Archive for June, 2010

Deck the Walls

I’ve started to run out of wall space due to my mix and match prints and photos that I’ve accumulated over the years. However, I’m going to have to condense or temporarily retire some of them to make room for these unique and fun alternatives.

You and your friends can certainly eat, drink & be merry in your kitchen or dining room with these fun wall messages from Viva Terra. They are colorful enough to go anywhere and match anything. Creating your own personalized statement can be fun with individual letters that can be used in any room of the house.  These fun metal ones from potterybarn and fabric florals from Anthropologie tw2are both currently on sale but my favorite letters come from The Copper Ewe Company where they infuse nature with inspiring words (or any phrase you want).  If you are looking for practicality, these rustic letters from C.S.Post & Co. have hooks for hanging a variety of objects.

If you like to avoid hammering into your walls or  changing it up frequently, Butch and Harold have created these perfect wall decals where you can choose from classic art, whimsy patterns or frames that make your photos look fabulous. All you do is black_framespeel…stick…love…repeat. Roommates Peel and Stick Read the rest of this entry

7/4/83

Today was the neighborhood parade and our picnic. I don’t think I like Bob anymore, he’s just not my type. I don’t like anybody! I can’t believe it. Noelle is going out with Chris O’Daniel (good taste). Ann and Carrie hung out all night together and got mad at Harriet and me. Who cares?

Got An Hour To Spare?

16 years ago when I moved to St. Louis, the Residence Life Office where I worked also housed the Volunteer Programs Office for the University. Wanting to make a good first impression and because I wanted to meet some imagesnew folks, I went in to see where some local needs might be. Since I didn’t have a predictable schedule and didn’t want to over commit, I requested something that was less than 5 hours/month. Their first suggestion was to be a reader/helper for an elderly woman who was visually impaired and I agreed to give it a shot.  Mrs. Kelley and I met a week later and we’ve been together ever since. We read her mail, pay bills, do taxes, run occasional errands or enjoy a quick meal out.

 There are a million places and ways to volunteer but many times people don’t know where to start. Volunteer Match is one of the best comprehensive sites that can connect you locally and in an area of your interest. Enter your ZIP code, city or state and keywords describing the opportunity you’re looking for or you can enter the skills you have or would like to develop.  Idealist.org and Kids Care are good places if you have kids or teens that want to volunteer.

I’ll admit that there are days that I groan when Mrs. Kelley calls as I’ve got a thousand other competing priorites but I’ll always find a way to fit her into my day/week. Who can say no to a woman who gave me a beautiful black shawl for Christmas (she loves to listen to QVC) so I’d have something to wear if my husband ever wanted to take me dancing?

My Summer HOT List

Everytime I turn around there is another list of (suggested) amazing items to make my summer most fabulous. Honestly a day that’s under 90 degrees and an iced coffee can go a long way with me but these fun finds are worth checking out.

The Ravi Wine Chiller tops my list as it instantly chills your wine from room temperature to its ideal serving temperature. Wine is cooled within seconds, just as it’s being served. Perfect when those unexpected guests drop by to enjoy the evening. However, if the weather turns rainy, pop up this very cool Color Changing Umbrella. These umbrellas come printed with special ink that reacts when it rains, white when dry, then comes to life when in contact with water.

For outdoor entertianing, serve snacks or fresh salads in these beautiful 3778859(unbreakable) Flowered Enamel Serving Bowls. For a perfect marinade or vinaigrette to top your salad, whip it up in this brilliant Shaker that has 5 easy pre printed recipes on the side. This odor resistant acrylic martini shaker was designed to do double duty. It can hold 16 ounces of your favorite drink after you mix up your favorite 300marinade. I also would love to showsae my fresh cut blooms in this stunning Magnetic Vase from Lichen Studio.  

If you are going to be outside Read the rest of this entry

There’s Something in the Water

Well, there must be considering the amount of bottled water that we consume every day. Now hear me out, I’m a former bottled water addict and it’s taken a long time for me to change. One helpful shift occurred when a friend sent me this video from the great people who created The Story of Stuff. Give it a look when you have a chance or feel free to jump into other suggestions that I have below that can help ease you out of your addiction as well.

If you’d like to drink more tap water but are concerned about the quality of your water, visit the EPA’s Safewater site to see if your community’s Consumer Confidence Report is available. If you are somewhere that you are unsure of the water quality, try these new Bobbles.  Just one Bobble bottle 86636(with filter) is equivalent to 300 water bottles-that’s 300 plastic bottles that won’t go to a landfill! BPA-free, reusable and recyclable, the revolutionary Bobble offers a refreshingly clean taste with every sip, bottle after bottle. Filter lasts about 2 months.

The other great choice is the Vapur, the foldable, reusable water bottle designed to go anywhere. Unlike rigid bottles, Vapur greencan be rolled, folded or flattened when empty – easily fitting into pockets, purses, packs or briefcases. Read the rest of this entry

6/30/83

IN was fun but Carrie and I fought a lot. Tonight we  have another swim meet  against Springfield, I hope we win. I’ve met some nice people from there. One guys name was John Simms …really cute. I had Kim over to spend the night and we saw Return of the Jedi. Everbody seems to be getting really mad at each other. I’ll admit I’ve been a bit two faced lately but then so has everyone else. From now on, I’m not going to tell anything to anybody!I got to pick out new frames for my glasses today and I’m thinking about getting my hair layered before school starts.  Bob and Billy get back scan0005tomorrow from camp. I wish Bob would ask me to go with him and then we could break up right before school started. I’m going to try and ask mom to let me have a swimming party at the lake but I doubt she’ll let me!

Gotta get your SWAG!

I mentioned swagbucks in a previous post but I thought they were worth a quick, second mention as today I cashed in my bucks for some swag. With just over 2200 swagbucks, works-2I got a $25 restaurant.com gift card, $10 Starbucks gift card and $5 amazon gift card, all for simply surfing the web!

Swagbucks is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called swagbucks which can be redeemed for exclusive swagbucks merchandise. I type in whatever I’m looking for online (just as you would in google), and with just one click, I can earn swagbucks. Now, it’s not every time but I’d estimate about 80% of the time, I’m online, I’m awarded. Then I can redeem them for giftcards like I mentioned above, magazines, “eco-swag”, etc. Read the rest of this entry

Ant Bully

I try to have an informal agreement with all insects … I will not harm you in your outside environment, but if you come into my abode, all bets are off.  However, the best thing for me is to try and prevent them from getting inside so we don’t have a problem in the first place. In the last few weeks, I’ve had multiple friends complain to me about ants. None of us want to get into heavy, toxic sprays so I tested a few organic remedies. formichina_architetto_fr_01

Natrual Remedies For ? is a great site for all things curative in the most natural sense and provides an arsenal of information about ants. After testing a few of their suggestions, I found the most effective (and easiest) to be: Cinnamon – To keep ants out of the house and/or garden, try sprinkling a bit of ground cinnamon about the base of the house & Plant Leaves – Scatter the leaves of penny royal, tansy, mint and/or bay leaves on the surfaces that ants frequent.  

About.com:Frugal Living consistently provides me with money saving solutions, and they also have a great section on ants. From their suggestions, I tried and had some success with the following: Vinegar – Wipe down your counter tops, cupboards and any other places where you’ve spotted ants with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Repeat throughout the day to maintain the efficacy; Coffee Grounds – Sprinkle your used coffee grounds in the garden and around the outside of your house;  Cucumber/Citrus Peels – Leave the peelings in areas of known ant activity.

Let me know if you’ve had success with other natural remedies for the sake of ants everywhere!

The Butterfly Effect

There are many complex definitions of the butterfly effect, but essentially it means that one small difference in one part of the world can create huge changes in another location. This has been debated and proven across images give a littlevarious platforms, but for my intent today, it has to do with giving. Wendy Smith wrote an incredible book called Give A Little: How Your small donations Can Transform our World. If you’d like to add it to your summer reading, great; but if not, here are the highlights – from me to you.

“*It takes all of us to fix the world. That means you and me-doing good, lifting lives, remaking the world.

*Organizations use small contributions from everyday donors to address four critical issues related to poverty: (1)hunger, (2) health, (3) education and (4) access to tools, technology, and infrastructure.

*This is not in lieu of where you may already make donations to your favorite causes and charities, but to add to your current giving with a few modest donations this year. ”

Give a Little provides a host of organizations, certified and accredited, where you can start. I’m going to start with a $10 donation to Heifer n136299005939_106International for a share of a sheep and if 11 others do the same, we’ve bought a sheep for a family. If you aren’t familiar with Heifer International, Read the rest of this entry

6/13/83

Well Amy isn’t spending the night because of the fight but I don’t care. This summer I’m not spending the night with Mickey, Kim, Connie, Stacey and maybe Amy. Carrie just asked if I wanted to go to Indiana for a week. I might because Bob will be at camp.

Me again. Tonight was swim meet and we dogged them. Rooney spent the night with me. Tonight at the meet Bob and I had a real conversation. I was just a freaking. Jimmy Rhodes was there and saw me giving a mean look to David and started laughing. He’s so adorable but I like Bob. Bob has to get braces but that’s great because I do too in August. I really want to go to IN but I don’t want to miss a swim meet. We’re going to Lexington tomorrow. I hope Bob doesn’t go to the Club, I’m really getting hooked on him.