Homemade Laundry Detergent

Now bear with me here……..this has ALMOST nothing to do with Stampin’ Up!  But if you follow me to the bottom, you will see the correlation!  Promise!

So, I have several friends, and blogging friends, that are really having a fun time making their own laundry detergent and saving TONS fo money.  With the large amount of laundry we do…….and the foster baby keeps us going, too……..I decided to give it a try.  There are many different recipes out there, but here is the one I used.  One of my girlfriends tried it out for about 2 weeks, and then we all decided to go for it!

So here is what you need (see the link above for all the details).  I had fun taking photos along the  way, though.  And let me say…….only 30 minutes from start to finish……including my clean up time.  All supplies cost me $20.72 at WalMart.  I accidently bought too large of a container of Oxi-Clean.  I only used half of it.  So, technically, only about $16 for all of the costs.   Here is the stuff you need……all from the same area on the shelf at WalMart.

You will have to grate the Fels -Naptha.  No big deal……it is very soft and easier to grate than cheese.

Then you want the soap to be a little smaller (in my opinion) so you can either chop it more with your knife, or use a food processor.  My food processor made it work out perfectly!

I bought this air-tight container at WalMart for $7.97.  You will need 2 of them to store all of it, or you can put the excess in ziploc bags.  I liked the look of these pretty containers on my shelf, so I went back and got a second one to store it all.  You will use 2 Tablespoons in each load.  Yes, that is a very small amount, but trust me, it works.  I had a small measuring spoon that was 1/8 cup (2 T.) and it works perfectly.  I’ve had that forever, so not sure if you can purchase one of those easily or not.

So here is how Stampin’ Up! is involved (sorry for the blurry photo).  I labeled my containers with Vinyl letters using our Big Shot Simple Serif Letters.  How ’bout that?  I love the look and it makes it clear to the family, don’t ya’ think.  Yes, my family does the laundry almost as much as I do.  THANK GOODNESS!  I am eager to see how long the soap lasts.  Most families have reported that it lasted a year…….but not sure how big their families were!  The blog where I found the recipe reported 9 months.  We shall see….but I know it is saving me a ton of money.  The large jugs of liquid detergent that we were using were about $8 per container.  Even on sale, $6 was the cheapest we found.  I’m thinking I like this so much that I will try the Dishwasher Detergent recipe next week.  🙂


Making dough….the kind you eat!

I have a new “goal” these days……..that I want to get really good at making homemade dough.  I want to be good at making yeast rolls, and cinnamon rolls, and pastry type of stuff.  You get the idea, right?  I love to bake and I want to be better than I am today when I’m a grandma some day.  I want to be confident in my baking, and I’m a little lacking some days.  I’m also very brave about trying new recipes, and I love it when I find recipes on the blogs I visit.  I found one this past weekend that intrigued me so, so much!  It was for Samoan Coconut Rolls — they start with just a basic dough for dinner rolls but then they have a liquid mixture that your pour over the top and when they cook, they have a syrup type of ooey-gooey glaze on the bottom.  Sounds interesting, right???  Well that’s what got my attention!  So go to this post and check it out! 

Here is the basic Dough Recipe that I used.  It was YUMMY!  I was quite proud of my first ever attempt at making rolls with yeast.  Charles has made them many times, but I want to learn myself and not rely on his skills so much!  You know, I’m a pretty independent gal!  (well, sometimes)

Into a bowl (I use a Kitchen Aid) put all the ingredients in the following order:

1.5 C warm water
2 tsp yeast
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c oil
3.5 c flour
1 tsp salt

Mix all together and add more flour if it’s too wet, but you don’t want it to be too dry. Let it mix for at least 5 minutes. Let rise until doubled in size, roll into balls, put into ungreased pan, and let rise until double again.

Here are the rolls fresh out of the oven.  They were really good, lightly sweet, and really unique.  I’m not sure we will make them really often, but they were fun to try and I will use the dough recipe over and over again. 

RECIPE #2 that I found at Crazy Mom Quilts (one of my favorite blogs!!) was for Stromboli.  It sounded yummy, too, and I was already thinking about the dough  from the rolls.  So, I decided to make up 2 batches of dough, and put the “Derrick Taste Testing Kitchen” into high gear.  We didn’t have any plans Saturday night, and all 3 kids were home (miraculous event that it was) — so what a better thing to do than bake?  We all enjoyed some family bonding in the kitchen. 

To make Stromboli you will need:
1 loaf frozen bread dough (or homemade dough)
1/2 lb. sliced ham
1/2 lb. pepperoni
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese (I used Mozzarella)
Parmesan cheese
dried oregano
garlic powder

Let the dough rise according to package directions. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until it is about 14” x 18”. Layer the ham and pepperoni on the dough, top with Swiss cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic powder. Roll up like a jelly roll and pinch the ends and edges to seal. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Slice and eat!

In the sewing world, I’m trying to finish 2 projects this week……..and one of them uses this binding.  Yep, all 11 yards of this bias binding.  I made this yesterday for my “Egg Money Quilt” that I got back from the quilter right before Christmas.  I can’t wait to get it finished and show it to you.  It is gorgeous and the border is scalloped.  My first time to do this……..hope it turns out!

Christmas Gifts for the Teachers and Frosty Trash Recipe

I managed to get all of the teacher gifts (and office staff) packaged up and sent off!  I’m excited to share the cute packaging idea with you, and also the yummy recipe (at the bottom).   The recipe makes a pretty large batch, and each box held about a 1 1/2 cups.  I put the mix into plastic bags (the cute printed ones!) and used a twist tie to keep them air tight.  These are the “men” boxes.  The ribbon is from Michaels but I purchased it last year.   I really thought it was unique to find brown snowflakes, and knew that it would be perfect for a “manly” look, so I bought alot of it last year.  

I used Chocolate Chip and Handsome Hunter (retired) markers to color the tags, and then punched them out with the Decorative Label Punch.  I backed it with a piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  These were quick and easy, despite the coloring.  It really made the boxes look great, and the kids were very happy with them!

This is how the “lady” gifts looked.  I put the Pot Pinchers (from yesterday) and some recipe cards in each of these boxes.  It was a tight fit, but it worked.  The tag is one of 10 tags that I made from the Simply Scrappin’ kit from last year.  I designed a kit using 1/2 of the kit SU sells and it made 10 cards and 10 tags.  I have ONE KIT LEFT if anyone wants it.  I will e-mail you the PDF so you can copy them.  If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will see all of the samples.  They are very easy and all dimensions are given.  You will only need one Christmas stamp to complete all tags and cards. 

You will notice a little “bling” on each tag….I decided at the last minute to add some of our adhesive rhinestone jewels to each of the lady’s gifts.  I love it!

This last photo shows all of the cards and tags.  If you need something last minute, this is it!  I have one more kit and it is $10.  I will even mail it to you today if you will let me know you want it.  Or if you live locally, you can give me a call and it is yours!



5 c. Cheerios

5 c. Corn Chex

2 c. peanuts

1 lb. M&M’s

5 c. pretzels (I use sticks)

2 lb. white chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate chips with 2 T. oil in the microwave.  Pour over mixture (use a very large bowl) and stir gentle until covered.  Coat thoroughly.  Pour onto wax paper and let cool. 

I would like to add that it works just fine to use Almond Bark instead of the white chocolate chips.  I use one WHOLE brick of the Almond Bark for each batch. 

Zucchini Bread and a Retro Apron

First of all, let me just say that posts will be a little off schedule this summer.  I will be honest, and say that I doubt I will post every day.  However, I will be posting as often as I have time and they might show up at any time of the day.  Typically, I get the posts ready the night before and they post at 5 am the next morning.  That works for me most of the time, but summer is just a whole ‘nother ball game!  So, please check back to see more projects as often as you have time, and I promise to post as often as I can.

I forgot that I hadn’t shown you the teacher gifts that I sent to the men teachers.  I made Zucchini bread this year, and it was a first for me.  We also made red/black tags (our school colors) with starts on them for the men.  I thought I’d share the recipe.  I doubled the recipe and it made 10 of these little loaves.  I took some to my in-laws and my sister/brother-in-law on Memorial Day and I got lots of compliments on the recipe.  So…….in case you want to make some, here it is!

Zucchini Bread


2 c. shredded zucchini

1 c. oil

3 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. nuts

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

Directions:  Mix dry indgredients and moist ingredients in separate bowls, and then combine.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

I also wanted to show you the apron that I made for my Sister-In-Law who lives in Dallas.  I just wanted to make her something fun and surprise her……..she really doesn’t even cook all that much, but I knew she’d like the apron anyway!   It was made with McCall’s pattern M5643 and it is called “Retro Aprons”.  I bought my material and buttons at JoAnn’s Fabrics. 

She told me she loved the fabric so much…….she just wanted to eat it up! 

Hope you enjoy your weekend.  I will back on Monday and will start showing you the projects that we are making at our Club Classes next week.  Til then…….have a ton of fun!

Yummy Treats!

I have the very best friends and the very best customers!  I love them all so very much and they often do things to brighten my day!  I have two things to show you today that came from some special friends of mine. 

fig preserves

These Fig Preserves were made by my friend Nicholette who is a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator in Tomball.  I have become friends with Nicholette over the past few years as we roomed together at Convention.  We have really “clicked” and have talked about how badly we wish we lived closer together.  We really think we would spend alot of time together.  When I found out that she was harvesting her own figs and making preserves, I asked if she had any that I could try.  She offered to send me some, and I feel so blessed!  And look how adorable the jar is!!!  It almost makes me want to figure out how to make my own preserves……..but I know that I don’t need to tackle another project any time soon!!! 

fig preserves 2

Last night at club, our hostess brought the most delicious snacks!  Thank you, Linda!!!!  She went above and beyond…….we had 2 kinds of soup (Creamy Tomato and Pumpkin) that she served in crock pots, small sandwiches on two kinds of bread, and this delicious Cheeseball in the shape of a pumpkin!  Don’t you just want to dig in?  I made everyone stop and let me take a photo of it first.  The recipe and photos are in the Southern Living magazine for this month.  I think I might need to pick this one up…

pumpkin cheeseball

In addition to Linda’s yummy treats, my customer Dee also made Pecan Pie Muffins!!!  She has promised to send the recipe to me, so I will post that soon. 

I hope you have a fantastic Wednesday — half way through the week!  We are headed to Austin for most of the day.  We have to take the baby to some doctor appointments.  I’d like to tell you that we will do a little shopping, but we won’t!  Charles will be with me, and he is a major penny pincher, so there’s not a chance!  🙂

Blessings to each of you!!!!  Can’t wait for the cold air to blow back in tomorrow!!!!

Strawberry Bread

These  are the Teacher Appreciation Gifts that I made for all of the teachers…..enjoy! 

The strawberry stamp is from “Tart and Tangy” and the large tag die is from Sizzix and I used it in the Big Shot….however, it is not something we sell.  I have had it for years, and probably got it at Michael’s.  Have a great Mother’s Day and check back tomorrow for my Mother’s Day cards.  strawberry bread

Strawberry Bread Recipe  (originally from Karie DeFrees)

3 cups plus 3 T.  All-Purpose Flour

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 cups  sugar

2   10 oz. packages frozen strawberries, thawed

1 cup  vegetable oil

3 eggs, well beaten

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans (optional)

2 T. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients in a barge mising bowl.  Add beaten eggs and strawberries with liquid.  Stir; add oil, lemon joince, and pecans and mix thoroughly.  Pour batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans or make 2 smaller loaves.  Back one hour or until tester shows it is done.  Freezes well.

TIP:  I used small individual pans (throw-away type) and was able to get about 8 of them from one batch.  I can’t remember exactly how long, but I did not have to cook them an hour.  Maybe 30-40 minutes.  Also, I hardly ever add the nuts, and the recipe is still great!

Yummy Dessert Recipe


Don’t these look yummy???  They were so good  that everyone liked them more than my stamp projects!  Well, maybe not, but almost!  I asked my sweet friend Sheryl to send me the recipe so we could all have it.  These are waffle cups (purchased at the grocery store),  but this is NOT ice cream……..it is white chocolate mousse!  I hope you enjoy the recipe below………and thanks again, Sheryl!!!

I am working fast and furious on projects for two classes on Monday.  I will post some fun stampin’ projects this weekend, and mark your calendars for Stamp Camps  on May 16th (4-6 p.m.)  and May 26th (10 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.).  I will post photos of the projects next week. 

Double chocolate mousse cups

Waffle cups:
1/2 C. chocolate chips
1 pkg. waffle bowls (10 bowls)

Melt chocolate chips. Using a basting brush, coat waffle bowls with melted chocolate.

Mousse and topping:
1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. cold milk
1 pkg. (3.3 oz.) white chocolate pudding, instant
1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
fresh raspberries or strawberries

Melt white chocolate chips. Combine milk and pudding until thickened. Add melted white chocolate chips. Whisk until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip.
Pipe mousse evenly into waffle cups.
Top with berries for garnish