How Can I Be Happy About This?

“Three minutes.

That’s how long I had to work hard to focus on the positive before I began to feel happy. Three minutes of work to turn a nightmare into a great memory.”

[Read more at HowDoesShe.com]

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Not Quite Insta

I have a love-hate relationship with all things social media. I love the way it creates and extends relationships across distances but hate the way it distills people’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs into sound bites.

I find that often people I love and respect say thoughtless, hurtful, stressful or inflammatory things on the internet that they would never say to someone in person. For some people, Facebook seems to be a dumping ground for all their worries, fears and insecurities.

Less and less are Twitter and Facebook happy places for me. I use them as I need them, but they’re not fun like they were in the beginning. They are not my “happy places.”

Because of this, I’ve been resistant to expand my social media horizons.

Finally, about 50 years after everyone else, I joined Instagram last week and WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG!?

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This is the happy social media hub. It’s a place to post small pieces of light, joy and humor in the form of photos. Little slices of life. I love it. LOVE. I’m way late to the party, but Instagram has replaced Facebook for me as a daily go-to to see what’s happening in my friends’ lives. This is the real stuff. It is 99% positive. It is visually pleasing.

Instagram – Look at the frog I found at work.
Facebook – I am suing my employer for discrimination.

Instagram – My desk is messy because I just wrote an awesome paper.
Facebook – Here’s a link to a whitepaper about how all is lost.

Instagram – Doesn’t my crazy Ragnar hat look rad?
Facebook – I’m so sick of all the crazy Ragnar people. They are a sign that the government wants to take away all of our rights and deprive us of Oreos.

So, join me on Instagram. Because it’s awesome. Because I want to know if you found a frog at work. Or what your daughter’s milk mustache looks like. These are the things that matter to me. Life is too short to not share pictures of your cat all day.

Posted in Blogging, technology | 1 Comment

FOOD FOR GOOD in Seattle

Oh Gates Foundation! How I wish our schedules would line up sometime. gates foundation

They throw the coolest family education events. One is going on this weekend on April 5th, FOOD FOR GOOD. It’s a free event about food and nutrition for kids of all ages.

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Apparently childhood obesity is finally on the decline. Hooray! So all this talk about healthful food and nutrition is making a difference. The day will have all kinds of cool games, storytelling and art activities from local community groups.

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Check out their Facebook page for more info. If you go, email me and tell me all about it!

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All photos are property of The Gates Foundation.

Posted in around town, food, health | Leave a comment

Novica – Review and $75 Giveaway

Do you remember when I became obsessed with only buying fair trade items?

Dan does. It was the year I told him exactly what I wanted for Mother’s Day but said I only wanted it if he could find it made of recycled glass by people in fair working conditions or previously-owned. He spent hours with the kids in an antique store finding me the perfect glass pitcher. I bought him a bathrobe and called the company to verify the working conditions of the textile workers. I wanted to know they had air conditioning, a fair wage.

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Yeah. We got tired and lazy and we just started buying stuff again, trying not to think about where it came from or how it was made. But I still think about it, a bit. It just takes work to know what you’re buying.

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That’s why I love Novica. It’s a website that partners with National Geographic to bring fair trade items from artisans around the world to consumers worldwide. Each of the items offered for sale comes with an artist bio and information about where and how it’s made. You can view these profiles online as you’re browsing and feel secure that you’re helping small businesses flourish, often in impoverished countries.

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Novica also partners with Kiva.org to provide microcredit loans to their artisans, allowing them to start or grow businesses, employ others, and preserve ancient artistic techniques. You can offer a zero interest loan to an artisan through their website.

To give me an experience to blog about, Novica offered me a $150 gift card, which I spent $75 of and I’m giving the other $75 to you.

There are a ton of great products to choose from. It took me days, and sadly, by the time I made my mind up, the item I wanted had sold. I’ll have to check back later. Stock varies from day to day as artists sell out and get back to work creating. So, if you find something you love, snatch it up right away. It’s a great way to buy gifts and feel good about what you’re purchasing.

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I went with this great Ica Traveler cotton handbag with leather accents. It is big enough without being enormous and has great organization with pen holders, cell phone pocket and two zipper pockets. It’s really pretty and well-made and I’m enjoying carrying it around.

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It came quickly, considering it made its journey all the way from the Andes in Peru. When I placed my order, the website was glitching so I called the number on the screen and they completed my purchase over the phone.

A few other items I like that are still there are:
Leather Wristband Bracelet
Family Love Elephant Necklace
Soapstone Candle Holders
Brown Leather Messenger Bag

They also have leather handbags, jewelry boxes, sterling silver necklaces, Mother’s Day gift suggestions, blue drinking glasses, and much more.

Leave a comment if you love shopping fair trade and want to do it for free. I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner at 10pm PST on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014. Good luck!

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Posted in contests, poser in granolaville, Reviews, shopping | 39 Comments

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

I was woken up at 5am last night-morning by Dan palming my face like a basketball he’d lost in a dark closet. His hand was flapping around on my face and I just finally said, “Stop. Stop. Seriously. What are you doing?”

The clock said 5:00am and I was super confused.

“I’m sorry,” He whispered. “I was just getting back in bed and it’s dark in here and I was trying to find where you were.”

“By hitting me in the face?” I am grumpy like that when I’m awoken in the middle of the night-morning.

“Sorry,” he said sheepishly, “I was trying to cuddle you and I thought you were facing the other way.”

“It’s okay, but why are the lights on downstairs?”

Laylee.

Laylee had gotten up and was downstairs fully dressed, eating cereal and reading a book. She’s become more and more of a morning person lately, setting her alarm and getting up before anyone else so she can have some alone time in the stillness before everyone starts running around throwing peanut butter sandwiches at each other and yelling, “YES, BUT DID YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH?!!”

I get it. Sort of. If I weren’t so grouchy in the night-morning, I’d get up then too. But 5AM? Dan said he went down and she’d been up for a while. He told her she could stay up but we’d have a talk about when was an acceptable time to get up in the future. She’d fallen asleep the night before after 10pm, which meant she’d had less than 7 hours of sleep, which is not enough for an eleven-year-old. And in the day-morning she had a field trip planned with a lot of walking, followed by a band rehearsal and she would be exhausted.

And when she’s exhausted, she feels awful and when she feels awful, she is mean to me, because obviously everything is my fault. Because when she is tired, everything I do is suddenly jerkish with jerkishly rude motivations. I didn’t want her to be mean to me and I didn’t want her to feel awful all day, so I went downstairs and told her to go back to bed. Then I laid with her and stroked her back to get her to sleep again.

Tonight, we talked about appropriate waking hours. Let’s just say her alarm is no longer set for 4:30 AM. FOUR THIRTY AM, PEOPLE!!!

Laylee’s not the only child in this family who likes to take control of her own destiny while simultaneously blaming me for her problems.

I’ve been telling Wanda that I would frame her hot air balloon watercolor and hang it on our gallery wall for weeks now. I finally got the frame but it’s taken me a few days to actually put the picture in the frame.

Today she brought it to me like this:

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“You never did it so I put it in here myself. Can you hang it up for me?”

Sigh.

And as far as blaming goes, yesterday Wanda and I had the following conversation.

Wanda – Why are my bubbles empty?

Me – Because you left the open bottle lying on its side on the top shoe shelf and now my running shoe is full of bubble solution.

Wanda – But I wanted to USE those bubbles! I need them back.

Me – You can’t have them back. I am rinsing them out of my shoe.

Wanda – But those were my bubbles.

This is when I disengage. I’m not going to fight with Wanda about how I stole the bubbles that she poured into my shoes or with Laylee about how I could possibly be so mean as to ask her whether she’s practiced the piano.

Sometimes motherhood is about molding young people and other times it’s about choosing your battles. Sometimes it’s just about keeping a spare pair of running shoes in the garage.

Posted in blick, kid stuff, parenting | 1 Comment

Half-Hearted

“Try your best. Invest yourself in everything you do. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. But do you wanna know a secret? Some of my greatest successes in life have started with half-hearted attempts. True story.” [read more at HowDoesShe.com]

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