Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Different Uses for Things

Alrighty folks.  Prepare yourselves for what's about to happen.  There are things in your home right now that can be used in different ways.  

I KNOW.  Try to contain your excitement.

Baking Soda:
  • Homemade deodorant.
  • Brushing your teeth (before the toothpaste is what I do). 
  • Put a pea size amount in your palm and mix with a itty bit of water to create a paste.  Now put it on your next blemish and watch it dry up.
  • I haven't done this, but Mama Pat (Trent's grandma) says she puts some in old socks then sticks them into her husband's shoes to deodorize. Faboulous.
  • Lather up a wash cloth with soap (I use Ivory or Cetaphil do to the sensitive skin I got from my father) then sprinkle some baking soda on the soapy washcloth and use it on your face for an exfoliant.  It's great. 
  • When added with vinegar (which has it's own special category) it will unclog a drain.  I use this recipe.  (You'll need hot water and a washrag, fyi).  It's natural.
White Vinegar:
  • See above for unclogging of drains.
  • Gnat trap.  For real, y'all.  (They should call this place Gnats-ville in the summer).  
  • Rinse agent in your dishwasher.
  • I clean with it, which is totally old school, and not such a new use, but oh well.
  • The weirdest thing I do?  I use it as an astringent.  On my face.  You'll smell like pickles, but you'll see a difference in your skin.
  • I've heard of using it on hair...I will be trying that.
Coffee Filters:
  • Only one other way I use these bad boys.  Instead of paper towels with your windex, use a new coffee filter to clean mirrors so there are no streaks.  I swear it works.

{Speaking of Coffee...this next one's messy}

Used Coffee Grounds:
  • Use as a body scrub in the shower.  What?  I know.  It's not harsh or full of chemicals and the caffeine tightens up your skin (for a bit).  This is messy, and I always bathe after so I don't smell like a Starbucks.  It's a shame because you'll look really tan before you wash it off...  
Sugar and Oil:
  • Using oil (olive/grapeseed) and sugar (brown/white) create a mixture to be used as a body scrub.  I don't follow a specific recipe, I just get the consistency I like.  This can also be used on your face!  The oil won't break you out, I promise.  (You can add some essential oils in the mix, if you have them on hand).  
  • Mouthwash.  When you do it you'll see all the fancy bubbles happening.  I let those sit for a minute, then brush.  
  • I may, or may not, still put some in my hair.  
  • Mix with oatmeal and lemon juice to make an AWESOME face mask.  Leave on for 10 minutes, or so.  I should warn you, this is messy, too.
  • Place a tiny bit on a blemish, cover with a bandaid and leave over night.  It dramatically reduces the size of that sucker.

Do you have random uses for things?  I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Day (Eve) Post

Trent and I are homebodies.  I'm also {pretty} easy to please and don't require expensive gifts to feel happy or loved, which means for Valentine's Day, we will stay at home and are totally cool with that.  Trent will cook (like he does every night) and I requested his HOMEMADE gnocchi.  (They are like fluffy pillows of yummy goodness that make me feel bad for people who can't have flour).  Going out to eat and getting fancy gifts is definitely not a bad thing.  If you've got extra money for that stuff, you go for it.  (If we had some extra cash, a pair of Toms would be my first choice...preferably these or *oh my goodness*, I just found these).  

Anywho...back to my point.

When we first saw the preview for The Vow, we both cried.  Not boo-hoo, mind you, but there were some tears.  The preview prompted me to ask him if he would make me fall in love with him again, if I woke up and didn't know who he was.  This is the resulting conversation...

Me: "If I woke up and didn't know who you were, would you make me fall in love with you again?"
Trent:  "Of course!"
Me: "How would you do it?"
Trent: "Well, it'd be easy."
Me: "Why would it be easy?"
Trent: "Cause I know you so well."
Me: "Okay. How would you do it?"
Trent: "We'd go to funny movies, I'd make you laugh, and I'd take you to the beach."

Now, all the laughter that happened may not translate, but I got so tickled.  We both did.  It made it sound like all it takes to make me love him, is to get me to laugh and get me in the sun.  I'm a little more complicated than that and of course us falling in love was more involved than laughing and beaching. But just him saying that made me love him even more, as if I thought that was possible.  He didn't say, "I'll take you to Paris, buy you a Louis Vuitton, drive you through the wine country and we'll dine at the finest restaurants in the world."  He knows me and I know him and that conversation melted my heart.  I do love my man more than words can say and I am so thankful to God for my Valentine.  And for his gnocchi...
{above photo by Jami Nicole}

What are your plans for 2/14/12?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Trent's Live Record

For those that don't know, Trent recorded a live record in Canyon, TX at Palace Coffee Company on January 4th.  It was a great show!  Special thanks to the Palace and Jason and Gaylene Latham. Lots of people and lots of funny stuff made the night a memorable one.  (Here's the cover, by the way.  I would guess Trent is about 10 months here, but what do I know?  And that's Tuck and Pat Monk, his grandparents).

These are some pictures a friend took of the night.  Find her here. I just love her edits!

About 4 days before the show Trent said he needed to find an MC for the night.  That way he could make himself hidden until it was his time to perform.  Without thinking it through, I volunteered and immediately wanted to take it back.  But, Trent was so overcome with joy that I would be willing to do it, I couldn't back out.  So, that means, for 4 days I was a nervous wreck.  I don't like talking in front of people, not adults anyway.  Just looking at this picture makes me sweat.  And, I must say, I'm so thankful I wore black that to the sweat. 
And here we go...
 The oil painting you see had been hanging on the wall at the Palace, for sale.  The artist was at the show and afterward, gave it to Trent.  On the back he wrote "from one dreamer to another."  Needless to say, it made us cry.  

 How fabulous is the Palace bus?  Not gonna lie, I'm a tad jealous.
  My favorite part of the show.

 See the sweat?  Stay tuned for a fun fact.

 I'm sure he was telling a funny:

 Okay, the sweat.  My man does it a lot.  It's even shorted out his guitar a few times because the sweat got into the electronics.  That happened on this night.  So, he had to pick up Kacie's guitar. (Thanks Kacie)!  It's such a pretty guitar, but it looks weird in Trent's hands.  I'm just so used to that beat-up, written on, held together with tape, stickered Taylor.
After the show, the family posed.  Me, Amy, Travis and Kimberly.  (Travis and Kimberly are Trent's bro and sis and Amy is Travis' girlfriend...and I'm the sasquatch).
First Trent Monk Live record officially on the books and under our belts (well, Trent's belt.  I didn't have one on).  Feels good!

Y'all are going to love the final product!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Well, I'm sad to say this is my last of homemade home stuff.  Still on my list, however, is dish soap, toothpaste (we'll see if Trent partakes), candles and chapstick.  

I started making laundry detergent when my friend Gaylene told me that she makes it. I was immediately attracted to the idea and when I found out it was WAY cheaper (I mean way cheaper), I was all in.  I don't have record of the specifics, but the initial cost is about $8 and the ingredients last a while. Plus, it's natural.

I googled it (this was before I knew what pinterest was) and this was and is the recipe I follow.

You'll need:

  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda 
  • 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap (some recipes say you can use Ivory, but Fels smells swell).  (Did you like that)?
  • 2 gal. container (I used an empty 64-load detergent container)
  • Essential oil of your choice (optional) -- I have used Lavender in the past

P.S.  Did you notice that Borax and Washing Suds are also in the homemade dish detergent?  Score.

Disclaimer:  Your clothes won't smell like Tide.  Or Gain.  Or flowers.  They really won't smell at all.  To be completely honest, I kinda miss that smell.  But, I like that I'm saying "NO" to "the man" and making my own for WAY cheaper and way more natural.  We all have our soap boxes, don't we?  (Pun intended).

Grate the 1/3 bar of soap and put in sauce pan.  Doesn't it look like confetti?  So pretty.
Add 6 cups water and heat until the soap melts.  I do this @ med-low heat. (Please disregard our 1972 stove).
Add washing suds and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Add 4 cups HOT WATER to your container.
Then add your soap mixture and stir (or shake).
Then add 1 gallon and 6 cups of water to the mixture and stir (or shake).
Let sit 24 hrs. and it will gel.  I use 1/2 cup per load.  The final product won't be a gel.  It will look more watery and won't produce a lot of suds in the wash. That's okay...don't be alarmed. 
(I also add a little more Borax in with the wash when I start it).  

Now, my friend Gaylene doesn't do the water addition or melting part.  She uses (I think) the same measurements, but keeps it in it's original state and uses a tablespoon or so, per load.  I haven't tried that yet, but if you're a mom with limited time, that might be a better option for you!

Happy soap making and cheers to saving money!

Monday, February 6, 2012

... Georgia On My Mind ...

One of the great things about living in Nashville and one of the main reasons we moved to this wonderful city, is that it's centrally located to the states that Trent tours.  (I'll spare you the geography lesson, but go get a map and check it out).  Anyway, we go to Georgia quite often and this last time was to Toccoa Falls College and Hampton, which are both close-ish to Atlanta.  We have been to both before, so it was wonderful to see old friends!

I thought it was nice for this truck to put our monogram on the back.  I'm not sure what the 60 means, though.

Toccoa Falls College.  Beautiful campus and sweet kids.  Can I call them kids?  Probably not. I took this while sitting at merch.  I'm normally in the back, so it was fun to be so close to the action!

We got to Hampton and these treats were waiting on us.  Chocolate covered popcorn, if you're not aware, is addicting...and I'm okay with that.

Our friendly stalker, who also happens to be sweet.

{Worship Sunday AM @ Berea Christian Church}

This sweet woman is Nancy Lynch.  She and her family have known Trent since before I came into the picture and he always spoke highly of them. I am so happy to now call them friends, too.  (I squatted because she is just so tiny, or I'm giant, or both).

{Concert Sunday PM}

This sweet nugget:
A. came in asleep
B. when he woke up played air guitar in rhythm with Trent
C. reminded me of my nephew Griffin

This is Nancy's daughter, Sara Daniel and her husband Brandon.  Amazing couple with amazing hearts. (See Sara, I cropped it). 

When leaving our (amazing) guest quarters, we got to our car and saw the note on the door.  Adorable.  Then Janet brought us our goodie bag.  I had to document because it was just so yummy and perfect!  Yes, that's hummus you see.  You know how I feel about that goodness.

Leaving Hampton...Trent with David Fulton (pastor that can build anything)

And me with Janet (wife and wonderful cook/hostess/animal lover) and their dogs are in the pic too.

See ya next time!