Wednesday, January 27, 2016

DIY Mom: Homemade Laundry Soap

In our house, I always thought I was the one with the skin allergies until I had my girls.  Specifically, Buggie.   Every liquid soap we tried set her off.  Almost every powder did too.  That poor kid needs the most gentle soap possible and for the longest time, we just stuck with what I had used on the girls cloth diapers - Country Save.  It was both inexpensive and didn't give her any issues.   There is nothing more miserable than watching your toddler scratch away for a week at a rash that covers every inch that clothing has touched.

About a year ago, though, Country Save started to be harder to find.  Really - I had only ever been able to get it at London Drugs and then Target for that brief moment in time that they were in Canada.  I decided I wanted to take a stab at making our own laundry soap.  I figured if I knew what was in the soap, I'd feel much better about having it on her clothes.

Even better - she has never had a reaction to my soap.   I don't know if I am saving much money over what I'd pay for commercially prepared soap, but I usually make such a large batch that it lasts forever so I MUST be saving money.


Here's the washing soda box in case you have trouble finding it on the shelves like I usually do.  I live in Canada so your packaging may vary (or not)

1 Bar Gentle Soap - I really love Dr Bonners because the almond hemp one smells so good in this mix, but recently tried this with Ivory bar soap and it still works great, costs less and is much easier to find in most stores.
1 Bar Sunlight Soap
2 Cups Washing Soda (You can substitute with baking soda if you can't find washing soda.  It just makes it much more powdery.  I've had to use this substitution a few times)
2 Cups Borax

Grate the bar soap.  I prefer to do this in my food processor.  It's just faster.  You can use a hand grater if you want but a food processor will make your fingertips happier.

Put the regular blade back into the food processor and pulse it until the soap grates are tiny.

Important - before you add the powder, you want to make sure the little blocker is in the chute of your processor.  unless you happen to like huffing Borax.  GAG!  Not recommended.

Add the Washing soda/Baking soda

and pulse until mixed then do the same with the borax.

Voila.  Homemade laundry soap.    I repeat the process until my laundry room jars are full and I always keep the supplies on hand so I can make more at a moments notice.

You only need 1-2 tablespoons per load.  I used a coffee scoop in ours.  It does not foam up like a commercial soap would, but my clothes are clean and don't smell like chemical fragrance.  The lack of sudsing should mean it is fine for a front loader.

I got my apothocary jars at Wallyworld

A note about food processor cleanup:

As for concerns about using your food processor to do this and then being able to use it for food after...don't worry.  But don't toss the parts into the dishwasher straight away.  You will want to soak it and then hand wash it first.  Then run it through the dishwasher to get any last soap residue off.  If you put it into the dishwasher first - it will coat everything in wax-like soap residue.   So take the extra step because you'll only end up handwashing everything that was in the dishwasher all over again if you don't.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Running 2016

Did y'all know I used to be a running blogger?

Like seriously.  I was.

I ran and ran and then wrote and wrote.  It's how this blog got it's name.  But then I broke my leg after a really struggly year and I didn't want to just sit here and bitch and moan and be all anxious and shit about my leg.   So I didn't write as much anymore.

Well - guess what.  I'm turning forty this year.  Eeek!  Unsubscribe now - this bitch be OLD!   and I miss running.  I left my job a year ago to stay home with my girls and you'ld think that would have meant more time to eake out for my health and fitness.  It hasn't worked out that way.  Much of this year has been finding my footing with being a stay at home mom with a side business and contracting obligations.

But in 2016, I will return to running.  I ran a half marathon just 4 months ago. It's not like I'm completely out of shape.  I walk 4k a day just dropping off and picking up my kids from school!   But it's not running.  Not even close.

Right before the new year, I saw one of the people I follow had posted this:

and I decided it was perfect.  I don't have to commit to running more than 5k at a time.  I have no intentions of racing this year (though I may do a couple shorties).  I have a new puppy to train to be my running partner.   This could be perfect.

So I put it on my Instagram.   And I got 60 likes for it.

60 likes x 5k = 300 km in 2016

Totally do-able.

Early January left me battling the flu, so I got a late start as I waited for my lungs to normalize again.  But yesterday I kick started my return to the world of running.
and an interesting thing happened.   When I tagged the person I dedicated the run to...they later tagged me back to say they had done a 5k solidarity walk!
I don't know if it will happen every time, but it was pretty cool to have it happen even once.

So I'm running again.  Not fast, yet.  and not far, yet.  But for 2016 it is about turning 40 with a healthier mindset and healthier body.  I have alot of weight to lose from a year spent on the couch bitching and moaning about a broken leg...but more importantly - running is a mental health thing for me.  The thing that turns off the naysayers echoing in my skull...and I need that more than anything else in life.  

Happy Homemade: Easy No Bake Energy Bites for the Kiddos

This year, I am trying to improve our eating around here...mostly because we've been really bad about it of late but also because I have the big 4-0 hitting this year and I want to feel better before I get there.  My kids are ravenous when they get home from school so I decided that instead of having them hit the pantry for some carb filled empty snack, I would make them something a little more satisfying yet every bit as much fun.

Enter the Easy Energy Bite

Toss all of this into your mixing bowl:

1 cup Peanut Butter (or other favourite nut butter or nut substitute butter)\
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup oats

You could also toss in things like coconut, flax seed, hemp hearts, chocolate chips or whatever else you happen to like in cookies...but I keep it simple.

Mix it all together until well mixed and roll it into 1 inch balls with your hands.  Voila - you're done...These should keep at least a week in the fridge...if they last that long.  They totally taste just like munching on cookie dough.