Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good Grief, Girl!

Right after our last Disney vacation, my husband and I decided that we would take some time to travel alone.  He would plan a trip to San Diego for a Comic Convention and I would get a weekend at Disney World.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  The problem is, I wanted to go for a weekend in February and our youngest would still be my little nursling.  She would have to go with me.  Our precocious preschooler began talking of nothing else more than she would talk about going back to Disney World.  Every day, she wakes up and asks to put on one of many Disney princess dresses she's collected.  With a purse on her arm and a crown on her head, she insists that she needs to go back to the parks.  How could I look at that little face and refuse?

How can I say no to this face?
Today I am a month away from a weekend trip to my favorite place on the planet, but I'll be travelling alone with two small children.  This is one of the first times since I've adopted crunchy living that I'm concerned I may not be able to keep it up while on vacation.  How will I wash cloth diapers with no one to keep an eye on the kids back in our room?  Is it possible to make my own baby food while away from home?  Who will help me run back and forth to the buffet at Chef Mickey's for extra Mickey waffles and syrup?  How will I handle a double stroller on Disney transportation, while carrying two kids?  Will I make it across Atlanta's massive airport during the super short, 45-minute layover?  Wait...those last few questions have nothing to do with being crunchy, but point out the fact that I haven't entirely thought this through.  Good grief!

Since I'm back to work full time, I've got less time to daydream about creative ways to plan a smooth trip.    At one point in your life, were you as crazy as I am and you have tips you care to share?  In 35 days, I'll be an expert on this subject, but right now I am lost and concerned and a little jealous that my husband gets the weekend at home alone.  Regardless of the outcome, I am certain this will be an awesome trip and I will proudly flaunt the fact that we had Mickey waffles and he didn't!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013: Resolve To Be Green

It’s resolution time! Did you resolve to be more eco-friendly in 2013? Some of us crunchy folks are kinda nuts and take things to extremes.  Maybe you aren’t ready for that just yet and desire to embark on a sane, thoughtful approach to using the earth’s resources more efficiently.  Maybe you are like me, and the decision was made based on the well being of a child or because you are cheap frugal.

Here are some tips to help you get things started…
Start recycling, especially if your municipality offers curbside pickup.  Each locale has their own guidelines as to what can be left curbside and how it should be left. 

Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones.  Heavy use appliances like washers, dryers, water heaters, furnaces, dish washers and heaters are great places to start.  You’ll also save money in the long run.

Plant trees on the west side of your house.  Not only will the landscaping be gorgeous, but it helps with heating and cooling costs.  How?  Well, in the summer, the foliage from the trees provides blockage from the sun, keeping your home cooler.  In the winter months, the absence of those same leaves lets the sun through, helping to warm your house.

Upcycle!  Upcycling is great, especially if you are crafty.  Instead of throwing out items, find ways to repurpose them.  If you still don’t know what I mean, google it, or if you are on Pinterest there are tons of upcycling boards you can get awesome ideas from. 

Start using rechargeable batteries.  We use rechargeable batteries for so many things in our house, we’ve lost track!  Video game controllers, toys, keyboards and mice, and other electronics all use rechargeables.  Not only has it saved us a lot of money, but those dead batteries don’t end up in a landfill somewhere.  The initial investment, if you are purchasing a larger set can be costly, but is worth it in return on investment.

Reduce the amount of water used.  Consider purchasing low flow shower heads, low flow toilets and faucets.  Again, initial investment here can be costly, but the return is really worth it.  We left one of our showerheads “regular” for hair washing purposes.  We have yet to find a low flow shower head that will give enough water for the amount of fluffy hair residing in our home.  Also consider reducing the amount of times you use your dishwasher per week.  While it is very convenient, dishwashers use a ton of water; much more than conventional washing would.

There are all sorts of ways you can save resources and money.  Let this be a resolution you actually keep, your wallet and the earth with thank you!