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Showing posts from November, 2009

Green Holiday Plans

The winter months can be a lot of fun with all of the celebration, visiting, and gifts. However, they can also be quite expensive and these fun activities and traditions can create lots of unnecessary waste. Here are a few of the plans my husband and I have made to cut down on our spending and waste this holiday season.

Gifts: Nearly everyone in our family, and several friends, will be getting a jar (or two) of pepper jelly that we made over the summer or fall. This is nearly free to us, besides the money invested in the garden beds, and the jars. In addition, I am making cloth napkins for immediate family. I picked out some fun patterned fabrics, and will be using my new (to me) serger to trim the edges. I made a set of napkins for us a couple of years ago and have loved using them so much! This gift is economical for us, but has lasting value for the recipient and also helps them to create less waste from paper. Baby's first Christmas can be a tempting time to buy lots of new toy…

White "Green" Painting

Today we made a big purchase: a 26-gallon air compressor and a paint sprayer kit. I'm going to paint a dresser for Sweet Pea's room, and I have a nearly unlimited number of other projects in mind that I can now tackle with more confidence of a good outcome. The idea is that I will achieve a smooth, professional finish. That's the hope at least. I have never used a paint sprayer or air brush before so this is all in theory right now. I was inspired to try my hand at spray gun painting by the impressive DIY feats of fellow blogger Michelle of Three Men and a Lady.

While we did spend a bundle on those two items, and the no-VOC paint I got as well, we're hopeful that in the long run this will save us money: I can paint a cheap used dresser and make it look nice rather than buying one new, I can paint the desk we have and spruce it up rather than buying a new one, and eventually I can paint our kitchen cabinets while we save to re-do our kitchen, probably years from now. A…

Big Plans for the Garden

This fall I hired a garden planner, Villa Verde Garden Designs, to do a plan for the backyard. I decided to do this after a few months of mentally planning, but always feeling unsure of where to start, how much of what materials to buy, and nervous about wasting money with mistakes. With a plan laid out, we know what the final outcome will be and we can do portions of it as we have the money and time, without worrying that putting one thing in is going to screw up something I'm going to want later. I also wanted help with sizes of things from someone who has more experience with gardens than me. The completed plans, delivered to us on a large paper, fully scaled for accurate dimensions, include a path, a couple of border flower beds, tearing down and rebuilding the current raised beds and adding several more. Our planner, Leah, knew to do things I might not have thought of like designing the new beds to be sizes that you can buy boards so we won't have any waste, and with big …

The Puppy's Sweet Side

The sweetest things about our puppy:

He won't go to bed until we all go to bed. That means that if I am bouncing the baby in the office while daddy is asleep, he will come lay near me and won't go to his crate until I go in to bed too.

The way he crosses his ears over the top of his head when he is concerned or paying attention REALLY hard.

The way he lays down if I give a command he doesn't understand - like that's the utmost he can do, is this what I'm asking for?

The way he licks toes.

How he now associates me getting peanut butter out with him going in his crate, so he jogs down the hallway ahead of me and gets inside, ready for his treat.

The way he tries to crawl onto my lap when I sit on the ground.

The way his kisses make Sweet Pea laugh and laugh!

Nursing in Public

How do you feel about nursing in public? Before I had a baby, I felt a bit conflicted about it. Now, after having a baby, and nursing in public myself at least once a week... I still feel a bit conflicted.

My internal conflict isn't about whether or not it should be allowed or how women should go about it. I firmly believe that every mom should have the right to feed her baby in any location at any time, no questions asked. I also believe that women should simply do it in the way that works best for their babies, without regard for the "comfort" of those around them. It is natural and healthy and therefore should be a non-issue. However, even I (called a nudist by my husband for my tendency to wander around the house naked) have some hang-ups about exposing my breasts in public. Why? I don't know, probably because of this up-tight, patriarchal society I come from. Again, intellectually I think it's totally great and should be totally acceptable, but I find myself…

Halloween Costumery

The winning idea this year was: Super Mario Bros. family!
I was Princess Peach
Average was Mario
Sweet Pea was Toadstool

We sewed blue overalls for Average out of some heavy "duck" fabric we found at JoAnn's, got heavy red fabric for the hat, and bought a red shirt at Value Village. I found a pink prom-style dress for myself at the village too, a pink silky robe that I modified with PUFFY sleeves, and we bought a wand and a crown to complete my outfit. Sweet Pea's costume was the simplest: a mushroom hat and a matching vest. I thought this would be good for her because at 8 months old, she isn't that patient for clothing changes, and I wanted her to remain fully mobile and comfortable. My sewing machine held up through all of the sewing of the heavy fabrics and the fluffy fabrics and the silky robe thing, but it is starting to go slower it seems. (Hmm, maybe it's time for another oiling and cleaning? I better make sure it's in good shape because this year…