Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I am officially DONE with school! Last week I finished my last final and turned in that last paper, and now I am a college graduate! It is surreal to sit here with nothing school related on my mind. It's like, my whole life I feel like everything revolved around school and it was never going to end. In particular, the last 2.5 years working towards my bachelor's degree in English felt like they dragged on and on. Here I am though, all done!

I spent the last days of my studying and writing in Starbucks. What is it about Starbucks that seems to attract us all to do our work and studying there? Coffee? Company, yet solitude? Maybe it is the comfort of a place where you can look around, see other students with their noses buried in books or behind laptops and think, "I'm not alone!" I will admit, my cockiness got the better of me when I looked at everyone else and though, "SUCKERS! I'm done after this and you all probably have another 2-3 years to go! HAH!" (Are you seeing Vizzini from the Princess Bride going, "haha you fools!! HAHAHAHAA!" -- Yes, that's exactly what was playing through my mind).

I love my new freedom! Although it is still tripping me out to not have school in the back of my mind. I feel like I keep forgetting something. What I am excited about though, is finally more time to read books I want to read (albeit, a lot are still classic literature), and write what I want to write on my blog. It's amazing to think I actually have time to write now without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else for school.

And what perfect timing -- just in time to celebrate the holidays stress free!

Insert Mel Gibson voice...


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Due to popular demand... the recipe for homemade laundry detergent.

I love this laundry detergent. The cost breakdown is about .40 per gallon. It makes 2 gallons at a time.... so .80 cents each batch! I've used this for well over a year now and it works great on all my clothes. There is no difference whatsoever in the quality between this and the overpriced stuff at the store.

6 cups of warm water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (grated)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Heat 6 cups of warm water and the grated Fels Naptha in a large pot until dissolved. I have a designated stock pot from Big Lots I use for my laundry soap. Stir in the washing soda and Borax. Mix and heat until dissolved. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat. It may have a honey-like consistency (but it is not required to be a honey-consistency). In a 3 or 5 gallon bucket, mix the soap and enough cold water to make 2 gallons. Gently mix. Pour into old laundry detergent containers or milk jugs. Let sit for 24 hours. The soap will gell*. Use 1/2 cup for each load. Shake before each use. The detergent separates and may have clumps. This is normal! It will not suds up in the washer, but it still gets your clothes nice and clean.

*If the detergent doesnt' gel up or reach honey consistency, it will still work!

Where to find the ingredients
Borax is very easy to find! It is at most stores, including grocery stores and Target.

Fels Naptha is mostly found at grocery stores, sometimes super stores like Target & Wal Mart.

Super Washing Soda is the hardest to find. I find mine at WinCo, but most people say they find it at Ace Hardware or sometimes large Wal Marts.

1/3 bar grated Fels Naptha

Stir 6 cups water and grated Fels Naptha until dissolved

Add 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda & 1/2 cup Borax and boil 15 minutes

Fill soap mixture and enough water to make 2 gallons

Fill in old laundry detergent containers or milk jugs.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I need to write before my brain turns to mush.

And somebody remind me I need to change my blog banner to working mom, not stay home mom!!!

I passed my English Capstone class, HOORAY! I got a 95% on my paper! I am so incredibly proud of myself that I can't even find the words to express my excitement. Hey, that really says something when the English major can't find the words! It is surreal that there is only one class left. My girlfriend/BFF I've made in this program just finished her last class this month, and now it only makes me more excited for December to scream out: I'm done! We're already planning our celebration in San Diego. I think confetti and champagne is in order for December.

October has been a bit crazy. You'd think it would have settled down because I don't have my class to worry about, right? No! Sprint now carries the iPhone, so we ended up swamped at work in preparation for the iPhone. The good thing is I'll have a bit of overtime on my next pay check. Of course, Apple didn't make enough of the new iPhone 4S, so nobody has it anymore and we're all anxiously awaiting more to come in.

There was a point this month though that I swore I'd never eat an apple again.... (hardy har har!)

You know, the funny thing about working in retail... while I'm reading on Facebook everyone boo-hoo-ing over it being a Monday, today is my Friday so I'm rejoicing! Tuesday & Wednesday are my days off, yippee! I have grand plans you know, it consists of coffee, Dr. Pepper, and book 3 of The Hunger Games. I can't friggen wait!

By the way, where is fall? I mean REALLY, it is still in the 80s here. I shouldn't complain much because I know in a month it'll drop to freezing... but come on! It's almost Halloween and it is still HOT?! Oh well, I'm still excited for Halloween coming up. Look how cute my little knights are!

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Triple Duty

Friday, September 30, 2011

One to go!

My apologies for my absence! First, I hurt my finger, and then I was worried about finish my thesis paper for my Literature Capstone class. Nearly 20 pages later, and I'm done! Hooray! That was by far the longest paper I have ever written. I really had to force myself to put everything on hold and focus on the paper. Basically, my life for the last month was paper, work, family, paper, work, family. Haha! I'm proud to say it is DONE! I don't have the final grade yet... but I will be updating as soon as I find out.

Work is going great. I really enjoy the job, the environment, my coworkers, everything! One of my favorite things about retail is there is always something new every day. In particular in the technology field, there almost IS something new every day! Even day to day, you see new faces, get to talk with all sorts of people, and have something different happen each time. It's fun. People have always called me crazy that I actually enjoyed working in retail. What can I say, I like to talk and I'm a people person; I'm perfect for a retail job!

My boys are adjusting much better than I thought they would. I think my going back to work has helped us all. The extra income is great and I don't feel nearly as stressed as I used to, which in turn makes everyone, the boys included, much happier! Going to work makes me feel like I appreciate them more when I come home at the end of the day, or on my days off. I suppose some people can pull of the stay-home-mom thing well, but I have to admit, I think I like being the working mom much more! I'm so grateful for the time I was able to be with them as babies, but I'm also incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go back to work. It reminds me that I do have my own personality! I'm not just Elijah & AJ's mom; I'm Marlana! - a mid twenties wife, mom, student (almost graduate!), slightly hyper, intellectual bad ass (you could say nerd, but I like intellectual bad ass instead).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Yay! I'm having my 3 year blogiversary in a few days!

I have a giveaway planned!!!!

More details to come after work today. :)

Oh, and in case you all are wondering... my gimpy finger has finally recovered. The finger nail still looks nasty, but at least I can finally type again!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gimpy finger

I'll be on a posting hold for a few days... and this is why! Never get your finger caught in your security mail box.

At least it isn't my texting thumbs, right?!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Job perks :D

I got to order my brand-spanking-new phone today. It should be here next week. I cannot WAIT!! The phone has been out for only about 2.5 weeks... I finally get a top of the line phone! I'm so thrilled!!!

Check it out here! :D

Thursday Blog Hops!

Found the Marbles

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First day on the job!

I made it through my first day! I'm very excited to be back in the working field again. Of course it's work, they wouldn't call it work for nothing, but it is nice to be helping out the family with a new job. I feel like with some time and getting to know how things work, I'll rock in this field.

I have quite a bit of training courses to go through, and then the formal training classes start Sept 6. Meanwhile, I'll just be helping out around the store and getting to know how things work. I was really excited getting to log in to my work website, work email, etc. I even got to order company shirts! :) Before you know it I'll be wearing my shirts with the Sprint logo. Yippee!

You know what the best part I found out today? Here I thought benefits wouldn't start for 3-6 months. Nope, they start after 30 days! How wonderful is that? Our family needs this desperately. It's amazing.

Later this month I believe I'll be transferring my number to a new line, and upgrading my phone. Oh I'm giddy about that!

My coworkers have been really friendly too. That's always a plus!

Wednesday Blog Hops!

Tuesday Blog Hops

Greetings fellow blog hoppers!

I start my first day of a new job today... I'm so excited! And nervous!

Photobucket Magical Mouse Schoolhouse The Adventures of My Family of 8 Tuesday Blog Hop

Monday, August 15, 2011

Magical boiling water! - a money saving tip

I shall now share a magical, money saving tip...

Have you heard about the powers of boiling water? I'll be honest, I've heard about this trick for well over a year now, and have never tried it. Tonight, I unleashed my magical homemaking skills and boiled water.

I then held the tops of those Lysol No Touch Hand Soap System soap dispensers. They are the ones that are basically impossible to screw the lid off. Rigged! Rigged I tell you! The same goes for those Swiffer Wet Jet Refills.

Anyway, you hold the top in boiling water, take it out, unscrew the cap and voila! It comes right off!

Now I can enjoy the excitement of my Lysol No Hand Touch Soap System without having to spend $4 on the refill. (I'm sorry, I can find Up & Up Generic Soap in a massive refill bottle for under $4... let alone ONE dinky size Lysol Refill for $4!)

Needless to say, I'm very thrilled off of this!

Mice and hamsters and turtles, oh my!

The Mouse

On Friday night, just as I was heading to bed, I walked into the kitchen for a moment.

I spy with my little eye...

Hobbes the cat spying on a baby mouse.

Eek! We get waves of mice problems around here. They'll come and try to set up camp behind the stove, then scurry across our counters, and unfortunately for them, encounter a cat or a trap and meet their maker.

After twenty minutes of watching this literal game of cat and mouse, I got tired of waiting for Hobbes to catch the mouse, and tired of watching this mouse try to scurry out of the sink (which it couldn't), and trapped it in a jar. For a moment, I felt like a cat in that excitement of what it is like to catch something. It's pretty awesome.

I left it in the jar overnight... all to fall like a sucker for cute little Jerry. I told him, "Good night, Jerry. Good work. I'll most likely kill you in the morning." (Name that movie!!!)

That's right, by morning I named the darn thing. (Thanks Brandie for the name idea, when she said "Did Tom catch Jerry yet?"). As I headed to run some errands later that day, I ran into PetSmart, and to my surprise found this amazing cage on clearance! It was usually $36.99, and I got it on clearance for $8.67. SCORE! Pet mouse, here we come! Just so you know how much of a sucker I am for cute little baby critters, I even got it a bag of treats.

I shredded up newspaper, I gave it some treats and left over food, a fun little house, and do you know how that ungrateful rat bastard repaid me? Baby Jerry escaped from the cage during the middle of the night! Jerk.

The Hamster

The boys were very excited to see the mouse in the cage in the morning. Too bad Jerry bailed on us. They weren't heartbroken. I suppose growing up as little "farm boys" they are accustomed to things running off or dying. However, that new cage looked all sad, lonely, and empty without some sort of little critter to keep it warm.

Well, we already have the cage, might as well stick something else in there! Back off to PetSmart we go.

Meet our new hamster. She doesn't officially have a name, but Elijah and I are really liking Ophelia. Let's just hope she doesn't run off and drown herself. Ba-da-ching! That's my Jay-Leno-Style-Punch-Line-Drum-Hit, by the way. (Don't give me that blank stare about the Ophelia joke... Hamlet people, Hamlet!) I had a shlew of other ideas for her name. Everyone gives me weird looks when it comes to my names for pets. They usually come from mythology or literature. This hamster just looks like she deserves a Shakespearean name.

Aww... she's sleeping.

Or maybe I should name her Jillian Michaels, because all she has done the whole time I'm typing is exercised on her wheel.

The Turtle

We were invited to a neighbor's 50th birthday party shin-dig on Saturday. This was our first time going to their house. You know the coolest part?

They have a pet turtle!!

This sucker is HUGE. They say he weighs about 30lbs.

My little boys were fascinated with him. It's the first time they've ever seen one up close and personal. We even got to pet it! It was very exciting.

The Tent

Ahh tent building. A favorite childhood past time. Or, as Mama likes to call it, cheap entertainment! When I was a wee lil' thing, I loved building forts and tents in the living room. It is the sweetest thing that the boys are old enough now to appreciate the joy of building a "tent" in the living room! Can you spot AJ's head popping out of there?

It reminds me of when I was a child! I won't deny, I was a bit jealous that I am too big to crawl in there myself. I suppose that is why Elijah & AJ have each other... they can enjoy their company in their tent. Elijah was so thrilled off of it, he wanted to sleep in there tonight.

Ah, no.