Friday, June 28, 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap

I've blogged about making laundry detergent before
But I wasn't completely satisfied with the recipes I'd been using, that and I kinda got bored with it.
I'm sure that just shocked your socks off, right? Me, get bored? Nah!
So, handy dandy pinterest came to my rescue again when I couldn't remember which computer, and where on which computer, I had saved the link to. I'm not one to follow recipes exactly. I don't know why. It's like a challenge issued me by the recipe writer daring me to vary from the written edict by even one iota. Have I mentioned I'm a bit OCD about some things? And yes, I'm sure there is an oil for that!

So what does this amazing, spectacular new recipe include?
I'm so glad you asked!

                    Borax                                                                                       Washing Soda
Go here to read what wiki has to say                                   Go here to read a good description

Octagon soap
& Fels-Naptha soap
For a brief history on Octagon soap, go here. To give you an idea of how long this wonder soap has been around, my great-grandmother used this soap to wash all of her laundry. I still flash back to her kitchen and back porch each time I open a bar! I love that I'm passing that on to my kids...
If you want to know what wiki has to say about Fels-Naptha, the soap with the weird name, go here.

And last, but oh, certainly not least in my life: Thieves!

Go here to read what in the world Thieves is and then
go here with the magic #1434897 to get you some (only if you want to!)

Now step one is to cut up those soap bars into chunks that will fit into your food processor. If you don't have a food processor, that is fine, just grate the soap with a cheese grater or something like that. The smaller the pieces the better.

 My soap waiting to be grated.

I suggest using the pulse button and opening the lid away from your face after grating, or the "smoke" will go up in your face and make you choke while your little girl looks on laughing, threatening to blow on it to make it make more "smoke". Or something similar might happen, not that it is what happened to me or anything.

          The soap pulverized

This is what the soap looked like once I put it into a mixing bowl

The next step is to add the Borax and Washing Soda.
I used
1 c. of Borax
1 c. of Washing Soda

To this mix I added about ten drops of Thieves essential oil and mixed
and mixed until there were no clumps left.

For each load of laundry use 1 tablespoon
Yep! Only 1 tablespoon!

The only step left is to find a pretty jar to put your new Laundry Soap in!
Easy! Peasy!

Normally I would have used a clear glass jar, so I could see how much I have left and know when to make more. However, I moved these canisters out of the kitchen and like the look of them with the antique curtain over the window that was a pink tablecloth edged in green in its former life. Eventually (glad there is no time limit in the definition of that word!) I will finish pulling together all of the elements of the laundry room to give it a shabby chic look, using these canisters, the curtain and an antique, quirky drying rack hanging on the wall for our delicates to dry on. Yep, eventually....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Homemade Dryer Sheets-With Update!

Homemade Dryer Sheets? Who knew, right?
Let's just say pinterest has forever changed my life! I spend hours on pinterest, so much so I think there should be a twelve step program or something, but it wouldn't matter because I'd go right back to using pinterest! Haha! I'm a pinterestjunkie!
But there are some really good things on pinterest, and I decided it was about time to stop just pinning and actually make some of the stuff I have pinned! At this point my husband is probably hoping I stay away from my garden spaces board or my design style board to prevent him from having a mile long list of things to do with pallets and mason jars!
Hence, the dryer sheets...
Here is what you need:

Distilled White Vinegar
A Clean Cotton Rag or T-shirt
A Glass Jar with a Tight Fitting Lid
A Cutting Mat/Rotary Cutter or Scissors
The Young Living Essential Oil of your choice
(If you want to know more about Young Living and essential oils, email me at

 When you get all of your items together,
fold the rag, towel, or t-shirt you have chosen to sacrifice for the betterment of your cleaning supplies. Take your rotary cutter or scissors and cut the cotton into rectangles. Size and shape really don't matter. Cut the strips into hearts, stars, or monkeys if you want!!!!! No laundry police will come knocking at your door, I promise!

So what's next?

Remember the glass jar part? Yeah, a jar like this one.
I got mine at the dollar store. Use a mason jar if you want, just something that has a close fitting lid
Word of Caution: If using any kind of citrus essential oil, do not, I repeat, do not use plastic! Citrus essential oils, ex. lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc eat away at the toxins in plastic and corrode it. You don't want your earth friendly project to go to be not so earth or home friendly!
So back to the jar...
Place 1 to 1  1/2 cups of the Vinegar in your jar
Add 5+ drops of Citrus Fresh by Young Living
(or whatever other Young Living oil you choose)
yeah I said swish 

Next, put your cut up rags in the jar
Fiddle them around (I apologize if my terms are getting to technical here)
Make certain all of the rags are damp, if not add a little more vinegar
Close the lid snugly

 Now how do you use these thingamajiggers?
                                                                                     Simply take one portion of the rag, and place in with your load of wet clothes in the dryer. Use the normal settings you normally use. When the load is done, simply take the rag section out of the dryer and put back into the glass jar to reuse again and again! Simple!!

For those looking for economical solutions to your housekeeping duties, this certainly qualifies! I already had the vinegar, I already had the essential oil for other uses, and I already had the rag, so for me this project only cost $1 for the jar. Plus I get to keep using these over and over! Lovely! I've used these already, and have to say I really like them. You may find you can't dry on as high a heat, but that is really bad for your clothes anyway, breaking down the fibers over time.
There are other reasons to go this route. I won't bore you with citations and sites spouting info, but in this past year I have read several times and have heard that commercial fabric softener dryer sheets contain carcinogenics, and ingredients that can instigate asthmatic symptoms, and irritate the skin. What??????! You mean I am putting potentially harmful substances up against my body and the bodies of my family just so our clothes can be softer and smell good? Um, no thank you. I kind of like being alive. And, I know from firsthand (or left breast) experience that cancer ain't fun to go through! I want to make my children safe, not induce skin irritants or asthma or cancer cells into their bodies!
This was the main reason I chose to try this route. Once I started reading labels and paying attention to what we are putting in our homes and in our bodies, I've discovered way too many things that are harmful which I have taken for granted as a necessity when actually it was me buying into commercial pressure. Even if you change only one thing for the health of your family, I challenge you to do so. Take one step for change, for health, for making a difference in the health of your family. Afterall, they are kind of worth it!!

Since this post has gotten so many hits, I thought I'd give you an update on how the homemade dryer sheets are working out for us.

  • Number 1- the hubs is not a fan. Just thought I'd be honest with you!! 
  • The MIL and I really like them, though. However, I would like to make some amendments: 
  • I would add more drops of the Citrus Fresh essential oil, and at least one drop of Purification to get rid of the stinky odors that somehow infect our bath towels and sheets. Maybe its just us and we're stinky people, but I choose to cite that we have two dogs. Just sayin'
  • The other change would be slightly larger pieces. Not too much bigger, but a little more so.
  • The last thing is really just a note for you: when you get a load out of the dryer, put the dryer sheet right back in the jar. Don't stockpile them, then put a bunch in at once. You end up with really soggy pieces and dry-er pieces. I have found it works best for me to put each one in as it comes out of the dryer and put it down in the bottom of the jar, by wedging it in with my fingers. 
  • When your sheets get too dry, simply make up more of the solution and pour over the dryer sheets, but add the essential oil to the vinegar before pouring it over the rags dryer sheets.
Hope you are all enjoying your new dryer sheets and saving lots of money on this venture!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Way We Oil

Are you tired of me talking about essential oils yet?????????
(Insert evil laughter here)
You just wait! If you are not already a convert the oily way of life, you soon will be! And then you will see how it takes over your whole being, leaving nothing uncovered!
I'm so sorry. Did I just scare you? I have that effect on people sometimes. Some very uncool, un-nice people have suggested I seek help for my habits, but I pay no attention to them. I just threaten to rub essential oils on them!!!!!! haha

We've seen some pretty cool results from these essential oils, and we just want to share the love. It is mind blowing to watch, firsthand, the effects of someone being in pain (well that part is not so cool) or sick (that part is just kinda yucky) putting an essential oil (by Young Living, whose oils are therapeutic grade and contain no other ingredients but pure distilled essential oils) on their bodies or in their bodies by ingesting them and see the profound response their bodies have, because the actual root of the problem has been or is being fixed, not just dulling the senses like a lot of pharmaceutical meds can do (can anyone say "brain fog"?).

Just a couple of days ago, my daughter Mercy had a headache. She's nine, so there are not a lot of options in the medicine world to give her in the form of a pill. She asked what oil she needed to put on, and I directed her to the Peppermint essential oil. Her response: "Diluted, right?!!!!!" She hates the Peppermint neat, or undiluted, because it burns her skin, a common reaction for children and some adults (like my hubby). However, I keep some diluted in extra virgin olive oil for the wussies, I mean, more sensitive in my family. Mercy put that on her temples, but after ten or fifteen minutes, the headache had not gone away and she was still complaining of it. I almost gave in to the voices of peer pressure in my head telling me I needed to just give her a tylenol (I bet you have those voices in your head, too. It's all part of the generations we've been raised in!) but I held out, thinking what else could possibly help her that we actually had, in the way of essential oils. Frankincense! I should've thought of that first, because it has helped her before with a headache. It also helps her to concentrate during schoolwork, fyi for all of you fellow homeschool moms.

So, M put the Frankincense on her temples, neat, since she has no sensitivities to it and we went on about what we were doing while the guys were gone. About ten or fifteen more minutes later, I asked her how she was feeling, and she said much better! Within another ten minutes, it was completely gone! We laughed about it and I was so relieved for her to be feeling better. I'm telling you, just one moment like that of seeing a loved one find relief and you'll become a convert to this oily life!

Have I mentioned my husband doesn't snore at night anymore, when he uses Valor essential oil on the bottoms of his feet? Sound sleep is another reason you'll become a convert to the oily way of life! Can I hear an "amen" ladies (or any of you gents whose wife may snore)?

There are hilarious moments, too. Where you go "This can't possibly work!" and yet it does. I think sometimes God sets us up on purpose to show us the creative life He has instilled in His creations!
Our 3 month old puppy, Ginger, had a bit of a freak out the other night. It was like she had just lapped up a bunch of coffee and it zinged her or something. Which might not be far from the truth, since our son caught her drinking from my husband's coffee cup this morning! Anyway, she was zipping around the room so fast her legs blurred. She was nipping at us, barking over and over and over and over and get the picture, and she was snapping playfully and aggressively at our other dog whenever she blitzed by her. We tried petting her, speaking to her calmly, giving her belly rubs, ignoring her, getting on to her (that's Southern for reprimanding her), and attempting to distract her with toys or food. Nothing was working, she was in such a frenzy. Finally, I'd had enough (of the biting mainly) and I pulled out the diluted Peace & Calming I use on the kids at night. Tim held her by the collar, saying "If this works, then this stuff is for real. Not like it isn't for real, but this is crazy!", while I rubbed the oil on Ginger's ears and the top of her nose, the whole while she was yanking frantically barking at me. She zipped around our bed a few times (yes, we let the puppy sleep on our bed. have you seen her? she's adorable!) and then she flopped down and went to sleep less than five minutes later.

You may say she was just exhausted and finally worn out, but we saw it, and we believe in the voodoo magic of the snake oils and we saw her go from ninety to nothing. Tim even tried to mess with her and entice her with a toy, but she just flopped like a stuffless animal! It was hysterical! We got so tickled at her flopping whenever he moved her, but she just laid there like a drugged puppy. Funny!

One day this week, we went to a local amusement park for the better portion of the day. I sat as much as possible, and tried not to walk a whole lot, because I'm better, but I'm not 100%, not even close! By the time we got back to our vehicle, my foot was hurting, both of my knees were hurting, and one hip was hurting from the walking I did do. Before everyone was even in the truck, I swiped some Peppermint across the places that hurt and by the time we reached our next stop, about 20 minutes or so, I was feeling a lot better. If I had been at home, I would've used Valor first, then PanAway and followed with Peppermint, getting down deep into the tissue. Alas, I do not have enough of said arsenal to carry it with me everywhere and the rest of the fam still have access to it, so Peppermint had to do the job.

I haven't had to take a percocet(sp?) in nearly two months, whereas I was taking one every day before I started using the essential oils. I still take tylenol when I need it, but my need has been far less than it was. I'm not telling anyone to go off their Rx meds! Goodness, no! I'm still on 5 myself every night. But that is down from the 13 I was on just before Christmas. Take one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. Why do people say these annoying mantras?!!!!! Because they are true!

You didn't get to the point of sickness, disease, syndromes, or what have you overnight, and unless God performs a miracle (which could happen) then you won't get out of the mess your body is in overnight, either! I'm preaching to myself here. If you got something out of that statement, then praise God. But mainly, that was for me to come back and look at to preach myself happy and on the straight and narrow!

Happy Father's Day weekend, everyone! I'm going to spend my weekend with one of the craziest, funniest, most caring, and completely insane dads there is: my husband, who puts up with me for some weird reason...Love you, baby! You complete me, you make me laugh, you listen to me even when I make no sense, and that is all of the sappiness you're getting from me!!!!!! haha I can't dish out anymore, sorry.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In The World Of Us

Wait! Wait! Wait a minute! You mean this blogging thing, I'm actually supposed to do it?! I can't just think in random moments throughout the day what I want to jot down, only to never get around to it? That sucks. I'm clearly not cut out for this. Maybe I should just go back to procrastinating. It is not nearly as much of a bother...but then I think of all the crazy good things going on in our lives that could just change yours for the better if you but knew about them, and I find myself back here like a hungover sot needing a drink. Maybe I should come up with a better analogy, that one didn't look as nice in print as it sounded in my head...

I come back around to blogging because I'm like that annoying little kid you used to have living down the street from you that would come around only to tell you what they were doing, what their dog was doing, what their hamster was doing (ok, I don't have a hamster, sorry), what they had for supper and all about all the stuff they know that you don't really give a hoot about, but your Mamma taught you right so you're being polite cause you know she'll bust your butt if you're not nice so you listen till you're bored to tears. In case you couldn't tell, I was that kid down the street that just turned into a taller kid with the same issues. That is okay, though. I can still annoy you with all of the things I know that you don't know.

Just so you know. Ginger, the puppy, is still alive. Our other dog hasn't eaten her yet. If you've ever seen our big hound, you will know that was a sincere possibility. She likes to pounce on things, which can be bothersome sometimes, for instance when small children and little babies are in the house and the parents get all antsy and peculiar about our lovely, giant dog/small horse trying her shenanigans near their child. Parents! Honestly! She hasn't ever, like, eaten someone's child!

Now, Ginger has been a spice to our lives for sure. She is adorable, she is cute, she is affectionate, she is cuddly, but she is also, well for starters: a puppy. Need I say more? She is inquisitive about every little thing, from the sound the air conditioner makes to the moth flitting about the lights. She learns commands well. Already, she recognizes her name, comes when I call her, responds to the word “no” (she might actually think her name is NoGinger, by the way the kids say it), will fetch a ball, play tug of war, sit (sometimes) on command, and chew everything in sight, even if that something happens to be your hand, your face, your toes, or in my case your breast prosthesis. I do have to admit that was laugh out loud funny to look down at her playing my lap, to see she had her whole mouth clamped down on the prosthesis I was wearing. Yeah, that might not be so much fun when I have surgery again in the next couple of months...

What is going on with us? So glad you asked! If you didn't ask, read anyway!
I have officially been a cancer survivor for 6 months now and believe it or not, it has been a whole year since I finished chemo. It is so freakin' wonderful to me, that I've been telling everyone! I'm not one of those people to keep quiet about personal matters, which my husband regrets at times. But this particular one isn't TMI, it is to bring glory to God's name, cause I sure didn't have anything to do with stayin' alive. (Que song!) I hope to have many more months and years to keep telling people about how God was and is my strength through it all. Let's face it people, if it had been up to me to handle it all, I'd be partly six feet under and partly dancing up in heaven. Thankfully, it wasn't up to me, since Christ bore it all for me on the cross. Not only is He my Redeemer, but He is my Healer, too. If you don't know Him, He wants to know you, too. I'm not special in that regard, but He loves me and you all the same.

My square foot garden has been planted, and hopefully I will feel up to taking care of it this year. Don't count on me blogging about it in my other blog, I planted tomato plants, banana pepper plants, carrots, onion sets, basil seeds, carrot seeds, spinach seeds, squash seeds, cucumber seeds, green bean seeds, eggplant seeds, okra seeds, and corn seeds. We will see what happens. Prayers please!!!!

It has been two months since essential oils (by Young Living) changed our lives. I'm constantly amazed by what all these oils can do! Sometimes I think, they couldn't possibly fix such and such, and of course they go and astound me by fixing such and such. Never say never!!!

Here are a few examples:

Sunburn- John got really sunburned the day before going to kids' camp from staying out in the pool too long. His face was burning and hot because of it, so I rubbed some Lavender essential oil, diluted in olive oil, onto his face (staying clear of his eyes) and he felt much better with the addition of something cool on his face. When he came back from camp three days later, he was sunburned again, so I rubbed more Lavender oil (diluted) on him. The next day, you couldn't even tell he was burnt, he was just dark. Tim got sunburned after working out in the yard; his upper arms and shoulders were very red. When he came to bed, I lovingly and thoughtfully (hahahahaha) rubbed some diluted Lavender oil on his arms and his the back of his neck. He slept fine and the next day was just slightly pink, the day after that, he looked tan and no longer burnt.

Wasp Sting- oh, this one was fun! Not! Tim and I had been out doing errands while the kids were at camp, and while we were in one store, I noticed my foot was hurting some. When I took my shoe off, I realized why it was hurting. My big toe on my left foot had swollen to more than twice its size and there was an open sore on it. Apparently, I had been stung by a wasp at some point, although I don't know when, because I don't have good circulation in my feet and they are numb a lot. Anyway, I only had Lavender essential oil with me, so I put that on it neat (undiluted). Lavender is good for allergic reactions, and this was certainly an allergic reaction! I don't know that I've ever been stung by a wasp before. Bees and yellowjackets, yes. Wasps? Not so sure. As soon as we got home, I put Purification on the place and applied ice to bring the swelling down. That night and each day after, I put more Purification on, covering it with a bandaid since my shoes all rubbed against the spot. Now, its fine. No swelling, or itching, or anything.

Bug repellent- Oh yeah! We live in the South, where mosquitoes outnumber people, probably 3 to 1. Every year I end up eaten up with mosquito bites, that swell and itch for days. My son has the same reaction, only a little worse. A friend posted about a bug repellent recipe to make at home and spray on before going outside. Go here to get the recipe for yourself: It smells so much better than the nasty OFF! Or other commercial things, like Bug N Sun. It also has no ingredients that have been reported to be possible carcinogenics and for me that is a big deal. I don't want my kids ever having to go through cancer! I mixed up the recipe and have used it several times now. I didn't get a single bite on me (except for my ankle where I forgot to spray, thinking the mosquitoes wouldn't find the thin area of exposed skin between my sock and my pants' leg)! Goodby OFF!

Heartburn- Lordy! I don't know about you, but heartburn is vicious! I had a day of it tormenting me like a preview of purgatory. I have come off my Rx heartburn meds, because I hadn't needed them with all of the Peppermint I've been using to aid in digestion. But this day, something caused me to be able to bring forth fire like a dragon having a tantrum. I took a Rx pill, but it was doing nothin'! Finally I remembered “There's An Oil For That!” and doused my chest with diluted Peppermint essential oil. I also took a capsule containing two drops of Peppermint. Within about an hour, every symptom of the heartburn was gone and I got to sleep.

I'm sure you've had all the essential oil talk you can handle, but know I could go on and on and on. There are just so many good things we're seeing happen when we use them. Oh, did I mention a cyst on my port scar fell off after using Frankincense on it for three weeks? So cool!

Ok, anyway, my point is, if you want to know more, I can certainly tell you more. Find me on facebook (Rachel Parrish White), or email me at I will happily give anyone my distributor price, which is 24% off the retail price. Or you can become a member of the club for as little as $40. I just want to share all of this oily love with you!

Friends of Mine