Monday, May 19, 2008

Eco Friendly Laundry Detergent

I've been using some eco friendly laundry detergent that I purchased off Etsy. I've loved it. I was fast approaching the bottom of my detergent bag when I decided to make my own. I hopped on the good ol internet and found lots of free recipes. I found one that used the same ingredients as the one that I was currently using. I had to go to 3 different grocery stores to find everything that I needed. Luckily the last grocery store carries everything that I need, so next time I'll just go there. I used recipe #9 here:
I cut the recipe in half because I was afraid that it wouldn't all fit into my container (the container in the pic is a container for animal crackers.)

I've been using these types of laundry detergents for three reasons... number one: it's more cost effected (see below for total rundown of savings). Number two: it's better for the environment. And, number three: my hubby has sensitive skin and since using the natural stuff, he hasn't had any problems. (note that I've also switched to homemade bar soaps as well)

For anyone who is curious, here is a breakdown of what I bought, how much it cost, and how much it's saving me per load.

What I bought:

2 Boxes Of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: $2.89 ea. (4 lb. Boxes)

5 Bars Fels Naptha Soap: 2@ $1.25 ea.(freddies) 3@ $1.49 (Albertsons) (yeilds 1cup grated soap ea.)

1 4.7 lb. Box of Borax: $3.79

1 4 lb. Box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda: $3.09

Total: $19.66

What I used:

4 cups Washing Soda (half box): $1.45

4 cups Fels Naptha (4 bars): $5.75

4 cups Baking Soda (half box): $1.54

6 cups Borax (half box): $1.90

Total Used: $10.64

Mine made approx. 18 cups of detergent. I will need to use 1/8th cup detergent per load. 144 loads total in my bucket = $0.07 per load.

Tide = Around $20.00 for the big box with 90 loads = $0.22 per load

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vaulted Ceilings & Color Mishaps

Alrighty... now onto the living/dining space. The hallway has been finished. We actually had it fully painted before we realized that the color we had chosen for the entire living space was way to light. It looked like pistachios. Well....I think it looked more like butter with a pinch of green, but my hubby and mom said pistachios. Anyways, we picked a new color called “Shaded Path” It was a color by a new earth friendly line of paint called “The Freshaire Choice”. I would have really liked to try the new paint, but we have a ton of wall to cover and I didn't want to risk having to do more than two coats. And, I know that Behr covers great, so I had them colormatch it. So, we repainted the hallway and yesterday my mom and I finished the living room. We had run out of paint, so I went back to the store to get more. Please note, that we only had touch up in the living room to do at this point. (and the stairwell and upper part of the kitchen left) I bought the paint and my mom started touching up. 4 hours later were looking at it, and looking at it, and looking at it.... The color was wrong!! It was a full shade lighter. So, back to the store I went. Really frustrated and trying very hard not to cry. They were incredibly nice at the store and refunded me my money on the bad gallon and remixed me a new one. It looked great. They even put a huge slab of it on the original can to make sure it was right. I came home and we tested it in two areas. I went to bed fretting, but hope full. This morning, it looks better than the other color, but the sheen is off or something. I mean, it's just not right!!! I'm going back to the store today. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to repaint the “nook” in the dinning area (that's where we did most of our touch up work). But, we'll have have to do something about the rest of the house left to paint. I'm irritated in general about all this. Painting those high walls was not fun, and I'm not looking forward to the next few days.

Forgot to mention the wallpaper border... The front room and hallway was painted only halfway up the vaulted walls. And, they had put up a wallpaper border. The border had 3-4 layers of paint on it and it was a pain to remove. You can see it in some of the pics.

On a more happy note: The living room and hallway look stunning. We have soo much organizing, decorating, and cleaning left to do. But, I'm starting to see the light. By the time were finished the house is going to look completely different.

Paint Chips & Hardware & Frustrations, Oh My!!

We finally began the remodel on the house last week. I've been putting it off for almost 6 months now. Mostly because we have very tall vaulted ceilings in the front room and the back art space has TONS of stuff everywhere. I've decided to break up this post into two posts. One about the back of the house (aka: the art space) and one about the front of the house and hallway (aka: the living/dining space)

So, We started in the art space. I took everything down and moved things into the kitchen space. I then painted that ugly yellow ceiling in the art space and the burgundy ceiling in the hallway white!!! Nothing to date has been as satisfying as painting those ceilings. It instantly brightened up the space. I'm a firm believer in the fact that most ceilings should be white. (there are a few exceptions on that) Then came the tough decision about the wall color. We had decided on the color number 3 in the “paint by numbers wall picture”. But, after painting the ceiling the color turned out to be to gray, so we needed to pick something else. I was going for a nice gray blue. Not to gray and not to bright blue, but a happy blue color. It took us 7 tries (the seventh color was on another wall, trust me when I say it was electric blue). Eventually we decided on a color called Newport Blue. (number 6 on the wall) It's stunning against the newly painted white trim. Oh yeah... the trim.

First I just want to say that the previous owners were TERRIBLE painters. They didn't care if paint got sloshed onto the trim, floors, or ceilings. Nor did they painting over painters tape and then leaving the tape there. And, in some places the trim was left in it's original primed state where you could see the brush strokes by the factory. Ok... now I'm getting all worked up... calming down. Ok, so we painted all the trim our “Cottage White” color. Much better!

The room is finished being painted, but I still have a huge amount of organizing and decorating to do. My goal is to “let go” of at least 1/8th of the stuff in this room. I'm very tired of the clutter. My mom and I are planning on doing something to the windows. And, I have some pages from a Victorian clothing catalog that we are going to frame and hang. I'm already loving this space and I can't wait to fully finish it. (before pics on bottom, after pics on top)