Monday, April 28, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday #11 - Moving

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

The next few weeks will be filled with activities to get our house ready to sell. I'm taking advantage of this Tackle it Tuesday meme to get organized and get things done.

We all know how important curb appeal is to a potential buyer . . . . so can you tell what's missing from this otherwise beautiful entrance to our home? By the way, my handy husband is responsible for the fancy trim and the pretty light fixture.

Yes, it might be a little difficult to sell a home that doesn't have street numbers. Also, if you look closely you will notice we don't have a doorbell. The mailbox is crooked, and I need to find a plant for the very lonely, empty plant stand.

I need to find a handyman to take care of this little issue. It is a marital compromise gone wrong.

I'm pretty sure this fan isn't appropriate for a dining room so it needs to be removed.

Bloggy Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Real Simple subscription giveaway.

I used to generate a number and the winner is # 19 Rocks in My Dryer. Congratulations. I hope you enjoy your year's worth of Real Simple.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Creative Uses for Plastic Bags

We've been working hard to reduce our use of plastic bags. We take our reusable bags to the grocery store and other retail stores. On occasion we walk out of the house without our reusable bags, so we end up with a nice little collection at home.

Here are 13 creative things you can do with your plastic bags:

1. Use bags in your suitcases for dirty underclothes or for wet clothes from a day at the swimming pool.

2. Use bags to wrap your gifts.

3. Use a bag as you would a rubber glove when you don't have rubber gloves

4. Use bags as packing material instead of the dreaded white foam peanuts.

5. When your credit card won't swipe, put it inside the bag and try again.

6. Use bags as rubber boots to keep your feet dry.

7. Use a bag as a backpack for your kids by putting their arms through the handles.

8. Put bags on your wiper blades and mirrors in the winter to keep them free from snow and ice.

9. Store your shoes in plastic bags when you have them inside your suitcase to keep clothes from getting dirty and smelly.

10. For easy cleanup, place a bag inside a bucket or pot next to your sink when you peel fruits or vegetables. You can quickly dispose of the bag or place peelings in a compost pile.

11. Take your bags to the grocery store to reuse instead of getting new ones each time.

12. Donate bags to food pantries, used book stores, libraries, thrift shops, or other organizations. For ease of use, flatten the bags, fold them in half, and place in another plastic bag before donating.

13. Cut head and arm holes and use a bag as a smock for your child's craft project.

If all else fails - drop off your bags in the recycling bin at your grocery store.

Tell me how you are using your plastic bags, I would love to add to this list!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Earth Day and I've Got Nothing

I wanted to write a clever post for Earth Day. A post to make you think I've got my act together. I wanted to impart great "green" wisdom that would influence you to make some changes, but I'm fried and I've got nothing!

I'm leaning on some of my inspirational "green" bloggy reads to provide you with a wonderful Eath Day experience. Because quite frankly, at this moment, they've got their acts together and are doing a great job.

  • As usual, Crunchy Chicken is challenging us and questioning the recent flock to jump on the environmental bandwagon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway - Real Simple Magazine

This seemed to be a big hit the first time around, so I'm doing it again for this quarter of the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival.

What I am giving away
A year subscription to my favorite magazine,
Real Simple.

What you need to do to win:
Simply leave a comment and for kicks take a look around.

Who can win:
You do not have to be a blogger to win, but you will need a valid e-mail address.

When does the bloggy giveaway end:
Friday, April 25th at 5pm est. I will randomly select a winner from all comments. I will e-mail the winner and post the results Friday evening.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #6 - House Wish List

Today we're meeting our real estate agent to look at houses. Yes, having 3 children under 4 isn't enough to keep me busy!

My dear husband has been commuting over 2 hours a day for about 5 years. Understandably so, he's had enough. I love looking at houses. It's fun to look at different places and imagine how our family would live in them.

I have a tendency to get excited about something in a house (a pantry for example) and forget about the other things I would like to have. It's a perfect time to write a list of things I'd like to find in a house. I'm very realistic (and just a bit spoiled), but I do understand the concept of a "Wish List". I don't expect to find all of these things, but a few would be great.

1. Laundry Room that's not in a basement. I've been washing clothes in a basement for 13 years and I'd like to stop carrying that laundry basket up 2 flights of stairs.

2. Mud Room. Any place other than right inside the front door to take off our shoes would be great.

3. Closets. Any kind, anywhere.

4. Foyer. It would be great to have a little area to serve as a buffer before you enter the living space. Just enough room to put a little table and a few decorative things.

5. Family Room. I like the idea of an open space floor plan with a family room off the kitchen.

6. Gas Stove. I feel a little silly listing this one. I am not a cook, but I do know from past experience things just cook better on a gas stove top.

7. Pantry. Never had one so I think it would be a great thing.

8. Manageable Yard. I would like space for the kids to run around and enjoy a summer's night bbq, but not something so huge I loose my husband for a whole day while he mows the grass!

9. Good Public Schools. As a former public school teacher, I am a huge advocate for public schools.

10. Neighborhood Playground. An easy place to take the kids. A great place for them to make friends - and maybe meet some new friends for myself as well.

11. Hardwood floors. I like the look and they're easy to maintain.

12. Bathroom(s). We have one full bath now. Right now it's fine because the kids are small, but as they get a little bigger it'd be nice for them to have their own bathroom.

13. Natural Light. Love, love, love windows and natural light!

What do you love about your home?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free Recycling Through The Mail

The U.S. Postal Service has launched a pilot program providing customers with an eco-friendly way to dispose of outdated items.

Postage-free envelopes are available at the test offices for you to send in old cell phones, personal data assistants, MP3 players, ink jet cartridges and other small electronic items.

The tests are under way in California, Chicago, Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and Baltimore. The USPS hopes to take this program nation-wide in the fall.

Clover Technologies Group pays the postage and then remanufactures and remarkets the items. If the item cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are reused to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Three R Thursday: A Sticky Situation

Dear Mr. Grocer,

I'm sure you have a logical reason for putting multiple stickers on my organic produce. You probably think it's okay because the stickers are made with food grade gums. You may not have considered the fact that when a toddler asks for an apple, they don't have the patience to wait while their mother peels and scrubs the stickiness off of their healthy organic apple.

You probably discovered you were losing money at the check out counter because the checkers couldn't tell the difference between organic and conventional produce. For some reason the small sticker wasn't sufficient, so a really big one needed to be added.

I have a solution. Save the money you are spending on these stickers. Save the time it takes for one of your employees to stick them on everything organic. With the money you save, you can charge the same amount for organic and conventional produce.

After all, don't we all deserve to eat produce grown without the use of toxic pesticides.

Thank you for your consideration.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

WFMW: Introducing Siblings

I was a little concerned how the first introduction at the hospital would go between Davis, Meg and Kale.

To make it as smooth as possible, Kale went shopping! Ok, not really, Kale's mommy went shopping, but he was with me!

I put together a themed-bag for each of them - Davis' bag was full of pirate stuff and Meg's was full of princess stuff. Of course, the
y loved their bags and thought Kale was the coolest little brother ever. Davis couldn't get over how Kale knew exactly what he liked!

Check out other Works for Me Wednesdays here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Meg!

Dear Meg,

My sweet little girl you are 2 years old now. You have grown up so much. You spent the first year of your life attached to me, and now you are so confident and happy in the world. I love to watch you play with your big brother, and I love the way you love on your baby brother.

You are so smart - you have so many words and communicate with us so well. You have a very special place in our family. You are lucky to have both a big and little brother. I know at times you may be annoyed by the "boys" in your life, but I promise as you get older you will enjoy having them around.

You and I are outnumbered now. We have to stick together. You bring so much happiness to my day. I thank you for that, and I love you very much.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

YoBaby Yogurt & EWG

Stonyfield Farm will donate $1 for every click to the Environmental Working Group to help protect you and your family from harmful chemicals in food.

You can get a free downloadable guide to pesticides in produce. The guide is wallet-size and lists the 12 fruits and veggies with the most and least amount of pesticides, so you’ll know which ones to buy organic and what is okay when organic isn’t available.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why the Name Kale?

Bob and I wanted to honor our beautiful daughters, Eloise Andrews and Kathryn Lee. We played around with their initials and came up with the name KALE.

We see each of the girls in our children. It is special for us to be able to use their names in some small way.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Buy Nothing Challenge

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008

No, this isn't an April Fool's Joke.

I've been spending too much money. I'd already decided to cut back in April, but the inspiring Crunchy Chicken declared April a "Buy Nothing Challenge" month. The challenge is to only spend money on essentials.

Basically, this means none of the following:

  • No new clothes
  • No new gadgets
  • No new furniture or housewares
  • No salon services
  • No makeup
  • No tools
Wish me luck. If you decide you want to give it a try, click on over and visit the Crunchy Chicken.