Friday, February 24, 2012

Fashion Friday: Ladybug Leotard

Lost Boy and I have had a thing about ladybugs since 2Flowers was born. She had some super cute ladybug gear when she was smaller. At Christmas, Mimi gave 2Flowers a new ladybug outfit and this one is just perfect for her tendency to dance!

The outfit actually came with a white shirt, but I like the contrast of all the black with the tutu skirt. There is also a matching red shrug with heart dots, but it was taken off before I could get a photo.

It is amazing how much a pretty outfit on a beautiful little person can make your day better. All I have to do is look over at her and I feel good.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How do you survive without a TV?!

Cousin Sleepover
The other night we had 2Flowers' cousins over for dinner while their parents were out on a date. One cousin was staying the night because it was an overnight date for her parents (the other cousins were spending the night at a neighbor's house) It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of hubbub. Evenings are usually pretty quiet for us because there aren't very many of us, but we had four cousins and the neighbors over. That is a lot of people in our little house!

One of my favorite conversations of the evening was with my nine year old nephew. It went like this.

"You guys still don't have a TV?"
"When are you going to get one?"
"We're not going to get one."
"Man! How do you survive without a TV?"
"We spend a lot of time on the Internet"
"Yeah, but how do you watch movies?"
"On the Internet."
"You guys need to get Netflix! It's magic!"
"Well, we had Netflix for a while, but then we decided we needed to cut our expenses so we cancelled our account."  (I didn't mention Hulu.)

I admit that my powers of elaboration were conspicuously absent during this conversation, and I don't think he was entirely convinced that existence without a TV met an adequate standard of living.

But I happen to know that our neighbors really enjoyed their two week stint without a TV after their's broke last month. At least the wife did. She has often commented on how much time she and her husband had together after their TV broke, and tells me that they played more games and had more conversations in those two weeks than they usually do.

Since we never watched TV anyway (we're both kind of Internet junkies), our standard of living improved when we got rid of the TV because we reclaimed the space it was taking up. Our living room has never been centered around a media altar. (Though my new computer and armoire desk are kind of front and central right now, but only because I don't want them in one of the bedrooms and there is no where else to keep them.)

With the overwhelming amount of digital content available on the internet, separate content on the TV networks, separate content available to both from the movie, music, and gaming industries, and content available through cell phones, eliminating what is coming into our home through the TV takes a huge amount of filtering tasks off my plate. I never have to choose to turn it off, because with the internet I am always choosing what sites I look at or what videos I play (except for ads, but that is a different conversation).

Not having a TV also makes it so I never have to worry about being distracted by the moving pictures on the screen (unless I'm at someone else's house).

I'm very susceptible to the moving pictures.

The big screen with moving pictures can paralyze me for unknown periods of time in which my brain is not making executive decisions about what the priorities really are.

Okay, so sometimes I have that problem on the Internet too, but there is more action required to open a new tab or play video so I have more opportunities for my self control to kick in and say "close the tab,"  "don't play the video - you don't have time," or "walk away from the computer - it will all still be here when you come back."

I enjoy my memories of watching Sesame Street, Mr.Roger's Neighborhood, 3-2-1 Contact, The Voyage of the Mimi, Tail Spin, Darkwing Duck, The Rescuers, and Star Trek Next Generation. But now I'm done with the television. There is hardly ever anything I really like on. And when there is, I can get it online. Or from the library.

So, how do we survive without a TV? Better than we would with one!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fashion Friday: Sprinkles and Cupcakes!

So, it is really hard to take a picture of myself for my What I Wore Wednesday posts (we don't have a full length mirror...). But it is super easy to take photos of 2Flowers, so I have lots of material for Fashion Friday!

This outfit makes me think of parties and cupcakes and sprinkles. It is wonderful to watch her running around in it.

I got these skirts from   ...somewhere, and they're so darn cute I can't wait until summer to put them on her. (What if she grows out of them before then?!) I've been layering them with solid leggins and the result is pretty cute.

I love how this photo turned out - we have an extra vanity and I keep it cleaned off (usually) so it is the perfect place to dry off and dress a little person (we used to change her diapers there, but she's outgrown the counter space).

She loves to open the cabinet and take stuff out of it, so I keep only baby related items and make sure that everything gets put away when she gets down. I started to decorate the inside of the mirror with pictures of animals for her to find. Occasionally, she still likes to play with the Baby in the Mirror.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New header! (and photo shoot pictures)

So, I finally made a header for my blog.

It was hard work! ...especially because I was holding 2Flowers the whole time, and she was sleeping/nursing.

If you get my posts in an email or RSS feed, follow the link in the title to come see the new header!

I got the picture from my Sixteen Year Old Sis-in-Law who was baby sitting for me. They played Fashion & Model and did a photo shoot. Here are some other cute pictures they took (I cropped/edited them).

I LOVE the one in the upper left hand corner.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I Wore: Plain Jane

Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Maternity
Jeans: Old Navy the Sweetheart
This is kind of what I wear most days. Jeans and plain shirt. I like this particular shirt a lot because it is really comfortable.The only problem is that it shows my bra if it isn't adjusted just right (I have this problem with several shirts). And it doesn't stay put when I move around (you know: nurse, wash dishes, fix my hair, pick up toys, tickle baby).

When I'm at home all day I don't worry about it, but you never know when Lost Boy is going to come home and say "Let's go to the library!"

You can't see it very well in the picture, but I'm wearing a necklace! I don't usually wear much jewelry, but I entered a giveaway at Sorta Crunchy and won this Tiny Owl Necklace by My Sweet November.

It makes me feel kinda special, so I've been wearing it a lot lately.

pleated poppy

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Saving the world less than one green scrubbie at a time

If you spend very much time with me, at some point you'll hear me confess "I'm kind of a hippie." But not the LSD and shower-avoiding hippie! I'm an LDS, shower-loving hippie. I believe in being a good steward over the earth and doing my best to be as sustainable as I can.

It is easier to be green in Humboldt County than it is to be green in a suburban metro area, so sometimes I struggle with how not green my lifestyle is. But I've come to the point where I'm content to do what I'm able to do, and to save the big things (e.g. a grey water system, a compost heap, solar panels) for another season of my life.

One of the ways I work towards sustainability is by using less than the "recommended" amount of products. Like dishwasher soap. You don't need to fill the whole soap compartment to get the dishes clean. And you can use less water to rinse them if you use less soap.

Recycle. Reduce. Reuse.

I use green scrubbies to scrape our dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. But after a while the scrubbies get super gunky, especially if they've been used on the cast iron skillet, or the kitchen aid bowl after it has mixed bread dough. When they're super gross I throw them out (not green). But instead of using the whole big scrubbie as it comes from the manufacturer, I cut it into quarters and just use one quarter of the scrubbie at time.

Cutting up the green scrubbie also saves me money. Instead of getting two scrubbies, I get eight! And instead of throwing away one giant scrubbie every couple of weeks, I'm only adding a big scrubbie's worth to the landfill every four to eight weeks.

... oh dear, when I say it like that is sounds like a lot. But it is less than it could be, and for now that is what I can do. Maybe, when I have a compost pile I can find scrubbies that are compostable! That would be great.

Visit Sorta Crunchy's Your Green Resources posts
to find more great posts about sustainability and thriftiness.