Monday, September 13, 2010

My Review of Laundry Detergent-Lavender

Originally submitted at

- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Laundry Detergent liquid is one of our hardest working cleaners. Concentrated, safe and gentle on clothes - yet it really packs a punch when it comes to removing dirt and grime. Contains Anionic Surfactants from plant-derived sources, Cotton Extract, Borax, d...

Wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy!

By Busy Momma from Pleasanton, CA on 9/13/2010


1out of 5

Pros: Easy to Use

Cons: Doesn't clean well, Fades colors, Expensive, Weak Function, Hard on clothes

Best Uses: Keep In Laundry Room

Describe Yourself: Parent, Housekeeper, Homeowner

I was excited to *splurge* on this laundry detergent. I love the lavender scent and was hopeful that it would be gentle and effective as well as not irritate my child's sensitive skin.

Boy was I disappointed.

With my first load of laundry I was concerned that the scent would be too overpowering as the entire area ajacent to my laundry machines smelled like lavender. The opposite was true: oven mitts, dish rags, and bibs all came out of the laundry smelling like sour milk. The rest of my laundry had no scent at all or a slightly stale or sour smell. Not what I expected at all. (I also used the same scent dryer sheets).

Now, I'm very picky about how my laundry is done. I wash in cold water as it tends to be more gentle on clothes and turn my clothes inside out to prevent wear. Unfortunately, Mrs. Myers detergent ruined many clothes. My whites were dull and dingy looking - a brand new pair of black shorts came out looking like they've been worn daily for 2 years and were faded and gray after only one wash. I've had to relegate some of my daughter's "good" clothes to "play" as the detergent was so harsh on the fabric it basically ruined (fading and pilling) some items.

As to the detergent's ability to clean - well, I didn't have much luck there, either. I pre-treat my children's clothes when they get food, etc. on it. In doing so, in combination with using Mrs. Myers detergent, clothes came out of the wash stained and in some cases, still DIRTY!

No, I wouldn't recommend this to a friend or my worst enemy. Save yourself the cost of this very expensive and ineffective detergent - and the headache of soiled, smell laundry and possibly even the expense of having to replace your clothing.

The one upside is that it didn't irritate my son's skin!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

We made it

Yes. We're here in sunny California. Yes, it really is sunny. And windy... and we like it, a lot!

The Bean started school yesterday. She's been admitted to a special needs program that is amazing. She's going five days a week for 3 hours a day and is receiving services in class. I'm in heaven - and she is loving every minute of it!

Because of her new career as a student, my focus has shifted away from my knitting and sewing and has turned to feeding the monsters! Well, school and the amazing produce out here... A new friend of mine suggested that I look at Weelicious for creative and healthy ideas for the Bean's lunches. What a treasure that site is! I've been cooking meals and snacks from the site all week and we are in heaven - well, Dad and me, that is. The kids are on a hunger strike - I think due to the fact that I've decided that I no longer will feed them processed crap from a box - nor will I make 5 separate meals at a time! (really, I'm pretty ashamed of what I was feeding them especially considering I was so carefully making baby food and exposing them to amazing produce like fava beans, avocados and star fruit in the beginning!)

OK, back into the kitchen for me. I need to put away the "O" cookies and start on the home made fish sticks for dinner so I can be ready to head out for my meeting with the PMC.

Monday, June 28, 2010

stress is not fun

The members of this house are obviously picking up on my lack of sleep, caffiene and increasing levels of stress as move day approaches.

Bean has spent the morning running around and randomly throwing whatever she can into boxes to help Momma pack. She's obvioously stressing that her possessions will be left behind, which I can deal with. It's just that my sorting tasks have reached an exponential level, what with having to finish cleaning out the attic, garage, purging, and now, cleaning up and re-sorting whatever the Bean has decided to "pack" throughout the house.

SO, I'm not liking how I'm not fun Momma and have degraded to making the kids sit infront of the telly while I cross things off my to-do lists.

OK, pity party over. Kids abed and I need to begin re-cleaning the kitchen, livingroom and playroom.

Tranqulity will resume after the move, right?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Doll Beds, T-Shirt Dresses and the Bean as a Gas Passer

I was looking back at my meagre attempt at blogging last night and realized that the whole point for this blog was originally to keep me honest about the stuff I make. Sadly, it hasn't worked. So, here I am, fessing up, with pictures!

The Bean had tubes put in her ears today and desperately wanted to take her Little Einstein figurines with her (the girls only) and pulled out a tiny "treasure" basket that I had given her to play with. Creative little legume that my daughter is, she placed Annie and June in either side of the basket and told them to go "night-night" and the doctor would make the "boo-boo in the ear" all better. Running with her imagination, I pulled out my scrap bin and the two of us dug in and made actual beds.

Now, she's asking me to make a tent and sleeping bag for her Leo figure.

It's officially time to make with the two t-shirt dresses I've completed. The Redbird dress was created for the Bean to wear to her buddy G's baseball games. Unfortunately, due to Bean's crappy ears, we never made it to a game, but the mascot dress was created.

The boat dress was completely inspired by the applique - which I can't take any credit for. Naughty me, I bought it. But the ribbon waves was all me!

Bean's third dress, is currently in progress and I really can't find a valid excuse to not pack for the move and work on it... SO, if anyone out there can help me justify an afternoon off so I can finish the dang thing during the kids' naps, please, let me know. Packing is terribly tedious.

And the final thing to tell you, dear reader, is that the Bean successfully underwent the dreaded "tubes in the ear" procedure. Due to our "proximity" (rolling eyes) to the hospital, we were up at 4 this morning (after being kept awake by the fawn baying at her Momma in the back yard at 2 am). I woke Bean up, changed her out of her jams and put her in the car seat... she sang the ABC Song to "wake the sun up" the entire hour drive to the hospital. She loved the hospital gown (picture coming - once I get it off my phone) and how the blood pressure cuff was "a balloon that give the arm hugs." The ride on my lap in the wheelchair was par-excellence. When it came time to go into the operating room with me, Bean started getting anxious. The operating lights freaked her out and there was no way that she was getting on that table - smart kid! But with some coaxing (and her arms around my neck) she eased herself off my lap and sat on the table. The anesthesiologist gave her special "stickers" (heart monitor leads) and brought out the mask. The gas mask was one of the things the Bean was prepared for. She took it from the anesthesiologist and placed it over her face and said "Bean do it all by my self!"

As her ENT escorted me out of the operating room, he actually offered me a job - educating families and preparing children for surgeries. He said he's never seen a child more eager for anesthesia in his life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Perfect summer evening

Our summer welcome?

A family walk picking blueberries along the way - that is, after we stripped the bushes in the back yard. It is also a good way to begin our farewell to our current home.

Along the way this evening, the kids picked flowers and threw stones in the lake behind the house.

After gorging on blueberries (for the second time today!), we meandered back home and ran into a Momma deer and her two nursing fawns. It is going to be hard to transition from this to 4,000 square feet of yard.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Moving, Purging and Adventures Ahead

The Bean's dress(es) are currently on hold - yet one more project on the back burner - but this time it is not by choice. Papa Bear and I just returned from house hunting in the Bay Area of San Francisco! It was my first time apart from the kids, which in and of its self is a *huge* milestone. It was also my first time exploring the Bay Area as an adult. What a cool place! But my gosh, it is going to be a HUGE change for us all.

The short of the situation is this: I have less than a month before the movers come, the house isn't even on the market yet, and we haven't yet finished the remodeling projects we initiated 3+ years ago. Needless to say, the stress level is high here. I'm in the process of sorting through my teaching materials (which were never unpacked from our move east 5 years ago), purging *everything* and trying to prioritize what is going with us to our corporate housing (for 2 months), what will arrive in our temporary rental and what can wait until we buy a house (once our current home sells). To top it all off, our normal life is supposed to continue as normal = the Bean is getting tubes in her ears on Tuesday and our IEP meeting is conveniently scheduled for the second (of three) days the movers are here.

I'm trying my best not to think about the good friends that we're leaving behind, or my flowers, the Bean's innumerable plans she started this winter as seeds or our breathtaking property and all of its resident bears, fox, coyote, eagles and myriad of songbirds. Not to mention the heart break of finishing up my dream playroom/office, pantry/laundry room and fireplace the week before we leave.

Instead, I'm attempting to focus on all that the bay area has to offer our young family. Attempting.

Monday, May 31, 2010

sewing t-shirt dresses for the bean

Summer is here and it's already hot. My little bean has started stating fashion preferences for dresses, dresses, dresses! Thanks to my good friend H, I've started churning out t-shirt dresses. I'll post pictures at the littles' next nap time, but for now, I've got to get back to working on the jersey corsages which will adorn the latest creation! Until then, here's a preview of the how-to on the corsages...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Been Ages

So, I'll admit that I'm not too great at this whole blogging thing. I decided to give it a shot, originally, to motivate me to finish stuff. It has sort of worked. But with the arrival of spring, my knitting needles are gathering dust and I've just pulled out my sewing machine and have become obsessed with making the Bean dresses out of t-shirts and other pre-existing items in our closets and drawers. My first attempt was pretty dang successful - and I've got a shapeless pink shirt ironed and just waiting to be re-purposed... I'll post picts soon... that is, once my house gets tidy and prepared for an onslaught of visitors over the next week. And I start making headway into re-organizing closets and the attic in preparation for our move. How we're going to pull that one off is beyond me!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cowl for Momma

I put down my sweater. Scared to have a repeat performance of the too tight in all the wrong places episode and decided to try my hand at "inventing" my own pattern for a cowl for the bear.

Easy peasy.
Except my gauge was off.

Now I have a gorgeous cowl, knit out of some incredibly soft baby yarn left over from a blanket I made my nephew this summer.

The pattern was relatively simple, but has a nice rib that spirals around the cowl. I used Knit Picks Shine yarn. worsted weight in cream. I used the two full skeins that I had on hand, but more could be used to acheive a longer neck-warmer. The opening of the cowl measures ~25" around. SO, without further ado, here's the pattern:

Using US8 circular needles, CO 97 stitches and join yarn. Knit 4 into the back of each stitch, Purl 2. Repeat until you are almost out of yarn (or work measures ~8"). Cast off. Weave in ends and block.

And one last item. The Bean and I made cup-cakes for her to take to school tomorrow. I'm not a huge an of food coloring and junk food, but these turned out just way too cool not to share:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day

I realized this morning, trying to fall back asleep, that I suck as a blogger. I'm promising myself that I'll do better. ...wishful thinking, but I'll try.

I dreamed last night that my hubby was knitting the most amazing hat for me. It had the most intricate pattern with cables and patterns that climbed the sides of the hat in the most amazing swirly pattern. He got bored with the knitting and handed me the almost finished hat and asked me to do the reducing and weave in the ends. It was at that point that I realized he had used the yarn that I've been knitting my sweater with... which didn't bother me in the least.

That brings me to my sweater. My gorgeous sweater (the picture is of what I hope my sweater will look like, not as it actually stands now, sigh) that I've already half finished and had to rip out because the sizing runs small. Now, the instructions say that the sweater is fitted. I'm good with fitted. But this wasn't fitted. Oh no, the pattern runs small - so small it's the "let's show every imperfection small." Great. I ripped out all 17 inches and started over. Fun times. I'm now back to where I was when I ripped out and am hesitant to try on the sweater. If it doesn't fit this time, I may give up. Then, what to do with all the gorgeous yarn? I can probably find something...

I am desperately trying not to put down the sweater to knit the Bear a cowl. The poor kid's new coat doesn't fit him quite right at the neck and it is, more often than not, exposed to the cold. I have the perfect yarn for the cowl and am envisioning it in a nice seed stitch... humm... it might be the perfect snow day project...

As to projects, I have one other. I've been counting birds for the Cornell Ornithology Lab. Fun stuff! I saw my first brown creeper the other day and have a red-bellied woodpecker at my suet feeder now.

And finally, it's a snow-day. Hubby is working from home and he and the kids are still in bed at 7:30. I'm sitting here with a nice cup of coffee, a fire in the fire place enjoying the peace and quiet...