Sunday, January 31, 2010

When this mama gets her Craft on.....Sugar gets her girly on!


ummmmm....back in early November, I got a crazy idea in my head, and went thrifting. It took me a few weeks to find what I was looking for (only because I'm seriously CHEAP!), but when I did, I was giddy with excitement. What was this object of my desire, you ask?????? It was THIS.....

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Yup...that silly looking sweater. I'm not ashamed to say that I did a little dance when I stumbled across it. You see, when shopping at the thrift shop, I'll only look at the items that are 50% off that week, so to finally stumble upon this item, I was exuberant. It was only $2.30.

I had the perfect project in mind for this sweater, and I set to work right away. What I made...well....you'll have to wait, because it has NOT turned out as I planned, and I have some major reworking to do. In fact, it has sat unfinished for...ummmm...2 months now. BUMMER. While I lost some interest in it, I'm sure I'll regroup soon, and finish it up. I was just so bummed out when I had been so very excited for the outcome.

However.....not too long after my messed up attempt, I ran across a little tutorial that made this all so very worth it. The minute I saw it....I ran for my piles of sewing stuff, and began chucking odds and ends over my shoulder until I found what I was looking for. YES.... there is was. The leftover bits of sweater from my failed project! SCORE!

I set to work, and I have to say....I couldn't be more pleased. Best $2.30 I ever spent!

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Isn't that the cutest little hat you have ever seen?

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If not, don't tell us....cause we are loving it.

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Now if we only had appropriate weather to wear it in. Sugar runs HOT....and just can't wear a hat for very long unless it is FREEZING out.....and we have been having a very mild winter. (not that we ever have a NOT mild winter.)

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but with a hat this cute....I am almost wishing we lived where it snows....at least a little bit.

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Okay....so I'll admit that I'm NOT a fan of being cold....so I probably wouldn't survive if I lived where is snows....but I am just itching to see this hat in action.

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Like EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.FOR.A.MONTH!!!

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It makes our hearts light.

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And our giggles come freely.

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YOU JUST HAVE TO LOVE IT.......

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RIGHT?

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I'm willing to entertain the idea that it is a little less about the hat, and a little more about the girl....

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But, then I just might be sounding like a broken record around here again. ♥

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Who knew that a thrifted sweater could bring us so much JOY?


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunday Citar~ I chose her....and she chose me!





Welcome to Sunday Citar! This blog quote meme was created by Tabitha @ FreshMommy. You can stop by her blog to see the quotes and photos that she and everyone else is loving right now.


"Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose." - Tehyi Hsieh

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ever have one of THOSE days?


You know the ones........where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and realize right away that it would be in everyone's best interest if you just crawled back in bed, throw the covers over your head, and pray for the day to be over already. Instead you drag yourself through the morning routine of getting you and your child out of the house on time.

One of those days where every person you see asks if you are "feeling okay". You stare at them blankly and can't figure out one single reason in particular to be feeling so grumpy, but you simple are....just that....GRUMPY! Grouchy.....CROTCHITY!!!! Things that normally make you smile, fall on flat lips. You feel empty, and too full at the same time. Overwhelmed to the point that you just can't react at all.

One of those days where even your favorite food doesn't taste good. In fact, you hardly notice you have eaten at all. Your eyes droop, and your feet drag.

One of those days where nothing seems to go your way, but instead of having a bad reaction, you just shrug your shoulders and move on. It doesn't even surprise you when there is no toilet paper in the stall you chose. It doesn't even faze you when the paper towels are gone as well. Normally these things would annoy you, but today....it just goes along with the territory.

One of those days where you feel like you are in a strange fog, and you can hardly concentrate on the world around you. The conversations swirling around you seem to be in a distant room instead of right there in front of you. People ask you a question, and you answer in your head, and find yourself surprised when you realize that you haven't even opened your mouth.

One of those days when you plod from one thing to the next, and hardly remember doing anything. Your vehicle seems to be on auto pilot, and you can barely hear your child happily singing along to her favorite Laurie Berkner CD, but you can't possibly bring yourself to join in like you usually do.

One of those days when it seems like you have 400 things to carry in from your car, and not nearly enough hands to do it. You stumble up the stairs trying to hear all the things your sweet child is trying to tell you about her day. Your mind is racing with so many thoughts, and yet none of them stick. If you were asked what you were thinking about, you wouldn't even know.

One of those days where upon setting all the junk you just drug into your house down, you hear, "Look mommy! Bunnies!" You look up to see your husband's smiling face, and two unknown rabbits hopping around your living room. You glance to the left and see two NEW, HUGE aquariums stationed in your entry way. One has a 12 inch lizard in it, and one has a 3 foot python.

Ever have one of those days?

yeah....me too!


Products We Love

Last week, I promised to share some of the products Sugar and I have grown to love in our journey to reduce our chemical exposure. I do want to assure many of you that while it royally annoys me that our children are growing up in a chemically toxic environment, I in no way spend all my time worrying about it, and spreading my anxiety to Sugar Bear. Instead, I educate myself, and make the changes I can, and let go of the rest. In actuality, reducing her exposure is how I ensure that I won't be worried sick over it.


I was asked, in particular, about the Fire Retardants. While it is true that the biggest culprits are furniture and car seats, I simply can not eliminate those items from our everyday life. Instead, I do my best to limit Sugar's expose to fire retardants, by changing the things I do have easy control over. While she is in her car seat about 40-60 minutes a day, she is in her bed for 11-12 hours each and every night. It has been a simple fix to purchase a chemical free mattress cover, organic sheets and pillows, and chemical free fabric to make a duvet cover for her organic feather comforter. Combined with organic pajamas, I feel better knowing that she isn't absorbing all those carcinogens all night long.

Over the last few years, I have discovered that there aren't a lot of resources in my community, but I have found a few products I find acceptable in cost and availability in my area. While many of them aren't the BEST natural choice, they are a whole lot better than the regular products most of us have used for our entire life.

-The lip gloss I use: Burt's Bees Lip shimmers. I have like 6 of these on me at all times. Wonderful product.

-Sugar Bear's lip balm: Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm. She loves the smell, and it keeps her lips from getting chapped when we remember to use it. I'm looking at getting her some Badger cocoa butter lip balm.

-Sugar Bear's body butter: Burt's Bees Rich and Repairing Cocoa Butter & Macadamia Nut Body Butter. I am still working on the perfect natural solution to her dry skin. This works, but isn't as entirely natural as I'd like. I have been wanting to try Bach's Rescue Creme.

-Our insect Repellent: Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent. We don't have to use a lot of insect repellent in our life, but when we were camping, this worked nicely.


-Our toothpaste: Spry Fluoride-free Toothpaste. Sugar Bear gets fluoridated water at daycare, and fluoride varnish every 6 months at the dentist. Oh and I love Xylitol for killing bacteria in the mouth. I used to call Sugar Bear, "my little Xylitol" instead of "Sugar" sometimes. tee hee...

-Our Sunscreen: KINeSYS Sunscreen. EXPENSIVE, but so worth it. You have never felt such luxury. Seriously....feels like liquid gold on your skin. sigh.....love this product so very much.

-Sugar's Nail Polish and Remover: Piggy Paint and Remover. This is plain fabulous. NO stinky smell.....cute colors. Perfect for little girls. I don't ever paint my nails. It is a long boring story so I'll save you the torture, but please DO try out this product for your little ones. You won't regret it.

-Our all purpose body wash, hand soap, and shampoo: Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Classic Soaps. Seriously...great product. I use it in a foaming hand soap pump for our hands in the bathroom. Straight out of the bottle for bathing, and straight out of the bottle to shampoo our hair. A little bit goes a LONG way.

-Our hair conditioner: (open for suggestions) I have used Jason brand, but didn't hate it...didn't love it....it just was. I'm thinking of trying some Nurture my Body conditioner.

Well, that's about it for now. Like I said before, it is all baby steps, and I am always working on finding better products. A great resource is Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database. Just because a product says it is "natural" it doesn't mean that is is "safe". Natural things can be toxic as well. I learn something new all the time, and am working towards the best products for me and MINE. Many of these products aren't the "safest" in the database, but they are easily available and affordable. I'd love to hear any and all recommendations for me to look into.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kitty is tickled PINK!

Day 135
(One simply can't avoid tons and tons of PINK when you have a little girl in the house.)


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Day 136
(A new favorite character from a book. Pinkalicious eats too many pink cupcakes and turns PINK. She must eat lots of green foods to change back to her normal color.)


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Day 137
(What's not to love about a PINK highlighter? I mean seriously....it makes any tedious task at work more fun!)


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Day 138
(PINK foam tiles from her magnetic mosaic board Sugar Bear got from Santa. We love working on this activity together.)


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Day 139
(Kitty loves Sugar's new PINK boots almost as much as she does.)


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Day 140
(What miniature horse wouldn't love a scrubbing with a pretty PINK brush?)


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Hosted by Chris

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday~ City Sights

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For more Wordless Wednesday, go HERE and HERE.

This and That.....and ARGH!

So......one of the things I was always so happy about, was the fact that I didn't have to use word verification on my comment page. I can't stand having to stare at those crazy mixed up letters, all jammed together, and slowly type them out, when I want to make a comment, and I know other hate it, too. For two years I didn't have it enabled, and I would get maybe one spam comment a month. THEN.....those spam comments, though only once a month, began to be porn related. THAT did not make me happy. THEN....the comments started being once a day. THAT ticked me off, so a few months ago, I re-instated my word verification. sigh.....

Yesterday, I got the wild hair to disable it again. Within 24 hours I had FOUR spam comments. ARGH...so alas.....word verification is back to stay. BUMMER......

On a brighter note....don't be alarmed if you come by to visit and things look a little bit wacky. I'm in the process of making a few changes to the old bloggity dog. It might get hairy for a bit, so hang in there.

Gotta run....Sugar Bear has a dentist appointment today, so no work for me! Yippie......we are gonna do a little shopping, and have a fun lunch together. ♥ Hope your day is fun, too!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

i ♥ faces~ Textures



Over at i ♥ faces, this week, they are celebrating the art of using Textures when editing photographs. This is something you won't see used OFTEN in my process, but I do throw a few in here and there. Usually, I like to keep my post processing down to a very minimum. In fact, I only tend to make the few tweaks needed due to using RAW format. I never, I and do repeat NEVER, touch the eyes on my subject. I will run a plug-in to reduce the noise in the photograph, if it is needed. For me, the simpler the better. However, sometimes there are just a photograph or two that make a cry for something special, and texture can really be that something. When used on the right photograph, it can really take a photo from good to GREAT.

To be honest, the most common reason I end up using texture is to hide a flaw. Yes...I said it. Texture is an awesome tool to salvage a mistake. A blurred shot. An overexposed shot. Too much grain. Texture can save it, and so it is with the shot I have chosen to share today. I took this particular photograph a few weekends ago, in celebration of my daughter's 5th birthday. While I got many keepers, I also had some mistakes. In the case of this shot, it was rather blurry, but I adored her expression. I wanted so badly to make it a keeper. I whipped out a texture, and was quite pleased with the results.


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Head on over to i ♥ faces, and see all the great uses for textures. I'm certain there will be some really amazing works of art this week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday Citar~ I Really Was Listening....Honest!





Welcome to Sunday Citar! This blog quote meme was created by Tabitha @ FreshMommy. You can stop by her blog to see the quotes and photos that she and everyone else is loving right now.


“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”~ Ellen Parr

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why are they poisoning our kids?

I don't often use my blog to discuss all the things that worry me....or just plain piss me off, but sometimes I just can't let things go by without passing it on. I am forever reading more and more articles that send my heart racing at the inadequacy of our Food and Drug Administrations in keeping us from harm. Recent news about CADMIUM, spurred me to compose this post. I used to worry a lot about the LEAD in all the toys and trinkets. I'm aware, and shop accordingly, but now, come to find out, manufacturers are replacing lead with CADMIUM, which is actually MORE dangerous. Not only is it a neuro-toxin, it is a carcinogen. You have got to be kidding me!

I have always been a worrier, but one of the big things I have been tackling since Sugar Bear has been born (actually since I was pregnant with her) is her chemical exposure. Children absorb way more chemicals from their surroundings than adults. Their little bodies are growing at a rapid rate, and their cells are reproducing quickly. I simply can not be responsible for allowing her little body to absorb all the poison in our world. I do lots of little things, and some big things to prevent as much of the exposure as I can. Some things are just too hard to fight, so I take it in baby steps, and hope for the best.



Here is a list of some of the things I do or don't do in an effort to reduce her chemical exposure. You will find that I have linked to many of the reasons behind my choices.

-
Only natural soaps are used by Sugar and I for bathing and washing hands.

-I only bathe Sugar twice a week (unless extremely dirty)

-I only wash Sugar's hair once a week, and
only use natural shampoo.

-Only natural lotions and creams are used for her skin.

-
Only Natural toothpaste is used.

-0nly Natural
nail polish and remover are used.

-Only use natural
sunscreen and insect repellent.

-Only products that are
fragrance free are used on Sugar Bear.

-I limit the use of artificial fragrance on myself.

-I
use natural deodorant or techniques on myself.

-I limit the use of chemical based cleaners in our home, and I'm hoping to phase into using only
natural cleaners in the future.

-I do not allow
cheap play makeup to be used by Sugar. Only natural based lip gloss.

-NO
cheapie fake metal jewelry in our home.

-I limit most toys from dollar stores in general.

-I do not allow
artificial sweeteners in our food.

-I limit Sugar Bear's consumption of
food dyes.

-Sugar Bear's bedding and sleep wear must be
free of flame retardants.

-I limit the
use of plastic food or beverage containers in our home, and never heat up food in plastic containers.

-Sugar uses a Klean Kanteen for her portable beverage container.

-I do not allow Sugar to
use my cellphone. On rare occasions she might talk to grandma using the wired earpiece, but she is not allowed to hold the actually phone.

-I only use my cellphone with the wired ear piece, and I do not keep it near my body, EVER.

(I am certain I am forgetting something, but I wanted to get this typed up and out there as soon as possible.)

The links I provided here were found quickly doing Internet searches. They were not the original material that convinced me to make the changes I have made. While I am fully aware that some of the articles might be unfounded, it is clear to me that chemical exposure is NOT worth the risk. I can not completely eliminate the chemicals in our home, but I can greatly reduce our exposure, and that is my intent.

Basically, if I know about it....and have another option, I'll make the change. I figure if there is any doubt, I might as well do all I can to limit the exposure. There are several areas that I am currently in the process of switching out the old for the new:

-Only using natural dish soap.


-Only using natural laundry detergent.

-Finding a natural flea control system for our pets.

-Moving away from cooking with Teflon.



If you have any questions are want further information on any of the things I do, and why, please feel free to ask them via comment or email.


I will follow-up this post in the near future with one that highlights some of our favorite products we have found.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kitty Goes Green

Last week, I asked you all to guess the theme for the month. Well...it was sort of a trick question. It turns out that it was only the theme for the first SIX days of the month, and Gayle guessed if correctly first. YELLOW! The actual theme for this month is COLORS. I have broken the month into 5 different sections, one for each color, and then the final day will be a surprise. So for this particular month I am sharing only 6 days each week instead of seven. I'll be back to regular weekly postings in February.

The next color I chose was GREEN, so here we go!

Day 129
(This was taken in my office at work. Just a bit of green to get me through the day inside.)


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Day 130
(Found this little twisty toy in my office as well. Sometimes I feel all wrapped up in work stuff.)

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Day 131
(Sugar painted this turtle. I love love love it....and apparently so does kitty! tee hee)


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Day 132
(A special little honey had a birthday to celebrate, and Kitty found some green balloons.)



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Day 133
(We had a family date night to the local Pizza place, and Sugar enjoyed the little froggy carousel.)


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Day 134
(Shhhhhh don't tell Sugar Bear that we were playing with her toys while she was sleeping!)


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For a list of books I read from 9/14/09 until 9/14/10 go HERE!


For a list of books I read from 9/14/10 until 9/14/11 go HERE!


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Books starting 9/14/12


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