Mother’s Day

 

 

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With Mother’s Day coming up I am realizing how important it is to mark an appreciation for your mother.
I look to all my friends and see what they are going through as new moms and think how they deserve a card, a cake, a gift, a bloody medal for all they go through.

Sleepless nights, careers on hold, ruined bodies, mental stress, financial strain.
Not to mention all the little things…..Like having someone pee and barf on you all the time.

Is being a mom hard? Yes.
Is being a mom awesome? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want a little extra appreciation.

Moms often feel under appreciated and I got all grumpy thinking about this.
Why is that?
Are our families ungrateful jerks?
Not necessarily.
But as I think ahead to Mother’s Day and want to buy cards and gifts, I find little available.
I will have to wait until the mass wave of chocolate bunnies and easter egg dye kits are removed from shelves. But even then, promotion will be weak and selection will be limited. I mean it’s only like a month away and nobody’s even mentioned it yet.
If Christmas was only 4 weeks away we would already be sick of the holiday music.

I don’t fully blame checked out husbands or self absorbed children for the lack of mom appreciation. I place the blame for this squarely on the retailer.
Why isn’t there a bigger push to show moms the love?
Mother’s day could be just as love filled as Valentine’s Day. But it’s not.
I asked my preferred card shop when they would be getting their Mother’s Day cards in, and they told me they aren’t getting any. Ever. 
Even shops that do stock cards don’t have a good variety. What about godmothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, or people you wish were your mom because they are just the best ever?!

If the retail industry is going to drop the ball, then I guess it’s up to each and every one of us.

Show your mom you care!
Show someone else’s mom you care!
Show someone who acted as a motherly guide that you care!

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Mother’s Day is on May 8th and I’m gonna be sharing the love for all whole lotta moms in my life, I hope you do the same.

And if no one is showing you the love, treat yourself!

Little Jonny wants new shoes? Instead, get yourself some chocolates.
Suzy wants ballet lessons? Too bad Suzy, Mommy deserves a pedicure.
The family wants dinner out? Suck it, Mom got herself some flowers and went out to the movies. Alone.

If you need suggestions about what to get a mom for mother’s day…Ask her.

Or go for one of these fun ideas:
Edible arrangements
Charmed Aroma
Or even search for Spa ideas here

Are you flat broke?
Make a mom dinner, clean her house, or just visit her and tell her she’s cool.
She was probably pretty cool before she started hanging out with a baby every day.

Even if you don’t totally think your mom is the greatest person on planet earth, it would be nice to acknowledge the fact that she tried her best to keep you alive while you had no regard whatsoever for your own safety.

Make her a card that says:

Thanks for feeding me vegetables instead of those tasty paint chips I had my eye on.

or

Good call on teaching me not to play in the street. I’m glad you were in charge while I was busy not paying attention.

Do it. ‘Cause being a mom is darn tough and you were probably kind of a brat.

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Be Water Smart!

It’s World Water Month!

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Here are some quick tips to help you conserve this natural resource, and protect its quality, too.

1- Keep showers short, or skip them all together!
We don’t need to shower everyday.  Heck since becoming a mom, I only shower about twice a week, and I have yet to lose any friends over it.
But if you are into bathing and smelling like an English rose, try super short 5 minute showers.

2- Install low-flow toilets and shower heads.
The shower-heads are affordable and easy to instal yourself.
As a renter, you can always take your shower-head with you when you move, as well!

If you aren’t keen on replacing your toilet, you can get a cistern displacement device put into your toilet to reduce the volume of water being used in each flush.
Or you can DIY – put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.
Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly.

3- Fix leaky plumbing.
Tightening up a leaky sink is usually simple and quick.

4- Use the bin to toss your trash, not the toilet.
The toilet is not a wastebasket, flushing a piece of trash or cigarette butt is ridiculously wasteful!
And try skipping flushes here and there. A bit of pee sitting in the bowl is not the end of world.

5- Don’t waste water outdoors.
Limit outdoor watering and washing to the bare necessities.
Let the rain rinse your car clean.
Use a watering can for the plants instead of a hose.

6- Use a rain barrel.
Catch and use rainwater for the yard, garden, and to wash the car.

7- Avoid rinsing trash and soaps into the sewer.
These lead into rivers, bays, and other waterways.

8- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
This doesn’t sound like much, but it saves about 5 litres per minute!

9- Don’t run the tap to get water colder.
If you want cold water for drinking, pop a jug of tap water into the fridge. Or use ice. It’s simple to make and I’ll even share the secret recipe with you!

10 – Be water efficient with your landscaping.
Plant hardy, drought tolerant plants in your yard, this will keep you from having to water as often.
Mulching your plants will also reduce on the need to water.

Some pretty suggestions for drought tolerant plants include:
California Lilac, Deer Grass, Salvia, Dusty Miller (pictured), Tickweed (pictured), Cactus, Cape Blanco, Sunset Strain (pictured), and lavender.

dusty miller

tickweed

Sunsetstrain

11- The same goes for indoor plants.
Try succulents (pictured), ZZs, palms, snake plants (pictured), cacti, air plants (pictured), chinese evergreens, cast-irons, pathos, begonias.
These plants use little water and are hard to kill (for those of us with a black thumb… or two).

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12 – Run your dishwasher and washing machines with full loads only.

13- Use a broom, not a hose.
To clean your porch, driveway, lanai, sidewalks, and other outdoor areas.

14 – Don’t water the lawn on windy days, or at high noon.
This will keep the water where it needs to be for longer.

15 – Be water smart when cooking.
Make sure to choose the correct size pot, something larger than needed will be a waste of water. Cooking with less water will also increase the amount of nutrients the food retains.

16- Use the garbage disposal less, and compost more!

17 – Use gray-water.
Reserve the water used to rinse fruit and veggies and use it to water your plants.

18 – Soak your pots and pans.
This will make washing a quick breeze, instead of letting the water run while you scrub.

19- Wash clothes in cold water.
Cold uses less water. And it will help keep your darks darker for longer.

20 – Install a shut off valve or self closing hose.
This will ensure that the hose only runs while in use.

21 – Move planters into the shade.
This will help plants avoid the hot afternoon sun, and reduce the amount of water they need.

It’s never too late to challenge yourself to be mindful of water use habits.

Let’s work together to seek changes that will make our oceans and waterways healthier for all!

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If you have more tips, please add them in the comments!

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Koa turns 18

Yes, the embryo once know as Pepsi Supernintendo is now a full grown toddler!

The big guy is a year and a half year old today.
Happy (half) birthday, Koa!

BDAY!

He is growing by leaps and bounds. Koa is climbing, running, and high five-ing everyone in sight!

He still isn’t really talking, but his days are filled with a myriad of sounds including his newest:
“Ayyy!”
Think Fonzie….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUAwDimAgiA

Ed swears Koa said “Fresh” the other day, but I think it was just his usual “Eshhhh” sound.
Koks’ vocab still seem to be limited to: Daddy, Mama, No, and Walana (which is Tagalog for ‘gone or none’) and he uses these 4 words to address all manner of things. “Daddy” is interchangeable for addressing Ed and wanting to be carried somewhere. Just as Mama means “Mom” and “feed me that”.

The little guy is a good eater and growing tall. So far the only thing he consistently rejects is asparagus. But he now has 2 molars and a total of 10 teeth, so he will be able to chomp his way through anything soon enough!

We are celebrating today with a little cupcake treat and wishing you were here.

fun cake

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Resolve to Evolve

My New Year’s Resolutions are usually something achievable with little or no effort on my part. My traditional resolutions have been things like: Don’t get a terrible haircut this year.
Or
Keep being awesome.

But a true resolution should be something that betters you or your community. So things like avoiding a shitty haircut shouldn’t really make the grade, resolution-wise.

I have been thinking lots about my upcoming resolutions.
Much of this is fuelled by the fact that I don’t want to get depressed when I inevitably fail to achieve my admirable resolution. Curing Cancer or achieving World Peace sure sounds great, but that’s just setting myself up for failure.

I have realized lots of what makes a resolution achievable is in the wording. Resolutions are a contract with yourself, so if the contract is ironclad that you will “workout for 3 hours a day” you are destined for a sucky year. Because by January 4th you might not feel up to it….decide to eat an entire cheesecake instead and then write off the rest of the year.
Or say, “I will volunteer at the Old Folks Home every day after work for the whole year”. That might not work out. But if you make a resolution slightly more vague by saying “I will volunteer with seniors more often”, then sure, that’s very do-able.
You could do it 6 times and win your resolution goal!

This year I was going to tackle some pretty intense stuff, but I have word it just right so I don’t get discouraged and quit right away.

Here are my resolutions *deep breath*:

1- Get back into more regular workouts. More regular then never. Which is what I have been doing for the past year.
I am starting with a teeny a 7 minute daily workout routine. So I will *try* to accomplish at least a 7 minute workout everyday.
And then, upwards from there!
Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be up to, like, 12 minutes of working out each day.
Good job, me!

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2- Make strides to eventually become vegan. I have been slowly working my way along this journey for years. And this year I think I finally managed to give up meat completely. So the next step is dairy completely.
I think I am doing great, but then I realize something like instant miso soup has bonito powder in it. Darn!
Disappointing, but it doesn’t mean back to square one of eating steaks for dinner each night.
I know this is a long ongoing process, but it is one I am happy to undertake. Hopefully by this time next year I will be much further along with my resolve for improving the lives of animals and helping to find a better balance with consuming v. environmentalism.

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3- Respond to people saying “Thanks!” with “Welcs!”.
Okay, this isn’t exactly going to make the world a better place, BUT my mom does this. She is the only person on planet earth I know that does, and I think it’s adorable.

So there you have it! My resolutions to be less of a terrible person.

What’s on your plate for the upcoming year? And how are you going to ensure success?

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Protected: It never gets old

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Rocked the walk!

Hi Everyone,

This past weekend was our big walk for the BC SPCA!
It was a beautiful sunny day (and, of course, breezy by the water).
We had a good time and Koa liked seeing all the dogs!

I didn’t have an actual dog to walk for the event, so Koa acted as an excellent substitute:

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Altogether you, Koa, and I raised $905 for the BC SPCA (British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). This placed us squarely as the number 3 highest fundraisers in the city. Amazing!

To help break it down, the $905 can do all this:

~ 13 kittens being fixed (spayed or neutered)

~ 11 puppies being fixed (spayed or neutered)

~ 58 bales of Timothy Hay for the small animals

~ 129 bags of cat litter (40lb bags of pine litter)

~ 1606 loads of laundry

~ 90,500 pieces of printer paper

~ 301 bags of cat treats

The participants in the city of Richmond walk raised a grand total of $17,406 for the animals, so we played a substantial role. A big shout out to everyone who donated, walked, and helped fundraise!

Thank you so much for all your generous donations and heartfelt support!
It really meant a lot to me (and made a great difference to the animals in need).

-If you wanted to make a donation, but forgot – please let me know. You can still contribute!
-If you never got your letter/thank you gift from me, give me a holler and I’ll get it sorted.
-If you want to continue to support the SPCA throughout the year or choosing another animal friendly organization that is more your cup of tea, I have tips on figuring that out for you.
-If you loved your thank you gift/card, let me know! I might have an extra I can send you.

Again thank you so much for your support!

Here are some pics from the big day:

Koa gears up early by getting his tail wagging!

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And by mid morning is practicing in his full puppy outfit (pictured at the top of the post)

We arrive to walk at exactly naptime, so Koa is fa bit of a Grumpelstiltskin:

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But he still has enough energy to wander around and meet some of the real dogs (though all those pictures are terrible, so here’s one of him standing alone with dogs in the background):

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We might have taken a bit of a shortcut to speed the walk along…..but, nevertheless, we made it to the finish line!

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And the walk was in Garry point park in beautiful Steveston, so it was lovely!

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And windy along the water’s edge!
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Thanks again to all of you for your support!

Much Love,
Lynn and Koa

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Last call!

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Our big walk for the SPCA is tomorrow.
So if you were wanting to support us, please don’t wait!

We are already 91% of the way to our goal, so a HUGE thank you to everyone who has already donated and wished us luck. You have truly warmed my heart!
And we are currently the third highest fundraising team in the city!

I would love to make it to our goal of $1000, so please consider making a donation. Even $5 would be an amazing help! (and due to the current state of the Canadian dollar, that’s only $3.50 US!).

All funds donated go straight to the BC SPCA. This organization strives to help all animals of BC (domestic, wild, and farm) through sheltering, cruelty investigation, emergency medical care, education programs for children, adoption and many other initiatives.

If you would like to support us and the animals, please check out my donation page:

http://support.spca.bc.ca/site/TR/PawsforaCause/2015PawsforaCause?px=1476416&pg=personal&fr_id=1769

If you would like to join us for the walk, make a donation offline, register for a walk in your area, or learn more – please let me know!

Anyone who makes a donation will get a thank you gift from me, a follow up report on our walk, and pictures of the fun… as well as my eternal love and gratitude!
Plus, donations of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt.

Other ways you can help without making a monetary contribution include:
-Sharing my fundraising page with your friends and family
Volunteering for a walk in your area

Thank you again for your support and love.

x0

Kant

 

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15 days and 12%

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Hi Team,
The upcoming BC SPCA walk is just 15 days away. And Team Starkiller is a mere 12% away from making our goal of $1000 big huge animal loving dollars!
A huge thank you to everyone who’s already made a donation.
You guys have really rocked my socks with your big hearts and awesome generosity!
I’m hoping you are all loving your silly little thank you gifts.

I would love to make this goal of $1000. Though it’s ambitious, and I think I’ve only reached my goal once before in all the years I’ve done this walk…. I am confident I can get there!

I just need a little more support. So please share my donation page with your friends, family, and anyone you know who is a big old softy for animals.

All the cash goes to the BC SPCA to help run their educational programs, pay for veterinary assistance to animals, investigate claims of animal cruelty, and helps keep their shelters open.

So please consider making a small (or huge!) donation to this cause.

If you would prefer to show your support by making a donation offline, or by walking with us – please give me a shout. I would be happy to facilitate.

And yes, I still have loads of fun gifts for those who are going to be making donations!

The walk is happening on September 12th. So get ready for some fun pics of Koa being sniffed by pups!

You can check out my donation page here:
http://support.spca.bc.ca/site/TR/PawsforaCause/2015PawsforaCause?team_id=24051&pg=team&fr_id=1769

Paws

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Eco Nuts

As you probably know, I am on a perpetual mission to reduce plastic use.

And today the EcoNuts Soap Nuts I ordered arrived!  This product is an all natural alternative to laundry detergent.

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Soap Nuts are actually dried berries of the Himalayan Soap Nut tree. When agitated in water, these dried berries produce Saponin – a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant.

The list of benefits of Eco Nuts Soap is impressive:

  1. Soap nuts are gentle and natural. They are a great option for those with allergies and sensitivities as the product is 100% natural. It is only dried soap berries that you put in a cloth bag and add to water. It also means they are great for baby clothes, those with psoriasis, and eczema.
  2. Soap Nuts do not contain artificial foaming agents, so they are not creating a huge impact on our waterways or septic tanks.
  3.  Soap Nuts are wild harvested and the trees are not treated with pesticides or chemicals. So the product is organic and has a low impact on ecosystems by creating no artificial disturbances.
  4. Soap Nuts are packaged in a paper box and therefore totally forego any need for another stupid plastic bottle of soap!
  5. Soap Nuts are a good bang for your buck. The box goes for $10 on Amazon and claims to be enough for 100 loads (which would be about 3 bottles of detergent).

Yay ECO NUTS!

I tested them out on a regular old load of laundry. I threw 5 of the Nuts into the cloth bag provided and dumped it in with my clothes. Set on the regular wash cycle and my clothes now seem clean. Success!

If you are one of those people who LOVES the scent of laundry detergent, this product is not for you. The clothes come out clean, but they don’t smell all weird and fake scented like perfume.

If you are in the US, you can order your Eco Nuts on their website here:

http://econutssoap.com/

You can also order for other countries, but the $hipping is bonker$! So, ordering through Amazon proves to be a better deal if you are in someplace silly, like say, Canada.

http://www.amazon.com/Eco-Nuts-Seen-Shark-Loads/dp/B0037G39IO

 

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