3 cups white vinegar

2 cups Suave OR other CHEAP hair conditioner (I buy a giant bottle from sally beauty supply)

I add 2 tbps of my fave fragrance oil (this is purely optional and I like things to smell REALLY good. My fave is cedar wood. Smells clean)

6 cups HOT water




Mix conditioner & hot water well, until conditioner is dissolved completely.

Add the vinegar, and mix well.

Store in a large container: empty fabric softener container, empty large vinegar bottle, empty 1 gallon water or juice bottle

Put about 2 tbsp. in the fabric softener holder in your washer… then wash as usual.  (Some people use downy laundry balls. I don’t have one and I have a slot for fabric softener in my washer, so that’s what I use.  I also have an HE washer and this is fine for it.

NOTE: it’s best not to shake the bottle of softener before using it as it makes it foamy. I forget and to it anyway sometimes… and it IS foamy lol

Homemade Laundry Detergent Liquid (my version)

  • Homemade laundry detergent
  • This detergent is safe for the newer HE washers, as it is very low suds.
  • 1/2 Cup: Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (do not use baking soda)
  • 1/2 Cup: Borax
  • 1/3 Bar of ZOTE
  • 1/4 Cup of your favourite fragrance oil if you want it to smell super good (optional)
  • Bucket (I use a 5 gallon I got free at fast food place, so I have plenty of room for mixing)
  • Empty laundry detergent containers or bucket with lid to store detergent.
  • I pour what I need into an empty detergent bottle, then refill from the bucket as needed.


Grate 1/3 bar of ZOTE Soap over large pot or saucepan…

  • Add 6 cups of Water.
  • Heat over medium-high until soap dissolves and melts.
  • Add Washing Soda & Borax, and stir until dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Pour 4 cups Hot Water into bucket, then add Soap Mixture.
  • Stir, then add 1 Gallon + 6 Cups of additional water.  Stir.
  • I use my stick blender to make sure it’s all mixed well.
  • Transfer to a bucket with a lid, or pour into empty laundry detergent containers.
  • Set aside, and let it sit overnight, or up to 24 hours, to thicken and gel up.
  • Consistency and color will vary depending on your soap & water ~ it may be lumpy and watery… kind of like a watery gel, but it works great!

Stir or shake before each use, as it will continue to gel.  I keep a long handle spoon or stick blender (I have 2) in my laundry room, so I can stir as needed

I use about 1/3 cup of detergent per load.  If I need to, I add liquid bleach in the normal amount (for whites) or oxy for colours.


  • Borax, 76 oz. box ~ $3.14 at Wal-Mart or Winco
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 55 oz. box ~ 3.42 at Walmart and 3.14 at Winco
  • Zote  ~ $.97  at Walmart and Fels Naptha was $.97 at Winco
  • About 2 gallons for around 1.00 at these prices.

Your prices will vary according to where you live and what store you shop.

Some people use Fels Naptha.Image

I don’t like all the chemicals in it, so I use ZOTE.  You can also use a bar of ivory soap, but will need to use the ENTIRE bar.


Look for my post on homemade fabric softener


i have been living in bizarro world today. k? soooo, we go to get pain meds at the pharmacy. i did a quick run to trader joe’s and home we come. i am resting in my bed, and looking for kindle books when the dogs come running to my room and start to get on the bed.

OMG. STINKKKKKKKKKKKKK. the little one has some white mess on his ear and i scream NO get off my bed. the entire time i am gagging because i can’t do stink of any kind. i try but i upchuck. then the big dog, oliver, comes into my room and he is COVERED in some white mess that smells like death. over the trash can i go. mark (my husband who just had hip replacement)  is hobbling to see wtf is going on. he sees the mess on the dogs and tries to help by wiping it off. i find some tiger balm and put it under my nose (like CSI) to keep from puking when i smell this mess. it’s becoming more obvious by the minute that i must bathe the dogs. oh dear lord, help me.

so mark and i take the dogs to the deck, outside, and he starts to get that nasty off them at the outdoor sink. they still REEK of nasty rotten dead something. we get them into the house and get oliver into the tub. i am trying to spray him with the stupid shower head hose thing and i drop it. it squirts me from head to toe and now i am soaked and freezing, with tiger balm in my nose and a stink ass dog freaking out because the water got on him, too. help me lord. then i get the dawn and start washing this nasty smelling 56 lb dog. i talk baby talk to him, because i have freaked him out already with my freak out. get him washed and rinse him in vinegar just to make sure he’s destunk. next is the little guy, reggie. he doesn’t care much about baths. he likes them. he was quick and over in no time. i dry the dogs, change into dry clothing and head outside to let them roll in the grass.

oh they are having the best time and up comes a black mastiff/lab mix and he has balls. non neutered and the hair is up on his back. oh dear lord, help me. so i go to grab the hose, just in case and SOMEONE left it on. the sprayer thing is on. so when i turn on the hydrant, once again i am sprayed in the face and all over and am drenched.. AGAIN! i let the dog play with mine for a few minutes, while i am dripping and freezing, and then he acts a little aggressive to reggie (reggie started it) so i hose him in the ass and he moves on. now i get the dogs inside, change clothes for the 4th time today, and try to once again, rest for a few minutes.

during this time we have looked at every inch outside and inside to find whatever this mess was that the dogs got into. cannot find it. mark finds an empty package of 45 cat treats for hairball removal. reggie ate it all. so maybe he puked on oliver? we don’t know. anyway, i am resting and here comes reggie… STINKING AGAIN TO HIGH HEAVEN! please lord, help me to NOT kill this dog. apparently he ate whatever it is, AGAIN. we look and look and still cannot find whatever it is. i dunno if he puked and it was just his breath or what. for now, things are settled down, i am dry and so far no stink. help me lord… in my life.. it all comes at once. like a clearance sale. sigh — feeling annoyed.

oliver and reggie after a run

red velvet cheesecake

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegarCREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not over beat).

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

5. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired. I recommend white chocolate shavings ). Keep this cake refrigerated.

a valentine’s day adventure or.. my bizarre life

my latest adventure in celebration of my awesome and weird life

(this was originally written feb. 15, 2011)

ok so it was valentine’s day.  we had the grands as their mom was working till 11 p.m.  our usual routine is to take them home so they can sleep in their own beds.  i was preparing valentine’s dinner, we celebrated etc. it was time to go home. so we get to their house and all is well. mom gets home, time for me to leave to come home. 

it’s midnite. its BLOWING rain.  the rain gets under your eyelids and in your nooks and crannies just going from my daughter’s house to the car. very annoying.  we (the dogs and i) get into the car and begin the drive home. 

let me give you a little back story now.  my husband runs out of gas.  it’s something i do not understand but he does.  i don’t get it.  my car is the “family” car. it’s a small suv and we take it on weekends or to haul stuff, take the dogs to run,  etc.  he drives it more than i do, even tho i am usually with him.  it’s a man thing i guess.  our gas gauge isn’t working.  it’s not an old car but the damn thing stopped working.  so we set the odometer with each fill up and watch it till we get to 300 miles. that is when we KNOW we have to fill up.  all weekend as it approached 300 i kept saying, let’s get gas.  multiple times.  weekend is over.  he was bitching about gas prices. i assumed he filled it up and forgot to clear odometer, which is now at 330.  he said he was going to. so i didn’t worry.  uh huh.  THAT was my first mistake.   

ok back to the drive home.  the damn wind was blowing and visibility is like driving in a hurricane.  rain, wind, slick streets.  i pass the prison to start the uphill climb home.  and my car just stopped. no sputter, no jerk, just stopped.  i coasted as far to the side of the road as i could.  california doesn’t believe in shoulders on the road for the most part, but there was a small one and i made it to it.. in the dark, in the blowing rain, on a curve, going uphill. yay. perfect scenario to be sideswiped or hit. i turn on the flashers and call home. 

mark’s cell rings 5 times and goes to voice mail.  so i call again.  an obviously sleeping man answers the phone. i tell him the situation and he cusses… a lot.  he knows why i am sitting on the road after midnite, in the dark, in the rain, on a curve, going uphill. so i don’t say anything about the gas issue.  i just try to keep everything but the flashers off to save on battery.  uh huh. 

during our phone conversation we deduce that we no longer own a gas can, so mark drives to my daughter’s house where she has placed one on her front porch at my request.  yes, i can multi task and take care of details even when stranded.  he comes back with the can and starts to add gas to our car. 

i can’t see shit cos the windows are fogged up but i roll down one back window to see if he is ok.  he is cussing and trying to get the gas to pour into the tank.  i hear him make a weird noise so i ask him a few times if he is ok.  more cussing so i figure he is ok…but i swear i thought something was weird about him.  i roll up the window again and it barely makes it.  i am so scared cos i KNOW the battery is losing it’s charge and he will really flip out.  so i pray it keeps it’s charge.  um no. he gets the gas in the car. i try to start it and it says HELLNO.  omg.  cussing and slamming begin. i felt so bad for him.

  so he moves his car to give me a jump.  he is in between two cars in the dark, in the rain, with the wind, on the side of the road, on a curve,uphill. it was very dangerous.  lots of 18 wheelers came by and blew him to pieces with water and wind.   the car starts and we go to a gas station.  by now he is really grumpy.  he barks at me, COULD YOU GET CLOSER TO THE PUMP?  sarcasm abounds.  i just reposition myself and he fills the tank.  i can still hear him cussing.  🙂 

  we make it home and he is wet and cold and pissed at himself.  then he asks me, DID YOU SEE ME FALL DOWN THAT HILL?  omg.  i said no, i couldn’t see anything cos the windows were fogged but i heard you make a noise so i was calling out to you.  yehhhh. he lost his footing, fell down the hill next to the car and was lying in a ditch for a few minutes, in the dark, in the rain, on a curve, going.. ummmm downhill?  hahahaha.  ok sorry. not funny.  bless his heart.  he was cussing and embarrassed.  and mad. 

sooooooooooooo.  today it was funny. not so much last nite.  i just tried to be supportive and keep my comments to myself.  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.   not.