Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pictures of our princess

Princess Hannah is Jason's and my niece isn't she sweet!!!


I grew up on a very rural road with maybe 15 families on it in a two mile radius from my house. Every Halloween my dad would take me to the neighborhood that my family had lived in before and walk me around. He had ulterior motives there was a guy who gave away hot dogs and soda to everyone who walked by. The Halloween that was most vivid to me was one where I dressed like Mac Tonight, the 80's McDonalds commercial where its the guy who has a half moon as a head and wears a suit and sings "Come on make it Mac tonight". My brother was originally going to be him but decided against it so I took up the rest of the costume. It was made from wire hangers and paper mache that was painstakingly applied and painted white afterward. I don't remember seeing well in it or people knowing what I was but I loved that costume.

One year we were driving home from this neighborhood and there was a deer in the middle of the road. My dad lost control of the car trying to avoid it and we were all over the place on one side of the road then the other, back and forth, I remember seeing the headlights of an oncoming huge tractor trailer. It was the first time I saw my life flash before my eyes. My dad got control of the truck right before we were about to run into the tractor trailer, the rest of the drive was very awkward.

When I became old enough that walking with my dad wasn't cool anymore I started going with my best friend Amanda. My dad would drive me the half hour over to her house and then two of our other friends would meet us there and we would go out. She also lived on a bad road for Trick or Treating so her dad would drop us off at a neighborhood near there. We would laugh and walk around and get ridiculous amounts of candy. One of her friends from school lived in that neighborhood and on our last year or Trick or Treating we stopped in on a Halloween party at her house. We were probably about thirteen then, I remember that song To Be With You was really popular. All the girls at the party were singing the song, our little group of four was probably the loudest proudly singing into our thumbs. Amanda died my senior year in high school near that little neighborhood we used to go trick or treating in. Whenever I hear Mr. Big or think of Trick or Treating I always think of the good times we had back when we were kids and how my love of karaoke was shaped at a very young age with some very good friends. Happy Halloween!

Mr.Big - To Be With You

Hold on little girl
Show me what he's done to you
Stand up little girl
A broken heart can't be that bad
When it's through, it's through
Fate will twist the both of you
So come on baby come on over
Let me be the one to show you

I'm the one who wants to be with you
Deep inside I hope you feel it too
Waited on a line of greens and blues
Just to be the next to be with you

Build up your confidence
So you can be on top for once
wake up who cares about
Little boys that talk too much
I've seen it all go down
Your game of love was all rained out
So come on baby, come on over
Let me be the one to hold you


Why be alone when we can be together baby
You can make my life worthwhile
And I can make you start to smile

When it's through, it's through
Fate will twist the both of you
So come on baby come on over
Let me be the one to show you

Wordless Wednesday-Pop Pop Seat

Picture of my Gracie taken by Dirkey in her Pop-pop seat

New Layout

So I've been working under that Barbie pink way too long. Now that its fall I decided to break out my earth colors and do a redesign. I'm also playing with photoshop a little bit. The masthead is my first and I plan to do alot more tweaking with my next one. This is just a silly picture I took of my precious Schmoop and I'm nothing if I'm not corny :) I had fun messing with the colors and lighting and learning some new things from my oh so talented husband.
What do you think?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Update on my fall sewing

So I downloaded a pattern for my fall apron giveaway yesterday and was determined to start last night. Don't you know I started and finished!! It turned out so stinking cute! I brought it into work and my friend Barb said she wanted it and asked me how much I would charge for it, so fun! Its all turquoise and blues, Mama K and I went to Jo Anne Fabrics and found some awesome materials and funky decorations to make some more. I have to make one more for a swap I'm doing then I'm going to make some for Christmas gifts.
I'll put the link up for the pattern later on, its at home but its pretty simple. I'm going to modify the next one a little bit.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Giveaway-A fun handsewn apron!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hi All,
I'm giving away an apron! I'm going to sew it all by my lonesome and cover shipping to any U.S. residence. If you would like to enter just leave a comment, this is open to bloggers, non-bloggers and lurkers alike!
I will announce the winner on Friday and will mail out the apron on Monday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I sooo want this

This is by far the best purse I've ever seen. Step aside my little bee Dooney and Burke purse (a gift from the MIL) cause this is definitely my next purse. In case you can't see the moustache is fake fur thats applied to the face. I'm in love, with a purse. :)
I love Chicago

Photo Hunters Pink

I like the pinks in this sunset :)

Solicitation at its best

Please vote for my brother, he knows nothing about this but it will be so funny when he finds out he wins.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The most common response I get when I say we're trying to go organic to decrease the chemical exposure is that, hey we grew up with it and we're ok. While I think its true that we did grow up with some harmful chemicals that are now regulated they definitely substituted those with some other chemicals which are just as harmful. Also the chemicals we have now are in EVERYTHING and seen as a benifit (ie the item being flame retardent, scotchguarded, etc). Mama K sent me an article and it had this statement in it and it really struck me.
"'We are in an epidemic of environmentally mediated disease among American children today... Rates of asthma, childhood cancers, birth defects and development disorders have exponentially increased, and it can't be explained by changes in the human genome. So what has changed? All the chemicals we're being exposed to.' says Dr. Leo Trasande, assistant director of the Center for Children's Health and the environment at Mount Sinai Medical Center," notes the CNN article.

So I'm just going to say you don't need to agree with me or do things like me but you need to research things on your own and determine what is "safe" for your family.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wow another interesting organic article

Here is another article I found today
this is pretty interesting and a good place to start.

Hmm in reguards to any pics I have maybe I'll start listing things I've checked out on a weekly basis as far as organic house hold objects.
I looked into furniture and I think next time I'm in the market for some I will buy some This End Up furniture and make the cushions myself. This seems to be the cheapest and best option (I would check Craigs List or Ebay to see if I could find some second hand).

I'm jonesing for a Keetsa mattress right now but that will have to wait a little bit.


If this doesn't reinforce wanted to live organically I don't know what would

This is a scary article, definitely reinforces what I'm starting to learn about. Its amazing the chemicals that we are in constant contact that we don't even think about!!! Please read to the finish.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Michelle Hammond and Jeremiah Holland were intrigued when a friend at the Oakland Tribune asked them and their two young children to take part in a cutting-edge study to measure the industrial chemicals in their bodies.


Tests showed that Rowan, at 18 months, had high levels of a chemical in his bloodstream that can cause thyroid dysfunction in rats.

"In the beginning, I wasn't worried at all; I was fascinated," Hammond, 37, recalled.

But that fascination soon changed to fear, as tests revealed that their children -- Rowan, then 18 months, and Mikaela, then 5 -- had chemical exposure levels up to seven times those of their parents.

"[Rowan's] been on this planet for 18 months, and he's loaded with a chemical I've never heard of," Holland, 37, said. "He had two to three times the level of flame retardants in his body that's been known to cause thyroid dysfunction in lab rats."

The technology to test for these flame retardants -- known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) -- and other industrial chemicals is less than 10 years old. Environmentalists call it "body burden" testing, an allusion to the chemical "burden," or legacy of toxins, running through our bloodstream. Scientists refer to this testing as "biomonitoring."

Most Americans haven't heard of body burden testing, but it's a hot topic among environmentalists and public health experts who warn that the industrial chemicals we come into contact with every day are accumulating in our bodies and endangering our health in ways we have yet to understand. See which household products contain industrial chemicals »
Planet in Peril
Anderson Cooper, Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin & Dr. Sanjay Gupta explore the Earth's environmental issues in a CNN worldwide investigation.
October 23-24 at 9 p.m. ET on CNN
see full schedule »

"We are the humans in a dangerous and unnatural experiment in the United States, and I think it's unconscionable," said Dr. Leo Trasande, assistant director of the Center for Children's Health and the Environment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Video Watch Anderson Cooper get his blood drawn for testing »

Dr. Trasande says that industrial toxins could be leading to more childhood disease and disorders.

"We are in an epidemic of environmentally mediated disease among American children today," he said. "Rates of asthma, childhood cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders have exponentially increased, and it can't be explained by changes in the human genome. So what has changed? All the chemicals we're being exposed to."

Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, a public health advocacy group, disagrees.

"My concern about this trend about measuring chemicals in the blood is it's leading people to believe that the mere ability to detect chemicals is the same as proving a hazard, that if you have this chemical, you are at risk of a disease, and that is false," she said. Whelan contends that trace levels of industrial chemicals in our bodies do not necessarily pose health risks.

In 2004, the Hollands became the first intact nuclear family in the United States to undergo body burden testing. Rowan, at just 1½ years old, became the youngest child in the U.S. to be tested for chemical exposure with this method.

Rowan's extraordinarily high levels of PBDEs frightened his parents and left them with a looming question: If PBDEs are causing neurological damage to lab rats, could they be doing the same thing to Rowan? The answer is that no one knows for sure. In the three years since he was tested, no developmental problems have been found in Rowan's neurological system.

Dr. Trasande said children up to six years old are most at risk because their vital organs and immune system are still developing and because they depend more heavily on their environments than adults do.

"Pound for pound, they eat more food, they drink more water, they breathe in more air," he said. "And so [children] carry a higher body burden than we do."

Studies on the health effects of PBDEs are only just beginning, but many countries have heeded the warning signs they see in animal studies. Sweden banned PBDEs in 1998. The European Union banned most PBDEs in 2004. In the United States, the sole manufacturer of two kinds of PBDEs voluntarily stopped making them in 2004. A third kind, Deca, is still used in the U.S. in electrical equipment, construction material, mattresses and textiles.

Another class of chemicals that showed up in high levels in the Holland children is known as phthalates. These are plasticizers, the softening agents found in many plastic bottles, kitchenware, toys, medical devices, personal care products and cosmetics. In lab animals, phthalates have been associated with reproductive defects, obesity and early puberty. But like PBDEs, little is known about what they do to humans and specifically children.

Russ Hauser, an associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, has done some of the few human studies on low-level phthalate exposure. His preliminary research shows that phthalates may contribute to infertility in men. A study led by Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester in New York shows that prenatal exposure to phthalates in males may be associated with impaired testicular function and with a defect that shortens the space between the genitals and anus.

The Environmental Protection Agency does not require chemical manufacturers to conduct human toxicity studies before approving their chemicals for use in the market. A manufacturer simply has to submit paperwork on a chemical, all the data that exists on that chemical to date, and wait 90 days for approval.

Jennifer Wood, an EPA spokeswoman, insists the agency has the tools to ensure safe oversight.

"If during the new-chemical review process, EPA determines that it may have concerns regarding risk or exposure, the EPA has the authority to require additional testing," she said. EPA records show that of the 1,500 new chemicals submitted each year, the agency asks for additional testing roughly 10 percent of the time. The EPA has set up a voluntary testing program with the major chemical manufacturers to retroactively test some of the 3,000 most widely used chemicals.

Dr. Trasande believes that is too little, too late.

"The problem with these tests is that they are really baseline tests that don't measure for the kind of subtle health problems that we're seeing," Dr. Trasande said.

In the three years since her family went through body burden testing, Michelle Hammond has become an activist on the issue. She's testified twice in the California legislature to support a statewide body burden testing program, a bill that passed last year. Michelle also speaks to various public health groups about her experience, taking Mikaela, now 8, and Rowan, now 5, with her. So far, her children show no health problems associated with the industrial chemicals in their bodies.

"I'm angry at my government for failing to regulate chemicals that are in mass production and in consumer products." Hammond says. "I don't think it should have to be up to me to worry about what's in my couch."

I have problems with her last statement though
Hammond says. "I don't think it should have to be up to me to worry about what's in my couch."
obviously it is up to us to worry about these things. Hopefully by making a statement with our pocketbooks and with our lifestyles we can make such an impact that our kids won't have to worry about whats in our couch. In my opinion it comes from demanding more stuff, in order to have the abundance those things have to be made cheaply. By purchasing from the dollar store and supporting companies with these types of manufacturing practices we are advocating and fundraising for this type of horror. By not educating ourselves about the places we choose to purchase our things from we are choosing this nightmare for our children.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Things You Shouldn't Buy Online

Custom Framing-well from anyway the color representation is far from accurate on their Mats. I ordered a nice soft yellow border on a huge picture for above our fireplace and I got a McDonalds looking border (which is especially nice with our red velvet drapes). We just need a slide that goes from the kitchen into the family room to complete the look or we could just turn that fireplace into a drive thru and start earning our mortgage.

Which brings me to another point why is it drive thru, is through to hard for people to write?

So anyway stands behind their products one hundred percent as long as you pay for shipping and handling(if they really stood behind their products I would think they would fix this at no cost to the customer), which is a small fortune for something like this so I'm just going to buy the mat from a local frame shop. I priced it out and its about $25 which will be much cheaper than the shipping back and forth.

You may have seen this picture on an earlier post on how much I love my living room. I really was trying to convince myself that I also loved this mat but I don't.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Song of the Disco Ball

Song of the disco ball
So once apon a time
Courtney and Kristi boogied down
it was a disco contest to win
and they did, a disco ball
Kristi was greedy
and kept it at her house
5 long years
it was suspended from her ceiling
till one day
Courtney asked for it back
Kristi realized she was being greedy
so quickly took it down
in preparation for its new home
it sat on a shelf
lonely in the laundry room waiting
till one day
Kristi cleaned
and moved a paper
and the disco ball dropped on her toe
and she didn't realize
exactly how heavy
all those mirrors would be
and she cried
cause it hurt.

Wordless Wednesday-Love

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hey Internets!

Its my birthday, stop lurking and wish me a good one!! :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Photo Hunters-Smelly

mmmm one of my favorite smells, Melting Pot. This is a picture of our celebration dinner when Schmoop got his job up in NJ

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cute little pumpkin girl

is running a fall photo contest so I decided to enter my sweet little pumpkin girl.
Check it out and vote for my sweet little Meggie!
Well,when voting starts vote for my sweet Meggie! :)


So Schmoop and I don't have any kids but I'm a chronic overplanner. I try to have things established in my head well before it even becomes a possibility. So I have been thinking of what we would do with our kids when it comes to school. I am a product of private schools from pre-k up to high school and Schmoop has a mixture of public, home schooled and private. I had alot of positive exposure to home schooling because my best friend was home schooled and I have a huge network of friends that were homeschooled. Whereas Schmoops experiences were less than ideal. This study is very interesting though, just reinforces that socio-economic profiling occurs in the schools and greatly affects the abilities of our kids. While I'm aware this is just one study it does enforce in my mind my desire to home school our kids when the time comes.

Home schooling improves academic performance and reduces impact of socio-economic factors

TORONTO, ON—Home schooling appears to improve the academic performance of children from families with low levels of education, according to a report on home schooling released today by independent research organization The Fraser Institute.

“The research shows that the level of education of a child’s parents, gender of the child, and income of family has less to do with a child’s academic achievement than it does in public schools.”

The study also reports that students educated at home outperform their peers on most academic tests and are involved in a broad mix of social activities outside the home.

Research shows that almost 25 per cent of home schooled students in the United States perform one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools. Grades 1 to 4 home school students perform one grade level higher than their public- and private-school peers. By Grade 8, the average home schooled student performs four grade levels above the national average.

Hepburn said a growing body of new research also calls into question the belief that home schooled children are not adequately socialized.

“The average Canadian home schooled student is regularly involved in eight social activities outside the home. Canadian home schooled children watch less television than other children, and they show significantly fewer problems than public school children when observed in free play,” she said.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday-Self Portrait of a baby

Taken by Meggie and Dirkey of Meggie on 10/6/07

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sweating Pumpkins

So Schmoop and I took Meggie and Gracie pumpkin picking with my parents this weekend and it was freaking hot. Seriously ridiculously hot. I wanted to be wearing a sweatshirt and a scarf but I was sweating in a tshirt and shorts. The girls had a good time despite the heat. They are from the city so it was fun watching them play on the farm. They also got seriously dirty because we are having drought like conditions so the dust was sticking to the sweat.. yum, I know.. I did get some good pics of them and they had a good time so it was definitely worth it!

such a cutie

So excited!

loving the hayride

too big??

nah she's pretty strong.

pumpkin loving

touch my doughnut and I can't be held responsible for my actions old man...

Thursday, October 04, 2007


So I'm really getting into not needing all the commercial and consumer hype in my life. I made deals with my friends for Christmas that everything we get for each other should be $5 or less and has to be either homemade or bought second hand. I figure this will help decrease the crap level of my house and do some good against making Christmas less a commercial holiday, at least in my life. I think this will do wonders for my mood this holiday as I won't be buying expensive crap for people and wondering if they will even like it. It will cut out the whole line of thinking "am I spending all this money for something this person won't even want/need" or "in five months will this person finally put this out to the curb because it had its run"
This being said my birthdays next Sunday and if you want to buy me something my amazon wish list is on the side bar. :)

What a paradox....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Home Improvement

So yeah, Schmoop and I have this house..
and when we bought it there were some things that I just couldn't take. Namely the overabundance of pastel pink and green. We have slowly been irradicating this from our house, starting with the carpets, then the bedrooms, now finally the family room.
It started out with pink carpets, pink built in bookcases,

dirty white walls

pink and green wallpaper border

and the Most ridiculous pink and green "window" treatment I've ever seen in my life.

The family room has now become this...
Schmoop painted the floor a nice nuetral shade, we got berber carpet, installed French Doors, refinished the bookcase, and GOT NEW WINDOW TREATMENTS!