Monday, October 1, 2012

Join me on The Path to Happy!!

Happy October everyone! I can not believe we are in the 10th month of the year already! It blows my mind. I look forward to the fall season, and all the fun it brings! It is definitely my favorite part of the year. I can't wait to share my Halloween decorating and craft ideas, and all the amazing recipes that come with the cooler months!
Now on to the big announcement:

After much consideration, I have decided to merge my two blogs. The reason for this being, I have come to realize that my first blog, The Path to Happy, is morphing into a blog not only about living a life of happiness (hence the title haha), but also one of spirituality, simplicity, and a life of ease.
Seeing that most of my blog posts on this blog have been about one of those listed items above, I think it fits to merge these two. I have learned that living a life of happiness isn't achieved by just one thing or item or thought, but instead by many factors that come together to form one loving fulfilled life. Be it saving money, feeling good about yourself, making fun crafts with your children, meditating, yoga, reading, enjoying good food for a good price, or whatever it is that brings you peace with in your heart. They can all work together to make up a life one can be proud of.
I would love to continue to share my secrets of Motherhood, and my secrets of Spirituality and happiness with everyone. So please take the time to visit The Path of Happy! I would so greatly appreciate if all of my Subscribers and Followers would join me in the switch over.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday, and I wish you all a blessed first week of October, and every week there after!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bargain Alert: Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

I have been wanting to make homemade powdered laundry detergent for a while now, but between my laziness, and fear of it not working well, I just never have. Well finally last week I decided to go for it it. Partially because I found that my local Wal-Mart carried all the ingredients needed for homemade soap(well I already had most of the ingredients at home). I also found some essential oils I liked. That Sunday night, I came home and started grating!

The following recipe is very simple. From start to finish including grating was only about 20 min. I imagine once I get the hang of things it will be even quicker.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent Ingredients:
3 cups Borax
3 cups Washing Soda
3 Cups Baking Soda
1 Bar Kirks Original Castille Soap
1/2 Bar Fels Naptha Detergent Soap
Essiential Oil of your Choice

Start by  grating your Castille and Fels-Naptha Soap.I used a Cheese Grater (the one with the largest holes). The soap dissolves in the wash anyways, so it doesn't really matter which way you decide to grate. Some people use a food processor.

Then pour your Borax (carefully) into a mixing bowl, followed by your washing soda. Mix thoroughly. Then add your Baking Soda. Then add your grated Kirks Castille and Fels-Naptha Soap.

Once all the ingredients are mixed together add your essential Oils. I used Lemon, Almond and Vanilla. If you have problems finding Essential Oil in your area, The Vitamin Shoppe sells some great scents online. I put about a Teaspoon of each scent in. You can add more or less depending on your preference.

You only need to use about 2 tablespoons per load. I  saved one of my old laundry scoops and used that. Only filling it to the 1st line for a large load.
The price difference is insane. From calculations online, This recipe costs around 2 pennys per load. Where Tide costs around .71 cents.
The scent on your clothes lasts for days. I can still smell the sweet lemony smell about a week after washing a pair of my daughers Pajamas.

Most recipes I found online called for Fels-Naptha, from my understanding, Fels-Naptha is a great detergent soap, it is however a little harsh, and is not all natural. The first batch I made I used only Kirks Castille Soap From what I found online, Kirks Castille Soap is perfect for babies and sensitive skin, and it is all natural.
While making this batch, I decided to use half a bar of Fels-Naptha, and a whole bar of Kirks Castile, to give the cleaning power of Fels-Naptha, while cutting back on some of the harshness that could go along with following the other recipes that called for a whole bar. If you want to stick to the sensitive skin mixture, I suggest using two full bars of Kirks Castille Soap instead of one.
The only thing that I find weird is that this homemade laundry detergent does not suds AT ALL. That will definitely take some getting used to. But I have noticed it works just as well as any other store bought detergent at getting my Fiancee's gross work clothes clean, and the spaghetti stains out of my daughters clothes!
And for the price, and flexibility of making whatever scent I want, it's worth it!
I hope you all enjoyed! Be sure to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Craft of the Week: Vase Decoration and Ribbon Roses

Hello everyone! I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days! It's been very chaotic over here to say the least. I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend filled with laughter, family and good food! I know we did!

This weekend I finally got around to decorating my Goodwill vase I bought like 8 months ago or .99 cents.
I wanted to showcase the flowers I dried from my Baby Shower, and Daughters Birth. The finished Product will be on a shelf in her room.
I wanted to share the craft with you today! The whole project took all of about an hour. I am not completely done with it as I ran out of Hot Glue. But, it looks good enough for me right now!

This entire craft costs around 5 dollars. The ribbon was tied to the dried flowers, The vase was 99 cents at Good Will. The Spray Paint was $3.67 at Wal-Mart. 

Ok so to do this craft, I got a clear vase. You can use one of any shape or size.

You can use acrylic paint of any kind for this. I used Spray Paint.

If you are using spray paint be sure to go outside! Wouldn't want you getting all dizzy from the fumes!

Lightly spray the inside of the vase in little spurts, while turning the vase. Once you get to the lip of the vase, don't worry if you get a little on the outside. You can scrape it off.

Allow that to dry.

If you are using a different paint besides spray paint, Pour it into the vase, swirl it aroun until all sides are covered and then pour out the remainding paint and allow to dry.

While waiting on the vase to dry, I began making my ribbon roses.

To make ribbon roses:

Start with a strip of ribbon however long you want (The longer the ribbon, the bigger the rose), I usually make mine about a foot long.

Hold the ribbon in the middle so that it drapes on each side evenly.
Cross one side over the other at the center making a triangle shape at the cross.
Hold it at this point to keep it at that shape.

Then fold the other side over the center point to make a square.

Then fold the other side over that square.
Continue alternating sides and folding back and forth until you run out of ribbon. Try and hold the squares in your fingers to keep them tight.

Once you run out of ribbon, pinch the bottom where the last folds cross.

Grab the piece of ribbon that is on the underside.
While pinching the ribbon as close to the last fold as possible, pull this piece of ribbon.

This should form the ribbon into a rose.

Pinch the entire rose. The top of the rose touching your Pointer finger, the bottom of the rose on your thumb,

Grab your hot glue gun.

Flip the rose over while still pinching.
Under the rose you will see where the ribbon crossed over last.
This picture is using super glue so I could show you where to put the glue. But Hot Glue works best, because it saturates into the ribbon, bonding the entire rose. Not just the point of application.
 Make a dot in that general area with your hot glue gun.
And press the bottom of the rose tight, all while still holding the top of the rose.
This should secure the folds in place.

If the rose looks a little trianglely, twists the centers clock wise until it is in a shape you like.

If the rose is not flat enough, you can always apply more glue in between folds, or on the backs and press until it lays more flat. The trick I have found is pinching the ribbon as close to the folds as possible while pulling. And Pressing the rose in the center and the bottom while Hot Gluing. You get better with practice, trust me.

And thats how you make a ribbon rose!
You can use any size ribbon for this, but it needs to be a soft ribbon.

I then took the roses, cut the excess ribbon off of some, and left it on others. I alternated the roses around the lip of the vase.  As soon as I get more hot glue, I will add more ribbon roses around the bottom of the vase.
I also use these ribbon roses on gift wrapping, dresses, hair bows, cards, etc.
It is a great trick to use excess ribbon of any kind!

Finished Product!

I hope you all enjoyed today's post! Be sure to check back soon for more neat ideas! Have a great day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dude...Come on :Mommy's Law

No...The Dog is not "posing" for the picture- Mommy's Law Caught on Camera!

So today I am going to discuss Mommy's Law... its kind off like Murphy's Law, but only for Mommys (Just in case you needed me to explain that). Either Way, you know what I'm talking about. Those moments that you just sit back and think "Like,Really?"
I have had several of those moments today, yesterday, and all the days of being a Mommy.

Have you ever noticed that your child falls asleep 5 seconds before you pull in the driveway after a 2 hour car ride. This is an always in my household. I will intentionally wait to leave for a car ride (if over an hour) to match it with nap time. And yet, she fights it til the death, until right before we arrive. So then I have to wake her up, she misses her nap, she's pissed, and I get to deal with a cranky baby for the remainder of the day. This is the perfect example of Mommy's Law. It's just the way it is, and probably always will be.

I'm a little irritable today. After staying up way to late last night, I had to wake up way to early this morning. It's my own fault, I should have gone to bed at a reasonable time. But I Married A Mobster was on, and come on... I can't resist Mob anything. I have noticed that Mommy's Law occurs more when you are already tired. It's like it knows that you are sleep deprived, hungry, and on the edge.

 I woke up this morning to find a huge pile of throw up on my newly cleaned tile floor (this happens almost 97% of the time I mop my floor by the way). Yesterday morning it was the only cream colored rug in my house. I have come to the conclusion that my Dog, Fiancee and Child do not want me to have a clean floor. Ever.. it is not allowed in the Wyatt family household.If I clean it, it's the first to get dirty. Guaranteed. My Friends joke that I am OCD about my floors, because over half the time they call to see what I am doing, I am cleaning my floors. It's not OCD, it's Mommy's Law.

The next item up on my list: The budget. It is also impossible for me to have a budget. I know what most will say "What are you talking about? All you have to do is X,Y,Z, and voila! You have a budget!" Yea, no. Not in this home. Something ALWAYS happens. Every week. The Dog needs something, the Kitten needs something, someone has to go to the Doctor, the Car has to go to the Doctor, you name it, it happens. And as the CEO of this family, it is my job to fix it. Or so I guess, I don't remember requesting that position, but it just kind of happened.

After an all day ride in the car, full of errands I didn't feel like running, we get home. Seeing that my daughter fell asleep for the last two blocks of the car ride, I figured she still needed a nap. Three hours, 1 and 1/2 cups of milk, and three trips up the stairs to make her lay back down, she finally falls back asleep. Game over right? Nope! Insert Drums here:

Yep, that's right. DRUMS. I have no clue where they are, or who is playing them, but I have now been listening to someone practicing the drums for the last 30 minutes. Mommy's Law strikes again! That Joe Shmo Drum Player would decide to practice his drums at the exact moment my child falls asleep. And this isn't the only case of Mommy's law in this area. I also have a neighbor that decides to rev his truck engine every day (almost) loudly, repeatedly, and four hours on end, at the exact moment my daughter goes down for her nap. Or the Neighborhood kids that decide to run through my yard making the dog bark, which then wakes the baby up.

This is Mommy's Law.

Getting sick the day before vacation (which happened last month by the way), sitting for 4 hours in an ER because your daughter is throwing up profusely only to have her acting fine by the time she is actually seen by the doctor (last winter), getting her excited to go to the park only or it to start raining out of nowhere half way there(two days ago). Kicking some toy on the ground in the nursery as you are walking out and waking her up (two nights ago). Peaking into the living room at your naked daughter throwing her diaper across the room while peeing at the same time (at least once a week). And yes I have tried everything to keep her clothes and diaper on, all of which the little Houdini figures out within a week. Getting all the laundry done only to find three socks your partner ever so nicely left next to the couch (all the time). The list is endless. 

I don't really know how to deal with Mommy's Law. I'm still relatively new at this whole game. But I do look at the situations and laugh the best I can. What else can you do? I've come to the conclusion that God has a sense of humor, and likes to have a good laugh every now and again. And if your home is anything like mine, we give him (or her) plenty of opportunities.

Thank You for Reading. Be sure to check back soon for more! I hope you enjoyed today's post and be sure to let me know any examples of Mommy's Law you might have experienced!
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome to Motherhood. Now get Organized

I am not a very organized person (A neat freak, yes, organized, not in the slightest). I admit it. I loose stuff constantly; Just this afternoon I spent 10 minutes at the grocery store (after having all my items rung up) looking for my I.D, only to find it next to the Car Seat. Generally I procrastinate until the last possible moment to do anything. I was that kid in high school, you know the one, that waited the entire 6 weeks the project was assigned and scrambled together on the very last two days (if I was even that motivated) to put everything together staying up way to late, waking up way to late and rushing to school (again...late), barely making it to class in time to hand in their project. But in the end, I always pulled it off, and I always (well most always) made an A. This was the pattern of my adolescence and early adult hood. I never really had to take a look at myself and fix this pattern, because of my uncanny ability to succeed even with procrastinating to the fullest extent possible. I can B.S. myself out of almost anything on the spot. Insert Baby Here:

Oh sweet Motherhood, how you have made me grow up... well, for the most part. I have always wanted to be organized. To have that perfectly organized pantry filled with matching containers, baskets, and everything labeled and in order. But I have never quite been able to complete that. I do have a pretty strong grasp on my closet, everything is in order there. And has been prior to Motherhood, but as or everything else, yea, right. I try to stick to a routine, as much of a routine as possible at least. Luckily I have a pretty flexible child, so if I mess up one day and get off schedule she doesn’t melt down and take weeks to get back on track.

Recently tho I have become sick of the chaos that comes along with not being organized. I am determined to become more organized and routine oriented. Moving into a larger home, I found myself constantly chasing my tail when it came to cleaning. Finishing one room, moving on to the next, only to find the previous room trashed again. I had boxes still unpacked, and way to much junk. And I could never seem to get and stay caught up. I was sick of it. So  I set out to not only say I was going to get organized, but actually do it.  

Like any good CEO of a company, a Mom needs a day planner. So that is where I started. I recently made a home organization binder, and it has made a world of a difference. I divided the sections according to what fit my life.  TipJunkie and FrugalLiving.About.Com offers a lot of amazing free printables to help me stay organized with my binder.

I found that the biggest help with the binder was making a menu plan for the month. By taking the time to organize this and a grocery list, I have saved myself a lot of money. No more emergency trips to the store (unless I have decided I have “forgotten something”) and I actually can plan what night we are having left overs and how/if I can turn those left overs into an entirely different meal.

Menu Worksheet can be found Here

While Pinteresting one day, I also found a great “Chore List” to help me with cleaning my home. I had tried others before, but they never really worked for me. Instead of breaking it down room by room, I complete one full task at a time. I have included that list below. This has freed up time for me to complete more tasks on my goal list, open up my weekends, and time during the day. What used to be an all day every day event has now turned into about 20 minutes in the morning, an hour in the afternoon (tops) and about 20 minute before bed time. I love the simplicity of it. It allows me to have the neat home I love, without spending the amount of time on it that I hate.
Cleaning Calendar found here
 I also found an easy way to gradually de-clutter my home. I designated a box for donating and put it in a central location (yet out of sight) in my home. I usually try and purge my house about twice a year. I try to stick to the rule of if I haven't used it in a year get rid of it. But this doesn't always happen. However, with the "donation box" in place, I can add items to it as I come across them. This way it doesn't have to be this huge undertaking of dragging everything out of a cabinet, closet, or room to see what needs to be donated. It's a gradual, ongoing process. And once the box fills up, off to Goodwill I go.

The Final Step to my more Organized life: Involving the significant other! This is easier said than done in my home. He is also lacking in the organizational skills department. I figured a "family board" would help him stay in the loop with day to day needs, and activities. I have been in the market for a dry erase calendar and board for months, but they were all either too expensive, or didn't contain a blank side and a calendar side. I finally found a combo set at Bed,Bath & Beyond last week. They stick straight to the wall, and are re-positionable. I however, stuck them to a poster board so that I could put them in a matching frame.  This allows him to glance at the board every morning before work and participate in helping us stay organized. No more me having to tell him when what is due, or what needs to be done, or brought home from the store. So far it is working magnificently.

For me I do better when I have lists, lists help me see what is front of me and accomplish it. Many of these items listed may be common sense for some people, but for someone like me they have made a world of a difference. I hope you all enjoyed. Please share some of the ways you stay organized, and how they help keep your Home running smoothly.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bargain Alert: How to Get a Great Smelling Home for Less.

Keeping with my tradition of trying to inform Mommies of ways to save a few bucks without having to sacrifice quality, look, or feel. I figured I would let you in on another great find.
I love a great candle, nothing else makes me happier than clean floors, clean bathrooms, and a home that smells wonderful. Different Scents bring different feelings, memories, and can change your mood in an instance. At Christmas time I love the smell of Fur and Cranberries and Apple Cidar. It just brings so much more "ooph" to my  home. And the same goes for the smell of flowers, grass, and rain that comes along with Spring. It can transorm you home from the feel of Winter, to the excitement of Spring, and vise versa in the time it takes for the wax to melt. All because of the smell.
Working in Real Estate, I learned on of a realtors major tips (that works more than you would think) is to buy a "reminds me of home" smelling candle and light it before an open house or appointment. When the client walks in and smells the scent of apples, cookies, vanilla, etc. coming from with-in, they can imagine themselves living there. Pretty interesting huh?
I know over the years I have spent $100's on candles, sprays, deodorizers, etc. Some work really well, others not so much. In recent years, the Scentsy craze began. I bought a kit for my Mom two Mother's Day Presents ago. I believe I paid $45 for the Burner and got a free wax bar with it. I also spent around $5 or so on each additional bar. Plus, I had to pay shipping and handling. Yes, they work wonderful. And the scents they have are great. But who can afford that? Not me!
So, for a while I used oil burners. That worked okay, but I was still spending a lot on tea lights, and scented oils. Then I noticed Wal-Mart began carrying the "ScentSational" wax bars. I began buying those and using them in my tea light burners. They worked, but it would take a while for the tea light to get the wax hot enough to melt. About a year ago I noticed they finally started selling the actual electric burners. I finally decided to buy one. I paid $10 for mine (it was on sale). I have used it every day since, and still have not had to replace the bulb.
Full Size Scensty Burner $30+ Shipping*

ScenSational Full Size Burner $15.00
Better Homes and Gardens has also began making wax bars; and unlike their candles, they actually smell just as much as Scentsy's products. And at $2 a piece, I am able to change the scent as much as I want. That's a 50% decrease from the price of Scentsy. They also sell the plug-in versions which can be used in bathrooms, and high sitting electrical outlets for around $9 . Another big difference from the normal $20 that Scentsy charges. 
ScentSational Plug-In Mini Warmer-$10.00
Scentsy Plug-In Mini Burner $20.00+ Shipping

One wax bar lasts me about a week. I have noticed that the sweeter smelling ones are stronger and  last longer than the flowery scents. However, the Country Sunflower scents is the exception to that rule. I no longer have to spend money on Febreeze, plug-ins, and millions of candles. One wax cube put in the warmer smells up the entire 1,000 sq. ft. downstairs of my home.
Scensty Havana Cabana $5.00+ Shipping

BHG- Creamy Tahitian Coconut- $2.00

If you have already invested in a Scentsy Burner, have no fear. Even tho most Scentsy Consultants you talk to would tell you the Wal-Mart bought wax bars won't melt, they will. As I mentioned earlier, my Mom has a Scensty burner, and she has used the BHG or ScentSational wax bars ever since I told her about them.

As I have mentioned before, I love getting great products at a good price. This is probably one of my favorite finds so far. I don't believe you have to sacrifice having nice things just because you can't necessarily afford what others consider nice. When you compare the burner my Mom has, to the one I have, you can not tell a difference. There are great finds for less! You just have to know where to look.
I hope you all had a great weekend! Be sure to check back frequently for more tips and ideas!

* Normally i try and use my own photo's. But seeing as this blog post is supposed was designed to show the likeness of the two brands, I decided to use the manufacture photos.

Whats for Breakfast? Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls!

I have fond memories attached to this recipe of Cinnamon Rolls. My Mom always made them on the weekends. I recently began following in her path, and cooking them on Saturday Afternoon. I  put them in the fridge, and Sunday morning we heat them up and have nice hot Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast. (Ok,  I also make them during the week and hoard them to myself.) As a Mom living on a budget, I like to find Fast, Easy, and Cheap recipes. This is one of those. The only difference is it was handed down to me by my Mother. I hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients Needed:
2 Cups Jiffy Mix (You can use Bisquick as Well, but I like Jiffy better and it costs less than Bisquick)
2/3 Cup Milk
2 tbs. Butter
1 cup (Not exact) Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup (Again, Not Exact) White Sugar (Optional)
For the Icing:
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 tbs. Butter
1/8 cup Milk
1 tbs. Vanilla Extract (Or any other flavored extract you would like)
Start by mixing the Milk and Jiffy Mix until it forms a ball of dough. 

At this time I usually lay down two strips of Paper Towels containing two paper towels in each strip.
Also sprinkle some Jiffy Mix onto the Paper Towels, as well as a little pile off to the side. This keeps the Dough from sticking to the paper towels, and also helps it from sticking to you hand.

Dump the ball of dough onto the paper towel. Begin Kneading it about 5 times. Some recipes call for about 10 kneads, but I don't agree. Usually 4 or 5 turns will work well. If the dough sticks to your hands, grab some of the mix from the pile and sprinkle on top.

You can choose to use your hands, or a rolling pin. Begin to roll the dough out into an oblong shape. It needs to be about 1/4 inch thick. If it is too thin it will break and not roll up correctly later.

Take the butter and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds (time may vary). Then spoon this onto the rolled out dough mixture. I use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly to the sides/

Take your brown sugar and begin sprinkling it on top of the butter mixture. I don't use an exact measurement for this. It usually ends up being about two handfuls. If you want more sugar or less sugar you can adjust this to your preference. This is also the time you would sprinkle the regular sugar  on as well.
After the sugar has been put on the dough, begin to sprinkle the cinnamon. I also don't use an exact measurement on this. 2 tbs should be about right, but again if you like Cinnamon you can always add more.
I then take the back of my spoon and spread it out evenly, getting it as close to the edges as possible. This also helps to keep pools of butter from gathering and then leaking out as you roll it up.

Begin rolling the dough from one side to another. Once you have it rolled, Pinch the open ends as well as the seem to close it off and keep any filling form leaking out.

Take a knife and begin to cut the Roll into 2-3 inch pieces. Prepare your pan prior to this step, so that you can immediately place the cut slice into the dish, preventing the filling from leaking out. I use a regular 9x9 glass dish. Don't forget to grease your pan with either spray or Shortening.
Once all slices are in the pan, place in the oven and bake for 15-20 min at 350. Again, cooking times may vary depending on oven, pan, and the thickness of your rolls.
You want them to be a light golden color. They will continue to cook slightly once removed from the oven. I have made the mistake of taking them out and having them end up hard as a rock. Once you see the slightest tint of gold on them they are ready.
For the Icing:
Melt the butter using the same process as listed earlier. The recipe calls or 2 tbs. but it usually ens up being 2 heaping tablespoons. Slowly add the powdered sugar (You want to add the powdered sugar to the butter while it is hot to prevent lumps). The mixture should be very thick and creamy. The other liquids will bring it back to the right consistency.  Then add your vanilla extract and milk. Stir until mixed together.
Pour icing onto Rolls Directly out of the oven.

Looks good right?! I hope you enjoyed this post! Be sure to check back for more great ideas! Have a great weekend!