Have you seen this commercial? I don't think a different phone is going to solve this problem, but it is still a cool commercial regardless.
Must have this.
From Etsy seller ModishVintage: Vintage 1960s white ceramic Christmas tree with multi colored lights. Removable plastic ornaments, molded base, central lighting cord with switch, light texture snow on tip of the branches. Really beautiful when lit up!
How cool is that?!?
Sometimes I build my dream house when I am bored. Or procrastinating.
In a dream world (otherwise known as a world where I have so much money that I could swim in it like Scrooge McDuck and therefore would be able to afford all of this), I would own this couch.
Own the entire New Orleans series by this fabulous Etsy artist
With a table like this
Now, just throw in a lamp found in an estate sale from an old couple that bought everything in 1956,
a few throws handmade from Esty artists,
a few cozy and super cool pillows from Olive ...
and you're just about set.
Now all I would need is a good book and a glass of wine.
That is one sweet living room.
From The Atlantic
In the current issue of the online Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association (of which I am a charter member), Carlos Monteiro, a professor at the University of São Paulo writes, "The big issue is ultra-processing." Because his commentary is so lengthy, I am taking the liberty of extracting pieces from it, not always in the order presented.
The most important factor now, when considering food, nutrition and public health, is not nutrients, and is not foods, so much as what is done to foodstuffs and the nutrients originally contained in them, before they are purchased and consumed. That is to say, the big issue is food processing—or, to be more precise, the nature, extent and purpose of processing, and what happens to food and to us as a result of processing.
Monteiro makes it clear that all foods and drinks are processed to some extent. Fresh apples are washed and, sometimes, waxed. Drinking water is filtered. Instead, he distinguishes three types of processing, depending on their nature, extent, and purpose:
• Type 1: Unprocessed or minimally processed foods that do not change the nutritional properties of the food.
• Type 2: Processed culinary or food industry ingredients such as oils, fats, sugar and sweeteners, flours, starches, and salt. These are depleted of nutrients and provide little beyond calories (except for salt, which has no calories).
• Type 3: Ultra-processed products that combine Type 2 ingredients (and, rarely, traces of Type 1).
The purpose of Type 3 ultra-processing is to create:
durable, accessible, convenient, attractive, ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat products. Such ultra-processed products are formulated to reduce microbial deterioration ('long shelf life'), to be transportable for long distances, to be extremely palatable ('high organoleptic quality') and often to be habit-forming. Typically they are designed to be consumed anywhere—in fast-food establishments, at home in place of domestically prepared and cooked food, and while watching television, at a desk or elsewhere at work, in the street, and while driving.
Monteiro argues: "the rapid rise in consumption of ultra-processed food and drink products, especially since the 1980s, is the main dietary cause of the concurrent rapid rise in obesity and related diseases throughout the world."
As evidence, he notes that ultra-processed products as a group are:
• Much more energy-dense than unprocessed and minimally processed foods and processed culinary ingredients taken together.
• [Contain] oils, solid fats, sugars, salt, flours, starches [that] make them excessive in total fat, saturated or trans-fats, sugar and sodium, and short of micronutrients and other bioactive compounds, and of dietary fiber.
• Relatively or even absolutely cheaper to manufacture, and sometimes—not always—relatively cheaper to buy.
• Often manufactured in increasingly supersized packages and portions at discounted prices with no loss to the manufacturer.
• Available in 'convenience' stores and other outlets often open late or even 24/7, and vended in machines placed in streets, gas stations, hospitals, schools and many other locations.
• The main business of transnational and big national catering chains, whose outlets are also often open until late at night, and whose products are designed to be consumed also in the street, while working or driving, or watching television.
• Promoted by lightly regulated or practically unregulated advertising that identifies fast and convenience food, soft drinks and other ultra-processed products as a necessary and integral part of the good life, and even, when the products are 'fortified' with micronutrients, as essential to the growth, health and well-being of children.
Overall, he says:
Their high energy density, hyper-palatability, their marketing in large and super-sizes, and aggressive and sophisticated advertising, all undermine the normal processes of appetite control, cause over-consumption, and therefore cause obesity, and diseases associated with obesity.
His groups the main points of his argument in three theses:
• Diets mainly made up from combinations of processed ingredients and unprocessed and minimally processed foods, are superior to diets including substantial amounts of ultra-processed products.
• Almost all types of ultra-processed product, including those advertised as 'light', 'premium', supplemented, 'fortified', or healthy in other ways, are intrinsically unhealthy.
• Significant improvement and maintenance of public health always requires the use of law. The swamping of food systems by ultra-processed products can be controlled and prevented only by statutory regulation.
Lest there be any confusion about the significance of this proposal for public health nutrition, an accompanying editorial (unsigned but assumed to be by Geoffrey Cannon) poses a serious challenge: "Nutrition science: time to start again
This editorial is about the significance of food processing, and in particular of 'ultra-processed' food and drink products. It is also about the nature, purpose, scope and value of nutrition science, which as conventionally taught and practiced, is now widely perceived to have run into the buffers or, to change metaphor, to have painted itself into a corner.
The editorial argues that nutritionists' focus on nutrients, rather than foods, has led to the assumption that if foods contain the same nutrients, they are the same—even though it is never possible to replicate the nutritional content of foods because too much about their chemical composition is still unknown:
This notion is an exquisite combination of stupidity and arrogance, or else of intelligence and cunning. For a start, similar results can only be of those chemical constituents that are at the time known, and actually measured.
These are important ideas, well worth consideration and debate. I am struck by their relevance to the latest survey of soft drink availability in American elementary schools. Despite the efforts of the Clinton Foundation and the voluntary actions of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, the availability of soft drinks to young school children increased from 49 percent to 61 percent just in the year from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Soft drinks, in Monteiro's terms, are ultra-processed. Doing something about them requires statutory regulation.
Consideration of the effects of ultra-processing might help us look at what we feed our kids in a more constructive way. This is important work.
I recently read a terrific blog post by a favorite Mom blogger. It was her rules to live by.
Here are mine, not necessarily in order.
1. Make the house a place where you can always be you: This is most important - The house is a safe zone. This is one that I learned from my parents. There is so much out there to make you feel lousy. Kids tease kids. You wear the wrong shirt, you say the wrong thing, you are grumpy or tired. The house should always be a place where you can tell silly jokes, dance wild, laugh, be mad or grumpy, sing a crazy song about your love for sharks, wear your pajamas all day long, eat crackers until you simply can't do it anymore. But no matter what, you can be yourself. You can grow and be happy and confident around your family.
2. Family dinner every night: It can be simple. You don't have to cook. Hell, you don't even have to order take out. You can have deli meat and crackers and trail mix for dinner. But sit down with each other until everyone is done. Talk. Share. Connect.
3. Tv for 30 minutes MAX: Unless you are watching a movie, that should be it. The average child watches tv for six hours a day now. Tv off.
4. Avoid commericialized toys and products as much as possible: Period. I don't want that in my house. There is so much commercialization out there - all Nickelodean, Disney, Noggin, and even PBS market to kids. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Plastic makes for cheap toys. Batteries make kids use less imagination. We don't need to buy plastic that will fill some landfill someday. I'm not saying I will only buy the fancy wooden toys for my kid, but do we need Spiderman bedsheets, toys, books, clothes, coloring books, and fruit snacks? Hell no. We can fashion a Spiderman out of play dough and Liam is as good as gold.
5. Don't lie: This is more for when Liam is older, but still. I don't care if it hurts or is wrong, I want to hear about it. Really. I mean it. But don't you dare look me in the eye and lie to me. I will swallow whatever it is that is going on in your world and we can communicate.
6. No cable: Period. It just takes longer to figure out that there is nothing on. Time suck.
7. Go outside at least once a day every single day: Simple. Go outside. Explore the World. Connect. Play.
8. Every adult needs times for themself at least once a day: This can be as simple as cooking a meal for the family by yourself or setting aside a half an hour everyday to read in the family room. It is so good for kids to learn to be by themselves and play by themselves. Too often we feel like we have to teach with our children or play with our children all day for them to feel our love. But we are not respecting ourselves as parents or as individuals (because we are individuals as well as parents) if we do that. We are not allowing our kids to be bored and they need to be bored so they create new games or figure it out on their own. Grab a (big) glass if wine and cut the veggies. Or grab a cup of tea and read a book for a little while. Slow down. You'll all appreciate the time.
9. Mind Your Own Business: Simply put. If it doesn't concern you, it doesn't matter. This is something that I learned from my Dad: Act like a safebox to secrets. If someone shares information, a hard time, or a secret with you, it is not yours to share. It is not your business to share. Think of their secret like it is a book they are showing you: they indulge, share with you, but when they leave, they leave with their book. They leave with their secret. There are certainly exceptions to this rule - a friend of mine recently applied to grad school. It was almost a sure bet that she would get in. She had told most of our mutual friends about it. When she got in, I felt safe sharing that information with our mutual friends because it was so well known. But a divorce? Pregnancy? Couples problems? A friend venting about another friend? Even a hard day with some difficult details. It is not mine to share.
10. Don't Judge: Simply put. This ties into the mind your own business rule.
Concerning parenting: Before I had kids, I judged ALLLLLLLLLLLLL the parents around me. It's easy to look at that kid in Target that is screaming and see that Mom that is completely ignoring him or her and judge. But look closer, that Mom is probably exhausted. Parents and people are always judging each other. Why are they wearing that? That kid looks filthy! It's late - put your kid to bed! Your kid is SO LOUD! Your kid has TERRIBLE MANNERS! The thing is, you don't know. You have no idea what is going on. That child might be having a bad day, that child may be sick, that parent may be sick, that parent may have four other kids at home who have been SCREAMING ALL DAY! Or worse, that family could be going through some hard times of their own and need your sympathy and not your dirty looks. We need to stop judging as parents, because whether you are a stay at home parent with six kids at home all running around or a working parent with a nanny all day, it is frickin hard. We need to stop judging and reconize that we are all in the same boat. And that boat can be beautiful, hard, loving, angry, sweet and cuddly, and screaming and crying. It's easy to say "If that kid was mine, I would do this..." or "MY kid NEVER did that!" or "MY kid ALWAYS did this!" Because your kid probably does do that or did do that, so back off.
Concerning life: Simply put, if it's not nice, don't say it at all. If you don't know the person, don't do it. Who cares what that person is wearing, how much weight they gained that year, who they married or what house they bought? Who cares what religion they follow, who they hang out with, who comes to their house, or what car they drive? If you DO know them, don't do it. Who cares?
Gossip and judgement are ugly. It makes you look ugly. It makes the people around you look ugly. It makes your friends feel ugly. Because if you are talking like that about people you don't know, what are you saying about the people you do know?
I am not perfect at all. I am not a perfect person or mother. I mess up - watch more tv, don't go outside, judge, and I am sure as hell that I will end up messing Liam and future children up in some way because I am not perfect, but I try. And I don't care if you have cable, buy commercialized toys, or never have family dinner together. Seriously. I love it that you might disagree with me. I love it if you agree with me. That's great because these differences make the world and the people in it stronger. The most important of all of these rules is to love your child, love your family, and love yourself. Follow your own family and what you think it right. Trust yourself and the choices you make. If you do these things, everything will be alright in the end.
Do you have rules for yourself? What are they?
Wanted :: Roommate
I am looking for someone to share my handsome two and a half bedroom house with. It is in a fantastic, walkable neighborhood with plenty of parks, restaurants, and coffeeshops nearby. The house has lots of windows, hardwood floors, a lot of character, and a back yard with a fire pit.
No rent needed, but a general need to satisfy my every want is. Such wants include doing my dishes, doing my laundry, watching my kid when I need to study for a test or working on a paper, deep cleaning my oven while I go out with my friends, folding my clothes and on that note, buying them in my style at a thrift store... I need sweaters and a pair of boots, but will always go for a vintage dress and a hot pair of heels. Other wants may be making sure that you get all the leaves raked and snow shoveled, unless I feel like doing it because I want to "do" it to take a picture with my son. In that case, I can do it for the first twenty minutes or so, then let you take over for the rest. Also, if you could refill my tea or wine glass when it's empty, that would be great too.
It is important that you are environmentally friendly, don't eat any dairy, and eat mostly organic. Because you'll be making most of our meals too. That is, of course, unless I feel like doing it. Then you'll only have to do the dishes.
There's no air conditioning, but I can open a window if you want. There's no closet. Also, there is only one bathroom and you'll have to deep clean it every time you use it, because I never will.
Let me know if your interested.
It's a great apartment! And it is available tonight if you're available.
Thinking about getting this for Liam for above his bed?
It's described as, "pyxis mobile design made from fourteen (14) hand-folded moravian paper stars. each star is fabricated from 4 strips of different colored paper, dipped in paraffin wax, and sprinkled with ultra fine glitter. stars are 16-pointed, 3-dimensional, 3" (7.6cm), and 1 1/2" (3.8cm) tall. Stars are suspended invisibly from metal wires. mobile is a 3 tiered design that spins and floats freely around without touching itself. measures 30" (76.2cm) long. mobile hangs from a loop that can be slipped on an existing hook in your ceiling. it is even light enough to be hung with a push pin."
Made by theStarCraft on Etsy.
I can get it in almost any color. And no glitter!
He's no baby, but I need something for that space.
Thoughts? Too old for him? Too weird?
It's super juicy.
I am a big big time organizer. You might not know if from looking at me, where my hair is hardly brushed and I have chalk on my shirt, but I am.
I thrive on lists. When all is crazy in the world, when I am having a bad day I list.
I list things to make me happy, a bucket list, a grocery list, clothes I want to eventually buy, art I want to collect, photos I want to take. I list just about everything.
Which leads me to this post. I also list cleaning things and I am going to share my nerdy, obsessive organizing with you. Instead of having one big, draining terrible cleaning day once a month (or couple of years, like my Dad - love you Dad!), I do a handful of things a week. It's easy and it gives me some structure to this toddler craziness I call life. Some things almost never happen (vacuuming the upstairs) and some things I am really good at (vacuuming the downstairs), but it reminds me to do the crazy things that I would otherwise forget about until a big dust clump fell on my head and I walked around with it all day (cleaning the ceiling fan, and it has happened).
So, I present to you, my cleaning list:
Prepare to be wowed.
I've gotten a lot of questions about the choice to switch to a big boy bed so early.
Q: "Why would you do that? I want to keep so and so in their bed until they're five!"
A: I feel that this switch is an important one for many reasons. This is a switch that is best done earlier one. Like weaning off the bottle, you want to do it before they become attached.
I believe in Montessori philosophy. For those of you that know me well, you know this is a Pandora's box that, once opened, is hard to close. I could seriously talk for hours on the beauty of Montessori education, but that is for another post, my friends.
In Montessori education, the most important thing to keep in mind when working with children is that you always teach the child a way so that they can become more independent and less dependent, more confident in their own actions, more trusting in their own world. In each step, you think to yourself, "Am I doing something in this action that my child could be doing for themselves? Am I taking a step (or learning process) away from them?" By giving them this freedom, you are giving them wings. You are granting them the power to learn and proceed as they wish in the world.
A very important thing in this philosophy is providing the best learning environment for them. This means providing small tables and chairs so that they can climb into them easily, storing toys and materials at their level so they can reach it as they wish, keeping stools around the house so they can stand higher and reach the sink to wash their hands by themselves. It's looking at the world around you and thinking about how they can access it. Adults often say that children can't do certain things. Or they underestimate them - if you leave the stool in the bathroom, they will make a mess. Or worse, they will do it wrong. This attitude effects children. Think about it, if you had to ask someone to get something for you every time you wanted it, wouldn't you feel defeated like you couldn't do it? If they make a mess, teach them to clean it up. Guide them to do it right. Give them wings.
(See what I mean, Pandora's box.)
In the child's bedroom, it is essential that you provide this environment for them. Here's where the bed on the floor comes in. You create a safe place for them, where the whole room is a secured and childproofed area. Consider it a big playpen. You put the bed on the floor and it allows him to get up and move freely as he wants to. He may wake up at three in the morning, he may play for a little bit, and he may fall asleep on the floor. I am okay with this. (It is spring here and okay to go without blankets) I know that if he wakes up, he will learn quickly that the bed is more comfortable and that he will find his way back to it. I know that he is in a safe place. I know that by giving him the freedom of his movements, he will gain trust in his own actions and he will possibly learn faster.
This environment also comes into play when designing the child's room. Many nurseries and child's room these days reflect the taste of the parents. Even if the parent is thinking of the child when purchasing Winnie the Pooh wall decals, it usually serves as a distraction to the young child's sleeping needs. It's important to keep the room simple, quiet, and peaceful. A chair for rocking, a mattress, a small shelf with a few board books, and a mobile is all the child really needs in the room. (And not even all of that.) When decorating the room, think about what the baby could be doing when they wake up. If the room is filled with toys, especially loud toys, they will wake up and be stimulated with loud music and have trouble getting back to sleep. If there are pictures on the wall, hang them low to the ground and secure them well so the small toddler can see them and get to know the pictures. Rotate the pictures occasionally so that they can learn more. If there are shelves, have them low. If there is a lamp, don't make it a floor lamp or you're asking for trouble. Think about the child. Think about their needs. By giving them the bed on the floor, you are allowing them the freedom to learn faster. The freedom to learn at their own pace.
And that is why I love Montessori. It gives kids wings. It gives them the freedom to learn and to grow.
I received a lot of faces when saying that I was going to make the switch so young. Most were respectful, wondering why. But I got some of the "Mom faces" where the forehead scrunches down, eyebrows up, and mouth in a scrunched up disapproval. This is usually followed by the question asked above. I don't want to get into my long answer above, so I just say that Liam is a climber (which is true) and that we don't want him falling (which is also true). It's hard to explain something that is different without sounding condescending, without making them feel small. I don't feel like I am right all the time. I don't feel like I have all the answers. I sure as hell know I don't in fact. And I sure as hell don't know what is best for their family or their child. There is so much crap and so much guilt that comes from being a parent. We are always disagreeing with each other, looking down at each others decisions. It is so hard being a parent, and there are so many pressures and things to worry about. Is little Sarah teething or does she have an ear infection again? Should we do antibiotics? Should we do herbal remedies? Does she need tubes? What about those pedophiles? Last time I check we didn't have any too close to our neighborhood, but I should really check again? And where are my damn keys? My personal problems are finding that balance between guiding Liam and intruding on his learning, letting him learn from his own actions and letting him go too far, and choosing my battles and staying consistent on them.
My point is, we all have our issues. We all have our guilt and our pressures. We all understand this. You are not wrong and I am not wrong. We are all doing our best and we will all make mistakes. And if we don't put our kids in therapy for the thing we are doing to them now, we will put them in therapy for the things we do later. My point is, that we all love our children and that is the most important thing.
So the next time I receive the Mom face or get advice that I did not ask for and do not welcome, I will smile and nod. I will know that that person is doing their best and means well. And I will know that we will all be fine, toddler bed, crib, or mattress on the floor.
We also have a huge walk in closet for him that I will turn into a fort/reading room for him. There will be a small bookshelf, bean bag or floor cushions, and small lamp on one side, and a double hanging closet rod on the other side so he can reach all of his clothes, choose them, and dress himself. Crazy to think, right? I'm excited to have this walk in closet so we can have forts or pirate ships or hide and seek spots for years to come. It will also be nice to prevent any possible monster in the closet fears (I know I had them for a while!).
We also have three vintage travel posters, but two of the frames broke in the move so we have to buy new ones.
I also have a 50's Chutes and Ladders Game Board that I am looking for a frame for. It will go over the toilet, I think.
This room is one that needs a lot of work, in my opinion. The desk is the one that I use for business/bills and I think it needs something above it... but I don't know. Any suggestions? Also, the pictures above the desk and bookshelf all need to filled or replaced. The chair is from Liam's room, but will go there when we are done with it in his room. And that tree next to it, ah that poor tree. Don't worry. It's a jasmine tree and every fall it loses its leaves. She'll bounce back with a little love. :)
And our walk in closet! This was huge for us, but it is nice to see all of our clothes and not have everything crammed into a teeny space. Our first apartment had one closet in the whole thing. I'm serious, the whole thing. Frankly, that's what we're used to, so it's weird adjusting to all this space. But I just I'll just have to get more shoes for this closet. ;)
We have lived here since the end of September, but I am just hanging the last frames and making it home now. When I was younger, I always thought that a house would be a checklist. Living room - furniture, frames, check. Bathroom - towels, rugs, paint, check. Etc. I never knew that each room would be a work in progress over the course of your life. I love it more this way. Your house becomes a testament to who you are, your path, your accomplishments in life (whether it is a Christmas bonus or great flea market find). It is a living thing, growing through the years. For us, this place is colorful, happy, and comfortable. It is not a Pottery Barn catalog. It is messy, but messy with order. There are modern, retro, and second hand elements. It reflects the things that are most important to us - family, friends, art, music, film. It is home.
This place is many things now. We are many things now. We will become more, and I so gratefully look forward to the years to come and the years of growth. Look out for crayon drawings on the wall, legos, stockings and Christmas trees, trains, dolls, and easels. It is our family. It is our home.