Saturday, July 30, 2011

A little Pittsburgh fun

Last weekend we enjoyed a family trip to Pittsburgh to meet up with a few friends. It was a blast! I cannot enjoy visiting a new area without trying some local restaurants, so this is a picture of Delucas who claimed to have the best breakfast in town. It's the kind of place where you wait outside in line in 100 degree weather. You know it has to be good and it was. My peaches and cream crepe was to die for!
This sweet girl is Eden Hughes. In case you have not seen many pictures of her, she has the biggest smile ever. We loved and appreciated the opportunity to stay with Andrew and Kelly while visiting!
Here is my good friend Jolene. We have been buds since we were 14, and I still cannot believe we are delivering five weeks apart. It was great to catch up and share the joys of pregnancy.
My sweet girl and my honey and Jesse. We prayed a long time for God to bring a great guy into Jolene's life, and here he is! I'm so thankful for God's good gift to my friend. We loved getting to know him a little better.

By the way, only eight weeks to go as of Monday. And no, I am not ready for two yet. I hope I will be by then :) I am very excited to meet our second sweet girl. We are pretty sure of a name, but I will wait to post on that until I feel "definitely" sure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Needing a Little Advice on Grocery Budgets

Does anyone else have a hard time sticking with their allotted amount for groceries each month? I will freely confess that I do!!! I'm feeling pretty desperate. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to stick to the budget while eating as many whole foods as possible. I do some coupons and that does help, however I feel like being a mom often collides with this endeavor. Do you find it works best to menu plan? Do you have a certain amount to spend each week and then cut it off no matter what...even if you find a great deal on something? Do you try to incorporate buying local at all? Also, (if you don't mind saying) what percentage of your monthly budget goes to groceries (food, cosmetics, etc.). Thanks in advance!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Doggy "Stuff"

Okay. First of all, I am not a dog owner, so maybe that is why I was so tickled by this email we received from our neighborhood civic league. I just had to pass it on because it really made me laugh. I think my favorite part is about "orphan poop". All I have to say is that you will never see this girl picking up orphan poop no matter how beneficial it is to the community. Sorry.

Top Ten Reasons to Pick Up After Your Dog

Every responsible dog owner agrees... picking up after your dog is a
MUST. No matter where or when it occurs, there is NO excuse for not
scooping the poop. So here are 10 reasons why EVERY dog owner MUST be
responsible for picking up EVERY TIME.

1. It's the law. Just like littering, it's unlawful NOT to pick up
after your dog, and your violation is subject to fine.

2. It's common courtesy. Cleaning up after your dogs shows respect
for our neighbors and our community. Only irresponsible dog owners
leave their dog's poop for others to look at, step in or clean up.

3. Dog Poop is unhealthy. Abandoned dog poop can host diseases
and/or parasites which can infect other dogs who come into contact with
it, or be transmitted to people who accidentally step in it and track
it home. Particularly at risk, of course, are children who play on the
ground. Disposing of dog poop immediately helps all dogs stay healthier
and reduces feces-borne parasites and illnesses.

If your dog has diarrhea, and you cannot clean it up, you should
not allow your dog to defecate in places where dogs or children may
come in contact with it. If your dog has prolonged diarrhea (more than
two days), you should take her to the vet.

All dogs should have a stool sample tested by a veterinarian
annually. My vet recommends that dogs who frequent places that are
visited by many different dogs should have their stool tested twice a

4. Dog Poop bio-degrades slowly. Some people think it's okay to
leave dog poop because it will break down naturally. However, the
biodegration process is very slow, and, especially in places where the
dog population is high, abandoned dog poop can accumulate faster than
it breaks down. In the cold weather, poop freezes and, because poop
that is frozen to the ground is almost impossible to clean up, it will
remain where you left it for several weeks to several months.

5. It's not fertilizer! In fact, poop impedes landscaping efforts.
Leaving dog poop encourages other dogs to mark that spot (by urinating
over the previous dog's scent): poop left on the grass contributes to
the problem of "nitrogen burn."

6. Dog Poop pollutes the water. Shea Terrace is located directly
on Scott's Creek (which feeds into the Elizabeth River). Dog feces, like
any feces, contains high levels of nutrients, like nitrogen and
phosphorus, which actually pollute the water.

Cleaning up after your dog is environmentally responsible. And
please don't dispose of dog poop in storm drains: storm drains are a
direct conduit to our rivers!

7. Dog Poop is unsightly. Everybody knows that. It's disgusting.
Pick it up. We all deserve to live in a clean city where we can be
proud and step lightly.

8. Dog Poop tops the list of complaints against dogs. More than dog
aggression, nuisance barking or unsupervised dogs, most complaints
against dogs are about people not cleaning up after their dogs. This is
true for city parks, sidewalks, and your neighbors' lawns.

9. Dog Poop makes dog owners look bad. Dog Poop is the
number one reason for negative public sentiment against dogs. Every
time you don't pick up after your dog, you are giving one more reason
for others to dislike dogs and dog owners.

10. Your actions set an example for others. When you pick up after
your dog, you are part of the solution! And your actions will help
convey the message that it's the right thing to do. Many people even
carry extra bags to offer to others as a subtle and neighborly hint
that cleaning up after our dogs is what responsible dog owners do.

More and more people are taking it upon themselves to pick up
"orphan poop." These people are truly ambassadors. You can set a good
example, too. If you see orphan poop, pick it up with one of those
extra bags you are carrying. I know, I know! Nothing like picking up
somebody else's cold poop, but what a message it sends to others! Your
actions will encourage others to do the same, and soon, this will be a
non-issue, because everybody will simply pick up without giving it a
second thought.