Homemade Laundry Powder recipe. {Video}

Hi friends,
One of my most highly requested blog posts & videos is to do a “how I make my washing powder”…
So here it is…washing powder1.jpgThe video can be found HERE. 

The recipe I use is by Sister Mixin and you can find it HERE. (I change the recipe slightly by adding in 1 bar of sard soap…)

The reason I make my own laundry powder is simply because –
A) I can. I have the time & desire to do so, you may not & that is fine.
B) I feel it saves us money. 
C) I also believe it is more gentle & more effective product than standard washing powders.
Laundry powder is so expensive & often full of extra fillers & chemicals, so by making my own I know what is in it and it is very cheap. All these ingredients are easily available at Coles or Woolworths & are very affordable, I always have them in my cupboard, as I use them for other uses as well.
I make mine in my Thermomix – you don’t need one to make this recipe, but I feel it would be easiest… If you don’t have a Thermomix, I would suggest you either grate the soap bars or blitz them in a food processor and then combine all the ingredients in a large clear container (a clear container so you can check that all the products are thoroughly mixed together)

I have been making this recipe for over 2 years now and I find it removes stains very well & all of our clothing is clean & soft. I do use white vinegar as a fabric softener occasionally (always with towels) & if I am washing our bedding I often add in some lavender essential oil (or even eucalyptus if we aren’t feeling well)

As mentioned in the video, I do occasionally buy washing powder. I bought one box of OMO sensitive to wash Tommy’s clothes before he was born, but I  have been washing his clothing with this powder for months and he has never had a reaction to it – none of us have. The other product I occasionally buy is Bosisto’s Laundry Powder – I only buy it maybe once a year, if it is on sale… And it is the product I like to have as my “back up” in case I run out of this mixture or I use it if we are all very sick.

I like making my own cleaning products, I currently make my own basic disinfectant spray, occasionally dish washer powder & stone bench cleaner. I have trialled making a few glass cleaners, but I’m struggling to find one I love – so for now I use the Method glass cleaner & also their timber cleaner/polish, I find both of those products to be really good. But if you have a great recipe for either of those I would love to try it out!
Please let me know in the comments below or on my social media any cleaner recipe recommendations you may have, or if you make your own laundry powder – do you use a similar recipe to this? I would love to have a read of yours!
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13 tips on how to reset as a Mumma & remain happy…

She’s strong, but she’s exhausted. – r.h. sin.

Hey friends,

Today I come to you weary, exhausted & sleep deprived…
(So I do apologise if they post gets rambly & makes little sense.)
A certain little mister has decided to test out how little sleep Mumma needs to survive… Sleep deprivation is torture – one I would never survive – because I suck at being a human when I haven’t had sleep. Now I don’t need a great deal of sleep, but I do need at least 4/5 hours of unbroken sleep – heck even 3 is good enough… Otherwise I just don’t function right, my tolerance levels & patience grows incredibly thin and you know if you are a parent, you need high levels of those to survive!
So anyway, my current state has inspired me to write a blog post today on…13 ways.jpgHow to reset as a Mumma & stay happy…
We all need a hand sometimes, we all have rough days that test us so much we almost break (or even do) And this is ok, it happens. But the important thing is to remember not to stay in that place… To make a conscious effort to reset & refocus on being happy…

  • Communicate & connect. Talk to your husband/partner/friend/tribe – whoever! Let them know where you are at. Take up offers of help. Trent & I don’t have a large support network – to be honest we have zero outside help, but we do have each other and we share the parenting workload evenly… He helps me so much when I am running on empty. A good chunk of the time I am the one keeping everything going, but when I am struggling he swoops in and saves me. He is incredible at getting up at night with the kids when I need help, because he knows I am terrible at life if I don’t sleep… Be honest with your husband/partner at where you are at, he can’t help if he doesn’t know.
  • Create close friendships/gather a tribe… You don’t need many friends, just 1 or 2 that get you, but if you are fortunate enough to have tribe – that is awesome too! Thankfully I have my best friend that I can have a good chat (whinge session) to about my current struggles and it is always so reassuring to have someone who understands & supports you without judgement and will listen during those real & honest talks. Aren’t Mumma friends the best?! I am so thankful for my Motherhood soulmate! (my latest column in Highfields’ style talks about this, you can find it HERE)
  • Make Mumma time a priority… Whether it be just driving to the store & doing groceries on your own, journalling, watching a movie, going to gym/church/a cafe on your own, taking a hot bath or walking the dog alone – do something for you. Do something where you won’t be interrupted (or hardly) and reset yourself… (Best time to do this is when your husband is home or you can get a babysitter/grandparents to watch the kids!) 
  • Take care of you, so you can take care of others… This point goes along with the one before, but you cannot pour from an empty glass… Keep your cup full. Take care of you!! In whatever way you need, make your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health a priority! Take care of yourself in a way that works for you! And Mumma, give yourself some grace! Stop being so darn hard on yourself!
  • Get out… As stay at home mums we are often just that, at home! I don’t often venture out with the 2 kids on my own, but when Trent is on days off we try to get out and do things as much as possible… This changes up our environment and recharges us a bit.
  • Remember your kids are and will be ok… Everyone has moments in parenting they cringe at or regret. Moments we yelled too loud or acted in a way we wish we didn’t… Your kids will be fine, it was only a moment. And if your kids are mad at you, remember they will live – having your kids be mad at you pretty much comes with parenting, it means you are parenting! You don’t have to be their friend every second. (If you react in a way you instantly regret or aren’t proud of towards your children, show your kids that it is good to be remorseful & apologise, explain feelings to them & how you felt overwhelmed. Be open & honest, you are setting an example on how to cope in a tough scenario. * example; “I am sorry I yelled so badly at you when you spilt your cereal. Mummy got frustrated & got mad too quickly, I realise that is was an accident & I am sorry.”)
  • Keep a happy heart & start each day fresh… Don’t hold onto bad behaviour, yes stick to punishments but don’t dwell on what’s happened. Move on. Strive to wake up every morning with a positive mindset and a happy heart…
  • Comparison is the thief of joy… Don’t compare, it is easy to see the instagram accounts and think “that mum has it together”… But everyone has struggles, their struggles maybe entirely different to yours but they exist. Keep in mind everyones social media account is their own edited version of their existence.
  • Get your priorities in order… Really weigh up what is important to you and your family. If you are burning yourself out trying to keep up with 10 different toddler activities during a week, is it worth it? Is exhausting yourself & making you cranky worth it? Everyones priorities will vary, so work out what works for your family. And learn to say NO – no to expectations, requests and even your kids. You do not have to do it all or be there for every single person.
  • Let it go, let it go… Go with the flow, some days are going to be absolutely incredible and some you will just want to cry. Go with it and pick your battles.
  • Savour the moment… One day you will long for this day back, don’t wish it away. Being in the trenches of motherhood is rough, but it’s beautiful and I am willing to bet one day you will look back on this fleeting season so fondly.
  • Remember you aren’t alone… Every Mumma has moments of great & hard times. Some moments we are a glowing, happy, engaged, doting mother who is fully focused on her kids and we are loving every second of motherhood. We wish these days would last forever. Then we experience the exhaustion, the feeling of barely being able to wake up because you are so tired and you swear you just shut your eyes, because you did! You feel like you are so touched out and just want to be alone in silence for 5 minutes – because silence & isolation sounds like a dream at this point. You feel like at any given moment you may just lose your mind because being over tired makes you a person you don’t really like. That mother exists too. Everyone has their own struggles, everyone (In one form or another…). I wish I was the first mother every single moment of my children’s lives – but I’m not, occasionally I am the second. Some days it’s challenging, but what counts is how we handle ourselves. Acknowledge it is a tough day/week/leap/month and work out a way to handle it… Go into survival mode, vent, ask for help, let it go – do what works for you, but know you are not alone. No one has a perfect day everyday and it’s ok for your day to not be perfect.
  • Treat yourself… Buy the flowers, buy the chocolate, buy the wine, get your hair done or buy the shoes. You are important – spoil yourself. (Because honestly, somedays you just need too!)

What is your best tip for resetting your mind after a stressful day/week? How do you maintain happiness as a Mumma? I would love to know, please comment below or on my social media!
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How to save money on groceries. {video}

Hi friends!

It is new video Friday!! Click HERE to watch my latest youtube upload!

Grocerythumbnail.jpg

This weeks video is a groceries on a budget | grocery haul video…
On this particular week we had our normal bills to pay, which we always plan for, but then some unexpected ones popped up and that is life – that happens… But it meant our groceries that week had to be a little more thought out…
I try to be budget conscious when I am shopping anyway, but on this particular day I was more focused on sticking to the list and not buying any extras… Our usual grocery shop is about $200/week – week and a half… That includes, dog food, cat food, cat litter & nappies & wipes… Those 5 things are so darn pricey, added with a lot of fruit & veg and meat = pretty expensive groceries! We often try to stay in front of needing extra pet food so if we need to, we can skip a week of buying them…

Tips for saving money on groceries…

  • Write a list and stick to it… If you go in with no set list, you may buy unnecessary items & not what you actually need.
  • Meal plan & shop from your kitchen first… Write out your meals for the week and shop from your fridge, pantry & freezer… Make meals around what you have left and write down what you need for the rest of the meals.  
  • Go meat free… Now anyone who knows us knows we love meat, we eat a lot of it… But not every one of our meals is a meat based meal… During a week we often have 1 or 2 meat free dishes, such as cannelloni, risotto, pumpkin soup etc… Not eating meat can be a wise money saving move, as meat is expensive.
  • Hunt… If you can & if it appeals to you. We have delicious fresh venison in our freezer that my husband was able to get for us. Not everyone can do this or wants to do this, but if you can, it is a great way to have some beautiful free range meat for very little money. (This also applies to growing your own, have a veggie garden or some chickens for fresh eggs!)
  • Budget… Occasionally if I am watching what we spend, I set a goal for my total and I write down the price of every item I buy as I shop (yes I am that woman) that way I know if I am over spending and also when I get to the check out there is no surprises – I also find it motivating to try and beat my “goal total”…
  • Check specials… Each week I check where nappies are on sale, they are normally our most expensive item so I look at Coles & Woolworths online before I leave the house and see who has them cheaper, normally that is a saving of around $5.
  • Keep a well stocked kitchen… Always remember ingredients you use regularly, like pasta, sauces, flour, sugar, spices, meat etc and keep them on hand and stocked up. And if you can, buy them when on special and stock up! If roasts are on sale I often buy 2 at once and one goes in the freezer for the following week.
  • Buy in season produce… Now, I don’t always do this because I have a certain little miss who loves blueberries all year round, but the smart thing is not to pay $7 for a small punnet of them and wait until they are affordable and that is when they are in season… Also check out farmers markets for great fresh produce!
  • Try and shop on the outside aisles & skip the middle or some aisles… Sticking to the fruit & veg area, meat department & the dairy/freezer section can help save us money & be healthier! Avoiding the middle aisles that are full of preservative filled foods is better for us and our wallets. That being said, I do still wander down them, but I very often skip the soft drink & chip aisle as we don’t really buy soft drinks or lots of chips – only on the odd occasion, or I walk quickly down the middle aisles knowing exactly what I need and not browsing each item…
  • Try to be focused when shopping… Know the item you need, get it – perhaps have a quick look for a cheaper alternative but don’t be distracted by items you don’t need or can’t afford.
  • Check out the discount trolley… Occasionally they will have things like cat litter or pet food marked down super cheap because it may have been torn… Even sometimes they have end of line, discontinued products there that have been marked down super cheap! Try to only buy what you NEED though, not unnecessary things just because it is “on sale”… If you genuinely need it now or will do in the very near future it is a smart move, but buying “just because it’s cheap” isn’t actually saving you money.
  • Don’t buy ready made… Sometimes premade/chopped/sliced items are great time savers… But you have to weigh up money for time sometimes… I tend not to buy grated or sliced cheese, veggies and most of my pasta meals I make the sauce for. (Except spaghetti Bolognese/cannelloni – but I have to get back into making tomato pasta sauces)
  • Use rewards cards… I always make sure to scan my flybuys or everyday rewards cards, each amount of points adds up to be money off in the future and this can be super helpful – especially around Christmas time… I think these sort of loyalty cards are well worth having!
  • Make your own… Household cleaners are so insanely expensive and we can make wonderful alternatives that work just as well! I have been making my own laundry powder for well over a year now & I do make my own cleaners as well. I have recently bought Method glass cleaner & timber polish, only because I am struggling to work out a recipe for those that works well… A bottle of white vinegar is just over $1 & a packet of bi-carb soda is around the same amount… With those 2 ingredients you can clean almost anything. I use both of those to clean my toilet, together they can be used with a bit of dish soap to clean the bath/sink/shower/grout. Vinegar + water + essential oil of your choice (optional) makes a great disinfectant. Vinegar is also a fantastic fabric softener.
  • Bake your own… I often bake our morning/afternoon tea treats instead of buying them… Firstly because I feel better letting LuLu eat a treat that I know what is exactly in it and secondly I find it to be cheaper… My pantry is always stocked with baking supplies so it is easy for us to whip something up.

Also check out the blog Domesblissity, Anne who writes the blog is so full of knowledge on leading a sensible life & saving money! I learn so much from her posts!

I would love to know what your tips are for saving money on groceries…
Please leave me a comment or let me know on my social media!
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Recipe; Roast Pumpkin Soup.

Hello my lovely friends!

Boy is it chilly or what? And it’s going to get colder! A cold snap is headed our way in a few days… So I am here with a delicious meal idea that will keep you toasty warm!
Roast Pumpkin Soup!

Roast Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Roast Pumpkin Soup.
Now this recipe is for a Thermomix, but you could easily just use a big pot on a stove top and a stick blender. Sorry it’s a bit vague, I kind of made it up and it’s just been in the notes on my phone & I adjust them each time I make it! But the last 2 batches of this soup I’ve made have been perfect! 

Ingredients;
  • 1 Parsnip 
  • 2 onions 
  • 2 potatoes 
  • 1000g – 1500g of your choice of pumpkin (I’ve used Butternut, Jap & Kent – all taste great!)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A little bit of olive oil
  • Stock (it is up to you whether it be chicken or vegetable) I use 2 tbsp of the Quirky chicken stock paste & 1 tbsp of Vegetable stock paste. 
  • 500g of water or until the consistency is to your liking – we like a thicker soup.
  • 100g of pouring cream. 
  • Seasoning of your choice.
  • (I also added 2 carrots to my last batch just to add in extra veggies as I was feeling unwell, it didn’t taste any different, so if you wish to add in a few carrots to get more veggies into this soup it is fine!)

Steps;

  1. Peel and cut all vegetables (I leave my onions and garlic whole), space out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and some seasoning if you like, but DO NOT OVER SEASON, it is better to season at the end when you can taste and adjust. It is very easy to over salt this dish especially if you are using a Thermomix with stock pastes. I do a very light sprinkle of roast vegetable salt on my veggies.
  2. Roast vegetables at 180-200 degrees for 1-1.5hours (until veggies are soft) make sure to turn veggies occasionally. You may have to remove the onions & garlic early so they don’t get too roasted (burnt!).
  3. Once the veggies are soft & nicely roasted start adding them in small batches to the Thermomix (or pot) and blend until smooth, then add more – blend and keep repeating until all veggies are smooth and combined. I start by blending the onion and garlic first so it is chopped up very fine, then the parsnips & potatoes & finally the pumpkin.
  4. If using a Thermomix add 3 tbsp of stock paste of your choice (I use 2 of quirky chicken and 1 veg) and 500g of water. 
  5. For non Thermomix users; 1 Tablespoon of Veggie stock is apparently equal to one stock cube. Basically if I wasn’t using the Thermomix stock paste I would add in my favourite stock in stages, stir & taste – if the taste was to my liking but the consistency was too thick I would perhaps add water, but try to only use stock. The water added in the TM recipe is because the water & stock paste = liquid stock. Sorry I can’t be more helpful in this step! The stock paste made in a Thermomix is hard to compare to anything from a shop, it is amazing.
  6. Cook soup for 15-20mins at 80-90 degrees, speed 2.5 (I cook mine on speed 3 sometimes but be aware that it can get hot and a bit splashy sometimes) 
  7. If on stove top heat soup for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.
  8. Blend on speed 4-5 for 10 seconds after it has been heated. (Be careful of splashes!)
  9. Add cream.
  10. Blend for 30 more seconds gradually increasing speed from 1-8.
  11. If your Thermomix is too full to safely blend at speed 8, just blend at a speed you feel is safe. Sometimes mine is a bit full and I only go to speed 5 because soup splash burns don’t sound like fun to me! 
  12. Season to your liking. I find if I use the Quirky chicken paste stock it adds a lovely flavour & it also adds enough saltiness. Cumin is a nice addition to soup but add it in slowly and carefully because if you season too much it’s hard and pretty much impossible to fix. Trust me! As mentioned above I also like roast vegetable salt. Onion salt can also be added.
  13. This recipe can be frozen, we freeze half the batch to have as a quick & easy dinner when Trent is on days off. I freeze it in a ziplock bag so it can freeze flat in my freezer. I just slide it out of the bag and into a microwave safe bowl to reheat (you could also reheat it on the stove top). Trent said this meal is the only meal that tastes as good reheated as it does freshly made and I agree!
Sorry this recipe isn’t exactly perfect. I just go by taste, I’m not a food blogger so writing recipes isn’t my strong suit!
But I can assure you this soup is delicious & lovely and will warm you up! So I hope it has given you at least a basic recipe to work with! I have made this countless times, LuLu loves it & finishes her whole bowl. Trent likes it & I have also cooked it twice for my Mum and she loved it – which says something because she is incredibly fussy and will not eat anything she doesn’t like!!
A perfect addition to this soup is some fresh bread, I make a fresh loaf before the soup so we have lovely homemade bread to dip in the soup – but bread from the bakers is just as nice!

Yummm!!!


I hope you all stay toasty warm during this chilly cold front that is about to hit us!!

1 degree! We are going to get down to 1!! Brrr!! 

If you make this soup I would love to see your photos or hear what you think! Tag me in your photos or leave me a comment on social media!
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Domestic Engineering; #1 Your questions answered!

Hello!
If you follow me on my ‘Modernwifelife31’ instagram (if you aren’t – um why aren’t you?) you will see I upload regularly about cleaning, keeping my house presentable & cooking. It’s kind of “my thing” – not everyone likes doing that stuff, but I do.
I really like it & I enjoy encouraging other women to be house proud & wanting to be “domestic” in a world where sometimes being “domestic” isn’t so widely accepted, in fact I have found that it is more commonly looked down upon – which I find ridiculous. 
When I post those images I often then get comments but more regularly messages from other women, friends, Mums or even just random people I don’t know that well asking me for cleaning advice – wether it be just how to clean something or how I stay so committed to a cleaning routine. 
I answer every message individually but I figure I should also write this in a blog post so that way it is just out there…
Basically, you asked so I answered… 
The biggest question I get asked is; “how do I do it all”…
Trust me I don’t – ever. And I am sorry if I paint that picture. I just really don’t  focus on posting not positive stuff online. Our life is just as chaotic, wonderful & not perfect as everyone else’s, but I tend to only focus on the joy. Everyone’s life is a mix of good & bad, anyone implying otherwise is pretty much lying. 
I have weeks that I fall behind, jobs pile up & I get really annoyed at myself for not getting things done. But I commit to a day or 2 of solid “getting shit done” and well, I get shit done. And then I vow not to let it pile up again – but it will. Because life happens, we get busy, we get sick & we get distracted. If things don’t get done, well it isn’t the end of the world really – it’s life & sometimes other things are more important than housework.

The next most commonly asked question is; “What is my cleaning routine”…
I don’t have one. I truly don’t. I have jobs I do every single day & I try to commit to 1/2 an hour at the very least a day to cleaning but schedules don’t work for me. I try to do them, but they just don’t fit into how I clean. Each week is different, I prefer to just see how the day unfolds and get as much done as I can.
Every single day I do at least 1 load of laundry, make the beds, I unpack dishwasher in the morning & pack it at night, I vacuum at least once a day as well as a quick vacuum around where LuLu eats her meals & snacks after each time she eats, I pick up around the house, take the rubbish out & wipe down the benches. 
They are my basic daily jobs – I aim to do them every single day – they are really standard. And please don’t think I drag my huge Dyson out to vacuum all those times, I have a handheld/cordless/stick Dyson thing that I use for those times. I use it more often than my bigger one, because it’s so convenient – I love it. 
During the week I aim to wash our bedding once, clean the bathrooms a few times, do a vacuum with the corded Dyson & steam mop at least once & clean/dust all the surfaces. I also try to mow the lawn once a fortnight or so, depending on the grass growing rate! All these tasks may not all always get done, but more often than not it all goes to plan.

“How do I find time to clean with a baby/toddler”;
I have been getting this one for awhile. When LuLu was new, I couldn’t juggle everything, so on Trent’s days off I would spend 1 or 2 days cleaning like a mad woman. Now she’s older, she is happy to either play on her own or just follow me around. She’s learnt to stay off the freshly mopped floors until they are dry & sometimes she likes to help me do jobs. It may mean the job takes double the time, but I love that she wants to help. It’s very sweet. So if you are a Mumma with a new baby, don’t even stress about cleaning – when you find the time & energy & desire to do it – do it. But don’t make it the number one priority – babies are only so little for such a short amount of time. Sometimes when she was little, I would strap her in the “bug carrier” (Maduca baby carrier) and clean with her.
I have always found that if I get my jobs done straight away in the morning it is a lot easier. LuLu is more happy to entertain herself with her toys or colouring while I clean, I aim to get everything finished 2 hours or so before lunch so we can play before lunch, eat & then I get her ready for a nap and then I can either clean with chemicals if I need to (I don’t do that with her around) or I give myself a bit of a break. And then we can do a craft or play in the afternoon. 

“What cleaning products do I use”;
It depends, it truly does.
Most of the time what I use I make myself.
I do have some store bought cleaners, but I am trying to use them up so I can use everything homemade. 
I like knowing what I am using and how it was made. 
I do like buying a shower cleaner, but I rarely buy the same one. It’s normally whatever “eco” one is on special at the grocery store. We have a grey water system – which is kind of annoying. I like every now and then to give my sinks, drains & toilets a good clean with bleach. I can’t really do that because apparently bleach or any harsh chemical is bad for the system – silly sensitive thing! I also buy an “eco” toilet cleaner.
I have been asked for recipes on my cleaners, I am trying to work that out – I kind of eyeball measurements so next time I make a batch up I’ll try & start writing down how much I use. But vinegar, bi-carb soda & oils are brilliant to clean with! 
Also if I have something to clean that I need to use chemicals with I aim to do that while LuLu is napping, the main reason behind me using more natural & homemade cleaners is that they are a lot safer to use around her.

“How do I find the desire or motivation to clean”;
Easy, I see it as my job. It has been a very clear set up between Trent & I since we’ve been engaged. It is a lifestyle many don’t agree with or wish for themselves. But it works wonderfully for us. He takes cares of us outside of the home & I take care of us inside the home. Sure he helps me if I need it around the house and I also “work” on my blog/YouTube. 
I love the feeling of having an organised & clean home. I get annoyed & mad at myself if I let it get out of order. So I always strive to stay on top of things. 
Basically I clean my house for LuLu so she has a clean space to play & live in, for Trent because it is my role & he goes to work everyday so I should work too & he works damn hard so deserves a well kept home & also for myself because I am so much happier & relaxed when my house looks beautiful. 

Seriously, freshly made bed, clear bench & clean floors – these are few of my favourite things… lol 

So they are some of the top questions that I regularly get messaged about & my answers. 
If you liked this post please let me know, as I can do more posts on this topic. Please let me know what you would like to read…
I was thinking of some posts like… how to set up a cleaning routine, how I clean certain areas of my home & keep them clean, cleaning tips, how to make your own cleaning products/my favourite products, a day in my life, how to stay focused on maintaining a presentable home, etc… Oh and the way I organise my grocery list was also interesting to a few ladies, so I was thinking of discussing that as well – if you are interested. 
Let me know what you want to read!
Facebook me, comment below, Tweet me or follow me on Instagram! 
Also if you have anymore questions on anything, let me know & I can do another Q&A post, questions can be on anything! 
🙂 
Thank you for being patient in between posts, like I said life gets hectic some weeks and April has been a busy month for us!! Being a wife & a Mumma comes first & I thank you all for being understanding about that!
I will do an April wrap up in a few days!