Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIY: All Purpose Cleaner

White vinegar is a staple in my house. When I get down to below half of a big bottle, I get a little twitchy. We use it for everything - cleaning our laminate floors, pickling pounds and pounds of cucumbers, as an additive to laundry and the dishwasher, creating that streak-free shine on the windows. I love vinegar. It just smells clean to me.

Most of the time, I am content with using a half and half mixture of white vinegar and warm water to clean things around the house, but I wanted to make something with a little more oomph. So, I created what I like to call "Mrs. Woods' Handy Dandy All Purpose Cleaner."

Here's what you need to make your own:

  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar (Cost = $0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp. Hydrogen Peroxide (Cost = $0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp. Borax (Cost = $0.02)
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice (Cost = $0.99)
  • 2 Cups Warm Water (Cost = Free!)
I like to pour everything directly into my spray bottle and then just shake it all together. I also give it a good shake each time I clean with it, since the lemon juice has a tendency to settle at the bottom.

The total cost on this is $1.11 and gives you 24 ounces of cleaner to work with. That calculates out to about $0.05 per ounce. Compare that to the Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner (the brand I used before I started making this), which rings in at around $0.12 per ounce. That's better than half-price AND you know what is in the bottle!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I am a list maker. To Do Today, To Do This Week, To Do Someday, Party Theme Ideas, Workout Plans, Cooking Plans, Recipes To Try, Books To Read, Places To Visit. I generally organize each list by numbering the items in the order that they should be done.

I like for my lists to be neat. If too many things have been crossed off, I will start the list fresh on a new piece of paper.

These are the final drafts of the original lists for our MSABC Fundraiser Paint Party.

The problem with having this many lists is that I often lose track of them. I used to carry a plain notebook in my purse and would add things to the list as I thought of them. There are times when lists are simply written on a sticky note and shoved in my bag, with the hopes that I won't lose them before I need them.

I have tried to get organized on my phone. I used Evernote for about 2 weeks and, yes, I liked it, but it just didn't do it for me. There's something about crossing things off the list as I get them done, that feeling of pen on paper, making a solid line from one side to the other. I have even been known to write something on a list after I have already done it, just so I can cross it off.

I recently bought two small dry erase boards at the Dollar General (fondly referred to as "The Yellow Boutique" in my house). Those stay on the side of the fridge and have a running list of the things I am supposed to be working on during the week. I managed to get one thing done today that was on list and instead of drawing a line through it, I erased it. It felt pretty good to see that blank space in the middle of the list, until I thought of something else I was supposed to be working on this week. Needless to say, there is no more blank space on the board. For now, anyway. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Using one of the dry erase boards to keep track of my workout.

Is anyone else out there like this? Do you have Master Lists of your smaller lists? Do you use pen and paper or do you like to use an app - and if so, which one?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Local Tourist: Goofy Golf

I live in a tourist town. Well, I live on the outskirts of a tourist town, but I grew up in the thick of it. Long lines of traffic trying to cross the Hathaway Bridge; learning early on that eating at a restaurant on the beach was only an option between September and February; working at condos and restaurants, catering to the out-of-town guest who generally brought a maximum amount of rudeness and a minimum amount of tips with them on vacation.

There are days when I wonder why anyone would want to live somewhere like this. And then, I actually venture out and become a tourist in my own town and suddenly, I remember why. Sand between my toes, the Gulf of Mexico stretching out in front of me, this is what it is all about. People all over the country would trade places with me in a heartbeat (or at least, they think they would) to be able to have access to this on a daily basis. I take it for granted most of the time, but whenever someone comes to visit, I try to get out there and enjoy it like someone visiting would.

This is what lead me back to one of the quirkiest places in Panama City Beach: Goofy Golf. This mini-golf course is located across the street from the City Pier (or is it the County Pier? I've lived here for 28 years and I still don't know which one is which). It has been here since 1959. My mom has pictures of me and my brothers climbing on all of the crazy creatures and obstacles throughout the course.

My brother Michael was in town last month, along with my niece Brianna, so we decided to take a trip back in time and revisit this little slice of "when PCB was still fun."

The hole below might not look like a challenge, but it was more than just "send the ball down a sort of straight path." There was a moat around the castle (not filled with water, which makes it a rather Goofy moat) and if you didn't hit the ball hard enough, it got stuck in the moat. And this was just Hole 1!

On every outing, I must take at least one artsy shot of a building or statue or animal or "trees on sky"...this is the artsy shot. I call it "Chasing Windmills."

There is a rule I have put in place that MUST be followed when a trip to Goofy Golf is made. And that rule is: You MUST climb to the top of the Easter Island Statue Thing and you MUST stick your feet out through his nose.

Luckily, Brianna was a good sport...

 And so was Michael...

They practiced the Princess Wave from high above the course. Cheeseballs!

Bree found a little bit of shade under a giant mushroom...

Michael, um..."took a break."

Bree made a new friend.

And now, your moment of Zen.

And it was during this quiet moment that we realized, we forgot our wallets and couldn't pay to play. So, we made an exchange - they were more than willing to take the teenager off our hands as a form of payment. At least the dragon monster looks friendly. :-)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pinterest Fail: The Bouffant Bun

Hair tutorial pins are always hit or miss. If you have ever seen the Hair Bow or the No Heat Curls pictures, you know what I am talking about.

I have had success with some of the braided updos I've found through Pinterest. I used one to do my hair for God of Carnage earlier this year.

So, when I came across The Bouffant Bun (see the tutorial here), I thought, "How hard could this be?" Here is what it is supposed to look like:

I love the height on the top and the poufiness of the bun. I decided to give it a shot yesterday while I had some time to play around with my hair.'s how mine turned out:

I'm thinking I might need to practice a bit before I get even close to wearing this style in public. Also, I might need to purchase a teasing comb and give my hair some extra oomph before I pull it back. In any case, I'm calling this a Pinterest "Fail" for now, but it may be revisited soon and come out as a win!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And Just Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

So, I kind of just realized that I haven't blogged in 20 days. Um, whoops. So, what have I been up to? Let me show you.

Love, Loss and What I Wore is a play by Nora and Delia Ephron. We will be performing this as a benefit show for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on September 27, 28 and 29 at Kaleidoscope Theatre. I am so excited about getting to work with the cast and getting back on stage again.

Fred and Ethel have been with us for a few weeks and seem to be settling in nicely. They are domestic ducks, but we think they have a little Peking in them. They are for playing, not for eating. :-) Bonus points to them for eating all of the bugs in our yard!

The cats and I have done some photo shoots to make the rainy days pass a little quicker.

And we have been eating really, really good lately!

On top of all the other things, my morning routine has changed a bit. This is pretty much what it looks like once I crawl out of bed and make a pot of coffee. It has made a world of difference to start my day with The Word. I'm also really enjoying putting pen to paper.

So, yeah...that's about it. I mean, there have been some other adventures, but I either didn't have my camera or I want to wait and share them in a separate post.

Now that I'm back, I promise not to go away for so long again. I know your world just hasn't been the same in the past 20 days, but have no fear - Flirt D. Lee is here. :-)