Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Potty Pail

Yesterday was a good mail day. I got a few packages one contained a fantastic quilt made by my mom for "baby boy", and the other was a gift from my SIL of the Potty Pail. M was so excited that it arrived, that he promptly stopped what he was doing to go set it up in the "men's room" (that is what the upstairs bathroom is now called). The box was nicely packaged, and the one sheet of instructions was easy to follow! The pail itself is a large bucket with a hole at the bottom for the water and other spray off to go directly into the toilet. The quality of the fasteners was unbeatable they were all brass fittings that worked perfectly with our toilet. Within minutes he had the sprayer attached and the potty pail in position on the toilet. The pressure of the spray from the nozzle was incredible! This is going to be great in our cloth diapering adventure! If you have never seen the Potty Pail check out their website for details. If you are ready to buy click the link on the side bar to go straight to the site! Once we use it I will let everyone know how it works, but until then the set up was a breeze.

An unlikely find

I was going through a few unlabeled boxes the other day, only to discover that it contained a few gold coins! It was my lucky day. The one gold coin that caught my attention was so shiny, and in great condition. I needed to research what the value of such a coin would be. I scoured the Internet for some info. It is hard to decipher all the numbers, and graphs that I found, but one site that really was helpful was all about gold coins and gold bullion coins. The information was easy to find, and easy to understand. I was really glad to get some much info on one site. Of course I took my coin to a local dealer and got top dollar for it, since I did know what it was worth! I guess it is good to do your homework, before you sell your coins.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shopping Smart online

It is easy to search for something online, but you have to find a place that will give you all the buying options for your product. I have finally made it to the last month and half until the baby is born, but I need some last minute clothing, especially some jeans. It is not easy to find a good looking pair of maternity jeans, but it can be done with a little effort. Fashionable maternity clothes is almost an oxymoron, but with a few tips you can have a fashionable wardrobe without breaking the bank.
Since I only have a month left though I don't want to invest in a ton of clothes. I need to think about the holidays when the baby is a few weeks old and we have some people to visit and places to go. I will want to have something festive to wear. The internet will save the day. I can search for some holiday clothing favorites like a great cashmere sweater. It can be dressed up with accessories, or be wore everyday with jeans, and the best part is that it will hide some of that baby fat! I can't wait to get shopping online!

Stocks have come a long way

Last night I watched a great documentary on the stock market boom and crash in 1929. It was fascinating that some of the same things were going on then as they were last year. Though, I will not begin to compare the crash that triggered the great depression with our mild recession. The lure of the stock market was just as inciting then as it is now. It is easier now with all the technology of online trading to dabble in the stock market. You just have to set up an account, and you are ready to go. As long as you have some funds you can do stock trading from you sofa!
In the show I watched they had great stock brokers, and they were even setting up shop on the great cruise lines of the day. Today we just can just use our internet access and our online broker to make those trades in record time. It seems that the technology has just made it faster and easier to jump into the stock market. Now that it is on the rise again, hopefully the investors will be confident to start trading and boosting the economy even further!

E-Waste and recycling

I was searching for places to recycle my old electronics. I don't know how we got these computer parts, but they are taking up space, and they need to be recycled. They are certainly out of date, and the technology so slow that you would fall asleep between load times on any project. I found that in Australia they have set up a great e-waste recycling program that keeps some of the hazardous materials found in obsolete electronics out of the land fills. I think it is a great program, and they accept a large variety of e-waste, from computers, to dvd players, and everything in between.
Waste management is important all over the world, but waste management in Australia, I think would be really important. They have limited space, and I am sure that the landfills are just as unsightly there as they are in the USA. I really like the thinking that if we can keep stuff out of the land fill we could have less of them. I hope to see E-waste recycling programs popping up from Australia to Zimbabwe. From residential to industrial there are things we all can do to reduce, reuse and recycle making this place we call home a better place for all.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our supply is growing

Now we have the diapers that we will need to start this crazy journey. We bought a few different kinds of cloth diapers. Once we try them all we can stock up on the ones that work the best for us.

From gdiapers we have six little gpants and some cloth inserts, and thanks to a friend a ton of the flushable inserts (those are going to come in handy for sure).

We have 3 diapers from GroBaby, super cute and I love the Velcro that they use. I could not resist those stripes.

We also got 6 from BumGenius (3 one size 3.0 with the velcro tabs and 3 one size organics with the snaps). I was really excited because I got the organics on and they had a section labeled clearance, so I clicked it of course, and they had the organics on there as seconds. Described as loose string, or label sewn on crooked. So I snatched up three of those for a discount! Can't beat that. On first inspection I really like the organic ones they are so soft on the inside.

I think we should be set for now, we also got some cloth wipes that will fit in our wipe warmer.
If anyone can think of something else that might be useful for cloth diapers please let me know. I am always open to advice!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cloth Diapers

I just got my shipment of Gro-Baby diapers. I still have a month or so until baby arrives, but I just could not resist the cute new colors that they are offering. I am also excited that I won't be spending thousands of dollars on diapers for the next few years. The fact that our family is not throwing a ton more diapers in to the land fill is also an added benefit.
Check out this video that I found about Gro-Baby diapers, who know maybe they will be a solution that will work to lighten your diapering budget too!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Walking can be lucrative

Over the weekend the weather was great. The temperatures have dropped and we are now able to comfortably walk with the dog around the neighborhood. On Saturday we walked down our street and saw a garage sale going on, and decided that we would stop on our way home. We continued in the crisp air down to the beach where we enjoyed watching the birds flying over the water. Then we headed back to the house. Once we got to the garage sale M took the dog, and I went to see if there was anything we wanted. The sale had great plants for the yard, including some trees, and other big plants. Though none of them stuck my fancy. I could not help over hear another shopper ask if the garage sale had any coins. The response was no, so I just blurted out that I had some old coins that we have collected over the years. The guy looked at me and said well, do you live near by? So we continued down the street a few more houses, and M ran in to get our coins. The guy had a great time sifting through the coins, he uses them in a crafty way, and makes necklaces out of them. For us, we were just glad to get them out of the limited closet space that we have, and well, we will get a few fancy dinners from that sale!
The funny thing is you just never know who you will run into, and we had a nice time talking to the guy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Savings is the name of the game

Now that I have my shopping lists under control, and in order, I have to find coupons to save some money on the things I need. Baby toys are on my radar today as I scour the internet for coupon codes to my favorite online retailers. I like to find toys that are going to last a long time, even if the wee one doesn't play with them for long periods of time. I can always put it away and bring it back later like it is a new toy. Legos are always a good bet. They are fun, and stay looking good for a long time. Unless you suck them up in the vacuum cleaner, which I don't suggest. It never hurts to look for codes, most times in your shopping cart you can find an area that you can type in a code. If it works great!, if not well no harm done.

Since I am on the topic of legos, if your tyke loves those fun building blocks, how about skipping Disney this year and heading to LEGOLAND! Just think how excited your little builder would be to see all those blocks in one place. There is a legoland in California, and I heard a rumor that there could be LegoLand talks of one coming to the Orlando area. What a great rumor!

So off I go to find some discount codes for legos, until we can find the time to go to Legoland. If anyone has gone to that building mecca I would love to hear about it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back to School

I have been contemplating going back to school. I am really interested in photography and I would like to get more education on the technical side of the photo. Photography has really been my hobby for such a long time. I love to shoot landscapes, but would like to break into the portrait world. I was searching the internet for trade schools who specialize in photography certificate programs. My friend sent me some great info on photo classes online, and I think I will check those out too.
I think photos make people happy, and what better reward from your work at the end of the day is a happy client. Technical schools seem to be abundant on the internet, and most of them have correspondence classes for photography. One of the most appealing ideas of online career colleges is that you can work at your own pace, and don't have to go to class. That would work out great for me, since I will be staying home with baby. I hope that I can find one that works for me. If any of you have taken online photography classes for certification, I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crafty Columbus Day

Our Columbus day was filled with yard work, swimming and a little crafting. M pulled more grapevines from the trees. We are trying to get them all out so that tree can get some much needed sunshine. The vines are taking over. So down they came. We did not just want to throw them out, so as he pulled them down, I wrapped them up.
The vines were a little unwieldy at times, but managed to get them going in a circle, and in not time I had a great fall wreath for the front of the house.
I don't have a proper hook for it yet, but I am sure I will find something suitable. Right now it is hanging on our little squirrel welcome sign.
It will be easy to spice it up for Halloween with a few mini pumpkins, then some red berries for Christmas. It is an easy craft for anyone that has some grapevines around.

Grapevine wreath:
Start with fresh grapevines (easy to bend, but won't break)
I took all the leaves off but left all the little curls.
Use a large vine make a circle just bigger than you want the wreath
Use the smaller parts of the vine to wrap around and hold the circle together
On you next pass with another vine try going in the opposite direction
Again, try to use the small shoot offs from the main vine to wrap and hold the circle together
You can get great results by weave the vine in and out of the circle (it will also make it more stable)
If it is not quite a circle when you are finished you can fix that by just applying pressure to the oblong side.
And that is it! You have a wreath.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Break Down Shopping

These days if I don't have my shopping list I can't make it through the store efficiently. Whether the list is long or short, if an item doesn't make it on the list, I will forget about it. I try to make my trips for errands as efficient as possible, making lists for each store I will visit and in which order I will go (so that I don't do a lot of backtracking while driving). This has worked out great for me. When the list is complete. However, there are those times when the shopping list is not complete, and I walk aimlessly through the store trying to remember if it was toothpaste or nutella that I wanted to get.

I really like the idea of a website that could simplify the list making for me and break down the items into the store columns so that I could just print out my list (on scrap paper of course) and be on my way.
This would really be helpful for the grocery shopping list staples. That is your regular shopping list, milk, eggs, butter, nutella, etc. That way it is always ready for you online. I assume that if you forgot your list at home, a dreadful occasion, you could log in via your iphone, and get your list online. Your trip to the store would not be wasted. Good old technology saves the day.

Keep up with the latest about these shopping lists on facebook, the networking that helps you stay organized.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Hungry Caterpillar

I was pruning one of my experimental plants, a Japanese plum tree today. I was just about to grab the leaf that needed to be removed when I noticed some prickly bits underneath. I turned the pot on its side to reveal one of the coolest caterpillars I have ever seen. He must have been very hungry, because most of the leaves had been eaten. I had just assumed that it was not doing well because it was a transplant.

That was not the case, this little guy made this plant his personal buffet. From what I can find on the Internet this is a stinging caterpillar, and it is called the saddleback caterpillar. The brown oval marking kind of looks like a saddle. It is very fun to find great bugs in the back yard.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wouldn't it be Nice

I would love to jump on a jet plane this January and travel to Argentina. I know a few folks that have done that for New Years eve, and might be going again. Flying down to South America over the new year would be a blast, then think of all the fun things you could do once you got there.
My parents went two years ago and stayed at a few hotels in Buenos Aires. They had their favorite breakfast spot and of course danced their way around the town.
A few of the things they did while on tours in Argentina were tango lessons, tai chi in the park, and visiting the cemeteries in the area.
But there is more to Argentina that just Buenos Aires. I think if I were going I would plan for a two week jaunt around the country from top to bottom. There are many different tours that last from a few days to a few weeks. They will set up all the hotels in Argentina for your trip so all you have to do is pack your suitcase. Remember the climate though, since they are south of the equator, the seasons are opposite!
It would be an adventure what ever season you decide to go in!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Leave the Keys

We just installed this great keyless lock on our front door. I was so tired of having to lock the door when somebody was already waiting in the car for me. I guess I am a little slow when we are getting ready to head out the door. It is probably the best purchase we have made in some time. We installed just the deadbolt for the keyless lock, and now when the dog and I head out for a walk I just leave the keys inside. No need to take them with me, because I can just use my finger to unlock the door.

I don't know what we did before we had our keyless lock, it has simplified the process of leaving the house, and I feel that it is as secure as can be. With a press of the finger the door locks just like a regular deadbolt, it is secure. Then when I come home, I don't have to fiddle with the keys, I just press the lock and come right in!

I think the temporary access is a great feature. You can set it up to let certain people in, like say the housekeeper, or a friend. Technology has come a long way, and I am going to embrace it! I love my keyless lock.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reusable gift bag

I had to give a few gifts out over the weekend, and I choose the green way. I picked a few of Threadbeaur's grocery totes, and stuffed them with two bottles of wine. The packages were topped off with a little ribbon to keep them closed during transport, and to add a little extra flair.
These happy packages are two gifts in one. The wine of course and the bag can be used over and over for all sorts of things. From grocery shopping to a trip to the market, or a visit to the beach. The reusable gift bag is a perfect green way to wrap up your presents this year.
Check out the varieties at Threadbeaur's Etsy shop. Here is what the finished project looked like. Pretty little packages all in a row, ready for a party, or where ever they may go.