Making Lemonade Out of Lemons (seriously)

So my daughter saw a big bag of lemons (organic!) at Costco and BEGGED me to buy them to make lemonade. I mean, the kid asked for fruit and suggested a fun, easy activity – how could I say “no”?! Bought the lemons and realized I didn’t have a pitcher in which to make lemonade, since my very favorite glass pitcher broke last year. Luckily Target is awesome and I go there often….found this super cute, perfect-sized glass carafe for only $6…clearly, it was meant to be. I suggest you go get one now…not sure why I didn’t buy an extra, I will be going back!

lemonade 1

Anyway, the two little kids helped (biggest was at school)…they washed and then cut the lemons into wedges for easy squeezing (they made me squeeze!). FYI: we have these kid-safe knives and use them all the time – the kids love to help, it keeps them occupied while I make dinner, and I swear they eat more/try more things when they’ve helped prepare. Anyway, back to the lemonade…we used the juice from four large lemons, added about four spoonfuls of sugar (organic cane sugar), and filled with water right up to the middle of the neck (the pic is after the kids each has a cup!). And ta-da! LEMONADE! It was perfect for us, maybe a tad sour for some, but generally, that’s the “measurements” for this container.

So easy, fun little activity, and the kids were thrilled to drink it outside on a beautiful day. Clearly I should win some sort of Martha-Stewart/Mom-of-the-Year award for this one. 😉 But seriously, it’s not something that was really on my radar, but it is always fun to get the kids involved and it felt like such a “summer” thing. You should try it! 🙂

Really Random Stuff I Like….



Are you a thirty-something woman? Are you a mom? Do you lean just a little to the natural side? Not like crazy-hippie-crunchy, just general try-to-care-about-what-weird-chemicals-are-in-stuff natural? Do you think those lists with $200 eye cream are insane and wonder who in the hell buys $200 eye cream?! Well, if you answered “yes” to any of that, then this is a list for you!!! Normal stuff for a normal-ish person. Things I like, usually after trying other, similar things that I didn’t like. Mostly to be bought on Amazon or Whole Foods because I’m lazy (and WF is the closest store). Oh, and I even provided you with links (no, I don’t get a kickback in any way from this)…you’re welcome. Without further ado and in no particular order, Stuff I Like….


Schmidt’s Deodorant 

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 2.53.13 PMI’ve tried A LOT of natural deodorants. I wish I could claim to be that concerned about aluminum and chemicals and crap, I mean, I am a little, but mostly all the “regular” deodorants irritate my underarms. So I tried natural deodorants, which don’t irritate my underarms but wow, a lot of them just suck. This is the best one out there for keeping smells at bay, even in Texas summers. And I really love the fresh citrus smell of the bergamot + lime scent, although I’m sure the other scents are good too.

Amazon Link: Schmidt’s Deodorant (also available at WF)

UPDATE – a few friends reported that this natural deodorant gave them a rash, but that the sensitive version was without baking soda and left them rash-free! So if you are prone to under arm sensitivity but want a natural deodorant, try the Schmidt’s Sensitive (also available at WF)


Face Products

I actually haven’t tried a ton of face products because I have super sensitive skin. When I was a young teen, my mom said if I wanted to wear makeup, I had to properly clean and moisturize my face (good advice!) and she started me with Clinique. Funny because we didn’t have any extra money and were definitely drug-store product people…but she wanted me to take care of my skin, which I am thankful for, and Clinique worked very well…I used it forever! Eventually, I wanted to try other things and tried a few, liked Origins for awhile (would still recommend as good products, but I wanted to simplify), but always felt annoyed that with any of the these “nicer” brands, there were ten steps and multiple, pricey products and it just felt like too much. I like simple. I’m lazy. So I use three total products…

Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.01.12 PMI use these to take off my makeup. They require no rinsing, no hanging my face over the sink and flooding my vanity (seriously, am I the only one who hasn’t mastered sink face washing without creating a mess!?!). They also gently exfoliate (I can’t handle much of a scrub) and they get my face clean without feeling dried out (a problem for me). They are not eco-friendly, I realize that, but I love them. They are also way easier to pack for travel then face wash and toner.

Amazon Link: Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes (also available at Costco in giant size for significant savings!)

Argan Oil

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 2.56.44 PMAfter I take off my makeup with the towelettes, I use pure, organic Argan oil as my moisturizer. I was very skeptical of an oil, I can get greasy spots (forehead and nose) AND I can get very dry spots (cheeks). I love this stuff. LOVE. So easy, one step, feels light (not greasy at all! trust me!) but moisturizes well. I’m going to be dramatic here and say it has changed my skin, I can see and feel the difference. And no crazy chemicals, there aren’t thirty unidentifiable ingredients. Not pricey at all, a little goes a long way. And I don’t have to go to the mall to get it. Can’t recommend this stuff enough.

Amazon Link: Argan Oil (other brands available at WF, although better pricing is on Amazon)

R+F Soothe Sunscreen

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.07.58 PMOk, ok. I said these were all easy to get and inexpensive. I fibbed a little. This is one that you have to order from a sales person. I know, I know. Not my cup of tea either. BUT…I love this sunscreen for face. I am not exaggerating when I say I tried every single brand they had at Whole Foods (marked specially for face), I tried origins and bare minerals and clinique (multiple types from all three), and I tried several “drug store” facial sunscreen brands. I even tried samples from my dermatologist! All were either too sticky or too heavy or they made my face break out or they smelled gross. Some were so yucky to try to get on! I tried Rodan + Fields Soothe totally on a whim, at the suggestion of a friend…OH MY GOD! Not heavy, not sticky, goes on like a light moisturizer, doesn’t mess with my skin, and, most importantly, great sun coverage! Because lets be honest, I don’t need the sun’s help with wrinkles. I now buy three at a time (and also use daily for my kids faces, for the simple ease of application!).

Link to Order (from a dear friend, doula, yoga instructor, and all around kickass kinda woman who will not in any way pressure you or try to sell you on anything else): 


Rooibos Tea

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.16.31 PMNot a big tea drinker, but I do enjoy sipping a hot beverage and I don’t do caffeine (yes, you read that right, three kids and I don’t drink caffeinated coffee!). This tea not only tastes good, but it’s REALLY good for you. Like one of those freakish things in nature and you wonder if the original cave man that found it is still wandering around because it’s the fountain of youth. Anyway, available at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Even my not-heathy husband likes this…and my kids!

Amazon Link: Rooibos Tea (also available at WF, but we buy in bulk via Amazon)


Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.20.17 PMWhile we are talking about healthy stuff, I love this for chest colds. Just like the Vick’s stuff your mom used when you were little, but petroleum-free and I think it works even better! There is a baby formula too and it works amazingly well for little coughs and stuffiness. For adults and kids, I rub on the chest and on the soles of the feet (and then cover with socks). I always have this on hand!

Amazon Link: Maty’s Vapor Rub


Mr. Pumice & PurSources Foot Cream
Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.27.26 PMDo your heels get dried and cracked in the winter? Do you want them to feel better AND look nice in sandal season? Do you lack the time and extra money for a proper pedicure every month? Here is your cheap, Amazon solution. I scrub with Mr. Pumice in the shower most days and I use the PurSources foot cream under cotton socks at night two or three times a week. Since I started this, I haven’t had a single heel crack! My husband has even remarked about how soft my feet are (I use the cream all over my feet). I am a little obsessed with these two products…I even gave them to my mom and friend for Christmas! (Is that weird? I knew they would appreciate them.)Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.22.43 PM

Amazon Links: Foot Cream ; Pumice Bar (there are many similar products available at drugstores)



Silicone Straws

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.29.32 PMNot much explanation needed – drinking straws contribute significantly to the plastic litter and waste on our planet. These are reusable, easy to clean (the little brush thing is absolutely genius!), and wide enough for smoothies or milkshakes. I’m the weirdo who keeps a couple in the car in case I drive thru somewhere – I just say “no straw please”. That’s me, saving the planet one straw at a time. 🙂 Oh, and my kids freaking love these things.

Amazon Link: Silicone Straws


Half-Priced Books

Ok, you can’t get this on Amazon, but I am truly obsessed with this store. I think I would move in if they’d let me. Mostly because I love books and love to read, but also because no one cares if you spend hours in the store and the books are way cheaper than new. And they’ll buy your already-read books which means store credit for MORE BOOKS! And the staff is always nice and helpful. And they have other random cool stuff. And I could go on and on. Click to find a Half-Priced Books near you. Enjoy!



I’ll try to add to this list as I think of things, but in the meantime, I would love to hear what products you like and enjoy – just leave me a comment! Especially curious if anyone has tried those period panties (any brand) and what you think? Or if you have an eye cream you love and actually see results from? Or really anything that us regular ol’ women might like or need recommendations for…help us out!

My kid ate a rock. FML.

Yep. No need for fancy titles for this one, better to just say it like it is: my kid ate a rock. The two-and-a-half-year-old. I guess thankfully it wasn’t the almost-six-year-old, that would be a little more unexpected.

the obviously delicious-looking rocks

the obviously delicious looking rocks

So I am very thankful that I can fully blame my husband for this one. I was feeling sick and lying down upstairs. Kids were playing downstairs while dad cooked dinner (don’t get all jealous, it was pasta and I walked him through it from my spot on the bed). Apparently, The Rock Eater put a small river rock in his mouth to pretend it was a pacifier. Why he did this, I have no idea. He never took a paci and we have none in the house. Anyway, he then decided to run and, as one might expect, he accidentally swallowed it. I will say, we are VERY LUCKY and THANKFUL that he didn’t choke. In fact, he walked calmly up to his dad and said “Dada, I choking.” Which, from the fact that he could speak and wasn’t coughing or having difficulty breathing or anything else, clearly he wasn’t. He did relent that it was no longer in his throat, but in his belly. Took a little conversation, but the truth was discovered, confirmed by Big Sister who saw him with said rock in his mouth. At some point, I was summoned and can attest that this conversation was both infuriating and hysterical – my favorite part occurred as we tried to determine the size…Sister suggested it was boulder size (it grew as she went along) but The Rock Eater was very insistent that it was “NO GRANDE! Es pequeña! pequeña!”. He was also insistent that he could spit it out and that a shower would somehow help.

That was Thursday night. It is now Tuesday afternoon. We have had to resort to diapers again (just when we were a diaper-free house!!!) and, joy of all joys, we have had the pleasure of searching through each dirty diaper in the hopes that we find the rock. We haven’t. And so we wait.

In case you are wondering or end up in this situation yourself (I hope you don’t)…we called the nurse line right away and they have a whole flow chart to go through to be sure you don’t need to a trip to the ER. Clearly if there are any signs of distress or breathing difficulties, call 9-1-1. In general, if the swallowed object has reached the belly just fine, they are then concerned with vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain (we had none of that). They also asked and confirmed several times the size (the key, I believe, is less than an inch diameter) and if it was jagged or sharp at all (it was not). And then it is just watch and wait…wait for it to come out, that is. They do want to continue to monitor and report any pain, constipation, vomiting, loss of appetite, or fever…again, we’ve been lucky not to have that. Honestly, since he has been eating and acting totally normal, I’m not sure how long they will let this go…sounds like indefinitely since the alternative would be x-rays (which they said may be inconclusive) and then going in to look for it (which, of course, is invasive and carries risk). I didn’t ask too much about that, we will cross that bridge if/when we come to it, which I hope we don’t.

In the meantime, lock up your rocks and please wish on a shooting star or say a little prayer to whatever saint is in charge of toddlers and poop that this stupid rock comes out quickly and easily. I am getting really tired of carefully sifting through toddler poop.

Burke & Momma

The Rock Eater (and Momma) three days after rock eating


UPDATE: The rock has been found! I repeat, the rock has been found. And by found, I mean it came out…in his poop. Didn’t seem to phase him one bit. Glad it is out and glad this poop-searching time in our life is over. Oh, and here is a picture of the rock, with a quarter for size reference.  Yes, my husband fished it out, washed it off, and took a picture. He says we are keeping it to embarrass The Rock Eater when he’s older.


The Rock