It Would Tickle Me Pink if You'd Go Green With Me Today!

I love Holly over at 504 Main so much that with her permission, I'm integrating some of my favorite Go Green tips into today's Ticked Pink post. You can also visit Deb over at Menopausal New Mom for her Green post today, and Juney over at 3! A Charm is joining us with her eco-friendly ideas as well. We'd love it if you shared your favorite green ideas and linked up with us! Just grab our cute little button and post.

Now, onto the green tips that Tickle Me Pink:

1.) It would tickle me pink if you select "No" when the ATM machine asks if you want a receipt. Stop being so lazy Record your transaction right then and there or just use your online banking to play catch up later.

2.) Likewise when you're at the gas pump, opt out of a receipt. We can save so many trees this way! See? You can be green even in little, easy ways like this.

3.) Air dry as many of your clothes as possible. This will help your clothes last longer, reduce your energy bills, and help keep your home cooler in summer, too! I don't remember where I got mine from, but it tickles me pink:

4.) Keep your blinds and curtains drawn during the daylight hours in summer to help keep your home cooler.

5.) If you're going to eat beef, eat grass-fed beef. Better yet, be like me & Shelly Kramer and buy your own cow. Also consider doing Meatless Mondays. Even The Father Load is slowly becoming more comfortable with the occasional meatless meal and that tickles me pink!

6.) It tickles me pink to buy local and organic whenever possible. Check out your farmer's market. I got some beautiful heirloom tomatoes from ours last weekend which we paired with fresh mozzarella and our own homegrown basil. Delish! I have enough to make some homemade pesto, too.

7.) Get off catalog & junk mail lists using http://www.catalogchoice.org/.

8.) For special occasions, give family and friends the gift that keeps on giving---donate to their favorite environmental group, charity, or other organization. Do away with all the gift wrap, tissue paper, and ribbons. If you can't, then at least recycle/reuse what you can.

9.) I am going to start doing this myself: I just read that you should stop rinsing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. You will save time and 15 gallons of water per load! (but let's see if my dishes still come out as clean!) Skip the heated dry cycle. Select the speed cycle if possible, too.

10.) Don't take baths, take showers. And shorten your showers--turn off the water while you lather up.

11.) Bank and pay your bills on-line. It tickles me pink to save stamps!

12.) BYOB & BYOM. Bring Your Own Bag & Bring Your Own Mug. Seriously, the bags should be habit by now. And as Tracie from Stir-Fry Awesomeness recently pointed out, I hope you are washing those reusables! They get grimy just like anything else. I air-dry mine and I wash my produce bags in a lingerie bag to protect them. While I am guilty of using my reusables for all of my shopping needs, it would be smarter to designate some for just grocery shopping due to germs and the potential for contamination. Bring your own mug to Starbucks or the coffee joint of your choice.

13.) I loathe Styrofoam peanuts. I save them all in my garage and recycle them by using them in packages I send out. In fact, you may catch me on the next episode of Hoarders due to all the Styrofoam peanuts I've collected....

Speaking of Styrofoam, I just stumbled across this gem. I know I don't live in NYC and my children aren't even in the public school system yet, but once they are I'll be doing everything I can to help a project like this. Does your child's school use Styrofoam and Styrofoam lunch trays? If so, check out this link here. The statistics are staggering. But at least for now they are doign "Trayless Tuesdays!"

14.) Reuse cardboard shipping boxes and any supplies/packaging. Don't just put them in your recycling bin.

16.) Try the Three Sisters cereal without the box. Have you ever thought about all the trees used to make cereal boxes and how unnecessary they are? Three Sisters cereals are delicious and are sold exclusively at Whole Foods.

17.) Composting tickles me pink. I have been composting for a while now and let me tell you about some of the things going into my bin daily:
egg shells
apple cores
banana peels
coffee filters
coffee grinds
mushy grapes and blueberries my kids won't eat
potato peelings
melon rinds
lint from my dryer (which isn't being used much lately)
shredded paper and newspaper
grass clippings
onion skins
paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls

I have put soooo much in there and it's getting heavier/fuller. Here's a shot of what it looks like inside. See, you can tell things are breaking down slowly. I promise it doesn't stink. It's awesome to see the progress. Yes, I need to add some paper as it's kinda wet in there:

18.) Last but not least, Jenny Mac of Let's Have a Cocktail told me about Eco Tools' Look Gorgeous, Love Green Campaign. This project allows you to swap your used cosmetic supplies out for an Eco Tools Alternative. Check it out and ship some of your old makeup brushes in for an eco-friendly exchange!

Now go forth and be GREEN! I am unplugging this weekend as I willl be hanging out with Lee The Hotflash Queen and Tracie of Stir-Fry Awesomeness, so I may be slow returning comments. Perhaps you will see a vlog appear somewhere soon!


Miss New Orleans and My Love for the Fleur de Lis

Did you know that Cynthia of Running with Letters is not only a published, amazingly gifted writer, but also an artist? I fell head over heels in love with her mosaic seahorse on her blog a few months ago (you can check him out here), and I had to ask her to make me something special. If you know me, it didn't take any time at all to determine what I wanted. A fleur de lis, of course!

As a native New Orleanian now living in the Midwest, I've become particularly attached to the symbol of my city and its rich heritage. New Orleans reaffirmed its love for the fleur de lis post Hurricane Katrina, when flags featuring it could be found in front yards and on flagpoles everywhere.

Cynthia's fleur de lis....
we're trying to find the perfect spot for it!

The fleur de lis represents all my family went through when I had already moved to Kansas and couldn't go back to help. It was difficult seeing the damage, yet being unable to physically DO anything to show my support (I was very pregnant with the twins). I sat back quietly in a wretched kind of silence while these images floated through my head over and over.

my brother & sister-in-law's living room
my brother & sister-in-law's kitchen
looking down my mom's street from a canoe.
Others trying to get to their homes via canoe.

The fleur de lis symbolizes the devastation, destruction and subsequent rebirth of my hometown. Despite everything it has risen again, like a phoenix.

It symbolizes beignets swimming in powdered sugar and dipped in hot cafe au lait, shrimp poboys spilling over with mayonnaise and lettuce, and chocolate snowballs from Sal's.

It symbolizes the motionless mimes of the French Quarter painted in silver, the clank of pocket change being dropped in their buckets, and the sounds of horses' hooves clopping down the sticky streets.

The clickety clack of the old green streetcars going up and down the tracks. How I took that sound for granted until I returned after Katrina and the streets were eerily silent and still.

Visiting the zoo every year and playing on Monkey Hill, the highest point in New Orleans, the only one above sea level. Only in New Orleans will you find a man-made hill to show children in the area what a hill actually looks like.

The way your glasses fog up when you step outside nine months out of the year, even first thing in the morning. Spending Thanksgiving Day indoors, wearing shorts with the AC blasting.

The above-ground cemetaries, ripe with history. Tombs crammed together and statues of significant figures. Voodoo dolls, palm readers, and goey pralines; go-cups, Hurricanes from Pat O's, and karaoke at the Cat's Meow.

Jogging on the levee every morning overlooking the brown Mississippi River and the barges passing by. Twice rescuing turtles that had lost their sense of direction and ended up on River Road.

The fleur de lis is feeding the ducks at Audobon Park and watching the college students come and go. It's Oscar's, the bar on Metairie Road where I had my first shot of Goldschlager. It's the Mardi Gras parades and shaking my hips to the beat of the marching bands. Stomping on doubloons to claim them, catching beads in the face, the smell of beer and sweat and the throng of a thousand people pulsing beside you.

King Cakes stuffed with cream cheese, painted with purple, gold, and green sugar. Biting into that plastic baby. Red beans and rice on Mondays, and Bananas Foster anytime your sweet tooth demands it.

My favorite stationery store, Scriptura, on Magazine Street where the owner's dog, Bailey, would lie in patches of sunlight on the shop's hardwood floor. Magazine Street with its antique shops and dive bars, the Bridge Lounge with its black and white photographs of different dogs covering the walls. The cheese fries at F & M's. All the times I shared with friends at these places...

The Columns Hotel on St. Charles where I watched cockroaches swarm beneath my feet as I sipped a dainty cocktail outside on the porch, sweat dripping down and forming a pool in my bra. The sound of laughter and crickets, and the feeling that no one else anywhere on Earth knows what it's like to live in New Orleans.

New Orleans, where I spent 28 years of my life. Where much of my beloved family still lives. Where a part of me will remain forever.

With her art, Cynthia has helped me remember all these things and more. This fleur de lis is beyond special to me. It is my life, my heritage, the path I've traveled. It's a light, guiding me. Cynthia has a rare gift and I hope you will visit her blog and get to know her. Better yet, have her make something incredible for you. She's managed to bring a piece of New Orleans to me, and I know she can do something equally important for you or someone you love.

I miss New Orleans.


Why I'm NOT Mother of the Year....Hosted by The Mommyologist & Life Without Pink

Mary Mommyologist is at it again, folks. As if Sexy Mom Prom wasn't enough, she is now co-hosting the Not Mommy of the Year contest with Tina over at Life Without Pink. We're supposed to dish the dirty secrets about our real mommy life behind the scenes and why we deserve to win the coveted NOT Mom of the Year award. It needs to be said that it's not the end of the world if our kids have Goldfish or pizza for breakfast. They will eventually eat their broccoli, and someday, they might even stop fighting. No judgement here, people. This is all about honesty, bravery, and a day in the life of The Mother Load. If you are going to call CPS, please give me a heads up so we can scoot on outta town.

So without further adieu, I present to you
not all, but just a few
of the many reasons why
The Not Mom of the Year Award should belong to me, myself, and I.

One hand,
Two hands,
Three hands,
Underneath my bathroom door.
Can't I even poop in peace?
One big STOMP is all it would take to cease!

Red Fish and Blue Fish are potty trained
But their wiping skills have waxed and waned;
Instead of jumping up to aid them and set them free,
I sit glued to my book or laptop while they yell "Help meeeeeeeee!"

Now, if there's one thing Not Mom of the Year must possess
It's a drawer filled to the brim with junk and candy like this;
"Gummy fruit snacks" are nothing but sugar, 'tis true.
Doesn't matter that mine are organic, just between me and you.

Suckers, Dora bandaids, silly bandz, gum, and Starburst
Doesn't matter if what ails them is something that truly hurts.
The Mother Load is skilled at bribery and will tempt Abby & Izzy
With this drawer in her kitchen filled with goodies to keep small teeth busy.
This Not Mommy of the Year has also learned something she will share with you---
It is considered quite wise to have a console like this in your minivan, too.

All this sugar rots my kids' teeth
But it quiets them down so I can stop to breathe.
And if that doesn't work, why there's always my medicine cabinet
Where I can surely find something to help me grin & bear it!

I also admit that when my kids throw a holy hissy fit
I am likely to throw up my hands and just say, "Oh shit."
I know they will stay up all night and fight,
Especially if I'm stewing & they're convinced that they're right.

When Abby cries and gags over her veggies at dinner
I eventually throw up my hands and let her be the winner.
She gleefully leaves the table and I feed her limp broccoli to the compost bin
Because being Not Mommy of the Year means that I am too tired to try and win.

Although I kiss and hug often, I yell a lot, it's true.
I want to tear my hair out when it comes to Thing One and Thing Two.
Some days seem so long and nothing important gets done.
Other days they complain that they've gotten to do nothing fun.

Some nights they are filthy and I'm on my last leg
So when "Let's skip a bath tonight, mommy" they beg,
I collapse in relief and try not to think of the dirt in the beds.
I just sit here and wait for someone to call the Feds.

When The Father Load is working late
Or we have a 4 p.m. play date
It's common to have breakfast for dinner.
Do pancakes with syrup at 7 p.m. make The Mother Load a sinner?

So now you know all about the real me.
They say that the truth will set you free.
But now I'm a little scared to hear
What you must think of me, my dears....


I've come to realize.....

I've stolen borrowed this from Unabridged Girl, and if she is new to you, head on over NOW. Like, yesterday.

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size…is bigger than it was when I was four.

2. I’ve come to realize that my job…doesn't pay me diddly squat. But it makes me laugh every day.

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving…I dig in my purse just like my mother does, even though when she does it it makes me nervous.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need…a personal chef, a personal trainer, and a personal shopper.

5. I’ve come to realize that I have lost…my mind.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate…fast food, ignorance, bigotry, and bell peppers.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk…I'm likely to think I'm hilarious and very cute.

8. I’ve come to realize that money…is disgustingly dirty and I don't like it when my kids play with it.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people…don't wash their hands after using the restroom.

11. I’ve come to realize that my siblings(s)…are not quite as cool as I am.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom…is amazing, smart, sensitive, and beautiful.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone…needs an upgrade because it doesn't do all the cool stuff that other people's phones do, i.e. receive email, access Facebook, etc.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning…my children were still sleeping!

15. I’ve come to realize that my first love is…dessert. Most any kind will do, but bonus points if it includes fruit.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking about…how that salad I ate for lunch didn't really fill me up.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad…is smart, funny, a little OCD, and buried in work.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook…I wonder how many more annoying Mafia invitations I'm going to get .

19. I’ve come to realize that today…those rides on the carousel at Oak Park were ridiculously overpriced. But my children's enjoyment was priceLESS.

20. I’ve come to realize that my best friend(s)…are more special to me than I let them know.

21. I’ve come to realize that my spouse…is truly one of a kind to be putting up with the likes of me.

22. I’ve come to realize that what I really want to do…is write. WRITE.

23. I’ve come to realize that life…is short when you're having fun. But actually kinda long when you're not, like when my kids are misbehaving or the Father Load is out of town.

24. I’ve come to realize that this weekend…I am happy because True Blood is coming back tonight! Holla!

25. I’ve come to realize that next weekend…is going to be OFF THE CHAIN because I'll be with Lee the Hotflash Queen and Tracie at Stir-Fry Awesomeness.

26. I’ve come to realize that my children…are actually pretty cute despite inheriting some of my not-so-great genes.

27. I’ve come to realize that when life gives you lemons…put them down your disposal to make it smell fresh....like you've actually cleaned your kitchen.

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