Saturday, March 21, 2009

The answer, my friend......

If I were a man, wind turbines would give me a hard-on. (You didn't see that coming, did you?) It's not necessarily the shape or the size even. It's what it can do. I would LOVE to be off the grid. I would LOVE to thumb my nose at the "man" and say


That's what I'd say if I had a wind turbine in my backyard.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scrubby bubby chunks!

I've come up with a solution to..... my baby wipe...solution...problem (thesaurus please). First of all, there is a limited shelf life to anything water based that does NOT contain a chemical preservative. There are oils that can help. But, nothing that will make it last a significant amount of time. Since there are people who do purchase my baby wipe solution as baby shower gifts that will, therefore, not be used for awhile, I'm in a pickle (which are preserved with salt, btw).

I've scoured my local resources and special secret online resources to find a natural, handmade soap that will produce the most bubbly, yummy-smelling, bottom-soothing concoction EVER! This particular batch contains oatmeal to sooth dry and irritated winter skin. For now, I'm selling this in small (yet high yielding) quantities of 12 nuggets, which will make 24 cups of solution.

To use, just dissolve one nugget in 2 cups of hot water, then pour over your wipes. Avoid making too much solution as it will start turning musty after a few days. I only make one cup of solution at a time. You can either slice your nugget in half (can't wait to see what google searches THAT phrase comes up in) or take it out of your hot water when it is about half dissolved and then let it dry.

Cloth baby wipes and my homemade solution are better for the earth and your baby than chemical-laden, expensive disposable wipes. Even if you don't cloth diaper or your children are out of diapers, you can still keep a box of cloth wipes and solution on your kitchen counter to clean up dirty hands and faces.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Resolve to go green - simple steps

Okay, so to re-energize your efforts to go green this year, I thought I'd remind you of the reasons to do so. These are taken from my favorite book, "The Green Book" by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen. We'll focus on just a few things a week to work on. Here we go....

On average, you create 4.5 pounds of trash each day. Over the course of a lifetime, you will leave a 90,000 pound legacy of trash for your grandchildren. If every person in America simply seperated the paper, plastic, glass and aluminum products from their trash and placed it in the recycling bin, we could decrease the amount sent to landfills by 75%! Right now, it takes an area the size of Pennsylvania to dump our waste each year.

Americans use at least twice as much energy and water per person as anyone else in the world. If every American simply replaced just five of their traditional lightbulbs with CFL's, we'd keep more than 1 trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of our air. That's equal to the emissions of 8 million cars!!!

By 2025, the world must increase its water supply by 22 percent in order to meet its needs. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than 10 gallons of water. If every American saved just ONE gallon of water, over the course of a year, it would equal twice the amount of fresh water drawn from the Great Lakes (the world's largest source of fresh water) every day.

By setting your house thermostat for one degree warmer in the summer and one degree cooler in the winter, you could save $100 per year! If every home in America made this small change, we'd save enough energy to provide a year's worth of gasoline, electricity, and natural gas to every person in Iowa.

Change your lightbulbs to CFL's
Take a shorter shower
Change your thermostat by just one degree

These are really easy things to do and will save you money too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm not sure where I stand on fertility treatment. I know as a Catholic I'm SUPPOSED to have an issue with it. I know that I thank God daily that I was able to have 4 beautiful children on my own. I can't say that if I had problems conceiving that I wouldn't have sought outside help. And, it might or might not surprise you that I used to think about over-population. My husband is a card-carrying Sierra club member that used to want to have just 2 children. Well, before we ACTUALLY HAD children. Then, he thought 3 or 4 wasn't going to have catastrophic consequences on our planet.

I'm surprised and saddened at the outrage people are feeling towards the woman that just had octuplets. She's in hiding now because of death threats. Seriously people! She didn't KILL 14 children!!! She gave birth to 14 children. I think that this is a perfect example of the rampant "nose-in-everyone's-business, opinion-on-everything" disease plaquing our society. How much time is wasted every day with people thinking about, commenting on, or judging other people? I bet the same amount of time we waste wishing our asses were smaller.

Here is what I do:

I wake up in the morning and take care of my kids.
I work on my business when the kids are occupied, playing, sleeping, etc.
I do charity work as the need arises.
I spend time with my husband, sisters, or good friends in the evenings.
I do not watch a lot of television.
I do NOT read tabloids or People, because I don't CARE what celebrities do.

That's it. And, I try really hard not to judge or gossip about other people. I don't tell people what they should or should not do. I don't tell them what I think God expects of them. They can seek that out for themselves and have THAT convo with God after they die. I have no hate in my heart. I sleep well at night. People like me. I like them. I have peace.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tutorial - Matchbook notepads

This is what I made for my girls' classroom Valentine parties. It's something unique and handmade and that will last longer than the traditional "to you, from me" Valentine! This is also a cute party favor or "thank you" gift for online sellers to send out in their packages. It works best with thicker, double sided scrapbook paper. The heart and polka dot ones I have listed in my shop have single sided scrapbook paper mounted onto my recycled cardstock. But, it looks nice to have the inside be decorative too. These make 2.5 inch by 2.5 inch notepads when done. You can adjust them up or down if you want.

You'll want to cut a 2.5 inch by 6 inch strip of your double sided paper. Then, you'll score it or fold it about half an inch from the bottom and then again 2.5 inches from the top.

Next, you'll want to cut your inside paper. I use recycled printer paper. You'll cut 10-20 sheets of paper in 2.5 by 2.5 inch squares.

Then, you'll just insert the paper and staple and you're done!! It is really easy once you find your measurements and then your groove. Happy crafting!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CPSC Blog-in

This is a reprint of a comprehensive, layman explanation of the new CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act). For those of you that read my blog, I've mentioned this outrageous new law and most of you know about it already. For my friends and family, this is the law discussed in my newspaper article This answers a lot of questions.

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New product, thanks CPSC

So, what do you do with a TON of fabric and polyfill if you can't make children's products? You make "collectible" dolls. I've always loved Matryoshka dolls. It makes sense...I mean she does symbolize fertility, and I'm nothing if not fertile. I made these with a pocket front for the babies that Katie insisted I make. But, I think a little gift card fits great in it as well. Enjoy!