An update and an answer, mostly for the ladies.


First, update on my homemade laundry detergent project, thanks to Tall Tales from a Small Town.


I mean seriously. First, I found the Super Washing Powder here, but reader DrOlaf tells me you can find sodium carbonate at any pool supply store and that it is called soda ash.

It took me five minutes to make the powder. Actually, not me; my husband grated the soap bar because he was watching me do it slowly and laborously and was all, “OMG. GIVE IT TO ME. YOU WILL BE HERE UNTIL CINCO DE MAYO.”

Aside:  A good way to get your husband to do something you don’t want to do is to do it slowly, with lots of sighing. Pause a moment to wipe the nonexistent sweat from your brow. He will then take over the task and will use the opportunity to feel virile and strong and hunter/gatherery. This housekeeping tip brought to you by Ginny’s Tips For Getting Out of Anything.

Aside #2: A good rule of thumb for such instances is to follow Calvin’s advice, “If you do something wrong the first time, you’ll never get asked to do it again.”

Anyway, so after the soap powder recipe was done, I threw in a load of stinky smelly bath and kitchen towels and for good measure, a couple of socks that if I had left them another day, would have collapsed under the weight of their own stench and committed sockicide.

Verdict? Ridiculously clean socks and towels! No smell at all. Just fresh and clean. And the homemade soap makes your entire laundry area smell fresh and clean, too. Like a natural air freshener.

I am so so so thrilled to take this moment to flip Tide the middle finger.



I’ve been asked about the $21 eyeliner that won’t budge. Gina from My Very Last Nerve told me about this stuff from Bobbi Brown and from the reviews on the site, it is apparently some ladies’ religion.

I haven’t snagged any yet because I need to get to the Macy’s in Monroeville to get it. But I will this week and I’ll let you know if it lives up to the hype. Gina described it to me and explained how once the eyeliner sets, you can’t even rub it off with your finger; it requires soap and water or makeup remover, and since my eyeliner tends to run, I’m dying to try this.  Now to decide between caviar ink and basic black. DECISIONS.


That better?


  1. Aileen
    July 28, 2010 10:46 am


    You can get it at Saks 5th Avenue or Nordstrom’s, too. Based on a co-worker’s recommendation that she had now found the Holy Grail of eyeliners, I’m going to have to try it.

  2. Matt
    July 28, 2010 10:52 am


  3. calipanthergrl
    July 28, 2010 10:53 am

    I’m a huge fan of MAC’s fluidline gel liner. It looks like liquid liner, but the application (my biggest problem w/ liquid) is pretty fool proof and I’ve never had a problem with it running.

    I’m a huge fan of black/brown as it doesn’t look quite as harsh on me, though I bust out the black for evenings and to coordinate with my black & gray suits.

  4. Shannon
    July 28, 2010 10:57 am

    black/brown is definitely what you want….all black is too harsh for most people, unless you want to look like the Kardashians!!

  5. jennviolet
    July 28, 2010 11:00 am

    Ginny: Bobbi Brown is all I wear. This eyeliner is no joke. Black is really jet black that could be too harsh for daytime. I did a little happy dance when a Bobbi counter came to Monroeville. Yes, go check it out in person and get yourself made up! You’re already beautiful to begin with but it’s just so fun!

  6. Gina
    July 28, 2010 11:01 am

    I’m telling you – it’s AWESOME. I love my SIL for working at the Macy’s makeup counter and finding me all the best stuff.

  7. bucdaddy
    July 28, 2010 11:02 am

    No, not OK. Angelina Jolie really frosts my jewels, for some reason. But then, broomsticks with lips usually do.

  8. SpudMom
    July 28, 2010 11:12 am

    For those readers who are in the North Hills area, I found the Super Washing Powder at Shopper’s Choice in Duncan Manor. I think it was $4.19 for a big box.

    I am dying to try this soap recipe but I have a giant thing of Tide that I bought at Costco to get through before I give it a whirl.

  9. Alex
    July 28, 2010 11:17 am

    I have super dark brown eyes and use the violet ink eyeliner all the time. I am completely inept when it comes to application, and I have no trouble with the Bobbi Brown product. Just make sure you’ve got the proper brush – it’s probably worth the extra investment to get one. Hope you like it!

  10. KGC
    July 28, 2010 11:21 am

    Obviously Calvin wasn’t a married man. If he was the saying would be “If you do something wrong the first time, you’ll do it again until you get it right.” So sayeth the ex-MrsKGC.

  11. spoon
    July 28, 2010 11:22 am

    BEER BOOBS? Is that like a beer belly for a guy?

  12. JennyMoon
    July 28, 2010 11:23 am

    Question: Did you still use a dryer sheet for those towels? Just curious.

  13. Beth
    July 28, 2010 11:23 am

    Can any of you ladies tell me how long a pot lasts? For $21 it better be a while.

  14. Butcher's Dog
    July 28, 2010 11:25 am

    Sports needed to come before both watches and Angelina. Duct tape could have been your leadoff hitter without any problem. Or sex. Maybe sex could have batted twice.

  15. Virginia
    July 28, 2010 11:34 am

    Matt, HAH! Watches because that’s all my husband ever buys for himself. Watches.

  16. Al
    July 28, 2010 11:37 am

    You had me at duct tape.

  17. Scott
    July 28, 2010 11:44 am

    I’ve heard that hand-knitted feminine hygene products are also a great way to save money.

  18. Monty
    July 28, 2010 11:48 am

    I gave up on Bobbi Brown after New Edition broke up.

    And for the record, using the words “duct tape,” “tools” and “sex” in the same string is going to get you some very weird hits from google. Have fun with Ted Bundy’s IP address.

  19. Noelle
    July 28, 2010 11:59 am

    I simply do NOT see how this post left men out. Do they not do laundry? If they don’t then they should be encouraged to do so.

    Also, “really frosts my jewels” is the most awesome thing I have heard all day.

  20. Carpetbagger
    July 28, 2010 12:03 pm

    Now, what’s with that Oxy Clean stuff. I don’t know what it is or why I need it, but I’m supposed to use it. It could be baking soda for all I know. Feels like a scam to me.

    P.S. Aside #2 is how husbands have been getting out of household work since the stone ages.

  21. Lori
    July 28, 2010 12:14 pm

    And you can make your own dishwashing detergent with a very similar recipe and stop using that smelly commercial crap:

  22. Dan (Not Onarato)
    July 28, 2010 12:39 pm

    Is that the same Bobbi Brown of Starsearch and 80’s music videos? J/K

  23. Sooska
    July 28, 2010 12:49 pm

    grating soap? no freakin way.

  24. unsatisfied
    July 28, 2010 12:54 pm

    don’t worry about appeasing us men folk, virginia. you did that with the whole “alimo leaving KDKA” thang…

  25. Heather
    July 28, 2010 1:20 pm

    You can get the Bobbi Brown eyeliner through You pay shipping and handling but they usually have some kind of incentive when you buy more than one. I heart QVC!

  26. bluzdude
    July 28, 2010 1:25 pm

    I was holding out for “bacon.”

  27. cmd_45
    July 28, 2010 1:28 pm

    I add Borax to most of my loads, but extra for the stinky workout clothes. It works really well. I think I will try the recipe, though, and also the one for the dishwasher detergent. I can save a bundle!!

  28. Neesie
    July 28, 2010 1:39 pm

    I can’t wait to make my own detergent this weekend, now that I know it actually works!(So sad, I know…While my husband is golfing, I will be grating soap).

    I was afraid to be lumped in with the people who refuse to buy toilet paper and tampons, but not spending a small fortune on Tide is so worth it!!

  29. Pensgirl
    July 28, 2010 1:59 pm

    Calvin was only right for my brother. He was considered dreamy and oblivious so he got out of stuff with deliberate incompetence all the time. But I was considered with it and competent and so I had no excuse…if I did something incorrectly, I was made to do it again. Lesson: ya gotta start early and build up a rep.

    On the eyeliner, go for the blackest black you can get and to apply it, draw an extremely thin line right at the base of the lashes (so thin you can’t tell you’re wearing eyeliner). That bold color/tiny-thin line combo makes your eyes REALLY pop, because the line blends with the roots of your lashes to make them appear thicker, and bold colors, while not obviously visible, create a contrast with the whites of your eyes to make the irises stand out. It’s one of my favorite techniques.

  30. George
    July 28, 2010 2:09 pm

    Is this stuff – front loader safe?

  31. Shane
    July 28, 2010 2:47 pm

    Wanting really clean socks was how Timothy McVeigh got started…

  32. Kathy
    July 28, 2010 3:12 pm

    actually, angelina jolie is pretty hawt in my eyes. She ups the sex factor in anything, even when she isn’t being sexy. And to get back to interests of my sex (according to Ginny), thanks for trying this out, I really want to do it myself now.

  33. BeauJacques
    July 28, 2010 3:17 pm

    Can’t wait to try it!

    Burgundy maybe.

  34. BeauJacques
    July 28, 2010 3:25 pm


    Laundry? Hell NO!

    Disposable 72-packs sox & briefs from WalMart
    ” t-shirts from Goodwill

    anything else, dropped off to “laundry-by-the-pound” @ laundry @ corner of James & Suisman St!

    with the exception of Mom’s with kids-


  35. Butcher's Dog
    July 28, 2010 4:15 pm

    OK, I do all the laundry. And dishes. But I’m not dumping some concoction of my own into my front loader and risk messing it up. I’ll pay the extra for Tide HE. But since I live in a small town, the cost of living (read: we park for free everywhere!) ain’t as high as the big city. So I can afford it.

  36. Ms. T
    July 28, 2010 4:54 pm

    Ginny – Get black eyeliner. Your complexion is dark enough that it will work for you.

    @JennyMoon You actually should never use dryer sheets/fabric softeners with towels. It affects the absorbancy. :)

  37. Ms. T
    July 28, 2010 4:56 pm

    Come to think of it, as far as eyeliner, a plum would look realy nice and neutral on you as well…

  38. jennviolet
    July 28, 2010 5:42 pm

    @Beth: One pot of this eyeliner will last you a very long time. Just as long as you keep the lid on it and don’t let it dry out. I’ve had mine for over two years now (even though you’re not supposed to keep makeup for that long mine is still good)

  39. Politicalpartypooper
    July 28, 2010 8:56 pm

    If you want eyeliner that won’t budge, try some axle grease.

  40. Beth
    July 28, 2010 9:31 pm

    @jennviolet…SWEET FANCY MOSES!! Then it’s totally worth $21. Thank you!

  41. Tiffany
    July 28, 2010 10:36 pm

    The detergent is safe for front loading high efficiency washers. The whole reason that high efficiency washers need special soap is because they use less water, and normal detergent like Tide would suds up too much for a high efficiency washer to get it all rinsed out. The home made stuff does not suds as much, so people with front loading, high efficiency washers can use it just fine.

  42. Bitter
    July 28, 2010 11:15 pm

    @Neesie – Hey, what are you trying to say? I use a menstrual cup and not just because of the cost factor. Aside from saving a ridiculous amount of money, they are better than tampons in every single way.

  43. Melissa
    July 29, 2010 8:42 am

    @JennyMoon and Ms. T
    my mother in law just bought us some of these:
    I’ve been using them in combination with the homemade laundry detergent and I’ve been pretty happy with the results. Of course I’ve only got three days worth of results so far since I just made my first batch of detergent the other day, but so far so good.

  44. Nicole
    July 29, 2010 1:46 pm

    She laq works well over eyeliner.
    You can get it at Sephora.

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