21 Blogs Detailing How to Make Your Own Laundry Aids

laundryIt’s not cheap to continually buy laundry detergent, stain removers and dryer sheets, but they’re necessary evils we encounter in daily life, right? But what if you could stop buying them by making your own laundry aids at home? Not only would you save a ton of money, but you’d also be able to control what chemicals come in contact with your family’s skin. These 21 blog entries tell you exactly what you need to do to prepare laundry detergent, stain removers and dryer sheets at home, so you never have to waste money on them at the store again.


Since the main ingredient in detergent is soap, this laundry aid is not only easy to assemble, but it’s also highly customizable to your favorite scents. By using your favorite bar of soap as the base or adding in a couple drops of essential oil, you can create your own unique laundry detergent. For other tips on how to mix up laundry detergent at home, check out these seven blog posts.

Stain Remover

Instead of running to the store the next time the kids come home with a stain, whip up a batch of your own stain remover – you probably already have everything you need around the house! The trick to treating stains is determining the type of stain it is and treating it as quickly as possible after it happens. To learn more about making your own stain removers, read these seven blog articles.

Dryer Sheets

You can use anything from a washcloth to strips of flannel fabric with a little fabric softener or essential oil to make your own dryer sheets. If you would like to do away with dryer sheets altogether, try using rubber dryer balls or making your own dryer balls from wool. These solutions and more are explored in the next seven blog entries.

10 Things to Think About Before Getting a Family Pet

petThe family pet is an iconic part of the family unit, even if those pets aren’t of the traditional dog-and-cat variety. Pets are a great way to teach kids the importance of caring for another living thing, and give them a sense of responsibility. They’re also a lot of work, and their addition to the family is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before you bring your newest family member home, these are ten of the things that you should consider.

  • What You Want Out of Pet Ownership – If you’re looking for companionship and a beloved family member, pet ownership might be the right route. If you’re just bending to kids demands in order to stop the pleas for a pet or you have the vague idea that you might like one, you may want to think twice about your decision to get a pet.
  • Your Family Lifestyle – Families today are busy, between work, school and activities. Some types of pets, however, require plenty of socialization and care in order to thrive. If your house is usually empty and you’re determined to get a pet, you may want to consider more independent animals over dogs and cats that need affection.
  • The Type of Pet Best Suited to Your Household – You may be harboring the lifelong dream of owning a Great Dane, but a cramped apartment simply isn’t going to accommodate a large animal. Think about what your property has to offer a pet and what drawbacks it presents, then choose your new family member accordingly.
  • Shelters Versus Breeders – Some pet owners are insistent upon purchasing from breeders, while others feel that adopting from a shelter is the more ethical choice. Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to be well informed before making your decision.
  • Kids’ Ages and Maturity Levels – Many parents purchase puppies or kittens when their children are small, assuming that they’ll “grow up together.” The truth is that an animal’s growth rate will quickly outstrip that of your child, and a very young child simply isn’t always capable of treating a pet as gently as the pet requires. Rough handling and clumsy treatment at the hands of a child may be unintentional, but it can make even the most well-mannered pet bite or scratch.
  • Your Home’s Ability to Accommodate Pets – If you own a home with a reasonably large lawn and aren’t planning on moving any time soon, you may be ideally situated for pet adoption. Those that live in rental properties with harsh breed restrictions or no-pet policies will inevitably run into trouble when they’re ready to move somewhere less lenient, though. Thousands of pets end up in shelters and are ultimately euthanized because the families that took responsibility for their welfare surrendered them after moving to a new place where the animal wasn’t welcome.
  • The Life Expectancy of Your Chosen Pet – Remember, you’re responsible for your pet for the rest of its life. You will also be responsible for explaining the life cycle to your children when a pet unexpectedly dies. Before bringing an animal into the family, consider its’ projected life expectancy. A turtle can live for decades, while a goldfish may be lucky to make it through the week in its new home.
  • Financial Commitments – There’s more to pet expenses than just adoption fees and initial vaccinations. Your new family member will need to regularly visit the veterinarian, eat and have other supplies purchased for it. If money’s already tight in your household, a new pet may actually strain your budget more than you expect.
  • Your Patience Level – Young pets will require patience during training, and older ones that you adopt will need a period of adjustment. Either way, you’ll have to be patient with your new pet as he gets used to these big changes in his life.
  • Temperament and Kid Suitability – After the live action 101 Dalmatians film, animal shelters across the United States were flooded with Dalmatians. Parents rushed out to get these spotted cuties for their pleading children, only to realize that the temperamental and nervous nature of the breed is diametrically opposed to life with kids. Be sure that you have a reasonable idea of what your new pet’s temperament will be, and that you’re relatively sure he’ll be a good fit with your children after objectively appraising the situation.

18 Blogs Explaining How and When to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty

fathersonTalking with your children about puberty is never a simple thing to do, and it’s often a very stressful conversation for parents and kids alike. The most important thing you can do for your son or daughter during this kind of talk is to relax. If you explain puberty in terms that can be easily understood and you are open to answering questions, the whole conversation will be less awkward for everyone involved.  It’s also important to talk to your kids about puberty at an early age.  Because boys and girls can start experiencing puberty as early as 9 years old, you should start talking to your child about the changes that his body will go through as he grows up by 4th grade. Read through these 18 blog posts regarding puberty before sitting down to talk with your child about the changes he’s about to experience.


Discussions of puberty are often less embarrassing for boys when they are hearing the information from their father or another male authority figure. Dads have already been through these changes, and can explain how puberty was for them and answer any questions there might be.  However, if Mom has to have the puberty talk, she needs to be well-equipped to answer any questions that may come up. These six blog articles will help you get started.


Puberty for girls is a scary time, but it can be less overwhelming for girls who are prepared for the changes that are coming. Again, these talks are never comfortable to have, however, they are necessary. These six blog entries will help make having this discussion easier by guiding you through what you should talk about.

Early Puberty

Children seem to be starting puberty earlier and earlier, and there are many speculations as to what’s causing it to be triggered sooner, such as the BPA in shampoo or the hormones in meat.  To learn more about this topic, take a look at these six blog posts.

Summer Safety Gear for Bike Riding, Roller Blading and More

rollerbladingWhen the weather warms up and school lets out, active kids’ thoughts naturally turn to all of the fun and exciting activities that can only take place outdoors. Parents of kids with more sedentary hobbies may also look for ways to get their kids interested in the great outdoors, and the sunny days of summer are among the best for spurring that interest. Before you send your brood outside to bask in the rays while they expend some of their boundless energy, there is some safety equipment you’ll want to invest in to ensure that the summer is spent enjoying the great weather, rather than camping out in the emergency room.

  • Sunscreen – One item that should be at the top of your summer safety shopping list is plenty of sunblock to make sure that kids’ sensitive skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition to causing painful burns in the short term, excessive sun exposure can also increase a kid’s risk of skin cancer later in life. When you make slathering on the sunscreen part of your child’s everyday routine, you’re helping to instill a good habit that they’ll continue as they get older.
  • Helmets – Kids aren’t always big fans of wearing a helmet, but it’s a necessary evil when they’re roller blading, riding a bicycle or playing contact sports. To cut down on mutinous thoughts and kids’ tendency to shuck the helmet as soon as you’re out of sight, try to find one that’s emblazoned with their favorite colors or characters.
  • Elbow and Knee Pads – Skateboarding, roller blading and the likes are all popular activities with the younger set, and they can all wreak havoc on little knees and elbows when the inevitable spill occurs. While all kids should be wearing protective knee and elbow pads before they hit the half-pipe or strap on their skates, it’s especially important for younger skaters that are still nailing down the basics of their chosen sport.
  • Life Jackets – If one of the activities on this summer’s menu is a trip to the lake, a river or beach, you’ll want to make sure that you invest in plenty of properly-fitted life jackets for each member of the family. Boating accidents are far more common than most people realize, and failure to wear proper flotation devices is actually against some local ordinances.
  • Fencing – When you think of summer safety gear, a sturdy fence may not be among the items that initially come to mind. If you have a swimming pool or spa, however, you should make sure that one is installed before you open for the swimming season. Drowning is one of the most common causes of death in young children, and knowing how to swim isn’t always a guaranteed safeguard against such tragedies. Your pool or spa should be enclosed by a high fence that can’t be scaled by nimble little bodies, and gated in such a manner that little fingers can’t reach the latch.
  • Child Immersion Alarms – The best way to ensure that kids aren’t in your pool area without permission is to install a high fence with a latching gate. When they do have permission to swim, a capable adult should always be on hand to ensure that there are no potentially-serious accidents in the making. Even the most attentive adult can become distracted, however, and that’s where child immersion alarms come in handy. These devices are worn by your toddler or preschooler, and will transmit an alarm to the wireless receiver if it becomes immersed in water.
  • A Good Influence – Regardless of how hard you try to outfit your kids with the best and most advanced safety gear, the most effective tool in your arsenal is your own ability to model safe habits. Kids learn by watching and mimicking the behavior of adults around them, and you can’t take a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to child safety. Make sure that you wear sunblock when you go outdoors, don a helmet before sitting astride a bike and strap on your life jacket before hitting the water. In the end, your kids will be much safer for it and you’ll also be protecting yourself from the same accidents you’re hoping to help them avoid.