Banana Chocolate Almond Puff Pastry Bites

Last week I was making (dairy-free) chicken pot pies with puff pastry (yes, store-bought puff pastry is usually dairy free!) and had about a half of a sheet left after I was done with the pies.  It was already thawed, so I HAD to use if for something — I certainly won’t let perfectly delicious puff pastry go to waste!

So I invented a desert on a whim and here is what I came up with.  Oh, goodness, it was delicious!  Sadly, there were only 6 of them — next time I may have to make a whole  batch!

The very last puff pastry bite, before I devoured it

Banana Chocolate Almond Puff Pastry Bites (Dairy-Free!)

Ingredients:

  • Puff pastry, rolled thin (1/8 inch?) and cut into 2-3″ squares
  • sliced banana
  • chocolate chips (ours are of course dairy-free!)
  • brown sugar
  • almond butter
  • whisked egg wash (if desired)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 (F)
  2. Cut pastry into squares (mine were 2-3 inches)
  3. Spread a dollop (1 teaspoon?) almond butter in the middle of each square of dough.
  4. Add 1-2 slices of banana
  5. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon (ish) of brown sugar
  6. Gather the edges of the pastry and pinch together into a “purse” or sort of lengthwise similar to a potsticker
  7. Arrange on a baking tray
  8. Brush with egg if desired
  9. Bake at 425 (f) for 15 minutes, or until golden brown (check often!)
  10. Devour. Ideally warm.  For desert, breakfast, snack, anytime. With tea (or ice cream!), or without.  They reheat well in the toaster oven!  Yum!
Notes:  These would be good with various substitutions, I’m sure.  No almond butter?  Probably can skip it.  Want to add marshmallows? Or coconut?  Bet that would be good!  I am sure there are plenty of other shapes you could make them into as well. Let me know what other variations you come up with if you do this!

Somehow I remembered to photograph this in the daylight. I still have so much to learn about food pictures! But, still, yum!

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Hooray for Omegas! Might-a-Mins Spectrum Essential Omega-3′s Review

It’s February!  About the time of year many of us with kids stare longingly outside at the rain or snow and plot our next venture out into various indoor kid-friendly germ factories, while simultaneously reading about the next round of illnesses hitting our friends kids on our Facebook feeds (mine included this week, sigh).  Nooooooo!  Not us, let’s not get sick again!

A few months ago my aunt Deb sent me a bottle of Might-a-Mins® Spectrum Essential Omega 3′s to try, and I was very enthusiastic to give it a go.  I am NOT a big blog reviewer these days, but I knew this was a great product that I would give to my kids (and had been meaning to for ages!).  Might-a-Mins Omegas are a high quality children’s liquid supplement with a great, kid-friendly fruit flavor.  I keep hearing that omegas, along with probiotics, are helpful in boosting or strengthening a healthy immune system, and right now, with school and indoor activities times three busy girls, we can all use all the help we can get.  Bring on the good health, baby!

Most of us have been hearing about the benefits of omega fatty acids for years.   The biggies that come to mind for me are cardiovascular health, memory & depression.  When you look further, it seems there are more and more studies linking to positive effects in all sorts of other areas.  This is one of those supplements that just can’t hurt, and can really help in so many areas.

I started taking omegas when I was pregnant, I think.  Nothing like pregnancy and breastfeeding to motivate a little more healthful living!  Studies have shown children whose mothers take omegas while pregnant (and breastfeeding) have cognitive benefits and a decreased risk of asthma, eczema and egg allergy.  Pregnant mothers taking them are less likely to go into premature labor, and premature infants brains grow faster and stronger when supplemented with omegas.  A blogging friend of mine, Jennifer, found omegas helped with prenatal depression (I could have used that in my first tri last pregnancy for sure, if I could only keep them down!!!).

For kids, the benefits seem strong and obvious. Omegas have been shown to help significantly with ADHD, childhood depression, diabetes and asthma. They are recommended strongly by many to support brain health and increase cognitive abilities.  Local friends of mine have found their son’s eczema disappears if taking high quality omegas, and returns with a vengeance if he stops.  And they are not the only ones I’ve heard this from — from other mom-friends I know there seems to be a strong link between omega supplements and improvements in skin issues, allergies and gut troubles.

Yum, omegas! Elsie and Delia give the thumbs up

Back to the Might-a-Mins!  These particular omegas are geared for kids but are great for adults too.  The fact that they are an emulsion, rather than a capsule, means they are more readily and easily absorbed by your body.  Elsie and Delia LOVE THEM and eagerly gulp them down and lick the cup I serve them in.  Yesterday when I give them another supplement they like less, Elsie choked it down and then asked if they could have THAT one (the omegas) now too!  Sure!  Emma is not so enthusiastic, unfortunately, but you can’t win them all!  She is my pickier eater and I think it’s a texture thing for her — there are very few supplements I can find that she will take.  Luckily, you can easily mix these liquid omegas into yogurt, smoothies, juice and other foods too.  I’ve only tried it in homemade smoothies, but I need to expand our repertoire as I am not yet a smoothie a day mom (got to get a better blender!).  I’m she’d benefit from having them more often, both for overall brain health & development and also perhaps to help with mood and food/gut sensitivities.

Once opened you are supposed to keep the Might-a-Mins bottle in the fridge, though I will admit mine accidentally spent a night and day outside the fridge and were no worse for wear!  Friends assured me that the oils would not go rancid that quick.  Good to know!

Did you get it all? Good to the last drop!

As mentioned on their website, the primary Benefits of Might-a-Mins Spectrum Essential Omega 3′s are:

Supports brain health
Helps to promote a healthy immune response
Provides a healthy blend of two essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA
No fishy taste; great fruit flavor

 ”Might-a-Mins Spectrum Essential Omega 3 contains ideal amounts of specific omega 3 fatty acids, which support your child’s brain health and immune function. Kids will like the delicious liquid-like emulsion because they won’t have to take hard-to-swallow pills; adults will like it because it allows for enhanced absorption and bioavailability for optimal absorption. Might-a-Mins Spectrum Essential Omega 3 contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners – only the nutrients your children need.*”

If you are interested in trying Might-a-Mins Essential Omega 3, click here to purchase or call Debbie Waitt  at (603) 490-6133

Resources & Further Reading

What are your experiences with omegas?  I’d love to hear what you’ve heard or experienced, particularly with kids!  Also, do you have any suggestions for what could I mix it into for Emma? She a tricky one!  

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Math Game: Roll To 100

For three days last week and now today, Emma has been sick and missing school.  During Elsie and Delia’s nap time, Emma and I played a game that I faintly remembered having my kindergarteners and 1st graders play back in the day.

We grabbed our laminated 100′s board poster (you can get these at teacher supply stores).  Then gathered the other materials needed. We named it “Roll to 100″.

Materials: 100 board poster, dice, game pieces from another game, paper, pencil

Materials:

  • 100′s board poster (I recommend laminating for durability!)
  • 2-3 dice
  • game pieces from another game
  • paper & pencil if you want to keep score

How to play: 

  1. Line up the game pieces right before the number “1″.
  2. Roll to see who goes first, or have youngest go first
  3. Roll the dice (we started with 2), and add up the number on the two dice.  Move that many squares on the 100′s board
  4. Record what number you rolled next to your name (for us it’s easier for now for me to record, kids can also do their own recording as their skills progress!)
  5. Next players turn, roll & record.
  6. Continue adding the sum of each roll as a running addition problem on your recording sheet.
  7. The person who gets to 100 (or beyond!) first is the winner!
  8. We continued until all players rolled to 100
Notes: 
  • I am sure there are many ways to record, including recording the two (or three) numbers on your dice and the sum as a simple math equation (2+4=6) but not doing the running total, adding the running total in a vertical orientation, or other variations.  See what makes sense to you!
  • For the simplest play, just use one dice!  For a challenge, do 3!  We started with two but switched to three halfway through.

Roll to 100 recording sheet -- running total

Skills Covered:
I found this game touched on a ton of math skills that were great practice and made for good discussion.  Here are some of them.
  • simple number recognition, counting and adding (reading the dice)
  • writing & recording numbers, creating and writing equations
  • recognizing number patterns
  • learning about 10′s in a visual way
  •  adding 10′s and 1′s, adding 10′s and 10′s
  • the concept of “greater than” and “less than”
  • familiarity and counting with larger numbers, up to 100
I imagine there are others I’m not thinking of.  It was a fun game, Emma loved it, and we will definitely be playing again!

Emma playing Roll to 100

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Sunny Saturday: Apple Tree Fort

Wow, who says the weather in Seattle stinks?  Well, I suppose a lot of us are guilty of this at one time or another, but this winter’s been an oddball and today was a gloriously sunny, warm day that made for great time in the out of doors.  Yeehaw!

 

This photo reminds me of this.

In the morning, Lonnie and I jointly pruned the our apple tree.  Which means Lonnie threatening to cut down half the tree while I protest and point out exactly where to cut while he climbs up to hack limbs off.   I have no idea if this is a terrible time to prune a fruit tree.  Probably.  But it was hugely overgrown so we did it.  We ended up with quite a few long gangly limbs scattered about the yard.

So then we turned them into a fort in the middle of our still somewhat soggy lawn.  The girls were fairly uninterested — this was definitely an adult-inspired project.  But we had fun.  It’s amazing how the fort building skills stick with you.  Ha!

Once it was finished, the “house” had more appeal.  Elsie and Delia enjoyed playing in it for a bit — here is Delia sleeping in the “bed”.

Delia in the stick fort. Note the blue Bilibo in the back room is a potty and a white towel hanging close is toilet paper. Ha!

After a bit Elsie and Delia got bored, but Emma got into it.  We had added some more things, including chalk in some buckets hanging on the fort.  First she continued coloring where Elsie and Delia had started.  Then she got out a brush and made “paint” with water.  She also added a picture of a heart to the fort.

Meanwhile Elsie and Delia had set up their own activity over at the picnic table.

Coloring in the sun

We had fun and I hope more creative play emerges with the fort in the coming days.  I am thinking it may be sitting there in the middle of our lawn for awhile…. thank you, apple tree!

 

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Play With Your Food

Last weekend I went for a Costco run and when I came home the girls were all still napping or doing quiet time and this is what I found on the kitchen table:

Snack plates, waiting for eaters

Self portrait by Lonnie in food. Not sure what's going on with those eyes and/or the shaggy unibrow...?

Kitchen insults: Banana nose! Carrot beard!

brown rice cake, peanut butter, raisins, matchstick carrots, chocolate chips, banana, cucumber strips

Lonnie is generally not one for playing with your food at mealtime but apparantly snacktime it’s a-okay!

Emma, Delia and I, checking out Elsie's snack

Elsie's food art guy

Emma's snack

Delia, Emma & their silly snacks

The girls loved it and all had fun making their creations!  Not all of it got eaten but hey, all’s fair in food and play.

 

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Snow Play: Bringing the Snow Inside

Well hello!  So many posts I want to share, including some fun outdoor snow pics from this week’s Seattle “snowcolypse” — but this is what we did today so I’ll start with this.

My kids have enjoyed getting out to play in the snow these past few days, but boy is it a commitment, to get everyone all geared up, mittens on (which they hate, oh the dexterity loss you get with warm hand-muffs on!).  I am sure you get more adept with the cold-weather gear routine if you live in a place where this is the norm for months at a time, but we are certainly not there yet, and it, frankly, is a struggle! So today, inspired by a blog post about snow play ideas and a friend’s photo on Facebook, I grabbed a tub and filled it with a couple buckets of crunchy ice-snow and set it down in the kitchen.

Voila, instant snow play.  In regular clothes, while I cook dinner.

Delia making some “snow soup”.  She had also made cookies earlier, but they melted!

In the tub, we put plastic animals, some trucks and other vehicles, and cooking utensils, including muffin tins, a whisk, cookie cutters.  A small ice cream scoop made good snowballs.  Emma brought over little people.

With all sensory-tub type play, it seems two kids at a time is our limit.  We had all three into it for a bit, but it didn’t last well.  Two’s company, three’s a crowd around here.

They had a great time with this, though, and it was super easy!  After bedtime I filled the half-melted tub of slush with some little toys & gems, put another layer of snow on top and set it outside to freeze.  Up tomorrow: food coloring snow “painting” and some icy excavations.  We may have to find goggles and ice picks!

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Wordless Wednesday: New Tool

Not completely wordless.  Hello 2012!  I realize I have not posted in AGES, and really plan to get back into the swing of things in the new year.  So much has happened, and many fun outings and projects to share!

But what’s really awesome is that after two months feeling pretty low health-wise, my guy is back in the shop, excited to be fixing up a new tool.  Yay.  Glad you are feeling better!

Linking up at Hobo Mama and nowhere else today.  I have a floor to mop and TV to watch!

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Natural Parent Network Best Posts of 2011

I am proud and honored to be volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired. When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!

The volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make NPN the outstanding resource it is also spend countless hours informing and inspiring others on their personal blogs. To close out 2011, the NPN volunteers have come together to provide you with some valuable reading material. Each volunteer has selected either their most viewed post of 2011 or their favorite post and shared the link here. Please take a few moments to visit each post. Our intention is to expand our reach as bloggers and informed parents and parents-to-be who are still growing as we move through our own journeys. Each volunteer has provided links to other social media sites where you can follow them as well.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way!

Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares her Christmas Cookie Swap Blog Hop, which is her fourth annual virtual cookie swap and most popular post of the year. Please stop by and link up your favorite holiday recipe until Dec. 31. You can find Farmer’s Daughter on Facebook and Twitter.

Adrienne from Mommying My Way shares Fear vs. Faith, one of her favorite posts about how often living a life of faith can look like a life of fear, but the two are really quite different. You can also find Mommying My Way on Facebook.

Alicia of Lactation Narration retells the story of her oldest daughter’s 5 years of nursing and weaning in her favorite post of 2011, The Weaning Party. You can find Lactation Narration on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy of Toddler In Tow shares Finding My Mommy-Zen, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, she shares her desire to balance her own self-esteem by choice in order to parent with peace and compassion. You can also find Toddler In Tow on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and follow Amyables (Amy W.) on Google + and Ravelry.

Arpita of Up, Down, and Natural shares one of her most popular posts titled Reflections. This is a beautiful look at the type of mother she wants to be. You can find Up, Down, and Natural on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares Why Do Children Have More Food Allergies Than Ever Before?, her most viewed post of 2011. This post explains the shocking info that one unsuspecting mother discovered when she started researching why her daughter had a violent allergic reaction to eggs. This is a must read post for ensuring the health of your family. You can also find I Thought I Knew Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Stumbleupon.

Christine of African Babies Don’t Cry shares The Best First Food for Babies, one of her favourite posts of 2011. This well-researched post delves into the healthiest and most nutritious food to feed your baby. You can also find African Babies Don’t Cry on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Cynthia of The Hippie Housewife shares Gentle Discipline for Toddlers, her most viewed post of 2011. This post describes five gentle discipline tools for parenting toddlers. You can also find The Hippie Housewife on Facebook, Google +, and Pinterest.

Darcel of The Mahogany Way shares how Babywearing As a Way of Life one of her favorite post of 2011. This post showcases some beautiful woven wraps that she has purchased, traded, borrowed, and sold over the years. Darcel also talks about the benefits of babywearing from the newborn through toddler stage. You can also find Darcel{ The Mahogany Way} on Facebook, Twitter, Her Community for Mothers of Color, and Pinterest.

Dionna of Code Name Mama shares 50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids Plus Fun Serving Suggestions, her most viewed post of 2011. Most of these snacks are quick to fix and portable, so you can pack them to send with your child on play dates, at preschool, or to just have handy in the refrigerator for when your child wants to grab a bite to eat “all by himself.” You can find Dionna on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Erica at ChildOrganics shares a post that is not only close to her heart, but also her most viewed post for 2011 titled Attachment Parenting in the NICU. This post shares her top 10 tips for parenting should you find yourself with a baby in the NICU. You can also find Erica on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her personal experience of returning to work, expressing milk, and the ups and downs in between in her 2011 most viewed post, Mama’s Milk. You can also find Gretchen on GFC, Blog Lovin’, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Isil of Smiling like Sunshine shares how to make an autumn tree using pumpkin seeds, her most popular post in 2011. This post features a lovely craft activity that you can do with your kids! You can also find Isil on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer of Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 80 Uses For Coconut Oil, her most viewed post of 2011. This comprehensive post provides background information on the benefits of coconut oil as well as outlines 80 uses for it. You can also find Hybrid Rasta Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Jennifer of True Confessions of a Real Mommy shares her most popular post of 2011, Weekly House Blessing (Otherwise Known as Cleaning Once a Week). This post outlines a once per week cleaning routine for busy moms. You can also find Jennifer on Twitter.

Joella, the mama behind Fine and Fair, shares An Unusual Gripe with Bebe Gluton, one of her most popular posts of 2011. In it, she discusses the controversy surrounding a “breastfeeding doll” and offers her take on the gender role implications of dolls in general. Fine and Fair can also be found on twitter and facebook.

Julia of A Little Bit of All of It shares the story of how her co-sleeping relationship ended with her daughter, her most viewed post of 2011. This post shows how her daughter transitioned to her own bed on her 2nd birthday and the emotions involved for her mom. You can also find A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares True Blessings: White Noise and Grandparents, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, Kat talks about how she maximizes getting sleep and how grateful and blessed she is to have her parents be so involved in helping and spending time with her kiddos.

Kelly of Becoming Crunchy shares That Cup Does What?, her most viewed post of 2011. This post is one of a series of reviews and information on switching to all natural menstrual products – having heard so many different options and recommendations, Kelly decided to give a whole bunch of them a try and pull all the reviews together in one week for anyone interested in making the switch. This post in particular covers the ins and outs of the Diva Cup. You can also find Becoming Crunchy on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Kristin of Intrepid Murmurings shares a popular post from 2011, something she and her husband made for their girls for Christmas, great for open-ended play and construction: Handmade Tree Blocks. You can also find Kristin on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Lani of Boobie Time shares Helping a Fellow Breastfeeding Mom, her inspiration for starting to blog. This post discusses the importance of fellow moms supporting each other and some tips on having a successful breastfeeding relationship. Lani can also be found on Facebook.

Laura at WaldenMommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door writes about finally entering “spring” when her child with special needs begins preschool. After battling post-partum mental illness (post tramatic stress disorder) after the preterm birth of her third child, she finally begins to feel healthy and whole again in “It’s Fall, Ya’ll-Again.”

Lauren of Hobo Mama shares On not having an AP poster child, her (OK, second) most viewed post of 2011. Lauren’s first child shook her certainty that attachment parenting meant babies never cried and toddlers grew independent — and that’s all right, too. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Luschka of Diary of a First Child shares Lactivism, Breastfeeding, Bottlefeeding and Mothers at War, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This post discusses how the breastfeeding/bottle feeding debate causes a division between mothers, leading to the alienation of women and babies, while divisive companies prosper. You can also find Diary of a First Child on Facebook, and Twitter.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares how With Privilege Comes Responsibility, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This compelling post explains her strong felt desire to stand up for those less privileged. You can also find Living Peacefully with Children on Facebook.

Melissa of Vibrant Wanderings shares a Montessori-Inspired Checklist for Choosing Toys, her most popular post of 2011. The article outlines some important Montessori principles and how they relate to children’s toys, translating that into some simple guiding principles. You can also find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Melissa of White Noise shares Modern Day Wet Nurse, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, Melissa shares the benefits of human breast milk and human milk sharing. You can also find Melissa at Mothers of Change.

Momma Jorje shares Amniocentesis – What is it *really* like?, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This open and honest series offers not only the technical process of amniocentesis, but also the emotions involved in awaiting (and receiving) the procedure and a diagnosis. Momma Jorje can also be found on Facebook.

Moorea of MamaLady: Adventures in Queer Parenting shares Fluoride: Another Reason Breast Is Best, her favorite post of 2011. This post provides research on the harmful effects of fluoride in drinking water for babies and toddlers and ways to limit fluoride consumption in your home. You can also find MamaLady on Facebook and Twitter and her Parent Coaching Site.

Rachael at The Variegated Life is Calling the Muse in her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, she describes how she uses ritual to help her tap into her creative spirit. You can also find Rachael on Twitter and The Variegated Life on Facebook.

Rebekah and Chris from Liberated Family shares Using Cloth In a Disposable Society, their favorite post of 2011. This extensive post provides a lot of information regarding the varied uses of cloth as well as the many benefits. You can also find Liberated Family on Twitter.

Sarah at Parenting God’s Children shares her most viewed post: Confessions of a Breastfeeding Advocate: I Couldn’t. She confesses her struggles with breastfeeding her daughters, but shares why she’ll continue the good fight. You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Seonaid of The Practical Dilettante offers a science- and reverence-based meditation on The Living Earth, her most viewed post of 2011. This meditation was originally written for Earth Day, but it provides a way to reconnect with your place in the living breathing planet at any time of year. You can also find Seonaid on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes shares I Recommend (But Moira Likes This Book Too), her most viewed post of 2011. This post is a review of a wonderful book that talks about all the different ways that families can be made up, along with some of why this topic is so important to her family.

Sheryl at Little Snowflakes shares her experiences with tandem nursing in Tandem Nursing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, her most viewed post of 2011. You can also find Sheryl on Twitter.

Stay tuned for some amazing posts from all of these tremendous bloggers in 2012!

 

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DIY Laundry Soap: Easy, Cheap, Green

At least 6 months ago, I came across some DIY laundry soap recipes on Pinterest and was very intrigued.  In our family of 5 — three of whom make WAY too many clothing changes a day — we go through a freak-ton of laundry each week.  Laundry soap costs a lot!  It’s heavy and annoying to lug.  And also, it is packed full of chemicals, additives and scents that kind of squick me out, and I am sure are not good for the environment.  I am not willing to pay the $$$ to buy the fancy eco-friendly kind, too, in the amounts we would have to buy with our, erm, mountain chains worth of laundry.

It took me awhile, but I finally did it!  And it ROCKS!  I followed this recipe (that site also has a great price breakdown, which he calculates as $.05 a load for this one).  The hardest thing, I promise you, was finding the darn washing soda.  Fred Meyers, my friends in the Pacific Northwest, is my only source so far.  No other grocery or hardware store had it (and while I could get it shipped from a certain online retailer, it cost a fair bit more that way).  Maybe in less urban areas you will have more success, though.  We city folk and our laundry snobbery, you know.

Borax, washing soda, shredded Fels Naptha

No, that is not cheddar, though my girls thought it looked good.

DIY Laundry Soap (or is it Detergent?)

  • one bar of Fels Naptha (or Ivory, Pure & Natural, Zote, maybe Dr. Bronner’s?)
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda (NOT regular baking soda)

Directions:  Shred soap as finely as you can (I used my regular box grater — it washes clean).  Dump into large bowl.  Add borax and soda, mix well (I like to crunch it up a bit with my hands).  Pour into an airtight tub, add in a tablespoon scoop left over from a storebought laundry detergent, if you have one. Use one tablespoon or a bit more per load.   Done.  Easy easy easy.

Viola

And how does it work, you ask?  So far, really great!  Everything smells great — clean, but not overly scented, or really scented at all (the Fels has some scent I think, though, but it’s quite dilute).  We have really soft water so the one Tablespoon (sometimes 1.5) works well for us, your milage may vary.  I do sometimes add Oxyclean.  Note that our laundry tends not to be all that heavily soiled — not sure how it would work on heavily stained, grimy stuff (it cleans kid-dirtied laundry just great, though!) but might be just fine. I haven’t researched the toxicity or chemicals in the Fels Naptha (and have heard mixed things about Borax) but for the most part I feel it is generally better than most of the regular laundry soaps out there!  I chose Fels since I had it on hand and because I know it works well on stains — but like the idea of a more natural bar too.  The Fels bar is much bigger than a regular bar of soap — so that would alter things a bit, perhaps?  It’s cheap enough to play around with — try some things and see what you like!

This recipe fits great into a repurposed yogurt container

One of my favorite benefits so far is that I never run out of laundry soap anymore!  The boxes of Borax and washing soda last a LONG time, and if I buy a few bars of soap at a time, I’m set.  Once recipe lasts a LONG time, too, because we use such a small amount with each load.  Now if only I could inspire more folks to pitch in on laundry around here…

Outdoor laundry, good way to keep an eye on the kiddos while they play. This is actually not as big of a pile as it gets, by a long shot. Sigh.

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Wordless Wednesday: Thanksgiving

       

First time for Thanksgiving at our house, ever!  We had a fun day and a fabulous dinner. Thanks to my mom, for making it all happen!

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday posts at Natural Parents Network, HoboMama, My Organized Chaos and 5 Minutes for Mom

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