finding happiness in everything

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Unhappy?


To live with someone who is perpetually unsatisfied, unhappy, & seemingly unfulfilled is miserable indeed.

It’s a life of constantly trying to paint a rainbow for someone who only sees fog. It’s like trying to make a sad clown smile. Begging a person you love to see life through different eyes is like trying to convince a caterpillar that one day it will fly.

Some people are never happy with their lives though. They are simply not content.

It’s tiring. It’s sad. If you’re not careful, you’ll get sucked into their unintentional vortex of self inflicted misery. It’s exhausting to live with & can break the soul of a good hearted person. It’s contagious.

We can’t fix everyone. We can’t help those who don’t want to be happy. Some people have this unhappy, unsatisfied, & uncontent nature so deeply ingrained in them they can’t see it. They deny it. They justify it. They even embrace it (because they couldn’t identify with themselves without it). Those sad folks will reach out for positivity from time to time, but not embrace happiness themselves. They’ll crave to be around happy people to feed off the happy vibe.
But slowly, they will suck the happy slowly away from the unsuspecting donor.

How can anyone not smile when they see a sunrise? How can someone not be filled with joy when walking on the beach. Why does someone push away their peace while hiking in the mountains? If a small child hands you a toy phone, how do you not feel a happy tingle when you see them smile as you answer it. How can you not feel like you’d take on the world when your little girl or boy calls out “daddy” or “mommy”. When you feel a breeze on your face, how can you not feel peaceful? Why wouldn’t you be grateful to have a wife/husband at home – there waiting on you, loving you, trying to make your days easier…more happy?
How can that dog whose so happy to see you mean nothing? Doesn’t your cat make you happy as he purs loudly seeking safety in your arms?

But, alas…Some people are never happy with what they have (always thinking back on things that were or looking onward to things that could be). Some people will spend their entire existence coveting what someone else has while ignoring what they have right in front of them.

So sad.

You can’t help someone who doesn’t want help :( And at this point in my life, I’m exhausted…& tired.

Oops!


Oops! I haven’t written anything since last November.

How could I forget about this site? Simple…I’ve been a bit busy with work, the house, the kids, the hubby, and taxes. So I don’t bore you with all the details, I’ll hit the high spots for you. We’ve had a few adventures, turning points, milestones, and even a few laughs along the way since my last post. Scroll down to enjoy!

Our oldest boy is not new to the stage. He’s had roles in plays before, but this past Nov, he had the esteemed honor of playing the King of Hearts in a magical steam punk rendition of Alice in Wonderland!

King of Hearts (Center)

King of Hearts (Center)

(As I am sure you can appreciate – this picture is purposely blurred to protect identities of other children in this play.)

We’ve visited some historical places and paid respect…

Briceville Coal Creek Cross Mountain Disaster

Briceville Coal Creek Cross Mountain Disaster

It snowed in late November…

November Snow in East TN

November Snow in East TN

We searched for arrowheads…

Arrowhead Hunting

Arrowhead Hunting

We visited Gatlinburg (right before it flooded)…IMAG2396

Our youngest son had a choral concert in December…

Cole's Chorus Concert (he's in the middle)

Cole’s Chorus Concert (he’s in the middle)

We celebrated Christmas. The most fun was listening to the boys guess what was inside the 3 large boxes. They knew each one of them had a box and the guesses were hilarious. I heard: “Microwave for college”, “Individual mini fridges”, “Clothes”, “A giant book”, “Fluffy”, and lots of other silly stuff.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

The most exciting part of Christmas came from the post office though! We received a surprise present from Royal Mail delivered from the UK. The mail delivery lady was so impressed by the package, she made a special stop by the house to make sure I went by the post office to pick it up and advised me she expected to know what it was. When I went to the post office, the branch manager handed it to me while the other ladies working there huddled all around. They all looked on quizzically in wonderment, fully expecting me to open it in front of them.  I said my thank yous and told them I would wait until Christmas morning to open it with my family.  Disappointed, they asked me to come back in and let them know what it was. The kids also guessed what was inside everyday until Christmas came. (Thank you John & Family!)

Royal Mail

Royal Mail

My fabulous friend at Praying Seven Designs made an apron for me!

I LOVE my new apron!

I LOVE my new apron!

We had more snow January 29, 2014…

More Snow

More Snow

The kids had laaaaazy days…

Lazy kids

Lazy kids

While looking for arrowheads along the river with  my husband on February 1st, 2014, I stumbled upon a creepy doll buried in sand! Oh the stories that came from that day…from the mysteriously appearing and then disappearing tiny foot prints that appeared afterward to the creepy doll theories – we had many stories to share.

Creepy doll

Creepy doll

We took the kids on a retreat to The Wilderness in the Smokies in Sevierville, TN. They had a lot of fun that day, but since it’s a water park – there are no pictures to share with you. (Camera+water=disaster).  We stopped in a small Chinese restaurant during a stay and I received a nice fortune :

Nice!

Nice!

Snowlady duck-face Selfie

Snowlady duck-face Selfie

On February 12 & 13th, it snowed again! I made a duck-face snowman selfie :-)

The kids were party poopers. They wouldn’t come out to play in the snow with me, but Nick made a snowman too!

Nick's Snowman

Nick’s Snowman

For Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband gave me my absolute favorite little golden balls of happiness! We also went out for dinner.

my absolute favorite little golden balls of happiness

my absolute favorite little golden balls of happiness

So, all in all, we’ve stayed busy. Combine daily football workouts, ACT prep work,  multiple choral events, working 7am-8pm each day and all the regular daily house work, plus trying out some DIY Pinterest inspired crafting disasters equals…kinda busy. But, to you, if you’ve come all this way to read – I offer my sincerest apology for not writing something before now. I’ll be writing more soon, I promise!

ODD – Do you feel alone?


I received an email from a fellow blogger about an article she wrote on childhood disorders. After reading through it, I felt it is certainly worth a good share!

If you have a child with ADD, ADHD, ODD, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar disorder, Hyperactivity, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, OCD, social phobia or any phobia – this is a great site to check out. In this article, she outlines the statistics and allow us to see that we are truly NOT alone in our parenting adventures!

Give it a look-see and perhaps…you won’t feel alone!

With love and gratitude,

Chrissy

Calamity or Lesson Learning Time?


Forgive my absence dear readers, I’ve been clamoring through some misadventures lately.  :-(

Within a short period of time, one of my sons broke a laptop we gave him for his birthday. We attempted to have it fixed since he only damaged the screen badly, but we were advised that it would cost more to replace the screen than the laptop was worth!

My phone has been jacked up since the last AT&T software update and I had to remove wordpress from it. So, no posting from there!

Then, the desktop PC I use for work had a brain fart after a totally random update began to download along with an unwanted piggy-backed program (Norton). The entire PC died as we stared at the ominous Blue Screen of Death right  before Halloween.  This had to be remedied quickly, because as I mentioned, it was the PC used for work!  $$$

At the same time the desktop went down, I had pulled out my trusty (yet teenage abused and overloaded) laptop to keep us in business. My laptop started acting up too.  Although I vigorously cleaned it, cleared viruses, cleaned out old files and deleted unnecessary music download programs installed by the creatures called teenagers to make memory space, and spent hours fiddling with it…it met its demise as it was knocked off its perch and went crashing to the ground. The screen was obliterated and what’s worse…I was running a complete re-image when it occurred!!  Ahhh!!!  :-(

Several hundred dollars, a headache, heart burn, and a nerve rattled husband later…we have a new-to-us desktop PC (previously owned at a deeply discounted price), and my laptop back in working order with a new screen and some re-mapping done.  Blah :-(

What’s good in all of this? Praise God we had the money to do the repairs…and thank God I’m now able to “work” with Windows 7!! That old desktop PC was running my husband’s favorite Windows XP junk that I am soooo happy not to be using any longer!!

Anyway, this means that I am back y’all! I can post again!

Truth about Home Made Laundry Soap


Working from home gives a person much-needed time to take care of things around the house and sometimes, when business is slow it even allows for hobbies, crafts, or what ever you may choose to do in your spare time. I’ve so enjoyed working from home and here’s one thing I did with my spare time…

Last month I had a bit of down time and began to search on the internet again for DIY projects and penny-pinching budgeting ideas.  (I’ve always been a penny pincher, so this is nothing new for me. I’ve always been a couponer, but not to the extreme. I compare cost & value of return before buying anything. I guess this comes from years of necessity and became a lifestyle overtime. I’m the gal that signs up to get free samples from various companies and will send out a tweet or make a status update to receive a free roll of toilet paper. It’s habit. It’s also saved me thousands of dollars over time if you add it all up though.)

My husband knew I was pinching pennies and saw a post on Facebook about making homemade laundry soap. He piqued my curiosity. After he left for his business day and I completed the necessary office work I needed to do, I began to browse the internet to learn more about this concept.

I kid you not, I found over 200 websites, articles, posts, and write-ups about making home made laundry detergent (soap) before I ever thought about going to Pinterest! I also found many articles indicating that people got upset when the word “detergent” was used instead of “soap”.  Amongst the many articles, I was able to identify a common trend. Although many people had written about this subject, there were only about 40 different recipes for liquid laundry soap and 37 for powdered. People were sharing the same recipes over and over again.

The reviews, comments, articles and posts were pretty straight forward. People either absolutely loved using this type of laundry cleaner or they hated it with a passion! The one aspect of this concept that captured my attention was the money-saving factor, so I wanted to put this theory to the test using my family’s usage and budget for laundry care.

Below are the results. It is important to know that at this time, I have only used the dry/powered form of home made laundry soap. I opted for this method because it is more cost effective and time saving than the liquid recipe.

Our family unit:

  • 2 adults, 3 teenagers wearing adult sized clothing = 5 people wearing adult sized clothing

Our family usage/dirt/stain/category levels:

  • 3 teenage boys that are heavy sweaters, 1 of which plays football – uniforms, and all 3 regularly have grass stains, ground in dirt, and are very rough on their clothing. Each of these 3 boys create 1 load of laundry each per day for 5 days and 1 load for the weekend = 6 loads per boy per day. Together they create 24 loads of laundry per week.
  • 1 man who regularly comes home covered in grime from work. Grime is defined by (Tar, sweat, shingle dust, sawdust, dirt from ground, goo from gutter cleaning, bark, silicon – caulk – foam insulation, dust from drywall, paint: all kinds such as latex, oil & water based, ink {lots of ink stains}, and all types of other junk that may cling to him from someone’s attic or crawl space. Plus…and this is a bonus: he also comes home with mystery stains!   Aren’t I a lucky woman? Although he is the most stained member of our home, he only creates about 2 loads of laundry per week.
  • 1 woman (we all know what types of stains those are…) I create 2 loads of laundry per week.
  • Bedding = I wash 1 set of bedding per week. = 2 loads (Comforter washes by itself)
  • Towels = With 5 people showering daily, we create 3 loads of towels to wash per week.

Total loads washed per week on average: 30 large loads and 3 regular loads = 33 loads

What I normally spend on store bought detergents, stain removers, and additives= $40.96 monthly. Divided by 4 weeks = $10.24 per week.

$10.24 divided by 33 loads = $0.31 per load.

Home made laundry soap recipe and costs: (brand names omitted)

  • All Natural Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA) 55oz box powder = $3.53

    Washing Soda

    Washing Soda

  • All Natural Detergent Booster & Multipurpose Household Cleaner 76oz box powder = $4.32

    Detergent Booster

    Detergent Booster

  • 1 bar of Laundry Soap & Stain Remover (located in laundry aisle of retail or grocery store) = $1.09

    Laundry Soap

    Laundry Soap

Make it – Mix in large bowl (that you’ll never eat out of again) 2 cups of Washing Soda, 2 cups of Detergent Booster. Smooth and de-clump powder mixture. Getting all lumps out is important. Mix together well. (I used my hands). Last, using a cheese grater (that you’ll never use for food again) grate 1 entire bar of laundry soap into itty bitty flake pieces directly into the bowl of powder mixture. This was time consuming for me, so I did it while watching television with the kids. Stir to mix up the entire product when finished grating bar of soap. Store in air tight container. This mixture makes approximately 1 quart of laundry soap. (I make 2 batches at one time so I only have to do this once a month.)

Usage: 1 tablespoon for small or regular loads. 2 tablespoons for large or heavy loads. Definitely use 2 tablespoons for very very dirty clothes.

The Results

I read that this recipe would create enough laundry soap for 64 loads. I discovered that the 1 quart mixture listed above actually only washed 48 loads of our laundry. We do tend to possibly have more heavily soiled clothing than most people (description above).

The cost break out:

1 box of washing soda will make 4 batches. $3.53 divided by 4 = $0.88 per batch. 1 box of laundry detergent booster will make 5 batches. $4.32 divided by 5 = $0.86 per batch. Each batch needs one full bar of laundry soap. $1.09 per bar.

$0.88+$0.86+$1.09 = $2.83

$2.83 divided by 48 loads of laundry = $0.06 per load

So after doing the math, it truly is a cost saver!

But, how effectively does it clean?

Below are my ratings on a scale from 1-10. (1 = not effective at all  10 = very effective)

  1. Removing smells from clothing: 10
  2. Removing standard dirt and stains: 9
  3. Color fade: 7
  4. Whites: 1
  5. Whites after adding bleach: 9
  6. Hard to remove stains without pre-treating: 2
  7. Hard to remove stains after pre-treating: 8 (pre-treat by using left over bar of laundry soap rubbed directly on stain on clothing while dry)
  8. Fragrance: 10 (it has no smell after it comes out of the dryer!
  9. Softens clothes: 9
  10. Static removal: 0 – you’ll still need to use dryer sheets
  11. Skin irritation: 10 – No skin irritation detected after using for 1 month

Time and Effort

Making this formula did take a little time and effort but was far less effort than used in making the liquid recipes I found.

Was it worth it?

So far, I have already noticed a difference in our laundry care budget. But since using this method, I have also worried about our utility bill. I use to wash our laundry on the cold cycle when possible to avoid using our water heater, but used it on the warm cycle when needed for stain removal.

With this recipe for laundry soap, it is most effective to run hot water into the basin of the washer long enough to effectively dissolve the powdered mixture before adding clothing. Our utility bill actually came in a couple of days ago and it has not been affected. Actually it dropped down from what it has been, but I attribute this to the changes in the weather and not running the AC unit. Fall is such a lovely time of the year :-) So, I cannot truly calculate a cost analysis yet to factor in utility usage. However, things are looking good so far!

I plan on using this recipe and soap until I run out of ingredients. I have been told about some other great alternative products that are cost saving also and I want to try those too. I’ll compare the actual cost of those products after I’ve tried them and share with you.

If you’ve had an experience making and using homemade laundry soap, I’d love to hear from you. Many of my friends I asked about this (before I tried it) had very distinct reactions. They either loved or hated it…well, most of them hated it honestly.

I’d love to hear from you and what you think!

Love always

Chrissy :-)

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