Reduce, Reuse, Re: Fun!

Why, good morrow my dear friends!

As I am sure you are aware (since only enlightened, conscious people read this blog) this coming Monday is Earth Day.  Now, I’m not going to pretend that we have one of those pristine, super-efficient houses, where we have zero carbon emissions, eat only raw food and recycle our rainwater.  But we do try to do a little carbon tiptoeing around here.

Before I was married with kids I hoped that the bigger picture would solve itself.  My single self would ask my single brain things like, “Does it really matter if I throw my plastic in the garbage can?”  Or, after locking my single apartment door, “Is it really going to make a difference if I leave one light on all day while I’m at work?” You know, stuff like that.

However, once I had kids the questions were more like, “By running an extra spin cycle, am I reducing my children’s future access to clean water by 10 years, or 15?”  The gravity of things shift a little when your extended self (a.k.a. your children) have to endure the consequences of your actions by a margin of about 30 years.  Also, the need to set a good example really sets in, once you look into those love-me-teach-me-prepare-me eyes for the first time.  And believe me, if it doesn’t automatically, it certainly will come crashing home the first time you hear your child use a swear word.  Not that mine ever have, I’ve just heard other kids say swears.  Obviously the result of terrible parenting.

Anyway, as parents, I subscribe to the idea that if we adopt practices of conservation, social awareness and a general concern for the state of the planet we inhabit, then hopefully, these traits will be an intrinsic part of our next generation.  From there I am hoping, if i do it right, I can let them do all the work while I drive my retirement-savings-funded Hummer to the McDonald’s Drive-Thru on my way to the golf course.  See, there is a point.

So why not make this Earth Day super fun with lots of crafts and a celebration?  A celebration that focuses on the fact that EVERYONE is trying to do their part to abuse this world a little less.  Maybe don’t make a cake that looks like a dying world-turned-raisin complete with a fiery finale, but you know, something Earth-love related.

I thought I’d share with you a couple of the eco-crafts we’ve done around here lately, and if you like them, you can do them too!

The Paperless Painting Station

Window Paint Pads

As some of you super-sleuths may have recognized, this photo was taken this winter.  I am only pointing that out because they stayed up, and were used regularly until recently.  And by “recently,” I mean, “until Ben ripped them off the door in a two-year-old rage.”  To make these, I took two heavy-duty freezer bags, and put in several gobs of finger paints.  Finger paints work best because they’re more gel-ish.  Watercolour paints mix too easily and you end up with one brown gob.  Not quite as inspiring.

Continue reading “Reduce, Reuse, Re: Fun!”

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The Most Important Meal of the Day

Wow.  It’s been a while.  And I swear, I keep trying to get back into this whole blogging thing, but I keep writing these gargantuan posts about HUGE ideas, that surprisingly, go nowhere.  I’ll keep them in the works, but man, it’s been getting a little heavy up in here.

So I thought, maybe it’s time for a little mindless fun.

Here, in our neck of the woods, winter is going down with a fight.  Don’t get me wrong, I love winter.  I really do.  But come mid-March, the idea of trading in snowsuits for sunscreen actually makes me salivate.  Picture yourself.  You’re on your knees, stuffed into the small space by your door leading outside.  The gateway between the infernal stuffiness of the indoors, and a massive, unconfined space. You have three excited, small children falling all over each other with one goal in mind: Doorsmosis.  One is holding your hair for support.  The other opens the door and lets the indoor cat, out.  Another has just decided this would be a great time to pee.  An unidentified foot is asking you to put it’s appropriate outdoor covering on it, while a snotty hand mistakes your face for a great resting spot.  Now, in that state, what looks more appealing to you, in terms of preparation to vacate the premises?

This?

They are literally wearing 1000 pieces of clothing, each.
They are literally wearing 1000 pieces of clothing, each.

…or this?IMG_3082

And to think I once complained about how annoying it is to apply sunscreen.

Continue reading “The Most Important Meal of the Day”

Late Night Insight

Hey Everyone!  It’s me, the negligent blogger!  Sorry, I’ll bring flowers next time.

The Banks’ residence has been it’s usual hubbub of activity.  So hubbuby in fact, that I have a very exciting announcement to make.  You see, something happened in this house, for the first time in more than two years (which coincidentally, is the approximate age of my youngest).  For the first time, in over seven hundred and thirty days, I saw the very bottom of my laundry pile, and had every piece of clothing (minus the ones on bodies) cleaned, folded and tucked into newly purged drawers.

Do you know how many pieces of clothing belong to a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old?!?!  A freaking lot…that’s how many.  And they’re all so TINY!  It’s like folding 15 loads of doll clothes.  And in a household where regular activities include finger painting, face painting and baking…it’s no wonder my kids are dressed like this from time to time.

IMG_3100

Yeah, if you’re looking for me I’ll be over in Proudofmyselfsville.

So anyway…among the many things that have happened, the thing I am about to try to capture took place as well.  And as soon as it did, I thought, I gots to go put that there on that old blog I gots there.

So here it is… Continue reading “Late Night Insight”

Now Commencing Descent From Planet Cookooville

Hello?  Are you still out there?  It’s me, Lora.  You may remember me from the “Monster Stuffie Giveaway” contest where I asked everyone and their mother to refer their friends over to F-Words to follow my blog.  Then I wrote one post and dropped off the face of the Earth.  You’re WELCOME friends!

Oh, you’re thinking, THAT Lora.  And now you’re thinking, THAT Lora who can’t seem to GET OVER HERSELF.  Announcing her big comeback?  Woo.  Hoo.  Let life begin anew.  Anyway…

I guess before I start back in on this whole blogging thing, I should provide some sort of explanation.  Well, here it is.  I went nuts.  Crazy.  Insanseville.  I don’t like to throw around words like “nervous” or  “breakdown,” so instead I will lay them lightly at your feet and pray that you tread lightly.

Anyway, as luck would have it, going nuts was exactly what I needed.

You see, I don’t know if you remember, but I had a bake stand at our local Farmer’s Market, was writing a blog and was trying to raise three young children.  Turns out, those three things don’t really go together.

I’ll give you the Coles Notes version.  My first sign should have been that I developed a stress induced rosacea rash that covered my entire face.  But that wasn’t obvious enough.  Then of course the clumps of hair I was finding post shower were just some weird, random occurrences.  Still no blip on the crazyometer.  The fact that I did not sleep, sit down or stop at all, was also just a little too subtle for me.  No, I needed a full blown hammer to the skull and guess what?  I got it.

The hammer came in the form of a sweet, little, long-haired, crown-wearing, 4-year-old girl.

Continue reading “Now Commencing Descent From Planet Cookooville”

Fruity Crumble Bars of Amazingness

Okay.  So once upon a time there was this blog called F-Words and let me just tell you…it was a fantastic food blog.  Yeah…remember when I used to post recipes on here?  I’m not sure what happened bake stand but it could have something to do with the bake stand fact that I haven’t been feeling too inspired since the bake stand lately.  But either way, I felt inspired yesterday because I quit the bake stand and made these delicious little bars AND I remembered to take a picture because I’m not preoccupied by the bake stand.

I feel like I need to get something off my chest I hated doing the bake stand, but I just can’t think of what it was.

…and I ain’t talkin’ ’bout no peanut butter cookies.

Oh, now I remember.  I HATED DOING THE BAKE STAND!  I’d do my day with the kids (I have three kids under four – it’s not exactly a walk in the park – unless we go for a walk in the park that day, then I suppose it is exactly a walk in the park, but you get what I’m driving at here), then I spent EVERY NIGHT alternating between baking and BEGGING for sleep.  Then at the end of all that, I got to stand there, at the market, and watch all of my hard work melt in the sweltering heat, sweating like a fiend.  Then the icing on the cake (pun intended) was that I ended up making a cool $30 profit every week.  I know, it sounds spectacular, but it wasn’t.

I actually ended up going to a therapy session because of the stress of it all (combined with the financial horror that is my bank account), where my therapist said, “But you can bake in the day time can’t you?”  And I was frankly, just too stunned to answer.  I finally said, “A greater woman than myself could probably do it, but I’d end up putting a kid in the oven or making some other horrifying mistake.”  I started going into this huge defensive rant, then realized, this woman has no idea what the f*@k goes on in my house so maybe I should I rethink this whole asking her to therapize my BRAIN thing?!?!?!

Anyway…I have another appointment in 2 weeks.

Back to the bars.  Hey, that sounds like a movie or something.

Back to the Bars – The Lora Banks Story.  A chilling tale of a mother gone mad, searching for meaning in life in the bottom of every whiskey sour she can find in this 3 bar town.

Okay for real, back to the bars.

Continue reading “Fruity Crumble Bars of Amazingness”

Exotic Eats

Today, when my mother kindly invited us to dinner, Ruby had this to add:

RUBY:  Grandma?  This time can you make roast beef and Madagascar?

ME:  Do you mean mashed potatoes?

RUBY:  <Smirks>

Her inner smart-ass is so smart it even tricks her sometimes.  At least she still gets a kick out of it.

Lora

And the weiner is…

This morning I punched all of my entries into a random list generator to find out who won the F-Words Monster Stuffie Giveaway, and hit the “randomize” button.  So much easier than my first idea which was to cut little ballots, then write people’s name on them, then put them in a box then can you tell I’m delaying announcing the winner to increase anticipation?  Is it working?  It must be really annoying.  Actually, I’m pretty sure that no one is even reading this part.  In fact, I’m so certain that no one is reading this part that I will make a confession.  Once, when I was about 12-years-old, I snuck (is that the past tense of sneak?) and ate an entire row of rice crispy squares while my mom was at the beach, then when she came home and asked me about it I didn’t own up to it.  For years.  It’s still a joke in our family.  Well here it is mom.  I did it.

It was MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Okay, back to the contest.

The winner of the F-Words Monster Stuffie Giveaway is…

…ready?…

Continue reading “And the weiner is…”