Earth Momma Essentials

Bath Bombs

Making your own bath bombs can be a fun and enjoyable (albeit usually messy!) experience.  The recipe I use contains Epsom salts, known for helping the body to release toxins, and with muscle relaxation.  I also advocate for the use of 100% pure essential oils, rather than chemical filled `fragrances.`  Why?  Essential oils are derived from plants or flowers, and are known for their aromatherapeutic properties, helping ease physical and mental concerns.


  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1  cup citric acid (you can substitute for cream of tartar, if you’d like)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-5 tsp water (in a spray bottle)
  • Essential oil to your preference (usually 60-90 drops)



  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (I recommend glass or stainless steel if you plan on adding essential oil). Stir gently.
  2. Add olive oil and stir until well mixed.
  3. Add essential oil (if desired) and stir until well mixed.
  4. Now for the tricky part.  It’s time to add the water, which will cause your mixture to react (fizz).  Spritz the mixture and immediately busy the fizzing bit with more dry mix.  Stir around.  And repeat!  You want to get it to a consistency where it just holds together when you squeeze it in your hand.  Almost like slightly damp sand.  Still a bit crumbly. Continue misting, burying, and mixing, until your desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Place bath bombs in mold of your choice.  If you are using a hard mold; press the mixture firmly into the mood, then firmly tap onto hard surface to remove the bath bomb.  If using a silicone mold; press firmly, and leave the mixture in the mold.  Either method will take approx 12-24 hours to dry completely.



If adding colour (I use soap colourant; some use food colouring)- this will also cause the mixture to react.  Mix it in before you add the water.  Otherwise, follow the same direction as the water (add the colour- immediately bury, and mix).

Other fun and interesting uses for bath bombs: placed in bottom of shower for aromatherapeutic benefits, in shoes (baking soda is well known for its ability to absorb smells!), in gym or hockey bags, in vehicles, as decorations/deodorizers in a room, and more!  Have fun!

Coffee on the calendar

I lost my shit this morning.  Or, more realistically, I’ve been slowly losing it for a while.  I officially give myself a FAIL at “Organizing Kids.”

I actually consider myself to be very well organized, “on top of everything”, A-type in my planning.  Being back to full time work outside the home, and having 3 children who need someone to watch them all summer, has owned me. I don’t know how you other parents do it.  Secretly I’m praying that you have teams of organizers doing it for you.  I just can’t envision how it would be possible to do this otherwise.

This morning, I remembered that I have forgotten to book the farm for my daughter’s birthday.  I sent them a frantic message last night, and every weekend in July is booked solid.  Of course. I have also failed to finalize payment on the summer camps that the kids wanted, and, not surprisingly, there is now a wait list.

I need to pull some miracles out of my ass.

I don’t know how everyone else does it, but I’ve got three calendars (one for childcare, one for work schedules, one for activities/vacation/camping plans.  Those need to be reconciled with summer camps, who’s picking up the kids, when and where, etc.  This morning, my delightful, exuberant, clumsy 4.5 year old excitedly decided it was time for me to read her a book… and my coffee got spilled all over these calendars.  SHIT.

Though maybe it’s a good thing, because apparently I’m doing this all wrong.

I officially vote for parents, all parents, to have paid summers off.

Cold Lasagna


I’m sitting in my office, with my “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door, pumping and eating cold lasagna. The lasagna is cold because I’m lazy. I work in a psychiatric hospital, with very long corridors, and I’m too lazy to walk down to the microwave, warm the lasagna, back to office to eat, back to microwave/fridge room to put away pumped milk, back to office. Sigh. I feel like I have no energy for anything these days. But at least I’m still eating lasagna; even if it’s cold (it’s really not that bad).

This week, I have not been successfully organized at getting myself and the kids out the door on time. This has resulted in stressful mornings, and what my kids call, “dumb, yell-y Mommy.” But let me tell you, the annoyance disappears pretty quickly into MOMMY GUILT when the 4 year old starts crying, and says, “I wish I didn’t have to go to school, because it makes it so we’re not friends. I just want to spend happy time with you.” Ouch.

I’m a bit flabbergasted as to how parents are expected to manage it all. Any parents, anywhere. Working inside the home, working outside. I don’t care. Parenting is tough shit. Adulting is tough shit. Speaking of shit, I think I’ll go do that before my 1:00 meeting. In the bathroom, way down the hallway. Where no one will barge in on me.

Exercise Tips for Parents

Now that I’m back to work (and therefore seeing many more human adults, most of whom haven’t seen me in a year), I’m getting asked, “You look great! How’d you get the baby weight off, with no discernible exercise plan/without following any recognizable pattern of self care?” (Ok, maybe I’m adding the last bit.) However, while the forgiving power of high waisted leggings and a tunic can’t be ignored, I have lost some weight.  And so, for the parent on the go, I present my best exercise tips! (Actually, most of them can be used by anyone!)

  1. The sway- If you’ve seen a parent holding their baby, trying to get them to sleep or calm them down, you’ve seen the sway.  My youngest daughter is just over a year, and I still seem to be constantly seem to be doing the baby sway.  That gentle rocking back-and-forth meant to calm a baby seems to be built into my muscle memory now. This is perpetual. Even when I’m not holding the baby. Sometimes I even catch myself doing this at work.
  2. Breastfeeding- I’ve got to be getting between 1-200 calories out of that!  Add more calories if your little one’s not on solids yet.
  3. Bike rides, scooter rides, walks- Taking the kids out of the house, in general.  My older two kids are six and four. Enough said?  They are directionless (sorry, all other pedestrians!) and their speeds are completely unpredictable.
  4. Stairs- Constantly go up and down the stairs, being sure you’ve forgotten something. Half the time, I forget what I forgot. Repeat.
  5. Rage cleaning- I’m not sure exactly how to describe rage cleaning.  I think you just have to live through it.  It’s what occurs when stress level and mess level meet uncharted levels, and one becomes a Tasmanian devil of cleaning frenzy.
  6. Dinnertime up/downs- “Can I please have more milk?” “I changed my mind, I want water.” “I need a knife.” “Is there any cheese?”  “Even though you haven’t had a bite yet (hey, maybe this has something to do with it!), can I have more?”  ETC.
  7. The morning routine- Instructions here are basically to survive the morning “routine”, and get out of the house less than 15 minutes late.  The stress alone will take off at least 2lbs.
  8. Eat smaller, more frequent meals- This is super easy with kids around. Start by never preparing yourself a portion.  You can easily subsist on leftovers and vehicle crud.  If you work outside the home, you might get one full size meal per day.  Just eat that one slowly.  No, I mean really.  Savour each bite.


Follow the above tips, and you’ll be in shape in no time.  I can’t tell you what shape.  But just relax, it’ll be great.


Post Mat Leave Reflections

“How was your first day back to work?” “Are you happy to be back?” “How’d your second day go?” ETC.

Honestly, I don’t know how to answer.  And it seems everybody wants to ask.  I know it comes out of a good place in their heart. But WTF.  It’s like asking “How are you?” People only really expect to hear “I’m fine thanks, and you?” (Or some variation thereof).

So do you want the socially expected answer? Or do you want the truth?  Because I don’t even know how to verbally express the truth. The English language is lacking. Maybe I could do it in German.  If only I knew German.  I bet they have one single freaking word that would encompass all of this.  For real.

I spent yesterday feeling certain I had a stomach ulcer.  Or food poisoning.  But I assume it was an anxiety ball taking up residence in the pit of my stomach.  When people ask me about being back to work, I have this internal dialectical conversation as I ponder how to answer.

I wish I could have stayed home for a few more months. You know a lot of people don’t get 12 months.  A lot don’t even get 12 weeks.  Heck, some probably don’t get 12 days! Be thankful.

It’s awfully nice to have adult conversations.  You stared at your baby and cried for twenty minutes last night because you didn’t spend enough time staring at her during your leave, and now it’s too late.   MOMGUILTMOMGUILTMOMGUILT.

I wish I could have stayed home, period. Do you know how hard it is to get a job anywhere right now? People would kill to have your position.  Count your blessings.

I can’t wait to be intellectually stimulated and challenged again.  MOMGUILTMOMGUILTMOMGUILT.

And then anxiety pipes in.  “You’re not good enough for this job.  You’re only pretending to know what you’re doing.  You’ve forgotten everything.  You should have stayed home, and left this to someone who actually knows what they’re doing.”

Oh, and can I please mention the joy (sarcasm) of feeling my breasts swell as they fill with milk? How, as I’m sitting in a meeting with the team, my bra is becoming soaked, and I can smell nothing but my breast milk, and I am praying no one else notices?

I am happy to be back.  I missed my coworkers.  I missed the clients.  I missed my paycheque and my office and my afternoon tea.  At the same time, it feels like someone took a melon baller and scooped a perfect circle out of my heart.  So… is that the answer you were looking for?

Homemade Sunscreen

I started making my own sunscreen after my (then) 3 year old son swiped the container and got some in his eye.  Most commercial sunscreens are made to be absorbed INTO the skin, and contain chemical filters.  A quick internet search will inform/ scare the crap out of you.  Like most people, I never gave a second thought to it… until my kids came along.  We love this homemade alternative, and hope you do, too.

I am not a scientist, and can’t tell you the exact SPF of the finished product.  As always, you should test a small patch of skin before fully using.  The breakdown of SPF in the individual ingredients is as follows (according to product labels and/or the internet):

  • Red raspberry seed essential oil SPF 25-50
  • Carrot seed essential oil SPF 35-40
  • Zinc oxide (non-nano) SPF 5-25
  • Shea butter (unrefined) SPF 4-6
  • Coconut oil SPF 4-6


How To Make It

  1. 1oz beeswax
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 1tbsp+1tsp shea butter
  4. 1 tsp vitamin e oil
  5. 1 tsp carrot seed or raspberry seed essential oil
  6. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  7. 3tbsp zinc oxide (or more if desired)

Double boil the first 6 ingredients  (I use a mason jar in a sauce pan of water).  You can shake/swirl to help melt faster and incorporate the ingredients.  Once they have fully melted, add the Zinc oxide.  Shake/swirl to cover the zinc oxide, then use immersion blender to fully mix. Pour into desired container and let set.

Voila! You are done.  Be careful not to breathe in the zinc oxide powder directly.   Re-apply as needed.   You can also add more beeswax to make a nice roll on that my kids use for their faces.



My uncle in Heaven

I have a brother, who died when I was 19 (he was 21).  Almost 11 years have passed, and lots has happened in that time, including my having 3 children.  I always knew it would be important to me for my kids to know about their Uncle.  I’ve made them a book, we look at pictures, we tell stories.  We use the “d” word, that our society is so scared of.

Today, my daughter says, “I wish I could die where Uncle Karl died, so I can see him.”  Now and then, the kids will say things like this, and it gives me pause. We are an Anglican family, so the kids believe their souls go to Heaven when they die.  That said, they’re just kids.  I told my girl that she certainly doesn’t need to die to see her Uncle, because we have pictures.  She was just fine with that.

Having kids has also given me a better appreciation of my parents.  It was hard to have a sibling die; I cannot imagine if it was my child.

My brother would’ve been 33 on Monday.  He is always on my mind more during the “hallmark” days.  I’m sorry my kids never got to meet him.  They have great Aunties and Uncles here on Earth, of course, and I don’t mean to detract from them, at all.  Sometimes I just miss my bro.


Things I’ve heard or said in the bathroom

“Please, please, can we just not eat the tampons?” (But you can totally play with them for 5 minutes so I can use the toilet in peace).

“Mommy, why are you wearing a diaper?”

“Mommy, is that a container of Ali’s poo?” (Um, no, why would we even have that? It is obviously a whipped body butter, not fit to sell, because it looks like poo).

“Aim for the Cheerio!” (Moms of boys?)

“Mommy I wish I had a penis so I could pee standing up.” (4 year old daughter, in public restroom of course).

“Can you wipe my bum, but not my vulva? You wipe my vulva wrong.” (How many ways are there?)

“Mommy look how [big] [green] [long] [squishy] [floaty] [sinky] [ETC] my poo is!”

Highlight of the day

It’s been a typically busy day.  Up at the ass-crack of dawn with my son.  Practicing my skills as a drill sergeant getting everyone and everything ready.  (Managed to get the bigger kids to school on time! Plus 10 points).

Anyway, we had a meeting with a new schools for the kids.  We are beyond frustrated with “Work-to-Rule” restrictions (what teachers do instead of striking).  It’s also a VERY big school.  We are switching them to a small, French school.

I brewed myself a coffee to bring.  Put it in my insulated travel mug.  I highly recommend that all parents drink their coffee out of an insulated travel mug all the time.  Hello, 8 hours of hot coffee.

When we got home, I sat down on the couch to nurse the baby.  My son crawled up and asked for TV.  On goes Dinosaur Train.  Baby and 5 year old are immediately engrossed (thank you, TV babysitter!).  And, glory-be, I have a book in reach! AND my still-hot coffee.  It was a beautiful 35 seconds of peace.

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