• Archive for April 2010

    White Wednesday

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Greetings from this white and cool Wednesday afternoon. We are experiencing another snowdown! While white is on my mind out side, white is currently making me think from my laundry room.

    I am a tad bit of a lover of white…sheets…towels…little girl tops. I am very particular about my laundry and the produce of clean, crisp whites every week. I must express that after a good two weeks of washing with my home-made laundry soap I am still more then happy with it’s washing abilities. It was commented that often home-made laundry soap makes clothing (overtime) look dingy. At this point I have no experience with the long-term use of this recipe. My Mom has washed her clothing with this recipe for years and I have not noticed their clothing looking bleak. It is a very mild recipe so this might help in that area. If you have extra dirty clothing, produced by little explores who love the chic look of mud and dirt layered over their clothing; you might like to add some extra washing soda to your recipe.

    Home-made Laundry Soap

    1 bar of grated soap. I used 1 cup of soap flakes (pre-grated from the health food store).

    Place the soap flakes in a saucepan with 4cups water. Warm until the soap has dissolved.

    Then add 1 cup of washing soda and ½ cup borax (My mom uses 1 cup of borax)

    Stir really well then pour into a large container. I used a medium sized Rubbermaid storage container with a well fitting lid.

    Add 1 gallon of warm/hot water. Mix well. Now add 2 gallons of cool water. Mix well. At this point add any essential oils you might like. This is just a little personal touch; it is not necessary for your recipe to work. The laundry soap should harden within 24 hours. I could see mine gelling almost instantly. The consistency of the set laundry soap is not perfect. You will notice that there are some patches of water around the set laundry soap. This might be because I did not stir it enough, or because I used less borax. I use one cup per full load. I pour the laundry soap in first and let the washer fill for a few seconds and then add my dirty clothing. So far works like a cleaning charm!

    On to the Calendula Cream recipe. This recipe is so easy and a non-fail recipe. If you are confident around herbs you could add different herbs for different uses. For instance I use my basic recipe for things like babies and an after bath moisturiser for my children and of course my self. As my tummy skin stretches to accommodate baby, I add Vitamin E oil and almond oil to my infusion. As summer approaches I add a bit of citronella as a bug repellent. I have added comfrey, borage, arnica, and goldenseal all for the different needs these herbs aid. You could add just about any herb that has a benefit to you… It is a very versatile recipe. I add these herbs to the calendula flowers and infuse it the exact same way.

    In a large glass jar, add a few cups of dried calendula flower (add any other herb you are using) cover your herbs double with olive oil (or any other oil). Put a lid on it and store for six weeks. After the six weeks is up, strain the oil through cheesecloth. Measure your oil into a pot. You will add 1 ounce of pure beeswax to every cup of oil you have. Warm the oil gently until the beeswax has dissolved. Once it has dissolved you are now ready to pour the warm oil into a container/s of choice. Let cool completely. It will harden and set as the oil cools. You could also add an essential oil to scent the cream if you would like, add this just before you pour into the container. Enjoy.

    Well the snow has continued to fall and my little lady has just completed making ‘Snow Balls’ all on her own, with her cookbook. I am going to sit with her and enjoy her tasty domestic handy work.

    Here I am posting this blog on Friday, very obviously not Wednesday…oh you should hear the drama of my last few days. Trust me that will come soon. For now enjoy my Wednesday post…

    Mission Nest...Complete!

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Remember the nesting instincts that kicked in last week. Fierce they were and fiercer yet was my gumption to a gather and tuck everything safely away in the babies room! I am now capable of sleeping peacefully knowing the room is ready, the clothing washed and sweet, the swaddling blankets are made giving me goosebumps of joy. Soon I will have the intense maternal contentment to lay my little guy in his space. Knowing in my heart everything was prepared with life's most perfect anticipation. Every little thing I made or did in his room initiated a pray, a prayer of joy, gratitude, safety, love, hopes, future. I feel as though my heart is similar to that of what my womb goes through, with each child it carries it adapts perfectly for that child. Able to stretch and grow and change and carry the weight of every emotion known to man kind, personalized for that child alone. It is the truest of miracles. I am blessed!

    Now on to his room...first I must explain that my camera is being frisky and I am still trying to figure out it's bad behaviour, now that my nesting is under control I will be getting it fixed! My black bling is not picking up the colour I want, so these pictures are not showing the vibrancy of the room...to bad!

    I also need to explain the incredible crib that is now stimulating every happy spot I have in my mind...After leaving and grieving the crib I saw while in Holland behind, I whined and complained about it for weeks (months really) to Roger, who reassured me something else would come up. Well much to my joy and Roger's 'I told you so' joy. I found this crib used for two-hundred dollars just blocks from my Canadian home! The bed set my dear friend gave to me while I was expecting Marion (KatieJane that was truly a gift that keeps on giving!)
    The little wooden train was given to my older brother when he was a babe by a relative in Holland. My mother kindly gave it up to me. The train was the source of inspiration for the room. I already had the dresser and wardrobe. I refinished both while I was dating Roger, it is kinda fun now that we can use it for our son in the making. The very whimsical pictures were from a calender I saved from years ago, always hoping to one day use the pictures in a boys room. I found the frames on a discount table for a couple bucks a piece! Above the bed I got an awesome wooden red and blue airplane mobile from Pottery Barn...major sale price though! Roger hung it up for me before he returned to Africa but the girls managed to pull it down, hook and all! The room cost under four hundred dollars. I am so happy with it. I find my self wishfully gazing around...waiting...waiting...waiting.

    I made these this week.

    Oh Sweet Boy!

    10 a.m and Sitting Again

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    You know you are getting along in your pregnancy when by 10 a.m. you are sitting, again, with a cup of tea and no intentions of moving off your couch. Of course when you have such a view from your couch you can hardly feel bad, highly up lifting. I am watching the morning birds at my feeder. The trees are clean and crisp after the night showers and the sky is ‘Alberta’ blue. Marion’s voice is making its way through my open window, she is singing her way through the bushes collecting ‘treasures’ from the forest. The living room is right off the kitchen, separated by french doors, the living area is joined with a room we refer to as the music room (the desk area). Though we have no instruments in it now, soon we will have a piano and our violins, along with Rogers dearly loves Laravee…my one and only true competition in this marriage! All the furniture came from used places around the city. The big wardrobe has stolen my heart fully, it is such a charm. The room looks splendid, it still needs touches…that I am sure will come, as garage sale season is upon us!

    Heart of the Home

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    I shined up my kitchen for you all today. I have enjoyed making the heart of the home beat to our style. It has been such an enjoyment for me to renovate and decorate this room. As each treasure came home from the thrift shops I enjoyed thinking of all memories that were going to be made in this room. My mind has wondered from now till years down the road. These future memories brought smiles to my face. I pray my kitchen will always be a welcoming, comforting place for my family and friends. All the dishes and small touches are from the thrift shops. I love that a 99cent dish can bring me such pleasure. With my kitchen complete and my heart thankful I love spending my moments here in my kitchen of dreams!

    Before Renovations
    After Renovations

    Clean Nest

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Saying good bye after two months of having my dear little sister with me, was way more emotional then I expected. I had every emotion you can think of as I waved her off. Such joy that she is in my life, gratefulness at the pleasant months we shared together in sisterdom, an awful letdown feeling at having to let her go yet again. As I drove away from her (and my Mom) I felt so lonely.
    It has been a month of pure pleasure as all my dearly treasured people have come for visits. I have soaked them in, wanting and knowing the joy of having them would be short lived.
    As I was driving I asked my self what I needed for that day to help lift my mood…a Starbucks frappachino EXTRA WHIP maybe a pedi/mani to brighten my feet and hands, I contemplated a romp through the book store…and then it hit…NESTING! I got baby fever. I realised I wanted my baby checklist done, now! I gave in freely picking up every little precious thing that came in inch sized sweetness. I rubbed all the soft materials against my skin and choose prints, textures and colours that made my mothering heart beat happily. I then rushed home to make a list of all the things I would like to have ready before my darling boy arrives.

    One is a herbal cream I make that is gentle and pure enough for the innocent skin of a new born. Very easy to make and extremely gratifying to the nesting woman I currently am! This batch turned out so beautiful.

    While my Mom was here she told me how to make my own laundry soap. I gathered the ingredients yesterday as I ‘nested’ my way through the shops. This morning my girls and I spent all of ten minutes making the best-cheapest-gentlest laundry soap on the planet! I was so impressed. It cost all of a two-dollars for a few good months supply of washing power. What delights me is that I can use my new jug to scoop out my hypoallergenic lavender scented soap, turning a rather mundane task into something with touches of happiness.

    And so today I have been washing baby sheets and tiny booties, folding every little sleeper with joyful anticipation! I am nesting, and it is helping with the loneliness.