One of the things that really surprises people about me is that I make my own laundry soap.  I don’t buy that overpriced junk in the stores.  I used to but then I found out if I make my own, it will cost me a penny per load.  Yours costs you a lot more than that, I assure you.   I can make an industrial sized bucket for what you pay for a small jug.  Think about it.  It doesn’t even take that long.

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I normally make mine unscented but I was sent a bottle of Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil to review.  I thought I would give it a shot. Now, I’m hooked!  I love the smell of tea tree oil and it does pretty awesome things too.  There are a ton of uses for the stuff!  I am going to start making different things with it and posting the results since it really is a phenomenal essential oil.  First up is my laundry soap.  I’ve posted this before on a blog that I used to write a long time ago so this is a refresher.

I use the recipe on the Duggar website.  Yes, the family with 19 kids that has a reality tv show.  Their site is chock full of great recipes!

 

Homemade Laundry Soap

This works on top or front loaders and in HE machines.

You will need:

4 Cups Hot Water

1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap (found in local grocery stores in detergent aisle)

1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (I buy mine on Amazon)

1/2 Cup Borax (found in local grocery store in detergent aisle)

30 drops Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

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Grate the entire bar of Fels Naptha soap and add to a pot with the hot water.  Simmer on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the entire bar dissolves.  You don’t want any soap left in there because this is the stuff that gets stains out & a little goes a long way!  Once dissolved, pour the mixture into an industrial sized bucket.  Add the Washing Soda (NOT baking soda.  If you use baking soda, your detergent will not work) and the Borax.  Then fill the bucket up halfway with more hot water.  Stir everything until dissolved.

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Once dissolved, fill the bucket up the rest of the way with hot water.  Stir again.  (I use a paint stirring attachment for my drill.  It gets everything nice and blended!  You can also use a broom handle though).  Put the cover on the bucket and let it sit, undisturbed overnight.  In the morning, once everything has cooled, add your tea tree oil.  Then stir everything again.  Gather some detergent bottles and fill each halfway with your soap mixture. Then fill the rest of the way with water.  Each time you use it, you will need to shake it to disperse the soap and the scent.

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The Duggars suggest using this amount per load and I agree:

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

I just mark it on each cap with a sharpie marker.  There you have it.  Easy to make and cheap to use, laundry soap.  Not to mention, it smells great and Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil is a known disinfectant!  For really tough stains, I still use a spray-on stain remover.  Enjoy!

I can’t wait to try more recipes involving Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil.  Stay tuned since the bottle typically lasts around a year for most people!

Check it out here:  Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil Available on Amazon!

 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

liebster

My blog was recently nominated by Tammy’s Luvs & Reviews for the Liebster Award!  She writes a great blog and I suggest you click on her name and check it out!  Thanks, Tammy!  The Liebster Award is for new bloggers that inspire others.  I am excited to be nominated and I look forward to all the fun stuff that I have in store for my blog!  Part of the nomination is to pay it forward and nominate other new bloggers!  Therefore, I nominate

Jada Durden from Lovingthislifejada.com

Jess Griffin from Growing Up Griffin

Codie Louise Austin from CodyKinz Loves…

 

Tammy had some questions for me to answer as well:

1.  What is my favorite thing to blog about?  I love blogging about saving money.  I love being a cheapskate and I believe that I can help ANYONE save more money!

2.  Who is my celebrity crush? Hmm.  I think it’s a tie between Rob Zombie and Bradley Cooper.

3.  What is my favorite tv show?  My guilty pleasure is Teen Mom 2.

4.  Who is my favorite singer?  I love Geoff Rickley and the band, Thursday.  He’s actually my friend on facebook!  🙂

5.  What is my favorite food?  I really love food.   I have a favorite in each category!  haha!  But I will just put Et Tu Caesar Salad Kits for the sake of time.

6.  What do I do on Friday nights? You can find me at my local Harris Teeter, in the deli, making your favorite sub for $4.99 footlong night.  I like to live dangerously…

7.  Name my 3 favorite bloggers:  ChicNSavvy Reviews, Little Island Studios and The Frugalette, although she is on hiatus right now.

8.  Will I tell you a secret about myself?  No, because then it wouldn’t be a secret.

9.  Who is my favorite team?  I don’t really follow sports.  I enjoy watching the Olympics sometimes though.  So maybe, Team USA?

10.  Cats or dogs?  Good gravy!  Dogs!  A thousand times, dogs!

11.  If I could have any superpower, what would it be?  The power to heal people with my touch.

 

I have some questions for my nominees too!

1.  What do you consider the most extreme thing you’ve ever done?

2.  Name your favorite band or singer.

3.  Name your favorite song.

4.  What would you do with a million dollars?

5.  What did you make for dinner last night?

6.  What is your favorite color?

7.  If you could live anywhere, where would you pick?

8.  What’s one thing you hope to accomplish before you die?

9.  What’s one thing you hope to accomplish before the day is over?

10.  What’s the last book that you read?

11.  Why did you start blogging?

 

Well, have a great day and be sure to check out some of these fine bloggers!

 

fitbottom

As you well know, I have a weight problem.  Well, it’s more like a dilemma.  Although, that really suggests that there might be a solution.  There’s a great solution: diet and exercise.  As fun as that sounds.  But seriously, I actually like eating healthy and exercising.  I just have to really make it a priority.  Now, with two kids under three and a part-time job, free time isn’t exactly my middle name.  Gyms are out since I can’t justify spending $40 a month for a year on something that I’m not guaranteed to make time to use.

When I received The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet by Jennifer Walters and Erin Whitehead, it had my name written all over it.  First of all, I follow @fitbottomedgirl on twitter so I have heard of them.  Secondly, the book is a one time fee of $17 or free to rent from the library.  Thirdly, the book advertises 10 minute fixes!

The whole concept of the book is that you can make time to exercise by taking 10 minutes at a time to do so.  The exercises are easy and fun and even I can find 10 minutes a day.  The nice thing about exercising too is that once you start, you feel so much better and you also feel more confident.  They suggest journaling, which has been scientifically proven to work.  Ask Weight Watchers.  They also give fun ideas for workouts, like the Reality TV Workout, where you do a certain exercise every time someone cries or someone says ‘thrown under the bus!’  I am going to test it out while watching Teen Mom 2!

A lot of this book might seem like common sense but it’s the kick in the butt that I needed.  There is a section on breaking through a plateau, or a weight-loss stalemate.  There are sections on things like getting out of your comfort zone and ones on listening to hunger cues.  There are even recipes in the back.  I like the way Jennifer Walters and Erin Whitehead write the book.  They sound like your friends trying to help you out and give you advice.  Plus, they have been there so they know what they are talking about.  I think it’s a very thorough and well-written book.  I also think that it’s great when combined with following them on Facebook and Twitter, in order to keep you motivated.

There are a lot of things I might wish I hadn’t done in life, but getting healthy will never be one of them.  Being healthy will also save you so much money in the long run too.  So find 10 minutes, take these baby steps in The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book, and get to work.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  Comments and opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received.

zucc1

One of my favorite vegetables is the zucchini.  It’s incredibly versatile and SO CHEAP in the summer!  Did I mention that it’s freezable and can be used in sweets as well as savories?  What’s not to love!?!?  The possibilities are endless with zucchini.  So when your neighbor asks if you want the extras from her garden…you better freaking take them!

I was a vegetarian for five years so I was always looking for new ways to make vegetables even tastier.   I used a lot of eggplant and zucchini since it was versatile yet inexpensive.  It also fills you up and keeps you full.  These are a few of my favorite recipes as well as a few that I stumbled upon on Pinterest.  You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make these recipes either.  Trust me.  Ina Garten, I am not.  Just follow the recipe (as least for the first go-round).  Substitutions can always wait on the back burner if you are new to this.  If you aren’t already following me on Pinterest, I suggest you do so.  I am somewhat of a Pinterest sensation!  😉  But seriously, just click this link.

Start stocking up on those bad boys and watch your taste buds (and your wallet) thank you.

 

Zucchini ‘crab’ cakes– This is one of my favorite recipes and it really tastes a LOT like crab cakes.

 

Zucchini Bread– This is the recipe that I use all the time.  It’s simple and classic.

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Zucchini Boats– These are delicious and low carb!  They are an alternative to stuffed peppers!

 

Zucchini-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies–  These sound amazing and I think I’ll try them next!

 

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps– a healthier snack!

 

Zucchini Lasagna– I make this quite a bit since my husband follows a low carb diet. You don’t even miss the noodles.

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75 Zucchini Recipes-a recipe round up, if you will.

 

I hope this whets your appetite!  Like I said, I love zucchini and I love trying it in different recipes.  Here is my Zucchini Pinterest board, where I have quite a few more recipes and instructions on how to blanch and freeze zucchini.  Let me know if you try any anything!  Happy Harvest!

Disclaimer:  While the photos in this post are mine, the recipes are not.  They came from pinterest and many other sites.  I have included a link to each one, in order to give proper credit.

 

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I’ve never been to a Jamba Juice and I only recently joined the Smoothie bandwagon.  I don’t usually try things like this in a retail setting since I refuse to pay $5 or more on a drink.  I was intrigued when I got a coupon for a free bag from Influenster, as part of the Surfs Up Vox Box.  This Jamba Juice, you buy in the freezer section at your grocery store and make it at home.  I liked the fact that it’s frozen, doesn’t involve ice (our ice maker is broken) and the only thing you need to add is apple juice.  I have an abundance of apple juice since I have two small children.  Plus, it wasn’t very expensive, even if I didn’t have a free coupon.

On Sunday morning, my daughter and I decided to break out the blender and give our  Jamba Juice Razzmatazz Smoothie a whirl.  We had some spinach in the freezer so I added that for more vitamins too.  It was so quick and easy to make.  My daughter liked pushing the buttons for me.

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It probably took about two minutes to blend and it made two servings.  We loved the taste too!  You can’t taste the spinach, so the berries tasted very fresh and delicious!  We really enjoyed it.  I would definitely buy these again and I would like to try the other flavors.  It makes a quick, healthy breakfast and it’s all natural.  What’s not to like?!?

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I was reading other reviews and one said that said Jamba Juice smoothies tend to go on a Buy One Get One Free sale at her local grocery store so I’m going to keep an eye out for that too.  They come in a nice variety of flavors and you can check them out here:

http://www.jambajuice.com/more-jamba/jamba-goods/smoothie-kits

Like I said above, you can find them in your local supermarket.

Have you ever made smoothies at home?  Do you prefer a mix or do you like to create them yourself?

Disclaimer:  I received a free coupon from Influenster for the product above.  No other compensation was received.  All comments and/or opinions are my own.

 

 

I had my first baby over two years ago.  I gained 60 pounds and I am not proud to say that I am still carrying about 17 pounds of that weight.  I had my second baby a year ago and I gained thirty, which I lost pretty quickly.  I have always had a rough time sticking with a diet or losing weight.  I am determined to start exercising and eating healthy in order to be a role model for my children.  I have started to exercise three times a week for about an hour and I am working towards the eating healthy bit.  I have cut a lot of unhealthy foods out of our diet and I’ve cut back on a lot of others.  We still have fast food once in awhile (I’m only human) but I am cooking our meals at home and meal planning every week.

I enjoy taking supplements and I believe that they are beneficial to a healthy lifestyle.  I take a multivitamin and a few other supplements already so when I was asked to review Garcinia Cambogia, I was familiar with it and I knew what to expect.  I have taken a form of Garcinia Cambogia before and I liked the results.  It’s used for weight loss, in order to speed up your metabolism.   This time, I tried Sonora Nutrition Garcinia Cambogia  Extreme Weight Loss Formula and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the results so far.  They claim to promote rapid weight loss.  They suppress appetite and cravings.  It also says that they increase energy and well being.

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I took the supplement twice a day, once before breakfast and once before dinner.  You can take it up to three times daily but we don’t always eat lunch at the same time so I opted out for that meal.  You have to take them on an empty stomach in order for them to perform at their best.  When I took Garcinia Cambogia, I noticed that I ate less at meals and I wasn’t interested in food as much.  I loved it!  I ended up losing 5 pounds in 10 days!  It didn’t even feel like I was doing anything different either!  Combined with eating healthy, drinking more water and exercising, this really gave me the jump start I needed!    I am going to continue taking them too.

I haven’t been jittery or feeling weird from them.  I really like this formula!  Sonoma Nutrition Garcinia Cambogia is really helping me start to achieve my weight loss goals.  I highly recommend this product when taken regularly and correctly.  You can check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/garcinia-cambogia-extreme-weight-formula/dp/b00k6sm5n6

Have you ever tried Garcinia Cambogia?  Or any other weight loss supplements?  What did you think?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.