Saturday, May 31, 2014

Home made laundry detergent

This week I ventured into the art of making home made laundry detergent I felt I needed to find to save in the home and that this would be a good start.  I have calculated it will be about a $300 saving per year for my home made detergent compared to the shop brought stuff and this is the process.

The recipe calls for;
1 cup of soap - I just grated 1 bar
1/2 cup of borax - I did not add this it's no good for grey water systems and reusing on the garden.
1/2 cup of washing soda 

Both the soap and the washing soda were easily located in the laudry isle at Coles.  I found the soap grated easily I thought it may have been tricky but it grates well.

I started on the large grate bit but changed to the smaller one as it will dissolve easier.

Basically the soap is added to 1.5 litres of water and you keep stiring until soap is dissolved, then add the washing soda.  Stir until thickened then pop in a bucket and fill with warm water to combine all ingredients.  I did add about 15 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil as I wanted a very subtle scent.

The end result was around 7 litres of washing detergent.  Total cost for making this $2 and 15 minutes of time.  Bliss!!  I keep a coffee cup in the laundry and use a medium cupful of the detergent per load, you must shake the bottle first but it's washing the clothes really well.   There are no suds, but we always used the Earths Choice detergent and there are no suds in that either which. Is certainly preferable when your using it on your garden.  I do about 17-19 large loads per week - 3 sons and a massage business generating tons of towels! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dry garden bed project

Over the past few weeks I have been slowly building a new garden bed area in an area that used to have a massive gum tree over it - we had to cut that down a few weeks back and all the mulch from the tree is now the base of the garden.  You can see in some pictures all the branches and truck has become future firewood.  This area has to be moveable as it's our only access to the paddock so a car needs to be able to get past.

This is a shot from my bedroom window, it doesn't look like much but in the past the entire area never seemed able to grow grass so it was all weeds and everything remained dead over Summer so I am super happy with the end result.

My youngests old bike, just about everything had broken on this bike and it was unfixable so I spraypainted it. Lucky he has a birthday coming up as he no longer has a bike!

I also spraypainted the tree which sounds odd, but sadly it died last year so I spruced that up too, and added 200 fairy lights and it looks fantastic at night now too! Why waste a perfectly good sculpture!

I chose this plant to match the colour of the spraypainted dead tree.

There is one live tree that has been planted and it was transplanted, I did not supervise the digging of it up and left that to hubby.  It came over with no soil and little roots!! Poor Maple could end up spraypainted too. I pruned back and shall hope for the best.

Some water for the birds, although my dog keeps drinking it all!

Another fence ornament ripe for a spray paint.

This is a before of a bit of a sad birdbath...

Given new life with some pebbles and a lovely plant I received for Mother's Day.

This was my helper and supervisor for the weekend, he actually is very good at carrying small tools around.

This was my other helper, busy catching all the mice we seem to have right now!

Hope you all got some quality time in the garden!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I was a very lucky girl this mother day, all the boys spoilt me and I was blessed to have hubby off shift too to help co-ordinate breckie in bed.  We spend the afternoon at the Ballarat heritage weekend visiting old buildings and did the Webster Street house walk and of course on such a beautiful day I spend time in the garden.  Eldest child gave me a gorgeous pot of 3 Hyacinths that I was able to divide into 3 pots and I've put 2 outside my clinic entrance for a sensory experiance for my clients.
I did keep one for my bedroom, it's very cold in there so the plant should be fine.

My middle son brought me a Cinereria and from school he choose a Plectranthus a special teacher made up, I do have one so know once large and flowering it will look like this;

These are my special flowers;

Very nicely chosen thanks boys!

I also received some seeds and labels for the garden, but by far the one I was most excited about because I thought it was about 4 feet tall is this;

I can walk in it, this baby is so tall I can stand in it and in fact my eldest can stand in there too and he is just on 6 foot!  I cannot wait to start popping trays of seeds in there!

I also was blessed with $50 in Bunnings vouchers, my family seriously go overboard every year with Mother's Day.  

I did miss my own Mum a bit, she passed away 8 years ago and the boys remembered to light a candle in the evening for Aimee - my 6th pregnancy that sadly did not make it to the end that I lost Mothers day 2010 and for Yvonne - my Mum.   

1938-2006 clearly I do not take after Mum neither of us got thick long blonde hair sadly! 

To end a fantastic day hubby cooked a roast with veggies using our home grown Pumkpin of course! Delicious!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pumpkinmania and a special pillow!

Having picked my only Pumpkin recently it was time to search google for some tasty Pumpkin recipes. I already knew how to cook a delicious Pumkin soup.

We had some with a roast chicken but still had this much left!
So started with the soup.

But needed something tasty to go with the soup, and came up with this...

Wait for it...

Herb Pumpkin bread - very nice, little different but tasty, of course after a meal a sweet treat is a must.

The Pumpkin Cinnamon cake recipe make enough for 2 square dish cakes, lucky as one was demolished by the skeptical "that will be yuk Mum" boys!

The cream cheese icing was yummy!

My beautiful friend Annie gave me this lovely pillow she made for my birthday, I love the texture and find it hard to sit back on preferring to have it on my lap so I can run my fingers through the grooves!

My cat Monty thinks he is a lion.

Laid back boy he is!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Around the place in Autumn

So much happening around here right now.  I have not had a lot of time to post due to family illness one after the other we have had a very long virus, one child to go and I think it's been passed to him tonight. We don't really do Doctors so much but reply on natural therapies and what's in the garden.  Bee Propolis and garlic and Echinacea seems to kill this bug well and we are slowly on the mend. Generally we catch viruses rarely too healthy and eat tons of garlic!

My work in massage has been so busy of late due to my fantastic web listing (thanks hubby) and so I feared we would never get time to do a yard stall for my sons plants and birdhouses and when he makes them garden spirals.  I had a small space outside my clinic door so he set up a little stall.  He is saving for an Indonesian school trip next year I am hopeful he will get there!

Speaking of my clinic, today a wonderful regular client, a gentleman was super thoughtful and brought me a gift back from his recent trip to the Victorian highlands, I was very touched as this fellow walks over for his appointments and it's a long way to carry a bottle and all his gear!

In the garden there are little bulbs starting to peak up out of the ground, always exciting to try and remember what I have planted and where! These are some Hyacinths. 

This is a kit I brought from the garden show recently, I cannot remember the colour of the Hyacinth but I am determined to follow the instructions correctly and get it to grow and flower.  I have kept in the crisper for a bit and now it's set up it needs to stay in a dark cupboard.

The last harvest from the garden although in saying that things like Silverbeet is all starting to come up again.  That pumpkin is 8.8 kgs! Rhonda if you see this note I cut the stem in the right place! Now bring on any recipe suggestions please!

Finally months after harvesting my special Lavender - special because it was the only drug I used for all labours of my children and as we had to remove the bushes I cut dried, chopped and made Lavender bags out of them.  I am fairly please with the result, I am a terrible sewer though I though I was being very clever in stitching inside out so it would look all neat once finished but the last bit to finish off is dreadful never mind perhaps one day I can get a lesson.  I have sewing machine phobia (from high school) and will never buy one, plus a sewing machine was the only implement that ever made my mother swear.  Ever. So I figured they were not to messed with! I enjoyed the project though and the sewing it was one activity that helped me sit still for a minute and they smell wonderful! 

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