Homemade Lemon Dishwasher Pods

 

homemade dishwasher podsI’m really on a kick. I recently posted about the homemade lavender laundry detergent I made, and now I’m back to tell you about the dishwasher pods I made, courtesy of Happy Money Saver‘s original recipe. I really love these too, and, honestly, my dishes have never come out this sparkly clean. Another neat thing is that these pods use most of the same ingredients as the laundry detergent, with a couple additional extras.

So really (provided you’ve made or intend to make the laundry detergent), the question isn’t why make dishwasher pods too, it’s why wouldn’t you? For a step-by-step, head on over to my post on Apartment Therapy. For instructions on how to make your own storage containers from re-purposed jars, like the one pictured, check out (Almost) Free Pantry Storage.

homemade dishwasher tabsvia

 

Homemade Laundry Detergent

homemade laundry detergent

I love this homemade laundry detergent so much! Ever since the unexpectedly far-reaching effects of the liver cleansing diet kicked in, I’ve been on a make-my-own kick.

homemade laundry detergent

This laundry detergent works so well. Much better than other high-scoring (according to EWG) natural detergents, and just as well as some regular ones I’ve used in the past. The only issue I noticed was that our clothes weren’t quite as soft. This is easily remedied, either by adding some white vinegar, or by adding a scoop of a salt-based softener (also homemade!).

My full recipe and a step-by-step are published over on Apartment Therapy. Chalkboard labels and chalk marker are from Amazon (but spell lavender correctly on your label). If you’ve ever considered trying to make some, do it! It’s thrilling. =)

Check out All-Natural, DIY Goo Gone that WORKS for another homemade cleaning product made from items you probably have in your kitchen.

 

You Can Also Find Me at…

Hi friends!

Just wanted to let you all know that I’ve started as a contributor to Apartment Therapy, something I’m incredibly excited about. Apartment Therapy was one of the very first blogs I read consistently when I first got married and had my own, then, apartment. I barely applied when I saw they were looking for contributors but I ended up just going for it, even though I didn’t really have the time to do it or to do it absolutely as perfectly as I would have liked. Lesson learned: GO FOR IT!! push past the myriad ways you could (legitimately) excuse yourself and just give something you want a shot.

apartment therapy

Anyway, I wanted to share the articles I’ve written over on AT, because I think they’d interest many of See Mommy Doing’s readers.

The House that Cleans Itself

Color Block Curtains: Adding Color Without Pattern

5 Ways to Declutter: Conquer Clutter Before It Conquers You

7 Beautiful Spice Rack Storage Solutions

Better Sleep and Allergy Relief: How To Banish Dust Mites from Your Bed

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

5 Reasons to Include Children in Organizing Projects

Earlier this week I was bitten by an organize-the-children’s-art-supplies bug that would not let me not do it. So I dove in in that irreversible way that involves emptying entire shelves and drawers onto the floor. The process took all day. We sorted, we made a list, and then I went to go buy containers while the kids napped. After dinner, their treat was to stay up and help me organize. And they totally loved it.

five reasons to organize with your children

I was honestly surprised by how they responded. They kept telling me, “Mommy, I love you. Mommy, thank you so much.” I realize two things were probably going on: They were happy to be included in what Mommy was doing, of course (as 3- and 5-year-olds still are), but something about the organizing itself was filling up their little hearts.

Although I involved them in the process without too much deep thought, their reaction to helping me made me realize the value of involving the children in organizing projects:

1) They find things they forgot they had. Two things in our home are kind of like Christmas: When I come home from shopping at a consignment sale and when we rotate or organize the kids’ toys. While Danny and Elora were helping sort through their art supplies and toys, they got really excited about things that were too jumbled up for them to access or even remember they had. “Discovering” them breathed new life into things we already have.

organizing with kids-2a

2) Sorting in a real-life setting is educational and practical. Sorting is an important activity for young children. It teaches them to look at things and consider what’s the same and what’s different and how to categorize things in various ways. Sorting is a building block for both math skills and language development. Sorting through helping with a real-life organizing task melds an educational activity with a practical skill — and that’s very high on the the list of the kinds of activities I want to do with my children.

organizing with kids-1-2a

3) They can practice working together. In the already pleasant atmosphere of them helping me and me helping them, the kids were primed to work with each other nicely and were able to practice manners and collaboration: “Danny could you pass me that crayon?” and “Oh, sorry Elora, excuse me.” I was able to model teamwork with them and they were able to apply it immediately both with me and each other.

organizing with kids-5a

4) They feel loved. Their outpouring of love to me made me realize that by letting them help me they must really be feeling loved by me. It’s easy to attribute this to the fact that I was including them in something I was doing, but I also think there was something more going on. I think that by taking the time for them to see me taking care of their things, and including them in my process, they knew that their things — and by extension, they — were important to me.

5) Appreciation and an incentive to keep things neat. By seeing how much work and how long it took for us to organize their things, they realize the labor and consideration it takes to organize. And by involving their time and energy, they feel invested in the project. This leads to a healthy kind of pride in a job well done (you should have seen them beaming at Daddy when they showed him what they did) and, moreover, a huge incentive to keep their things neat.

organizing with kids-6a

Whether I do it myself or involve them in the process, I can see the effect that organized surroundings have on the children. They are calmer, less “lost” in terms of deciding what to do or play with, and much, much more apt to put things away where they belong. Involving them in the act of organizing makes the process even more valuable than the end result, and I hope to remember to do this more often.

Have you observed similar effects when organizing either for or with your children? Share in the comments.