I Love You More – book review and giveaway

EDITED TO ADD: This giveaway has been concluded. 

NaBloPoMo – Day 14

I love you more

There’s nothing else in the world quite like the love between a mother and child. The book “I Love You More,” written by Laura Duksta and illustrated by Karen Keesler, depicts the tender relationship between a mother and her son, and if you flip the book around, between the son and his mother. That’s right – this unique book can be read from either direction, each way offering a different perspective of love.

The art is beautiful and the prose is rhythmic, creative and sweet. It is a wonderful book that will no doubt be enjoyed through countless readings.

Win it!

If you’d like to win your own copy of “I Love You More,” simply leave a comment below stating who you would give this book to if you won. A link back to this contest would be appreciated, but is not necessary to enter. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Nov. 20. A winner will be selected that day using Random.org and posted on the 20th as well.

Up to my ears

PushedI’m up to my ears in books that I want to read. The priority is going to “Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care” because I’m picking that one up from the library today and will only have three weeks until it is due back. It’s been on hold for me since Friday, but I haven’t been able to get over there to get it yet. Well, that’s not entirely true. The kids and I went to the library yesterday to return some books and hang out, but found it closed for Veteran’s Day. Shucks. Anyway, I can’t wait to get my hands on that book. You can be sure it will work it’s way into a future blog post.

The other two books I bought and have waiting for me are “Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear” – which came highly recommended by a friend, and “Mothers and Daughters: Loving and Letting Go” – recommended by a different friend. Both of which look like they will be helpful in my relationships with my children as well as with helping me deal with some issues from my own childhood. It’s amazing how much baggage we can carry with us from our own childhoods into parenting our children. There are so many things that I thought I’d swept under the rug and forgotten about that have resurfaced since I had kids of my own. Hopefully these books will facilitate the healing process.

It seems there are so many good books out there that I’d like to read, and never enough time to do it. I need to find a way to set aside regular time for reading or else find a way to download the information from the books directly into my brain. Wouldn’t that be something? 🙂

Christmas came a little early

NaBloPoMo – Day 13

Artificial Christmas treeTwo weekends ago I managed to score a pretty sweet find off of Freecycle – a six-feet pre-lit artificial Christmas tree! The tree is about five years old and in great shape.

I’d been wanting to buy a larger tree for us since we moved into this house. The tree Jody and I bought in our early days together was a narrow one because we were renting such a tiny house and that was all we had room for. After our move here with a bigger living room, I thought it’d be fun to have a bigger tree and the pre-lit part was just an added bonus because now I won’t have to worry about stringing lights. 🙂

Of course the day we got it we set it up to make sure all of the pieces were there and the lights worked, etc. Then we got the flu and didn’t feel up to disassembling it, so the tree remained up in our living room for a few days. Ava was actually disappointed when Jody took it down, but was satisfied with the knowledge that we’d be setting it back up again in a few weeks.

We figured we would just Freecycle our old tree, but then the woman who gave us her’s mentioned to Jody that she was looking for a skinnier tree to fit into her house. He told me about it, so I emailed her back to see if she would like to have ours and she picked it up this weekend. We couldn’t have planned that better if we’d tried! 🙂

If you have an old artificial tree or other decorations that you are no longer using, think about Freecycling them or donating them to a charitable organization. It will no doubt make someone else happy and is good for the environment too!

And if you choose to get a real tree this holiday, be sure to recycle it. “With over 33 million real Christmas trees sold in North America every year, Christmas tree recycling is an important way to give a renewable, recyclable resource back to the environment.” Check out Earth 911 for a Christmas tree drop-off site in your area.

Best Shot Monday – 11/12/07

NaBloPoMo – Day 12

I admit I didn’t take my camera out at all this week until Sunday. And even then, it was only because Best Shot Monday was creeping up on me and I had to have something to share. 😉

The kids were playing in the yard, and Julian, my baby toddler, captured my attention.

My best shot is Julian “getting away.”

Julian getting away - 11/11/07

And I’m sharing this second one just because I think he’s cute.

Cute boy 11/11/07

See more best shots over at Picture This (click the button):
little bsm button

Shopping, parties, leaves and more

NaBloPoMo – Day 11

It was a busy weekend around here (the first of many!), complete with a Lantern Walk and potluck dinner (celebrating Martinmas) at Ava’s preschool, a housewarming party at my friend‘s new (and gorgeous) house, more leaf raking and bagging (we’re finally done!), a haircut for Ava, Freecycling a table and chairs set, as well as birthday (Julian) and Christmas toy shopping.

wooden blocksThanks to a tip from my friend Melissa, I spent over an hour on Saturday looking through toys at Tuesday Morning of all places. They got a shipment of German wooden toys in and there were deals to be had! 🙂 (They weren’t HABA – how rockin’ would that be? – but they did seem like good quality, lead-free toys.) I’m starting to believe that this desire to find good, quality wooden toys is an addiction. I’m on the lookout for them where ever I go – thrift stores, consignment stores, and now – thanks to Melissa – closeout stores as well. LOL

I hope to write about my wonderful wooden finds in the next week or two and actually compose a Crunchy Domestic Goddess Holiday Gift Guide of sorts. 🙂 Won’t that be fun?! 🙂

Green tip of the week #1 – save your leaves

compost pile

NaBloPoMo – Day 10

Green tip of the week:

When raking up your leaves this fall, be sure to set aside a bag or two to keep and use as “brown” (dry) material for your compost bin/pile throughout the coming year. That way you’ll always have some on-hand when you need it.

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip along with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂


Lily’s Garden Herbals natural cleaners – review and giveaway

EDITED TO ADD: This giveaway has been concluded.

NaBloPoMo – Day 9

In my opinion, there are four things necessary to make a good cleaning product.

  1. It has to be non-toxic.
  2. It has to have a pleasant smell.
  3. It has to be affordable.
  4. It has to get the job done.

Lily’s Garden Herbals natural cleaning products accomplish all of these things.

After our recent run-in with the stomach flu, I needed to do some serious bathroom cleaning. I put Lily’s Garden Herbals All Purpose Clean (All Purpose Cleaner – 32 oz. – $6.50) to the test. The bathroom was sparkling in no time and I didn’t have to worry about keeping the kids at bay while I worked for fear of toxic smells overpowering the house. Made with essential oils and distilled water, the All Purpose Clean is effective and has a pleasant, even refreshing, smell.

I also tried out Lily’s Garden Herbals Glass Clean (Non-Toxic Glass Cleaner – 32 oz. – $5) on our sliding glass door. With two dogs and two little kids in and out of the house all day long, this door needs frequent cleaning. I have to admit it outperformed my simple homemade vinegar and water solution, and smelled better too. And, of course with it being non-toxic, I don’t have to worry if Julian decides to lick the glass. Not that he’s ever done that. 😉

Lily’s Garden Herbals also offers a natural dish cleaner, a toilet bowl cleaner and a wood cleaner, as well as a linen spritzer and antiseptic room deodorizer (which also came in handy after the stomach flu went through our house).

Lily’s Garden Herbals were formulated by Kim Falcone, a mother and herbalist with a deep appreciation for the natural world. All of Lily’s Garden Herbals natural household products are homemade, non-toxic, contain NO chemical ingredients or synthetic preservatives, are biodegradable and never tested on animals.

A percentage of profits from Lily’s Garden Herbals sales are donated to local and global charities in areas of environmental protection, human rights and education.

If you are skeptical about making the switch from commercial chemical cleaning products to natural ones, consider this:

  • There are over 80,000 chemicals in commercial use today. Less than one percent
    have ever been tested for safety, especially for neurotoxic effects.
  • Companies are not required to disclose their complete ingredients in household,
    personal care and cleaning products or to test for safety.
  • Over 200 human health conditions have now been linked to environmental toxins. These include not only cancer but disorders such as autism, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, immune/endocrine system disorders, asthma, and migraines.
  • Children are the most vulnerable to toxins due to their size, weight, and also risk of exposure during critical stages of development that could have life-long consequences.
  • More facts about toxic chemicals in everyday products can be found on this fact sheet provided on Lily’s Garden Herbals’ web site.

All Purpose CleanWin it!
If you would like to win a 32 oz. bottle of Lily’s Garden Herbals All Purpose Clean, please leave me a comment stating what kind of cleaning products you currently use and why you would like to try Lily’s Garden Herbals AND link to this review/giveaway on your blog. (Non-bloggers are eligible as well, but you must tell a friend about the giveaway). Deadline to enter is Nov. 19. The winner will be selected using Random.org and announced on Nov. 20.

Not gonna do it

NaBloPoMo – Day 8 

Julian is not gonna do it. Eat, that is.

The boy has refused pretty much all food since he had the pukies last week. Once he recovered from the pukies, he’s had to contend with getting two more top teeth, bringing his total toothy count to 8 once this last pesky incisor comes through. He’s decided the best way to deal with the pain of teething is to stop eating. I can’t blame him for not wanting anything to come in contact with his mouth other than a soft boob or his fingers. He’s been gnawing on his hands like crazy. But, I do hope that he will consider eating again … someday.

Since he’s pretty much off the solids, his poop has returned to that mustardy new baby poop. And while I’m happy that it’s no longer odorous, it sure is messy.

Being that this is my second time around, I am not freaking out about his lack of food intake as much as I’m sure I would’ve have been if it was Ava. In fact, I recall plenty of occasions where a food strike on Ava’s part would send me into a tizzy. Why is she not eating? Is she going to be OK? Will she ever eat again? But having been through all of that once before and knowing the day will come when he will eat again (when he’s ready), just as Ava did, I can throw my anxiety to the curb and just enjoy all of the cuddly, nursing time we’re getting in these days. Still, you may see me do a little happy dance when that day arrives. 😉

The I Make Milk shirt goes to…

Thank you to everyone for sharing your favorite breastfeeding memories in the World Series contest. I really enjoyed reading them all. 🙂

The winners have been chosen by Random.org. The winner of the I make milk. What’s your superpower? shirt is #76 – Stacy, who left a comment at 8:39 p.m. on Nov. 3. Congratulations!

The runners up, who will receive a Breastfeeding Welcome Here sticker, are #62 – Vicky who left a comment at 5:29 a.m. Nov. 2, and # 2 – Phyllis, who left a comment at 7:57 p.m. Oct. 30. Congrats!

I will be emailing the three of you soon. 🙂

Here’s a link if you’d like to get your own Superpower shirt. Add it to your holiday wish list. You know you wanna. 😉

Thanks again to Tanya for organizing the friendly bet and contest. 🙂