Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kelsey: I want to be in America

I am loving america right now. And this song just came on while I was watching West Side Story.

The lyrics are hilarious.

Puerto Rico
My heart's devotion
Let it sink back in the ocean
Always the hurricanes blowing
Always the population growing
And the money owing
And the sunlight streaming
And the natives steaming
I like the island Manhattan
Smoke on your pipe
And put that in!

I like to be in America!
O.K. by me in America!
Ev'rything free in America
For a small fee in America!

I like the city of San Juan.

I know a boat you can get on.

Hundreds of flowers
in full bloom.

Hundreds of people
in each room!

Automobile in America,
Chromium steel in America,
Wire-spoke wheel in America,
Very big deal in America!

I'll drive a Buick
through San Juan.

If there's a road you
can drive on.

I'll give my
cousins a free

How you get all of
them inside?

Immigrant goes to America,
Many hellos in America;
Nobody knows in America
Puerto Rico's in America!

I'll bring a T.V. to San Juan.

If there a current to turn on!

I'll give them new
washing machine.

What have they got
there to keep clean?

I like the shores of America!
Comfort is yours in America!
Knobs on the doors in America,
floors in America!

When I will go back
to San Juan.

When you will shut up
and get gone?

Everyone there will
give big cheer!

Everyone there will
have moved here!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kelsey: Wedding Help

I have literally planned nothing weddingish. And I intend to put that off for as long as I can because planning sucks! I hate to plan anything! Even a wedding! I thought maybe I would get engaged and then I would suddenly love to plan a wedding. Stupid. I don't. I can't wait to marry Denis. I could skip the wedding part... unless someone else will plan it. Eh Sarah?

What I don't understand is this, because I was born with a uterus I should posses the skills to plan an event for hundreds of people? What? I do not. I posses the skills to bear children, event planning is not included in that package. (Our wedding will not have hundreds of people, but I'm just saying).

I do possess the skills to decorate.

So I am focusing on that part.

And I could use help.

I went to Sephora the other day (cards on the table I have been to like Sephora 3 times in the past month). They have these beautiful giant white and gold paper flowers in their windows for Christmas.

So pretty right? So after Christmas they give some to employees who want them and the rest they throw away! And I want them! But I will be gone for the whole week after Christmas which is when they say they are taking them down. Plus I am guessing I would need to get some from like 12 Sephora stores. So if you live near Sephora and will be around on the 26th would you collect some paper flowers for me?

Email me if you score flowers!

Thanks friends!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sarah: Officially Obsessed

I'm not feeling so great today, so I called off work. Which means that I have more time on my hands than usual. Enough time to morph my face with the faces of people I love:

Sarah + Molly = Samolly

Sarah + Meghan = Sargan

Clayton + Sarah = Clayrah

Margaret + Sarah = Sargaret

Sarah: Good Fun

Guys. I found this website that allows you to morph your face with your friends', spouses', celeb crushes' face to see what a combined version of your would look like OR to see what your babies would look like.

This is Kels & me:

Aren't we pretty?
Prettiest imaginary child award goes to
this little angel.

This what Husband and I would look like:

bahaha. This cracks me up. It's kind of attractive,
but mostly terrifying.

And this is what my future daughter will look like:

Doesn't really look like either of us. hmmm.....

I just thought I'd share something fun & silly! If you morph yourself, I want to see the result!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kelsey: Christmas List

It is the last shopping week before Christmas! Do you have your Christmas presents?

I am so torn between hating the consumerism and also loving to give and receive gifts. The jam packed mall and the pushy shoppers kind of annoy me but also kind of heart warm me. The time of the year when we spend the most is the time of the year when we are buying gifts for everyone we love! I think my ideal situation would be that we are buying gifts for people we love and that those gifts are directly benefiting the people who made them as well as the people who are getting them. I love fair trade stores and the entire concept of fair trade items but it frustrates me that this is not the norm. Why are there specialty fair trade stores? Where do the items I buy from Target actually come from? I want to get people items that they actually want but I just don't know where to find a fair trade video game for my little brother.

But I also feel like it can be complicated. For example a sweat shop sounds like a horrible thing that should be shut down. Bad working conditions, low pay, these are obviously not good things. But people are choosing to work at these factories by choice. And often that is because they do not have other employment options in their country. We complain about our ten percent unemployment rate in America but if we were facing 80% unemployment maybe a sweat shop wouldn't look like the worst thing in the world. When I was in high school there was some school club that wanted to get sweat shops shut down. I think they had t shirts and everything. I always thought shutting down a sweatshop was the stupidest thing. Obviously people would rather have really crappy jobs than no jobs at all!

The importance of being an educated consumer has been drilled into me the past few years. I have power because I buy things. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else but it was almost a brand new concept to me. If I (and others) never bought a product that was made through exploitation and corruption then stores would stop selling them! It is so easy to blame big corporations for their corruption but we the consumer are the real ones with the power! Its something I have to remind myself of when I am at the store. I could buy regular cocoa powder at the grocery store or for about twice as much I could buy fair trade cocoa. Is it worth the extra $3 to know that no children were involved in the picking of this coco? Or eco friendly sugar. Is it worth $4 more to know that the rain forest are not being cut down or the land ruined in the farming of that sugar cane?

Well having spent much of the last two years living next to a rain forest which will be cut down to produce more sugar I have to say YES! It is worth the extra $3! But even though I have such a tangible example, a rain forest I really care about, I still have to work to remind myself to use less sugar and to buy eco friendly.

Rant over. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Here are some of my favorite fair trade Christmas items!

1. Tons of gift possiblities from Ten Thousand Villages.

Candle holder

Nativity card. (LOVE)

Fair trade organic baking cocoa

Pressed flowers. I could die. 

Fair trade chocolate advent calendar

Simple nativity

These pictures are from a recent trip to Ten Thousand Villages. The items are from Pakistan, India, Ghana, Ukraine and somewhere else I can't remember. I basically want everything from that store. It is run by the Mennonite church and I think each store has one paid manager and the rest are volunteers. This store also has books with tons of useful 'responsible consumer' information. I got a book there last year which ranks popular stores and companies based on their impact on the countries where they have factories and their impact on the environment.

2. Christmas gifts from Haiti!

This Christmas gift basket is from the Apparent Project. Follow that link to see all of their fair trade christmas gifts! The money goes to some amazing hard working artists in Port au Prince. Plus this one has the added bonus that a whole bunch of people I love work here!

3. 31 Bits from Uganda!

I love love love these small paper bead necklaces from Uganda. The money goes to women of the Acholi tribe (Denis' tribe). They have been living through a war for the last 25 years. They had to move away from their land and find new ways of surviving. So they roll beads out of paper!

4. Gifts from World Vision

You can choose from dozens of animals to give to families in need all over the world. This rabbit costs $16. The animals range in price from $10 to $1000. A cow that gives milk can literally change someones life in a developing country. Seriously I wish I owned a cow in Uganda. All of our family cows live far away up in the north. I can't get milk from there!

5. Sseko sandals from Uganda!

I am obsessed with these sandals from Uganda! They also have adorable clutches. "Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for this nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly towards their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 25 year-long war." I love that this company hires woman to specifically make enough money to go on to college so they don't spend their entire lives sewing sandals. 

6. Tons more fair trade resources and hand made gifts resources can be found at Rage Against the Minivan. One of my favorite blogs. 

Lastly this is my favorite Christmas video ever made. I beg you to watch it. I think this captures the real spirit of Christmas. This is from the Advent Conspiracy. Turn up the volume and make it big screen. 

Merry Christmas friends!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kelsey: Bathroom redo

My childhood bathroom has remained the same for too many years. Denis and I decided to help out my mom and redo the upstairs bathroom.

I actually think this bathroom was painted like this while I was in high school. I t was Veggie Tales themed. As in covered in Veggie tales stickers and pictures and towels and a giant Veggie Tales shower curtain that my mom made. We kind of loved Veggie Tales... even in high school. Obviously I was very cool and popular in high school.

This is Lyle the Kindly Viking. He creepily resides under the shower head.

He has to go.

This is Mister Lundt. He is some kind of squash. He is a grumpy character and I like him. Plus its was a huge pain to scrape all the Vegetable stickers off the mirror. I vote he stays.

As we got older the vegetables have been being phased out. Right now there is a very colorful shower curtain which replaced the Veggie Tales curtain a few years ago.

It kind of looks like a circus from this angle. In the morning this bright green color is peircing to eyes which have just woken up. It is like the brightest bathroom on God's earth.

So everyone was in agreement that we should go white for the redo. No chaotic bright colors. Just white.

And we went very white.  We are not done yet, this is incomplete. We need to introduce some color. And we need something for the window. It just looks lonely.

I know it looks really plain but it is a refreshing change from the green. We wanted to go soft and light.

Lyle the Kindly Viking has found a new home, out of my shower

Originally I had liked a creamy colored shower curtain from Anthropologie. But when I got to the store the cream one looked weird and I thought this one was so pretty. But it is very white.

This empty space above the blue toilet is begging for a picture. Just have to find the right one.

Hooks from Anthro to be hung next to the mirror for hand towels.

We wanted to introduce color with the towels, but we could find nothing but ugly colors. So we got one white one to see how we like it. I think its pretty but I still think we need color.

I love white and gold and cream.

I would love suggestions for how to improve/ add some color.

I still have to paint the mirror (see the blue mirror above). And then find a really great picture for above the toilet.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kelsey: Scary Baby

Aunt Kitty this one is for you!

A while ago I posted a blog and my relatives started commenting on it about how when I was a baby I had a ton of hair and I was cute and stuff. So I had to dig up some pictures to show what  actually looked like as a baby (any excuse to post an ugly baby picture!) I was like an evil cabbage patch doll come to life.

So I tend to do this thing with my eyes where I kind of open them too wide and look possessed or like I might be trying to move something with my mind.

I get it from my dad.

Crazy eyes. 

Lets just say it was not an adorable quality on a baby.

Semi cute with eyes shut.

This is where it starts to go wrong...

This is what I looked like right after I burst out of my mothers stomach Alien style.

It is still not ok when it is smiling.

I don't know why but this is my favorite. I think its the stache.

So while looking at scary baby pictures I was distracted by this gem of my mother pulling me around the front yard in a pampers box. White trash style.

But then there are these adorable photos which basically look like they came out of the 1950's except for the haircuts.

My mom with her mom at the Jersey Shore.

My mom and her dad. Pretty standard for them. How cute is my mom!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sarah: Life Lately

Frank and I moved [again!] on Saturday! We moved from the cockroach infested little apartment to a cute little apartment in a busy little neighborhood. I. am. loving it. I'm not loving the unpacking, though. A necessary evil I suppose.

Here are some iPhone photos that I've taken lately:

 December Nights in the Park
On Sunday [right after we moved into our new
place] we got our first real Christmas Tree!
I am now in FULL holiday mode!
Starbucks for moving day!
We were excited in line for the coffee to
help us with moving day!
I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kelsey: Road trip stats

Number of miles driven: 2287

Number of Mcdonalds stops: 3

Number of healthy food Denis refuses to eat: 23

Number of Hippie sightings: 409

Number of people who have wandered in front of our car (pedestrians really have the right of way on Boulder): too many

Number of times we came within a mile of running out of gas in the middle of nowhere and I cried: Only 1, Thank God

Number of giant checks received: 1, who needs more than 1?

Number of times it has snowed: 4

Number of mountains seen: Tons! I love the mountains!

Amount of elatedness I feel at seeing my little sister: Unmeasurable. So happy. 

Here are some pics of the drive to Colorado.