Monday, February 28, 2011

March Change

One Small Change Be sure to check this link out...Join in...Be the change!

I have decided to join and add my eco goals! I have so many eco goals that I have set and followed through with, as well as others that I am working on. Why not share them with others? Why not get ideas from others, as to what I need to change, in order to lower my carbon footprint? I can think of no reason not to :)

So, on to my change for this month...eliminate my use of disposable feminine hygiene products! I will be making pads myself, this month. I have never made these before, but my sister has and they don't seem to unreasonable to do. Wish me luck ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dreeeeam...

...Dream, dream, dream!

Lately, I find myself doing a lot of dreaming. Dreaming of a better life in a better home! I would LOVE to be in a sweet little farm house, with a little piece of land, for farm animals, growing a big garden and being one with nature. Some freedom, and not to have to live by the rules of a landlord. Having the ability to lay under the stars, in my own open field, without worrying whether I am laying in the neighbors' dog's poop :( Having some space for Miss Z to run, play, learn and grow in.

I am trying to get things together and figure out how we, as a family, are going to make this dream a reality. Making our life better and finding a permanent home that is ours, should not be this hard...or should it? Is it really so much to ask for?

*sigh*

One day, we ARE going to get there...I just hope it doesn't take a life time!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Check Out My Buns!!


Burger buns, that is ;)

In my plight to stop buying foods from the store (with mass amounts of added garbage and ingredients I can not pronounce, in them) that I can make myself, I decided to finally try making burger buns! I wanted to make Chili Bean Burgers (I omit the ketchup and add garlic, Worcestershire sauce and what ever other spice I enjoy) for supper and that called for buns...Of course! So, I searched online and found this recipe and decided to give it a shot. There turned out SOOOOOOO well!! I am having a really hard time, not eating every last one of them...LOL!

Oh, and they are a bit on the heavy side, but still VERY delicious!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm Participating...

...in the read-a-long @ Helping Little Hands

There is something really fun going on, over at Helping Little Hands!! You should all get over there now, and join in :) I know I am!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What 5 things are you grateful for right now?

On my blog travels today, I discovered a great little blog that had a really great post! Earth Mama posted five things she was grateful for and asked, "What 5 things are you grateful for right now?". It made me think and want to share my 5 with you!

I am grateful for...


...the ability to teach my little one at home!


...being super silly and laughing...A LOT!!


...a little one who loves to craft as much as her Mommy.


...the apples in the freezer, we picked the summer before :)


...the bestest little girl, in the whole wide world!!

You turn, What 5 things are you grateful for right now?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Slouch Hat Fail

Well people, here it is...



The "supposed to be" slouch hat that ended up looking much more like an awkward, over sized beret! It looks odd and really doesn't fit right, so no action shots!

This means that I am back to the drawing board, and on to the next pattern. I hope to have better luck with the next one :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family Day

So, what did everyone (that has this holiday) do? Please, share :)

I know, a short post, but things here are just super crazy!

Hope you all had a fun day, filled with family, love and laughter!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting My Crafty On

I was just realizing that this blog has taken a move for the less crafty, these days. I think it is time to do more of the crafty sharing, around here :) I have been crafting, but it has been for swaps I have been doing, on one of my favourite craft sites...Craftster!! If you are crafty, love crafts, want to learn to craft, this is the place to be. Now that the "plug" for that site has been made, on to the rest of this post...LOL!

As soon as I have finished the current swaps and the people I am sending to have received, I plan to share the projects I have made. I will also be focusing on making clothing for Miss Z, as well as some recon projects. Be sure to check in from time to time, to see more crafty goodness!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snowbert!

I just thought I would share with you, Miss Z's first snowman! It took a long wait for just the right snow (the sticky stuff) and it finally came, when the temperature dropped for a short time.

We had a really great but wet and cold time, making this lovely little guy.


I took a picture of Miss Z and "Snowbert" and asked her to say cheese. She said cheese and as soon as the picture had been taken, she looked at her snowman, then at me and said, "He didn't say cheese, Mommy!" She seemed very concerned about this! Tee hee hee...Such a silly girl.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ten Apples Up On Top

What a cute little book this is!

I thought I would share some schooly crafted goodness with you today. I recently saw this idea on another blog (can't remember which one), to read a book and then to do some art work, with the book's theme. Well, today was our first try at it and Miss Z LOVES it! She had so much fun, reading with Mommy, counting, painting and gluing.

Here is what we did:

I made paper apples from construction paper, then gathered supplies we needed. Oh, and Miss Z picked the character she wanted, from the book and I drew it on to large blank paper (ah yes, look at my drawing skills...LOL).


Then, Miss Z painted her tiger, with some help from Mommy. We read the book while the paint dried on her tiger. As I was reading, I had Miss Z count out the paper apples, to go along with the number of apples added to each character.


Last, but not least, Miss Z glued "Ten Apples Up On Top"!!


Here is the picture she took herself, of her lovely art ;)


There you have!! All kinds of fun was had with this project, and I hope you enjoyed seeing it :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dreaming of Gardening

I found a really neat blog today and one of the first posts I read, was about gardening in limited space and it made me so excited to garden this year! I missed out on gardening last year, but not this year...There WILL be food growing in my yard!!

I have been reading up on some useful gardening tips and deciding what and where I would grow everything. I am planning to try out a few new things this year, and one of those things being a "potato box". My sister was telling me about this and it seems like something that would be very useful to try. It is a 4x4 box that can produce up to 100lbs of potatoes. I will be sure to post more about it, as soon as I am sure to completely understand it. Plans are definitely in the works, for this year's garden. All I need now, is for Summer to arrive!

If you have any great gardening tips or ideas that you would like to share, be sure to leave it in the comments section :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Slouch Obsessed!

I am out of control! I want to try every single version of a slouch hat, that I find. I was thinking I should share some of the patterns that I have found, with you all :) I mean, who doesn't love a good slouch hat?!?!

Here are the linky poos:

Eyelet Slouch Hat

Meret : This one is a PDF.

Runched Slouch Beanie

Slouch Hat Knitting Pattern

Knit Slouch Hat Pattern: This pattern is the first one I will be trying out. In fact, it is already on the needles, I just haven't had a chance to work at it.


Rudolph Hat
: Not a slouch hat, but super cute!!

I have yet to try these patterns, but I plan to, in hopes of finding a slouch hat that is to my liking. If any of you try one or some of these patterns, be sure to let me know how it/they turn out. I will post pictures of the ones that I try out...even if they fail :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Progress Report!

I got a few of the tasks done, from my list but not as much as I wanted to accomplish. I may have not completed everything, but the most important part was finished...LAUNDRY!!! I made 2 crochet slouch hats but they were a FAIL! The pattern I used was all kinds of crazy, and the finished products were more like stiff, over sized berets. I am greatly disappointed, as I put a fair amount of time in to them. Ah well, I have a few other patterns to try out and I know I will find at least one that works for me! I also worked on the Alice in Wonderland swap, a wee bit. There is still so much to do with that swap and so little time to do it in. Oh, and the cookies just didn't happen. Miss Z and I were supposed to bake Valentine cookies (today) as a surprise for Daddy, but I didn't realize that we were missing a few ingredients. I am still planning to make cookies with Miss Z, this week but instead of Valentine cookies, we will work them in to the homeschooling schedule (we are going to work on letter of the weeks...YAY). The weekend wasn't a total bust, though there was a lot I didn't get to. Always another day to finish :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Imaginative Play, Gone Wrong


~ More than ever, we as parents and a nation must do something about the growth of obesity in our children. We must do more than just talk, we must be concerned enough to act. ~ Lee Haney

This is the reason that I like to make play food for my daughter, myself. There are so many things wrong with this! This was part of a gift that was given to my daughter, for her birthday. I know we can't be choosy (or can I a little?) about what other people buy for your child as gifts, but shouldn't things like what you might really want to avoid, or what you believe, or how you raise your child, have some sort of effect on what someone gives them? I thought this would be easier to avoid, if it were a gift given by a family member. One who went out of their way to make sure they asked exactly what would be appropriate for our little one. I guess I was wrong!

I am not ungrateful for the "idea" of this gift, but I am quite put off that I was asked exactly what Miss Z would like and what sorts of things we were trying to avoid and this person went right out and purchased all the things we said were not appropriate! Not only did she receive a ton of "plastic, wrapped in plastic, wrapped in a tree", but the items in this play food set are things that I would never see as ideal choices, even in play food. Things like chocolate nuts, juicy candy, boxed cake, doughnuts and so on. I know, I am not perfect and I do eat junk food sometimes, but this isn't a habit that I like to encourage. Maybe I am a weird and anal parent, but it seems that these types of toys, encourage bad eating habits and bad food choices in real life. Yes, they are just toys, but they do have an impact on the minds of little ones!

I should also add that it isn't just the fact that this is junk food play food, but the fact that we do our best to avoid plastic and anyone that knows me, knows that! I was sure to inform the person who purchased this set, that we would much prefer something wooden, cloth, anything but plastic (as she gave us the choice). Sure it may seem that maybe they couldn't find the items I told them about, or maybe things were too expensive, but that is not the case. This person is known for asking what we want and then doing the opposite, which makes no sense to me. Why spend your money on a spiteful gift, just to have it given away to someone else. You are hurting me, you are hurting your own pocket book!

P.S...The play food set was also accompanied by a plastic tea set, plastic dishes, cookies(with more junk in the ingredients, than I care to even read) as well as juice boxes with weird ingredients like canola oil...EEEEK!!

What do you think? Are these okay toys for your child? Do feel the same as I do, in the aspect that these sorts of toys teach bad habit/choices in life? Am I just crazy? Okay, don't answer that last one, but I would really like to hear what others think.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Extended Breastfeeding

We do it!! It is a good thing!! I am doing right by my child, not hurting her!! My body, my breasts, my choice!!

My daughter is 3 years old and is STILL breastfed...That is all!!

Feel free to discuss. I would love to hear from other extended breastfeeders, on their experiences with nursing toddlers, or whether you get support from family and peers, or issues!

Friday, February 11, 2011

If I put it here, I WILL do it!

This post is going to serve as motivation and accountability for the things that I MUST get done. I am the "Queen of Procrastination", but my reign must be over! I hereby step down from my throne and pass the crown to the next heir :) Well, that is what I am hoping to to do. Let's just see how things go this weekend.

Ok, here is a list of the tasks/projects/chores that I really need to take care of:

  • Laundry
  • Bake Valentine cookies, with Miss Z (for her Daddy)
  • Finish crochetting myself a slouch hat (just about done now)
  • Crochet a slouch hat Miss Z ( she has been demanding one)
  • Make a cloth calender (we have not one calender in our home - so confusing to never know what day it is...LOL!)
  • Make a mug rug
  • Work on the Alice in Wonderland Swap!!

I know, I know, this is a lot to expect of someone who is so good at procrastinating, but I like to aim high! I tend to go BIG with these things. Let's just see how much of this list I actually get done. I shall post things as I finish them. I can do this...Right?!?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Party Fit for the Planet

My little girl turned three recently and of course we planned a homemade party for her. I knew I wanted her party to be as eco-friendly as possible and it turns out, that is really quite easy. We not only went eco, but we also went with healthier choices! There were no disposable decorations, no plastic or paper dishes to be thrown away and no useless plastic toys, in plastic bags and only the equivalent of one half of a small shopping bag of waste!! I am so proud of myself, for sticking to it and getting everything done on time and making so much myself.
Fabric Banner. Made from pieces in my scrap bin.

When reading a few other blogs and sites, it was made to sound as if it was going to be super expensive, but I found the opposite! I used materials I had on hand, to make the decorations and my mother and I went looking at the local secondhand shops, for dishes and cutlery (7.00). I also used some pink fabric I had, as table cloths. I didn't do anything to the material, besides ironing it and once the party was over, I washed the fabric and put it right back in to the mix for later crafting!
Japanese paper balloons that I learned to make, the night before the party and felt hearts and stars.

For food, I made turkey wraps(using real turkey I baked the day before) and veggie wraps, lots of fruit and veggies, cheese and crackers. I also made hummus and a Greek dip from the cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. I bought lentil chips and rice chips for dipping, instead of potato chips. There was no pop, but instead, we had apple juice with just apples and a fruit juice made just of fruit, no added sugars. Oh, and the cake was supposed to be vegan, but things just would not go my way :( I made Coconut Cake from the Eat, Drink, Be Vegan cookbook, but only half of what I made, actually became a part of the finished product. I made the cake three times, and the first time was amazing but the second and third...Not so good! I forgot the sugar and it didn't cook right. I was so disappointed that when I was STILL baking, the day of the party, I had to cave and use a crappy boxed cake mix *hangs head in shame*. It was then iced with whipped cream (whipped myself) and garnished with strawberries. Everyone had a good time and appreciated the healthier food choices!
Tasty cake! Nothing fancy, but super yummy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Cuba 2011 (not me)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We're Going Through Changes

I decided that when the New Year came, I wasn't going to make any sort of resolution, instead, a promise. A promise to myself, my family and the planet! I thought it would be good to share the changes I plan to make, with you all. This can be more of a motivation and an accountability source for me, to help me remember my promises and the reasons I made them!

Here are my plans:

Pledging to not buy new - though we have decided that we can buy 1 or 2 new items for Miss Z, at Christmas and her birthday (they are a month apart), but I think this will come to an end as well.

Eat more meatless meals - This one is proving to be a bit of a challenge for Macho Man! He is a meat and potato man.

Avoid plastic like the plague - I am pretty good at this one and have been for quite some time. My sister has referred to me as the "Plastic Nazi"! Though there is always room for improvement and that would be packaged foods. Time to make those reusable produce bags I have been putting off! Now, if only they would let us use reusable bags at bulk food stores...Grrrr!

Healthier food choices - No more processed food. Sounds easy right? Well, not for some of us...LOL!! Once again, Macho Man has had a hard time adapting to this one, as he was raised on mainly processed foods. He lived on things like boxed macaroni and cheese, canned cartoon pastas, the list goes on. You'd think he would be happy to be eating such flavorful foods, with great nutrients. He does seem to enjoy most of the homemade, natural, healthy foods that I make, but I have heard more than one complaint about there not being any "quick, boxed meals" for him to cook up.

Become more self sufficient - Living sustainable seems, to me, to be a matter of gaining the tools to fend for yourself. I am not sure all I need to live a more sustainable life, but that is what research is for. Read, read, read!! I just wish I owned my own land so that I could have chickens and other farm animals.

Buy local - This one may be a bit pricey, but we love going to the local food markets and finding the local places that we didn't know even existed. There are locally grown foods right in our own backyard, to be purchased. It is amazing what you can find locally, when you venture away from the big grocery stores.

Make this home homemade - I have decided that we will no longer purchase bread, baked goods and whatever else I can make at home, from the grocery store. There really is no need, when it is so easy to make these things in our own home. I LOVE homemade bread and I know what is in it! This also applies to gifts, toys, clothing, whatever is possible for us to make on ourselves.

Grow our own food - I really loved growing my own food 2 summers ago, but since moving, we lost out on the garden last summer. Now that it has been discussed with the landlord, we have agreed on a space that I can use to plant a garden...WOOO HOO!!! I am so excited to have a garden again and can not wait to get started. I was also thinking of growing a few things indoor, as well. I'd really like to get a little indoor herb garden going and maybe try growing potatoes indoor, as well. We'll see how that goes.

Recycle, reduce, reuse - Though this is something we already do, I just think there is more we can do to follow this one. I would like to not just throw things in the recycling bin, in hopes that it will actually be recycled properly, and make another use out of those items. There are a lot of things that can be made with recyclable, like crafts with Miss Z from toilet paper rolls, tools for gardening from cans, party decorations from cardboard boxes. That list is endless and I need to try out some of the many recycled crafty things I have bookmarked. I am also going to be sure to make purchases with less packaging. There is no need for a tiny toy to have so much packaging. My sister came up with a great description that applies nicely to the packaging for toys, "Plastic, wrapped in plastic, wrapped in a tree". That comment was made in reference to something else, but it it works here!

Be more active - Ugh, I am SOOOOO lazy!!! I can admit it. I am ashamed, but I can tell you that I am super lazy. I really need to get to the gym as well as finding more active things for us to all do together. Miss Z is much more active than her father and I are (she goes to classes at the gym)and that is not right. How can you set a good example for your little ones, or expect them to live a lifestyle you don't even live? It is time to lead by example! I am overweight and I know that this weight is very unhealthy and I need to fix this, so I can live a long life with my family. I want my daughter to love herself as she is, and have a great body image, but also don't want her to think that being overweight is a good thing or healthy. I saw this as the norm and was taught some pretty bad food habits and now it is my chance to break that chain.

I have been doing my best to follow a crunchy, healthy, greener life style, but I have been slipping a lot and that just isn't working for me. I need to be more dedicated and motivated, as these things can positively impact my family as well as the planet. It is time to make a change...A BIGGER change...Do what I know is right!

I have many more plans, but I think this blog entry is long enough. I will be posting more at a later date and will be posting updates on our progress.