open for business...

four little fluff bugs is sorta-stocked and ready to go. i say sorta-stocked because there are a few more photos to take and about 10 more diapers to put up, but they'll all have to wait until tomorrow evening. this cloth-diapering making mamma is exhausted! 

in other news, lucy did in fact turn 11 months old yesterday. we're battling a super slow internet connection and i am so far unable to get her pictures posted to the blog. those to come tomorrow as well... this valley girl is headed to bed (the frame of which was purchased off of our local craigslist--yay for finding good stuff secondhand!). 


hee hee.

my good friend (and blog reader) laura sent me a link to this video today. laura mainly shops at the massive whole foods near her home (of which i am quite jealous), but obviously knows that i love my trader joes. i found this video pretty funny... and so very, very true. can you relate too? enjoy!

more sneaks...

the shop (officially named four little fluff bugs) opens on etsy this coming wednesday! yay!


we're going on vacation...

a super mini vacation, that is. to lake tahoe. lucy's first trip to the snow... we're running out of time for it this year! i'm kinda confused why we're leaving the bay area now that temperatures have just gotten comfortable back into the 70's, but it should be fun. speaking of temperatures in the 70's, i've had the diapers on the line twice in the past week. i forgot how crunchy they get, how nice they smell, and how cheery they look all in a row, flapping around in the breeze. 

back on sunday with more diaper previews, the shop name reveal, lucy's 11 month photos, and the beginnings of posts about a very special 1st birthday party that is officially in the works. how eco-friendly can a birthday party be? there's lots to think about... it seems i NEED a vacation. 


sheet # 05: compost bucket
sheet # 06: jeremy swatted a bunch of flies (someone left the door open all day... oops) and used it to pick them up off the floor
sheet #07: compost bucket
sheet #08: i have a little tray that i throw lucy's things (bottle nipples and sippy cup parts) into when they come out of the dishwasher still wet. i feel like the paper towel is really good at soaking up the moisture, but in thinking of it now, a cloth towel would probably be even better. 
sheet #09: was used by jeremy to grab a spider's nest off of the wall
sheet #10: compost, of course

could it be? are we already 1/8 through our last roll of paper towels?


i'm moving in...

with the obama family. just for the summer, to enjoy all of the organic yumminess that will be coming out of the 1,100 square foot white house garden. check out this list of crops: squash, beans, lettuce, berries, arugula, spinach, chard, black kale, basil, cilantro, peppers, snap peas, carrots, onions, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and more (55 different fruit & veggie varieties total). they're even keeping bees to make their own honey.  

it's the first time that a garden has been planted at the white house in 60 years--the last to do so was eleanor roosevelt. this simple fact is astounding to me. my parents always grew veggies while i was growing up, so it just seems so normal to me--in fact, not having a garden seems strange. 

this doesn't, of course, make me a good gardener by any means. if you have read this blog for awhile, you might recall that last year's garden at the valleygirl residence tanked in a big way. it may have had something to do with bringing home a baby, but i'm not convinced. we haven't had very good luck with a veggie garden in the entire 4 summers that we've lived here. 

this year will be different (i hope). we're moving the garden to the front yard where it will hopefully get more attention (and set a good example for the neighbors!). we're going to use a bunch of our compost dirt--we've got a lot of it now that we've been composting for over a year. we're also thinking drip systems to save water in the long run, without sacrificing our production. now, all that's left to do is pick up our plants and get them into the ground. i know we've got another month or so to go--but the obamas sure are making me feel like i'm just sitting around procrastinating!


you may also recall my years-long dream to grow a bounty of pumpkins and donate them to an inner-city school. be it from chickens, bunk seeds, crappy weather, or late-in-season planting... this dream has yet to work out. i am holding out big hope for this year, and am ready to start my seeds next week. cross your fingers, people. i need all the help i can get. 


a little sneak peek...

at what we've been working on for the etsy shop... and when i say "little" sneak peek, well, you get the idea. you can expect roughly 20-30 diapers to be stocked on april 01, (along with a couple of seconds). the rest of those diapers? are still in a quite glorious state of, well, being not quite totally complete. yet. 

nothing like waiting until the last minute, right? 

i think i see an elephant theme. 

one of the vintage appliqued diapers that will be available. the embroidery was taken from a vintage tea towel. cuteness.

now, if you'll excuse me, i have to get back to my snap press. :)


the name of the shop will be revealed very soon... we're working out a few final details.


how do they do that? plastic fabric...

well, fabric made from recycled plastics, anyway. i know this stuff exists (maizy has a dog bed made from recycled water bottles) but i had no idea how they actually turn old bottles into fabric. this news report shows how it's done, and is fairly interesting. the part at the end where the anchors are touching all of the clothes? a little lame. hey, as your loyal blogger i have to warn you of these things.

well, that's it for tonight. i cut my finger on my brand-new rotary cutter, and have it all wrapped up, so typing is kinda slow right now. the good news? i have a brand-new rotary cutter! a brand-new rotary cutter = more diapers, faster (thanks again, mom!). the shop is opening soon!



sheet # 04 is living on the bottom of our indoor compost bucket. hmmm. this is already getting repetitive.

easy organic breakfast...

we are always looking for new breakfast ideas around here--especially now that our go-to breakfast has become a big stack of pancakes. not so good for the figure (well, lucy can pull it off). anyway, i was happy to try a baked oatmeal recipe that i found online at one of the baby communities i frequent. we tried it out today and everyone enjoyed it, including lucy who was insistent for more. this would be really simple to make with all organic ingredients--i used the oats that we had on hand (trader joe's quick cook steel cut oats) but everything else (excluding cinnamon) was of the organic variety. a good way to start off the day.

here's the recipe:

baked oatmeal (makes 12 servings)

2 1/2 cups steel cut oats (rolled/instant oats will not work, but i had success with the quick cook steel cut oats that trader joe's now carries)

3 1/4 cups milk

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla (we just switched to real vanilla extract instead of imitation--the difference is amazing)

1/2 brown sugar (trader joe's sells organic)

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup dates, raisins, chopped/diced fruit, craisins, etc. (i found organic raisins at costco!)

1/2 cups chopped/sliced nuts (we left these out since lucy hasn't been exposed to nuts yet and jeremy is not really a fan of them anyway)

preheat oven to 350. combine ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes. pour mixture into an 8" greased round baking pan or rectangular baking dish. bake for 45 min or until set. cut into wedges/ squares. serve warm with milk (we topped with an extra sprinkling of sugar, too). individual servings can be frozen after they have cooled.

next time i think i'll add some frozen blueberries. the original poster of the recipe said her favorite variation is with diced pears--i'll be giving this a try, too. and maybe apples would be good...

now i'm looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast--bonus points for the fact that it's already made!


time for spring cleaning???

april's issue of real simple magazine has a fantastic spread of tips and tricks for cleaning with basic stuff most people already have laying somewhere around the home--lemons, castile soap, cooking oil, vinegar, baking soda, table salt and more. what surprised me the most is that they didn't really put much of an eco-friendly spin on the article, it's more of just an "alternate usage for everyday items" kind of thing. a big miss, in my opinion, but i guess it could have something to do with some of their advertisers--febreeze, nature's source spray cleanser (by the maker of scrubbing bubbles, softsoap--anyway, here were a few of my faves:

lemon juice: when coupled with enough cream of tartar to make a paste, is supposed to cut/bleach out grout stains. i'm wondering if it'll work on mildew--i've got some stubborn stuff shower that baking soda/castille soap isn't helping with. i'm *thisclose* to breaking out the bleach. but i'll give the lemon juice/cream of tartar a try & report back on effectiveness.

castile soap: while washing the car. (1/4 cup soap to large bucket of warm water). i haven't washed my car in a loooooong time (drought drought drought) but next time i do, i'm forgoing the regular car wash liquid in place of dr. bronner's.

cooking oil: to prevent rattan and wicker from getting dry/brittle from sun exposure. i don't happen to have any wicker, but i did work as a copywriter for a gardening company and was given the task of writing the warning label packaging for bottles of wicker care liquid. let's just say the font size ended up needing to be smaller to fit all of the multiple health warnings. anyway, if you want to try this, warm oil over low heat on the stove to thin and brush with a soft cloth onto furniture. sunflower oil is recommended. cooking oil can also be used to polish shoes.

vinegar: use it to wash windows & mirrors. i can vouch for this. vinegar is better than windex. real simple's recommended ratio is 1/4 cup vinegar to 2 cups water, with a squirt of dr. bronner's thrown in. i just use straight up vinegar.

toothpaste: to clean chrome fixtures in the bathroom (what convenient placement!). rub on a small dollop and buff until shiny.

white bread: to remove dust from oil paintings. i have no oil paintings, but hope that one of you readers does, just so someone will do this. make sure to compost the used bread!

rubbing alcohol: to erase permanent marker from finished wood and other solid surfaces. very timely, as lucy just made pretty artwork on my kitchen table with a hot pink pen (my fault).

oatmeal: to clean very dirty hands. make a paste with water and scrub. sounds exfoliating! i'm going to have jeremy try this--he uses gojo after working on the cars and it smells horrible.

there were lots more neat ideas in the magazine! definitely worth a flip-though while standing in line at the market!


landfills: could write an ecomomic tell all?

my mama is always on the lookout for interesting articles in her daily paper that she thinks i might find blogworthy. very nice of her, since we no longer take the paper (much to our paper-fetchin' dog's dismay). i thought i'd post about the article she handed me today--recession can be seen in landfills. apparently, our sucky economy actually means good things for our landfills. here's why:

consumers have less disposable cash and less access to credit, and therefore buy less stuff that contributes to landfill waste via packaging. packaging makes up roughly 1/3 of landfill waste--which means that america's recent thriftiness correlates directly with the amount of trash we produce. if we aren't out emptying our pockets for new things, there's less packaging to deal with.

people are fixing rather than buying new. i, myself, am included in this category. remember awhile back when i said my laptop was on the fritz? well, it still is. do i have a new one yet? no. i've found a way to make my old one work--the only caveat is that it can NEVER turn off. i have to leave it in standby mode when i'm not using it--otherwise much turmoil and clacking ensues in the inner depths of what i can only guess is my hard drive. the sound on this thing? no longer. but hey, i'm writing this blog, right? which means i am getting by. along with many other people, apparently, who are either doing without, making due, or paying for repairs on broken items. which means that there are no new items, so the old ones get to stay instead of getting tossed. cars, appliances and computers are the biggest fix it items.

donating is cool again. since we're all in this together, we're thinking about those less fortunate. sites like freecycle.com has 70,000 people per week trading and giving away their goods. "freecycle d.c. has seen requests for items such as expired meat for people who can't afford pet food and a boom in posts offering free furniture from homes that have gone into foreclosure."

we're eating out less. from fast food wrappers to take-out boxes to starbucks cups (who can afford a $4 latte now???), garbage adds up quickly. bringing leftovers for lunch and brewing coffee at home makes a big impact as far as our daily trash is concerned--which, by the way, was estimated at 4.6 pounds per person in 2007. seriously? i feel like i don't even make that in a week! (that number, multiplied per capita = 254.1 million tons of trash put into american landfills in 2007.)

people are letting their yards go. a tighter wallet = less cash for paying for yard maintenance. the result is less clippings going into landfills.

the only real dark spot in this trend (besides the fact that, you know, the economy has tanked) is that garbage men are facing furloughs and unemployment due to the trash decline.

sorry i can't link to the article itself (which originally appeared in the washington post), but googling "recession can be seen in landfills" will bring up similar articles from other newspapers. it's certainly an interesting sign of the times!

oh, and some quick interesting tidbits taken directly from the article--

there are 1,794 landfills in the u.s., down from 2,000 in the early 1970's. the environmental protection agency estimates that they will be full in 20 years. hmmm. lucy will be 21. i will be 48.

100 million cellphones wind up in the landfills each year. hmmm. has nobody heard of e-cycling? who throws a cellphone in the garbage?

between thanksgiving and the new year, environmentalists say that americans typically throw away as much as 5 million extra tons of trash, thought to be mainly wrapping paper and shopping bags. hmmm. exactly why i should get started on handmade holiday 2009.


did you know...

that the government bans the raising/farming of hemp in the united states? from time to time i get really interesting articles from reusablebags.com in my inbox. this is one i thought worth passing on. an excerpt:

"Back in the 1930's, a smear campaign was created by competing industries including Paper, Petrochemical, and Cotton in order to destroy the hemp industry. A PR campaign was created to lump hemp in with marijuana and the "reefer madness" wave sweeping the nation at the time. In 1937, this pressure led the U.S. government to ban growing industrial hemp. Even though it has been proven that THC levels are far too low for a person to get high on, over 60 years later the US Government maintains a ludicrous position against growing industrial hemp to continue to benefit the powerful economic interests of these competing industries."

hemp is an awesome natural fiber--just ask any cloth-diapering mama who's ever looked to add absorbency without adding bulk. in fact the diapers that will soon be in the etsy shop will feature (in addition to organic bamboo fleece) a hidden layer of organic hemp fleece, along with 2 extra layers of OHF in the soakers--great for babies who pee lots.... like lucy!

here are some more great facts about hemp--proving why it's light years better for the earth than cotton, all taken from the reusablebags.com article:

Unlike cotton, hemp is naturally hardy and drought tolerant and grows well without herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. Twenty-five percent of all the pesticides used in the U.S. are applied to cotton.

Its growth rate is so rapid, it is ready for harvest in only 4 months- reaching a height of 6-12 feet, and producing 3-6 tons of dry fiber per acre.

Industrial hemp is not a drug. Unlike its cousin marijuana, industrial hemp has only trace amounts of THC - the chemical that produces the high. Unfortunately, the U.S. government refuses to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp and clings to the obsolete myth that it is a drug.

Hemp fibers are one of Earth's longest, strongest and most durable fibers and several times stronger than cotton.

Hemp fibers yield superior paper with far more recycling lives than wood-based paper or cotton fibers.

Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does not yellow with age when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been found.

Growing Hemp can save trees. According to the US Dept of Agriculture, one acre of hemp yields the same amount of paper pulp as four acres of trees on an annual basis.

Hemp has been shown to "eat" radioactivity at Chernobyl. Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants in the world. These plants have the ability to decontaminate soil by absorbing and/or trapping pollutants ranging from radiation and pesticides to solvents and toxins leaching from landfills.

two sheets in one day...

sheet #02: found a home on the bottom of the indoor compost bucket.

sheet #03: has been folded into a neat square and is sitting beneath 2 bottles of olive oil, to catch drips. the old sheet was starting to get kinda funky, with dust sticking to all of the oil it had absorbed over time...

and yes, i do realize that i am probably the only person who cares where each sheet of my last roll of paper towels is going... :)


a few blog-worthy things...

in the following photos...

#01: lucy's wardrobe--now featuring american apparel. really nice stuff--the pants lend a great fit even the bulkiest of cloth diapers. the shirts come without snaps between the legs--imagine that! pieces come in a wide range of colors, are from 100% cotton, and are nice and thick. best of all, they're made in my home state of california. pricey, yes. we were lucky to hit up one of their outlets on the way home from santa barbara last month. i bought a LOT, and made sure to size up, since i know she's only going to grow!

i've been making a much more concerted effort to buy american made clothes for lucy. which seems to always equal a higher cost. fortunately i've got a great pants pattern and have been making a few pairs when i've got time. i'm loving the american apparel shirts, with a few consignment store/thrift store/vintage scores to round everything out.

#02: lucy's vintage bonnet. i was told it's probably from the 1940's, though who can be sure. at any rate it's super adorable, and i love love LOVE getting to dress her up in vintage. she's got quite the vintage wardrobe, actually, but not a lot for winter. the coming spring will be a season of little white dresses, no doubt about it!

which brings me to my point with the hat--things really were made BETTER in past decades. dresses were made to be let out, and later worn as shirts with bloomers. seams were strong. fabric was of high quality. care was taken to reinforce places that take the most wear--knees and elbows, mostly. like most things, many of today's clothes don't wash well, and have a tendency to fall apart after repeated wear. this includes my 3-month old gap jeans, which are now sporting a big patch under a sizable hole on the inner thigh. lovely.

#03: our $3 heap of plastic. i found the slide at a garage sale down the street, and snatched it up right away. i'm all about keeping big plastic slides out of the landfill, and lucy adores it. we'll be sure to pass it on once we're done.

something about having the slide out, and watching lucy crawl around in the grass, gives me the eager feeling that spring is truly here. and, if not truly here, than truly on its way very soon. we're ready. ready to keep off the heat in the mornings. ready to leave the doors open all day. ready to get some laundry up on the line.
here's to the eco-friendliness of spring.


have you noticed anything different?

in the trader joe's produce section?

the main qualm that i have with buying trader joe's produce (besides the fact that it very rarely local) is the insane amount of packaging when it comes to their fruits and veggies. does everything have to be sitting in a plastic container and wrapped in plastic? apparently so. most everything, that is, except the bananas. i find it completely mind-boggling that a company as forward thinking as trader joe's (with their biodegradable balloons) hasn't yet figured a way to make their buy-in-a-pack produce a little more earth-friendly.

well, it seems they just might be starting to wise up. over my last few trips to tj's, i've purchased multiple produce items in compostable packaging. i even spoke to my store manager about my findings, and he confirmed that trader joe's is beginning to make an eco-conscious shift. of course, compostable does no good if people don't know what to do with it--educating customers will hopefully be on their to-do list when it comes to this new stuff. i was very surprised today when examining the bottom of a tj's container holding tomatoes--i was looking for a recycling # and didn't see one. further inspection led me to make out the barely visible word "compostable" molded into the container. the container looked very much like plastic, and not at all like the papery/cardboardy stuff that "looks" compostable. i'll have to keep my eye out for more.

now, i know what you're thinking. what the heck is valley girl doing buying her produce at the grocery store? i thought she only buys local produce! yeah, well. general laziness and lots of playdates have made it tough to schedule in trips to my local market. but guess what? i went today and it was wonderful--tossed into my bag were the following--arugula, salad mix, spinach, garlic, carrots, a huge bunch of cilantro, tomatoes (i'm thinking these were hothouse grown), and 2 big jars of honey (one for cooking, one for facewash). all local, some certified organic and the rest uncertified organic. $25 (the honey was $14). not a bad deal. and it felt really, really good. and there was no excessive packaging, compostable or otherwise.

we have decided to join a csa beginning in april. we'll get a weekly box filled will all organic, all local produce from a nearby famr. more on that in a later post--i'm headed to bed. but i am interested in your trader joe's--has compostable packaging been spotted there too?


would it be too much...

to do a paper-towel watch? 

jeremy opened our last roll of paper towels today. i don't know the exact number of rolls we've been through since lucy was born and we started making all of these eco-friendly changes, but have haven't purchased paper towels at all in the last 10 months... we've just been using up what we've got stashed in our garage (leftovers from a costco pack). 

can i just say i cannot fathom buying paper towels from costco ever again? i can't believe how we used to blow through them--wiping down the counters, cleaning spots on the floors, cleaning the windows, using them as napkins, cleaning off the dog's muddy feet... we'd probably go through a roll at least every 2 weeks. not anymore. but i'm curious to know just how long we can stretch a roll. so today marks the beginning of paper towel watch (from here on out known as PTW). we've got an 80 sheet roll, people. big sheets, too, not the kind that you can rip off any size, depending on the mess at hand. i'm going to try to account for each sheet used, and see just how long it takes us to reach the end of the roll, as well as what the heck we're still using them for. want to take guesses on how long it will be?

paper towel sheet #01: has gone to line the bottom of the indoor compost bucket. there really is no better way that i've found to keep the pail somewhat clean--the towel absorbs all of the gross juicy stuff that comes from the food scraps while they sit in the pail. no nasties get stuck to the pail--everything slides out nicely into the compost bin. plus, the towel ends up getting composted, so i feel a little less guilty about using it for my own convenience (laziness?).  

of course, in place of all those single-use paper towels, we're using an assortment of old washcloths, cut-up t-shirts and super-stained dishtowels. i keep a huge stack of them under the sink and probably go through about 3 or 4 a day between wiping down the floor, the high chair, lucy's hands, the counters, etc. i just throw all the dirties in with towels whenever i have a full load. on occasion i wash them with a bit of oxyclean to get them really clean again. so far, it's working. 

some people buy really fancy "unpaper towels, " which are made to be super absorbent, but also pretty enough to have setting out on the counter in a basket or something. i love the idea, but realistically, mine would be looking super raggedy looking within a few weeks, so i just stick with the ugly rags and keep them hidden out of sight. but i'm thinking that this month's giveaway might have something to do with pretty "unpaper" to celebrate the start of PTW. stay tuned!


our eco-friendly lunch...

our lunch outing today was so good, i just have to write about it. 

in order to combat the feeling of being "stuck" at home with a super-cranky lucy (she's got her first cold and also seems to be teething, poor girl!), jeremy suggested that we head on out to san francisco and hit up one of our favorite burger places for a treat. so we all hopped into the car and set out across the bay into the city, heading straight for taylor's automatic refresher. taylor's specializes in upscale drive-in diner style food: burgers, fries & hand-scooped milkshakes for the most part, with a few salads and other yummy items to round out the menu. what sets taylor's apart from other places is their forward-thinking approach to what is basically fast food--our burgers today were made from humanely-raised, vegetarian-fed, hormone-free beef. you surely can't say that about mcdonalds. 

i had the "western blue ring," a burger topped with an onion ring, crumbled blue cheese, bacon, pickles, red onion and barbecue sauce. soooooo good. jeremy had a plain cheeseburger (what's wrong with that guy?) and we shared our orders of sweet potato fries & regular fries (guess who ordered which?) with each other. and of course, a strawberry milkshake (made with rainbow ice cream) was in order. 

everything was served to us in recyclable or compostable containers--including the milkshake. trash bins nearby made it clear to customers which garbage was to go where--i didn't have to take home our compostable stuff in order to to actually compost it. 

we left taylor's feeling totally stuffed, in much better spirits (lucy included--the milkshake did her good--see above!) and thankful for such a gorgeous day in the city. it was warm enough to eat outdoors--lucy got a big kick out of the pigeons, as well as the numerous doggies being walked down the embarcadero. i personally felt happy that we were supporting a local business with intent to do some good in the world. $30 for lunch is certainly not cheap, but i'd rather have my money go towards a business making eco-conscious choices than one that is not.  you know?

just for kicks, below are a couple of photos that we took when we stumbled across a store called "lucy" on our way back to the car. how could we resist? too cute!


guess what???

there's going to be an etsy shop!

i've partnered with my wonderful friend molly (who also happens to be a very talented diaper-maker), and we are extremely excited to be in the works of building up a nice inventory of super cute, super fluffy diapers to stock in our shop. our estimated first stocking date is april 01!

check back here for previews and announcements--and if posting becomes a little slow over the next few weeks, just know that it's because i'm hard at work serging and snapping up a ton of diapers! the most difficult part, of course, is having the willpower to add them to the "etsy" pile, and not to the "lucy" pile. my poor daughter's diaper stash--soon to be severely neglected!


look what we got...

always a sign that spring is on the way--a little brown egg left for us beneath our chicken coop. our yard has been recently been filled with none-to-subtle sounds of 3 cackling hens. only one is laying at the moment, but hopefully we'll get another season of fresh (almost free) eggs out of our girls before they go into hen-opause and stop laying for good. after a long winter of buying cage-free organic eggs, gifts such as these are certainly welcome! 

that's the interesting thing about chickens: most don't lay eggs year round. they use all of their energy during the winter to keep warm and healthy. i think it's good that they get a little break--who wants to give birth every day? traditional egg farmers use sly tricks in order to get hens to lay non-stop: controlled lighting, controlled climate and hormones get the job done. this is not to say that ALL winter eggs are the result of nasty tactics, certainly there are good, humane farms that gently guide their girls into production through the winter months. but farms such as these are a mere exception to a very commonplace rule. 

speaking of eggs, lucy tried them for the first time yesterday. i predict they'll run a close second to pancakes, falling in place just before grape jelly on whole grain toast. this girl loves her breakfast!


yes, another trader joe's post...

i realize there have been a lot of them lately, but it's pretty much the only place i do my shopping anymore and every now and then i stumble across something worth posting about. in this case it's their organic maple agave syrup. here's their description on this new product from the fearless flyer (isn't that thing so good? i want to be a fearless flyer writer one day!):

When prices get high, we get inventive. Take our Maple Syrup selection. We carry 100% Maple Syrup, but due to forces out of our control (nature), the price of this sweet sap has been steadily increasing. So we set to work on creating an all natural alternative that’s just as sweet and pure tasting, but not as pricey. Our new Organic Maple Agave Syrup Blend is a mixture of organic maple syrup, organic agave nectar and organic evaporated cane juice. That’s it. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet, and it’s an excellent match for breakfast classics like pancakes and waffles. And, as promised, it’s a great price – we’re selling each 8 fl. oz. bottle for $3.29.

i attempted doing actual the cost-per-ounce math of this stuff vs. pure maple syrup in my head while standing in the aisle with lucy on my hip. we checked out, got our (biodegradable) balloon, loaded the car, drove home, unpacked the groceries, had a snack, and by the time i thought about syrup again, all of the numbers had been magically released from my head. probably for the best--this valley girl happens to be a writer and not a mathematician, anyway. but this syrup blend is significantly cheaper than tj's non-organic grade a maple syrup.

of course, the real issue is how it tastes. we eat a LOT of pancakes around these parts (they're lucy's favorite, and mine, too). i kind of have this rule that anything we eat in mass quantities should be organic if possible, or at the very least, without artificial flavors or colors, which means that the fake syrup i grew up on is no longer cutting it. (um, high fructose corn syrup, anyone?) i switched us to the whole foods 365 organic syrup, but at $18 for a (good-sized) bottle, we were having to treat it like liquid gold.

this new stuff is good! nice and sweet, with real maple flavor, though not as rich as the pure stuff. it's almost like a diluted version of the real deal... oh, wait. it IS a diluted version of the real deal. but it works. we're down to the bottom of our first bottle, and i've already purchased a second. fully recommended by your loyal blogger!

lucy is 10 months!!!

recently acquired talents include:

~kicking the crawling into high gear (when trying to beat mommy to maizy's water bowl)
~moving from the couch to the coffee table without help
~giving out kisses
~saying "hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" while waving (this joins a vocabulary of "mama" and "woof")
~shrieking when she sees something she wants (when will the baby signing kick in?)
~taking 2-hour naps in the afternoon!!!
~understanding what "gentle" means
~unfolding folded laundry with glee

life with lucy is good...so good. cheers!

"how old is lucy gonna be soon? ONE!"