Black socks they never get dirty...

Maybe the reason I love black clothes so much is because they never look dirty. That's the thought on my mind today better known as Laundry Day. There isn't anything too special about laundry day. It's a tedious chore that has no beginning or end (at least in our household this seems to be the case).

Over the years I've been trying to move away from the chemicals found in dryer sheets and laundry detergent. There has been a lot of trial and error. A couple of years ago I tried Seventh Generation's detergent but it didn't seem to get our clothes clean enough. Mind you I was still hooked on the thought that fragrance (i.e. Tide) meant clean. A few weeks ago while reading The Kind Life blog I discovered Soap Nuts. Have you heard of these? I hadn't and so I had to try them. I ordered a sample from Green Virgin Products and the rest, as they say, is history. This is my third week using the nuts (After the sample size I went back and ordered the 1.1 pounds bag) and I really dig 'em.

They clean the clothes nicely without a bunch of smelly fragrance and they do a great job on my towels. My second week was a tad iffy, but I think it was because I put the bag of nuts at the bottom of the washer. For some reason it seems the clothes smell fresher when you drop the nuts at the top of the washer once you've put your load in. This week I'm using some drops of lavender oil on my dryer balls and now the clothes smell even fresher!

I'm still a Soap Nuts newbie so my review comes more from the excitement of finding something new rather than a solid history, but I do recommend giving them them a whirl.


Smart Girls know stuff!

I think Amy Poehler is the new Tina Fey, but 10xs better. If you don't know Amy Poehler (ohmygosh, you don't know Amy Poehler???!), she was on SNL, starred in Parks and Rec (super hilarious show. definitely netflix or hulu it if you want to laugh and laugh and laugh), and she created the cartoon and was the voice of The Mighty B!. Amy is simply the bee's knees when it comes to women comics.

And if she couldn't be more rad, she hosts the very cool Smart Girls At The Party webisodes. Amy interviews younger girls who are basically doing what young girls do; yoga-ing, gardening, writing, etc. Although it is geared to the younger girls, I still love watching them as much as my gal. Smart Girls At The Party aims to "change the world by being yourself". Isn't that wonderful?! If you are a girl (or even not because my son and husband enjoyed some of the webisodes too), do yourself a favor and watch one or two. You'll walk away with a smile and you'll want to join in on the Dance Party. Hey now!

Find more videos like this on the Smart Girls YouTube channel.


Tea is a cup of life

Making time for tea means you are making time to share, to breathe, to relax, to dream, to open yourself and to just be. Our time for tea started with croquet.

We've had a croquet set for years now but never used it at our old place because... because... well, now I don't know the real reason why. Our old place was dry (meaning the dirt was hard as stone) and our backyard was hilly and I was notorious for making up excuses to not do instead of just doing. But, that's changed.

So, out came the croquet set. And this particular day croquet needed to be paired with tea. I even made tiny tea sandwiches which included ham/cheese, cucumber and PBJ. Oh joy was had!!

We played a round of croquet and then had the most delightful tea party. It was so wonderful to just sit with my kids and truly enjoy eachother's company. There was no rushing about to finish as fast as we could in order to move on to the next project or scheme. We talked about upcoming school nerves and about possible weekend activities. And most of the time we just sat quietly, drank our tea, soaked in the sun and smiled.


What a Summer Morning looks like in our household

I guess I should rephrase that. It should (honestly) be What a Summer Morning looks like in our household when mom is on the computer.

WhooHoo! Let's grab all the towels from the garage, throw them in the utility cart and ZIP ZOOM around.

Were you wondering if anything besides towels was in the cart? If so, wonder no longer.

Epic crash on the lawn. My plan of action was (1. Turn away from the computer (2. Stare in bewilderment (3. Wait to see if anyone cries (4. No crying so proceed to laugh (5. Grab the camera and then blog about it ~ Oh, what a bad Summer Mommy.


Fancy Schmancy

I hardly ever get dolled up. It's no one's fault except my own. After the first kid was born it just seemed kind of pointless to get dressed up unless I was going into the office. And that, my friends, was hardly ever. I was pretty thankful to have a job that allowed me to work from home. My husband liked my stay-at-homeness (I don't think that's really a word), but did not like my stay-at-homeness look. Seeing your wife in the same clothes from out of bed to right before bed is not very becoming. Okay, honestly, it wasn't that bad... but, almost.

I've always wanted to have the motivation to dress fancy almost every day by adorning myself in a pretty dress, cute little shoes, a flawless face and an actual hairdo. I'd love to dress like Chuck from Pushing Daisies. Do you remember that show? That character? If not, here is Chuck rockin' her cute outfits.

I'm not even close to achieving fancy schmancy, but I'm getting there thanks to The Joy Up. One of our assignments was to get fancy... put on a dress, take time to do your hair or your makeup, or wear a piece of jewelry that makes you feel fancy. I coudn't do fancy alone so last night I got the whole family involved in this fancy deal. Why not?! We put on our nicest clothes, had dinner by candlelight on the good china, and had virgin margaritas. Yum! The kids were so excited that they had dressed themselves up 2 hours before dinner!! Even my hubby didn't complain when he put on a tie and some nice slacks. It was so much fun and I'm hoping to make it a custom. Life is definitely too short not to celebrate for no reason except to celebrate. We could easily celebrate in shorts and jeans and on the regular ol' dinnerware, but making it a wee bit more special really adds that little extra somethin' somethin'.

Gettin' fancy.

Ooooh, she's fancy!

I'd like the fancy look to stay. The older I get the more fancy I need. Heh. I may not be able to pull off cute shoes all the time though. Dresses look okay with clunky boots and/or tennis shoes, right?


Oh Joy!

Joy is a return to the deep harmony of body, mind and spirit that was yours at birth and that can be yours again. That openness to love, that capacity for wholeness with the world around you, is still within you. -Deepak Chopra

I joined Hannah Marcotti's The Joy Up Program and it's been awesome. Taking time to focus on joy is just what I needed. It's not that joy hasn't been in my life, but Hannah's program helps you tune in to it more... to be present with joy and to turn things around when they don't seem very joyous. Heck knows with 2 kids on me 24/7 I really need to see the bright side of certain situations that arise when they get sick of playing together. Also, it's pretty darn cool to really notice the way joy engulfs those around you. It's like you are this beam of light and others are mirrors and joy just keeps getting bounced around all over the place.

Last evening after dinner my hubby was pooped and needed to lay down for a few minutes. The kids felt bad and offered to clean up after dinner for us so we could both rest. They woke us up 15 minutes later and they had actually picked up the whole house!! Now that's the kinda joy I'm talking about!!

There are still down moments, but at least they don't last as long because you remember all the joyful things your life is made up of. I wish my sunflowers could be a part of Hannah's program. For some reason they haven't opened up yet. It's kinda sad. I keep hoping one morning I'll walk into the kitchen and their petals will be spread open wide greeting me with all their "sunshine." Until then, they stay shyfully closed.