Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you are all enjoying this day with your family. I am personally recovering from a mini-vacation with Hubby. It was our first getaway post-Jordan (and yes, Jordan is almost 16 months old. I had never been away from him for more than 3 hours before!) We went on a two-day, two-night hiking trip to North Manitou Island, which is pretty much one of our favorite places in the whole world.

So, this week, I'll be sharing some photos from that trip, I'm sure. You know me. Of course I took a lot of photos!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cotton buds review

Since I started this blog in August, I've taken many steps to reduce the amount of disposable stuff in my house. Diapers, wipes, napkins, paper towels and Swiffer pads have all gone cloth in my home.

Recently, I realized that I still have disposable cotton balls. Cotton. As in, should be reusable.

So, I contacted moocowmomma on etsy, since she had sent me a bunch of reusable wipes in the past, to see if she had any interest in making any small cotton rounds to replace cotton balls. She pointed me to the leahstreasures etsy shop, where I was able to find exactly what I was looking for.

I contacted the seller and she sent me a set of her little cotton buds to try out (at no cost to me). They're crocheted and completely adorable, don't you think?

I don't go through many cotton balls as it is. Basically, I use them to take off nail polish and occasionally to wipe down my face. I had this little glass jar in the cupboard and I decided I would put some of the rounds in it (they fit perfectly!) with some witch hazel and keep it in the fridge so I can use a cool pad to wipe down my face after I run or go to the gym and can't take a shower immediately.

Well, I don't know what's wrong with me. I didn't WASH the cotton buds before I put them in the jar. So, I added the witch hazel. Then, later when I went to use one, I realized that the colored yarn had bled. So, a couple of my buds are discolored. I put them all in the zippered mesh bag that came with them and I washed them, and then I selected the lightest-colored buds to keep in the witch hazel.

I have since tried them after running and LOVE the way they absorb a little more of the witch hazel than a regular cotton ball. It doesn't run down my arm when I use it, and the texture of the rounds is kind of scrubby and feels good on my skin.

I plan to reserve the few discolored ones to use with nail polish remover, and then the rest are going to be kept in a decorative milk glass candy dish in my bathroom for whenever a cotton ball is needed.

Thanks to leahstreasures for sending me this awesome, eco-friendly product, and thanks to moocowmomma for pointing me in the right direction.

Head over to the leahstreasures etsy shop to get some of your own. You may have to ask for them if you don't see them in the shop, but she said she has plenty of them made up.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

live live sunscreen review

Last month, I blogged about the horrible rash Logan got from Neutrogena's Pure and Free baby sunblock.

It took at least a week, week and a half, for the rash to go away completely. After the redness went away, he still had rough, sandpapery skin for a while.

Needless to say, I started looking for a different sunblock.

I came across a company called live live (rhymes with "give five") and contacted them about their sun products, telling them what happened with the Neutrogena. They agreed to send me a bottle of their natural SPF 30 sunscreen to try. I got to choose between the orange and citronella scents. I was advised that most people choose the orange, but I opted for the citronella since we have a lot of mosquitoes here I Michigan and I thought maybe the sunscreen would do double duty as a bug repellant too. Actually, since I made that decision, I noticed that they tout it as a natural repellant on the live live website!

The bottle arrived in the mail just as the spring rainy season arrived. I kid you not, I had to wait a couple WEEKS to even try it out!

Finally, though, the sunny warm days have returned, so the past few days I've slathered the kids up with the live live and we've been playing outside in the sun.

Right away, I liked the feel of this sunblock. It doesn't leave that horrible gloppy feeling on my hands. It actually makes my palms feel kind of warm when I'm applying it, but all citronella and lemongrass products do that to me so I think I'm just sensitive. It goes away and doesn't irritate, it just feels warm while I'm putting the lotion on. Neither kid seems to feel it and neither of them has shown any irritation whatsoever from this sunblock. Plus, it seems to do a good job. Neither of them has so much as a smear of sunburn on them. I only applied the sunblock once per day, too. (I know, I should reapply more often, and if we're out for a long, long time, I will).

The scent is most definitely citronella! Logan likes it. He says it smells like lemons. It reminds me of camping. I just noticed the first few mosquitoes flying around yesterday. Neither boy was bitten, so maybe the sunscreen is helping!

Anyway, I have absolutely no complaints about this sunscreen and plan to buy more once this bottle is gone. We'll use it on the whole family.

Here's the description of the product I got from the live live website:

"The BEST sunscreen in the world! Also the best natural insect repellant in the world! Tested in the north woods of Ontario, Canada (where people wear mosquito net clothing!). Protect your sensitive skin the healthy way. Contains only natural ingredients: Deionized water, apricot oil (organic), MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), sweet almond oil (organic), usnea extract (organic), vitamin E, calendula extract (organic), coconut wax, glycerine, tea tree oil, aloe extract 200:1 (organic), vitamin A, grapefruit seed extract, vitamin D3, micronized titanium dioxide, micronized zinc dioxide, essential oil of citronella. SPF 30+ "

live live also offers a lot of other products including bodycare, food, books and more. Visit the live live website to see what they have!

Oh, and Neutrogena? They received my complaint and after a week or two, someone called and peppered me with questions for their "medical research." Then, they sent me a $10 coupon for their products, excluding sunscreen (which I wouldn't have bought) and cosmetics (which I was planning to buy with the coupon.) So, I got some stupid face wash that I don't like. Thanks a lot, Neutrogena! I just wanted a refund, not more of your crap.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fine Doodles Review 2

A while back, I wrote about Fine Doodles, and the awesome painting Summer Myers did from a drawing of Logan's.

Well, I didn't mention --because it wasn't her fault-- that the painting got a little damaged on the way here. It appears someone dropped it on its side, and there was a part of the painting that was buckled in and chipped away.

Well, Summer was mortified that had happened, and she actually offered to do another painting for me. Well, of COURSE I jumped on that! Her work is amazing.

But what drawing to choose?

I finally decided on a drawing Logan had done for my dad of his camp up on the Two-Hearted River. Logan had drawn the camp with him, Grandpa and Ivy the dog, and my dad had fallen so in love with it, he had framed it and hung it at camp.

I thought a Fine Doodle of that drawing would make a great Father's Day gift, so I asked to borrow it, and then I shipped it off to Summer.

The painting arrived on Wednesday and I swear I nearly wet my pants with joy when I saw it. This woman has such a creative artist's eye. I LOVE what she does with kids' artwork. She keeps the spirit of their drawings, but really makes them POP off the canvas. It's art, pure and simple.

This is the original drawing Logan did of Grandpa's camp when he was three

And here's how the painting turned out!

The happy artist

Close-up of Logan and Grandpa (Logan said when he first drew the picture that the big one was Logan and the little one was Grandpa with his beard blowing in the breeze.)

And Ivy (or, as Logan wrote, Iva) the dog, who was alive at the time of the drawing but is now buried at the camp.

I am so tickled with the way this painting turned out. I love the colors, the way the camp and outhouse look, Logan's awesome pine trees in the upper right corner and the sweet little pines Summer scattered throughout. It's just perfect and I can't wait to give it to my dad for Father's Day. I think he's going to flip!

Seriously, if your child likes to draw, send something over to Summer at Fine Doodles and let her turn it into something really special that you will treasure forever.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A man that does housework

Jordan's been showing interest in "helping" me lately by cleaning up.

The other night, we finished dinner and I walked out of the kitchen for a second. I returned to find he had grabbed the hand broom and was actually under his high chair sweeping up the food on the floor. It was the cutest thing ever! Of course, by the time I grabbed the camera, he was done. I tried to get him to do it again the next morning after breakfast.

Last night, I tossed a wet washrag onto his high chair tray to wipe off his face and he picked it up and immediately started wiping off his tray! I grabbed the camera and tried to get him to repeat it. It took a few minutes, but he did it.

Then, I put him in the bathtub and tossed in a washcloth and he started using it to wipe the tub!

I don't know where the kid learns these things. It's certainly not from his mommy! Maybe he's sick of living in a mess, so he just decided to do it for himself!

Anyway, it's sweet!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


There's a big mess at the bottom of my basement stairs. Just a ton of "stuff" that doesn't have a home. I need to tackle this mess before it gets even more out of hand. It gets me down, this clutter. It seems, though, that once I get it cleaned up, another crop has sprung up somewhere else.

It's ugly, isn't it? It stresses me out.

Hey, wait. What's that over there, by the Target bag?

Yeah, that Target bag right there. What's that book balanced on the clutter above it?

Oh, man! I couldn't make this stuff up.

How embarrassing.

Note to readers: I swear I did not put the book there for the purposes of these photos. I happened to notice it as I walked past last night and it gave me a laugh, so I thought I'd share.

Told you I am a slob!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Yesterday afternoon, Logan looked out the window and said "There are a lot of bees over there, Mom! ARE those bees?"

I looked out the window and saw a cloud of bugs flying around between the neighbor's house and mine. At first, I thought it was just a hatching of mayflies or something like that, but then I realized it was pretty concentrated.

I stepped outside and walked a bit closer and heard the buzzing (like in the movies!) and saw that it was indeed a swarm of bees. They were forming a clump in the neighbor's tree and the cloud wasn't bees just flying around, they were making a, well, beeline right to the tree. I guess they were following the queen.

So, they took up residence and made a cone-shaped clump in the tree.

I called the neighbors on their cell phones to alert them about the bees so they wouldn't disturb them when they got home from work. Later, the neighbors came home and called a guy who keeps bees. He came out with a nifty vacuum thing and got right up there and sucked the bees into boxes and took them away to make some honey. It was amazing, he was right up in the bees and they didn't seem to mind at all. You could see groups of them going through the tube into the boxes.

We were eating dinner at the time on the deck so it was great entertainment. You don't often get to see an estimated 20,000 bees (that's what the bee guy said) vacuumed out of your neighbor's tree!

Monday, May 24, 2010

How's it growing?

I'm starting to get some baby stuff in my garden!

Many of my lettuces are ready for a first cutting. FRESH SALAD TONIGHT! I have a pretty variety growing in my salad table, the little ring I planted and in a window box on my deck.

My broccoli plants (I think. Could be the cauliflowers. The plants look similar. The baby looks like broccoli to me, though.) have babies in them

I have little strawberries growing by the fence

And some herbs and other stuff scattered about in pots on my deck.

The peas by the fence are only so-so and my spinach isn't doing great at all this year for some reason. Almost none of it came up and what did isn't growing well. Not sure why. Last year it did great.

I have some other stuff to plant but I've kind of run out of room. I might have to clear out a bit of the lettuce to make some space. I got a couple kale and collard plants from the farmer's market and wanted to plant some radishes and maybe something else, too.

So, we'll just have to see what happens!

1 lb at a time week 4

1 lb at a time

Well this past week we were supposed to be keeping track of water in an attempt to drink more.

Well, I did drink more than usual so that was good, but I didn't keep track. I couldn't even keep track of my own head this week. I got very little sleep most nights. This whole baby not sleeping through the night business is killing any attempts I make to lose weight and be healthy, I'm telling you. I went through most of the week with a foggy head and a raging headache and it was all I could do to keep it together for my kids every day.

I know I definitely drank at least two of my 32-ounce water bottles each day, plus some, but like I said, I didn't keep track. I didn't always drink out of the same bottle or whatever. I counted it as a success that I was remembering to fill my glass and sucking down water even if I didn't feel thirsty, which I never do except at night or when I'm working out.

I also drank green tea in the mornings rather than coffee on most days this week, so that's good.

The scale budged... in the wrong direction. I know if I could get some good, consistent sleep I would be better off. I just don't know how to do that at this point,. I am about to go wtih "crying it out" which I don't want to do. I'm at the end of my rope, though. I spend hours every night trying to soothe Jordan to sleep and once I do, it's SO HARD to get out of his room without waking him because our wood floors are SO creaky. They make so much noise going up and down the hall.

The lack of sleep is really starting to impact everyone in the family, though. Hubby and I are always so tired, we snap at each other, I yell at the kids, Logan asks me why I'm so crabby. It's not good for any of us. I can't even comfortably drive any real distance because I have trouble staying awake at the wheel. Even 20 minutes to my best friend's house for a play date.

Anyway, that's where I am with that. Whine whine whine.

This week, Lisa asks:

I'd like you to tell me how you think you are doing. And are you happy with your results thus far? Is there anything I can do to help you with your goals --- topic you would like to see in the upcoming weeks, etc.?

Well, sorry Lisa, I'm not doing well at all. I've lost nothing but my sanity and I am not happy with my results at all. I don't know what you can do besides driving over here and giving me a swift kick in the butt. Oh and maybe watching the kids for a few days so I can go sleep it off!

Hmmm... Topics for upcoming weeks? How the heck do you motivate yourself to really just do it? I mean, I got this cute little dress that I want to look good in, and I work out like crazy but when it comes down to following a strict diet, something is making me just not care! It's frustrating. I am not happy with the way I look, and I want to change it, but how do I want it bad enough to actually do something about it?

Tall order, eh?! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

First ice cream cone

Jordan had his first ice cream cone Thursday. Birthday Cake flavor. Mmmm!

He checked it out

Then started at the bottom

Then flipped it around

It was good!

He dropped it a few times

But that didn't stop him from eating it

He just had to pull a wood chip or two out of his mouth

Then he got thirsty

Look Mom! No hands!

But then, when it was almost gone, he dropped it in the sand, and I had to take it away. He didn't like that.

It was precious to watch him eat his first ice cream cone. It could have been a LOT messier, but I'm sure he'll make up for that in the future!

Friday, May 21, 2010

One moment

It wasn't a great week at all and I didn't blog much about it, but suffice to say I got very little sleep and every day was a huge challenge in many ways. Hopefully now that the weekend is here, I can catch up on a little sleep and things will be looking up.

So, I'm going to choose to focus on one happy moment. It looks like Jordan was trying to stab his big brother with a stick. Actually we were just goofing around on the swing set and in the back yard, enjoying the sunny day.

It was a fun time.