Friday, June 26, 2009

Pay It Forward Fridays

On one of the blogs I follow I noticed they had a pay it forward day every week. The blogger made a point to do a random act of kindness on that day and challenged the readers to do the same. I thought this was a fantastic idea and decided to do the same for my blog. I have been on the receiving end of many acts of kindness. You never know how much a simple thing can really help someone out or brighten their day. I can be stressed and running late and a simple thing like someone offering to let me make my purchase before them because I only have one item can totally change my mood. I cannot count how many times people have handed me money that I dropped on the floor or chased me out of a store with my sunglasses that I left on the counter. I would have been literally crying when I got home and realized that I had lost my glasses.

I always try to help older people unload their groceries and have never thought anything of it. One day I helped a woman a disabled woman unload her little cart. She got tears in her eyes and profusely thanked me. I was a little taken aback. I was just standing there anyway. It took very little effort for me to help her. She explained to me how much she hates going shopping and is always embarrassed to ask for help when unloading her cart. I wondered why is she having to ask?

A few weeks later my grandmother told me about her experience at Safeway. My grandmother has really bad arthritis and due to a stroke sometimes her hands don't do what she tells them. She usually goes to Nob Hill because the checker unloads the cart, but that day she went to Safeway. She was having such a hard time unloading the cart and the people in line behind her were getting frustrated because she was taking so long. She was so embarrassed and kept apologizing for taking so long and left the store in tears. This infuriated me. Why didn't anyone help her? Why didn't the checker offer to help her when she apologized for taking so long to unload the cart?

I thought about this for the entire day after she told me the story. We can get so caught up in the chaos of our day that we don't see the people around us. We are all so busy and most of us don't have the time or resources to save the world. We can, however, do a random act of kindness at least once a week. You never know how much it will be appreciated by the person on the receiving end. It can be something big or small. Hold the door open, make a meal for a friend that is sick or just had a baby, let someone cut in line, take your granny to lunch, just do something nice for somebody.

I decided to choose Friday's as my pay it forward day. One because pay it forward Friday's flows well and two everyone is usually in a good mood on Fridays :)

Feel free to post a comment about what you did nice for someone today.

My pay it forward for the week:
My friend Candy's sister suffered an awful tragedy last week. Her baby girl died at birth. Losing a child is the worst pain one can experience and unfortunately there are many costs associated with it as well. When Marco and I dealt with this issue we experienced such overwhelming generosity from people we had never even met. Everyone scared us so much about how much burial expenses were going to be. We didn't know what we were going to do. I had been on bed rest for three months so Marco's salary was our only income. They must have felt sorry for us or something because when I called the funeral home and cemetery to make arrangements both offered their services for free. The funeral home donated their services and the casket and only charged us the fee for filing the death certificate. The cemetery donated the plot. I cannot express how helpful this was. It was such a huge weight off of our shoulders that were already so burdened with grief. The least I can do is try to pay it forward in someoneelse's time of need.

Candy is holding a yard sale and the proceeds will go towards Baby Belen's final expenses. I am not able to donate any funds at this time, but when Tarynn wakes up from her nap i am going to head over to some shopping. If you have any time available stop by the sale you may find some hidden treasures and remember it's totally green to by previously owned items ;)

610 Argonne Ave.
Hollister, CA 95023

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trying to learn to crochet

I am on a mission to learn to crochet. I have seen some absolutely adorable crocheted baby items lately and would love to learn to make them. Not to mention being able to make my own scarves and beanies in the winter. Scarves would also make great Christmas gifts.

So far the learning process has been a big FAIL. My hands just do not do what I tell them to do. I think crocheting is easy for most people, just not me. On Thursday I went to a meeting of Gavilan College's KnitWits. The ladies were kind enough to try to get me started. They tried to show me how to do a granny square. I told them I better practice doing a chain for awhile.

Yesterday Marco's grandmother tried to show me how to make a blanket. I also told her I better practice on making a chain for I think I just need to get the hang of manipulating the needle and yarn. I am not good at doing things with an audience and both times I've tried I had more than one person watching me to make sure I was doing it right.

I'm going to practice tonight and am supposed to meet w/ Marco's granny and the KnitWits again this week for some more instruction. Wish me luck.

Here are some pics of some of my favorite crocheted items. Just click on the link below the item to be directed to the seller. Absolutely A-Dorable!!!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Product Rave

I have very sensitive skin and a strong family history of breast cancer so I always use all natural bath and body products. (The correlation between breast cancer and bath products deserves it's own post as I've mentioned before and one day I will take the time to post it)Living in such a small town we have very limited shopping options, no natural foods store, and the stores we do have do not carry their full inventory. I used to have to drive to Santa Cruz or stock up while in Sacramento on face wash, body wash, lotions, ect. Last year I discovered that Vitamin World (there is one in Gilroy) has a section of natural products and this year I discovered that Target and Walmart are carrying some Alba products. While I have a little bit easier access to natural products, I still have to leave town to get them and go to multiple stores. Better, but still frustrating. I try and like to shop locally, but in Hollister it is very difficult.

Now to the point of this post...

I went to the farmer's market last Wed and came across the Foxhollow Herb Farms' booth. They had quite a selection of products from soap to lotions to body scrub and much more. I picked up an exfoliating salt scrub. The 16 oz. container is only $10. If you have any experience buying natural products you know that is a great deal. The salt is pretty fine which makes it last longer. I have been using the ALBA brand, which I like but the salt is very chunky, so it only lasts me one week. At $12.99 that gets expensive. The Foxhollow scrub is perfect for daily use.

If you are not familiar w/ natural products a salt scrub can be used daily in leui of soap. The oils cleanse your skin and are less drying that soap. The ingredients in the Foxhollow scrub are Olive, grapeseed, and almond oil, salt, vitamin E, and essential oil of grapefruit. (NO PARABENS YAY!!!) Now if you are actually dirty you may want to use soap, but for an average day the soap and salts will provide enough cleansing. They carry lavender and orange, peppermint and spearmint, and grapefruit. This is my only gripe w/ their product line. I don't like citrus or mint smells. I wish they had something fruity, floral, or like vanilla or brown sugar. I chose grapefruit as it's fragrance was the most mellow of the bunch.

I can't wait to try the face wash, lotions, and clay mask. Maybe I will have a local place to buy all of my bath products:)

Foxhollow's website

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sneak Peak

For those of you that don't know I have been working on a product line for infants I have a long way to go, many items to add, and inventory to build up. I had a mini photo shoot today w/ Doreen Anne Photography and can't wait to see the pics. I will be working on my website and getting some products together this week. Every square inch of my living room is covered with ribbon, tulle, butterfly wings, and flowers!!!

I can't wait to officially announce my business with the name, website, pics background, and everything else, but until then here is a little sneak peek.

These are horrible pics just taken w/ my phone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oprah struck a nerve with Chop today

Chop and I were watching Oprah's show today regarding over consumption. We decided to modify her challenge for our own household. In case you didn't tune in one family went without shopping and electronics for a week. A single gal reduced her grocery bill, shopping ,trips to the hair salon,and water consumption.

We brainstormed a bit and there is no way we can go without tv or the internet, but we are going to cut at least an hour of tv watching a day. We will replace it with reading, walking, or going to the dog park.

We can't really cut our grocery bill, but we can try to make the food go further and be better about using the leftovers. I have also been composting and am going to plant a small veggie garden.

I am going to try to cut my showers down to 15 minutes and Chop will cut his to 7. We are also going to turn the water off while brushing our teeth.

Wish us luck and if we think of anything else I'll let you know.

Chop gets a math award

Chop received the most improved award in Math!!! Last year he really struggled and thanks to the help of two fabulous tutors Christina for 5th grade and Summer for 6th he has now received a math award and has a B:)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tarynn's first time in the pool

After the March of Dimes walk I decided to reward myself w/ a relaxing Sunday afternoon in the pool. My friend Diane had us over to her fantastic home and we enjoyed a day of lounging in the pool. I am so in love w/ her backyard that I informed her and her husband I will be using their pool house as a summer home. Diane and I enjoyed some ice cold Coronas and Tarynn had some frozen mango.

Slowly but surely the entire baseball team trickled in and we made hot dogs and smores. The boys played some baseball and the day ended w/ a dads against kids basketball game which got pretty intense. The boys drew blood...literally!!!! All in all it was a perfect Sunday afternoon.

*Do not buy this floatie. The head kept whacking her in the face.