Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I made this bag, from plastic bags.

My neighbor was making these once when we went to visit. I was intrigued. When my cabinet became overrun with plastic bags I decided recycling them was just not good enough.

Made the plarn. Followed a pattern. Voila. Now my cabinet has less plastic bags and someone is going to recieve a fancy hand made with love gift from me. Well OK, not fancy but certainly made with love.

They could use it as a grocery bag (the irony!), or a garden tote which one could rinse off freshly picked produce right in the bag, or a beach bag, or whatever else. It's probably as pretty as a plastic grocery can be.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Things are becoming very repetitious and schedule oriented around here lately which is a welcomed good thing. In that, I've found myself saying these little one liners. I mentioned it to a friend and she threw some out too. It's like life rap or something. A rhyme that helps you understand/communicate a truth or such. Works great with littles! I noticed how much I do this after seeing a kid show where the songs and what limited dialog there is consists of little sing song rhymes much like the ones I say. Anyway, I'm sure if you're a mom or a teacher you have said these or something like them. Here are a few of said sayings.

If you don't obey, you don't play.

If you can't share it, you can't have it.

If you hit, you sit.

Sit down or get down.

And my friend's: when you're wired, you're tired.

I love these! This is just a small collection. Now that I'm documenting this I'm sure to find more and add them to my list. I am going to come up with a name for them, if there isn't one already - in which case, I'll learn it. Have a great day! Summer is approaching....

Monday, May 14, 2012


This blog is steadily becoming all about DIY! If you don't mind, I don't! Truth is, I'm just posting what I do. Guess I do a lot of DIY. I knew that. I've been this way a LOOOONG time.

So when I heard you could make your own laundry soap, for cheap, easily, I couldn't resist. I have tweaked the recipe out a bit over time. Between four kids, a full time mom (usually with some spit up, food, or poop on my shirt), and a hardworking carpenter we get our clothes DIRTY. So I've had to make this recipe more concentrated over time. You'll find gentler effective recipes out there but this one is ours and it works for us. We make this about every four months. So only three times a year! And when I did the math recently, it came out to costing less than $.07 per load. That's right folks! Saving a heap over here! We fill up a four gallon bucket we got from Lowes for under $5 and it lasts us four months. That's doing laundry 3-5 times a week. Not to mention the times we leave the laundry in the washer too long and it spoils so we have to wash again. (Annoying!) It doesn't take long to make and it's kinda neat saying you make your own laundry soap. So we'd like to share our recipe with you. Feel free to tweak as you please. You can find the ingredients at your local Harris Teeter as I did.

P.S. I did the math on this on the high end of everything. So if you buy the ingredients for cheaper and use less per load you will save even more.

This is the Fels Naptha being shredded up. I used a cheaper version once because I couldn't get this. It was not as effective nor as pleasantly fragranced. Won't do that again! May try Ivory next time if in a pinch. And I also make homemade bath soap, and will probably try that too. But since I have a load of this, I use it.

1/2 large bar Fels Naptha or 2 bars Ivory
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Grate soap and put in sauce pan with 12 cups water. Heat until soap melts. Add powders and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 8 cups hot water into bucket. Add soap mix and stir. Add 2 1/2 gallons and 4 cups water and stir well. Let stand 24 hours. Stir. Use 1/2-1 cups per load.

BONUS! Homemade Fabric Softener:
6c water
3c white vinegar
2c hair conditioner

Mix well, don't shake. Use 1/2c per load as usual.

With all the money you save on these two items, you can change lives around the world by donating your savings here.


Thursday, May 10, 2012


Happy Birthday Darryl!!

We like to celebrate birthdays by treating the one celebrated with their favorite meal, and favorite cake, and special prayers and blessings.

This photo does no justice at all. So if this looks yummy, you still have no idea. 

Darryl's favorite cake just happens to be everyone's favorite also. A traditional Mexican dessert, Tres Leche (Three Milks) cake. Here is the recipe I got from my mom, who taught me to make this delish family fave. Both she and I have taken them as gifts to our favorite Mexican food providers with rave reviews. This year I also took one to some guys that Darryl has been working with who have been teaching him Spanish.  I was a bit nervous, but they loved it! It was and always is odd hearing your husband speak in another language to people and you have no idea what is going on and need him to also translate for you. Odd, but fascinating. It's like unlocking another person I didn't know who I was fortunate enough to marry. These friends, though, getting back to the cake, said they usually have some sort of topping on it like strawberries, pineapple, or pecans. And actually, pineapples and pecans together. Yum!


5 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1 c white sugar, separated 3/4 and 1/4 cups
1/3 c whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1pt whipping cream, separated 3/4 and 1/4 cups
1 can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" spring-form pan with additional butter and flour. Beat yolks with 3/4 c sugar until light in color and double in volume. Stir in whole milk, vanilla, flour, and baking powder. In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 1/4 c sugar and beat until firm but not dry. Fold whites into flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, then place in oven and bake 45 minutes until golden and center is springy. Cool 10 minutes. Prick cake all over (I like to use a chop stick). To prepare milk syrup, combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/4 c whipping cream. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until absorbed. Cool cake completely and ice with whipped cream made from remaining container with 1/4 c sugar. Refrigerate until time to serve.

The milk syrup. I like to ask people to guess what three milks are involved in making a Three Milk Cake. 
I get a lot of funny looks and responses, seeing as how many people know I'm currently breastfeeding. 

This year the whole prayer and blessing thing slipped my mind seeing as how I had a whole day of cooking and I haven't done a real meal without help in over five months. Sorry babe! So here's a little love note to make up for it. 

You are such a blessing to us. You keep on growing deeper in the Lord and it shows through your character and demeanor. You are an inspiration to all of us and the children greatly look up to you as their hero. I'm blessed to have you as a husband and partner. And although you may think you aren't perfect, you strive to do better and are willing to try and learn new things and that alone brings you close enough for me. We all love you. We respect you. We thank you for working so hard and so long and so much to take care of us. We look forward to you coming home every day. Thanks for standing by me and supporting me and loving me. I'm still so in love and we've only just begun.

Meg and The Russell Sprouts

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


". . . of all the stories I've ever heard from all of the women who like to tell me about mothering, the one thing I have never, ever, EVER heard was, . . . 'I wish I could go back and hold him less,' or, 'I really wish I just would have let her cry.' No- it doesn't matter what type of parenting or discipline method they espouse- they always end with, 'It goes so fast. Enjoy just HOLDING them! I wish I could just rock them again.' Even on my toughest days, I make myself think- 'Someday, I'm going to wish these days were back.'" ~ mamaKristin via GCM

Taking some time to do just this. Will do some blogging later.
<3 Meg

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today Haddie decided she wasn't going to take a nap. Which means the rest of the day is going to be challenging. So I might as well make the best of it and do a little cleaning during house quite time. I think I'll do the windows! Aw man, out of Windex. Running to the store with three littles is anything but quick and has to be worth my while. Clean windows are not high on the priority list.

Then I remembered my friend once told me a recipe for home made window cleaner. As much as I love the scent of Windex, I decided to give it a try. I am very much smitten with it and am therefore sharing it with all of you. I'm sure there are others out there, and I honestly haven't looked. So if you know of a good one you're welcome to share in the comments below.

2 Tbsp dish soap*
1 Tbsp rubbing alcohol**
2 drops food coloring of your choice (optional)

*My friend insisted Joy was the only one to use, but I used Meyers Basil because that's what I had. It worked fine and I LOVE the smell!
**I added this on my own after trying out the recipe with Meyers to see if it would be quicker to dry and thus less streak producing. Twas.

Not the best picture. It was hard to capture the sapphire color of my new cleaning product. 
As you can see I decided to change the name since I changed the contents. 
It seemed fitting.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Our walls are block. So Darryl literally has to get out the drill and masonry bit to put anything up on the walls. I used to decorate my walls extensively. Show flyers, remnants of my technicolor hair, zine cut outs, posters, and more lined my walls as a teenager.

Me on the left. Don't look too closely! ;)

My decor got more intricate and less dive bar-ish as I went into my twenties and moved around a bit. Taking down and replacing all those delicate decorations was less than appealing. Now in my thirties I have a different vision of decor and my taste has matured (slightly) and for the first time I'm using family photos to spruce the place up. The thing is, hanging anything is frightfully involved because of the house structure. What's a gal to do? I'm already feeling the painting bug again and some unfinished projects are beckoning. I need some ideas. Here are a few spots that need TLC.

I want to paint the little's room white eventually. But this corner needs something. Framed art, photos, a chalkboard, wire baskets. What do you think? I need some inspiration.

This is the biggest wall in the dining room. It is opposite lots of windows so people on the street will see it too. I want a buffet there one day perhaps. But the walls need some love. Ideas?