20 August 2014

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We can exhale now. All of the children have been escorted back to their respective schools.

First Day of School
Kindergarten and First Grade

First Day of School
Too Cool for Outside Pic

No Wave Goodbye
So I Got One Anyway

Seems like just yesterday when they were so sweet and posing for their mama...

After Church Kids

We are so excited for them (and for us) starting this new chapter in their lives.

17 August 2014


* Do it my damn self.

I dream of being an Extreme Couponer but when I see the products that most of those folks purchase and stockpile, I can't even picture it. I mean, who needs 172 bags of croutons? But I TOTALLY covet the toilet paper stash so I continue to strive to make that happen. I just think I'd sleep better at night knowing I had a years' worth of loo rolls in the basement...

So anyway, the other night a friend of mine posted a thrifty DIY project to save money on dishwashing detergent. I had seen some of my hippie-ish friends making laundry soap last year and I did not partake, but the dishwasher detergent project piqued my interest because we are running low on Cascade and I had all but one ingredient listed for the project on hand. Plus, I haven't found a detergent that really does the job. That could be related to someone not rinsing the dishes well or loading the dishwasher wrong. (I'm not talking about the hubs!)

I tried to locate washing soda at Target and Sprouts to no avail, and I was not interested in hitting yet another store because I'd been at the mall with my 7th grader for way too long prior to going Target, the skating rink and then Sprouts. I was getting kinda hangry. I figured I could google how to turn baking soda into washing soda whilst eating my dinner.

Turns out I could, with the help of my oven. All I had to do was bake the soda for 45 minutes or so at around 400 degrees et voila! I did that and wondered if I should be wearing a respirator when I was stirring the partially baked baking soda around.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Dishwasher Detergent
Fizzy Reaction

DIY Dishwasher Detergent
Looks a bit like butter pats...

So far the jury is out on the effectiveness of the home made detergent. We were having an issue with spotty dishes because we ran out of rinse agent and I decided to try plain vinegar.  I'm thinking that maybe I needed to clean the dishwasher with white vinegar to resolve.

I didn't calculate the cost for me to make this detergent, but the fact that I know how to make dishwasher detergent is inspiring me to learn to do more. I am not only interested in savings but being more MacGyver-like in taking care of the family and home.

11 August 2014

Chi Town

Ten years ago when Emi was two, we road tripped to Chicago to visit my cousin and meet her new baby, Jovi and see my mom who was there visiting a friend. We drove straight through and even though we were tired when we got to our seedy hotel, we wasted no time in getting some deep dish pizza.

Deep Dish Pizza Pie in Chicago
Deep Dish YUM!

01 August 2014

We are Family

My brother was in town from Tampa recently and we all met up for dinner at Oliveto. Four of the five of us kids were there.  Too bad our big brother, Michael, wasn't here...

Oliveto with the Family
Inside after Dinner

Outside Oliveto with the Family
Outside having our waitress take a group shot. ("Did she take it?")

30 July 2014

Words That Don't Mean What I Thought

Chicanery. I thought this meant something good, like “I’ve got your back” or rapport but it does not.

cheating or deception: deception or trickery, especially by the clever manipulation of language deception by artful subterfuge or sophistry : trickery 

Hmmm…. I would say that my kids know the art of chicanery. Of course, mom knows when her kiddos are trying to pull the wool over her eyes so hopefully they will move on to more endearing things like integrity and veracity.

Sophistry.  I had never seen this word before today (when looking up “chicanery” but it looks pretty and immediately I thought “sophisticated artistry” but “crafty” (and not like Martha Stewart) is more like it:

flawed method of argumentation: a method of argumentation that seems clever but is actually flawed or dishonest 

Again, my children think they are being clever with their sophistry but really they are being sophomoric...

Do you know any words that sound positive or pretty (or negative and ugly) but mean something very different?

*This post not brought to you by Lumosity.