition that we have in our house. Every year for Christmas I have given my husband a gift each day on the twelve days leading up to Christmas. Some years the gifts are small things, other years they are bigger. This year I decided that I wanted to do something a little bit different and I gave twelve date nights. I wanted to share with you mine and you can change or adapt as you see fit. If you are reading this and you have less than twelve days an alternate idea would be giving gifts starting Christmas or Christmas Eve and going into the new year.
This is our tree before we had everything put back together, excuse the mess!
My gifts this year are a date night each month of the coming year. So here goes………
January – Bowling and beer
February – Homemade pizza and movies at home
March – Take a trip to the winery
April – Go for a romantic picnic
May – Go put put golfing
June – Take a trip to an amusement park
July – Go for a camping trip
August – Go for a romantic night of stargazing and wine
September – Board game night at home
October – Go out to the movies
November – Starbucks date and a long drive
December – Go watch a hockey game
For my list I wanted to mix in some expensive dates and some cheap dates so that each month wasn’t breaking the bank. Things like going to the amusement park will take some planning and saving because we will have to travel and get a hotel room. You could make them more expensive dates if you wanted or make them cheaper and take a trip to the fair or park.
Let me know if you have any fun date night ideas!
I started this blog for the purpose of helping others who may be going through the same or similar a similar situation. I felt so alone when this happened to me I want to help reach others so they know that they are not alone. I hope that it can help you!
On December 8, 2015 I had emergency surgery to remove my fallopian tube and therefore my pregnancy. I am still grieving and am very upset, but I wanted to share with you my experience and where I am now in my grieving process to help others who may be dealing with the same kind of situation. A week before Thanksgiving I started to feel sick, tired, and just generally not myself. I chalked it up to catching some kind of sickness. My husband, Bobby and I had been trying to conceive but it was to soon to take a pregnancy test. On the Wednesday, November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving I felt the worst I had felt so far. I had bad cramping, and I had vaginal bleeding but was still hopeful that it was simply implantation bleeding and was perfectly normal.
I told my mom and my husband that I wasn’t feeling well but was fine. Early in the morning on Thursday November 26th, after describing my symptoms to my mom she suggested taking a pregnancy test. I did and it was positive! I was thrilled! I told my husband that I needed to get whip cream from the store and ran to Walmart, where I bought a onesie. I got ready for Thanksgiving and before I changed out of my pajamas I told my husband that I had gotten a new outfit that I wanted to show him. I walked out holding the onesie and the pregnancy test! He couldn’t believe it! All he kept saying was “I’m going to be a dad!” He was so proud! In that moment we were thrilled, we were everything we had wanted to be, parents. We were on cloud nine! We got ready and went to my parents to give them the good news. They were thrilled, my mom cried and my dad had a smile from ear to ear. We didn’t want to tell anyone until Christmas Eve and then we wanted to surprise my whole family with our exciting news. Our plan was to give my grandparents a big box with blue and pink balloons in it and give the news that way. We were planning and plotting how to do it.
I scheduled our first doctors apportionment and we couldn’t wait.
At the doctors office I was given a trans vaginal ultrasound and the doctor said “You are pregnant, but not with a baby.” That didn’t make any sense to me, I wasn’t pregnant with a kitty so…..?
He then told us we would have a miscarriage and it was probably best to take a shot to start that possess. I didn’t like that and we decided to let nature take it’s course if that was the case. God knew best and if it was meant to be He would let it be. So we left and we grieved over the loss.
I talked to my mom that next morning and she said that I should see a different doctor, so I scheduled a second appointment with a different doctor in town. She ran some blood work and told us that my Hg C levels and wanted us to test again to see if it went up. She tested me again two days later and my Hg C did rise but not as much as she wanted it to. She also discovered that I had a low progesterone level and prescribed me a medication. She wanted to test me again in a week, but her gut feeling was that I had a blighted ovum. Meaning, things came together but they could not progress.
By this time we feel like we have been on an emotional roller coaster. We got great news, then bad news, the good news, then bad news, and it was about to become worse news.
Two days later I was really having bad cramping and vaginal bleeding, I went to bed that night and I was just not able to sleep. I tossed and turned trying to make my cramping stop. At 4 AM I couldn’t take it anymore, Bobby was at work and so I called my mom. She thought that it was best we go to the emergency room.
Once we got checked in, the did an ultrasound on me which quickly told us that I was not doing well. The doctor looked at it and pretty quickly decided that surgery was needed ASAP. The doctor told me he was going to try and save my fallopian tube if he could. He kept telling us “it is a lot easier to tell people who have kids at home this news.”
He told us my chances of having another ectopic pregnancy was about 20% higher than the average person and gave me the ins and outs of the procedure I was about to have. I didn’t hear much of it because I was just so devastated.
When I came out of surgery I was told that my left fallopian tube was removed there was nothing that they could do to save it. The pictures told the same story with my left fallopian nearly triple the size of my right. The doctor said that fact that I was able to walk and that it hadn’t burst was amazing.
We are now in the recovery phase. My surgery was almost two weeks ago now and I am still getting better and grieving.
This chart a friend shared with me is the most accurate as to what my grieving looked like and is still looking like.
So this is the overview of my story. I will continue to post about my grieving process and what I felt.
A few things that have really helped me up to this point is…
Knowing that our baby is in heaven with God and that the entire time the were on this earth they were loved so much. They lived a life here full of love. They never have known hurt of pain and now they are looking down on us.
This great blog post from Natasha Metzler.
This beautiful quote.
“Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn’t get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me?”
And this saying.
“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”
I want to help anyone who is going through this and let them know that they are not alone.
Please know I am praying for you!