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What I Learned This Week – 10/23/16

This week I learned that for all those odors that just won’t come out of your laundry, you need baking soda.

Arm  & Hammer Baking Soda

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

I know, you are confused. Yes, we wash our clothes and blankets. Yes, we use detergent. But some odors are more resistant to soap than others. And for those, you need baking soda.

My son is potty-trained in the daytime. But, well, not so much at night. I was having him sleep in Pull-Ups (the nighttime kind with extra absorbency, because he doesn’t just have a little leak…). But then I was afraid that maybe he couldn’t feel that he was wet or that maybe it was hampering his development in this area. We tried for a while with no Pull-Ups. And we were greeted with about a 40% success rate. That means a lot of sheets got washed. And pajamas.

We use Unscented Tide, I’m not sure why, and so there is no perfume to drown out any residual smells. We haven’t had fabric softener or dryer sheets in the house lately either. So the sheets would still smell a bit like pee, even after the washer and the dryer.

An even longer existing problem is the scent of our comforter on our bed. I wash it at the end of the year, but it still smells like the dog(s) who lay on it. I started drying it with dryer sheets. Still smells like dog. I packed it away in a garbage bag for the winter with two dryer sheets. As soon as I bust it open in the fall—yup, you guessed it, DOG. I LOVE my dog, but really desired my comforter to not smell like them after I had spent $5 at the laundromat to remove it.

Dave sleeping on the freshly-laundered comforter...with a gun to her head.

Dave sleeping on the freshly-laundered comforter…with a gun to her head.

Then I realized there was a big box of Arm &  Hammer baking soda on the shelf in my laundry room above my dryer. I faintly remembered that my husband used it when he washed his work clothes. I had only ever really used it for baking, but baking soda is always touted for removing odors, so what could it hurt?

I put the recommended cup of baking soda into my washer with the sheets and the liquid detergent.

And you will never guess what happened…

The sheets smelled like…

Absolutely nothing.

It was great!

So, then I tried my usual routine with the comforter, except with about a cup and a half of baking soda.

And you will never guess what happened…

The comforter smelled like…

Dryer sheets! Because I dried it with two of them. But absolutely no dog odor!

That is, until I brought it home and the dog laid on it again.

So, this is my Public Service Announcement for the year. Hope you found it helpful and appreciated it.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!


I didn’t give a rat’s ass about my appearance for, oh, let’s say the last 5 years.

In 2009, I was like, “Well, I might get pregnant soon, so I won’t worry if I gain a few pounds.”

In 2010, I was all, “I’m pregnant.  I’m tired.  Why should I bother to gussy myself up.”

In 2011, I was like, “I have an infant.  If I wear jewelry, he may rip it off.  If I wear nice clothes, he may puke on them.”

In 2012, I was all, “I don’t have a job.  When I leave the house, I have a tiny terrorist with me.  Why bother to look good.”

Now I find myself in 2013.  I have a job, albeit a part-time one.  I have a uniform shirt I am required to wear there, and black pants.  But I can still express my personality through my jewelry, shoes, and hair choices.

Problem is, all my clothes and jewelry are about 10-15 years old.  Some is from my “I am in my 20’s and just discovered Goth” phase.  Most of my clothes are from my pre-baby smaller boobs.

Oh, and I’m getting old.  It used to be fun when people guessed my age and they guessed way too low.  Now people are guessing closer to my actual age.  I no likey that so well.


I miss my pink streaks.  And I miss the hedgehog.  But I don't miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

I miss my pink streaks. And I miss the hedgehog. But I don’t miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

When I started my job, I dyed my hair blond again.  I started out blond as a child.  In 6th grade I whined to my mom that I didn’t like how dark my hair had gotten.  She bought me some hair color.  So, from 6th grade through college, my mom dyed my hair blond for me every few months.  It was blond in my wedding pictures.  I experimented with pink and purple and red and black.  Most recently I kept doing blond highlights, because they were not as time-sensitive to keep up.  But I let them go when I got pregnant.  I really like my hair blond again, and so does my husband.  It is a pain to keep up with though.  I even bought special shampoo to try to keep the color more vibrant longer and keep it moisture-filled.

Before and after hair cut & color

And I keep reading in magazines how guys like “beach waves”.  My hair is mostly on the straight side, only showing signs of curl when the humidity gets above 85%.  I bought a weird curling iron contraption to try to give me the beachy look.  I haven’t found time to try it yet, and am afraid it will dry out my colored hair.

Medieval torture device?

Medieval torture device?


I have never had a very good skin care regimen.  Dove soap is often my face cleaning product of choice.  For a short time I tried the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty products.  I liked them, but found I was using less and less of them.  Then they changed the moisturizer and added more SPF.  I got a terrible skin rash and discontinued it’s use.  It wasn’t long before I gave up buying the face wash as well.

A few months ago, I had to take my mom to the dermatologist for a skin rash thingy on her hand.  They had lots of free samples in the office, so I grabbed them all.  One I used and liked was CeraVe foaming facial cleaner.  It leaves your face feeling weird after you wash it, but I think that is because it isn’t stripping every single last drop of oil from your skin.  I have tried many moisturizers.  Without wanting to get pricey, the best I have found is Lubriderm body lotion.  It does the trick.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser


I bought myself 2 new watches the other day.  This can be tricky, due to my intense nickel allergy.  I also bought a new pair of earrings I haven’t had time to try yet.  The saleswoman claimed they were nickel-free, but she may just get paid to say that.  All my cool nickel-free jewelry I bought from Avon a few years ago is already tarnishing/losing color.  Makes me kind of sad.  I didn’t even hardly get to wear it much.


Other than a few new T-shirts and a few new pair of non-jean pants, I haven’t bought much.  I have a desire to have a few clothes that aren’t jeans or T-shirts.  But all that stuff just looks terrible on me.  It just looks like I am playing dress up or wearing the clothes of someone’s grandma.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something--or not.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something–or not.

I have managed to score some new footwear, courtesy of thrift stores and garage sales.  Unfortunately, most are not comfy enough to wear for a full day of work.

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

So, ya.  My husband probably thinks I am a crazy, spendy mess.  And I am.  But I also may be going through a mid-life crisis.  (I have low expectations about my own life expectancy.)  When I was younger, I used to try to picture getting old.  I could never picture myself older than 26.  Ugh.  I am 11 years past that now, quickly approaching 12.

Hopefully some of these things will make me look younger/feel more confident/not frighten small children.  Time will tell.



Official/original/one & only “I’m not stalking you.” messenger bag.

I found this messenger bag in my dresser drawer the other day. I made it before I had a website. Back when I thought that “I’m not stalking you.” was just a great catch phrase. Or would be a potentially awesome way to brand a clothing line.

The messenger bag in action.

To refresh your memory, here are some other hip looks.

The “I’m not stalking you.” hoodie.

The “I’m not stalking you.” hoodie.

The “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

The “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

The toddler “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

The toddler “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

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