Monthly Archives: May 2013

That Fateful Day.

The day started like any other day. I partially didn’t wake up to my alarm, wondering what the bells were doing in my room. After realizing it was my alarm, I reset my alarm for a half hour later. Like I said… it was a day like any other.

After showering, then figuring out which direction my door was, I made my way straight to the coffee. Checked my email. did some dishes, packed lunches, dried my hair, let the kids sleep in till the last possible second… then woke them up only twenty minutes until we needed to leave to drop off Ian at school.

We raced out the door — in tow, my darling kids with brushed hair and clean clothes, and me (doing the towing), supermom, ready to take on the world — with everything in neat, organized bags ready to stay in town all day.

So, we dropped off Ian, ran a few errands, and then headed to the library to meet up with my friend. I casually reached for my smartphone to call said friend.

But wait. Where was my phone? I checked my purse, my bag, my pockets, under the seats of the van. IT. WASN’T. THERE.

I let out a scream of distress, and suddenly out of nowhere, Spiderman showed up with my phone. Only, it wasn’t Spiderman, and it wasn’t even my phone. It was reality, telling me MY LIFE was at home on my nightstand.

I actually managed to call my friend from another friends phone (thank you Ali) to try to connect with her, and had to leave a voicemail. About an hour later, I called her number again, only to realize she had called three hours earlier to CANCEL. No big deal, except MY LIFE was at home on my nightstand.

Fortunately, the whole kerfuffle ended up in a lovely (and overdue) playdate and time catching up with Ali, whose phone I borrowed to call my other friend, so that was glorious!

In the meantime, I had the next few hours to contemplate how utterly sad it is that I am SO dependent on my phone. It has the Facebook, and the Contacts, and the Pinterest App (SO important), and the google calendar…

Whatever did people do without smartphones?! (I sarcastically but actually seriously thought to myself)

So, as my friend texts me to apologize for cancelling (which I understood), and my other friend Facebooks me to thank me for a good time hanging out (which I enjoyed), I am left with this thought:

How do I reduce my screen time, online time, and connectedness, in a world that depends on technology?

My answer: one step at a time.picture001

Homemade Laundry Soap

Its simple… debt-free living on a tight budget means you have to make stuff from scratch. What I didn’t realize was how MUCH I’d actually save. Its incredibly ridiculous.

Also ridiculous… how EASY it is to make. I’m not a recipe person. I know how to measure and follow recipes, but I hate them nonetheless. This was a piece of cake. Only, not one I’d ingest.

This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha (or just a simple bar of soap). We found all ingredients in a row, ON SALE at Fred Meyer. If I continue making this, I plan to look online and buy in bulk and on sale. 🙂 One friend mentioned the smell of Fels Naptha irritated her, so if you’re sensitive to strong scents, try buying a simple bar of Ivory soap.

Ingredients 1 bar soap OR 1/3 bar of fels naptha (a stronger soap, found on the detergent aisle) 1/2 cup washing soda 1/2 cup borax, and water

Supplies 2 gallon bucket large pot wooden spoon (or something to stir with) cheese grater


  1. Grate soap into a sauce pan.  You’ll want to grate it completely, not just chop it up because it will take quite a while to melt if the chunks are too big.  I’d also suggest wearing rubber gloves if you are using fels naptha because it can be a little irritating on your skin if you handle it too long.
  2. Add 6 cups water and heat on medium until the soap melts, stirring occassionally.
  3. Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  4. Pour 4 cups hot water into 2 gallon bucket, then add soap mixture.
  5. Add 1 gallon (16 cups) plus another 6 cups water and stir.
  6. Allow to sit for about 24 hours, then it’s ready to use!  The consistency should be something like egg flower soup, with some thicker chunks, but mostly liquid.  Use about 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

This made 8 quarts. Which equals 32 Cups of liquid. Since you use 1/2 Cup per load, that’s 64 loads for apprximately $1.30. AND its good on the environment, and septic tanks. 🙂