Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Ingredients for Laundry Soap

There are TONS of different recipes for laundry soap out there, I have tried a few and this one is my favorite.  I’ve been using this for a year now and one batch lasts 3 months for (on average) 5 people.  It’s really easy to make and cheaper than buying it.

You will need Borax, Washing Soda (not baking soda), Fels-Naptha soap, water and essential oils (optional).  I found all of these items (except the essential oils) at Fred Meyer near the laundry soap.

Ingredients for Laundry Soap

Start by grating the bar of soap.

Grated soap for laundry detergent

Then melt the grated soap in a large pan with 1 gallon of water on medium low heat.  Don’t let it boil just heat it up, stirring often until all the soap has melted.

Laundry Soap

When the bar soap is melted add the borax and washing soda and stir until the borax and washing soda have dissolved.  Then pour the soap into a big bucket (I use a 5 gallon bucket) and add 2 gallons of cool water to the bucket and stir.  Now is when you add the essential oil of your choice.  I like lemon or sweet orange.

Lemon Essential Oil for Homemade Laundry Soap

Stir it up again and let your concoction set over night.  The soap will gel up and separate over night.  It will look something like this:

DSCN2678 (640x480)

I like to use an immersion blender to make it nice and smooth.

DSCN2686 (640x480)

You can funnel the soap into smaller containers or I keep it in the bucket and use a long handled ladle to scoop half a cup of detergent per load of laundry.  If the soap sits for a while it will separate again so remember to stir between each use.

This detergent works in any washing machine.  I have a high efficiency washer and this soap is safe to use in it.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry soap
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of Washing Soda
  • 3 gallons of water
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil (optional)
  1. Start by grating the bar of soap. Then melt the grated soap in 1 gallon of water on medium low heat. Do not boil and stir often. When the soap has melted add 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda and stir until dissolved. Pour your soap mixture into a big bucket (something that holds more than 3 gallons) and add 2 more gallons of water. Now add an essential oil of your choice if you would like and stir well. Let it set over night. It will gel up and separate over night so stir and stir or use an immersion blender to make it nice and smooth.
  2. Use ½ a cup per load of laundry.


This post was shared at: Clever Chicks Blog HopThrifty Thursday







June 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Bantam Hens

What a month!  I have been so very neglectful of my blog.  We didn’t finish up school until the 17th and that came with recitals, programs, and graduations!  The girls performed at each event and did an awesome job!  Mary’s vocal lessons are done for the summer…phew!  Now that school has ended and summer has begun the pace around here has slowed down a bit, so maybe I can get some blog time back in my schedule!


The girls are enjoying NO SCHOOL!

Lazy Day

The Bantam hens went on a little adventure out of their pen, but the big hens were not very nice so they quickly went back in.

Bantam Hens

This is the little rooster, and he’s not nice to the little hens either.  He gets let out during the day and has turned into quite a nuisance, but he’s very entertaining!

bantam rooster

Little Chef was gone last week to camp, so Jo and I got to spend lots of time together!  One of her favorite places is the pool. :)


The raspberries are just now starting to ripen and there are TONS of them! DSCN2609 (640x480)

I did not get a garden in this year. :(  I was heart broken at first, but this will leave me much more time to focus on school and cleaning up around here.  We’ve been so busy that many things have been neglected inside and out.

Praying for a productive and peaceful July. :)


May 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Farmers market bounty

I said last month that April was a busy month…….HA!  May was stupid busy! When I think back it’s all just a blur.  I’m not complaining at all though it was a great month.  Good thing I managed to get a few pictures taken so I can recall a few details.  The biggest change we’ve had around here lately comes in a small, but VERY busy package.  Jade’s girl friend moved to town and ended up getting two jobs very quickly,  that was a very good thing, but that meant she also needed a baby sitter for her 16 month old son.  Did I mention he’s busy?  I teach a preschool and kindergarten class everyday so you would think that this shouldn’t have been much of a change…..oh how I have forgotten how having a mini person around keeps you on your toes!!  What a joy he is and I’m even starting to get use to the grandma jokes.  😉

Hope you enjoy these photos from May.

Mr Busy

Here is Mr. Busy Himself!

Mini Egg

One of our regular sized hens laid a mini sized egg.  Jo was fascinated by it and had me fry it up for her for dinner. :)


2 month old bantams

Our four bantam chicks grew a lot during May.

First Rooster

It turns out that one of them is a rooster and he thinks he’s pretty hot stuff.  His crow is getting a little better as time goes on.

old tractor

We went to our local tractor pull and saw some pretty cool old tractors.


After all the tractors were done pulling it was time for the pickups.  Digger and Jade both entered their pickups.  It was supposed to be Digger’s 79 Ford against Jade’s 84 Dodge but they didn’t have time to finish getting Jades pickup ready so he decided to enter his 2010 Toyota.  It was a grudge match between old and new….or maybe I should say old and young! 😉

Digger 79 fordThe old WON…by five feet!

Farmers market bounty

Some goodies we got at the farmers market!  My mom had given us some home grown rhubarb so Little Chef made a couple strawberry rhubarb pies for her dad.

sun set

Thanks so much for stopping by!

This post was shared at: The HomeAcre HopFrom The Farm Blog Hop –  The Homestead Barn Hop



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookies

These are beyond a shadow of a doubt the BEST peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had!

Peanut Butter Choc Chip CookiesI cannot take credit for finding this recipe, it was all my kids.  It all started with this:

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Little Chef came home to find this on her bedroom door.

My boys are smart, when they want cookies they know who to ask.  The next thing I know, Little Chef is asking if I will show her how to look up cookies on Pinterest.  She wanted to  find a “new” recipe.  I did, and just like her mama, Pinterest sucked her in and she was there forever looking through thousands of pins of delicious looking cookies.  I think her brother became worried that cookies were never going to become a reality.  I heard him say something about peanut butter and chocolate chips and bless her cookie lovin’ heart she searched for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and decided on this recipe.

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookiesA little while later I walked through the kitchen and stole a chunk of warm cookie (it was a broken piece and NEEDED to be eaten)……as the sweet, buttery, chocolaty, warm, piece of cookie melted in my mouth.  The clouds parted,  the sun shone through, the angels sang and my taste buds rejoiced.  I think I said something like “Holy cow, those are stinking amazing,  I’m NEVER going to be able to stay away from these cookies.”  I really didn’t need to worry about that though, they were completely devoured shortly after that by other members of our household.

Here’s the recipe so you can hear the angels too!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and mix well then add the eggs and mix well again. Next add the milk and vanilla stir well. Measure all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and then add to the peanut butter mixture. Stir just a bit and then add chocolate chips and stir until everything is combined. Let the cookie dough sit for a few minutes to firm up. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop 1 or 2 tablespoons of cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet a couple inches apart and bake for about 10 minutes. They will look a little under done. If you leave them on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes they will be much easier to remove to a cooling rack.

Tip: These are amazing cookies anytime but if you want to see the clouds part and hear the angels sing you have to try them when they are still warm. :)  The only small draw back to these cookies is that they are pretty delicate, I would not recommend these for baking and shipping in the mail…..they would be awfully tasty crumbs though!

This recipe was adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw And Homemade Tartar Sauce

Fish Tacos 3

Fish Tacos 3This is a great spring and summer dish, I love the light, fresh cabbage slaw.  It goes great on any taco, burrito, etc. or it tastes just amazing all by its little self. 😀

Start off by making this easy homemade tartar sauce and set aside.

Homemade Tartar SauceNext chop up the cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, and fresh cilantro.  I didn’t have green onions so I used a white onion, it was good but green onions are better. :)

Fish Tacos With Cabbage SlawAdd lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and stir.

Cabbage SlawTake a little taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed.

Now cook up the fish of your choice.  I salt and pepper tilapia fillets and cook them on medium heat in a little olive oil for about 4 minutes on each side.

TilapiaPlace a half of a cooked tilapia fillet on a warm soft taco shell (flour or corn).  Place half a cup or so of the cabbage slaw on the fish and top it off with the tartar sauce!

Fish TacosSo delicious, so fresh tasting, and so easy. The fresh cilantro makes my heart sing!!

Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw And Homemade Tartar Sauce
  • 4 cups cabbage copped into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • enough fish fillets to feed your family, I use a half a tilapia fillet per taco
  • corn or flour tortillas (6-inch)
  1. Put the cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro into a large bowl add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir well. Take a taste to see if you need more salt or pepper.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the fish and cook on medium heat in a little olive oil for about four minutes on each side. When fish flakes easily with a fork it is done.
  3. Place a piece of fish on a warm tortilla add ¼ to ½ cup of the cabbage slaw and top it off with some homemade tartar sauce!

I adapted this recipe from MyRecipe.com


This post was shared at: Weekend PotluckFoodie FridayFrom The Farm Blog Hop

April 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Bantam Chick (Chocolate)

April was incredibly busy, but full of amazing cuteness. 😀

We started off the month with our spring break.  I figured it was a good time to bring home our first batch of chicks for this year.  The girls want to take bantams to the fair in August so they picked out four bantam chicks at the feed store.

PeepThis batch of chicks brought with them a lot of firsts for us.  Our first bantams, our first brooder in the house, and our first time using a EcoGlow Brooder instead of a heat lamp.  This was also our first time picking chicks that we didn’t know the sex or the breed.  The only thing we were sure of was that they were CUTE!

Bantam Chick (Chocolate)I will miss the day when my youngest kiddo outgrows bringing me dandelion bouquets. :)

DandelionWe bought 10 blueberry bushes. We weren’t ready for them, but they were too cheap to pass up. (I LOVE blueberries!)

Blueberry Bushes
Yes, he’s bringing me a tire. He packs it around when he can’t find a ball.

JoWe enjoyed some great weather during April.

Maple Tree in SpringDaffodilsThe photo bombing dog strikes again…..

Spring with a photo bomberOur old mower was unable to be revived this spring so Digger and Jade brought home a new one. (well, new to us)  It was great to find something local that we needed just in time that’s in great shape for a fair price!  Little Chef was super excited to get a new mower; she does lots of the mowing.

Lawn Mower
Photo by Little Chef

Last years green onions starting to bloom.  I thought they were beautiful.

OnionsWe got the garden cleaned up which was no easy task considering we neglected it last fall and then digger tilled it, pretty or not.  :)

Tilling the gardenWe had a wonderful Easter celebrating our Lords resurrection with family, friends and great food!

Easter EggsThe girls and I got to take a trip to Newport, Oregon with my mom and a few of my siblings.  This was the view from our beach house!

Newport, ORWe visited the aquarium and the science center while we where there too.  What fun places!  This was perfect for Jo as she’s doing a report at school on Orcas.  :)

Jo  OrcaLittle Chef LOVED the music room at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Little Chef in the music roomJo’s cat Boots had four kittens in mid April. This one has been named Sky.  Jo has been in kitty heaven!!

SkyThe super cute chicks at the beginning of this post grew quite a bit over the month and aren’t as cute any more.  They have graduated from being in the house and have been moved to the shop.  This is a picture of their first trip outside.  They now spend a few hours outside in the little pen each day.

bantam chicksHappy May Day Everyone!  Thanks for stopping by!


This Post was shared at: From The Farm Blog HopClever Chicks Blog HopThe Homestead Barn HopTuesday With a TwistThe Backyard Farming ConnectionThe HomeAcre Hop

Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce

Fish and tartar sauce

Fish and tartar sauceWe don’t have fish too often, but when we do I like to have tartar sauce to serve with it.  A couple years ago I realized it was rather stupid to keep buying bottles of tartar sauce, use them once and place them in the fridge for next time.  “Next time” usually didn’t come until it was to late to salvage the rest of the bottle or it had been long lost in the depths of the refrigerator.  So I found this easy homemade tartar sauce recipe and we have been using it ever since.

Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
Recipe type: Condiment
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 2½ tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir.

Tartar SauceIt tastes WAY better than store bought and if we have any leftover I add a little ketchup and it makes a WONDERFUL dipping sauce for fries, tater tots, or pretty much anything you would use ketchup on.  We put it on hamburgers the other night…..yummm!

Fry SauceA great tasting, easy, tartar sauce with no waste!


This post was shared at: The Homestead Barn HopWeekend Potluck Thrifty ThursdayFrom The Farm Blog Hop

Love Your……Emu?

Emu 3

I know we’re supposed to love our neighbor and all, but what if your closest neighbor is an emu?

A big emu….

Emu 1A big emu with a fluffy butt….

Emu 5A big emu with a fluffy butt that paces the fence across the road….

Emu 3A big emu with a fluffy butt that paces and makes a loud thump, thump, thump noise…..

Emu 4A big emu with a fluffy butt that paces and thumps and watches us with creepy eyes.

Emu 2Are we supposed to love our creepy, thumping, pacing, fluffy butted neighbors too?

She or he (at the risk of highly offending our feathered neighbor I’ll just call her a her on this post) does have some good qualities too.  She is actually rather entertaining and I’m kinda partial to fluffy butts.  The creepy eye thing, well I just try not to make eye contact so it doesn’t bug me so much.  Our feathered neighbor is a bit curious too.  She came over for a visit the other day to see what the guys where doing in the shop.  It was a particularly nice spring day so Digger opened up the big shop doors to let in some sunshine and fresh air.  He was welding away when he saw some movement out of the corner of his eye.  He flipped up his welding helmet and there was our nosy neighbor just staring at him.  It was a short visit, she didn’t want to chat or have a beer, she just turned around when Digger saw her and headed home.  Being the nice neighbors that we are Digger and Jade followed her half a mile down the road to make sure she made it home safely.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

 I’m still not sure if this includes the feathered kind, but as long as she doesn’t come peeking in my kitchen door, I can love her……from a distance. 😉


This post was shared at: From The Farm Blog HopSimple SaturdaysClever Chicks Blog HopHomestead Barn HopTuesday With a TwistThe HomeAcre Hop


March 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide


My favorite time of year!

spring The animals are LOVING the warmer weather.


chickenMy chickens egg yolks went from yellow to dark orange as soon as the new grass popped up and the bugs came out!


Guess What

lilacCompost in the gardenUncle Tom came over and dumped the compost pile into the garden.  Hopefully this will help amend our poor soil on the east side of the garden.  Why do we have poor soil only on the east side of the garden?  Well, it has something to do with a retired go-cart track.  Read more about that here.

EcoGlow20Another great thing about spring is CHICKS!  This came in the mail today, so we are off to pick up some chicks tomorrow!!  Today is also the first day of our spring break and I’m looking forward to getting LOTS done in and out of the house this week.

So glad y’all stopped by.  Happy spring everyone!!

This post was shared at: The Homestead Barn HopThe Backyard Farming ConnectionTuesday With a Twist The HomeAcre HopFrom The Farm Blog HopSimple SaturdaysClever Chicks Blog Hop

Homemade Onion Soup Mix Packets

Homemade Onion Soup Mix 1

This post contains affiliate links.

I used to go through LOTS of store bought onion soup mix packets.  I would buy them in bulk and put them in tons of stuff like tater tot casserole, hamburger patties, on pot roast or oven roasted potatoes…..the list goes on.  Then I became more aware of what I feed my family and I started reading labels…… :(  Sadly, I stopped buying them and for a long time we just did without.  Then I found this recipe and now I just make up several “packets” at a time!  This way I have them on hand to use anytime my little heart desires……which is often,… VERY often. 😀

Homemade Onion Soup Mix 1This is super easy, but there are lots of spices to get out and measure, so if you’re in a hurry it can be a little frustrating…especially if you’re used to ripping open a little envelope and dumping it in.  That being said I recommend while you have the spices out, make up several batches. :)

Homemade Onion Soup Mix Packets

4.6 from 5 reviews
Homemade Onion Soup Mix Packets
This will make one "packet" of onion soup mix.
  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Place all ingredients into a small resealable container or bag and shake.

That’s it, onion soup mix packets without MSG!

Onion soup mixI get my super fresh organic herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs.  They will make your from scratch cooking taste even better!!  Mountain Rose Herbs is a great company with a cool web site.  Go check it out, you will not be disappointed. 😀

This recipe was adapted from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers

This post was shared at : Clever Chicks Blog HopHomemade MondaysMeal Planning MondayHomestead Barn HopThe Backyard Farming ConnectionReal Food WednesdaysThe Homemaking PartyThe HomeAcre HopThrifty ThursdayWeekend PotluckFrom The Farm Blog HopReal Food FridaySimple Saturdays

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