Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Juniper's First Bites

Dear Blog,

A few days ago, Juniper had her first meal of solid foods. Lately, she has been eyeing my food whenever I ate so I felt she was ready. She ate some green beans and wasn't quite sure what to think of them. We have discovered that she loves butternut squash and carrots. Heath loves to feed her and gets a kick out of the many faces she makes. I hope feeding her will always be this much fun.

I think chewing on the wet rag was her favorite part.

To keep from puzzling any of you who watch this, I read somewhere that if you have your baby hold onto a spoon while you feed them they may transition a bit easier to eating with a utensil when they are old enough. You can see that she has other plans.

Isn't she a cutie? I love her.


Emily Wilcock

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Esteban Martín" as the Spanish Might Say it

Please note that I wrote this on Saturday night but obviously haven't posted it until Monday.

Dear Blog,

Anyone who knows Heath well knows that his idol is Steve Martin. Personally, I don't get it but that is why I'm not doing improv comedy on the weekends and Heath is. Over these past couple of years, I have really learned to respect Steve Martin for his talent and accomplishments, thanks to a lot of education from my sweetie. Anywho, my heart was softening for this gray-haired oldie until the other day when Heath and I had a conversation that went something like this...

Emily: "If you had to choose between me and Steve Martin, who would you choose?" (Yes, I really asked this and I realize this is one of those girly, wifey, hypothetical questions that puts the man/husband in an uncomfortable position.)

Heath: "If I had to choose between you and one night with Steve Martin? I would definitely choose you."

Emily: "One night, huh? What if it was more? Like..."

Heath: "Like being best friends with Steve Martin or marrying you?"

Emily: "Yeah! If you had to choose between marrying me and being best buds with Steve Martin, which would you choose?"

Heath: Pauses for a short moment and makes a face "I would choose Steve Martin."

Emily: Gasp!

Heath: "I would even marry him if I didn't have to be romantically involved."

Emily: "WHAT! I can't believe you just said that!"


About 30 minutes has passed because I have been searching the Internet without much success for Heath's favorite picture of Steve Martin. I just came across a web site that has some of his most memorable quotes. It is almost midnight on Saturday night and Heath is currently at NCT taking notes on tonight's shows and getting ready to leave for home. So, I thought I would text him one of those quotes just to make him smile...

Emily to Heath sent at 11:27 pm: " 'A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.' "

Heath to Emily sent at 11:29 pm: "I've never been so attracted to you than from that text."

...Not sure whether to feel sad or happy because I think I have found Heath's weakness...

I must get going now. I've spent too much time online tonight. Au revoir!!!

Emily Wilcock

The Reason God Gave Us...

Dear Blog,

I believe that God created this Earth and that He created a wonderfully natural smorgasbord to not only keep our minds and bodies healthy, but to let us thrive.

We all personally know someone who has suffered from cancer and we know what an epidemic it is. Virtually, we are all at risk. So please take the time to watch this video. It is quite amazing.

William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer? Video on TED.com

Emily Wilcock

Monday, May 17, 2010

GG - The Laundry

Dear Blog,

Here's a happy picture of Juniper. I love that smile, or "watermelon slice" as my MIL puts it.

Now, what I want to share with you today is this...

We accomplished one more thing on our journey to becoming more environmentally friendly. It's still no complete solution but we now make our own laundry detergent. What makes this environmentally friendly are the ingredients used are environmentally sound in water and we use much less packaging. Just think of all the containers we go through each year for our laundry.

This is all you need

After searching online for a recipe (they're all basically the same) we went the store and got fels naptha (laundry soap: this brand is usually hard to find in stores but we found it at Fry's), Borax, and washing soda. All three cost about $10 and it goes a long way! You only need about 1 1/2 cups each of the Borax and washing soda and it fills a 5 gallon bucket!!!

Don't be fooled. Though this may look like some tasty cheddar cheese,
it is actually the fels-naptha bar shredded up.
Since we might change the quantities of each product (see the next paragraph) I won't put the exact amounts we used. But you will need a recipe with exact amounts nonetheless. After your first batch you could play with the quantities to make it just right for you, or it could work out just fine the first time. Anyhow, this is basically what you do...
1. Boil at least a quart of water (I don't feel like this amount needs to be exact, it's just to melt the soap).
2. While the water is heating on the stove, fill your bucket with water. Grate the soap bar or cut into small chunks. This will help it melt faster and easier.
3. Once water is boiling, toss in the soap.
4. Once soap is melted, add the Borax and Washing soda.
5. When all is dissolved, pour mixture into the bucket filled with water.
6. Let detergent sit for 24 hours. This will allow it to coagulate. You will end up with a watery gel. As of our current batch, 1/2 cup - 1 cup of detergent cleans one load (that's a lot of laundry for one 5-gallon bucket).
As you can see we need a bigger pot
The Simple Dollar tested how well this detergent worked on a mustard stain compared to Tide with bleach alternative and the results came out to be pretty much the same. You can see the results and his recipe here. For our first batch we used a slightly different recipe than his and Heath isn't as pleased with the results on his clothes so we just may use his recipe for our next batch.


-No phosphates or other harmful chemicals being added to the water
-Much less packaging, cuts down on plastic waste
-Costs way less!
-Was actually fun to make and only took about 10-15 minutes


-It's not just a quick grab-in-one-bottle-and-go detergent
-Takes 10-15 minutes to make (It's all relative, because this also can be seen as a pro)
-That's all I can think of, though I'm sure there's probably another con out there to someone.

You should give it a try. Go now, NOW, NOW!!!

Emily Wilcock

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GG - at the grocery store

Dear Blog,

Do you happen to have a plastic grocery bag full of grocery bags perhaps under one of your sinks? If you're like me you intend to use them as trash bags but they come in faster than they go out. So, you end up having to throw them away. You can recycle them now which is a better option but have you ever considered using reusable bags? Whenever I use them I just set them right next to the front door so the next time I go to my car I bring them with me and store in the trunk. That way spontaneous shopping can occur. Please allow me share with you my 3 main reasons why using reusable grocery bags are a very happy alternative.

I'm not trying to endorse any specific grocery store (I actually prefer another)

#1-No plastic needed to be made or thrown away
#2-No plastic bags piling up under the sink
#3-reusable bags are sturdier than plastic and can be carried on your shoulder.
This means no need to double bag heavy items, holds more groceries in each bag,
and much easier to carry groceries in from your car spot,
up the stairs to your apartment while holding your baby all in one trip
(this last one is very specific to me. Can you tell?)

Well, Heath and I didn't stop there. Who doesn't love to fill their cart with fresh produce? We do. But although we were saving plastic by forgoing grocery bags, we were still using a lot of plastic produce bags. So we did this...

Produce bags made of either mesh or muslin. My mom helped me make mine but they are very easy. The mesh works well for the cashier to easily see what's inside and the muslin allows us to buy bulk rice, beans, nuts, and even flour without any packaging! I have been using these for close to a month now and each time I check out I hear only praise from the employees and fellow customers for how neat, smart, cool, etc., they are.
On a side note, it was Mother's day this past Sunday and I just had to share what Juniper made Heath's mom for the special occasion. Those are her brush strokes with her red hand prints in the background. Heath and I had a lot of fun helping Juniper do this for her Grammy. And Tutu, you know you would have received one too if it wasn't so last minute (you understand this right?) and didn't take so long to mail. Juni loves her grandmothers and I love them too.

Anyway, good luck with your switch from plastic to reusable grocery bags. It is way easier than you think. Thanks for reading!


Emily Wilcock

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother Earth, Baby Earth

Dear Blog,

I mentioned a few posts ago that Juniper's Grammy (Heath's mom) made her an Earth Day outfit. It's not what you think; It's not made out of water bottle caps or recycled news paper. It just cute and green and floral and has the cutest bonnet and shoes that match.

Take a look...


Emily Wilcock

P.S. I'm trying to post on this blog more than once a week but it is difficult for me. Currently my baby is asleep so voila!

P.P.S. There is nothing like a sleeping baby. Now I am smiling.