Saturday, December 24, 2011

Home Made Detergent, Ya'll!

I'm always looking for ways to save money on essentials, as I love to buy non-essentials.  Laundry detergent can be super expensive, so why not try making your own to save some major cash.  I literally do loads of laundry every day, so when I heard about this recipe that can be found here, I decided to make some and enlist the help of my daughters.

OH GIRLSSSSSS!!!!! Get to grinding that soap!  "With a smile, mom!"

I spent around $14 to make my own detergent that should last me a year at 1-2 tablespoons per load.  I mixed all ingredients together in a 5 gallon bucket and then measured out 100 loads into my glass canister and put the rest up on the back porch closet. 

100 loads of laundry detergent right here.  I use an overflowing tablespoon per load.   I'm going to keep track of how long this lasts in my household of 5. 

That's where it goes and that is all you use.  Here's to hoping my clothes get clean.

I opened the door during the wash to see what was going on and if their were any suds.  Here is what I saw.

NO suds.  Just some dingy water. 

Later on, after pulling them out of the washer and dryer, I inspected them for cleanliness and color.  I must say I was impressed.  This homemade betty detergent does a better job than my current detergents which float between All Clear and Purex All Natural.  The clothes were indeed brighter and cleaner than normal.  I put on my favorite green tank (which was greener than normal) and I had no allergic reaction. Yay! I'm just waiting to see how this detergent fairs with my husband as he is allergic to several detergents on the market. If he finds himself itching and carrying on, I will just purchase him a separate detergent.  Cause that's how I roll. 

So, I'm telling you to give this a try.  Save some money.  Spend some somewhere else.  Or not.  But you should.  It's good stuff. 

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion Review Follow Up

Oooooohh La La
I must say I kinda love it!
This is day 3 hair.  Day 3 means I haven't put anything on her hair but the lotion as needed. 
I think she likes it too!

Her hair is so bouncy and soft and the curls are nicely defined and separated.  I must say this is a really good moisturizer and we will be using it for as long as it works.  It's definitely worth the $20.  Did I mention its a nice smell for a tween girl.  For day 3 hair I cannot believe how gorgeous and bouncy her curls are. 

And these curls are not tangled.  I can run my fingers through her hair.  Their is no matted up hair.  Thats pretty awesome, especially because we love to wear the hair down.  It just fits her personality, yo!

And a view of the back.  I've given up on completely getting rid of frizz.  I mean, sometimes you just gotta embrace it. I might just need a little bit more lotion on those hard to tame frizz areas. 

For hair like this, consider the Kinky-Curly Knot Today leave in $12,(I order mine from Curl Mart online with a $60 order you get free shipping), and the Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion $20 from Curl Mart.  I wish you could see in live person, this hair.  It has its own personality.  I'm just really impressed with the product.  I'm a die hard Kinky-Curly Knot today fan and now I'm a Curl Junkie Smoothing lotion fan.  Couple these two products together to achieve these results.

Happy Holidays,

 The Ellis Family

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An afternoon at the brick wall

I love that my kids will hop out of the car on a whim to take some pictures. These pictures were taken after school.  The girls were walking to the car and I was like, "I have to take some pictures today!"  So, off we zoomed to the brick wall downtown in hopes of snagging some decent shots.  They did pretty well.

Two months after school started back, the weather is finally starting to get cool.  Bring out the cute jackets! 

Reese is wearing a shirt and scarf from Justice along with Maria's sweater from last year, also from Justice. 

Maria is wearing a button up shir from Justice that is totally classic with an animal print jacket from Old Navy.  I paid $14 for that jacket.  She is also rocking a braided headband because she is prone to frizz at her forehead.  This helps a lot!  Real easy to do as well.  Hair on top of hair.  I love it!  

Back to School 2011

Ok, so I'm a little behind.  I like to say, better late than never, right.  I just wanted to chronicle some back to school pics of the girls.  Reese graduated Kindergarten and is now in the first grade.  We started off wearing some Gymboree but quickly decided that was not acceptable as Justice was the place to go for any fashion diva.   Maria is a fourth grader this year and it couldn't show more.  Here she is rocking a Murray State Vintage shirt from Target along with my Yac Pac I carried a few times at school before I decided it killed my back. 
Obviously, Reese hasn't mastered the art of keeping her eyes open for pictures upon entering the first grade. 

Did I mention I CANNOT decide Maria's ensembles.  Well, I can't.  She is a fourth grader after all.  They have their own idea of what they like and what looks good.  Today she decided a scarf wrapped around one wrist and Zumba bracelets on the other finished her look.  I especially loved the sequin headwrap. 

And while Reese is missing an assortment of teeth, I can still pick out her outfits pending her approval. 

Second day back to school with the girls I keep in the morning and after school.  GO GIRLS!
I'm gonna blog some pictures of 4 months later to see how much they have grown!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion Review

While ordering my 6 month supply of Kinky-Curly Knot Today, I decided to give the Curl Junkie line a shot. I needed a really good moisturizing lotion to freshen up Maria's curls as needed, so I ordered the Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion.  I also ordered a light styler for Reese's hair called Curls in a Bottle.  This styler is much to light for Maria's thick, tight curls but perfect for Reese's fine curls.  I used these on top of the Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In conditioner.  I've been braiding Maria's hair lately because its been wanting to break off and frizz like crazy.  You can see that these braids have been up for a minute.  It's much better on her hair to keep it in braids right now. We are just trying to get it growing and keep it from breaking.  Here she is tonight after I took all the braids out and massaged more lotion into her hair.

 I've used Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme in the past and it works great with a braid out on Maria's 3C curls.  No frizz, lots of shine, and lots of defined waves and it will stay like that for several days.  I just don't like the build-up.  So, I got my Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion in the other day and washed Maria's hair with Kinky-Curly Knot Today, rinsed, and then re-applied the Knot Today.  I layered Curls in a Bottle over that and then the Smoothing Lotion on top of that.  I diffused and it looked good initially.  After school, it had shrunk to her ears and didn't feel good at all.  It's fairly simple to assume I will not be using that combo again.  I got a spray bottle out and started sectioning for her braids.  I do medium sized ones.  About 7.  I would get the hair wet, comb it out, and then apply the smoothing lotion.  I applied about a dime size amount to each section.  Those braids have been in her head for 4 days.  I just took them out and I have a few pics of the result.  It looks nice.  I applied more smoothing lotion throughout the hair for more moisture and suspect I will have to do so tomorrow.  This product claims to be a moisturizing leave in conditioner and I would agree.  Her hair has been in those braids and it was still nicely moisturized.  3C hair is extremely dry and needs lots of moisture.  LOTS!  It's real hard to achieve, I tell ya. 

I've decided its not a bad product so far.  I haven't used it long enough to notice if their is a build-up or not.  The smell is nice for a young girl.  It smells just like Pink Sugar perfume.  Some say it smells like cotton candy and I would agree.  Its a very Tween smell.  I'll continue to use it when I braid her hair up as long as I dont get a build-up.  We will keep the braid out for as long as the hair will allow.  If it starts frizzing and tangling, I'm done. 

This hair down here is Kinky-Curly Knot today layered with the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard.  This looks like it might be day 2 hair.  I can't remember.  I love this look but it's still really dry.  I'm hoping I can add in the Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion to this hair for moisture. 

And one last picture for the night.  This is after one hour of Wii Fit play. The hair has lots of bounce and movement.  It's just not laying on her head like a limp noodle. It's looking a little frizzy on camera but it looks great in person.  I'll apply some more product to it tomorrow.   It feels really soft.  She loves the feel of it.  Now if I could just keep the girls from fighting and the blankets off their heads...............

Monday, December 19, 2011

I lost my birthday present. Humbug!

So after spotting on and off for a week with very little pregnant feeling, I started to bleed yesterday upon waking up. It stayed pretty much the same until 8 pm when I started cramping so bad I could barely take the pain. I got real nauseous and had to use the bathroom. My mom told me to go to emergency room, so I did. They got my blood and gave me an ultrasound. I did have a pregnant uterus and thickened endometrium but no sac was visible anywhere. I must have passed it at home before I left to hospital. So, continues the sequence of events that I'm so familiar with. I don't know why I thought this time would be any different. It's a pattern. I miscarry and then I get pregnant again pretty quickly and its all roses and sunshine. I don't know that we will try to get pregnant again though. I really just need to get my ass back in school and stay there until I graduate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Not giving up the sippy cup.

Reese asked her daddy for hot cocoa in her sippy cup. She's 6 by the way. Alex said, " I think your mom threw them away."
She looked at him with almond eyes of chocolate and said,"no daddy, Jackson's cup."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

#4 is on the way!

Waking up on your 33rd birthday to a spinning room is not the best way to wake up but that is exactly how it played out for me.  I had to lay my head back down on the pillow for fear of passing out.  What was wrong with me?

 The day was December 9th and after that strange episode of dizziness, I decided a pregnancy test might just be a good idea.  By my estimations I should have had a period about two weeks ago.  Ooops. I really should set a reminder on my phone for such things. 

 I quick got the kids off to school and raced to Save-a-Lot for my $1 test and then raced back home to drop those quick drops of urine on the test.  It didn't take a minute to show up that I was indeed pregnant.  I'm kind of giddy at this point.  Pregnant.  Again.  So soon.  That's not normal for me at all.  Maria is 10.  Reese is 6 and Jackson is a month over 1.  I take forever to get pregnant.  Forever.  Nevertheless, I'm excited and quickly call my mom who is thrilled...I think.  I mean, she did pay for her food at McDonalds Drive Thru and then just drive on through without getting her food.  Yeah, I would say she was a little excited.  Alex, my husband, couldn't believe it when I told him.  Like,  he didn't have a part in getting me pregnant.   Darling.  I just don't know what to say about him.  He is a man.  That's about all I can say. 

Anyway, we are all thrilled over here and I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you.  This could get hairy.  I'm not very organized.  Having a few more than a few children requires organization.  I probably should go google that now.