Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cherry pez, cold crush, rock boogie.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="Rich Cronin of LFO"][/caption]

I was so sad to see yesterday that Rich Cronin from LFO passed away.

I ((cough)) was actually his friend on MySpace (yeah..well..ya know...ok..I got nothing..)

I knew that he had been strongly battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia since 2005.

I loved Rich as a teen & was... well...I liked him a lot....

I am so sad to see he has passed away.35 is too young, as it is loss at any age to a disease like this.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and also Lymphoma Awareness month.

Cancer, in several sorts has affected loved ones in my life.

Please consider sponsoring someone in their Light the Night walk, like my friend Dani.

She is literally about to pop with baby #4, but she has done the walk with her babies & a very pregnant self before in honor of her brother Josh, who she lost to Hodgkin's Lymphoma on October 4, 2008.

The page for her walk is right HERE.

Even just a couple bucks helps fight the good fight against these nasty diseases.

Rich.. I'm sorry I never got to see LFO in concert, so I could throw my bra at you & scream like crazy about how I wanted to have your babies..You will be missed by many, I am sure.

My thoughts are with his friends & family & I leave you with this, in memory of my beloved teen crush.

Rest in Peace Rich!

You can also learn more about:

The Rich Cronin Hope Foundation

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Lymphoma Awareness month


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good By eSUmmer, Hello County Fair!

After a long week of school for both of my big boys, we all needed a bit of a break this weekend. Instead of just The Man & I going out, we decided to take Andy with us & go to the Canfield Fair. It is the 2nd biggest fair in the state of Ohio.

What color ribbon is that? Second place.

We love the fair. We have hopes & aspirations of having animals ourselves one day, so I love walking around stroking horses noses, stepping over cow poop,holding baby chicks & ducklings, being startled by crowing birds, counting mullets..You know, the whole Fair experience.

Ryan isn't thrilled with farm animals, so he stayed with Grandma so we could all relax & enjoy ourselves a bit & we headed off on our weekend adventure.

Sunday was around 75 degrees with a nice breeze. It is definitely getting to be Fall here, Saturday was actually cold. I had to shut windows it was that chilly!
It was a pretty nice day for a fair.

Andy had told us the night before that "All I really want to do at the Fair is hold a chick, and ride a horse" so we headed straight for Old McDonalds Barn, where you can push other adults in a line to hold a 24 hour old chick before another person is clamoring to take it out of your hand & pass it to their child.

..I feel a little bad about this actually, poor things.. I hope they rotate them or something...
Here are some of the interesting things we saw.
A Lemon Lime SUV. Slice, or Sprite?
A TON OF MEAT! I mean.. I have never seen this much meat in my life. Lots of people walking around eating giant meat... legs. I guess. Legs? Wrapped in foil, just straight up meat on a stick, well, a bone.. but whatever.
A crab stand.(hermit crabs) I just liked the sign.. clearly.
A 1,244 pound pumpkin.
A pig named Sausage.
A goat in drag.
A sleeping chicken.
A duck with a 'do.
Both my boys found themselves horses with the same name!
(The Mans horse was into S&M)
Andy was enjoying petting the smaller horses, until we walked through a large horse barn & one got a little loud ( he just wanted Andys attention, actually!). My poor child literally jumped in the air & shook, it was so close to him & SO loud. He DID pet a horse.. he likely never will again after that however.
I saw the biggest horse ever. He was up there with the Budweiser horses.(last picture on the right, he was at least 8 feet. )
I like horses. I really do. I even got my finger nearly bit off by a horse as a teen, but I still like em.
I think.
I haven't ridden one since I, like Andy was traumatized on one as a child, but I still really like them, and would like to have a mini horse some day. This place near us is a mini horse farm.. I've driven by it daily for years..
Someday I WILL stop there & buy myself a miniature horse. Mark my words.
Ok, so maybe SOMEDAY I will have a horse of some sorts, but we have been discussing chickens for a year or so. When we move next ( after graduation) chickens are on our agenda.I can handle chickens & we'll talk about horses when we move to that dream house.
We decided to check them out to see what they had for sale this year & for me to pretend shop & see what we're working with.
Did you know chickens are like, $10?
This guy was $15!
I would SO pay $15 to see that weird creepy blue purple face ALL the time.
Andy actually made friends with one chicken. This guy really liked Andy, and Andy really seemed to like him. It was an odd, special connection.
We saw tons of stuff. Andy was all ready to ride a pony, but when the "big pony" came up for his turn, he declined.
We walked, we ate a bit. We looked at the 60k Tractors & all the big machines, tools & antique machinery. The Man loved that section. Notice how there are no pictures???
I love the garden displays & seeing the giant squashes.
Everyone was tired after a long day.
It was a good day.
A good day at the Fair, a good day to say good bye to Summer, and Hello to Fall!!
Dierks Bentley & Gretchen Wilson performed that night, but we were all tired after all that sun, walking & all around madness with crowds.Maybe next year The Man & I will see who performs & take a date night to the fair, complete with riding scary unsafe rides, which is what Fairs are all about, of course.
After reading about Salts experience at the Fair, I am just glad to be writing a happy post about a Fair!

So tell me..

Do you have a Fair you attend? What is it like?


PS. For Salt ;-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

13 to a dream house.

If you were building your own home, money was not an issue & you had the best builders in the World to create exactly what you have in mind..

What are 1 things you would want that would make that home perfect, for you?

Here are my 10 15 13 perfect dream home necessities.
1. A wrap around porch. A la old Southern style.
2. A room that is completely built in book shelves.
No bare wall space.
This room will house my millions of books.
I am a 're-reader." Nuff said.
3. No neighbors!!
4. Room for a HUGE garden, or two, or four!
They shall look like this..
5. A great fireplace of some sort.
6. A fabulous attic for tons of easy storage, and just because.
7. A perfect spot for a big fabulous gorgeous old piano in which I can put neat things, and picture on top.
Like so.
8. A breakfast nook, with lots of windows, overlooking the backyard.
9.Great windows.
10.A fabulous bathroom between my bedroom & my closet .Just for me.No boys allowed.
11. BIG closets!
12. A window seat. Somewhere in the house, at least one.
13. An amazing kitchen. Large yet easy to navigate in size. Lots of storage. All the bells & whistles.
Ok. So, I've got 13. I started with 10 & then was like "Oooh..." but couldn't make it to 15 with out this post taking a week to write.
So, you know, 13 is flexible.
These are all definitely things on my list for my ideal dream home. I doubt I will be checking them all off, with our first home, but maybe someday we will have a house with all of them, plus more. Maybe not. Who knows, but it is fun to dream, isn't it?
Are any of the things on my list things you would pick?
Are any of them complete opposites?
Leave me a couple, off the top of your head in a comment. If you make your own list, please come back & let me know so I can read it too!! I LOVE hearing about other peoples personal business.. what can I say?
Note.Photos are all taken from sites as linked, or found via Google Images with words like "cool windows." None of these photos are mine nor do I possess any claim to them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


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My dad is a poet, so to say I grew up in the "art world" is an understatement. I often joke that I grew up in bookstores instead of playgrounds & attended food tasting sit down dinners instead of BBQs. It's actually the truth, and because of it I've always had a thing for art,cultural artwork, unique gifts & what I like to refer to as all around "artsy fartsy stuff."

When NOVICA contacted me to ask if I was interested in a review I was like "Um.. hello. I think I have just been waiting for you my WHOLE life!'

You see, NOVICA is in association with National Geographic, it is a site that has everything from sculptures, to jewelry, clothing, green gifts, and unique hand crafted pieces of every art form from all over the globe & are all around amazing items.

Sitting down to browse the NOVICA fair trade corporate gift selection I was basically in heaven. I spent hours browsing the site, as I am sure you will too.

One artist I was really drawn to. This piece in particular kept reeling me in.

Then I read the artist bio:

"My name is Luh Mas Sri Pertamiari and I was born on December 13, 1973. My village has been renowned as a woodcarving center in Bali for many years. We may be familiar because of the men carvers, however the fantastic thing is that almost 90 percent of the women know how to carve. From a young age, boys and girls are introduced to carving.

"When I was a child, together with my two brothers, we learned wood carving, painting and sanding.

"When I graduated from senior high school I worked in tourism, however, after I married Made Sanjaya he asked me to quit my job and take care of our children at home. I'm an active kind of woman, and totally stopping my activities to stay home was driving me crazy! For that reason I started to do some carvings at home, and opened a small workshop near my house for people to see and appreciate my carvings."

This right here, is all the proof I need that stay at home moms, all over the World equally get bored & tired of doing nothing but taking care of kids, husbands & the house.

Am I right ladies??

I ultimately chose this ring because I have a thing for citrine, and I have been meaning to spoil myself with a cocktail ring, this Summer.
It showed up in a beautiful little box:
And I think it looks quite fabulous, if I do say so myself.
(I can't take normal pictures of myself. Sorry.)
I think it is stunning. The gemstones are large & nicely cut. The ring is smooth, so while the petals are larger, it doesnt catch on hair or clothing like some large rings tend to. It is truly gorgeous & will be a treasured piece in my collection.

One of the coolest things is that my item came with a handwritten(and translated) postcard directly from the artist. That's kinda cool.

An artist bio comes included with your items, which is pretty neat. I will be using NOVICA for holiday & birthday gifts for years to come.

There is nothing like unique gifts, I think, and to receive a gift handcrafted from an artist complete with their information, about their location & to find out more about their culture all in one is pretty unique, and spectacular, if I do say so myself.

If you are looking for gifts, or starting holiday shopping early, or just want to buy yourself something awesome, check out NOVICA.

You can also follow them on Facebook, I do & they post some awesome links & information as well as being a great way to keep up on sales & good deals going on.

What do you see on the NOVICA site that you like?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My interview with Candace Cameron Bure, and the 30th birthday of the Juice Box!

As some of you, who have been following me on Facebook, Twitter, or who are just friends & know my personal life because you love me in general know.. I got the opportunity to interview mother, actress, hockey wife & of course, DJ Tanner from Full House, currently on the ABC drama Make it or Break It, Candace Cameron Bure.

I know right.. Awesome.
Unfortunately, we have been battling some illnesses here (poor Andy, made it all the way to age four before ever needing an antibiotic, on the plus side!) and I should have gotten more than 3 hours of sleep and taken a Claritin before the interview. I also had no idea that it was video, I thought it was just audio!! Ha!That was kind of a neat surprise!

It was a fun experience & I hope you guys enjoy watching!

To learn more about Candace, you can check out her website here and to learn more about the Juice Box Birthday and those awesome contests she told me about, go here.

Enjoy! (and go easy on me, kay?)

Thanks for watching, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the video.

If you could have asked Candace anything, what would you have wanted to know?


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

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Happy World Breastfeeding Week!!!

Although my site has gotten away from all the mama stuff that makes me, me. I am actually a very strong advocate of breastfeeding, as some may know.

In celebration I'm going to be doing a bit of my own sharing,be it stories, favorite links or unedited thoughts on what Breastfeeding means in my life!

If you have a post of your own you would like to share in relation to breastfeeding, this weeks celebration, or anything on topic to share with me, and other readers, please use the link up at the end up this post so we can read your stories as well!
How I Became the "Crazy Nursing Chick" that I am now & What I Have Learned a Long the Way.
Crunchy was something that 5 years ago, I only related to chips. Crunchy, chips.. food..hhmmm.

When I was pregnant with Andy, I remember Mike saying "Well, he'll sleep in our room." And me looking at him like he was crazy. The first time I was asked if I'd breastfeed, or formula feed, I thought for a second, remembered my mom breastfed me & said "Breastfeed.I'm sure"

I thought all of about 5 seconds about these things before I jumped into the world of Mom forums, book reading & information gathering. I just assumed I'd do something, I just didn't know what.

I, like many of you, have been reading so many breastfeeding stories & articles lately. I read a blog entry written by a dad, about his breastfeeding thoughts & decided I'd jump on board & write my own for World Breastfeeding Week.

This is the story of how I went from just a young pregnant mom who had no idea , to an "crunchy mom" in the midst of a 4 year nursing streak. Something that I never saw coming.

I remember living in Florida, as I told you all about before in my How I met my Husband series (start with part one, if you're so inclined) I found myself pregnant, living 1300 miles from anyone I knew & pretty alone. So, I found a world that I was quite sure had died out when I turned 14. The Internet. I found myself on AOL parenting boards & suddenly was immersed in a world of mothers, both prior & soon to be first, sharing thoughts, our pregnancies & so much information swirling around I couldn't wrap my head around it.

Somehow I found myself taken in & grouped with some of the "crunchy" mom's, as they were called. I learned that car seats shouldn't be chosen based on the print, or which is cutest(who knew?!). I also found myself reading as many books& articles as I could. Inevitably, I decided that yes, I would be breastfeeding. I knew my mom did it, in fact, she was a LLL leader in her town & extended nursed both my sister & I into toddlerhood. I learned that my mother in law nursed Mike into toddler hood as well. I read dozens of breastfeeding books.

So That's What They're For! was the top recommended book by every mom, or breastfeeding advocate that I "met."
However, the book that gave me the most knowledge, factual information & inevitably was my most helpful breastfeeding book is Nursing Your Baby by Karen Pryor & Gale Pryor

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn to have a successful nursing relationship that they feel informed & supported by. I got some amazing facts & information from that book while pregnant with Andy. If I had to say one reading material helped me most in my nursing relationship, I would say that book is it. Hands down.

It's funny, I don't consider myself Green, or Crunchy,or Granola which are often words you hear associated with mothers like myself, who do things like cloth diaper, co-sleep & extended breastfeeding. I've recycled my whole life, had a garden in my back yard as long as I can remember & my own parents cloth diapered me, nursed me & I took up space in their bed for plenty of years. To me, these things ARE "normal." So, for me, the choice to breastfeed was pretty simple.

Also..We were/are young & kinda poor, still. Breastmilk is free. That is always a perk. I looked once at what formula cost & about died. holy crap man! I never checked again. I am still in sticker shock.

This is my favorite list, of 101 reasons to breastfeed.. Here are some of the reasons I chose breastfeeding for us:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding:In addition, human milk-fed premature infants receive significant benefits with respect to host protection and improved developmental outcomes compared with formula-fed premature infants…Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

Breast milk is always ready and comes in a nicer package than formula does

Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition
"Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short and long-term benefits."

Breast milk acts like a natural tranquilizer for baby Mother's milk contains chemicals that seem to work like "knock-out drops" for tired babies. Even if baby doesn't fall asleep, he/she will certainly calm down and become more agreeable. If you choose to breastfeed into toddlerhood, you may find that the "terrible twos" never materialize.

Breast milk is a treatment for many common "illnesses" Have pink eye? A shot of breast milk clears it up (and other eye irritants, however, I personally don't recommend doing this if you are nursing while pregnant, as the saltiness of the milk from the hormonal change makes eye balls BURN!!!) Dry skin from eczema? Give it a shot of boob juice! Baby got some diaper rash? Mama milk oughta clear that right up a long with a little diaper free air time.

Breastfeeding acts like a natural tranquilizer for mom..I am down with this part, especially.

Breastfeeding also helps to prevent so many illnesses & diseases in both mother AND child that I could go on for days.. But instead, you should read the full 101 reasons for yourself, some of them are pretty interesting. The list of reasons why breast milk is awesome is endless!

Here are some famous breastfeeding mothers:

Madeline Albright, Secretary of State
Anita Baker, singer
Kim Basinger (actress)
Valerie Bertinelli, actress
Christie Brinkley, model
Hillary Clinton
Katie Couric, host Today
Diana, Princess of Wales
Celine Dion, singer
Jennie Garth
Tipper Gore, Al Gore's wife
Linda Hamilton, actress
Hannah, Mother of Samuel
Faith Hill, singer
Michael Jordan's Mom bf him for 3 years and said "I feel this is why he is the athlete he is."
Lucy Lawless, actress
Sophia Lauren, actress
Pamela Anderson Lee (with implants)
Madonna, singer and actress
Mary, Mother of Jesus
Elle MacPherson, model
Miss Lillian bf President Jimmy Carter, but bottlefed Billy
Demi Moore, actress
Deborah Norville
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Pele's Mom bf him
Kelly Preston (actress)
Princess Grace of Monaco, LLLI conference speaker
Queen Elizabeth II of England breastfed Prince Charles
Queen Sirikit of Thailand breastfed her 4 children
Mary Lou Retton, gymnast, Olympic gold medalist
Patricia Richardson, actress (twins)
Cathy Rigby, gymnast, Olympic gold medalist
Joan Rivers, talk show host and comedienne
Eleanor Roosevelt
Connie Selleca, actress*
Jane Seymour, actress (of Dr. Quinn fame), twins*
Cybil Shepard, actress (twins)
Maria Shriver, actress/news correspondant
Nicole Brown Simpson
Carly Simon, singer*
Susan St. James, actress
Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Britain
Lindsay Wagner*

* These women are or did breastfeed for an extended (normal) period of time. These were known for certain.

I think that is an impressive list! Then again I find it a little sad that is has to be so impressive, when, if you think about it.. and strip away well, everything!! Breastfeeding is sort of how continues as nature intended.Mate,feed young from self.Child grows.It mates. Feeds Young from self. If you walk into nature,be it a barn where animals are being born, or the jungle.. I mean..we are mammals. Right?

A dolphin nurses about 4 times an hour, for between 1.5-3 ( even more depending on the specific case) years with their young. I mean.If you were a dolphin mom you would be kinda like.. .swim swim.. damnit, Wally is on me again!!

If you wanted the breast milk of an mammal that would be a closest genetic match to the needs or your child ( because milk changes to be specific, for the intended drinkers genetic makeup & it's needs) to your own, you would not use cow, or goat milk, you would need to get some boob juice from a gorilla or chimpanzee. Good luck chasing one of those around with a Pump in Style!!

Of course, isn't for everyone & I as a mother know that what works for one mother doesn't always work for another so.. I'll say this. As a mother, I also know how easily it is to feel judged, or even second guess yourself with you compare your parenting methods to others, or they compare them for you. I think that as long as you feed your baby ( this doesnt mean chips & Pepsi, though, ok?) be it breast milk, or formula, and YOU are happy with that decision and it works for you AND your child, than that is really all that matters! :-)

For me, once I decided I'd be breastfeeding that was the end of the subject. I had no bottles or formula in our house, all the free samples that showed up were promptly donated.

I believe that the key to my breastfeeding success lies in the fact that I didn't give it an option not to be. I never second guessed myself, or worried about it, I just knew it was what would happen.

That doesn't mean I didn't hear things to deter me! As many mothers know, when you are pregnant the world seems to lose its filter.

"Suuureee strange old person in Walmart..pat my belly!! I'm sure if I randomly patted your beer belly that would go over well."

"Why thank you! I AM huge! And you are shockingly ugly.Yes, You enjoy your day now too!!"

I mean really.. what is the deal people? So when I had mothers whom I'd just met coming up to me at cook outs asking if I'd breastfeed I was getting used for these type of encounters.

me- "Yes"

them-"Oh ggawwddd.. it's AWFUL. Don't even do it, I'm telling you!"

me- "Oh!! Yikes, how long did you do it for?"

them- "Chhhaa.. like.. 6 whole days!! I'm telling's AWFUL. And it hurts, and who wants saggy boobs anyway, right?"

Well, luckily, after I had Andy, in 2007 it was proven , that saggy breasts after having children are actually not from breastfeeding, but from the actual pregnancy it self. So, you nay sayers out there can check that one right off your "scare" list.

It's not to say that sometimes, hearing these things didn't give me pause, but somehow, just knowing it was what was going to happen,because it just needed to & that was that, worked for me! I just never gave myself an opportunity to doubt myself, and somehow, it worked out great for me!!

I know..lucky me right?

I met Andy when he was over an hour old. I had laid shaking on an ER table staring at the clock while a nurse made sure to listen to none of my prior requests & my in shock husband stood by. I remember, my mom had to ask them to finally give me Andy when they wheeled me into recovery where he was being cleaned up. She was gruff, and unhelpful. Luckily, Andy latched on & off we went, down the hall to our room where he latched on again...And again...

And again & again & again. I just offered him to nurse whenever he seemed like he might want to. I mean, right? You have a baby with only about 2-3 instincts, eat, sleep, poop. So, I can give him the eat & if he doesn't want it, he can stop, right?

Well, no. I was supposed to be switching him to the other side after 10 minutes, then writing it down & all sorts of crap. I was a bit confused.

After three very very very long days of being told what to do & quite frankly? Being too cracked out from oh ya know..major surgery, drugs & oh yeah..three days of no sleep.. I lost it.

I mean..pure hormonal after birth lost it.

Yeah..some of you mamas are nodding with me. You know.

A nurse walked in to check on me, she had been on her shift when I first came in with Andy, she'd told me to get some sleep, as I'd been really tired.

She stopped & looked at me... "Have you slept yet???"


"Holy Wait, why are you stopping him?" she watched as I switched Andy to the other breast.

I explained how nope, we hadn't slept & they keep telling me to switch him. That one doctor even scolded me for refusing to give him a pacifier "Your just going to be sore then."


"Ohh..honey. You're just taking him off when he's only half way filled up! No wonder,let HIM tell you when he's done. He'll pull off when he has had enough & will likely zonk out for hours, all my boys did!"

I am fairly sure I just blinked at her. She smiled & sat down as Andy nursed for about 20 more minutes. Sure enough, suddenly his little lips unlocked with a smack & he lolled off into his first solid period of sleep.

She smiled & left. I woke from a nap to hear she had recommended that I was ready to be discharged, and had gone ahead & seen what she could do to speed that up for us.

I don't remember her name. But I will never ever forget her.

The only problems Andy & I encountered were engorgement ( not as cool as you might think, men!) and thrush, which we battled for 6 months until we resolved it. With each issue, instead of looking at it as a reason to stop, I reminded myself that for every problem there is a solution.

I became familiar with websites like KellyMom as well as referred to my books. I used the nurse & practitioner forum for Dr. Thomas Hale, who writes the yearly publication Medication and Mothers Milk.

I keep the yearly edition on hand to take with me to doctors appointments to use for my own referral. As we all know, I'm a-ok with never working a day again in my life, and luckily, we manage to make that work for us, however, when my children are grown, my plan is to become an IBCLC. I don't necessarily want to work for a hospital,hell, I might even do it on a donated time basis but I'd like to establish sort of a working program with my local doctors to help as an informant so that other mothers who are breastfeeding & have doctors tell them things like "...Uhhh.. well. Just wean then." when they seek medical attention for an reason know that they have other options, that their doctor is just a breastfeeding moron.
((This is where I give you a nice blink & a grin))
It sucks. And can be preventable.I feel strongly enough about this cause, profession & the need for it that I would like to help minimize this dilemma.
When I became pregnant with Ryan, Andy was 12 months and one week old. I didn't know what would happen, but he nursed through my pregnancy & continued to nurse until he was 3.5.

Ryan is still nursing, at 28 months old & was solely breastfed as well, while also tandem nursing with his brother from the day he came home from the hospital.

Believe me. I have plenty to say about nursing. But I'll keep it short.

What works for me, might not work for you.

But for me, I'm pretty proud of myself. I mean. I'm basically awesome. I grew AND nourished two babies with out a drop of formula, and two of them at the same time.
I am kind of a big deal.
So cheers to my fellow nursing mamas. Be it a week, 6 months or 5 years. Every ounce counts.
To those who aren't sure it is for them, I say..I have never met anyone who regrets nursing their baby. You have nothing to lose from trying, and a lot to gain. You never know if it is right for you until you try, and that is often half the battle.
So, ask for help, surround yourself with people who want you to succeed in your nursing relationship, ignore the nay sayers & give it a whirl.
Happy Breastfeeding Week, everyone!!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Made in America

I'll be publishing this on both blogs, as it's something I feel pretty strongly about.

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ramblers Way. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've mentioned before that I do technically live in a town full of history. From the Kent State Shootings
down to the historic landmark that was my neighbors home, growing up.

It's odd, that I got the chance to talk about this today, because I was thinking about homes today, how they just "don't build em like they used to." Since I was a child, I've  not been a fan of what I call "cookie cutter homes" the subdivisions where quite literally, I'd be worried to live for fear of coming home after a drink out with friends & not being able to distinguish which house is mine.

I've wanted an old home since I began planning my "dream home check list" and sadly, all my "must have" items aren't typical on construction anymore.

I think that it goes beyond homes, to the fact that construction & buildings just are not as unique or architecturally important to many as they once were. Buildings that are "art" are so expensive no one can even afford to walk near them, much less buy them for their business & historic buildings are knocked down to make way for more cookie cutter developments, from homes to gas stations ever day.

My own town recently bulldozed a building I walked by daily for much of my teenage life. The "1920" engraving in the stone, with the presidents name was crumbled before our very eyes to make way for a ... Sheetz!
Nevermind that we already got a Sheetz in town, approximately 10 blocks away several years ago.

Sure, the building looked less than sound but it was only one of the several memorable buildings in the area to be knocked down in the blink of an eye, with out consideration. This made me sad.

Our downtown still has roads that are old red brick ( and quite bumpy!) and I just am not sure they would have the same charm with freshly paved roads. Call me sentimental, but I think that the charm, the quaintness of things like this are what make a town rich with history. I find it sad that by the time my children are old enough to understand & make memories of the town I grew up in, most of what I remember as being so pretty, or special, or a landmark I secretly wished I could live in, might be gone!

Every small town in America has seen their main street shops suffer from the effects of urban sprawl. Quaint mom &a pop shops and department stores used to anchor the business districts of downtown areas, yet sadly over the past few decades businesses left the downtown's and headed to the strip malls of the suburbs. Companies are outsourcing for cheaper labor leaving once robust factories to close down. Entire communities have suffered, leaving the fabric of America shattered.

Ramblers Way Farm is changing the way American business is done. The Company sources, grows, and produces their fine woolen apparel using 100% domestic resources. They have brought manufacturing facilities into distressed small towns and are helping to revitalize the communities.

The Ramblers Way Corporate Office is a fully refurbished building that was originally built in 1792 and is located in downtown Kennebunk, Maine. The building has been restored to its original condition, while being modernized to meet today's environmental standards. They have even achieved the coveted Gold Lead Certification level!

I personally, love that Ramblers Way believes in their products being Made in America (and how beautiful their clothing is, I NEED that gorgeous camisole!!) but that they also go above & beyond just caring about their own company, they have a passion for preservation that extends beyond just their own benefit.

The coffee shop I remember sitting in as a teen, where the mama with a baby slung to her chest in a sling nagged me "Are you SURE I cant fix you something to eat?" and who didn't close up until the last chess natch between friends was over is now a Starbucks ( which I boycot, for the record)

If more companies don't take notice of the initiative that Ramblers Way is setting & follow in their example, I have worried that the memories I have of my town will be something that is mystical to my children, that they will no that places to experience & sights to see that leave them with their own memories.

Do you have any experiences with your own town that are similar, or do you hopefully, have encoraging stories like Ramblers Way does?

I'd love to hear them!

Visit my sponsor: Made in America

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Wordless Wednesday: Andys sunflower

I missed WW on the new site this week due to sickness, business & tiredness, so I thought I'd sneak it in here ;)

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

10 Products to Always buy Generic

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.
Today I get to talk to you guys about this article 10 Products to Always Buy Generic

I am all for buying generic when I can,however I can't lie, there are things that I routinely do prefer to be certian Brand names, but I do have my own favorite generics.

Here are the 10 that the article recommends that you always buy generic.

1. Over-the-counter medications.
2. Cereal.
3. Pantry staples.
 4. Soda.
5. Gasoline.
6. Electronic cables.
7. Makeup and other beauty products. 
8. Batteries.
9. Salad mix and produce.
10. Baby formula 

Do you guy any of these generic? Or will you after reading this?

I buy Target brand over the counter medications like Aspirin,Acetaminophen, vitamins & have been pleased with that choice, as over the last 4 years since having children, Tylonal has recalled childrens medication several times, I've been lucky to check my medicaine cabinet each time to find that buying generic saved me from the hassle & safety measures involved in a medication recall. That's a perk!

I do buy generic pantry staples, like flour & sugar for the basics, but I also prefer a broader selection ( bread flour, whole wheat flour, etc) which often leads me to brands names.

I don't drink soda, do no on that one.

Makeup, heck yes. I am a makeup snob but some of my favorites staples over the years have been cheapie drug store brands.

I'm not exactly sure where I can go to buy generic gas,I occasionally fill up at BJs, but since our grocery stores all do fuel rewards it's benificial for me to buy their generic brand & then save on gas that way. I need to look a bit more into that one, but if I could, heck yes I would go all sorts of generic on gas!

I personally do disagree with several items on this list, for me, they do make a noticeable difference, like batteries ( My grandfather is the former VP of Duracell, sorry) and bagged lettuce. I'm pretty picky about that one as I'm a salad freak.

Although I didn't use infant forumla,, there are perks tobuying that generic as well, check out the comparison to store brand formula and see what you think, could buying generic be a better choice for you, or your baby in terms of formula?

Are there any items on this list you disagree with?

What brand name do you prefer to the generic on the list?

Visit my sponsor: 10 Products to Always Buy Generic


Friday, July 23, 2010


We picked blueberries last weekend, on Andys birthday.

What are your favorite blueberry recipes?
Head over to my site & let me know!

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