Not the site... me! Long periods of hiatus, unfulfilled promises of topics, I'm not sure why you're still here. But I'm glad :)
Gosh, so what was the last thing I promised? Natural cleaning? I should probably also post about our Thanksgiving trip across the country and "Crafty Christmas 2010" (as I'm calling it). There's just so much going on this time of year. Let me not fail to mention my recent wedding anniversary and upcoming first birthday for my niece, Caraline.
Could you forgive me if I go ahead and just smush them all into one post, right here, right now? Oh, thank you! Lucky me, it's the season for forgiveness :) I'll take it from the top...
My Natural Cleaning Experiment
I got to thinking about cleaning recently after this post by my sister-in-law as well as the post she mentions by MckMama. I've never been someone who is all that concerned about the impact of dish detergent on the environment or whatever. My priority has always been - get the salmonella off my counter, thanks. But, whattayaknow, having a baby changes some things. I started to view everything as something my baby would eat, because essentially it is. She tries to put everything into her mouth. When she crawls, her hands will be all over the floor and then right in her mouth. When she's big enough for the bath tub, I've no doubt she will be drinking some of that water, not to mention it will be all over her skin and in her eyes, etc. So whereas before I thought the bath tub was one place I'd always use the harshest cleaners, I now see it as a giant drinking glass for my daughter and I don't want her drinking Scrubbing Bubbles (though I love them DEARLY). Long story short, I decided to experiment with vinegar and water. Nice and simple, vinegar is in lots of foods so it's perfectly safe to eat. I bought a cheap cleaner spray bottle from the cleaning aisle in Target and mixed 50/50 plain white vinegar and water. I tried it out first on my stove top, knowing it was a little hurting. Worked like a charm! I got excited and used it to clean my bathroom. I always do the "squeak" test on my bathroom tiles, as in they need to squeak when I run my fingers over them. The vinegar/water left them streak-free and squeaky! The real test? Bathroom mirror. If it can remove soap scum it can handle little specks of toothpaste and such on the bathroom mirror, but the part that impressed me was that it was streak-free. Looked like I had used Windex! Now, I had the same concern as everyone else... vinegar smells. Yes, it did sting the nostrils and the smell did not dissipate as quickly as I had read it would. However, I consider it a small price for a cleaner that disinfects and is safe for my baby to eat. The next thing I'm trying is vinegar + baking soda in the drain. I have a lot (a LOT) of hair which requires a lot of shampoo & conditioner so our drain requires regular de-clogging. I've read that a little vinegar + baking soda each time you clean the bathroom will keep it running perfectly. If you're going to use vinegar/water to clean your bathroom, my only caveat would be to clean it at least bi-weekly and it will be an easy job. Waiting too long will certainly (as with any cleaning product) mean more elbow-grease on your part.
For Thanksgiving this year we traveled to spend time with my husband's relatives. It was his grandfather's 75th birthday so a bunch of the family was traveling in to surprise him and celebrate with him. We spent Tuesday-Saturday there and had a ton of fun. It was great to see lots of family and introduce our baby girl to them all. I had never been to those parts and so it was a good time getting to tour around and see some of the places where my husband had spent his childhood. I took a billion pictures, but here are just a few...
Baby Girl and Grandpa :) They both really enjoyed bonding on this trip.
Driving around looking for a good Christmas card photo spot!
Looking east across the valley
Looked like a postcard
...and there's the Christmas card :)
Crafty Christmas 2010
This year for Christmas I got the wild idea to make, as in "hand craft" Christmas gifts. Some stuff I'm purchasing, but lots of stuff I'm making or personalizing what was bought. Why would I want to take an already hectic time of year and burden myself with seemingly never-ending tasks with a looming deadline? Well for fun, of course! So far, it's been a blast. I've learned several new crafts which I plan to continue after Christmas because they're so fun. Plus it was a totally different "shopping" experience to look for craft ideas and come up with things to make for people, and I think the gifts are just a little more meaningful which is something I'm always after at Christmas time. Not to mention, I've been totally amazed at how inexpensive some of these crafts are for pretty impressive (if I may say so, myself) finished products. I won't tell you all about my crafts just yet because some of the gift recipients are also readers and I'd hate to give the surprises away -- or worse, have them hoping NOT to receive some of these things only to unwrap them on Christmas morning! Ha! Anyway, it's a little late to decide now, but wander around a craft store and you might find some crafts you're excited about. If you have a Hobby Lobby near you you're especially lucky :)
On December 15th my hubby and I were married for 3 years. He's cute. You can see him in the left sidebar. Pretty sure I'm gonna keep him.
My niece Caraline is turning 1 on Sunday (12/19)! I can't believe it's already her birthday. She is just a super-adorable, hilarious, chubby-wubby, smiley little blonde bebe. I think she's the perfect punctuation to my sister's MSC ;) (not that any of us would be sad if she happens to be a comma or ellipse)! We're having a huge family photo shoot before her birthday party with our favorite photographer, Jamie Roberts of Roberts Photographers. Check back for the pictures and links to Jamie's set. He's incredible and will be photographing our baby girl's first birthday party, too! ... one day in the very very very distant future...
Ok, I'm calling it good for now! I have a post topic on Christmas that I want to get up before the 25th, though the sooner the better in terms of what it's about. It's something that gets me every Christmas season. So for both of you who are still checking this blog, please continue to do so :) and maybe tell a friend!