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Friday, April 23, 2010

Quality Time

A few months ago, we canceled cable at my house. I've gone without cable several times in my life, so it wasn't that big of a deal once we finally did it. It's funny how long it takes to get around to calling the cable company. I really thought I would miss it this time around.

Admittedly, I didn't watch a ton of TV, but everything I watched was DVRed. I think I have recorded every episode of Law & Order: SVU to date, along with every episode of Divine Design, and any cool documentaries that were sprinkled throughout 200 channels of junk. That's about it.

It amazes me every time how little I miss cable. I don't even notice it's gone. The Wee One checks out movies at the library every so often, and we have an antenna. I watch one hour a week (at least until Lost ends) and that's really it. It give us so much more time for more important things. Like sitting on the front porch.

Every night for the past week, Wee One and I climb on the wicker loveseat and watch the world. We play "My Car, Your Car," watch the squirrels run along the phone lines, talk about anything and everything, and most importantly, keep hoping the birds will follow our trails of birdseed leading to our seat. My daughter has the ultimate dream of becoming a Snow White/Sleeping Beauty type figure with birds flocking to sit on her shoulders and sing to her. Hey, you gotta have goals.

Every morning (that I wake up early enough, and we aren't running around like crazy girls) I sit out there and watch the sky's slow color change while I sip my coffee. This morning Wee One joined me with a bowl of cereal. It was the perfect start to the day.
In other news, my rose bush is exploding...Wee One picks several roses a day, and there are still a million and a half...Yeah, that's a dust pan and peanut butter jar...we made bird feeders.
No, she's not really eating anything...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Am Officially Habit Free...

I finally re-quit smoking. I quit when I was pregnant with the little one, but when I started working again, I also started smoking again.

Well, I just wanted to share that I've quit for good this time. All the reading about chemicals was bound to cause me to quit eventually. How can I feel any better about throwing out chemical cleaners when I'm inhaling them every two hours? So yeah, I quit.

I used Chantix and it really worked well for me. My step father in law (who happens to smokes 2 packs a day) said it would damage my kidneys. I decided to go ahead and let my kidneys take a beating for a month or two and give my lungs a rest. It's the Russian roulette of organ damage.

Anyway, smoke free! Yeah!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dirt giveaway!

Head over to Focus Organic and enter their giveaway to get a copy of the DVD Dirt. Just leave a comment saying what you love about dirt and be entered. Giveaway runs until the 24th, so go!

I'll leave you with this trailer...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Is it a sign?

I've been fairly productive the past few days. Got some laundry done, ordered more supplies, posted my FIRST listing on etsy, and made a few more batches of soap.

As I sliced through one of these batches, guess what I saw...

Can you see it? It's a fluffy lamb.

I think my soap is trying to tell me I do need a mini farm in my backyard.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Breathe Easier: How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

I'm sure you know that the air inside your home usually contains more pollutants than the outside air. Eventually, I will invest in a good air purifier, but I'm a bit of a tightwad right now, sohere's what I do in the meantime.

HouseplantsNot only do houseplants add life and beauty to your living space, they filter out tons of toxins from the air. I have a peace lily, boston fern, marginata (I called this thing a margarita for weeks until I actually looked at the tag...), and a majesty palm. I'm not exaggerating when I say I could tell an immediate difference in the air.
My Houseplants -left to right- Peace lily, Marginata, Boston Fern, and Majesty Palm

Throw Out Your Chemicals (in a responsible way)
Some of the leading contributors to indoor air pollution are the chemicals we use to clean. Make your own or buy a green products instead. Read the labels, if they don't list ingredients, don't use them. Some red flag ingredients include:
  • phenols (toilet cleaners and disinfectants)
  • nonylphenol ethoxylate (surfacant in detergents and cleaners)
  • diethylene glycol (mainly in window cleaners)
  • butyl cellosolve /ethylene glycol monobutyl/butyl glycol-(all kinds of cleaners)
  • triclosan-(antibacterial cleaners)
  • sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate-(soaps, detergents, and bath products)
Chances are, if the company uses these things, they will not be listing their ingredients. The exceptions are:
  • Ammonia-For some reason, companies like to advertise "with ammonia d." It doesn't make the product better, only more dangerous...don't buy it.
  • Bleach-Companies use bleach because it's cheap. Instead use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or tea tree oil.
Throw out the chemicals! You can use baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and just plain soap to clean most surfaces in your house. Get some microfiber cloths and ditch the paper towels

Clear Your House of PVC and MDF

I'll admit, I still have a little, but I'm replacing everything eventually...and I thought I was a genuis for using pvc for a curtain rod for my 10 foot wide window. Oh, and I have a desk made of MDF...I can only claim ignorance at the time.

My solution to a big window without using pvc or spending $150...and iron plumbing pipe...$20.

My MDF desk...I painted it with low VOC paint though...does that make it any better? (And yes, those are Sharpies in that jar, but I love them and don't want to look up how bad they are...)

PVC-Polyvinyl chloride releases toxins into your air. Any plastic with a recycle symbol with a 3 in it contains PVC...weed it out. Shower curtains, too. A hemp shower curtain won't allow water to leak through, so you don't have to worry about the plastic liner. Plus, they naturally resists bacteria and mold, so even though it gets wet, it won't grow anything yucky. Kinda pricey ($70-$100), but you'll never have to buy a liner again. If your a sewer, there's 100% hemp fabic from $17-$35 a yard.
-Medium density fiberboard is made by binding wood particles together. They use a resin to do the binding, and the resin contains formaldehyde. MDF is dangerous stuff, especially the dust created from cutting. Instead, spend a few bucks more and spring for real wood.

Other (perhaps more obvious) tips
  • Vacuum and dust regularly-Don't forget your mattress and upholstered furniture
  • Change (or clean) your air filter-Depending on the type, do every 1-4 months. I use a washable one and wash it every month or two depending on the season (less in spring and fall because the unit isn't on as much)
  • Don't smoke inside-Does this need an explanation?
  • Open your house up-Don't let the air in your home get stagnant. Open up the house as often as you can.
Happy breathing!

Do people really wear this?!?!

Maybe I'm just out of the fashion loop, but it this cute in any way? How appropriate she's posing by a pole...

Am I crazy or not?