Archive for January, 2009

Sparkly hearts for Emily!

Love for Emily is real, not cheap plastic

Love for Emily is real, not cheap plastic

Happy Monday, everyone!! Today I hope it is especially happy because it is all about EMILY! Emily blogs at In The Limelife, and right now she is chronicling the adventures of her first pregnancy! We are so excited to meet her new little boy, who will debut in late March.

Emily and I have been friends for more than five years. I know this because I met Emily at the very first audition that was held for my dance company. At the time our first meeting was more than a little awkward, because she was the only one who showed up to audition! But she stayed and danced and then we found more people and had a show and she was there for all of it. What is very sad is that Emily lives far away now, in sunny, classy Cali. Aside from my concerns that the lack of winter will have negative effects on her character,  the miles and stinky time difference have make hanging out rather difficult.

Emily is a great friend – a terrific listener, a staunch supporter, a fantastic road-tripper. She is very chill and has a way of making everyone relax and be calm. While that is not a very flashy superpower, it is AMAZING in real life. She also has a great sense of humor and called me immediately after leaving 40 Year Old Virgin to tell me that the ending was completely awesome and I had to see it.  Also, she can totally rock a Napoleon Dynamite quote. I don’t think I can recall any time that I have spent with Emily that I didn’t enjoy. At the clubs, having lunch, making cookies, waiting in the wings, sitting in my car and talking for an hour… all good. (Once when I was drunk she snapped at me, but I totally deserved it.) Emily is so very great and you would be very, very lucky to have her as your friend. Here’s a little taste:

What are you going to enjoy this year? Becoming a mom

What is your own personal quality or achievement that you like most about yourself? My unique personal quality is that I’m pretty relaxed and I don’t get agitated very easily and I think that helps calm people down sometimes, even when I don’t know the right thing to say.

What three things would you most like to change about your life? I wish I lived closer to my friends and family (or they lived closer to me – California is very nice) and my job – that’s about it really.  I’m pretty happy with my life…I mean, I could have more money, but I don’t know that that would make me happier.

Happiest Moment of Emily's Life On Film So Far

Happiest Moment of Emily's Life On Film So Far

Emily says: So, it’s a really horrible picture of both of us, but this was the happiest moment caught on film…our hotel room in Florence, Italy 2005.  The best vacation ever…so far.

What new thing is revving your engines right now?  I’m really getting revved up about nonprofit advocacy and changing the way the world looks at nonprofit organizations. I’m also pumped about the YNPN SD group I’m a part of.

Do you have a wall calendar? What is the design? Yes, it is the San Diego Zoo calendar that I got for free from a friend who works there.  This month it is elephants.

Her first piece of choreography

Emily's fave thing: Her first piece of choreography

Emily says: The first piece I choreographed that was performed onstage in front of a real audience.  Even though, if I watched the piece now, I would probably think it was crap, I am very proud of it. (Ed. Note: It was not crap. I was there.)

Do you have a word or intention for the year? Will you share it with us? Dare. Basically, I want to take more chances this year and not be afraid to say what I think.

What is the most influential book (or author) you have ever read? Good question…I’m going to go with George Orwell’s 1984.  Classic, but it really made me think.

Looking back on your childhood, what do you appreciate most about your parents? They encouraged and supported me in almost everything I did.

What is your favorite memory with AnonymousK?  It is hard to pick one.  I enjoyed going for hot chocolate at Borders and doing India Garden at lunch on many a day.  It was always fun to get away from the office and office people during the day and see a friendly face.  Also performing with K was always fun.

Is there anything you would like to say to AnonymousK? Please say it here:  I miss you!!  And I wish that we lived closer to each other so our little boys could be bffs. 😉

Me, too!!!! Happy Valentine’s Day, Emily! I heart you!!

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Earth-Friendly Friday: The Dining Room

Welcome back to the next installment of Earth-Friendly Friday! Full disclosure: right now our dining room is really more like a playroom/infant equipment storage area. So we mostly eat at the kitchen island or in the living room for now. But for the purposes of this series, let’s all pretend that weekly I throw  fabulous dinner parties with printed place cards  and people wear high heels and diamonds.

Who needs a dining room when you can have a pack n play shrine instead?

Who needs a dining room when you can have a pack n play shrine instead?

Dining Room:

  • The switch from paper napkins to cloth last summer was totally painless. I found some on eBay for cheap, and I think they make every meal a lot nicer. Also, you can use them to clean up baby puke without leaving your plate unguarded for Dog. They tend to impress guests, but then they remember they’re at our house and usually get over it.
  • Our last party (15 people?) was held entirely on real plates, and I think it went swimmingly. We did go for the plastic cups, but I made sure they were recyclable and there was a marker for artistically identifying your beverage. (Mostly they drank beer from the bottle or the snobby glass, so that further limited the impact.)
  • We’re careful that whatever sippy cups or spoons we buy for BabyK are BPA-free – safemama.com and zrecsguide.com are my go-to guides.
  • Taking the above one step further,  we are trying to avoid feeding BabyK food that comes in plastic containers. (Can someone please explain to me why you would sell organic baby food in packaging that isn’t recyclable – seriously.) Conveniently, he loves Earth’s Best food, which comes in glass jars and can be found at diapers.com for $7.49 for a pack of 12.

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I’m not the only one!

Counting down the hours to my next hairapy appointment (23 hours, 51 minutes to go…) and I am reassured by this:
The Fug Girls Totally Get It, and I extend my sympathies to this poor Taylor girl.

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Crafty, crocheted hearts for Laura!

Actual crocheted hearts now decorating MILs hospital room

Actual crocheted hearts now decorating MILs hospital room

Welcome back to some good old fashioned Valentine’s love! Each week until Valentine’s Day we are taking a look at some of the awesome and amazing people in my wonderful life. Consider this my technological, heart shaped doily to the people I love.

This week…. LAURA! You can find her at her blog, mostly crafty. mostly.

Laura and I have been friends for more than a decade. In fact, almost 2 decades. I think we met on the second (first?) day of 6th grade, and thinking about how old we are now is making me a little dizzy, so let’s just leave it at that. I enjoy Laura because she is one of the few people who has seen just about every ugly, painful, awkward and broken piece of me and still wants to send me chatty emails about what was on TV last night. When we were younger and out on the town (with parental supervision) people would always think that we were sisters and my actual sister B was our friend. I think our bond is more like family than friendship. Over the years we have moved closer together and further apart, giving ourselves room to grow or breathe or what have you. Whatever our status, I think it’s always been understood that there is tremendous love underneath it all. Let me tell you – it is a treat to be loved by Laura! She is very crafty and kind and fun. She is very loyal. She is almost always up for trying something fun and new. She is awesome to go on trips with and to have on your team for any kind of game: trivia, Cranium, Frisbee Golf, you name it. She is my crafting buddy, and she feeds me all sorts of delicious time-consuming blogs. Some of my favorite memories of Laura are when we volunteered together at the Children’s Museum and then had a sleepover at night and did our nails while watching stand up comedians on Comedy Central. Also, once she did a curtain talk for me because I was too upset, and that is not something you can ask a lot of friends to do for you. Clearly, I could talk about Laura for pages, but let’s hear from the lady herself:

What are you going to enjoy this year?

My friends! Last year I didn’t get to see some of them as much- many were pregnant, or in school, etc. This year it is on my 101 Things list to plan more social events and girls’ nights.  I have some very wonderful, smart, funny friends, whose company I really do enjoy, and don’t get to spend nearly enough quality time with them.

What is your own personal quality or achievement that you like most about yourself?

Personal quality is tough, but the achievement is easy: that I ran a marathon in November. It’s hard to believe that it was more than two months ago, and that I actually finished it. I trained very, very hard and ended up kind of sucking at it. I’m not going to lie: there were tears involved. But I’m very thankful that I met wonderful, supportive, inspirational ladies in my running group that pulled me through it!


What three things would you most like to change about your life?

That I am not as financially strong as I’d like to be (who is, especially now, I wonder?); that I’m a little/a lot hard on the people that I love; and that I waste wayyy too much time on the internets.

Bristow (dark) and Winnie (yellow)

Laura's Fave Things: Bristow (black/brown) and Winnie (yellow)

What new thing is revving your engines right now?

I’ve been putting together an inspiration binder for all of the crafty things I see online, in magazines, and in stores (also on my 101 Things list). I get myself all excited during the (work) day to make all of these cards, wreaths, ornaments, quilts, scarves, etc. That is, until I get home, sit down on my cushy couch with the Bristow-dog and spend my night watching Inside Edition instead!

Do you have a wall calendar? What is the design?

I have several. Fun fact: my company is the #1 producer of imprinted calendars. So my desk is awash in cast-offs and overruns. I currently have a travel one, a Norman Rockwell, and a Workplace Safety one at my desk.

Do you have a word or intention for the year? Will you share it with us?

I have two, I haven’t chosen between the two: grow or accepting.

Grow: grow up, grow stronger (emotionally, financially, physically), grow faster (at running), grow gardens.

Accepting: to realize that my friends’ lives are their own, and that I am still their friend no matter what.

What is the most influential book (or author) you have ever read?

Hmm…that is a difficult question since I’ve read so many wonderful, amazing books. The Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” series turned me on to reading in kindergarten, mostly because we had the same name- how cool for a five year old?? Her books painted a picture of an amazing, totally different world that I longed to live in. The same goes for the L.M. Montgomery “Anne of Green Gables” series-I desperately wanted to have red hair and move to Avonlea. Most of the books I read growing up were some sort of historical fiction, set in the Colonial or Pioneer eras.

Happiest Moment of Lauras Life on Film, So Far

Happiest Moment of Laura's Life on Film, So Far

Laura says: Finishing my marathon. How proud does my mom look?? (man in the BDU’s is Laura’s dad, not some soldier about to put down the smack)

Looking back on your childhood, what do you appreciate most about your parents?

They let me do whatever I wanted, within reason. Obvs, I had a strict curfew (they were cops after all!), but if I wanted to take art lessons, they signed me up for art lessons. When I decided art was lame, that was cool with them. I only had to learn to swim and play tennis. Tennis? What? Why??? No idea. I still can’t play. Why can’t it keep score like a normal sport? They also encouraged me to read, so much that you couldn’t get me to put my books down. They actually made me stop reading one Christmas because we got a Nintendo.

What is your favorite memory with AnonymousK?

I have known AnonymousK since we were 11, so I have many, many memories with AnonymousK. Some of my favorites: running around Christmas at the Zoo in middle school drinking hot chocolate (a perennial lauraloops/AK favorite), and watching hours of Scrubs and/or Arrested Development on vacation. Most recently, it is our somewhat-weekly Thursday Night TV Night.

Thank you to Laura for appearing here on the blog. Happy Happy Valentines Day!!! I heart you. 🙂

Only three Mondays left before the big event – check back to see who our fantastic Valentines will be!!

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Earth-Friendly Friday: The Mudroom

TGIF – because here’s another installment of everyone’s fave,  Earth-friendly Friday!! Today, the mud room:

BabyK's future clothes, washed and stored away

BabyK's clothes for winters to come

Mud room:

  • Sometime in my pregnancy after the pre-term labor but before the liver failure, I got crazy nesty. For me, that meant obsessively researching laundry detergents and prepping cloth diapers. After a lot of investigating, we’ve settled on Arm & Hammer Essentials Free laundry detergent. We can’t always find it at the grocery store, but it’s affordable, cloth diaper safe, and relatively earth friendly. I used the guide at PinStripes and PolkaDots for my research (from E’s hometown, no less!) and loved the Allen’s Naturally but couldn’t afford it, hated Bi-O-Kleen but can get it at Kroger. So.
  • We’ve switched to the unscented, dye-free Downy, but haven’t kicked the habit entirely. (We’ve got really hard water… whine). It’s been a few weeks since I picked it up, so I guess that’s progress. The clothes are starting to get scratchy on my fragile 90 year old winter hands, though. Anyone have some good tips?
  • For laundry stains, I really like the combination of Bac-Out and line-drying. Unfortunately, right now I am out of Bac-Out and while it is perfectly sunny, it’s also cold at a level that my skin can not process. OxyClean is as good on baby puke as anything I’ve found, but if not rinsed thoroughly it leaves the clothes feeling funny. A regular wash cycle after soaking overnight does not fix this problem. So I don’t use it that often. Also, the spray is unstable so if you make some in a spray bottle it only works for 12 hours or something.  Lame! Pet stains: Nature’s Miracle, every time.
  • I love my clothesline, which I found at Home Depot for like $30. Regardless of how much energy I am saving, I love hanging clean diapers on it. So fresh and so clean, clean! It’s been relegated to the shed until spring, which makes me sad. (But not sad enough to go get it out and use it. Nope.)
  • We’re using the Arm & Hammer refills as our general cleaner. I think it’s better than the Green Works stuff, which has too many bubbles and often seems to need rinsing. I realize it would be much greener to make our own, but that is going on the ‘post cloth diapering’ list. Baby steps.
  • CFLs: they’re supposed to be so awesome, right?? Well, I am not impressed. We have them in the lights we use most around the house, like the hallways and the porch lights. Due to our ghetto-fabulous  location, Mr. K is adamant about leaving the porch lights on all night. But did you know that CFLs aren’t designed for outdoor use? And when the temperature gets low, they don’t work at all? Also, they are totally not the same quality of light. People who say there is no difference are blind. (sorry) So we use Reveal bulbs in our lamps where we read or knit or just don’t want a blinding headache. Dear Engineers: I implore you, please make the light better in these blasted things. Thanks.
  • Still using the Swiffers (dry) for dusting. I know. But at least only using the Pledge once in a blue moon, so that’s good, right? (And yes, I have dusted in the past month. But not more than once. )

So, how are you guys doing with your laundry and cleaning needs? Any tips to share?

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But if you try sometimes, you might find…

you get what you need:

www.ordinarycourage.com

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Today’s Headlines

Your Guide To Surviving Subzero Temperatures and Colds For The Whole Family!

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