Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekly Capture X

Morning outing to the park

Quotes from my boy
"My life is furry, and it's in my bed." 
"My daddy is Daddy. He's the best one."

"It's the job that's never started takes longest to finish."             J. R. R. Tolkien

Band of Brothers with the husband (I married a winner - he watched Downton Abbey with me, and I watch this with him)

Finished the final book in the Harry Potter Series (looking for some new fiction - suggestions?)
Started Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation - am aiming to read several chapters a week

Listening To
A lil Bob Dylan alongside some Joshua Radin, Elvis Presley, Mumford + Sons, and Amy Winehouse

Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas
Lentil and Chick Pea Curry with Coconut Milk

15 Recycled Paper Roll Crafts for Earth Day :: No Time for Flashcards
Living Naturally: Your Simple + Frugal Cleaning Supply Closet :: Cheeky Bums Blog
Covering Our Nutritional Needs with Green Smoothies :: Passionate Homemaking
Mommy's Wellness To Do List :: Mama Bear Matters

Looking Forward To
Working this weekend - it's been awhile since I've been out to shoot.

8 Things I'm Thankful For

  • visits from the sister
  • saline drops and nose-cleaner-outers
  • flowers and green popping up everywhere
  • berries in season!
  • a diaper order set to arrive sometime next week
  • quiet moments
  • dancing with my little menfolk
  • the arrival of a much awaited little baby girl (we can't wait to meet her now!)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Capture IX


Late night. Short answers this week. Welcome to some craziness of my week. It's been a looooong one.

A Sweet Moment
I gave Dom his post-nap snack today. He responded by saying, "Why thanks. Now can you start dinner?"
Then maybe ten minutes later, we were making up silly songs. I sang to him something about getting cuter, and he told me, "No, I'm already really cute."

"I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives."                                                                                              Dr. Peter Kreeft

Masterpiece's Sherlock

The final book of Harry Potter... yes, I read fast. 

Listening To
The Cats Broadway Soundtrack + some classical goodness

Looking Forward To
A visit from my bestest of friends and eldest of sisters tomorrow (happens to be the same person)

8 Things I'm Thankful For
  • coffee with friends this morning
  • productivity!
  • whiskey sours
  • baby cooing
  • airplane earrings
  • siblings
  • new cloth diapers
  • thin mints

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Link Love - A Variety of Articles for You to Peruse

For lack of time, last week's wrap-up didn't include any links. However, I am shimmying my way through my Google Reader, and here are some fun articles that I found. Enjoy!

5 Ways to be a Happier Mom... Today :: Motherhood Your Way
30 Ways to be More Productive :: Productivity Your Way
30 Things to Say Yes To :: Motherhood Your Way

The Home
One Bite at a Time: Declutter Toys :: Simple Mom
I Hate Cleaning :: Life as Mom
30 Pantry Staples to Make from Scratch :: Food Your Way

Lessons Learned from Little House :: Simple Homeschool
10 Tips for Starting to Homeschool :: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Green Living
Green and Natural Body Products :: Kitchen Stewardship
You Can Do It - First Time Vegetable Gardening for the Black Thumbed :: Apartment Therapy
Reusable Snack Bag Tutorial :: Cotton Bottom Mama

I'm always on the lookout for fantastic mom/green living/home/learning blogs! What are some of your favorites?

Monday, April 9, 2012

A lovely Easter weekend.

What a great family weekend we had. Two of my younger brothers joined us for the celebrating (one was in town visiting, and the other lives here, but we were glad to share the time with both of them!). Thursday and Friday nights we had mass, and then Saturday we went on a Bunny Hunt, where we found, and pet, bunnies instead of a crazy trampling in pursuit of eggs. Dom finished the Hunt up with a complimentary cookie from the local farm that was hosting the event.

Once home, we dyed some eggs, attempting some new artsy attempts, including the use of hose, unused, of course, rubber bands, and flowers, leaves, and other shrubbery. Some turned out prettier than others, but I now have some ideas to better our eggs for next year. I also plan to not be lazy next year and do natural dyes instead of the weirdly fizzy tablets. They did their job this year though, and I think the most fun Dom had was the dropping of the pellets into the water/vinegar mixture. He dropped the red and green into the same glass producing intakes of breath from both his parents, but it turned out to be the most beautiful color of all - a lovely mauve-purple color.

Bacon. That's how Easter Sunday began. After a LONG Lent with no meat, we thought that the best way to start it off. It was delicious. We paired that deliciousness with sticky buns and chocolate. Healthy, right? Oh, and we drank milk to ease the sugar and fat overload into our bellies.

Baskets were thrifted and decorated with recycled ribbons in a green attempt. I couldn't muster up the umph to spend the money to get EcoEggs, though I do think they sound like a great product. Dom's basket was hidden with a plastic egg trail to it. The hiding of the basket is a tradition from my family, and I love having traditions so that was one to be added to our list. I attempted a somewhat healthy basket (see photo at top), including Annie's bunny snacks and some Wegmans fruit twists alongside the requested M & Ms. Also included was a Rhino from Anamalz, a favorite company in our house. I happened to hit a 60% off sale on EcoBabyBuys and managed to snag it pretty cheap. And, he got his big boy bible, so he has his own he can carry along to church each Sunday.

Mass was next - Dom was thrilled that we added back in the "Hallelujah" as that's his favorite part. We managed to grab a family picture, which is an almost never here since I am always on the other side of the camera. Maybe I'll get a peek of that hilarity uploaded later this week...

We snuck in a quick egg hunt in our yard for the boy before he went crazy and crashed from chocolate overload. Chinese food was lunner (dinch?) as we [obviously] needed more meat and due to the fact that we also refrained from eating out during Lent, it made sense to order out, with the plus side of no dishes. A game of Puerto Rico and some Firefly rounded off our thoroughly relaxing day.

All in all, a lovely family-filled weekend celebrating our Lord's Resurrection!

"O death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? 
O Church, come stand in the Light! 
The Glory of God has defeated the night!"                       
Matt Maher 'Christ is Risen'

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weekly Capture VIII

This week's wrap up is early as I plan to stay away from the computer during the Paschal Triduum, which begins with tonight's Holy Thursday Mass, and culminates in the celebration of the Feast Day of the Resurrection. 

A Sweet Moment
Dominic and I were discussing Easter and all it entails a few days back. I was explaining that when Jesus allowed himself to be crucified he took all our sins and "bad things we do" with Him. Dom looked at me for a minute, then nodded his head, saying, "Ohhh, my gooky stuff." 

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song."
                                                                                                     Pope John Paul II

Band of Brothers (2 episodes thus far) with Das Hubband.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)

Looking Forward To

So many beautiful as well as fun Easter traditions, both those continued and new ones.

8 Things I'm Thankful For
  • the brother visiting
  • happy laughter from the boys
  • waffles
  • David getting tomorrow off work, so we can spend the whole weekend as a family
  • chocolate, to be eaten in just a few days  =)
  • cute clothes found for the boys at a used kid's stuff sale
  • a productive week
  • dinosaurs... (I asked Dom what he was thankful for this week, and this was his response. I thought it too cute not to add it)

30 Things on Our Spring/Summer Bucket List

Flowers picked for me by my boy. He's the sweetest.

As I wrote last week's list of 25 Books to Read With Your Toddler, I rediscovered my strange love for lists. Anyone who has lived with me can attest to my list - writing mania. As I sit here and write at my desk, I can see 6 lists lying within a foot and a half of me. It helps me to think to write things out, and I find that I often get more done when I can check off my accomplishments.

So, after last week's book list, I thought I'd share another recently list. Here is our spring/summer bucket list! We're planning to stay mostly local, and as David will be in Masters' classes, many of these are things I plan to attempt by myself. Also, although these are many things specific to our area, it doesn't mean there isn't similar things to do in your area!

Our Spring + Summer Bucket List

  • Go berry picking
  • Explore local parks - especially Highland and Durand-Eastman Parks
  • Visit a splash park
  • Eat local made ice cream on the canal
  • Make jam with picked berries
  • Go to Buffalo Zoo
  • Go the beach more than once
  • Buy our produce at the Public Market and other farmer's markets
  • Go hiking at Letchworth
  • Go camping for a weekend
  • Make S'Mores
  • Have many picnics and invite friends along
  • Attend a county fair
  • Run through a sprinkler
  • Feed the ducks at the canal
  • Build sand castles
  • Play miniature golf
  • Go swimming in a pool
  • Finger paint outside
  • Concert in the Park
  • Movie in the Park
  • Annnnd Shakespeare in the Park
  • Drink Slurpees
  • Build a Campfire
  • Have a watermelon seed spitting contest
  • Take a day trip to Ithaca and go in the waterfalls
  • Make popsicles
  • Have a water fight (balloons, hose, you get the idea!)
  • Visit the Aquarium of Niagara
  • And play lots in our [tiny] yard, enjoying chalk, the wading pool, and the garden!

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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
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This post 30 Things on Our Spring/Summer Bucket List first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 5 April 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Product Love: Coconut Oil

Wow. Oh wow. We have [somewhat] recently begun what I think will be a lifelong relationship with coconut oil.  Let me start by saying, Dom has probably the worst skin I've ever seen on a child. He has the lovely combo of D's ridiculously dry skin paired with my overly sensitive skin. So, to protect against the dry skin, we are always having to slather him in some sort of lotion, run a humidifier in his room at all times, never let him stay in the bath more than 10 minutes, and so forth. Then, as we've found at the hard way, he's been allergic to several lotion brands, including Burt's Bees - which surprised me due to it being so natural. But, sure enough, within 24 hours of rubbing it into his skin, the boy broke out in a bumpy, itchy, red rash all over his little body.

Thus said, we've experimented right and left with all kinds and brands of lotions. As one of our green resolutions, we've made a point to start weeding out our chemical laden bath and body products, so that has definitely limited our choices. I'd heard on some random blog at some random point in my life that coconut oil was basically a magic elixir. I mean, this post pretty much said it could heal, help, or protect against anything. I was a little skeptical when I had first read that, but when looking for something that might work, I remembered that coconut oil was supposed to be healing for eczema.

So, I bought a tub. (I found ours at the ever amazing Wegmans, but if you aren't privileged to have a grocery store with a great natural foods section, Amazon also has it). And, we loved it. It's a little weird the first few times you rub down your child's entire body with oil, but Dom's skin improved so much. And, as an added perk, he also smelled lovely. I also ended up using it on my dry, rough, winter hands, which also took on a softer nature. I can't say I was as diligent with that, but the few times I did use it on my hands, it left my hands feeling wonderful.

With that being said, obviously for skin purposed, we found coconut oil to be a perfect addition to our rigorous skin regiment. You can rub it on in it's solid state, and as it melts at 76 degrees, it will absorb easily as you smooth it into your skin. We also found for Dom's full body coverage, we could pre-melt it by placing the whole jar (closed, of course!) into a bowl of hot water.

As it's a food product, there are many, many ways coconut oil can be used in relation to food, none of which I've tried yet, but I hope to one day!

I haven't tried it for the following, but I've heard that...

  • it makes an excellent diaper rash cream
  •  it works on cradle cap (probably will try this one tomorrow!)
  • it protects as a low SPF sunscreen
  • it removes eye make-up
  • it doubles as a face and hand moisturizer - makes sense...
  • and combined with other products, it can make an all natural deodorant!
I highly recommend trying it out! It's amazing how things God gave us in creation are so perfect at fixing and healing problems that we, as humans, have attempted to solve with chemical mixtures. We've loved the Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which I honestly picked because that was the only one the store had in stock when we went, but I've also heard great things about the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil brand.

Good luck with all your skin care! I hope you love coconut oil as much as we have learned to. 

Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Product Love: Coconut Oil first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 3 April 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Project Simplify - week 4 Wrap Up

This title is not true. I didn't get nearly as much done as I'd hoped on my self-assigned challenge, and so I have decided not to wrap up but rather to extend my week into 2. This challenge needs my attention as I own way too many clothes, and I barely wear about half of them. I did get through the top 3 drawers of my dresser, but I still have 4 to go, along with the dreaded pile and my closet.

Thankfully, my middlest brother is coming into town tomorrow, and hopefully, he will provide more than sufficient entertainment for Dom, so I can continue to make progress.
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