Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I want to get home SWIFTly!

Because I'm so excited about receiving my yarn ball winder & swift.

Last week, I was thinking of the tangle of partly used yarn I had at home as well as the skeins I had that weren't in workable balls and in hanks. With the move coming I thought 2 things, I could buy the swift and ball winder now and organize my yarn into nice packable containers (think the plastic a quilt or sheet set comes in with the zipper top) or I can wait till we get there, because the swift and ball winder are 2 less things I'll need to bring along.

Well ... once perusing the Joann.com website and seeing that the ball winder was already on sale for $23 due to a special, I thought to jump on it. The also had a 50% off a single item coupon. Unfortunately, you can't use it on sale items. So that meant I could buy the ball winder on sale for $23 and buy the swift at 50% off. I figured, why the heck not! So I clicked buy! And they were on their way.

I just received them here in my office and the packaging is amazingly small for these 2 items.

I purchased this ball winder for a few reasons. The 1st was that it was the cheapest. I'm not a professional. I only have so many balls of yarn that need winding. I buy skeins instead of balls rarely. And my main use for it will be for when I have left over yarn from projects and need them rewound tightly.

The reviews are generally good but there are a few bad ones. The main cons are the exposed gears and the cheap materials used to construct this. I honestly think it will be fine. I'm not winding balls of yarn each week... even month... let alone each day to need something that is made for professional or commercial use.

In order to use a ball winder, you also need a swift. I chose to buy this Amish Style Swift from Joann. Also because it's inexpensive, but mostly because it collapses into almost nothing and is a table top swift. Which means I can use it on any flat surface. The reviews were all good... and the main point in all of them is that it gets the job done. That's exactly what I need. Something simple that gets it done. Nothing fancy or overly complicated.

One day I may have a craft room with a dedicated counter for such items, but until then, these simple tools should do the trick! And hopefully they will last me ages.

I'll be sure to hook them up and ball a skein or two tonight... and I'll be back tomorrow to write you a nice little review!

You may click on the pictures for the hyperlink to the Joann website to read further about these products.

Toiletries & Camping

I've been thinking of ways to reduce my camping toiletry bag. Well #1 is obvious... stop packing for the group and pack for myself. But this year I think will be different. Here's why:

  • Diva Cup - The Diva Cup is easily the easiest way I'm reducing my toiletry bag.

    I always seem to be smack in the middle of my cycle during our camping trips. I need to bring a large zip lock of tampons, liners & pads. I now have my Diva Cup and won't need to bring any of these items (well maybe some liners for oops leaks).
  • No-Poo - Now that I'm going no-poo... I don't need to bring any shampoo and conditioner. I think that if I wash my hair the day before or the morning we hit the road, I likely won't have to wash my hair the entire trip.

    I do plan on combing daily... even if only to discover ticks (eww).
  • 1 Soap Wonders - I use Dr Bronners Soaps at home. The soap really is Magic like it claims. You can use it for almost anything. Some even use it as a toothpaste (I'll pass on that though). It works extreemly well diluted since it's concentrated. Basically buy bringing 3 oz of even diluted Dr Bronner's Castle Soap, I'm able to wash dishes, rinse fruit and veggies, wash my hair & body in the shower, and wash my hands at camp. And the best part, it's 100% biodegradable & vegetable based... so it's not harmful to the planet when we dump it into the soil.

Then there are other things that I want to try at home that I'd never try on a camping trip. For example, we are hoping to go no-TP or at least reduce our TP usage. But the thought of using washable family cloth on a camping trip does not appeal to me. Paper TP only please! And with no running water, we will be using burnable paper plates. Sorry folks... that just is how it is this time around.

By making these adjustments in my life, I've been able to eliminate the following items from my toiletry bag:
  • Shampoo & conditioner bottles
  • Soap Box
  • Tampons
  • Pads
  • Dish soap (not that that would be in a toiletry bag)

That may not seem like much... but when you are camping... every little bit counts

Monday, May 23, 2011


This morning before I left for worked, I used the tabo method. It's a water scooper essentially, and is used as a manual bidet in the Philippines. I grew up using this method and still do on many occasions. Toilet paper alone, just doesn't leave me feeling clean.

So I thought it was funny when today, I was reading my google reader and read about cloth diapers & cloth wipes. I thought, if you can use a cloth wipe on a child, can't you use a cloth wipe on an adult? You sure can. But the thought of wiping (especially #2) with a piece of cloth I'd later have to wash (especially if that #2 wasn't mine) is gross. But ... when we #2, if we are using the tabo & soap anyway and only using the wipes to dry off, wouldn't that not be too bad? It would highly reduce the use of toilet paper in our home. Which would decrease our costs, decrease our waste & keep our pipes nice and clear!

So yeah, I use a tabo & so does the rest of my family. I feel cleaner for it. My American friends and my Argentina/PR husband don't quite get it. And because of that I consider installing a bidet/diaper sprayer in our future home.

I plan to use cloth diapers for our children, and why not use cloth wipes too? It seems like if you are washing dirty soiled diapers anyway... you may as well wash the wipes along with them. And ... why teach a child to use cloth only to potty train them on the toilet using paper?

Paul, what do you think? Would you ever be willing to make the switch? I would never not have toilet paper. I think subjecting guests to a cloth wipe may just be too much... but I think it would be great!

Friday, May 20, 2011

No-Poo Update

I planned to wash my hair this morning. I begged my husband to give my scalp a sniff. Usually after about 2 days of not washing he tells me my head stinks. This was back when I used traditional shampoo. Though my shampoos were more natural or organic then conventional shampoo, they were still stripping my hair and scalp of all it's natural oils.

This morning, to my surprise, he said my head had no smell at all. That my hair didn't smell bad. This utterly shocked me! Well mostly because... It's Friday... I haven't washed my hair since Monday! That's usually a big sign it's time to wash my hair.

I did use my coconut and lavender oils on my hair this week. But my hair doesn't even seem overly oily.

So maybe my head and hair are already beginning to adjust well to this no-poo change!

I am pretty excited about it. The itching isn't completely gone, but it's not much worse than when I was using shampoo. We shall see where this goes!


T-Yarn... aka Tshirt yarn is yarn... made by old t-shirts. I had a pile in my room destined for salvation army. But then I decided instead to make t-shirt yarn. Not every t-shirt I had was t-yarn friendly, but for the sake of recycling... I used it anyway. I used multiple tutorials. The one I used the most was this from Polka Dot Pinnapple. I however did not stop at the sleeves and used every bit of the shirt I possibly could. I used the sleeves and the tops and for short pieces, I pieced them together using this method from Tottie Talk Crafts. It's a good tutorial and easy to do.

Most sites suggest you only use shirts with no side seams for one perfect long piece of yarn. But I'm using these tshirt yarn pieces for a rug... to be stepped on. Why should I discriminate against fabrics. I used the same method and didn't care that those seems didn't curl well. I also used the spots that had screen printing on them. Most times, it curled and the screen print was invisible on the inside. If the point was upcycling... I wasn't going to get too fussy. It's for a rug after all.

So last night before bed, while Paul was watching hockey, I took out my self healing mat & my rotary fabric cutter and went to work. I cut 5 t-shirts and found that the long flowing body pieces to be the best, but still joined the sleeves and upper parts for nice fun patches of colors that will vary with every few stitches. I think in the end it will be perfect.

If I was making a basket or trivet, or even a nicer style rug, I may chose to only use the nice seamless pieces, but honestly, I don't they'll even show in the crochet. If I was knitting though... they might. Crocheting is so forgiving... I love it!

Anyway, if you are in the NY tri-state and want to hand some t-shirts over... I'll take them :). I can't wait to actually start working with it. So far I've only been making it.

I have my big ole hook from my bulk yarn free and wanting to be used... I hope it's big enough.

1 Week till camping!

1 word to describe me... ANAL

Yea, I plan every detail of camping. Not to say we have a schedule, but packing, unpacking, purchasing, organizing, and planning... it's all done by me... and it's all ... analy done. Control freak? Sure I admit it. But because of this, our camping trips have been smooth sailing... even when they've been wet.

I book sites early... because I want a good site. I book rafting early... because I want a good time. I start going through my gear at least 2 weeks before to know what I need to buy. And then, I finally pack.

My clothing & personal item list:
  • Underwear (1 per day + 1 extra)
  • Socks (1 per day + 1 extra)
  • shorts (1 pair)
  • pants (1 pair)
  • Tshirts/tank (1 per day)
  • Sweatshirt (1)
  • Bathingsuit (1)
  • Water shoes (1)
  • Flip Flops (1)
  • Towel (1)
  • Soap, Toothbrush, toothpaste, tampons, toilet paper & baby wipes
Aside from this, I'm wearing shorts + shirt + sneakers.

I can usually fit all these items in a medium sized back pack (school bag size). I try and only pack a backpacks worth of clothing... and if it is a bit tight, I forgo some shirts or the shorts and wear one more than once.

My Must Have List: It' wouldn't be fun without these....
  • Tent, sleeping bag, tarp & lantern
  • Firewood
  • Food & Drinks
  • My Water Bottle
  • Good company
My Food Organization:
  • Ice Blocks - I make my own. I fill water bottles and milk jugs with water, freeze and throw them into the cooler instead of ice. It lasts much longer. I try and clean out the jugs well and put in drinkable water too, so that on the last few days we can drink it if we are running low (mmm ice cold) or can use it to clean up right before we leave.
  • Seperation - I separate food and beverages. I keep food items (meat) and milk in 1 cooler and soda, juice, beer & water in another. It helps makes sure the food cooler keeps sealed most of the day and stays ice cold.
  • Order... the key to packing a cooler well is to have some order to your menu. I pack the last days food at the bottom (usually the meat is frozen or semi frozen) and work my way up so that the top includes the meal we will be eating first. I try and systematically freeze or chill the items based on when we are planning to consume them. Sausages, burgers and hotdogs are okay to freeze and usually thaw quickly so I freeze those most of the time.
  • Fruit & Veggies, I like to place in reusable grocery bags. I leave them in the car or in the shade and they usually do fine. I try not to bring fruit and veggies that can't take a little bruising or heat. (Good veggies to bring are: eggplant, corn, assparagus, etc) (Good fruit to bring are: apples, oranges, watermelon, etc...)
  • Dried goods: I keep bread, cereal, snacks, etc... in reusable grocer bags that I leave in the car and only take out when it's time to use. I've had no real problems doing this thus far.
I also bring a small soft cooler to pack our lunch for the rafting trip. We additionally bring a medium sized hard cooler for beer and water.

I can't wait for our trip!!!!!

Painting Anyone?

FYI Ya'll ... Behr paint is having a promotion till May 30th. You get a mail in rebate of $5 for each gallon of Behr paint you purchase (and $20 rebate for every 5 gallons you purchase).

I don't need paint RIGHT NOW, but am almost tempted to buy it now... I wont though, I don't know where I'll be living in 2 months, let alone the colors.

Anyway if you are painting any time soon and want to take advantage, print the rebate form here!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One More New Apartment Crochet Project

Calling all friends to give me your old sheets and t-shirts PLEASE!

I'd like to make the bathroom rugs out of upcycled t-shirts and sheets. With what I have I'll be making little rags, rugs, and well ... more rugs and rags. So please send them over my way! Me and my feet will be happy!

Can you believe all these rugs below are made from old crappy t-shirts that were going to go in the trash? So beautiful! So colorful! So awesome! Click on the photo for the source.

This one is crocheted
This one is knitted
This one etsy seller tie-dyes the tshirt strips before making her rug. That's an awesome idea too! (I think this is braided)

And this one is made from sheets - which is a great rug idea but not for the bathroom as I imagine they are less absorbent, unless they are jersey sheets!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Apartment Crochet Project

So I'm working... slowly but surely, on my granny square blanket that I hope to eventually have in the guest room of our new apartment. I love the work up of colors, which you can see here. I'll need to get another picture soon, during the day when you can get a real sense of the color choices. I was thinking about what color to bind them in. I was going to just join them with a single crochet around, but then I thought maybe they needed a border and be joined that way.

I bought the yarn a bit ago on sale at Michaels. It's an acrylic and though, not a material of choice, is inexpensive and easy to work up (don't hate me). The yarn is Loops & Threads: Impeccable Yarn.

The colors look nuts, I know! And they are to a certain degree. They don't exactly match, but they don't exactly clash either. You probably don't believe me right? See they really do look nicer here in the natural light!

I think it works. The part I'm most confused about is the color to bind them with. I could technically let the stitches show, but it may look bad. I'm unsure. I don't think the colors are random and many enough to just simply stitch them together like this... so I was thinking buying a 6th color... Pumpkin if I can find it? But it seems like only a seasonal color. If I can't - maybe I can go with this heather color. Thoughts?

So yeah - we'll see. Hopefully it comes out fabulous and we can lay it on the day bed. It's a nice reminder of what we can do with our hands :).

I also want to start 1 more project. I want to crochet our welcome mat for our future apartment. Moving away from NY is kind of hard for me. Our current welcome mat says "Leave" on it. It's not very polite but we thought it was funny at the time. Now I just think it's rude. It's served it's purpose for the last 4 years and maybe now, it's finally time for something new. I'd like to make it myself.

I found this photo and pattern in Crochet Today website. It's a simple pattern with lovely summer colors. It's what originally inspired me. I'm sure this would be a filthy soggy mess in no time, but can't you just picture it in front of the kitchen sink?

The key with crocheting a door mat would be it's durability. It will get stepped on, it will get wet, and it will get dirty. So I googled and read and searched for ideas... this is what I found!

Can you believe this rug is made from plastic bags from... well hot dog buns, bread, etc... Neat right? So you are being good about recycling too!

This is made from plastic grocery bags! Still a great idea!

This pretty thing is made from jute that you can buy at the hardware store! Even the 99 cent store!

This is made of sisal which is harder on the hands. I actually like this one best!

See how pretty these homemade welcome mats are!

The best part is that it would be really giving something of myself to our home. It's something I need to do ... to feel at home, in my home.

Dirty Dozen

The post I thought I wrote way back when was about the Dirty Dozen... basically the 12 foods you should really eat only if you can find them organic because of the large quantities of pesticides used in their growing.

You can reduce 80% of your exposure to pesticides and harsh chemicals by doing this. Sited on the daily green website, "If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily."

  • Meat - believe it or not is known to be filled with pesticides... besides hormones. And the government even fails to test meat most of the time. The muscles tend to be clean but the pesticides are found in the fat. The worst are in pork fat & chicken thighs. Avoid this buy buying meat fed only organicly. Grass-fed meats are the best because they eat a natural diet for their species.
  • Milk - 12 different pesticides have been shown in milk... and surprise! pesticides are even found in human breast milk. You truly are what you eat. Buy full organic milk ... especially for those growing kids!
  • Coffee - Most coffee comes from countries that don't even regulate ... well anything. Buy organic and buy fair trade to ensure the proper an ethical treatment of employees.
  • Celery - by far the worst thing to buy ... 64 pesticides were found in celery in a test done in 2010. They have no protective skin, not allowing the proper washing off of pesticides before consumption. Buy celery organic or buy an alternative.
  • Peaches- 62 pesticides were found in celery in a test done in 2010 (they were the worst in 2009). They are delicate and are sprayed with pesticides OFTEN.
  • Strawberries - #3 on the list with 59 pesticides found. If you buy out of season it's even worse because they are imported from countries that don't have stringent rules against pesticide.
  • Apples - Down from No. 2 in 2009, apples still rank among the dirtiest fruits and vegetables, with 42 pesticides
  • Blueberries - 52 pesticides
  • Nectarines - 33 pesticides
  • Bell Peppers - 49 pesticides
  • Spinach - 48 pesticides
  • Kale - which is a 1st and unusual
  • Cherries - 42 pesticides (and surprisingly, US cherries were found to have 3 times more pesticide than imported)
  • Potatoes - 37 pesticides
  • Imported grapes - 34 pesticides
  • Leafy greens - 51 pesticides
  • Carrots - 26 pesticides
  • Pears - 28 pesticides
  • Tomatoes - though not terrible... can be sprayed often and do have a thin skin so... try your best and use judgement... and wash well
Now onto the other end of the spectrum. Not all of us are flowing in cash or have the space to grow our own organic garden. As such, these are a list of foods that contain low levels of pesticide and can be bought non-organic with little fear.
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pinnapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes
Many of these foods found there way onto the OK list because they have thick skins blocking the pesticides from the fleshy edible interiors. Still... wash them well before slicing. Others made it onto the list because they face little by way of bugs during the growing period and therefore get sprayed very little.

I hope this helps manage your grocery shopping in a healthy way!


Today I was looking for a post I THOUGHT I wrote but obviously didn't and came accross this instead--> Longest Most Random Ever.

It's kind of hilarious. I write about an argument that Paul and I had... about him calling me old and boring and lame. I write about my jealousy over his friends engagement. And I write about my surprise at him initiating a date night involving a broadway show, especially on a day that is his nephew's birthday.

Now I look back and laugh. He planned all that because he proposed that same day... that morning, before his nephew's birthday party, a botched drive to NYC for a broadway show we just made it for, and a midnight dinner desperate to eat some food.

It's funny how things work.. and how quickly you forget about the insignificance of the bs so soon after.

Crazy.... for baby stuff?

Window shopping for a non-existent baby is akin to window shopping wedding gowns before an engagement. It's lunacy. So explain to me why I'm perusing buybuybaby.com?

I don't know myself. But it's so interesting... and fun to just look. Maybe I'll be more prepared when the time comes? Wishful thinking.

Most people think of colors... and I want them bright... but natural. Is that possible?

I want bedding... that's organic! Check out this below (and click to see it on the website).

They sell organic bedding in quite a few places now... but the designs are usually drab or boring. I want the bedding to still be fun!

Or how about the cutest, yet safe, highchair to help feed baby? I hate the look of the plastic highchairs and this carter's highchair is so beautiful and perfect! Now if only a child to place in it.

The baby monitors they have no are insanely high tech. That's something to think about eventually... you know... once I'm pregnant?

And wow how fun are the organic bath products. The green towels and robes, the organic soaps... well I'm sure I'll end up with Dr. Bronner's products but... still... lavender and chamomile... mmmm.

I'm done being a crazy person now! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I was just reading a blog from Domestically Speaking where she added a piece of art above her daughters bed using a stencil. This of course brought me to the stencil's website where I absolutely FELL IN LOVE! They are ridiculously adorable and you can paint walls, furniture, anything really! You can find them here - http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/nursery-stencils-walls.html

No-Pooing (Day 2)

Let me explain... This isn't the 2nd day I've gone without shampoo but the 2nd day I've washed with a solution of baking soda and water.

So here we go.

This weekend after much time playing in the sun outside, I needed a good hair washing, but I didn't have any of my stuff with me, so I choice to forgo any solutions at all and just washed my hair with hot water. It worked fine. My hair wasn't super clean, but wasn't greasy either.

2 days later I decided it was time for a wash... so last night I stopped at the store and bought their last bottle of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and got to work.

I washed out an old spritz bottle, but I realize it's sprays too little... I may need to upgrade to a true spray bottle like what you'd use to mist your plants or clean your windows. I added 1 Tbs of ACV to the bottle & 1 cup of water... then because I feared smelling like ACV, I added another couple of Tbs of water.

In the shower I massaged the water & Baking Soda (BS) mixture in my hair until it felt clean and slippery. I let the solution sit for a few seconds then rinsed thoroughly. After I generously sprayed my hair (not scalp) with the ACV solution. I combed through my hair with an extra wide toothed comb & rinsed thoroughly.

My hair was still damp this morning when I woke up. It was still wavier than usual, but again this may be because I slept on it. It was definitely clean and smelled fresh but of no particular perfume. I found that there was no vinegar smell at all. My hair was uncooperative and due to both the bed head and the humidity, my hair was frizzy so I smoothed on a couple of rubs of coconut oil which did the trick. It brought on a lovely shine and manageability.

I do use 2 types of styling products on my hair when needed (usually after a washing with shampoo or the BS Solution).

The 1st is both natural and organic. It is a Lavender Hair Conditioner and Styling Creme from Dr Bronner. It's ingredients are ... well natural and organic. Even the Ethanol. Check out their ingredients listing:
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Organic Ethanol, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Lavender Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol
I love their products. Particularly their soaps!

Click here for the benefits of Lavender

I also have used
The Body Shop's Cocnut Oil Hair Shine for years. This is far from organic and definitely has some ingredients that I can hardly pronounce. It's mostly made of pure coconut. The tin I have is at least 10 years old. It's the red tin below. It appears the packaging has changed. I'm sure it's the same thing though. I don't plan on replacing this with anything new and organic until I'm done with the container. It would just be a waste. And honestly, it works really well.

Click here for Cocnut Oil Benefits


I've heard of it and fantasized about it for years. I actually thought it would be the perfect honeymoon for Paul and I. Don't get me wrong, the idea of Costa Rica is still appealing but we have much amazing things right here in the USA's backyard!

Glamping is ... well Glamorous Camping! Picture plush mattresses, butlers, chefs, and private bathrooms.
This photos is from www.pawsup.com and their honeymoon package page. At $700+ a night... I'm thinking this won't be in our budget, despite it including gourmet meals each day.

There is a much more affordable spot in Idaho - http://glamourcamping.net But it is also a lot less romantic looking if you ask me.

Or how about a camp in Patagonio - http://www.patagoniacamp.com/index.php

Or maybe one in the snowy mountains of Switzerland - http://www.whitepod.com/wpods/

Or a tree house in spain - http://www.cabanesalsarbres.com/en

I must admit... I do want to spend a night in a tree house in spain... I'd LOVE to. They are booked till next year... what do you say, Paul... a 2 1/2 year Aniversary in on a tree in Spain?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marrow Donor Update

A few days ago I told you all that I signed up to the bone marrow registry program... well today I received my cheek swab kit which will be used to test my cells to see if I'm a possible match for a needed candidate in my area. I just performed my cheek swab and will be depositing my specimen in the post. It was more simple than ... even pie. And it's a shame more don't register.

Saving a person's life is FAR WORTH the 7 days - couple of week discomfort. WELL WORTH.

For more information please visit http://www.marrow.org/ or call 1-800-marrow2

Maybe you can save a life!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No-Pooing (Day 1)

So... I'll call this day 1, even though it isn't. Yesterday I decided to just do it... to stop using shampoo. This doesn't mean I'll forgo washing my hair in it's entirety, but I'll at least stop using shampoos to do it.

After a vigorous workout at the gym I decided I needed to wash my oily hair. My scalp was a little itchy and well I'm sure it smelled like old hat.

I stopped at the pharmacy on my way home and grabbed a box of baking soda for about $1.20. The proper ratio is 1 Tbs baking soda for every 1 cup of water. So I measured out 2 Tbs of baking soda and 2 cups of water and put them into an empty water bottle I had laying around that I didn't want to throw away. I gave it a good hearty shake till the baking soda dissolved and threw it into my shower.

I had combed through my long locks before getting in the shower to help keep my hair tangle free. I hate combing through tangles when my hair is wet.

I hopped in and let the warm water rinse my body. Then I opened the bottle and poured some over the top of my scalp, behind my ears and I flipped my head over and did the back of my head. I gently massaged my scalp... and noticed a salty taste. I ran a wide toothed comb through it to ensure I didn't have any annoying tangles. Then I soaped my my body and rinsed everything off all at once.

When I got out, I towel dried my hair, combed through it, and hit the hay.

This morning I woke up to clean hair. It was a little wavier than usual. I'm unsure if this was because of the lack of conditioner or because I slept funny on it. In any event... it was clean. My scalp so far doesn't itch or feel irritated. So lets see how this goes.

Now the waiting game is the hardest part!

Bone Marrow

Today I registered at
essentially they help patients afford transplant, find a matching donor and build a future through the advancement in medical research. I decided to not just donate to them, but to also sign up to be a bone marrow donor. I have registered and my kit is in the mail. I'll receive this kit and will swab myself and send it back... at which point they will see if I'm a match. And if I am... I'm going to try and help someone. I'm going to do my part. I am going to stop talking the talk and I'm going to walk the walk. For more info, click on the image above!

Bunk Beds

Growing up... we lived in a very full house... with my grandparents, great grandparents, 2 uncles, our mom and the occasional long-term relative recently come from the Philippines. So we had a very full house. Despite the house being large it only had 2 standard sized bedrooms, one small room, and a finished basement. Before we were born, our family finished the attic as well. 1 Uncle in the attic, one in the basement, my grandparents in the master & my great grandparents in the 2nd largest room. My mom was in the mini-sized room. And then there was Lauren and I.

So us two were like vagabonds in our own home. The credenza in the dining room was our dresser. And we had these deliciously solid wood bunk beds. At a time, they were L shaped in my mother's nook that just fits a twin going either width wise or length wise. She slept with my sister in the bottom bunk and I was up top. Then the bunks were moved into my grandparents room where they rested against the windows next to their bed. And eventually after my great grandparents passed away, were cut into 2 separate twin beds and placed in their room, a room for us to share... and after that, moved into the attic. Where we shared a room.

Bunk beds were part of our growing up. We may not have had a bedroom. We may have had to run downstairs to the dining room in our panties to get a clean pair of socks. But we always had our bunks... even when we found ourselves sleeping on a banig on the floor.

I think sharing a room with so many people... in particular, my sister, taught me a lot. It taught me to be strong willed... during those times she'd wake me asking to crawl in next to me. I'd 1st say no! It taught me to be soft... when I'd eventually give in and let her cuddle up next to me... telling her that her butt was not allowed to touch me! And it taught me to be forgiving, understanding, sharing, caring, and most of all... decisive. We had little space and decisions constantly had to be made... your side, my side, this stays that goes etc...

I want my kids to share rooms. It's a luxury to have your own space... it truly is. But it's so isolating. Maybe it's something that can come as a teenager or as a college student... but until then... I'd like them to share. To cooperate with one another. To learn what it's like to bunk up. After all, it's like a sleepover with your best friend every night. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes you fight, but ultimately, you always love each other.

So with that... I bunks

Bunk source This bunk is set for girls... which is obvious in the bedding, room color and knob choice, but it's customizable. The bunk itself is what I'm after... and here's why. I love that it has stairs... not a ladder. Which means even your younger kids can feel safe climbing up top. I love that the stairs are storage drawers... perfect for PJ's and sweaters. I love the desk... what better place to sit and draw, paint, and do homework. And I do love that little nook for the bottom bunk... to rest a book.

Bunk Source
This bunk reminds me of my childhood in it's rustic simplicity. It has that woody feel. I like that it still has those stairs vs the ladder and ... that they are storage as well. I like that it is bed over bed rather than L shaped and I like the drawers underneath. Perfect for ensure children don't crawl under... especially little ones chasing after rolled toys. And those PJ drawers ain't so bad either!

The down side of these fabulous bunks are the price... darn they are expensive... but hey sometimes you have to buy quality. Our child hood bunk... though now 2 separate twins are 2 sturdy lovely pieces of furniture, which are still used in the guest room of my grandma's house today!

You can always go cheap ... go the ikea route like the beds below... but I question the quality... the durability... the safety. However the 2nd Ikea option below, does separate into two quite handsome twins.

Bed Source
Bed Source

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I have long hair... I mean LONG... down to the butt crack long. And well... I hardly wash it... lets say ... once a week. But I think I'm going to stop washing it with shampoo all together.

Paul is probably disgusted right now. I've been known to make him sniff my head to see if it smells like a ratty old hat. If he says yes... I wash it within 24 hours. If he says no... I wash it... eventually.

Shampoo is essentially a detergent... harsh, filled with chemicals. Nothing natural about it! I buy semi organic... but still. Our bodies are conditioned to react to what we put on it. After almost 29 years of shampoo... my scalp produces lots of oils... so that my scalp and head don't get all dried out and scaley.

Well - I still ended up with dried out scales... even when only washing every other to every 3rd day. I find the need to soak my scalp in a mixture of oils over night to save it from flaking up. And my hair just becomes a limp stringy mess...

So I'm going to try this au natural thing... and give it a go. Lets see if it works out.

I'm going to stop using shampoo all together and rinse my hair with a baking soda & water solution every 4 days or so as needed... until I can figure out a good mix. I'm sure the 1st 2-3 weeks will be interesting but hey... it's saving the environment, my head, my hair... and well... my money!

For more instructions - see http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/

Mo's Day

Actually it was Mother's Day... and it was good. It started out stressful but soon proved to be fun. We had a BBQ at my uncle's house... where all the mom's gathered.

The cutest part of the day... besides my little brother of course... was when Paul said "Happy Mother's Day" to which I said... "I'm not a mother" and he said.... "Yet."

It made me smile. He knows how ready I am to start a family... and moving away from ours makes the urge ever stronger... to plant roots, to grow, to thrive.

We had 3 generations...

And 2 sides of a family

And My Mom drove down... though she didn't want to. She seems happy enough.

We painted bird mansions

And ate lots of summery food

Even Lauren pulled her self away from Chem to have a shish-kabob

We definitely goofed off... and threw K into the basketball hoop

He loved it!

boys are definitely strange....