27 October 2008


I'm so not participating in the NaNoWriMo contest this year. I am so busy I barely have time to write blog posts, let alone a novel in one month. It's just not happening, at least this year. Maybe next.

I guess that's what I get for putting too much on my plate. I do this literally as well.

Sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking forward to reading excerpts from the novel. I now have a whole year to think about genre, title, characters, plot, etc. Maybe that will give me enough time.

For everyone who IS planning on participating this year, GOOD LUCK! May the gods of inspiration be with you.

Delilah Blessing Photos

Just a few, more to come. Thanks to Mom for making the dress, it was beautiful!

25 October 2008

My First Word

This post will be short, because I just have enough time to pop in and tell you all what the first word I was able to spell.

Not Mommy, Daddy, not dog, not cat.

The first word I could spell?



That's right, you read correctly. I learned to spell "beer".


21 October 2008

Parylite Candles

I had a Partylite candle party on Saturday. I had a reasonably good turn out and, with a few outside sales, the total sales add up to around 500 bucks. I got several bookings out of that party, too. I still have at least 8 people to whom I have to show the catalogue and talk to about having a party of their own.

"500 dollars", you say, "wowsers!" Yep. Apparently that's an average show. And if I was a normal hostess (will explain later), that would translate into $125 of free product and 2 half price items, as well as all the hostess and guest specials. That's a big incentive to have a good turnout. You host a party, provide snacks and drink, invite a bunch of your friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, and acquaintences, and voila! Free stuff! Can't beat that!

I said "if I was a normal hostess"...well, I'm not. Cuz, you see, I've decided to SELL Partylite. Which means that I will make, on average, just under a thousand dollars a month if I do 6 average shows a month. 900 and some odd dollars, for doing about 20 hours worth of work. I'm not kidding. And the best part? It's on MY schedule, and I'm my own boss. I just have to start the ball rolling and get a couple parties scheduled. I already have 5 booked for November. I have none for October and December yet, and one booked in January. I need 6 per month (October and all of November count as one month for me, since I'm just starting) to make the minimum desired cash.

The reason I don't get those hostess benefits is because I get a 500 dollar startup kit that has a bunch of candles, decor items, candle holders, paperwork, and literature on how to be successful, which is paid for with the first $500 in sales I made. I have NO upfront costs. So when I go to my parties (as the Consultant), I have some items to display, so people can see the amazing stuff we sell. The catalogue is nice but it just doesn't do justice to some of these items.

Any sales above and beyond the $500 are bonus for me, since I'll get free product from those. I will already get at least 2 half price items (since I DID sell $500 in product), plus I can take advantage of all the hostess and guest specials. Woohoo!

Why, you ask, would I want to do this-aside from all the reasons I've already said? Look at it this way: if I can manage to make enough doing this, I get to stay home with Delilah. That's the most important reason I will do this. In addition, I can work whatever hours I like, on the days I like. Most times I'll be able to take Delilah with me, until she's old enough for me to leave her with Ben (when she'll take a sippy cup for milk). I'll get super products for my home (and business) for great prices, and I'll have major support from my unit leader (Christine) and sponsor (Kelly). Great ladies! Plus, Partylite has meetings where you can win stuff, like free product and TRIPS! And discounted products too. Even better, I'll get tax breaks on portions of my townhouse rent (home office), cell phone, home phone (when we get one), gas for the car, car payment (when we get a new one), internet...and any other stuff I use for the business. Because I'll be considered self-employed.

Having said all that, it's not like I won't be doing ANY work..I have to create and upkeep a client base, and the initial parties will have to be generated - which means I might be calling my friends, neighbours, and family to help me get started. I'll have to travel to my shows - next month I have one in Kitchener (thanks Stacy!) and one in Amherstburg (thanks Deborah!). I'll have to go to meetings to keep updated on the product, and keep records and such of everything. I'll have to buy product to use at shows, including little items to use for guest gifts (my idea to thank hostesses and guests for coming), and catalogues and order forms and other business-related products.

I promise to do the best I can to make each party the most beneficial and fun for the hostess. I'll offer free gifts to those invited guests who bring a friend, and a free gift for hostesses for every 10 people who show up at their party.

How can you help? Hostess a party for me. Tell your friends, and invite a ton of people to your party (invite 25-40 and expect 10-15 to show up). Take the catalogue around to friends who can't make your party. Get at least one solid party booked with one of your friends BEFORE the show, so you can take advantage of the hostess specials, and get excited, since it's gonna be FUN!

15 October 2008

Stuff I've Made

See something you like? Something you want? Let me know! More to come (all other bibs are in the washer!) Ok, I know she's cute but you can't have Delilah!
1. Grey, White and Black Star Berry Baby Leg Warmers (with Delilah modelling-she loves hers!)
2. Purple, Black and White Stripes and Hearts Berry Baby Leg Warmers
3. Grey, White and Black Heart Berry Baby Leg Warmers
4. Purple, Grey, Black and White Heart Berry Baby Leg Warmers
5. Betty Boop One Miss Undies (not waterproof) for ECing
6. Fuschia One Miss Undies (waterproof) for ECing
7. Pink and Green Dots Waterproof Bib
8. Red and Black Crocheted Wool Soakers
9. Camo Crocheted Wool Soakers
10. Natural Crocheted Wool Soakers
11. Sock Monkey Crocheted Wool Longies front view
12. Sock Monkey Crocheted Wool Longies back view

I'm working on getting all my stuff up on Etsy but that requires more time than I have right now.

Sewing Room!

I've taken on the task of designing myself an office/sewing/crafting room. It's exciting! A place (all in one room) to sew, chainmaille, iron, cut out material, store all my yarn, material, craft stuff, and on and on! And eventually, when I'm working from home, I'll have a comfortable, quiet place where I can go and work-awesome!

The decision to overhaul the spare room (Delilah doesn't really need her own room yet!) was spurred on by the fact that I lay out and cut material on the living room floor, take it downstairs to sew, bring it back up to the living room to iron, and so on. My yarn is currently stored in 2 bins in the basement, a garbage bag in the spare room, a basket in the spare room, a basket in the living room, and a bag in the living room. Material is likewise all over the house. Ridiculousness, really, when I could have it all in one place. Ben agrees as that means at last he'll have some of the boxes out of the basement which means more room for his workbench area, and eventually we'll set up a media area down there. Yay!

So far we've gotten one floating shelf up and will put up the second one tonight. I got some nice cherry coloured baskets from the dollarstore to place on the shelves; the baskets have already been labelled and filled with notions. My sewing machine is in its new spot -although I'm getting a new desk for it, one that will run the entire length of the wall. A matching desk will go along the parallel wall which will serve as my cutting and layout table. Should I require a huge work surface for laying out/cutting, I can push the 2 desks together which will create one 8x4 work surface. Woohoo! I'm so excited!

I'll get pics after it's all set up so all you disorganized people can be jealous. ;)

08 October 2008

Be One in a Million

Let's face it, we women have a lot of power when it comes to product purchasing. Throw your purse into the ring and join the cause: Be One In a Million!

How to Be One In a Million...pledge to spend at least $1000 of your household money on green products. That's it. If a million women do this, that's one billion dollars of money spent on environmentally smart options. Wow!


What the heck is this Twitter, anyway?

Are YOU on Twitter?


Break the Bottled Water Habit!

I pledge to Break the Bottled Water Habit by Thinking Outside the Bottle and using a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water. I also pledge to support the efforts of local officials to stop spending public funds on bottled water and prioritize strong public water systems over bottled water profits.

The Earth Policy Institute has a bunch of reasons why we should avoid bottled water. I know they're American numbers but they still apply to us Canadians:

  • Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more. At as much as $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline.
  • In contrast to tap water, which is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure, transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. Nearly a quarter of all bottled water crosses national borders to reach consumers, transported by boat, train, and truck.
  • Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year. Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.
  • According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
  • The rapid growth in this industry means that water extraction is concentrated in communities where bottling plants are located. Farmers, fishers, and others who depend on water for their livelihoods suffer from the concentrated water extraction when water tables drop quickly.
  • Tap water is more strictly regulated for health standards than bottled water.
(never mind the fact that drinking water out of plastic CAN'T be good for us)

What can we do? Write letters to our politicians, grocery stores and convenience stores. Ask your local convenience store to stop selling bottled water. Get your workplace to stop selling bottled water!

Instead of buying a waterbottle, make one from something you already have, like a glass jar (thanks for the idea, Colin!)

Convince your family and friends to stop drinking bottled water.

Forward this post to friends and family, blog about your pledge to stop drinking bottled water, and STOP DRINKING BOTTLED WATER!

07 October 2008

Yule Gift Ideas Part Two

I was thinking last night that many people might not know what to get Delilah, besides clothes..and even then, might not have a clue what to get her. So I've compiled a list of links that may help out. There are even some links and ideas for items for the family in general, not just Delilah.

Click on the grey words (they'll go highlighted if you put the cursor on them) for links to the store/specific item.

Dr Bronner's liquid soaps are great. They are castille soaps, which means they are 100% plant derived. They are completely biodegradeable and safe for the environment and people. You can use them for toothpaste, dish soap, laundry detergent, face wash, and body wash. We use the unscented on Delilah, and have since birth. No chemicals for her! I've included the link (click on the name Dr Bronner's) to the peppermint soap. We'd love a bottle of this to use in our house for everything from hands to dishes. Please note that the company has a $20 minimum purchase rule.

Natural Pod
is a company that makes and sells natural toys and clothing and other items made from safe materials. Toys are cloth and wood, clothing is organic and natural. Great Canadian store! They sell gift certificates.

EC Wear sells split crotch pants. These pants help out with D's potty times since we don't have to pull any pants down to get her onto the potty. The sidebar at left shows all the products they sell; they have organic clothes, legwarmers, and training pants, too!

The EC Store also has these items. In particular we like the T-shirt gowns, Split crotch hemp fleece pants, Snugglewool organic backed lambfleece blanket, the Itsy Bitsy spider babylegs, the Bambu baby utensils made from Bamboo, and more! If you aren't sure what to get they even have their version of gift certificates, the EC Store Dollars!

Fliggity is an amazing store that sells the coolest clothes ever. Check them out!

We'd love stainless steel utensils, bowls, plates etc for Delilah. We're staying away from plastic for obvious reasons. There is also a concern about lead in ceramics and other glass products, so make sure the companyindicates their products are lead-free if you get a porcelain, ceramic, or glass dish or bowl.

As most of you know, I'm making Delilah a lot of her diaper/underwear and bibs and such. I'd love a gift certificate for Wazoodle, an online store out of Markham Ontario that sells material and sewing notions, but I'm unsure if they have them. I do have a wishlist for their products, so email me for it and I will send it to you.

I hope this makes it easier on those who wish to buy Delilah Yule/Christmas gifts. For those who plan on handmaking their gift for her, AWESOME! (just please use non-toxic finishes and such)

Edited to add: a gift certificate from Cheeky Monkey is always welcome! They have two locations now, the old one at Oxford/Adelaide and their new shop on Wellington Street South by Commissioners (in the Listen Up! plaza).

Another idea: a stainless steel sippy cup, a perfect one is called Safe Sippy. It's available at Cheeky Monkey.

06 October 2008

Yule Gift Ideas

It's that time of year again: when everyone is thinking about what to buy/receive for the holiday season. Be it Yule, Christmas, Hannakuh, or another religious holiday, people will be getting into the gift giving mood!

I LOVE this time of year: from Autumn Equinox to Yule, with Halloween in between, these are my three favourite holidays. Turning leaves, cooler weather, sunny autumn days, the first snow...ahh, I love autumn!

Which brings me to the point of this post: Yule. Christmas/Whatever...that consumerist, commercialised, giving holiday. For those who need reminding, Ben and I have a list of restricted/permitted items we'd like people to consider when buying Delilah a gift. This list actually applies all year long, not just Yule.

1. Buy/make handmade gifts if possible. Handmade is best! Check out Etsy if you can, it's amazing...your place to buy handmade.

2. No plastic! This includes seethers, rattles, and any kind of toy. Plastic is toxic to people and the planet. You can find wood and/or fabric versions of these things online, if you look.

3. Buy local! Support local artisans rather than sweatshops! Even if it's an artist from another country, at least it's an original or artistic item rather than one of a million items churned out by some soulless corporation.

4. No licenced products: no Disney etc. We'd rather see Delilah in a handmade sweater than a Winnie the Pooh hoodie. Let's teach her to appreciate the clothing, not the label. And rather than paying for the name on crappy clothing, pay for quality clothing! There are tons of SAHM (stay at home mom) businesses online where you can buy great kids clothes.

5. Buy organic! Always try to buy organic clothing items: Cotton uses approximately 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants.). (Allan Woodburn) and the pesticides used end up in our air, water, and soil. It affects animals and insects as well as humans. Pesticides can cause asthma, cancer and other life-altering illnesses. Chemical fertilizers used also cause health issues and harm our planet. Note: when buying organic, try to buy Canadian or US products; consider the transportation required to get the item to your doorstep. Organic cotton from India, for example, is great but how much fuel did it take to get from there to here?

6. Buy second-hand: we really don't care if the item is brand new; in fact, we prefer to use secondhand items if possible. I realise that organic stuff is hard to find second-hand, we'll make exceptions for this. I'd rather see an item be reused than tossed out, so support the local second-hand shops (one here in London that is amazing is called Once Upon a Child, located in the plaza at the corner of Wellington and Bradley, the same plaza as Jack Astors).

As for sizing, Delilah seems to be a little long compared to most sizes for her age, so if you buy 6-12 or 9-12 they'll fit for a while yet, if you buy 12-18 mos they won't fit for a few months but they'll fit for a while. She'll probably fit into the 12-18 mo sizes in about 3 or 4 months.

You may think I'm being a bit of a princess when I state these requirements, think what you want. Just know that if we (or Delilah) unwrap a plastic toy made in China it's gonna end up at the Goodwill or the dump. So just don't buy it.

01 October 2008

One Can a Month Challenge!

I've decided to participate in a 1-bin-a-month garbage challenge, inspired by Enviromom. Yep, I'm going to try to reduce my household waste from 1 bin a week to 1 bin a month! And not just for a month or two, FOREVER! How am I planning on achieving this? Well, we already recycle, but I'm going to add vermicomposting and a bokashi bin.

Why do it? To reduce my family's impact on the earth. Less carbon emission (to transport waste to landfill), less waste=less waste at landfill, less methane produced by that waste breaking down, ...overall, a GREAT challenge!

Vermicomposting uses worms to digest most organic materials, except dog waste, meat, etc. and provide super nutrient-rich waste.
See here for more details. (Canadian company)

Bokashi bins use the process of fermentation to break down non-compostable organic materials-everything you can't put into the vermicomposter. You then put the by-product into your composter or garden to finish the process. See here for details. (Canadian company)
Reduce your waste by shopping smart: do you really need to buy that item that comes with a huge piece of non-recyclable plastic packaging? Do you really need to get a fresh paper cup at your coffee shop each time you go (start using your own cup). Use freecycle, Craigslist, etc for re-usable items you don't want-even your styrofoam (people who make beanbag chairs will gladly take your old styrofoam plates etc (that are washed)! Think outside the box! Join me in my challenge! (You don't have to reduce your waste all at once, try reducing your garbage by half! Or a quarter-any little bit helps!

Remember: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot!!!!

My Weightloss Progress