Thursday, October 30, 2008

Photography assignment

So I needed to take some pictures for my photography class and I just love our tree out front (one of the reasons we like this house so much) so this is what I got. I sure hope I get better!

Photo Tag

Tiffany tagged me to find the 4th picture from the 4th picture folder. This one is of Chandler and Claire holding hands at the zoo last spring.

I tag Hilary and Jenni H.

Juice and Soda bottles

Besides recycling your large plastic juice and soda bottles I decided to reuse them. I fill them with water and put them in my food storage. It's always a good idea to have bottled water available in case something happens and you are without running water.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Okay, I have a confession, I'm a blogaholic. Okay you already knew that, but I thought I'd let you know about my new blog I started. It's about being environmentally conscious - little things each of us can do to help the environment without going "GREEN" crazy. This is something I've been wanting to do better at and blogging helps me keep up with it because I have to try the things I'm blogging about. Click here if you'd like to check it out.

Household batteries

My camera takes up a ton of batteries and I have never recycled them before. After doing a bit of research on it I realized it's not as difficult as it seems. I looked into rechargeable batteries to see if they were better for the environment and it turns out they have more heavy metals in them than regular batteries, BUT if you recycle them then it is worth it and does help the environment, if you don't, you aren't being as environmentally conscious as you thought. I found a great website that tells you where you can recycle your rechargeable batteries, you just enter your zip code. The places you can take them to be recycled are actually stores you already shop at like Best Buy, Target, or Sears! How easy is that? Click here to check it out.


Well after I made bread, I was inspired to try homemade bagels. I'm so glad I did, they turned out great! They actually taste like real bagels you would buy from the store. Today we're baking cinnamon rolls. Am I making you hungry yet?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Carnival

So we went to the ward Halloween Carnival Saturday evening. It was really fun to get the kids dressed up and Parker came with us, everyone was a little surprised when he kept telling them that he was their uncle :).

Notice Claire and her Vampire teeth, she was actually dressed as a fairy princess, and Jake was a monster.

Before that we had a bit of trauma, I came home to Claire screaming, everyone huddling over her, with blood all over her head, um scary! Turns out she fell on the corner of our speaker box and it pierced straight through her ear to the other side and even cut the back of her head! Lets just say it was nasty, the poor dear, we thought she may have to get stitches but I think it will be okay. It was funny though because I had just come home from getting my nails done and the moment she saw them she stopped screaming hysterically and said "oh what cute nails", what a girl. She still managed to have a great time at the carnival, though we were about an hour late.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Milk jugs

When I lived in New York, our elementary school sold milk in little bags. It's a great idea! (Although someone needs to at least explain to you that when you stab your straw into the bag to keep the other end covered by your finger or you'll shoot milk a few feet :))

Did you know if we switched our jugs to plastic bags like several countries we could reduce our waste by up to 75%!

Although the U.S. is probably not ready for the milk "bags", we WILL start to see a new design for milk jugs that are more cost efficient (meaning cheaper prices for us) and better for the environment. Click here to read about them and see a picture. So when buying milk, shop at stores that sell the new design.

Do you know..

...your carbon footprint? It's said that each of us would need to plant 4 trees every month to compensate for the amount of carbon dioxide we generate.

Green Dimes

For $20 you can sign up for green dimes, which will help you reduce your amount of junk mail, they will also plant 5 trees in your name with part of the one time fee. If you're too cheap to spend the twenty dollars, (like me) they have a free version. It's a little more work but still can drastically reduce all of that junk mail and possibly help reduce the amount of garbage you throw out and trees being cut down in waste. I definitely plan on getting the premium version in the future. What a great idea! Click here to look into it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Millions of Peaches...

Peaches for free... anyone remember that song? Well it's fitting for us, I FINALLY finished dealing with all of the peaches just last night! I canned, jammed, and froze 1 large box and 5 bags of peaches. Let's just say it was a feat! But I feel very homemaky (is that a word?) In the midst of that I also canned a batch of spaghetti sauce, my goal for this summer's garden. I couldn't make all of that jam without homemade bread to put it on.

It actually worked out perfectly because I took a bread-making class up at the college last week. (Tomorrow I start my photography class and I am sooo excited) Anyways, haven't been up to much else, Jake is becoming increasingly interested in toys and his "jumpy-jump" as we call it, so much that he fell asleep in it the other day. He just loves that thing and jumps pretty well for a four month old. Oh did I mention he is rolling like crazy, front to back and back to front, the other day I left him on the floor and he rolled all the way to the other side of the room, okay okay, it's not that big of a room, but still.

Claire is still into her princesses and dress-up. She has these two shirts, one in pink and one in blue that I think she thinks are skirts because she keeps coming out of her room with them around her waist, but only these shirts. Sometimes she really amazes me. She was singing and dancing the other night and had us in stitches. She's getting so tall too, her 3T pants all fit her pretty well in the length and I'm not sure they'll last much longer.

In our prayers

Just wanted to post a tiny blurb about a family friend who just passed away. He lived in my home ward and was just a few years older than I. He succumbed to cancer and was survived by his wife and young baby. I can't imagine having to go through anything like that and I hope I never have to. It's things like this that really make me look at my life and how lucky I really am, we are all healthy and happy for the most part, we have a good job and a good home and we love each other. I just thank the Lord for all that I have.
We'll be thinking of you and praying for you Larson family!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Plastic Bags

This might seem a little bit silly, but I always felt guilty for all of the garbage bags our family uses. I couldn't afford to buy the environmentally friendly bags so I realized I could get a smaller garbage and use my plastic grocery bags as garbage bags and hopefully be more particular about what I was putting in the garbage. Then I could use any extras I still had to recycle, or better yet, use the new reusable/biodegradable bags that most stores are carrying and only get the bags I need for garbage, then I don't have to buy plastic garbage bags at all, which saves me money too! I also like to shop at the "bag your own" type places that way I make sure I'm putting to good use the bags that I'm taking and not taking more than I need.

As a side note, the debate over that all too familiar question "paper or plastic?" comes the answer, either, or better yet, neither! They both leave just about the same footprint.


So it seems like this would be something way beyond the average persons feasibility, but I realized last winter I created a compost pile without even knowing it. We had a big cardboard box that was sitting up against the back of our shed, after the wind had blown leaves back there, it created a nice area for compost! So since I have a garden spot that is in need of some rich aerated soil I figured I would create a compost from the stuff I had lying around. Now, I'm not so crazy about it that I'm willing to go out and buy worms, I'll just let what's out there do what it wants. So I'm going to cover my garden with the rotten apples that have fallen from my apple tree, plus the leaves we've raked from our huge tree out front, and some shredded portions of the Sunday paper. After the paper and leaves get packed down, it will create a prime spot for compost. You can add pretty much any organic garbage (produce, etc.), leaves, grass clippings, Newspaper (black and white only) and cardboard. The cool thing is you can continue to add stuff all year long! This saves on garbage output and gives you nice lush soil. If you really want to get into it you can create your own composter that can even stay in your home, but you have to buy worms, which I personally don't want to have to deal with.

Parabens, just a thought

Do you know what's in your daily moisturizer? A lot of people haven't heard of these and I was shocked when I heard about them. They are chemicals (nature based) that can be found in MANY shampoos, cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, etc. There are very FEW studies that show they are bad for your health, BUT, they have been linked to BREAST CANCER. Click here for an interesting article on the effects of parabens. If anything they are skin irritants. Growing up I had extremely sensitive skin. Though for most things I buy what's cheapest, for my skin I try to buy daily moisturizers that are paraben-free. Once you start looking, it's interesting to see who uses them and who doesn't (most do even the ones you think wouldn't, I won't name names, you can look for yourself). Choosing companies that are interested in preserving the environment and who choose environmentally friendly products also are likely to create products that are healthier for us and vice versa. Just a thought.

Plastic Water Bottles

Okay this has got to be one of the biggest things you can do to help the environment. Now I'm not saying you should never buy another plastic water bottle again, because that just isn't realistic. They are very handy and it's nice to just toss when it's served its purpose. But, you can drastically REDUCE your out take of bottles which will in turn drastically reduce your garbage. Unfortunately that leaves the problem of purified drinking water. I instead use a water filtration pitcher. You invest about $20 or so for the pitcher and replace the filter about every month. The filters can get kind of pricey, but I figure it's just about the same as I would be spending on buying bottled water. But after doing it for a while now I've figured out that the GENERIC filters do just as good of a job and you can get them for much cheaper and most of them work with the basic BRITA or PUR filter pitchers. On top of that, if you shop WALGREENS you can get their brand of filter FREE AFTER REBATE. See my other blog SLICKSAVER to find out the details on that. So you could actually end up saving quite a bit of money in the end. Now I just use bottled water every so often when I'm going on a trip or something, where I know I won't have access to drinks.

If you still feel like you can't give up your bottled water, you can switch to a different brand that understands the plight of plastic on our landfills like NESTLE, who has created a new bottle that has reduced the amount of plastic in each bottle by 30%.
Just remember that these bottles are for a one time use and really shouldn't be used more than that because if they are exposed to heat they can emit toxins into your water.
If you have any other ideas in this area feel free to leave a comment!

Green Goers Everywhere!

Have you been desiring to change the way you affect the world? As a young stay at home mom of two, I have watched one-by-one the switch to GREEN. I have wanted to be a part of it, but have struggled with knowing the really practical things that I can do that don't cost any money, cuz lets face it - I can't afford to go put solar panels on my roof. So I hope my posts inspire you to do the little things in your life to help our ENVIRONMENT. Because it's true,(whether you like it or not) if we all did a little, we could do a lot.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I thought I'd show some recent pics of our family. We were able to go visit my dad, sisters, and Grandparents. It was a really fun trip and Claire had a blast with her cousins. We also started our big boy on rice cereal, Hoping (fingers crossed) it will help him sleep through the night. There's also one of our peach tree, it's loaded this year. The poor UPS man can't get to our door. enjoy.

Funny Name Tag

Funny Name Tag

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Squeaker Accord
2. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR'S NAME: ("The" + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Sewing Thunder
3. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Neopolitan Chocolate Nut
4. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
5. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Purple Tiger
6. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Clair Ithaca
7. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
8. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The green juice
9. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Donald Parley
10. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Lovely Dove
11. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Helen Eugene
12. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Nelson New York
13. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Fall Rose
14. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Mango Stretchy Pantsy
15. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Banana Walnut
This was actually a pretty funny tag to do, so I tag anyone who wants to do it! Give it a try!!!