Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to make Bath Bombs!

In November of last year a couple of my girlfriends and I took a class at Otion Soap Bar in Bellingham, WA.  We had a very fun time learning how to make a variety of holiday gifts including salt scrubs and scented melt and pour soaps with cool effects.  Without a doubt our favorite project of the night was making bath bombs.  Trendy body care boutiques charged up to $6 for one bath bomb, and here we were learning that it takes about 50 cents worth of materials, about 5 minutes and some practice to make your own bath bomb! 

It's so easy, you can do it with the kids!  And it's a great lesson in chemistry!  Acid + Base + Bathtime = Science Fun!

The hardest part of the whole process is procuring the citric acid.  You can order it online at BrambleBerry - Otion's mail order company, find it in the bulk section of some groceries stores, or at soap making supply stores.   Here's the recipe:

  • One Part Citric Acid
  • Two Parts Baking Soda
  • A few drops of essential oil or fragarence oil of your choice
  • Witch Hazel in a spray bottle
  • Food Coloring or Powdered Colors from a soap making supply store
  • Molds (you can buy bath bomb molds, use soap making molds that don't have a lot of detail, I've had really good luck using a metal 1/2 cup measuring cup)
  1. Measure your baking soda into a bowl.  Add your oil and color and stir with a whisk until it's blended.
  2. Add the baking soda mix into the citric acid and mix very well with your hands until it's completely blended and lump free.
  3. Spray 6 spritzes of witch hazel over the mixture and blend.  You want it to be moist enough to hold together when it's squeezed, but not too wet.  It should look like this:
  4. If it's still too dry spray it with more witch hazel, 3 or 4 spritzes at a time.
  5. Pack it into the mold.  Put a little in, mash it in super well and then add some more.  Keep packing until the mold is full.  
  6. Let the mixture dry in the mold for a few minutes and then pop it out.
  7. Let it cure at room tempature for a few hours and then store it in a moisture proof container!
We made champagne scented bath bombs and I tried using a new 3D mold from Bramble Berry.  As you can see it didn't work out too well!  Nate got frustrated with getting the halves to stick together so we gave up and made "domes". 

Anne-Marie, who owns BrambleBerry and Otion has some great tips and recipes on her site The Soap Queen!

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Things are starting to get kinda official around here...

I spent this evening "optimizing" the blog.   We now have a fancy RSS subscription clicky icon official ParentingGeekly email!  You can now email yours truly at:

KlawBerry: Good Girl. Bad World.We're also now part of the Amazon Associates program, a change that I hope will not be overtly noticeable. It just means that when we decide to reccomend a product (like when we told you all about KlawBerry: Good Girl. Bad World. earlier this week), we can provide a link that will take you directly to that product's page on Amazon.  If you buy it we make a wee pittance which will hopefully allow me to keep this site running without forking over too much more of my kids' lunch money.  We will continue to only recommend products we really like, so rest assured this doesn't really change anything, I'm just all about full disclosure!

So please, email me, subscribe to the blog's RSS feed, leave a comment and click the Amazon links!

Okay, enough of all that boring business talk!  To make it up to you tomorrow I am going to make a post about an ultra-cool science-y project that you can do with the kids and will be prefect for Easter...bath bombs!

Monday, March 29, 2010

April Fools' Day Pranks

April Fools' Day is on Thursday and I figured I'd gather up some of the better easy prank ideas I've seen in order to give you time to prepare.   In my experience kids really, really love silly good-natured pranks and will spend all day trying to prank you back.

A super easy "prank" that seems to go over well with kids of all ages is tinting the milk.  Either discreetly put a few drops in with cereal or in a drinking glass. If your milk comes in a carton you can tint the whole container before you pour it. Blue and green are unexpected and the kids are less likely to expect a flavor to go along with those colors.  Last year I put red in Kitty's milk which turned it pink and she cried when she realized the milk wasn't strawberry flavored.

Some other super easy April Fool's Day tricks you can play on the kids:

Take the ball out of a trackball mouse, or put a post-it note over the light on an optical mouse.

Freeze some water in a cereal bowl overnight leaving enough room on the top for a layer of cereal that will cover the ice. Immediately before serving  pour some cereal and a bit of milk over the ice and watch the kids try to dig in.  Might want to have a placemat on the table for this one!

If your child sets out his clothes for the next day before bed, replace his jeans with a pair that's a size or two smaller.  In the same vein you can shove a wad of tissue or a balled up sock into the toes of his shoes. 

Sneak in during the night and safety pin all of your child's underwear (or pants) together side by side.  When she goes to grab a pair in the morning a whole bunch will come out.

Make a meatloaf and press it into a pie plate,  Bake it in the pie plate and the top it with mashed potatoes you have tinted pink with red food coloring (or ketchup if you like that).  "Frost" the meat loaf with the pink potatoes and bring the whole "pie" over to the table!  "Dessert" for dinner!  Family Fun has a whole slide show of "faux-food" like this one!

Know of any other good pranks?  What was the best prank you've ever had played on you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Meet KlawBerry!

She's Kitty's new BFF!

At Emerald City ComiCon a few weeks ago, I spent some time booth jockeying at the Arcane Comics and More table. This year, the booth was situated across from Steam Crow Press, a Phoenix. AZ based outfit that makes cute, monstery things for kids and grown-ups alike.  It was the best view we've ever had, as Steam Crow's booth was filled with a bunch of prints, books and pins that featured super-cute artwork that was put through the steampunk/goth filter.  I think almost everyone manning our booth picked up at least a little something from Steam Crow Press (including a print of this Miso Angry art that Arcane owner Scott bought.  They also have a Miso Hungry Print that I'm still regretting not budgeting better for!).

Which brings us to Klawberry...
I was walking by when I heard Dawna from Steam Crow telling someone that they had this children's book about a "Good girl in a bad world".  I looked over and saw the art work and knew immediately that Kitty would love it.  I've always said that my kids have a sort of creepy sensibility; neither Superdad nor I are especially "goth" so I'm not really sure where it comes from, but it's there and it's evidenced by Nate's love of Invader Zim and sad music and Kitty's penchant for toddler sized combat boots.  I knew she'd be fond of darkly cute Klawberry so I picked up the book.
About KlawBerry (From
KlawBerry is a little monster girl, with little black claws, big horns, and a single green eye. She’s cute, and she’s also a spirit of goodness. “KlawBerry” is also the name of a modern folktale by me (Daniel M. Davis), in the form of a book.

About KlawBerryKlawBerry (the book) is a modern folktale. The story is inspired by all kinds of ancient mythology, Grimm Brothers fairytales, and folk stories from Africa, Europe, and India, all mashed together like a spicy red curry. It’s about a monster girl who finds strength and power in herself, as she makes a odd journey. Grrlpower, literally.

I think we read that book about fifteen times that night.  She cried when KlawBerry had her eye stolen, cheered when she decided to go find it, and cried again when KlawBerry made a sacrifice to make the world a better place.  It's kind of heady stuff, and may be a little much for the average toddler, but Kitty loved it as I'm sure many older kids would as well.  I've delegated the nightly reading to Nate,and he seems to enjoy it quite a bit himself.

The next day it was the kids' turn to head over to ComiCon.  The moment that Kitty spotted the Steam Crow booth, her little eyes immediately found the KlawBerry plushie, and we had to bring her home.  The doll istelf is adorable and comes with a pin/button eye and a "passport" from the monster world into our own.  It has earned a place of honor among all of Kit's baby dolls, Disney Princesses and Barbies.  The picture above was taken when she had norovirus this week.  All she wanted was a bath and her KlawBerry.  I think that was the first time I had seen her smile in three days!

I encourage you to go check out the cool stuff they are doing over at Steam Crow Press, including their rad web comic Monster Commute and, of course, KlawBerry.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back from the edge of death

It is soooo like me to start a shiny new blog and then get sidelined with one of the worst illnesses I've had in awhile.

I found this note from Nate's school in my inbox this morning:
There have been increased reports of "norovirus like illness" in King County.
Norovirus is the name of a group of viruses that is a common cause of viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) outbreaks. Although people who have norovirus infection may feel very sick for several days, the illness is seldom serious.  
Symptoms include:
                Nausea/vomiting/watery diarrhea
                Stomach cramps
                Fever/chills, headache, muscle aches
It is very contagious, spread by person to person contact.
Prevention includes:
                -HANDWASHING before eating, after using the toilet, before preparing food.
                -Clean and disinfect surfaces that have been contaminated with vomit or stool.
Thanks for that; I've been throwing up for three days.

In honor of "Norovirus like illness" that is now ransacking King County here is very first Parenting Geekly product reccomendation:

Bath and Body Works PocketBac Deep Cleansing Hand Sanitizer 
Look, I understand why hand sanitizer is bad.  If it's over used it can create resistant super-bacteria that's bound to kill us all.  I also understand that plain ol' soap and water is perfectly capable of killing most bacteria on our hands.  In a perfect world I would have access to a sink and soap whenever my progeny decided to wipe their boogers on my hands,and the park would offer hand washing stations so that when my kids were done playing on the swing set - which your precious little snowflake just finished slobbering all over- we could wash up.  Being a parent we find ourselves covered in ick at the most inopportune times, that's when I love my PocketBac.  They are tiny.  I keep them in my purse, in my car, in my diaper bag and in my stroller.  They come in about a bazillion fragrances (and unscented if you're no fun), and they are super cheap (on sale online and in stores now for 5 for $5- Tip: They are all $1 after 5, so don't let the sales people upsell you if only want 6).  They also sell a cool little rubber cover for them with a loop for attaching to a stroller, backpack or belt loop.

Buy them here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

ECC wrap up Preview

That's Nathan, me and Scott Stafford (owner of Arcane Comics and More in Seattle) getting ready to play Rockband with Wil Wheaton at Emerald City Comicon this this past weekend.

Greetings True Believers!

Welcome to Parenting Geekly!  We hope to be your source of all family-friendly nerdiness going forward.  In order for that to be possible we need your help!  Know of a cool place, product or event?  Please tell us about it!  We'd also love your feedback on what type of products you'd like to see reviewed and any other information you'd love to see on these pages!  It's pretty empty here right now, but with your help we will have all kinds of information for you and your geeky family soon enough!

Coming up this week: A wrap up of Emerald City Comicon!

Please click the link over there ------------> to follow us!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Social Media links

Check out Parenting Geekly on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.