Category Archives: Pinterest

HE, Cloth Diaper Friendly, Homemade Laundry Detergent


This time around I’ve been using cloth diapers. It hasn’t been bad except for one detail: the laundry. The amount of laundry wasn’t the issue; it was that I had to buy special “cloth diaper” detergent (which was expensive) that also was able to work with my HE machine. I didn’t feel that the cloth diaper detergent was really getting my clothes clean and I hated having to pay for and keep two different kinds of detergent on hand. I also have a sensitivity to dyes and perfumes so this recipe is fantastic. It also has less chemicals than the store bought stuff I was using and costs me about $10.50 to make two batches–which for someone that does 15-20 loads of laundry A WEEK (yeap, you read that correctly); this will last me around 3 months. When I think about paying $18.00 for the jug of the old stuff that would last me around the same amount of time PLUS buying the cloth diaper detergent this just makes much more sense for me.


HE Laundry Detergent

4 cups of Borax

4 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

8oz. Bar of Olive Oil Bar Soap (I use the brand called “Kiss My Face”)

Optional: 10-20 drops of Essential Oils  (I currently don’t use this because I’m worried about what it will do to my baby in her cloth diapers but once we’re out of this phase I plan on using lemon or lemongrass.)

Now, it should be noted that what makes this HE friendly is that it’s olive oil soap. Olive oil or is very low foaming so there’s no issue with overload. Castille soap works the same way but you must read the ingredients on your soap as some soaps labelled “castille” are made with coconut oil and other fats that create a high foaming soap.

Using your grater, grate the bar of olive oil soap. If you’d like you can also cut the bar into smaller pieces and use a food processor for this task. Mix the Borax, Washing Soda and essential oils with the bar soap (I always mix for a bit to make sure I’ve broken down all the lumps of Borax so I’ll have a nice even batch). Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

I’ve also read of similar recipes that also use 1 cup of Baking Soda as well. Next time I’ll throw a cup in and see how it works.


St. Patrick’s Day Recap


We got WAY behind on our 17 days. In fact I think we made it to about 10 or 12 days and then life caused us to miss a few. But I will say this one was probably Rory’s favorite art projects:

577793_10151510832850042_218664535_nIt’s high praise when she asks to do something again and shows it to everyone that sets foot in the house. Those are Rolo wrappers btw. I had fun eating the candy in order to have enough for the project. Take one for the team.

Luckily, St. Patrick’s Day was on a weekend this year which allowed for a new level of craziness to ensue at our home. Here’s a little run down on what that meant for us.

The night before one of the books we read “The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day” (we have  a bunch of these “The Night Before…” books and I just adore them). We made a leprechaun trap using a treasure chest that Rory already has and setting out gold doubloons (because of course, Liam the leprechaun LOVES gold). We went to bed with visions of shamrocks, Irish music and gold dancing in our heads. We woke up to a shamrock trail leading to gifts and a trap that had been messed around a bit. Liam was a bit too tricky for our trap and in his wake he left some turned over furniture, green milk, green toilet water, a tea party with Rory’s stuffed animals and some footprints! We’ll get him next year.


We also woke up to some gifts. Now, before you think I’m completely insane I must preface these gifts. My husband and I are both of Irish descent and we love our culture and wish to pass it on to our daughters. St. Patrick’s Day gifts are all things to celebrate our culture. Most often times it’s Irish books–for the girls it’s books of Irish myths, legends and folklore. For myself and my husband it’s more novels by Irish authors or books about Irish history. As the girls grow it will meld into music, hopefully art, etc. We want them to grow up with a love and respect for where they’ve come from.


We also had a yummy day of food. Now, most of Irish food is based on some sort of dare. I can’t imagine eating Irish cuisine daily–although I’d be 100 lbs. lighter for sure. So because of this, we decided against a “traditional Irish breakfast” (by that I mean the stuff they serve the tourists and pass off as authentic) and decided on rainbow pancakes. Rory thought this was so cool–and had fun deciding which color each person got (because they were HUGE you could only eat one each). The fun part was the presentation–about once a month I like to dress up our breakfast with our silver serving tray, tea service, etc. Rory LOVES this (she thinks it’s a tea party and inevitably ends with us deciding it’s our Merry Unbirthday and we have to sing to each other–thanks, Alice in Wonderland). Notice that Liam the leprechaun also turned our milk green (btw not the best idea for picky toddlers but you can quickly help them change their mind if you take a sip and say it’s lucky milk). For lunch, I made a simple PB&J and cut the bread out into a circle using a glass drinking cup. I shredded some carrots we had on hand, cut a “hat” out of a green apple and used black gel icing to make a face and instantly we had a Liam the Leprechaun sandwich! We had one happy camper on our hands who actually ate their carrots for once. The day before, we made shamrock shaped (don’t judge) cupcakes by using three marbles in the muffin tin. They of course didn’t turn out the way they did on Pinterest (like anything ever does). They were good enough for Rory and once we cut stems out of mint leave candies and used black gel frosting to make faces, she was pleased with the finished project. St. Patrick’s Day dinner was rounded out with the Irish American tradition of corned beef and cabbage. Yes, it’s Irish American NOT Irish during the Irish diaspora the new immigrants from Ireland couldn’t find the type of salted meat they were used to and so they “borrowed” the salted brisket from their Jewish neighbors.


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

(it means “St. Patrick’s Day blessings upon you!”)

How Pinterest Made Me Feel Like Bad Parent


I love Pinterest. Really. I’ve made new recipes from it, figured out super easy (and educational) activities for Rory via it, etc. I’m usually on it a couple times a week—feeding Molly and checking it on my phone for new ideas.

At the same time—I hate Pinterest. I hate what it’s done to mommy hood and what it’s done to the psyche of women around the world. Pinterest has helped Mommyguilt reach levels not possible before. Why? Because it shows us what we’re NOT doing, or what we think we SHOULD be doing or what we CAN’T do. It is there in black and white—other parents are doing other things and doing them well.

Here’s an example: Last year Rory was obsessed with Willy Wonka (not the crappy Johnny Depp version—the legit Gene Wilder one, of course). So starting in February last year I’d hear once a week about how she was going to be an Oompa Loompa for Halloween. At first I blew it off; she’s two—she’ll come up with something else. Then I realized she was dead set on this costume. I googled “Oompa Loompa toddler costume” because of course, I can’t sew, and came to find a pre-made costume–for $70. Ouch. Totally ridiculous to wear once, but with a mom that has no artistic ability it was probably the reality I would have to face. That was, until I found the cutest Oompa Loompa costume (homemade, of course) on Pinterest. I suddenly felt like a crappy mom for even thinking of sending my daughter out trick-or-treating in this cheap-looking (although rather expensive) generic costume. My “mom cred” was in serious jeopardy. I knew we had to find a way, and luckily for me I have a sister and mom that sew and love to make stuff for Rory, so between the two of them she ended up being the hit of Halloween.

I know it seems silly–being concerned about a store-bought costume versus a homemade one. To many of us it’s so much more. It’s really about “how good of a mom am I?” and, even more concerning, “how will other moms perceive me?” Because let’s face it–the hardest people on parents are other parents. If you say you’ve never cared one iota about what other mom’s think of you, you’re a liar. We all care. This is the most important job we’ll ever have–we want to do it right. We want to do well. We want our kids to grow up great. So it’s easy to start thinking that we need to buy them certain clothes, cook them certain food, teach them certain things–all the while looking down on people that don’t conform because it’s easier to say “they’re wrong” versus “maybe we all are doing it well.”

Early on in my parenting of Rory I realized that moms were MEAN. I’d see my Facebook explode with debates of cloth diapers vs. disposable, breastfeeding vs. bottle, which car seat was the best, co-sleeping vs. crib, homemade baby food vs. store-bought. It was an endless fight–and I grew weary pretty quickly. I decided to no longer engage in these discussions. At the end of the day if you love your kid, you treat them well and do the best you can–does it really matter if you make your costumes or buy them or decide against Halloween all together? I don’t think so. So please, don’t let Pinterest tell you that you need to make your own laundry detergent, sew a fort cover for a card table or make your own fruit roll-ups in order to feel like a great parent; just by reflecting on the question, you’ve come to the answer, because bad parents don’t realize or care if they are.