Jan 31, 2011

You Make It! :Laundry Detergent

I've had this recipe for a YEAR, courtesy of my friend, Steph, and I'm kicking myself for not trying it earlier because it seriously took 8 minutes of active time to create five GALLONS of concentrated laundry detergent.

Here's the cost breakdown:

$1.49 Fels-Naptha Soap (does one batch)
$3.49 Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (does many batches)
$3.74 20 Mule Team Borax (does many batches)
$2.44 5 gallon bucket
$0.97 bucket lid

Total cost to get started : $12.13. The only thing you'll need to re-buy is the bar of soap. Doesn't it make you a LITTLE steamed to know Tide charges about that for ONE gallon of soap? Yeah, me too.

1 Bar Fels-Naptha soap (or Sunshine, Ivory, Zote, Kirk's Hardwater Castle)
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda

The hardest part was finding washing soda, but I called around and found a Basha's that carries it.

Grate the bar of soap and add to four cups hot tap water you already put in a pan on the stove, because you were smart and knew I was going to have you use 4 cups hot water.
Melt the soap. My recipe says to stir constantly, but I didn't and it appears fine. However, if you love to stir stuff, go for it.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add the powders and stir while your soap is melting on the stove. Add melted soap/water mixture to the powder/water mixture in the bucket and stir. Then fill the bucket up the rest of the way with hot water and stir again. If you want, you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil. Let it set overnight to gel up and give it a shake before you use it.

I was totally planning on adding citrus oil and maybe anise, but I can't find my essential oils since we moved back into our house. Sigh. I also can't find a can opener, but that's another story.

Back to the soap. Oh wait, we're totally done. That's it! For a top-load machine, use 1/3 cup to 5/8 cup per load and 1/4 cup for front loaders. I'm guessing all HE machines use the 1/4 cup measure.
I bet this 5 gallons of soap lasts me until July, at least. I'll keep you posted.

PS This soap doesn't sud much. That's a GOOD thing, since it doesn't contain sodium laurel sulfate, an added chemical in most liquid soaps whose purpose is to foam, but actually does stuff like kill babies and small animals. Or something.

Next week we're going to make our own baby wipes! YAY!

Jan 30, 2011

Raw Diet

How has the raw diet been going, IdahoBecky?


See, here's the thing. I really LIKE eating raw. Love it, in fact. I love how I feel, I love *MOST* of the food, it's just that, there's no chocolate. And everything takes FOREVER to make, except for the few things that don't.

So, I've been about 50% raw in January, and been on two trips. Every time I go out of town, I gain weight, but when I come back, I loose it again when eating raw, so that's good.

I think I'm ready to bump it up to 75% in February, but I'm really going to have to get a hold of the chocolate eating and figure out what I can do to satisfy those darn bread cravings. Because I made bread Saturday and ate a half a loaf all by myself in an hour. That can't be happening. I'm gonna pay for it next week. The 25% that's not raw is really going to have to be planned out and SCHEDULED.

I'll let you know how it goes...and maybe share some more recipes. 8-)

Jan 29, 2011

Cleaning Troubles?

Have you ever looked at your list of things to do, and thought, oh my. There's NO way I can get all of this done."

I've had that happen repeatedly lately. Like, every day.

So I was talking to my friend, Sandy, about my lack of motivation or whatever it was that was holding me back and SHE gives me the following idea, which totally WORKED!!

  1. Make a list (Stay with me, this is going somewhere)
  2. Cut the list into strips, with one job per strip of paper
  3. Fold it in half at place the strips in an empty cup
  4. Have one of your kids pull out a strip
  5. Do what it says (this is the tricky part)
  6. When you're done with the job on the paper, put it in another cup so at the end of the day, you can see how much stuff you did!
It's totally a GAME!
Who doesn't love games?

Thursday was the first day I tried this. Here's what was on my list:
  • sweep
  • mop
  • vacuum
  • load of laundry
  • another load of laundry
  • dishes
  • make chia pudding
  • shower and dress everyone
  • physical therapy
  • dinner prep
  • make the beds
  • read books to kids

I was done by 10:30. That would be 10:30 AM. Like, before lunch. The Boy just kept handing me pieces of paper and I kept doing what they said because he wanted to help and was so excited. A list like that would normally take me TWO DAYS. (I know, what a lazy mom!)
I got so much accomplished I didn't have anything to do Friday, so we went to the park and played. It was a little disconcerting to not have SOMETHING that needed doing.
Sandy puts strips of paper in that say things like do 25 pushups and play with kids.  I tried that with my list today, and we all got a few pushups and some laughs in. Have you ever watched a 3 year old attempt pushups? It's hillarious.

I'm not saying this method will work for everyone, or that it will work every day, but if you're lacking motivation sometime, I encourage you to give it a try. There's no reason I can think of that work CAN'T be fun.

Jan 28, 2011

Awesome Banana Bread

I invented a new banana bread recipe yesterday. This recipe is not raw. :)

Here's the thing: I had three bananas on the counter that were too ripe to eat and too ripe to freeze for shakes, leaving only one real option-bread. I like my recipe, but I was feeling creative, so I experiemented.

Here you go.

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup 2% greek yogurt
1 T olive oil

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon

bake 40 minutes at 350. Scarf before anyone else sees it.

Next time I think I will try to sour the greek yogurt with a tablespoon of lemon juice first. I think that would be SO good! It's so good, I didn't have a chance to take pictures. The fam inhaled it in minutes.

Jan 26, 2011


  • This morning, The Boy dressed in front of his bedroom mirror. Apparently this is the first time he's done it, because he came out of the bedroom flicking his nipples and said, "Mom? What are these?" I was hard-pressed to keep a straight face as I answered. You'd better believe The Hubs and I got a laugh out of that after bedtime.
  • My little Zsa Zsa is turning into quite the talker. Gems like, "Mom! I do it mySELF!" and "O-nja, I lika da o-nja." (Orange) are common.
  • She throws hissie fits when she can't be understood or when she can't do something she really REALLY wants to do. So...I'd say a minimum of 10 times a day. Today it was kite flying, or if you're Zsa Zsa, "tight! I fye it! TIGHT!!!"
  • The above mentioned kite came with us to the park for our picnic. It turns out it's really much easier to fly kites without kids around. Every time I got the stupid thing airborne, one of The Boy's silly friends would step on the tail (it's a very long tail) and the kite would come crashing back to earth. If, by some miracle, I managed to get the thing airborne and hand over control to a kid, the kid would do something to de-elevate the kite. It was a disaster, but one enjoyed by the many mothers who watched me run like an idiot with a two-year-old in one arm and kite string in the other. I'm pretty sure they were the only ones enjoying it.
  • While we're on the subject of picnics, I don't know why I bothered to bring food. I'm the only who eats when we go on a picnic. Each of my kids ate just enough to sustain a fruit-fly and then ran off to play. You'd think that would pretty much ensure a good dinner, right? Nope. They pecked at dinner and then scarfed the raw cookies I made for dessert. And then asked for eggs.
  • I really, really enjoy my kids. Especially after bedtime, when they are no longer whining at me.

Jan 24, 2011


Note: Written the 20th of January.

I had two grandpa's growing up, one great-grandpa and Dad's father. My great grandpa died when I was 12. Grandpa passed away yesterday and I am crushed. Please indulge me in some memories.

When I first "went away" to college, I really just drove 8 hours and moved in to the spare room in Grandma and Grandpa's condo. Everyone in the complex was at least 50 years older than me.

Of course I didn't have a job yet and financial aid and the money dad gave me barely paid tuition and books. Grandpa knew this. He also didn't want to just give me money. So one afternoon he comes out of the bedroom and says, "Becky. I have something to tell you. Now, I don't want you to think this is going to happen all the time, but a letter came today from California. Inside was some money for you. It's from a special friend who doesn't want you to know who his is."
At some point during the writing of this blog, I may have alluded to the fact that I am not an idiot.
I knew NO ONE living in California. I'm pretty sure neither did either of my parents. I also knew people didn't send CASH via the US Postal Service.
Since I was 18 and STUPID (do I even need to qualify the age of 18? Everyone knows 18yo's are dumb) I said, "Uh huh, Grandpa. I don't believe you". So he went to his room and found an envelope with a post mark from California, brought it out to show me, but wouldn't let me the sender's address. I know it was from my Grandpa. And I really did need a little pocket money. Thank you, Grandpa.

At one point I was "too cool" to live with my grandparents, so I moved in with another gal...and some random guy. I told my Grandpa it would be OK, because we all had our own rooms. When the guy and girl started waking up in the same bed together, I high tailed it back to my grandparents house, and bless their hearts, neither of them said, "I told you so".

Another Grandpa story unique to my family is when my Dad had his kidney removed. This was before the days of the laparoscopic kidney removal, back in the day where they put you on a jack-knifed table and cut you two thirds of the way around, including through your diaphragm.
not my dad, but that is an recent nephrectomy incision with drainage tube.
Grandpa and Grandma had come to Salt Lake to help Mom get three kids and Dad home to Idaho.
Along the way, our avocado green Plymouth Valare wagon broke down.
1978_Plymouth_Volare_2.jpg (28376 bytes)
(not our car, obviously, since it's not green)
 It wasn't going ANYWHERE. I was only 5 at the time, so the memory is a little fuzzy, but I remember Grandpa snapping into "Go Mode" and organizing things so we all got home safe and expeditiously. The next day he went back and got our car home. What a blessing for my mother to have them there. I can't imagine caring for a 5 year old and two 2 year olds AND a very ill husband without their capable help.

Everyone knows Grandpa as the adventurer. The man who would hop on a motorcycle at a moments notice and take a tour of the Sierra's simply because he wanted to do so.
The man who pretty much lied his way into a chemist's job at a munitions depot for the Navy, and then studied like crazy at night to make sure he didn't blow up the whole base, or himself.
The ideal scout master who created pontoon boats for the scouts out of shell casings from missiles (It was the 50's and 60's, you could do things like that back then) and taking the boy's on 50 mile hikes like it was going out of style.
The old guy riding in bike races with an oxygen tank strapped on the back.
(Utah Summer Games, 2009. Photo courtesy of the blog Cedar & Sand)
The guy who just couldn't stand not to have a camper and the option of travel, even after he was much to weak/old/sick to travel. (None of those words really seem to fit Grandpa, even when they described him)

Grandpa was a local treasure. He could tell you just about anything relating to the history of Southern Utah, and did so with great gusto. He was so knowledgeable and well known that people writing books or filming documentaries on the area frequently used him as a reference.
My kids referred to him as "airplane Grandpa" because after he got too old to drive, he would fly model airplanes and remote control cars. My Uncle said the last time he took Grandpa out flying, he thought the planes would crash, because Grandpa's reflexes had slowed down so much. Going out in flaming glory was SO Grandpa's style, Dale thought, "why not?" And wouldn't you know it, the landings were some of the smoothest ever executed.
On our last visit, Grandpa had the kids in the hall with a remote control car, zooming up and down the corridor of the assisted living wing while "all the old guys" were down to dinner.
Grandpa never identified with being old, he was always 17. Well into his 80's he would do his impression of an old man, wobbling all over the place and nearly falling, then seconds later spring into a boxing stance only to begin shadow boxing with whomever he'd just fooled into thinking he was anything but spry.

He was so full of life, it's hard to believe his Spirit has moved out of this plane. I miss you like crazy, Grandpa.
This is from our last visit with Grandpa. Mid December 2010.

Where To Start

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the last 6 days.

In that amount of time, my only Grandpa died, I travelled to Utah for a funeral, came home again and resprained the ankle I paid oodles and gobs of money to have hacked open and repaired last year about this time.

All while dealing with some intense and personal issues. Too personal for the readers of IdahoBecky, withwhom I share practically everything? Yes. Even *I* am amazed by that.

In the near future I will publish a post on Grandpa, but I'm still mulling it over. I will say now that I was not prepared for his passing. Mostly because I did not want to face it. This was the inevitable end everyone saw coming, but I failed to brace for the storm. Oops. My bad. :/
The end result of my lack of preparedness is; this feels like loosing my dad all over again, except now I don't have that stopgap in the form a grandfather who loves me, knew my dad better than I did, and didn't mind standing in as surogate father when I needed one.
I'm feeling awefully alone, despite my husband in the kitchen making the kids, also in the kitchen, a pizza.
Really I need to just quit my moping and start counting the many blessings all around me.
I'm giving my self a week to finish boobing around, because I think that's how long it will take my ankle to heal. (haha, ankle...heal......anyway)
So this morning I did what I do every morning at 6:30 am, put on shoes and go for a brisk 3 mile walk/jog to warm up for an even more brisk 6 mile jog/run later in the day. But today, I didn't get very far because I'm a dork who recently has been experiencing balance issues. Basically, I tip over. And this morning, I tipped on the curb edge and rolled the ankle not a 1/8 of a mile from my front door. Oopsies.

Anybody know if they do ankle transplants?

Jan 18, 2011

Not Stellar

I had a super awesome post idea percolating in my head.
Then today happened.

It started out fine enough. Got the kids dressed and visited Home Depot. Played in the park. Had friends over for a playdate. Then it kinda spiralled out of control.

I lost my driver's licence in California last week. (I know that's not today, stay with me.)
Today was the first day of classes at the college. I hadn't registered yet. Somehow I thought there was another week left. Anyway, I went to the college, knowing they already had my info on file from awhile ago, but I brought my SS card and marriage license just to be on the safe side.
Registration went fine. Then I tried to pay.


Seriously? For comunity college? Yes. Because, supposedly, I'm out of state. Um, not according to my property taxes.
The only ID they will take is a driver's license or birth certificate. And the payment desk was closing AND if you don't pay by today, they kick you out of class.


Then I got a call from my Aunt saying Grandpa has mere days to live. You would think, oh, he's old, very ill and his wife has already passed so this should be a little sad but otherwise easy to handle.
It turns out that's not the case at all. I've been a complete basket case all evening.

After the call I tried to find the campus bookstore. I found it, but there were no people inside...or books. It turns out you have to go to another campus to buy books.


My first class is supposed to start tomorrow evening, but I'm seriously rethinking the whole thing. After all the drama of the day, it occured to me that I hadn't prayed about going to school this semester. I didn't think I needed to. Reevaluating that action plan currently.

Stay tuned.

PS, not only was today not stellar, it downright sucked. Major.

Jan 17, 2011

Raw Fettuccine Alfredo

I know some of you are going to laugh at me. OK, most of you, but I had to share tonight's dinner because it was so GOOD! Especially after the raw dinner failure that occurred Saturday night.

Plus, it's good if you're allergic to wheat, dairy or eggs!

Here's what I did, and the whole thing took MAYBE 15 minutes.


All you need is a veggie peeler and some zucchini. Go at it. Wallah: noodles. I admit I did poor some hot water over this because I haven't gotten my head all the way around giving up hot dinner, but I'm guessing it didn't get above 105 degrees, so it totally still counts as raw.


2 cups roasted cashews (it's all I had, next time I'm going to try raw)
1/2 cup raw sprouted sunflower seeds (you can not sprout them, but I did)
1 1/2 cups water
3 cloves raw garlic
1 Tablespoon Thyme

Blend it up in the Vitamix until it gets a bit warm and very smooth.

Everyone had seconds. Pretty yum and VERY healthy. I'm going to make this at least once a month. :)

Jan 16, 2011

Chub A Lub

You know how you can feel really great and be excited about how you look, and then someone takes your picture are you realize that instead of this svelte image held in your head, the reality is you're a bucket of lard walking around on chicken legs?


The Hubs works very hard on my self confidence issues. Maybe he should quit trying so hard.
Posting the pics from our Disney trip about killed me , see statement above.  The thing is, this is the MOST fit I've ever been in my LIFE! I run 3 miles, twice a day. Two years ago, I could barely walk three miles, let alone run it. And I may have mentioned the introduction of a raw food diet. It's just hard to want to keep doing those things when my picture looks like Jabba The Hut, only with slightly more hair.
I FEEL amazing, though. So I guess I'll keep running and not cooking my food. 

Here's to hoping 2011 ends with less of me in it. 


I believe I mentioned two posts ago that a surprise for The Hubs was in the works.
Because he knew a surprise of some sort was coming for his birthday, I had a bit of fun with the misdirection:

  1. Discussed hot air ballooning ad nausim
  2. Left http://www.cruise.com/ up on the browser of our shared laptop
  3. Mentioned it's cheaper to update your passport in Idaho than in Arizona ( by kinda a lot, but not enough to make it worth the trip)
  4. Told him I'd need a blood sample and current passport before I could finish booking his "surprise"
  5. Oh, did I mention his surprise came a month early? No? Well, a birthday surprise ON your birthday is not so much of a surprise, now is it.
Let me clarify: we're on a budget here, folks. The Hubs is no dummy, but he's also married to an extremely expensive wife (I make it a point to never be more expensive than the paycheck...if I can help it)
He didn't have a clue that we were going to....


But first, we wentt to breakfast with The Hubs Uncle E. Have you tried The Original Pancake House. Oh my goodness. I'm still carrying around an extra couple lbs from this place, but it was SOOO worth it. The crepes were awesome, the apple pancake was awesome. I must resist all temptation to reverse engineer these marvels of culinary genius or I will NEVER fit in my skinny jeans. Not that I have skinny jeans, but you know what I mean.

But Idaho Becky, you ask. How did you do Disneyland on a BUDGET?!?!?!

It helps to know someone. A Disney cast member, to be exact, because then, the tickets are FREE!
So I shelled out $120 for gas there and back, $130 for two nights in a three star hotel (I love Hotwire, don't you?) and then about $60 for food. Grandma and Grandpa watched our adorable kids. Strangly, the kids got even more adorable after our absence. Imagine that!
Cheapest three day trip ever.
Plus and also, I got to go to the beach, which is more my thing than The Hubs, but I went on California Scream'n with him, so I deserved it, don't you think? I'm WAY to old for that ride. Needed me some ocean to get my bearings back. People are just not meant to go upside down at 60 miles an hour.
We met Woody in person. He's really very nice. Not much of talker, though.
I ran out of film, eh hem, but The Hubs totally got the sword out of the stone. He's awesome like that. He can even unstick stuck jars! I know. Amazing, right?

To make up for the fact that The Hubs had to smell fish on the beach AND walk in, gasp, sand, I took him clear into Hollywood to eat at the best Thai restaurant EVER; Thai Patio. Seriously. The drunken noodle is to die for. We got FOUR meals so there would be leftovers for dinner (and lunch the next two days).
Love you, babe. Happy Birthday...A month early.

I should mention at this point that yes, The Hubs was taken completely by surprise. So much so that he didn't believe me. I had to show him the email from his boss, granting the time off I'd requested, and the travel bags packed and ready to go. Yes, I'm THAT devious. Makes you a little bit scared of me, doesn't it?
And a big shout out and thank you to Matt's Uncle who so sweetly took us to breakfast AND got us past the gates of Disney with our wallets in tact. You're the best, Uncle E!

Jan 8, 2011

How are You? We're all Sick

This morning The Boy woke up in a pool of vomit and Zsa Zsa had the squirts all over her bed (and "Bankie" and favorite stuffed dog...). I didn't find out about it until after The Hubs had cleaned it all up. Well, not the Bankie or dog, but he's a guy. Details? Not so much.

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE The Hubs? Seriously, he's the best. Bodily excretions are so NOT his thing.

We've been passing around this stomach virus for over a week now. I'm ready to give it the boot.
Along that vein, I've purchased some heavy duty help.
I like to call them Lysol and Bleach. Since, you know, that's what's on the label.

The upside of this whole fiasco is that I've finally lost my Holiday Pounds. Let's hear it for viral gastroenteritis! The official weight loss plan of 2011.

Jan 5, 2011

In House :) No Internet :(

We are back in our HOUSE! YAY!
It doesn't feel like our house yet, though. Maybe the carpet guy got the carpets too clean?
Or maybe it's because all our stuff is in the garage, so the house feels like one of those model homes that has all the furniture and none of the "lived in-ness".
Secretly, I like it. Except there's no towels and no food.
Seriously. We had to go to Costco for lunch, because I'll be a monkey's uncle if after WEEKS of saying "no" when the kids asked for cereal for lunch, I caved and let them have it.
They got pizza instead.
I got a diet coke. The first one in a year. I feel a little sick.

Anyway, so one of the downsides of moving is you have to get the internet turned back on. I haven't done that yet. I'm my way to over there right now.
Why don't you do that over the phone, you ask? I'll tell you.
To turn it on over the phone they want my social security number.
Um. No.
I don't even give it to the doctor or hospital because dudes; I've worked there.
ZERO security.
I figure if the HOSPITAL doesn't have decent security protocols for personal info, the cable company doesn't, either.
So, I have to treck down there and give them $50 and my first born. They can have him. Today he called me a Butt...and spilled milk on my clean carpet.

Jan 2, 2011

Planning a Surprise

You know, when two people love each other as much as The Hubs and I (read: are so into one another's business we've lost that place where we become seperate people) it's kind of hard to plan a birthday surprise.
Today I told him I needed an updated passport and a blood sample to finish planning his surprise. Oh, AND his boss' emails.
This is going well.

Jan 1, 2011

I Resolve:

  1. To hold Family Night EVERY week.
  2. To eat a raw foods diet (exept for three meals a week when I can add meat).
  3. To perform an act of non-mom service weekly.

Best Parts of 2010

The Hubs and I were talking last night about our favorite bits of 2010. Here's a partial list.
  1. The kids are now old enough to play together. It's amazing.
  2. The Hubs started working from home, which meant two more hours a day I could boss him around spend with him. Yay no commute! We both like that. :)
  3. I got 16 credits socked away.
  4. We spent the summer in Idaho, and thus out of the heat.
  5. We read Dave Ramsey and decided to get out of debt. (Just paid off the car this week!) Not that we had a lot of debt, but now we have less. :D