28 February 2011

Here comes the sun

Hello loveys! Today was a nice day, despite the rain. I walked to school, felt wonderful. The class itself is going to be interesting, and everybody is just so sweet. The weather ended up clearing by sunset, and a nice 50 degree has been blowing by. It feels so fresh in my house ♥

A's been saying words left and right! It's amazing to see how fast she's growing.. I miss my little baby :( She's 15 months as of the 23rd, and we have not made an appointment for her vaccinations. It is what it is! I love her so.

Tonight we planted the little chia herb garden things. Cute! I'm curious as to how this will turn out, I've never grown anything chia related lol.

My sister and brother in law are coming to visit from their home in Tennessee, and will be our roommates for the next few days. R returned from a tour in Afghanistan in January, and my sister moved down there (on my birthday!) to get their home ready for his arrival. I miss my sister, she's my best friend. I can't wait to see them! Xo

Sunday = no fun day

What a yuck day! It's been snowing and raining, miserably cold. As you all know my countdown to spring has been in effect for a while, and only a little over three weeks to go until the welcomed new season arrives. Can't wait! Lots of gardening to be done this year. I got my late birthday present from my parents last night, and one of the gifts is an indoor herb garden! I'll be growing chives, dill, and marjoram. Starting it tomorrow (today) hah. ♥

Anyway, dealing with a sick kid = no fun. A is getting over Fifths Disease, a common childhood virus. She's been fine except for this morning, when all she wanted to do was cuddle and read books. She was herself again by the afternoon, but ohhh the whining!

Another bad mill fire in the city today at a chemical dye plant. Our water was brown for quite a while! Interesting how the building was actually supposed to be demolished this week, and just happened to catch on fire when there is no utilities going to the building. That's about the 4th one in ten years!

My mind is everywhere right now! Of course it would be on the one night I actually need to sleep. Did you forget what tomorrow is? My first day back to school. :) I am nervous, but so excited and happy. A will be staying home with C tomorrow so I'm grateful for the fact I won't be worrying about her at daycare on my first day. This weekend seemed to have brought me a strange turn of luck. Lets hope it keeps up!

I hope you all have a wonderful beginning to the work week! xo

27 February 2011

Fresh food, cute babies, and hippie people

Today my mom, A and I headed to the Pawtucket Winter Farmers Market at the Hope Artiste Village. We are so in love! The market is in an old (and beautiful) mill, and we arrived at 10am to find the place packed. There were barrels for recycling compost! Eggs cartons lined a wall, stacked neatly by the people returning them for reuse. Fresh food everywhere we turned! Artisan soaps everywhere, herbs, grass-feed beef, fresh-baked bread, fresh cheeses, delicious vegan ice cream, among many other things. The vendors were just great, everybody was so friendly and so natural. There were samples on every table, everyone ate it all up! Every vendor is either from Rhode Island or Southern Massachusetts. It was a wonderful atmosphere, we plan to go back every week for our produce. A loves to carry around a whole apple, and honestly this apple didn't start turning brown for 5 hours! What is that telling you? GMO and pesticide-free food (aka Organic) is the way to go. I love the fact that the people running the tables were the farmers themselves. I was speaking to the person harvesting my food, and supporting local agriculture. What's better than that?!

There was a wonderful violin shoppe inside the mill

Afterwards, A and I hung out at my parents for the day and C came for dinner. A played with some board games, and we watched a wolf in the backyard. It was so close, although it was unbelievable to see, I was kind of frightened, even behind the glass door! All in all it was such a lovely day, I hope it's a recurring thing ♥ I hope you loveys had just as great a day! Xo

26 February 2011

Quite Classy ♥

A always finds a way to stay entertained.. drawing on herself, or getting into my scarves ;)

23 February 2011

At last.

I've been in a rut. Negative happenings have been commonplace lately.. like the fact that all of my photos dating from Feb 2010 to now suddenly deleted themselves off of my laptop. UUGGGHHHH. I was doing spring cleaning of my photos, archiving them, deleting useless ones, etc. All of a sudden -without touching anything!- I watched the folder disappear in horror. Honestly... I didn't freak at first, because I wasn't believing it. But then it sunk in and I was in tears. :( One of the things I learned when I first started gaining knowledge on computers is that nothing is ever truly deleted. The file is just marked as free space, so it can be used by other programs, etc. To make a boring story short and tolerable, most of my photos were recovered, except January + February of this year. Sucks!! If you ever experience deleting something that shouldn't have been - STOP! Don't do anything on your computer except download and run the program Recuva (microsoft users). It's freeware, and it works great!

All my photos from this past sunday are gone :( C and I walked all of Downtown with A. I'm thankful she loves the sling because it was a two hour walk and she didn't so much as fidget! I have a few photos from the day that were processed before the big deletion. ♥

20 February 2011

The Secret Life of Garbage

I love documentaries. I prefer real life over fairytales. I've watched many on countless things, yet none have succeeded in shocking me as much as Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage. C and I watched the documentary on Msnbc last night, and it was like watching a car wreck for an hour - the Earth's car wreck - depressing but you just can't tear your eyes away. I was so disturbed! It's been on my mind since, I am even more determined to reduce my and my familys carbon footprint.

The show brings to light many things - landfills, plastic literally taking over the ocean, and mainly the crisis to figure things out before it gets too late. The Apex landfill in Nevada is the biggest landfilll in the U.S., taking in 9,200 TONS of waste every day. It all gets buried!!! It is estimated that the landfill will be useable for 30 more years... but what happens after that? Illegal dumping is a major problem in the U.S. and countries around the world.

What are a few ways we can reduce our impact?

Problem: Every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times.

Solution: Do some dishes! Some plastics may contain BPA ( bisphenol A), a known toxic that may cause hormonal issues and may affect brain development in children. I used to hate dishes, but now I find it as almost an escape to quiet time sometimes ;)

Problem: Every year, Americans use approximately 1 billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste.

Solution: Reusable bags! Reuseit is an amazing site featuring all reusable items. For homemade totes, visit one of my favorite sites, Etsy. You can use whatever you'd like basically, just keep those plastics out of the garbage can!

Problem: In 2004, the Rubber Manufacturers Association estimated that 275 million tires were in stockpiles. Tires in stockpiles can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a habitat for rodents. Because they retain heat, these piles easily ignite, creating toxin-emitting, hard-to-extinguish fires that can burn for months.

Solution: Find alternate ways to get around! By biking or walking, you're reducing the wear on your cars tires, letting them last longer. You're also getting exercise while reducing the amount of toxic car fumes that are pumped into the air. Win-Win-Win!

Problem: Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, an extra million tons of waste is generated each week.

Solution: Consider using glass serveware, wrap presents in recycled or unwanted paper, etc. Sure you might have a huge sinkful of dishes, but your garbage can will thank you. Wrapping presents in cast-aside paper is perfect because its just getting ripped to shreds anyway! Your kids may not be thrilled about their presents being wrapped in newspaper, but there is a lesson in all of this, and that may trigger their own eco-friendly ideas. *Don't forget to recycle that wrapping paper! ;)

Problems: 30,990 tons of food scraps were discarded in 2008, composing 18.6% of all materials going to landfills or incinerators.
Only 2.5% of all waste food was composted in 2008 – the rest went to landfill or incinerators.
American per capita food waste increased to more than 1,400 calories per person per day in 2009, an increase of approximately 50 percent since 1974.

Solutions: Composting!!!! I am a HUGE supporter of composting, I love it, and I believe everybody can do it nomatter where you live! Composting is basically taking organic wastes (vegetables, fruit, yard trimmings, etc.), adding wood chips or other matter to accelerate the breakdown of the organic materials, and then letting it cure. The main benefit to composting is its use in gardening and growing things. A what and what not to compost article can be found here. Don't be shy if you live in an apartment; companies are now making wonderful bamboo and ceramic countertop compost pails, such as these two hereand here. Also, eat less, and eat healthy. We have become such a foodie nation, time to get back to basics!

Problem: Because plastic water bottles are shielded from sunlight in landfills, they will not decompose for thousands of years.

Solution: Reuse and recycle. Very simple: if you use plastic, recycle it. If you want to reduce your use of plastic or cut your use of plastic bottles, look into a stainless steel thermos and a Brita water filter. Clean water in a non-toxic non-plastic bottle, perfect! Klean Kanteen water bottles are amazing, and they also offer a sippy cup option for munchkins ♥ highly recommended.

It's time to respect our Earth, because as it's pretty clear, it won't be around forever at this rate!

Watch Trash Inc. next on March 1st @ 8pm on Msnbc. or click here to stream online.

*All 'problems' from this site - CleanAir.

18 February 2011

A Tour Around My Town

Today was such a nice day! A little over 60 degrees and barely a breeze outside. C and I wanted to take A to the park but all the snow melting has made everything wet, not to mention she took a 2 hour nap! We decided to take a walk around our neighborhood instead, so here are a few interesting things about my hometown ♥

My town is not a town at all, it's a city! "A City on the Move" to be exact, so says our little slogan. We were a mecca during the industrial period, mills and three story tenements lining the narrow streets. Not much has changed, aside from cobblestone streets being paved over with smooth cement, and the ever-changing neon signs hanging in store fronts on Main Street. Mills are everywhere, most being renovated into amazing lofts. I like the "hole in the wall" vibe here, although it's more prominent downtown than anywhere else. This place is tiny, why it feels more like a town. Tucked into the northern part of the state bordering Massachusetts, we are home to thick New England accents, wieners, and Autumnfest. The population is what makes it a city, at around 46,000. Many people living here are French Canadian, and French is still a common language, along with Spanish and Portuguese.

The old police station on Front Street, now turned into condos. While you can't see the entire building, the wonderful detailing is original. I mainly took this photo to show the buds on the trees! A sure sign Spring is on its way.

One of the old mills sitting on the Blackstone River, looking out toward the Main Street Historic District and the Court Street Bridge. Many of the textile mills had runoff dye that would contaminate the River, poison the fish, etc. The Blackstone River has made a huge comeback in being able to sustain plants + fish thanks to the many clean-up projects the city hosts.

Munroe Dairy is a staple in Rhode Island, as they are one of the only (if not the only) company who still delivers your milk to your door! If you aren't home to receive your delivery, the will pack your milkbox with ice so it stays cold until you get home. The customer service is just incredible, and other products are available as well (eggs, grass-fed beef, etc.) The milk contains NO artificial growth hormones or antibiotics, and all products are local.
A little touch of old in an era of new ♥

Don't you just adore this home? It's behind my apartment, and I am in love with it! Wish I could take a sneak peek inside ;) My favorite is the paned windows in the attic.

The L'Eglise du Precieux Sang, aka Precious Blood Church. This beautiful structure was built in 1873 as the first French-Canadian church in the city. The belfry is copper that corroded into the green color it is today. Precious Blood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the early 80's. It is still used for mass and other functions, such as bingo! Fun fact* I made my first communion here :)

I'm hoping to do more posts like this in the future, not only of my city but all of Rhode Island, as it is truly a special place to live/visit. After living in Florida for a while, I no longer take this little state for granted. ♥

A budding photographer

Spring has sprung! Well, not for real, but for now! It was around 53 degrees today so A and I went outside in the "yard" (aka parking lot) for some sun and kickball. A was much too interested in stomping in puddles than playing with her ball, so naturally when we came back inside she was soaked and muddy.

Before we went outside, I caught A holding my old 35mm Canon. She's not allowed to play with important electronic items.. but I just sat on the floor and let her play. Taught her how to look through the viewfinder and all. She pretended to take pictures of me, making a little clicking sound. When I showed her the pictures I had taken on my digital, she exclaimed "babeh" haha. She was just so into trying to figure out how to get it to work. My heart swelled up just watching her, it was like one of those cheesy Lifetime movie moments. I hope when A is older she finds something that brings her as much happiness as photography brings me. I wish she could stay small forever... ♥

17 February 2011

There's my acceptance letter into the medical exploration program I recently interviewed for! :D I'm super happy, but nervous. It's been a while since I've been in such a structured learning enviroment - I'll be in class 9am-2pm mon-fri. I'm just not really looking forward to sending A to daycare. She's never had to go, as I've been home with her since the day she was born. Minus a few 4 hour shifts at the hospital, a few sleepovers and a few trips to Florida, we've really never been apart. A will be going to my aunts home daycare with two other toddlers, one being her big cousin K. I know things will be fine, but I'm sad to leave her.

Anyway! My loves and I spent a wonderful evening cooking dinner and enjoying having each other around. Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong and Ray Lamontagne provided the soundtrack to our night ♥ I'm happy to say that my daughter is quite the veggie lover! She ate lots of raw sweet potato, and steamed broccoli. At least when she does eat (she never wants to!) she's eating healthy. I'm hoping our "eating lifestyle change" won't be a struggle for her - I'm betting it won't be - but more about that in another post! What are your fave healthy foods?