Laundry: My Routine for Our Family of 6

Laundry. I don’t know many people who love it. Some say, “I love doing laundry!” but then honestly admit, “But I hate folding it and putting it away”. Here’s some news. The word “laundry” describes the whole chore in its entirety. Dragging all clothes to the laundry room, separating (if you’re an over achiever), putting the clothes into the washing machine (this is the part people “love”), adding whatever potions you deem necessary to thoroughly clean the clothes, actually remembering to switch the load over to the dryer when it is done (before it smells like mildew), adding your fancy dryer balls or fabric softener sheets, CLEANING THE LINT TRAP, removing the clothes (before they’re a wrinkly nightmare), folding them (gag! gag!), and convincing the nearest innocent bystanders to carry their clothes to their room, pull open a dresser drawer and carefully place them inside–That’s laundry. Whew.


The current state of my laundry room…

Obviously, I’m not trying to convince you that laundry can be fun or easy.

What I would like to share however is my experience and how I’ve FINALLY found a laundry routine that works for me. It’s simple really.

My secret? Treat it like the dishes. Do it everyday.

At the end of the day when our clothes are dirty, we take them off and put them in the laundry basket (this rule applies to everyone in the house). Then, when the laundry basket is full (in our case usually at the end of every day), we carry it to the laundry room and put it in the wash.

Side note: If you can make it an entire week without doing any  laundry then you probably have too many clothes. Try going a bit minimalist and clean out those closets!

Laundry Hacks

After getting your clothes to the laundry room (every night), here’s where you can throw in a hack or two.

Let the wash run while you’re sleeping! When you wake up it’s like magical elves poured soap and water over your soiled mess and scrubbed away all signs of dirt and stain. Then, while your coffee is brewing, thank the magical elves for their service and switch the clothes over to the dryer (don’t forget to clean the lint trap!).

Mmmmm, coffee…

Ok, you’re halfway done but you’re dreading that awful buzzer (tip: newer washers and dryers alert you that your clothes are done with a pleasant melody—somehow this helps).

Now here’s where you need to get your head in the game and get ‘er done so to speak. As soon as you can, get that load out and fold it. I use to like to reward myself with a little Netflix while I folded but that tends to drag things out. Just accept that you have an unlikable task ahead and get it over with. Keep your eye on the prize–clean underwear!

Of course you may have to break up these steps throughout the day. You might fold the laundry while dinner is in the oven after you get home from work for example. That’s ok! The idea is to remember that laundry is an ongoing to chore. It will never be “done” so suck it up and make it apart of your everyday routine.

Hack number two. If you have older children (5+) make them fold their own clothes and put them away. Don’t let them believe in the “laundry elf” that folds their clothes and makes them magically appear in their dressers on a daily basis. Sit them down and tell them that this elf is not real. He was fun to believe in while they were little, but it’s time to grow up now. Laundry is a fact of life and the sooner they face their impending doom, the better 🙂

Tips & Tricks

Now you’re laundry is done and your children are turning into well-rounded adults. See? It’s not so bad!

Nike slogan applies. It’s when you let laundry pile up that it becomes an overwhelming mountain of terror. I use to have a “laundry day”, but it turned out that “laundry day” was worse than a “Monday”. I just couldn’t deal.

Just in case you’re not ready to comment below and thank me for my brilliant advice, I’ll throw in a few more tips…

P.S. for the entire month of September receive an entire bottle of all-natural Thieves laundry detergent for FREE with the purchase of a Premium Starter Kit from Young Living. **this promotion has expired

  •  Fancy dryer balls and essential oils are a great alternative to fabric softener sheets.
  •  I use a steamer to de-wrinkle my clothes (when I don’t make it to the dryer on time) or the “steam-refresh” setting on my dryer works well too.

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Clean Hands and Warm Feet: Fox in Socks Soapery!

When you haven’t posted on your blog since Christmas, you feel like a massive failure. But sometimes someone special comes along and shows you some love. This doesn’t always happen, but I sure feel lucky it did this time! Katie, from Fox In Socks Soapery sent me a message asking me to review a sampling of her products: Beautiful soaps made with raw milk and honey along with cute, colorful, crochet slippers!

I couldn’t be more excited about trying her soap, because soap you see, happens to be one product I DO NOT DIY. Oh, and I don’t crochet either, he he.

But I do love me some Dayton-made, all-natural goodies!


Katie’s package came with much anticipation and it did not disappoint. The slippers were the cutest and were quickly confiscated by my 3 girls even though they were several sizes too big on them. I’ve since stolen them back and had the chance to enjoy them myself.  Even though it’s summer my feet are always cold in the air conditioning and the holes provided by the crocheted yarn make a nice breathable alternative to heavy slippers! Check out Katie’s Etsy shop and see all of her cute slipper designs. I think these would make the most adorable gifts. A handmade gift is ALWAYS a big hit even if you didn’t make it yourself!


As if a new pair of house socks didn’t make me happy enough, soap in a sock just about made my day! First of all, I had never seen this before. Soap wrapped in felted wool? Who knew?! No more annoying wash clothes or slippery-sliding bars to mess with. This felted soap exfoliates your skin, lasts longer, and wool happens to be naturally antimicrobial! Plus I LOVE that all of Fox in Socks ingredients are organic and fair trade, and their raw milk and honey are Ohio-proud from fantastic local farms. The wool also shrinks along with the soap, and you are left with a nice little wool scrubby that you can use!


I’m thrilled to start purchasing more of Katie’s handmade items, but I am even more thrilled to introduce her products to our lucky group of delivery members over at City Seed Delivery! More about City Seed coming soon!

Do yourself a favor and ditch the store-bought soaps made with who-knows-what. And if you live in Dayton, do your city a favor and shop local!

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Special thanks to Fox In Socks Soapery for the soap and slippers! In exchange for the kind gift I am sharing my experience. As always, all opinions are my own. 




DIY Essential Oil Christmas Gifts

What is the first thing you think of when you think about Christmas? Gift-giving is a top contender for me, and while giving is good, it ends up becoming the reason for the season! My prayer is that this year I focus on my relationships and share Christ’s love with the ones I love. Saying this is one thing, but when it’s crunch-time I need to remember to slow-down and remember that gift-giving isn’t about myself, or the person receiving the gift, it’s about The Greatest Gift of all.

One way I’ve discovered to slow-down and give with intention is through making homemade gifts. I’m not much of a crafter, sewer, or baker, but you all know my love for essential oils! Handmade gifts give me the opportunity to think through what a person might need or want and customize it to their liking. Handmade gifts also allow me time to pray for the person I’m making it for during the process in hopes that they be blessed!

Another great way to focus on relationships during the Christmas season is by gathering. Don’t just gather to give– gather to make!

This week I had the wonderful opportunity to gather with friends for a Make & Take. Together we made Sugar Scrub, Lip Balm, Christmas Spirit Room Spray, and peppermint-chocolate dipped goodies! It was sort of a whirlwind for me as I was the one coordinating everything, but I pray it was a blessing to those who attended and that they were able to gain some inspiration as well as check a few people off their Christmas list!

DIY Air Freshner

WARNING! Please use a table cloth when working on delicate surfaces. We had a small casualty on this table where something ate away at the finish and I will feel awful about it FOREVER!!

Young Living Essential Oils


Below are the recipes we used as well as some labels I made. You are welcome to download the labels and use them to your liking. The labels also list the ingredients so they serve as recipe cards as well!


Sugar Scrub

Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly. Store in a sealed container for up to 2 months. To use, apply scrub to wet skin. Massage the scrub into skin and then rinse with water. For additional moisturization apply foot cream and wear socks overnight. Also check out my Pumpkin Spice sugar scrub recipe

Homemade Sugar Scrub

 Chocolate Dipped Spoons

Peppermint-Chocolate Dipped Pretzels OR Spoons

Warm chocolate in a small crockpot or in microwave. Add one drop of peppermint for each bag of baking chips. Dip pretzels or spoons and add sprinkles. Allow to harden on wax paper. Place in refrigerator or freezer to speed up the process! Make bags of hot chocolate for two and attached the peppermint-chocolate dipped spoons (optional).  

DIY lip balm

Lip Balm

Recipe adapted from

Melt coconut oil and beeswax in a pourable glass measuring cup in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Add a few shavings off a natural lipstick to melt in for color. Add essential oil and pour into empty lip balm tubes or pots. Add a printed label or some washi tape!

DIY Lip Balm

So this got crazy messy and it was all because I didn’t use this fancy tool right here! Do yourself a favor and use this bad boy! You will need a few of them because once the mixture starts to harden it needs to be discarded.

DIY Lip Balm

Non Toxic room spray

Room Spray

  • 6-8 oz Spray Bottle
  • 2 tsp. rubbing alcohol or witch hazel  
  • Fill the rest of the way with water
  • 1 pinch of Epsom Salt
  • 20-30 drops essential oil of choice

Fill spray bottle with distilled water leaving room in the bottle for 2 tsp of rubbing alcohol (the alcohol is necessary because it acts as a dispersant for the essential oils; the epsom salt also aids in the mixing of the oils and water). Add essential oils of choice. Shake before use.  

Ta-da! Fun homemade gifts for friends, teachers, neighbors– anyone! Merry Christmas!

Essential Oil Gifts

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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, please see my disclosure page. Thanks!

Fall Bucket List

A few months ago, a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of her “Summer Bucket List.” Her list included things like, “Go to a splash pad. Eat a picnic dinner in the park. Make homemade ice cream.” While I’ve seen bucket lists used for “life goals” before, I’d never seen them used for a shorter span of time. What a fun idea!

One thing that I have been struggling with is how to make each moment count. Social media can make it very easy to compare my life with the lives of others, and when I’m looking through the highlights reel of someone else’s life, my world can feel pretty mundane. However, I have to remind myself that what I see on social media is just a glimpse into someone else’s life – not the big picture. I should be focusing more on making my own life as awesome as it can be without comparing it to others’!

Because of this revelation, I have been trying to do more fun, memory-making activities with my kids. Some of the things we have done have been big family excursions, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Since Harper’s birth, we’ve had to keep things low key. I’m always amazed when the memories my older kids seem to cherish the most are moments that I didn’t think twice about.

With all this in the back of my head, I decided to create a bucket list of my own for fall. Now that we’re nearing Thanksgiving I’ve been able to check off quite a few of these! While some of these are activities that require you to “go and do” (and thereby may have a cost attached) others are inexpensive, simple things that you can do at home (my favorite).

Fall Bucket List

1. Visit an apple orchard. This is one of my favorite fall activities to do. It is a yearly tradition for us to travel up to Michigan near family and visit Yates Cider Mill. I can smell the donuts and cider just thinking about it! Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll be going this year, but I am looking forward to in the years to come!

2. Bake a pie. I am not much of a baker, but my perfect picture of fall includes pie. I think I’m going to give this rustic apple galettes recipe a try! I’ll be sure to share about the recipe if it turns out!

3. Pick your own pumpkins. For several years this has been a traditional fall activity for us (I love looking back on the pictures from our yearly visits and watch how my kids grow and change from year to year!). We love hauling our cart through the pumpkin fields in search of the perfect pumpkin, taking our pumpkins home, and decorating with them.

4. Carve pumpkins. Although Halloween has come and gone, this is still a timeless fall activity that cannot be forgotten. If you feel like jack-o-lanterns are too “October,” look online for ideas that are more Thanksgiving-related. If want your pumpkins to last longer, check out these “no carve” options.

5. Watch a football game. Whether you are enjoy watching a football game on a big screen TV or go out to support your local high school team, fall football games are a time-honored fall tradition. While football isn’t my favorite, who doesn’t love the tail-gating food?

6. Jump in the leaves.  My kids love to jump in the leaves when I’m raking!  Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of rain in my area lately, so the leaves aren’t very fluffy this year.  I’m hoping things will dry out a little before all the raking is done so my kids can enjoy this activity this year!

7. Bake pumpkin bread. I don’t know about you, but I love how the house smells when I’m baking something delicious. One of my favorite fall recipes is this pumpkin bread recipe. The best part about this recipe as that it doesn’t include sugar, yet it still tastes delicious!

8. Bonfire and s’mores. There’s nothing like a warm fire on a cold night. Add in a delicious sticky treat, and I can’t think of a better way to end the day!

fall bucket list

9. Make caramel apples.  My kids love caramel apples! There are multiple ways to make them (either melting premade caramels or making your own caramel from scratch), but no matter what they are delicious. We like to add toppings to the apples; crushed Oreo cookies, M&Ms, nuts, and drizzled chocolate are some of our favorites.

10. Visit a corn maze.  Corn mazes are a great activity especially for older kids. Nothing is more fun that making it into a competition – who can get to the end first!

11. Make pumpkin pie play dough. This would be a perfect recipe to use on a cold, rainy day when the kids are getting stir crazy. Say, Thanksgiving break?! If you prefer, you could also add in a few drops of your favorite essential oils in place of the spices.

12. Go on a hayride. Many pumpkin patches and apple orchards offer hayrides as part of the whole “farm experience.” These are great for little ones who might not be able to do the walking attached to other activities. Last year we went with our church community group and it turned out to be a wonderful time!

fall bucket list

13. Donate to a food bank. As Thanksgiving approaches, many churches and businesses host food drives for local homeless shelters and food banks. This is a great way to give back to the community and is very easy to do. Check online to see what churches or businesses in your area are collecting food this year (keep in mind that typically these food drives collect non-perishable items only).

14. Make a list of things you are thankful for.  In past years, my family has made a verbal list of things we are thankful for during the Thanksgiving season. However, I found this really creative idea to make a “Thanksgiving chain.” The kids can help fill in the things they are thankful for, put the chain together, and we can use it as décor for Thanksgiving. What a great way to reflect on the things that really matter!

15. Drink hot apple cider. Whether fresh made or bought by the gallon at the grocery store, there’s something so perfectly comforting about a warm cup of apple cider on a chilly day.

16. Try a new soup recipe. As I’ve said before, I’m a Pinterest lover! There are a billion soup recipes on Pinterest. Open your pantry, see what you already have and make some soup with it!

17. Read books about autumn. Our local public library has a great selection of books, and is a resource that we frequently utilize. If you feel intimidated about locating seasonal books with all of the options available, just ask one of your friendly librarians for help. Awhile back we had a blast making painted hand turkeys from a book we have in our library at home!

18. Make leaf prints. This is a great activity to do with younger kids! There are two ways to do this – one is a little more messy than the other. You can either put paper over a leaf and, using a crayon on its side, and make a leaf rubbing. Or, you can paint the leaves lightly with paint and press than down on paper. A few years ago we made leaf garland with some paper leaves that we decorated. I still have it, and hang it up every fall!

Fall bucket list

19. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.  As the weather gets cold, those without a home turn inwards, causing homeless outreach programs to become more stretched. By taking the time to volunteer with one of these programs, you not only help those who are running the program, but have the opportunity to provide hope into the life of someone who may desperately need it. Check online for opportunities in your community.

20. Host a chili cook-off.  Some friends of ours host a chili cook-off every year. This provides an opportunity to try out some great new recipes, as well as a chance to try something new ourselves. Not only that, but it allows us to get together with old friends and catch up on life. This is an event my family really looks forward to!

21. Go on a hike.  The trees are absolutely gorgeous this time of year!  Pops are red, orange, and yellow are everywhere you look. With the mild temperatures and great scenery, fall is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking not your thing? Take a walk along a local bike trail or around your neighborhood to enjoy the colors!

fall bucket list

22. Make homemade hot cocoa.  Last winter, I discovered crockpot hot cocoa. Not only is it super easy to make (as is almost everything in the crock pot!), but it is creamy and delicious. Add a few marshmallows on the top, a drop of peppermint essential oil, or a candy cane for a special twist.

23. Visit a farm with animals.  In the fall, many farms host special child-centered events featuring animals. Check online to see what is available in your area. Visiting animals is always a hit with the kids!

Cows on a Farm

24. Take family photosEvery fall, my clan has family pictures taken. Even though I’m pretty sure that I am the only person to enjoy this yearly tradition, all of us love looking back on the pictures we’ve had taken in the past. It’s such a fun way to document how our family has grown over the years, and the kids love seeing how much bigger they are from year to year. Plus it’s great to have a new picture for your Christmas cards every year!

photo credit: The Carrs Photography

25. Sort through your closet.  That doesn’t sound like very much fun, does it? However, fall in a great time to go through your old clothes and see what doesn’t fit or what you no longer wear.  These clothes can be donated to local ministries or homeless outreach programs. Last year, I discovered a the online consignment store, ThredUP and I actually made money cleaning out my closet!

Looking at all of these ideas, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed – especially since we are already well into November. However, just consider your family’s needs, available time, available resources, and pick out a few things that could still be attainable! Don’t miss an opportunity to make every moment count!

So what about you? What are some fall activities that are on your bucket list? Have you checked off any or all of my fall-inspired activities yet?

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This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, please see my disclosure page. Thanks!