Sunday, March 30, 2008

As Promised.

Here is a collage of photos from recent days of Sweet Elijah...sleeping, eating, playing...all the good stuff. We are having a quiet weekend, it's a bit drizzly today so we are staying in. This next week is going to be big week. I will have news to share, so check back.

Here are the long promised green cleaner recipes...

Kitchen Cleanser

Baking Soda
Essential Oil (optional; available at health food stores)
Prep...Fill a plastic flip-top or stainless steel shaker (the kind used for powdered sugar) halfway with baking soda. Add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil (try lemon or lavender). Stir. Add more baking soda until it reaches the top of the shaker. Secure the lid and shake to mix.
Use...Sprinkle on counters or in sinks, then wipe with a damp cloth or cellulose sponge. Rinse well. Don't use too much or you will need to keep rinsing and wiping.
I use this to keep my stainless steel kitchen sink fresh and sparkling.

Floor Cleaner

Distilled white vinegar
Filtered water
Essential oil (optional)

Prep...Fill a clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with equal amounts vinegar and water. Add 15 to 20 drops essential oil (try peppermint). Mix.
Use...Squirt on floor and wipe with a clean rag or mop. This cleaner can be used on finished wood, ceramic tile and vinyl.
I have used this on wood floors and ceramic tile with very nice results.

All-Purpose Cleaner

2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon borax (available at grocery stores in the laundry aisle)
16 ounces hot, filtered water
1/4 cup liquid soap (try Dr. Bronner's castile soap, available at health food stores)

Prep...Mix vinegar and borax in a clean 16 ounce spray bottle. Fill with water and shake until borax has dissolved. Add the the liquid soap. Shake to mix again.
Use...Spray and wipe.
I use this for almost everything from counter tops to inside the toilet bowl and love it.

Let me know if you try these and if you like them. You will have to use a little elbow grease at times because they don't have all of those nasty chemicals to do it for you. I find them to leave things sparkling and fresh, plus, non-toxic for you, your family, and the ground water they will end up in.
I will be back later in the week with lovely check back.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tid Bits

I have been seriously remiss in my blogging apologies.
I have lots of goodies to share.
Firstly, don't forget about taking part in Earth Hour tomorrow night. The premis is for everyone to turn off their lights from 8-9 p.m. local time. This is an opportunity to raise awarness about how the little things that each of us can do will help save energy. As well as to reduce our impact on our planet's resources. So turn off those lights. I am planning on lighting candles, maybe a fire in the fireplace, and a cup of tea. I can just see the glowing living room in my mind's eye. Who knows maybe I (we) could do this every Saturday. :)
There are lots of new things with the Little Man...
He is walking most of the time now.
He has learned several new words: bye (accompanied by waving) , Uh Oh Spaghetti-o (except it comes out as uh oh doo doo), hi, light (pronounced la), more (pronounced maa).
He points to his belly and his nose, and then just looks at me like I'm crazy when I ask him where his cheek, eye, or toes are.
He loves to eat: pancakes, broccoli, applesauce, animal crackers, chili mac, plain yogurt with a little jam stirred in...just to name a few, he enjoys most foods.
He is completly binky free. Last night was night number four and he is sleeping really well. We had only been giving it to him for naps and at night, so we decided to try and start weaning him off. He cries a bit when I lay him in his crib, but it has gotten shorter every night and I think he may be sleeping better somehow.
He is also completly bottle free. He uses sippy cups like pro. I have also been trying to work on him using a spoon and fork which he is eagar to do and is doing pretty well at four being only nearly fourteen months old.
We three are hoping for the snow to end soon (we got more yesterday) and for Spring to finally show her face, especially since Elijah wants to go outside constantly now...he loves it.
I have not forgotten about posting my cleaner recipes. The ones I use are from the now long gone magazine Organic Style, so I don't think there will be any copyright issues. I will try to do so tomorrow and to post pictures of Elijah's first Easter Egg hunt!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Green - in honor of St. Patty

So I am about to wear my inner greeness for all to see on my sleeve...
I have been working hard lately to find ways to cut costs and save the C household money. One big thing I am trying to do regularly now is meal plan before I go grocery shopping. So saturday morning I pulled out several cookbooks (I try to mix it up and not use the same cookbooks each time, but to rotate). I plan 10 to 12 dinners and of course lunch possibilities and breakfast for Little Man and Me (David is not a big breakfast eater). Then I write out my shopping list and stick with it. The cost is always significantly less, I know what to make instead of having a refridgerator full of food with no idea what to cook. It works. Tonight I already know what is for dinner - yummy baked pork chops, baked potatos, and steamed lemon broccoli... green in honor of St. Patrick's day of course. Plus, the cost of two weeks worth of groceries is always around the same amount within $10 or so even when I am using all sorts of different recipes and ingrediants. I try to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables to keep from over paying and to try to reduce my carbon foot print a little bit too. Why pay for strawberries shipped from Chile in December? The one fruit I can't seem to let go of even though I know they are shipped from far and wide are bananas. We all three love them and they are such a good snack to have on hand. If I could find a way to have a banana grove in my back yard here in the snowy mid-west I would. I guess a lack of bananas is a sacrifice I am not yet willing to make. I am looking forward to the summer and growing some of our vegetables and suplimenting with farmer's markets. I really want to buy local when I can.
For the last four years I have been making and using my own household cleaners. I really like them and I feel that they do the job just fine. They are made from baking soda, vinegar, Dr. Bronner's castille soap, distilled water, and essential oils (which work as anticeptic and antibacterial agents). They smell nice and I know that they are not toxic for little hands and feet walking and crawling on floors, nor the water streams that they will eventually flow into.
There are lots of other things that I am hoping to do in the coming year to reduce what I and my family consume that is unneccesary. I would like to get a rain barrel for each down spout to use for watering vegetables and flowers outside, it's free water that otherwise just runs down to the sewer. And here in the mid-west we get some awesome deluges of water in the spring and summer to go with those tornados and super-cell storms. Changing over light-bulbs to compact flouresants, taking much shorter showers, David and I carpooling to work, paying attention to amounts of packaging on products I buy and continuing to recycle. I hope to also someday get an electricity producing windmill (I know, WOW!), they have started making home sized ones that are easy matinence...but, still very pricey. It might be 5 or 10 years down the road.
These are all things that are important to me and taking care of this beautiful amazing earth that God gave us is very important. We were called to be good stewards over creation and I don't think that we have been doing a good job of that in the last 100 years or so. Plus, I want to use resources that are available that are normally forgotten or discounted. David calls me his Little Hippy...well, maybe...bring on the tofu!
So in honor of St. Patty's Day I decided to talk green. I would love to hear any tips and tricks that you may have to stretch your dollars and to go green as well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

For the Love of PBS

Does anyone else out there love Jane Austen?
How I adore her books...
and I am loving the Complete Jane Austen that PBS's Masterpiece Theater is airing on Sunday evenings.
I DVR'd last nights and honestly I am not sure which one it will be, but I love cozying up on the couch with a cup of tea and watching the stories unfold.
I have read each book, in what seems to be a thousand times, and I will most certainly read them all again. I must admit that I do have favorites.
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite and with almost equal fervor is my devotion to Persuasion. And depending on the day, I may tell you that I love it most of all.
It was an adpation of Persuasion that was on last Sunday and it was ever so good. The casting was done well and Sally Hawkins who played Anne, did a perfect job. Even though I knew the story by heart I was on the edge of my seat. It was very well done.
There is still Sense and Sensibility to come. *delight*
Oh, and these other movies that are upcoming look equally good (there are no links as of yet, but this link will show you little blips about them, scroll down to the bottom).
I am also a big Mystery! fan and coming up this Summer will be Foyle's War Series Five and new episodes of Poirot. Both very good series and I don't know when they will air. I have heard that Miss Marple is back in production. I never cared for Miss Marple until they came out with these new adpations and they are excellent.
I love PBS, I am always assured of good take a look.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Random...I can do that.

Thank you for all of the picture love.
I really love the picture of Elijah eating the serious.
I apologize for the darkness of the wedding photos. It was dark in the courtroom and I think I had the wrong setting on my camera. We'll shoot for the super nice pictures next year when we do a more formal event...stay tuned for those.

I was tagged an ever so long tme ago by, I hate to say it, I can't remember. But, they wanted me to post seven random things about myself. So here we go...

~ I was supposed to be around 6 ft. tall, I ended up at a comfortable 5'7. There is some point when you are a kid that they measure you and supposedly they can tell how tall you will be. I am an example that the equation they use is a bunch of hooey.

~I doubled majored in History and Russian Langauge in college. Vwee gawvareetya parooski? (Russian is not easy to do phoneticaly).

~I don't walk on strange floors in my barefeet, especially hotel rooms! When I was an intern I had a truely terrible, roach filled apartment that I lived in for a year, I never once walked barefoot.

~I love to eat cottage cheese and pudding mixed together.

~I was a vegetarian for five years, a single piece of bacon was what brought me back to eating meat, however, I am thinking about converting back.

~I have lived in four states

~I was born 11 days early and so was my sweet boy Elijah.

There you go! I am supposed to tag others to join in the fun, but I think most everyone has been gotten. If not, do it, it's fun and strangely difficult as well. Who knew it could be so hard to come up with things about ones self?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Slew of Pictures...

Here are long promised pictures...Enjoy!

The start of Elijah's first haircut. Look how long his hair was!

In progress...

The finished product. So very handsome.

Right before we got married.

During the ceremony.

Homemade cupcakes for the 1st birthday party.

Chasing balloons with Aunt Angie.

Singing Happy Birthday.

The demolishing of the first cupcake.

Opening gifts.

Last week...wearing the bear hat from Mumsy and Pop.

Hugs from Daddy.

Long promised pictures for my Mom of the bookcases we got at IKEA in January.

Another view of our living room. I want to paint the walls a mocha color...I can't abide by white walls. Too plain for me.
I hope all have enjoyed the slide show! Happy Saturday!