Monday, April 28, 2008

Green Cleaning Love

Since E was born, we've been trying to live a "cleaner" or "greener" lifestyle, as having a child really opens your eyes. Anyway, when we decided to go green, we also didn't want to break the bank doing it, either. So basically we used vinegar and baking soda with some essential oils to clean. Then I discovered Dr. Bronner's. I LOVE it. I have peppermint kind, and wow... it smells so yummy and cleans well, too. The lovely thing about Dr. Bronner's is that it goes such a long way, and it can be used for almost anything. We keep it as an all purpose cleaner. It makes me happy when I smell it.

Well, I was still using the toxic stuff for the toilet bowl, mostly to use it up and because I didn't know if I trusted Dr. Bronner's to clean it properly. Today E and I went on a walk and found Mrs. Meyer's on sale at one of our local shops... in fact, if you bring in your current half bottle of dish soap, they'll give you a full bottle of this brand for free! They have a geranium scent that is just divine. Goodbye, empty nasty chemical cleaners... hello, Mrs. Meyer's clean goodness. :) I almost want to clean the bathroom just because I want to smell it. Almost.

In other news, this past weekend marked a month since I started working out regularly... and a couple of people have asked me if I've noticed any changes in my body. Well I can now run three miles with the feeling that I could go further if inspired. A month ago, I could barely do one mile without walking. My biking skills have improved as well - when I first started out, I was averaging about three miles... now I can do 12!

As far as other changes go, I sleep like a rock every night. It's amazing. I also feel like my stomach has flattened a little, but I can't say that for sure. It could be because my attitude toward my body has changed? My confidence level in my body has gone up from a month ago for sure. Plus I feel "cleaner" now that I'm getting regular exercise.

Hopefully this exercise routine becomes habit that lasts, right?

The geranium cleaner is calling my name... time to do some serious bathroom cleaning. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So the other day I was driving back to our house when I saw four turkeys walking on the street. No problem. Slowing down, two of the turkeys moved off of the road, while the other two came straight at my car. I came to a complete stop, the turkeys kept moving, and proceeded to peck at my car. ... moving around the car, pecking some more. I honked, thinking maybe that would scare them. No, they gobbled louder and more. Ruffled their feathers. Pecked more.

Now, I'm sitting there while two cars drive by, staring right at me. I debated going forward, but one turkey was right in front of me, and I didn't want to hit it.

Now, do you know something else bizarre? I was shaking. I couldn't look the turkey straight in the eye! Rather pathetic that I was scared of the turkeys, as we were in a large(r) vehicle, and had the capabilities of killing the things, but here I was shaking. E was laughing, and trying to see more of what was going on.

Sigh. Anyway, I decided to start going (slowly) and the turkeys moved. Now I'm worried about going running and biking on that road. Okay, if I'm afraid of turkeys in a car, what does that say when I'm on foot, right?

L laughs over my silly phobia. Guess we'll find out of the turkeys are still there today when I go to work out. :)

Speaking of working out, I finally did a run/bike combo on Sunday. I was running and biking without too much problem, so it's time to start doing both. I've discovered this:

1. It's a lot harder to do both. Granted, I went during the hottest part of the day without water (this was silly on my part). Still, it's more difficult mentally and physically (at least for me) to do both. Good thing I left myself plenty of time.

2. Part of the difficulty is my lack of music or something to do during the workout. I've been fighting the urge to buy an ipod or some other mp3 player. Time to give in, I think.

3. I have so much more respect for those who do marathons, more difficult triathlons, etc.

4. How much better I felt about myself after I did it. I was proud of myself that I had been dedicated enough to get this far.

5. I've got further to go. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008


Our weekend was full of sunshine, laziness, and bike rides (I rode over 20 miles in two days!). Our church had their anniversary service yesterday, and the message was very convicting. The pastor spoke about how we need to maintain a sense of wonder about our faith, much like a child approaches life. E loves to go outside and explore the smallest details - rocks, dirt, a pinecone. I'm praying that my sense of wonder will return - that I will believe and expect God to do big things, yet take so much joy in the smaller details, like my girl does.

The weekend was pretty much spent at the beach - with picnics and ice cream. Yes, our child loves ice cream (what kid doesn't though, right?). Admittedly, there are moments when I miss life downstate, but this weekend's beauty reminded me of how blessed we are to be surrounded by God's amazing creation.

Okay, back to reality and chores. My house needs a serious cleaning.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Handmade by L

Isn't this picture lovely? My sister-in-law, L, made this for E's first birthday. I love having handmade items in my house - it just feels so warm and happy. She even took into account that E has a purple butterfly theme. How sweet. We're pretty blessed to be surrounded by such talented people in our lives!!

Thanks, L, we love it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Well, we made some progress last night with dinner. L loves thai and chinese food, so I made a thai vegetarian dish (modified a bit: we added chicken). I knew it'd be a hit with the husband, but didn't really plan on the kiddo eating any of it. What do you know... she loved it! She ate the broccoli, potatoes, carrots, and yes, even the chicken... all with the green curry. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

So this is how we've been spending much of the kiddo's awake time. She knows the word "outside" and will cry until we go out there. I haven't minded that much - I'd much rather be playing in the sun, too. My goal: to start studying different birds and trees, so when the babe is older we can start identifying them.

So my kid can climb up stairs. I wonder how long she's been able to do this?

This was the perfect ending to my nine mile bike ride last night. It's grapefruit tea, and boy, is it yummy! In fact, maybe I'll go make some in a little bit.

Red Grapefruit Tea (Martha Stewart's site):

A red grapefruit, squeezed
1 - 2 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. allspice berries (I just used cloves)
1 Cinnamon stick
1/2 C. of water

Put all ingredients in pot and bring to a boil. Strain tea and enjoy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book of the Week

I love to read. I love going into a bookstore and browsing at all of the titles. Or curling up with a new book... or an old one that feels like home. My method is pretty much the same with each purchase: read it quickly first (b/c I can't wait or can't stop) and then go back to savor and dwell on it.

Now if anyone has known me for a long time they know that I am a HUGE Eldredge fan. I love all of his books, but my favorites "Waking from the Dead" and "Captivating" are books that I read a couple times a year. They're so good in fact, that I've convinced two small groups that I've been in to study them. Ah, good stuff.

Well, now you can imagine my excitement (as nerdy as it sounds) to realize that Eldredge had written a new book. The not so great thing about ordering books online (despite free shipping) is the fact that you HAVE to wait for it to come to your house. Of course, the time has passed and the book is now in my hands... ah... new book smell...

Anyway, back to this particular book. :) I'm not extremely far into it, but I can tell you what's been gleaned thus far. This book is exactly about the title - walking with God, and what it means to live in the Spirit (our small group has been talking about this, so it's very relevant to me). What I love so far is how often Eldredge goes before the Lord in prayer - about everything. Start with the smallest things, because as Eldredge points out, it's when we turn to God about the everyday details that we will learn to seek and hear His voice about the larger issues of life.

He goes onto say that we don't pursue joy, even though the "Joy of the Lord is our strength." (Neh. 8:10). Eldredge writes, " We don't like to think about joy much, because it hurts to allow ourselves to feel how much we long for joy, and how seldom it drops by." He writes how we are in the middle of spiritual warfare everyday, and of the verse John 10:10 "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come so that you may have life, and they would have it more abundantly."

It's a lovely book, and has given me much to think and pray about already. Definitely worth being Book of the Week. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yoga Pants and Going Vegan

Recently we went shopping and I spotted a pair of yoga pants on clearance. I was looking for a good pair of workout pants for running, biking, pilates, and yoga (go figure). We just figured my old sweats would do, but when these were on sale, I "branched" out and bought them.

Wow. It was a great purchase. These are the most comfortable pants I've ever worn in my whole life. I find myself wearing them just around the house and mourning when they're in the wash. I'm not sure if all yoga pants are this comfortable, or just this particular pair, but wow... what made me wait so long to buy them?

In fact, I'm wearing them right now. Ah, the comfort.

So I love my yoga pants, and what else do I love? Food. I really do like my food and so does my family, thankfully. Normally we agree on what do eat, but we've been in a bit of a tug of war as of late. L loves his meat. E does not. In fact, this kid doesn't like meat, milk, eggs, cheese (unless it's in grilled cheese). Yet she pretty much loves all things fruit, veggies and grains, which I am very glad about.

In an effort to experiment, I've tried making some meatless meals (for a variety of reasons, not just the kiddo factor), and L will eat it, but makes comments like "this would be better with chicken", and E will eat it. Then I make meals with meat and E won't eat it. I'm exaggerating a bit on L's part (he eats whatever I put in front of him), but certainly not on E's. She will not eat meat.

My main concern for her newly turned vegan ways is that she's not getting the calcium and protein she needs. Fortunately, she does eat cottage cheese and yogurt... and sometimes she'll eat turkey bacon and sausage (which I'm not sure I want her to eat). She loves smoothies, so we alternate between green smoothies and our traditional yogurt smoothie.

I'm guessing that much of her distaste is texture related, so we'll continue doing some experimentation until we find some that fit. At some point she has to come around to our carnivorous ways, right?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I love...

1. Seeing E enjoying and exploring life.
2. Going for family bike rides.
3. Sunshine. Need I say more?
4. Brown turning to green.
5. Having a new book to read.
6. Pico de gallo... yummy....
7. Milk in glass containers, when it's on super sale, since it's the only way I can buy it. :)
8. Warm baths right before bed. Ah, bliss.
9. My girl and I making the other laugh so hard we can't stop.

10. Sundresses.... especially on my daughter.
11. Watching God move in our small group, as we learn how to live a Spirit-filled life.
12. Good homemade salad dressings.
13. Homemade cards (thanks again, L, it's lovely).
14. Going for a run. Did I just write that?
15. Opening our windows to let the fresh air in.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh, One More

Just because you can't have too many leaves, brown or otherwise. :)


In my opinion, there's nothing better than reading in the sun. I'm glad to see the kiddo think so too! Our thermometer says 56 degrees... and I can hear birds chirping and the sound of the melting snow falling of our rooftop. Oh, spring, welcome back. We missed you!
Of course, not all the snow is gone, and E quickly found, touched, and played with it.
Oh, and this leaf. I love leaves. I was trying to get a better photo, but this kiddo is too quick to take any great shots, it appears. Or maybe I'm too slow. Whatever the case, I do like this shot because of the shades of brown... my favorite color. :)
Finding more snow. One thing about E is that she is one of the most curious little creatures I've ever seen. Recently we were at the library when a woman started chatting to me saying, "Your daughter is so inquisitive! Looks like you might have an engineer in your family." We both had a good chuckle when I mentioned what her daddy did for a living, so I guess it's in her blood. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Seriously. I just love it. As soon as I see the sunshine, I perk up, and think of many ways to get outside.... even for a little while. This morning, after the kiddo's nap, I strapped her into the bike trailer and we headed out for a short ride. She appears to tolerate the trailer well, though we probably won't be doing any extended rides for a while until she gets a little more used to it. Not to mention I was sore from running and doing yoga yesterday, so we took it a little easy. :)

We're doing well, other than teething bouts and boycotting snow. The kiddo is learning how to communicate, which is a relief and exciting to see. She's learned how to "fake" laugh, and it's hilarious to hear her do it. Over and over.

L's heading downstate for work tomorrow, so it'll be a long day for him. He's also thinking about doing a photography class this summer through the local community college. He gets four credits free since he's teaches at the college. He did take a photography class several years ago in college, but he's hoping this will "force" him to take it more seriously. He's pretty talented and enjoys it, so I hope he goes for it.

Anyway, this is it. Get outside! Today's too beautiful to sit reading this!