Friday, April 30, 2010

GG - filtered water

Dear Blog,

About a year ago Heath and I were in a small dilemma. A dilemma with drinking water. We all know that the tap here in the Phoenix area is yucky, plus it has the added metals and fluoride and chemicals and stuff so we didn't want to drink it anyway. Then we thought we could use bottled water (looking forward to this seeing what this film is all about) but clearly that is a ton of plastic to throw away, not to mention expensive. So, we did what I have always done as a child and use gallon water jugs. But since I am not a fan of purified water (I wanted distilled instead) we could not reuse are water containers at a Water 'n Ice store which brought us back into the problem of using a lot of plastic.

Then came along Pete and Kerri. A couple in our ward who could live off the land with only a knife and the clothes on their backs (they were the inspiring couple who showed me there are people out there who really use cloth diapers). They told us about a wonderful thing called Berkey. It wasn't long before we made the small investment and got our beloved water filter.

You ask, "What is so great about this water filter?" Well, unless you want to have this post be extra long, I will do my best to give you the abbreviated version.

#1 - Convenient. No need to run to the store for water. Just use the tap.

#2 - It removes bacteria, metals, viruses, even food coloring yet keeps vital minerals that distilled does not have.

#3 - No plastic waste.

#4 - Filters last for 6000 gallons and are relatively inexpensive (please compare to other water filters here)

#5 - Can be used as emergency water supply. It can filter water from swimming pools, lakes, ponds, etc. Organizations such as UNICEF, Int. Red Cross, and Save the Children use Berkey filtration. (We actually bought ours from Food Storage in Mesa)

The above reasons convinced me to get one but if you need more info then visit

So pretty and Shiny!
I was much better about this when pregnant, but when I need water
on the go I put filtered water into this water bottle. No waste, no BPA.

Lastly, I want to point out that our tap water magically tastes better and softer once it has been filtered. So if you are big on taste you will probably like it. It took Heath and I a couple days to get used to the taste because we were used to no flavor (distilled) but it really tastes great. I also try to use the water for cooking as much as I can.

Think about it.

Thanks for letting me talk your ear off again.

Emily Wilcock

Friday, April 23, 2010

Free Samples

Dear Blog,

Yesterday I was at Costco, it was lunch time, and I was hungry so I was trying to fill myself up on free samples. A lady was sampling Uncrustables. You know, the ready-to-go peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As my mom and I grabbed a piece to eat I said, "These remind me of Heath. He said he would eat 2 a day for lunch at school."

The lady at the sample station smiled at me and said, "Who is this? Your son?"

I replied, " husband."

Still young at heart Heath is.

Emily Wilcock

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Dear Blog,

It is nearly midnight and I just couldn't go to bed without wishing every one a Happy Earth Day!

Click on the picture...I dare you

I want to say that this post was delayed until nearly the day after Earth Day because Heath took it with him to work and school all day to finish homework. But to be honest, your wanna-be tree huggers didn't even realize it was Earth Day until earlier this evening when my MIL called me up to say she made Juniper a cute little outfit for the occasion. I know, how sad...I mean the not knowing part. It's awesome Juni has such an awesome Grammy (You're awesome too, Tutu!).

Earth is beautiful and I love it and I pray that we all may take care of it so our children can enjoy it as well for many more generations. Now let us all go watch WALL-E.

Emily Wilcock

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Going Green - cloth diapers

Dear Blog,

I wish I could have taken a picture of the facial expressions I saw when I told people that I was planning to use cloth diapers. Some looked amazed. Some looked like they didn't believe me. Some looked as though I was getting in over my head. And some just looked disgusted. Nevertheless, I felt assured with my decision (some may call it being stubborn) and I am very happy I went through with it all. And much to my surprise and pleasure, using cloth diapers is not as hard or as unsanitary as we all might think.

I have pulled some online resources to help me express to you why I feel using cloth as opposed to disposable is important. If cloth diapering doesn't float your boat or you are not at a diaper-changing stage of life that's OK. Just being educated further on the subject is invaluable.

Pros of using cloth

-saves money over time (This is a great chart I found doing the math for costs of all types of cloth diapers and disposables for 2 1/2 years. I scored with the cheapest - prefolds - at around $381, or $0.06 per diaper change including the wash. Woo hoo! Disposables are the most expensive at an estimated $2577.35, or $0.36 per diaper change)

-no landfill waste (3rd largest contributor to landfill waste. And did you know that disposable diaper packages advise to put solid waste into the toilet before throwing the diaper away? Neither did I.)

-less likely to get diaper rash

-more likely to potty train earlier and quicker. (Though using cloth is not a promise that your child will potty train earlier, the idea is that since the child feels more wet in cloth the child will learn the connection between being wet and uncomfortable and using the bathroom instead.)

-can be used for more than one child (talk about dividing the cost even more!)

Cons of using cloth

-less convenient than disposable (I would dread using cloth if I had to go to a laundry mat. If this were the case, it would be the only time I would consider using a diaper service. Washing at home may mean a little more work, and I emphasize "little," but it is DEFINITELY DOABLE.)

-Not widely available (Most cloth diapers can only be ordered. The prefolds at Wal Mart and Target don't count in my opinion.)

-More diaper changes per day (8-10 cloth vs. 6-8 disposable)

-Pay more money up front (Buying cloth did take a pretty penny from our paycheck-to-paycheck income but it's nice not having to worry about anymore. THINK COSTCO.)
-Personally, I wouldn't travel with cloth (When and if I travel, I'm surely going to buy a pack of disposables.)

This great little invention is called a Snappi. It works like the hooks used for ACE bandages so no need for pokey pins

There are so many kinds of cloth diapers. By utilizing the web site I ultimately chose to use unbleached Indian prefolds with Thirsties Duo wraps. And let me tell you, the only time we've had a leak was when I didn't properly tuck the prefold inside the cover. I love using them and knowing I'll never run out of diapers.

Though the information is definitely incomplete I hope it was helpful. Bonne chance!
Emily Wilcock

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Mesa Public Library

Dear Blog,

Lately, I have felt a bit overwhelmed with being a SAHM. I never thought I would say that but I can't seem to be able to keep up with any household chores. The laundry is always needing to be folded and put away, the dishes always need to be done, and the whole apartment just always needs to be organized. It feels like we are still trying to settle in. And once things get cleaned up, in a couple days it's a disaster again.

I'm getting off track. What I want to tell you is that I did something silly and I think if I had everything under control it wouldn't have happened.

I received an email about a week ago from the Mesa Public Library saying that my book was over due. It was a book called Beloved that Heath read for one of his classes. I disregarded it because I had already turned it in and they must have sent me that email before they entered the book into the system. Then, a couple days later they sent another late notice. "I've got to call them to straighten things out. I know I turned it in. I remember putting it into the drop off slot."

That evening Heath and I were eating dinner when Heath got a concerned look on his face says, "Toni Morrison? Beloved?" And he nods towards the corner of the room. I look, and sure enough, there is the book sitting pretty on the floor.

I was flabbergasted. "What?! I turned it in! I can picture in my head dropping the book off in the slot."

Then Heath lovingly said, "Well, clearly you didn't because it's right there."

This picture shows what my face probably looked like at this moment.

"Then what book did I give to the library?" After running everything through my mind I realized that the book was just a plain green hardback and the paper cover that folds over it was already missing when I checked it out. We also had a gardening book had the same shade of green cover, missing its paper cover, and it was not on our bookshelf.

Yes, I turned in one of our own books! I couldn't believe it!!! Basically, it's 3 to 0 in favor of the library. They g0t their book back, 4 dollars because of a late fee, and a new book to add to their collection.

A flustered Mrs. Wilcock

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Clever Story by a Clever Man

Dear blog,

Instead of writing a story about Heath, I'll let you read a story Heath wrote. You just have to go to this link because our buddy Tyler Pack had him "guest star" on his blog. Thanks Pack for doing all the work.


Emily Wilcock

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Going Green - No paper towels

Dear blog,

I want you to know as we begin our green journey that we are in no way perfect. You may see many double standards. Some of you may think, "Well, if they don't use paper towels and use cloth diapers, then why are they still using toilet paper?" Like I said in the previous post, we must change in phases, lest we make ourselves mad with such a sudden and drastic lifestyle change. And if you have any suggestions to make things better or easier, then please let us know. This will be a learning experience for us so expect mistakes.

The very first change Heath and I made was cutting out paper towels. This was a very easy thing to do, in my opinion. I was actually inspired by my in-laws while Heath and I were still engaged. They kept a stack of dish rags under the sink. I know a lot of people may do this but it hit me one day that it is so easy to grab a rag from under the sink and clean off the counter tops and then toss it in the laundry hamper. Doing that is the same motions if you were using a paper towel: pull it off the roll, wipe the counter, and toss into the trash.

I bought a bundle of these from Wal Mart. It was about $3.50 for 18.
That's just as much as a package of paper towels. Seems worth it to me.

My in-laws also had cloth napkins. Though I've used them many times in restaurants I never considered using them at home. I enjoyed using them because it made the meal feel more elegant, even if it was macaroni & cheese. I thought to myself that with cloth napkins and dish rags, I could totally eliminate paper towels. And I liked that idea very much.

This fabric is pretty thick though I'm sure it doesn't have to be. These were left over linens from my wedding and they work great.
Also, using cheese cloths or something like it works well too.

It seems so obvious to do this one, since most of us already have plenty of dish rags. What a simple and easy way to start...
Step one - complete.
I challenge you to do the same!
Emily Wilcock

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Going Green is More Than a Trend

Dear Blog,

Most people who know Heath and I well know that we do a few things that are "green." For instance, Juniper wears cloth diapers and we use a water filter instead of bottled water. There are a few other things we do to help our Earth but of course it isn't nearly enough.

A couple weeks ago we watched the documentary No Impact Man. If you haven't heard of it, it is about a writer who lives in New York City with his wife and small child who decides to live without impacting the environment for a year. That means no packaging, buying only used merchandise if needed, no trash, no toilet paper, no public transportation and even no electricity. It seems virtually impossible to do any of those these days and yet he did it along with his family and in NYC no less. It was definitely inspiring to Heath and me.

One thing they did to make transitioning easier was by going in phases. They didn't just do everything at once. I think that's why we all think living no impact is good but never go through with it. Where do you start? But start we must. Heath and I started with simply foregoing paper towels.

Though we don't plan on making absolutely no impact (how can we in AZ where a car is a must to get around) we want to lighten our impact considerably. So I thought I can share with those who read this blog what we do or will be doing to go greener, and why we do it. I want to debunk the assumption that going so green is so hard and inconvenient that it will make personal life suck. If you find merit in our experiences then try it out (if you need help or more tips let me know). And though there are few readers of this blog, maybe if you change one habit, another will notice and follow. So, let's give it a go!

Who's with me?!

Emily Wilcock

Monday, April 5, 2010

Joyeuses Paques {aka Happy Easter}

Dear Blog,

I have noticed that Holidays have changed in both good and bad ways since Juniper's arrival. The good change is that holidays seem sweeter and more meaningful. The bad change is that special Holidays go by way too fast to fully enjoy them, especially now that they're greater with June. I want to be able to sit and breath it all in but I'm mostly just running around without getting anything done to enrich it. Luckily, I have loved ones who have filled in the traditional stuff this year. I plan on getting my act together to pitch in more next year.

To start off Easter this year I should add that my mom came to town all the way from Maui. She blessed my life by giving me 3 full nights of sleep while she tended to Juniper as she is not sleeping through the night yet. It was my full night of sleep since at least 1 month before Juniper was born (I would always have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night late in my pregnancy). Juniper and Tutu Kona enjoyed each other's company and I enjoyed catching up on some much needed house work, though I'm far from done.

Juniper and Tutu Kona
(FYI-Tutu is Hawaiian for Grandma and Kona is Alikona as in Hawaiian for Allison)

The fam went to the Easter Pageant. I loved it. I always do. And I miss being on stage, particularly the Angel stage. There's nothing like having the story of Jesus' life told to you every night for 3 weeks straight. That's why being in the pageant is so great.

My Aunties Heather and Jennifer, and Jennifer's 3 girls came to visit us. And while they were here all the kiddies (we missed Jocelyn!) enjoyed an Easter egg hunt and we had a yummy brunch.

The Cousinhood of the Traveling Diaper

On Easter, Heath and I watched conference and lounged around the house most the day. For dinner we went to Heath's family's for a simple yet scrumpcious dinner. I even got an Easter basket!!! Thank you Kerri!

Misplaced her bunny ears, but daddy had this great idea

So, there is our special holiday. Hope yours was special too!

Emily Wilcock

Juniper dit, "Joyeuses Paques!"

Friday, April 2, 2010

Out of the Loop

Dear blog,

Last night I went to the Mesquite High School dance concert to support the ever beautiful and talented Micol Davies, and I learned something...

Apparently, high pony-tails are in!

the short-haired Emily Wilcock