Rainbow Cake!

Some time ago Ani begged us to buy her a very expensive (for cake mix at least – it was 3 bucks!) tie dye cake mix. Being the awesome parents we are, we got it for her. And then it sat in the cabinet for a couple months because Ani is usually ridiculously busy and never had time to make it. This week is Spring Break, so after she got home from taekwondo camp yesterday, she and Adrian made the cake together.

Rainbow Cake!

Rainbow Cake!

Adrian told Ani he wanted to “scramble” the eggs but first he had to “cut” them to get the insides out.

Rainbow Cake!

They divided the batter into 6 different bowls.

Rainbow Cake!

Then they (well, Ani) added specific numbers of drops of dye to the bowls of batter and then mixed them in. She added a few extra drops to the red one because it initially came out really pink.

Rainbow Cake!

Rainbow Cake!

Next Ani carefully poured about half of each color of batter into the cake pans in rainbow order. The result was beautiful round rainbows ready to be put in the oven.

Rainbow Cake!

Rainbow Cake!

About 20 minutes later the layers were baked. Interesting how different the two layers came out in the end!

Rainbow Cake!

Once cooled, they were ready to be iced. Cameron even got involved at this step (still wearing his taekwondo belt).

Rainbow Cake!

Ani got the honor of cutting the cake.

Rainbow Cake!

It made an excellent, delicious dessert! It may have been an expensive mix, but it was totally worth it for a special treat.

Rainbow Cake!

Laundry Detergent

Over the weekend I made a new batch of laundry detergent. I really love this stuff. It make our clothes feel so much cleaner than premade detergent.

I assembled all my ingredients. Borax, baking soda, super washing soda, oxiclean, and fels naptha.
Laundry Detergent

I decided to try microwaving the soap and crushing it instead of grating it. This saved tons of time! I unwrapped the bars one at a time and put them in the microwave.
Laundry Detergent

After 2 minutes of nuking, they were all puffed up and funny looking. The house also reeked of soap. Fels Naptha doesn’t have much of a scent normally, but for some reason microwaving it really releases the smell.
Laundry Detergent

After a few minutes of cooling I broke apart the puffed up bars. This was super easy. The result looked bizarrely like scrambled eggs.
Laundry Detergent

After another few minutes of cooling, I scooped the soap bits into our little Ninja a bit at a time and processed them for a few seconds.
Laundry Detergent

The result is powdered Fels Naptha. I decided to do it this way because I almost always wash clothes in cold water and even though I didn’t have an issue with the grated soap dissolving fully, I figured this way might be better. Plus it mixes with the other ingredient powdered better than grated.
Laundry Detergent

I poured about half the ingredients (the recipe is here) into my bucket and mixed well and then added the other half and mixed again.
Laundry Detergent

I put the newly mixed up detergent into my fabric softener crystals container (from last time – I didn’t use the crystals this time) so it’s all ready and convenient to use.
Laundry Detergent

My last batch lasted about 14 months so I expect this batch will as well meaning I won’t have to worry about making laundry detergent until at least May of 2015.

Cost
4 lb 12 oz box of Borax – $3.38
3 lb 7 oz box of Super Washing Soda – $3.24
3 lb container of Oxiclean – $7.52
4 lb box of Baking Soda – $2.18
4 bars Fels Naptha – $3.88 (97 cents each)
Total Cost: $20.20

Figuring about 300 loads of laundry (which is probably figuring low), this works out to about 6 1/2 cents per load. Honestly, I’d use this stuff even if it was more expensive than regular detergent because it gets the clothes so much cleaner looking and feeling. The fact that it’s really cheap is a great bonus.

Fritz’s First Paragraph

I don’t love the writing part of Shurley English as time goes on, but for now I am using it with Fritz (we’ll switch to IEW probably in the fall). Yesterday, Fritz wrote his first paragraph. It was a two-point paragraph on the topic of favorite colors. He told me he has never written so much at once in his life and he didn’t really enjoy it.

Paragraph

My Favorite Colors

People have so many favorite colors. My favorite colors are red and blue. I am starting to like red. Red is a bit pretty because it is on rubies. I have always liked blue. Since water is blue it is my favorite color. I think red and blue are pretty nice colors.

14 Months Worth of Detergent

Last January (as in January 2013), I made a batch of very awesome homemade laundry detergent. This weekend I scooped the last of it out of the bucket and into the container I pour it from when doing laundry. I’ve got 2 or 3 weeks worth left.

Detergent

I spent 25 or 30 bucks to make the detergent. 8 people used it for about 5 months and then the 6 of us have used it ever since. We left some behind when we moved and my parents used it for a few months after we left. End result: just over 14 months to use up the whole batch.

So now I’ve got the ingredients (except the fabric softener – it’s not necessary and Jamie requested that I leave it out this time) on my shopping list. This time I’m going to keep track of exactly how much it costs to make it.

1 box (4 lb 12 oz) Borax
1 box (3 lb 7 oz) Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 3 lb container OxyClean
1 4 lb box Arm & Hamer Baking Soda
4 bars Fels Naptha
1 55 oz bottle Purex Crystals Fabric Softener

Grate the Fels Naptha. Mix everything together. Use about 2 Tablespoons per load.