Tickled Pink Today With Holly of 504 Main

I'm Tickled Pink to hitch a ride on Holly's coattails over at 504 Main again today. Her DIY projects are so inspiring (yet completely out of my league), and I will never forget her chicks on a stick or her hubby's birthday chandelier---two of her signature crafts that always come to mind when I think of Holly. All the crafty classes in the world could never make me into the guru she is!

But I'm back to the green (mostly) today. I'm starting off with Four Paws Doggie Doo Bags. They are biodegradable with easy-tie handles. I'm sure there are many other brands, but these are what I've currently got.

Last weekend I was Tickled Pink to find this Avalon Organics Shampoo & Conditioner at Lee's house. It's made with tea tree oil, eucalytptus, rosemary and mint and smells DELISH! It left my hair soft and shiny. As soon as I got back to KC, I went to Whole Foods and got my own. I'm loving it!

Avalon Organics' Standards:
• No sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, or other harsh chemicals
• No parabens, harsh preservatives, or grapefruit seed extract
• No synthetic fragrances or colors
• pH balanced
• 100% vegetarian ingredients and no animal testing

My girls are loving their new Burt's Bees all-natural toothpaste! They are partial to the berry flavor. And if you didn't already guess, yes, this toothpaste is PINK.
Banana Republic's new Heritage Collection, which was launched earlier this spring, also has me Tickled Pink. All items in the line are crafted from organic cotton, bamboo, and soy-silk. Patagonia and American Apparel are also companies known for offering eco-friendly clothing options. Patagonia even recycles their clothing through their Common Threads program.

Nike Tickles me Pink because they've initiated Reuse A Shoe, a program that recycles any brand of old athletic shoes. If you are a serious Jazzerciser runner or 30-Day Shredder, you probably go through shoes pretty frequently, so this is an especially neat way to make something new out of something old.

On an entirely different note, my daughters' new mid-summer do's have me Tickled Pink. Take a look and tell me I'm not just biased:

My trip to Houston last weekend was amazingly fun. I hung out with Lee, Tracie, Traci of 38 & Growing, and Leiah of A Southern Belle Trying Not to Rust. Be sure to check out Leiah's Sopapilla Cheesecake recipe here! 38Traci already blogged about our Snarkler evening in the dark it's not what you're thinking. So did Stir-Fry Tracie, read all about that and her toaster oven here. Lee even indulged me and took us to Ruggles Green, which serves raw, vegan, and vegetarian fare. Nom nom nom!

Confession: I've never really had a girls' weekend before. I'm Tickled Pink that these snarky, fantastic women put up with me, included me, and made me feel like I am fun, funny even if I make peverted shaped challah when I'm drunk and best of all, loved. Years ago when I began blogging, I never dreamed I'd make real friends this way and even better, get to MEET them in real life. I hope to see my friends again soon, and perhaps go to a bloggy conference and meet new ones. I love my besties!

By now you know reusable bags Tickle me Pink. Fun ones are even better. Check out these series from Envirosax. Don't they just beg you to GO GREEN?!! They hold up to 44 pounds. Don't even try to tell me your craptastic plastic can do better. Be sure to search Google for the best deals on them!

Also, I am sort of a snob about my books. I prefer them new. I loathe germs. But my desire to be green has outweighed my fear and I now shop frequently at Half Price Books. I spent $60 this week and came away with new vegetarian cookbooks, fiction for me, and several classics for the girls. All in beautiful condition, barely/gently used, and therefore saving trees and green in more ways than one!
Two last things that have me Tickled Pink: Honest Tea and Honest Kids. I love the Pearfect White Tea and my kids love the Berry Berry Good Lemonade (and it's PINK). Of course I recycle my glass tea bottles and I send the girls' juice pouches to Terracycle, so it's all good and green.

What tickles you pink?


Sort of Wordless Wednesday: Me vs. My Mandoline (& no, that is NOT the instrument)

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my nemesis, my newly purchased mandoline. For you idiots people out there who think that's an instrument, please refer to your dictionary immediately. Anykitchentool, because WWMD (What Would Martha Do) is always my mantra when I'm in the kitchen, I knew I had to own a mandoline. But I wasn't willing to go for the gold; no, I had to buy the el cheapo OXO brand from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Never again.
And perhaps never again will I have perfect juliennes, and thus Martha Stewart will never be my BFF.

This, my friends, is what happens when The Mother Load (who is accident prone to begin with and completely klutz-i-fied) steps not-so-gingerly into the ring with the wrong kitchen tool:

Here, let me give you "The Finger."

I'm just joking---not giving you the bird, but hard to photograph it.
Now compare the tips of both fingers. Not hard to see which one is injured.

The Father Load had to cauterize my finger with silver nitrate, which was so not fun, but it stopped the bleeding. Nevermind that my screaming propelled my progeny into utter hysterics (methinks fingertips are loaded with nerve endings). #MomFail. Should've thought to remove the girls from the house before hubs attempted to fix my boo boo.

Needless to say, typing has become slow and problematic.

What valuable lessons have you learned today?


Memoir Monday: My Life in France, or, The Summer I Came of Age

Want to write your own memoir and link up? Head over to I Like to Fish and visit Travis!

When I was 14 I traveled to France as an exchange student. I arrived confidently armed with my knowledge of textbook French I'd gleaned under the austere eye of Madame Barr. Yet somehow learning the language from a book with photos of goofy French people on the front

 is light years away from listening to locals speak it: foreign words sparking from their lips like lightning, then a questioning glance at me as I'd blush furiously and say, "Pouvez-vous parlez plus lentement, s'il vous plait?" (Could you please speak more slowly?) Probably the second most commonly uttered phrase I used that summer was, "Je suis desolee, mais je ne comprends pas." (I'm sorry, but I don't understand) Or, when all else failed, "Merde!" (Shit!)

It didn't matter though because there's one language that requires few words--the language of love. Unrequited, lusty powerful, teenaged love. Gautier was his name, wearing too much Farenheit cologne was his game. He wore glasses, had light brown hair, and was quiet and very intellectual looking. In my typical Amazonian fashion, I surpassed him in height by at least two inches. I remember bringing my ancient headphones and (insert cringe here) cassette player with me on the trip (after all, it was 1991), listening frequently to R.E.M. in a hammock overlooking the Mediterranean from our villa on the coast of St. Tropez in southern France:

Oh, life is bigger

It's bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I've said too much
I set it up

Dreaming of Gautier's lips on mine and unaware of the tragedy that would befall me a few months later (my father's coming out of the closet), I spent a blissful month in France coming of age.

One day Anne-Sophie, Gautier's younger sister and her BFF Caroline grabbed my doll, whom they'd affectionately dubbed "Puppeynette," from my sandy bed and we managed to sneak into Gautier's room to douse her with his Farenheit cologne. Caroline likewise fancied Gautier, but he seemed to despise merely tolerate us. Just then he caught us and yelled as we laughed our girlish laughs, our bare feet pounding the terra cotta floors while our hair, wavy from the salty ocean water, danced behind us.

Sometimes words weren't necessary.

Munching on French bread dripping with preserves for breakfast on the patio overlooking the boundless sea, the heavy smell of salt hanging in the air. The Mediterranean, which I'd only ever studied in school, was just a short walk from our nine-bedroom villa. Women's breasts on display, laissez-faire attitudes, loads of eateries and giant slices of Tropezienne, a local delicacy, to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Spending that summer with girls my age from another country taught me a few things....

(Anne Sophie, Me, and Caroline at the villa)

--First, that I should scour clean the tub after shaving my legs in order to avoid being the butt of their jokes.

--Secondly, that even though they don't shave and don't bathe as often, people are people and certain things are the same no matter where you are.

--That you will learn the most "real" French by just hanging out with the locals for a lengthy period of time, yet they'll still laugh at your accent.

--There's nothing quite like the stench of the French, especially closed up in a BMW sedan for eight hours without air conditioning (Actually, make it 16 hours, because it was eight hours to St. Tropez and another eight hours back to the family's home in Lille a few weeks later).

But sitting in the middle of the backseat with my arm occasionally brushing up against Gautier's was worth every minute.

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