Homemade Insect Repellent

Hello friends! It’s finally sunny and dry here in Iowa, which has been in a bit of a cold and wet weather system for a while now. Hopefully it will stay sunny so my plants and grass can dry out!

Today I am bringing you a homemade recipe for natural insect repellent, which is just as necessary as sunscreen during the warmer months! I often joke the mosquito should be the state bird of Iowa! But in all seriousness, the diseases that mosquitoes and ticks carry make me cringe at just the thought, especially with a very curious 1 year old that will not accept being indoors when the weather is nice. In addition, traditional bug spray often has harsh chemicals that I would prefer to keep off of my child and pets.

So, after a bit of research and some testing (because it has to actually work!) I found a bug spray recipe that I really like. Bonus is this recipe is super budget friendly and I already had everything on hand except for the $1 spray bottle.

Hot As Fire Sale.png

I have been using this recipe for about a month now, and I regularly spray the covered porch area where my child plays (deck furniture/pillows/etc) prior to her being out there and so far I have not had any issues with pests. When the whole family is outside, I apply to myself and the dog, and usually just give a spritz to my child’s clothing and that seems to work well. Since it’s all natural I don’t mind if it was on her skin, but she normally has sunscreen on and I would prefer not to have a greasy mix of the two!

Well, nap time is almost over and that means it’s time to get ready to head back outside. Thanks for stopping by the blog today and feel free to pin this recipe for future use! Hopefully you can enjoy the sunshine wherever you are located!


Homemade Dog Food

Disclaimer: I suggest you consult your pet’s veterinarian (as I am not one) to determine the best food for your dog’s breed, activity, etc.

I’m changing it up a bit for today’s post….let’s talk food. Dog food to be specific!

Recently, I have been paying close attention to the chemicals and preservatives found in food and how they can have adverse health affects. While reflecting on my family’s grocery list and meal habits, I couldn’t help but notice that we feed our dogs dry processed kibble, which seemed to represent everything I was trying to avoid consuming myself. Why couldn’t I extend these healthy eating habits to the canine members of our family as well? How would I go about doing that?

There seem’s to be a meal delivery plan for every lifestyle and diet these days, and dog food is no exception. While having fresh dog food delivered each week in perfectly portioned bags would be nice, I found out it comes along with a significant cost, and a bit more inconvenience on my end. With extreme heat and cold here in the Midwest, I would need to make sure someone would be home to receive the shipments each week and that would be nearly impossible.

Boat ride!

Boat ride!

Sometimes you just need carried around!

Sometimes you just need carried around!

Also, our dogs are used to eating ‘free choice’ (they have a bowl filled each night and choose when they want to eat during the day), which would have to change to them being fed twice a day, and while doable it would be an added task. We already fed them a very high quality dry food, they appear to have no allergies and also no issues with digestion. I knew there had to be a budget friendly way to incorporate fresh food into their diet, and that idea started a path down a Pinterest rabbit hole.

After reading several articles, recipes, and suggestions, I came up with my own dog food recipe and I have used it for the past three weeks. I didn’t want to cut out their dry food completely, as I am sure there are some added vitamins/minerals/proteins that they need from it. Instead, I simply give them one bag of homemade food once per day, on top of their free choice dog food (each bag is about 1.5ish cups). Here is what I have found so far:

1) Our dogs love the taste, and it fills them up! They are eating significantly less dry food, which means less cost!

2) They drink less water, which is normal, since they are eating less dry food.

3) They remain VERY active, and continue to have no issues with allergies or digestion.


The Recipe!

This is a very easy recipe, substitute with whatever you have on hand, just google to see if it is healthy for your pet first (again, I am not a pet health expert).

You will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef (I sometimes substitute a beef/deer mix)

  • 1 can kidney beans

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice

  • 4 large carrots, sliced

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1in chunks

  • 4.5 cups water

Add everything to a crock pot and mix well. Cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely and portion into baggies, I use one heaping cup per bag which is probably closer to 1.5 cups. Toss in the fridge until you are ready to serve, or make a large batch and store in the freezer. This recipe makes around 12 servings, which lasts just under a week between my two dogs.





Bagged up!

Bagged up!

And there you have it, my simple and budget friendly homemade dog food recipe! Feel free to pin this post for later use, and as always, thanks for stopping by the blog today!


DIY Laundry Detergent

Hi friends! Today I want to share a quick post on my DIY laundry detergent. If you have been following along you know that I love all things budget friendly, and when it comes to cleaners and detergents I prefer as few chemicals as possible for my family. Now I also believe there is a time and a place for bleach, and I am not opposed to busting out the heavy duty cleaners if needed, I just prefer not to use those for laundry.

Let’s get to it! This recipe is SO simple, and makes a large amount!

Here are the ingredients:


8 cups Baking Soda

6 cups Super Washing Soda

2 bars castile soap (grated)

I like to use one bar of peppermint and one of lavender, but this time I only had lavender on hand.

Mix the baking and washing soda together in a large bucket, grate the bars of soap and mix again.

That’ts it! I use 1/8 cup per load. Not only does this clean your clothes and smell amazing, but it also cleans your washing machine! I store my detergent in a large glass jar, pictured below.

I also have been using wool dryer balls for YEARS (in place of fabric sheets) and never had to replace them! I use them with or without a drop of essential oil (for scent) and I have found that the more dryer balls I put in with my clothes, the faster they dry. This saves energy as the machine runs for a shorter amount of time.


This little DIY laundry routine has really cut down the cost of washing/drying laundry in our family, and I hope it can bring some inspiration to yours! Have you tried this homemade detergent? Let me know how you like it!

Looking for the products I used for this post?

These are affiliate links, to see my full disclosure click here.


Epic (EASY) Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s officially Fall and temperatures are dropping rapidly here in Iowa, which means all things warm and cozy are on the menu at my house. This simple, yet super tasty, chicken soup recipe will warm up those cold toes from the inside out!


First things first…


The Chicken

The most important ingredient, and easily made in the crock pot!

Directions: Lightly spray a large crock pot with non stick spray. Rinse and pat dry a fresh whole chicken (insides removed) and place it in the crock pot on top of a bag of carrots (if you don’t want carrots in your soup you can use balls of foil to keep the chicken up off of the bottom). In a bowl, mix together the following seasonings and sprinkle over the entire chicken:

1/2 TB Paprika

2 TB All purpose seasoning

1/2 TB Garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Cook on HIGH for 4-4.5 hours and use a thermometer to make sure it has reached 165+ degrees

The Soup

You will need:

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon butter

2 32oz cartons of low sodium chicken broth

1/2 32oz carton of vegetable broth

2 cups extra wide egg noodles (roughly half of a bag)

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot over medium heat cook the onion, celery, and butter until tender or about 5 minutes

  2. Pour in the chicken and vegetable broths, basil and oregano

  3. Pull apart the chicken from the crockpot, skin and all, and add the pieces to soup mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Cut up the carrots from the crockpot and add to the soup mix

  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes

  6. Add egg noodles and continue to simmer for 10 additional minutes or until noodles are done, careful not to overcook them! Check taste and add salt and pepper again if needed.



Dinner is served