DIY Laundry Soap

FW1A7909.jpg

I have been wanting to make the switch to clean, DIY, no harsh chemical type soaps and cleaners around the house for awhile now and I'm proud to say I've done it and I LOVE it! It is so fulfilling to make something that is so useful, actually works and is safe for my family, not to mention cost effective! This laundry soap recipe is effective, smells amazing and yes it actually cleans your clothes! I love that it doesn't have borax, that has always been my hesitation with making a lot of the DIY recipes out there so I've been super excited about this one! You can also grate a bar of Fels Naptha into the mixture and that will make it a little thicker too if you prefer that. Here's the recipe I used, now when I do my laundry it smells like a spa in my home that isn't filled with fake, hormone disrupting chemicals so I can feel great about using it which is so rewarding!

FW1A7902.jpg

DIY Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

1/2 Cup Super Washing Soda

1/2 Cup Baking Soda

3/4 Cup Castille Soap - I use Dr Bronner's Lavender

Wooden spoon

20-30 Drops Essential Oils of your choice - I use Serenity, Citrus Bliss, Balance and White Fir. Mine are all Doterra and this combo smells like the Capri Blue Volcano scent, aka Anthropologie smell!

You will need a 2 gallon bucket, I bought a new clean one and just store everything inside of it so it all stays clean and together for easy mixing!

These are the jars I got, you will need two. I love that they're glass so the oils don't go bad in there, they are a great size so you can give the soap a little shake before using and they're just simple and clean looking. I also love that I bought it all on Amazon, it doesn't get any easier than that!

FW1A7905.jpg

Steps

1. Pour 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda into the 5 gallon bucket and add just enough hot tap water to cover the soda. Stir until dissolved.

2. Add in 1/2 cup Baking Soda to the mixture, stir until dissolved.

3. Fill up the bucket almost all the way to the top leaving about 1 inch. Make sure you do this before adding the soap or you'll have a big bubbly mess!

4. Pour in 3/4 cup Dr Bronner's Castille Soap and mix well. Like I said, I love the lavender scent but you can get unscented or they also have peppermint and citrus and things like that too!

5. Add essential oils. I did about 10 Serenity, 8 Citrus Bliss, 6 Balance and 4 White Fir. Use whatever you love, this is the fun part!

6. Pour laundry soap into the jars. I just use my measuring spoon then when it gets lower I pour the rest in.

You will use 1/3 Cup per load for standard size loads.

*This laundry soap separates a little when sitting so just shake it before you scoop into your washer.

Also the smell is not overpowering like you're used to with detergent, just because it smells good doesn't mean it is clean. Clean laundry smells crisp and fresh but not like perfume. Let me know if you make it and how you like it! I am so excited with how it has worked for us!

FW1A7914.jpg

Holiday Gift Guide for Him

Hey guys! Carl here. I put together a gift guide of things that I am currently loving. Hopefully this helps give you some gift ideas for the men in your life, whether it's your husband, boyfriend, brother, dad, son or even for yourself! I've included all of the product links below and they are ordered from least expensive to most expensive. If you order something, comment and let me know what you ordered! Would love to hear what you liked.

Some of them have killer deals today for Cyber Monday so it's worth taking a peek today.

Blender Bottle: I use this all the time for protein drinks and all of the other powder drink mixes that I love. Plus it's inexpensive and easy to wash! Definitely a must-have.

The 10x Rule Book: This book was written by Grant Cardone, who is a business and real estate and sales guru and he is all about living your life 10x and taking massive action. I follow him on Instagram and Facebook and he's a smart dude. Any of Grant Cardone's book are great!

Shoe Dog Book: Another great book that I have and love. This is about Phil Knight, the founder of Nike and it is excellent. I'm trying to read more and everyone told me this is one I definitely need to add to my collection, so I did!

Compression Pants: Lately I have been playing flag football with some guys in the neighborhood and I wanted some compression pants to wear under my shorts but didn't want to spend a lot. I found these on Amazon and they are super comfortable and have held up really well and they come in several different prints. Not name brand like Nike, but the price can't be beat!

Dry Bag: I bought this before a fishing trip to Alaska this summer and I loved it! I put all of my camera gear in there and still had room for other stuff. Keeps all of your valuables perfectly dry and was actually really comfortable to wear. I would say this is a must-have for any trips involving water.

Lightweight Backpack: We did a Disneyland trip this year with the kids and I wanted a lightweight backpack that I could carry all of our stuff in and this backpack was perfect. Definitely lightweight and I absolutely loved it. It's not a popular name brand bag but I'm totally fine with that for the functionality and price! Great for day trips, hikes, theme parks, etc.

Amazon Fire Stick: We have two of these already and just purchased a third for our guest room in the basement. Since we only use our guest room like 10 days a year when family is in town, we are turning it into more of a hangout/workout room and the Fire Stick is perfect for watching Netflix, Amazon Prime shows/movies and streaming workout videos. These are priced really well for what they offer and make a great gift!

TV Mount: We have been in our house for over 3 years now and decided it's finally time to hide those annoying TV cables! I just ordered a couple of these TV mounts and they arrive tomorrow. I got the Amazon Basics brand because they were less expensive than other brands and I have been really impressed with Amazon Basics products in the past. This is a quick way to clean up the look of your TV area, especially if your guy has a man cave!

Amazon Dot: We have had one of these for a while now and have loved it! We bought another one on Black Friday and just received it yesterday and we are going to put that one down in the basement. We have Amazon Music Unlimited and love having the Amazon Dots around the house to stream music. The voice commands with Alexa are great. Our son Hudson loves asking her to tell jokes and I use it to ask about things like weather or sports and use the voice commands to adjust the temperature in the house (it links to your Nest thermostat). Great for your family room, bedroom or an office!

Door Basketball Hoop: Most guys would love a little basketball hoop for their office or man cave door. Nothing better than taking a break from work to try some trick shots!

Sound Machine: We have been using sound machines in our boys rooms for years now and got one for our room several months ago when both of our boys decided to sleep terribly for months on end. The Dohm sound machine has been my favorite so far and looks nice even if it's sitting out on your nightstand. I sleep like a rock even without a sound machine, but the sound machine is still nice and has helped Emily a lot! If you or anyone in your family is a light sleeper and could use some white noise, this is the way to go!

Hydro Flask: Who doesn't love to stay hydrated?! The hydro flask is the perfect size and comes in several cool colors. Not ideal for bike rides or other outdoor activities due to its weight, but perfect for around the house, running errands or at the office.

XBOX Live: I'm not a big-time gamer, but my brother-in-laws and I will occasionally play together at night because we can all be on the same team and talk while we play so it's cool! We always get dominated but it's still fun for the bonding. This is a good gift if you have an XBOX so he can play online with others.

Nike Free Running Shoes: I have a pair of Nike Free shoes that I wear all the time and they are super lightweight and comfortable. I love the black and white because it's classic and plain so it goes with almost any outfit. Definitely a staple item for the closet. 

Ring Video Doorbell: I don't have this doorbell yet, but my sister does and has loved it! It's on my list for Christmas and seems super cool for a decent price. The video doorbell let's you see who is at the door whether you're home or not, looks really modern and clean and is a nice little upgrade for the home. 

FitBit Ionic: I bought this during Black Friday and Emily has it hiding in our closet somewhere as a Christmas present for me. I'm still hoping she may let me use it before then :) I currently have a Garmin smartwatch but had a FitBit before and am excited to switch back to FitBit. This Ionic watch comes in a cool charcoal color that I'm excited about. I'm a numbers guy so I love tracking steps and other activity metrics so this watch is right down my alley. You can also connect with friends and do group challenges, which the competitive side of me loves! Great gift for anyone who wants to be more active.

Nest Thermostat: We bought this thermostat last Black Friday and have really liked it! It's easy to install and looks great mounted on the wall. It's nice to be able to control the thermostat from your phone, especially when you're in bed and don't want to walk out and change the temperature or when you're out of town. The thermostat has helped us reduce our utility bills and you get a monthly report summarizing your usage. Plus, most utility companies offer a rebate for installing one. Our rebate was $100! Another great gift, especially if your guy is into electronics.

Bose Wireless Headphones: These were another Black Friday score for me this year. They arrive tomorrow so I haven't tried them out yet, but I have had Bose speakers before and they are amazing. I'm excited to use these wireless headphones at work and on the treadmill at our house since the cord on my current headphones sometimes get annoying. They may be slightly less sexy than the Beats by Dre headphones, but I'm okay with that if I get better sound and save some money.

Drone: The drone has been one of my favorite purchases within the last year! Hands down. I am way into photography so I knew I would get a lot of use out of it and it was definitely worth the larger price tag. If he has mentioned he wants a drone, I would definitely go with a DJI drone. I have the Mavic Pro and it's incredible. The drone is perfect for trips and I'm wishing I had purchased it sooner. If you want to see some drone shots, a few of my shots are posted here. This is a pricey gift but can be a really fun hobby.

Comment

Carl Fillerup

Husband to Emily and father of two adorable boys, Hudson and Riley. I'm the financial analyst for the Department of Surgery at a hospital in Utah. I enjoy drone photography, sports, travel, finance, meeting new people and managing our online company, Slouch Headwear.

Q&A Part IIII

Hooray for the last of the Q&A's, so sorry it has taken me a bit to finish these out! I've had a lot of you asking about the makeup I use as well as a hair tutorial for how I curl my hair. I'll get the tutorial up this weekend hopefully so I'll keep you posted on that!

Before we jump into all the details I feel like we need to chat for a minute. I'm sure most of you, if you've been around for a bit, know I did all-natural skincare for a couple years. I loved how I felt, how my skin felt and how my blood test levels looked when I had things checked at the doctor. I have hypothyroid as well as PCOS and some other health things so getting my blood drawn and levels monitored happens quite often for me. I started using Rodan and Fields because my skin needed help, it was dull and showing signs of aging... it looked tired. R+F gave me results, it helped so much and brought back some life and glow to my skin. I have ultra sensitive skin and the skin around my eyes began to get irritated so I stopped applying around my eyes. Then I had my blood drawn and some of my levels were kind of off. My doctor started naming the things that could cause the rise in different levels and the only thing I've really changed majorly is my skincare. So here I am, back to square one of where to go next? I've stopped using Rodan and Fields because although I had amazing results I'm going to really try and get back to a more all-natural approach. 

Some of you have asked what my skincare routine looks like, what I love and how I use them and here's the short answer... I don't have a good one at the moment. I am researching a lot, weighing out the pros and cons and trying to figure out the best route to take next. I will be sure to keep you posted and what I find but until then I just wanted us to be on the same page!

I've always loved using natural products on my body and around the home as much as possible, so a lot of my makeup favorites are on the "cleaner" side. I've been using these for a couple years now so I feel like I've finally found some great ones that withstand the test of time!

Eye Cream: The one thing that has been saving my poor irritated eyes is this Bless Beauty Balm. It is SUPER clean, amazing company, top notch ingredients, beautiful packaging and keeps my skin nice and hydrated. The smell is amazing! Also it can be used as a moisturizer or a cleansing balm, pretty sweet!

Concealer: RMS "Un" Cover-up 22 This was one of the first things I tried when I was switching all my makeup to natural and I have just loved it. It lasts me about 9 months, is nice and creamy, matches my skin well and just covers little blemishes here and there perfectly. I just use my finger to apply in a tapping motion right over the spot and it perfectly fades it. 

Under Eye Concealer:  Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle in the color #2 This is my saving grace with babies and young kids... I don't get enough good quality sleep and my dark circles can get pretty bad. It's lightweight and dewy, doesn't crease and doesn't look thick or cakey. Just apply with ring finger in a patting motion, less is more with this one.

All Over Face Powder: Jane Iredale PurePressed Base SPF 20 in the color Golden Glow I use this as my "foundation" type makeup. It goes on smooth, wears well all day and looks super natural.

Bronzer: Au Naturale Bronzer, I've tried Golden Henna and Kissed and like both! Apply with a loose fluffy brush for a natural looking application. I just dust the outside of my forehead, and right under my cheekbones. I've had the same tube for a year and a half and its still pretty full!

Compact Bronzer: Jane Iredale PurePressed in Cognac I'm aware this is more of a face powder but it is the perfect color and consistency to contour with. A lot of "bronzers" have too much sheen or glitter for my liking, this one is super matte and looks very natural applied lightly under the cheekbones and on the sides of the nose for a more chiseled look. I don't contour everyday but I love it to look natural yet still nice and crisp when I do and this is perfect for that!

Eyeshadow: I still use MAC eyeshadow because I bought them years ago and they last forever. My 3 colors I wear almost everyday are Mulch, Nylon and Goldmine. Mulch in the crease, Nylon under my brows and Goldmine to softly blend the two.

Eyeliner: Almay Pen Eyeliner I LOVE the ball point pen tip on this, it's super easy to control, wears well and doesn't irritate my eyes.

Lips: I've done a full post on these in the past but my favorite ones are NYX Matte. They wear so well, have amazing color payoff, a great color range and inexpensive!

Hopefully this helps for those of you who are having a hard time knowing where to start for some cleaner options. I'll keep you posted on my skincare updates over the next couple weeks!

Q&A Part III

Hi friends, how's your week? This past week kind of got away from me so let's jump right back into the Q&A's shall we? Hopefully these are fun for you to read, it's been fun going through them all!

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Honestly I don't shop much anymore, that is one thing I've loved about more of a minimalist approach. I used to wander stores aimlessly just to see what they had and if they had things I liked I'd buy them not really loving them. They'd sit in my closet and be worn only once or twice because they weren't really my style or the fit wasn't quite right. Now when I do shop I have to really LOVE the piece. I'd much rather have 10 pieces I feel amazing in when I wear them than a closet full of just okay pieces. So, with that all being said these are my go-to stores:

ASOS for dresses and skirts. Darling styles, trendy and timeless at all price points. 

Old Navy for jeans. At my stage in life while I'm getting pregnant, losing baby weight and up and down so much I think the quality and low price can't be beat AND they come in tall!

Nordstrom or Nemien Marcus for shoes. I'm really really picky on shoes, I will shop around online for hours before buying because I prefer more timeless ones that I know will be a staple for years to come. Shoes are one of the items I will pay more for too because quality and comfort go a long way!

H&M mens section, I love their tops so much.

Tips on living a minimalist lifestyle?

What originally drew me into the minimalist lifestyle was the bright, fresh spaces, they made me happy and felt clean. I got sick of constantly doing chores, picking up toys, doing laundry, putting things away and turning around to have it all still look like a mess... I knew something had to change. I was getting stressed and anxiety over the constant mess and felt like I was missing out on time with my boys to actually read and play and be present. That is when we decided to make changes towards a more minimalist lifestyle. I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and loved it; I jumped right in. Going through every drawer, cupboard, closet and getting rid of the excess stuff. It was SO freeing and addicting, Carl and I loved how we felt when we got rid of stuff and shelves and spaces were left empty and organized. I feel like we are constantly trying to get rid of more, live with less and more simply because it really has made us happier and less overwhelmed. I love the saying "If it's not bringing you joy or if it's not useful it's time to go." This also applies when shopping for things for the house, the boys or Carl and I. I can not tell you how many times I go to a store to get out of the house, wander around seeing all these cute things and putting them in my cart then wandering around a little longer just to make my way back around putting them all back because I just don't need them. They aren't going to make me any happier and I really don't love them, ya know? 

- Downsize. One of the best things we've done is get rid of our dresser. We keep all of our clothes, shoes, underwear everything in our closet. Our closet isn't big, calling it a "walk-in" may be a stretch but we have loved it! Our room is more relaxing and clean, things stay organized and there is simply less places to put worthless "stuff". So downsize wherever you can, get rid of excess.

- Really fall in love with pieces before buying. If you can't picture exactly where it is going to go or what it will be used for don't buy it.

- Less really is more. Our home is very simple when it comes to decor and I love it. So fresh and so clean, plus lots more time to spend making memories!

- Even keep the holidays simple. I used to spend so much time and energy on planning out so many gifts and decorations that really were just a waste. Both of our boys are so happy to have a couple things they love to play with. Hudson is old enough now to enjoy a simple clean space and comments when a room is organized and clean how good it feels, I love that!

How do you maintain a minimalist approach as a social media influencer when so much of it is pushing products?

This is a great question! One thing I have learned the past couple years as we have really tried to limit what we bring in our home is that it is a constant work in progress. You're never done. We are always sorting and rethinking and what we thought we'd use six months ago turned out to not be useful so now it is gone. With collaborations I only take on things I know I will actually use and truly LOVE. I can only speak for myself but I feel like it can be confusing when someone is constantly sharing the new thing they're using because if I'm going to spend my money I want to know it is tried and true, that what is being shared about something really is the real deal. I hope I come across that way, most of the things I share are not collaborations but instead things I use everyday myself. If something is sent that I know I just won't use I have a few people I gift things to, that way it is still making someones day and being useful for them!

If you made it this far, thanks for being here and reading! Tomorrow is the last of the Q&A's and it's all about my skincare and makeup favs so be sure to check back for that!

 

 

Q&A Part II

Happy 4th of July eve everyone, I'm so ready for a day full of family, bike rides, a parade and yummy food! Today I've been deep cleaning and doing my "Monday chores", you can see a little bit more about what that consists of in my previous posts! 

Today's real subject I want to tackle is Anxiety. I had so many questions and DM's regarding this topic so I'm excited to share a little bit about my experience and things I've found to help me! I started having anxiety after our stillborn Crew in 2011, so almost 6 years ago. I was the girl who was going to move across the country and sky dive then became the girl that couldn't even drive next to a semi without being fully convinced it was going to somehow crush my car. That's not exaggerating, it got bad. I started having full on panic attacks where I was 100% sure I was having a heart attack. We went to ER a few times to try and figure out what was going on and the doctors would tell me, "It's interesting... your body is producing the same chemicals as a heart attack but your heart is totally fine." So they would run tests to try and see where it was stemming from. Long story short, I have Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism so my thyroid doesn't function on its own at all. When my levels are off at all even the slightest bit I am very prone to anxiety. If you know anything about thyroids and the levels they change every day and multiple times a day so dealing with anxiety became my new normal. 

I've never been on anxiety medicine, not that I'm against it, I have just found ways to help myself through panic attacks and the daily anxiety. I had a few of you ask how I knew I was having anxiety, what the symptoms were. I worry about things that will most likely never happen, my heart races, I get chest pains and tightness, hard to breathe/fast breathing, numbness in my arms, feelings of panic and can't sleep. I am proud of myself and feel like I do pretty well 99% of the time and hardly ever have full on panic attacks anymore. In fact I hadn't had one in almost 2 years till a couple weeks ago then in the middle of the night it hit me. All the same symptoms as before, just as scary and it had been so long I thought maybe I really was having a heart attack. So Carl got up and walked around with me (laying in bed is the worst when you're anxious) and we called my sweet Dad who also has had thyroid and anxiety stuff and the two of them were able to help me calm down enough to finally get a little sleep.

So here's the helpful part for all of you babes that are dealing with similar issues, I have a few tips that I've learned over the past few years to help me manage and calm myself!

1. Learn your triggers:

My biggest ones are not getting enough sleep, too much caffeine and too much stress. I love to stay up late with Carl because most nights by the time we get the boys down, clean up the house, iron, work on Slouch beanies and orders it's pretty late but I want to spend time just hanging with him still. This is okay a few nights a week but I know in order to keep my patience and anxiety in check I need a couple early nights or to squeeze in a nap with the boys. I LOVE napping!! It doesn't happen nearly enough anymore in my opinion! Caffeine is big for me, my body is super sensitive to it so if I need a little pick me up I love the Bai drinks that have natural caffeine or a piece of super dark chocolate. I love like 85% cocoa dark... the more bitter the better! And lastly stress... we are all stressed, our lives are super fast paced and we have a million and one things to be doing at all times, my secret? I've learned to say NO and it has helped me so much. If a party, playdate, get together, girls lunch, whatever it is just feels like too much for that week or day I simply just say no. When I stopped over planning I felt like I had so much more control over my life, myself and my feelings and in turn more control over my anxiety.

2. Meditation:

I LOVE having a guided meditation app on my phone, that way I can take 2-10 minutes in the morning before I get out of bed, at nap time or before bed to kind of listen and reset my thoughts. My favorites are the Calm app and the Headspace app!

3. Taking time for myself:

Whether that is during nap time to just sit and think alone, running to the grocery store or a little walk by myself once the boys are in bed. These times are crucial to be my best self. They are simple, they can be quick or however long you have and they are better than a massage or pedicure for me! 

4. Recognizing that it's just anxiety:

If any of you have ever had or do have anxiety you know this is easier said than done! Although anxiety does stem from chemicals being released in your body, it's partially a mind game and the more you give in or think about it the worse it gets. Carl can tell me a million times how silly or unrealistic something is I'm worrying about but until I convince myself it doesn't help. Learning to notice when I start to feel anxious before it escalates has been a big help! When I first start to feel my heart race or my chest get tight I start taking deep breaths and counting to 5 on the inhale and exhale. Also fun fact, when your heart starts racing bear down like you're trying to go potty and it will help to reset your heart. You learn something new everyday right?? Haha.

5. Essential oils:

I use Doterra oils and have for 6 years now, I actually started the same time I started having anxiety. I love Balance and Serenity, these two oils are always on my nightstand for easy access in the night. I apply them undiluted to the bottoms of my feet, on my wrists and behind my ears. They help almost instantly and also help with getting me into a deep sleep! My oils are some of my favorite and more beneficial things I own for me and my family. We apply topically and diffuse every day and they make me feel like a boss mom because I feel like I can help my boys in a more natural but huge way. It doesn't matter if it's emotional help, a bug bite or burn or a nasty cold they are amazing! Feeling in control of my life, my health and my mind I've found is my best weapon!

So tell me what are your go-to's? I want to hear anything you've found to help you that I need to add to my list! Let me know if you try any of these and how they work!