the bufflogals’ holiday gift guide

Thanksgiving is upon us and the holiday season is officially underway. I thought I’d share what Etta and Claire are getting/wishing for/into this holiday season to help out any of you who might be shopping for toddlers/preschoolers this time of year. Last year their toys mostly focused on kitchen and food play, baby dolls, and bath toys, and you can check out that gift guide if you’re shopping for younger toddlers in the one to two year old range. Much of it is stuff they still love, and would make excellent gifts for any toddlers in your life. This guide is probably most suitable for ages 2 and up.

One category of play they are really starting to be into is dress-up and pretend play. We have bought and stashed some clearance Halloween costumes, and they have received some wings and hand me down hats, and capes and tutus remain very popular. Their big gift this year will likely be a small wardrobe to hold all the dress up items for easy kid access.

Dress Up Play


Etta remains really into wooden puzzles and blocks, and both girls seem to enjoy tool benches when we go to the Wonder Place or homes that have them. I’m considering a tool bench as another big gift option. Toys that encourage fine motor skills, like lacing, latching, zipping, and buckling are all really fun for this age group, as are color matching and shape sorting. These gifts fit that bill:

Learning Toys


We go to a weekly music and movement class that basically consists of playing kids’ CDs while introducing various props. It’s an experience that’s pretty easy to recreate at home, and our girls love to play with their various musical instruments. I’m thinking of attempting to DIY some ribbon sticks or wristbands, as they are always a favorite part of the class, and I think some juggling silks would also be pretty fun:

Music and Movement toys


Other categories of toys to consider when shopping for toddlers: books, bath toys, and art/craft supplies. A pack of washable crayons and a jumbo coloring book will definitely appear in both girls’ Christmas stockings, and I’m thinking maybe some bath tub paints or something will be fun too and solve my problem of hating to paint with them because it’s such a giant mess.

Note: this post is not sponsored and these are not affiliate links. Everything in this post is something I either have bought or am considering buying for my kids.

the babies are bankrupting us already

Things are getting more real in Babyville as my belly grows and the impending arrival of two wee ones continues to sink in. Helping us feel reality? Baby stuff has begun to arrive in our house.

I knew all along that one of our bigger purchases would be a stroller. A lot of my friends with only one baby don’t wind up using their stroller all that much– it’s usually easier to just strap the kid to your chest, or carry him, or put him in the car seat and carry it, than it is to haul out a big bulky thing and wheel it around. However, with two babies, that’s less of an option. Pretty much any time I attempt to go somewhere in public with the babies without Jon, I’m going to need a stroller, so it needs to be one I like. Unfortunately, I hated most of the double strollers I looked at. The tandem ones (a friend described them as “fighter jet cockpits”) seem long and unwieldy, but the side-by-sides sometimes don’t fit through doors and store aisles. And the strollers I didn’t hate? Well, they were really, REALLY expensive. I fell in love with the Baby Jogger City Select, because it’s not ridiculously huge, it takes 2 infant carseats (actually a rarity in double strollers, as most are meant for parents with two kids of different ages rather than twins), and the seats can be configured a bajillion different ways. It was expensive, but not as expensive as many of the fancy stroller brands, but still, we were not so in love with the idea of spending $650+ for a stroller, and I figured there was no way I’d ever get one.

But then I found one for $499. And then I read my friend Suzanne’s rave review of her Baby Jogger City Select, which she uses for her baby and her toddler, and when she told me even her husband agreed the stroller was a good buy even at full price…well, we decided it was the stroller for us. I’m not crazy about the fact that it’s white, but with the $150 we saved, I’m sure we can buy some Scotchguard or something. We’re both pretty excited for it to arrive. Maybe we’ll have to put Tinycat in it to test it out or something!

In even more exciting news, we don’t need a new car. We went to Babies R Us, where they kindly let you test carseats in your actual car before you buy, and discovered that the Chicco Key Fit 30 actually fits in our car on the passenger and middle seat while still allowing Jon to scoot the drivers’ seat into a comfortable position. In fact, he can even put one behind the drivers’ seat and still drive, though we like being able to have one of us sit in the back with the babies, at least at the start.

So, lil Pontiac Vibe, you will remain with us a while longer. We picked out the orange and grey version (in stock it was that or black/gray), and orange happens to be Jon’s favorite color. We’ve put the seats in the car and driven around the block, so we know it works. Lots of people keep telling me I need a minivan, including the ladies on the Mothers of Multiples message boards, but somehow people in Europe manage to have multiple children in small cars, so I’m sure we can make it work. We have the added incentive of this car being paid off and not wanting to add car payments on top of baby expenses, so we don’t even need Tim Gunn to tell us to make it work.

I’m hoping the excitement over fun baby stuff can help distract me until our next doctor’s appointment on the 16th. I’m hoping we can get a peek at the genders then, and the anticipation is killing me!

trying to live la pura vida

I’m back from an amazing week in Costa Rica. Did you miss me?

I want to write all about the trip, and kept a journal while we were there in order to do so, but our camera broke while we were there, and my husband’s iPhone, which became our backup camera, was left in San Jose. Through a strange and amazing series of circumstances which I will surely tell you about later, the phone is on its way back, but I’m not going to write about the bulk of the trip until I have some pictures of beautiful Costa Rica to share as well. I really fell in love with the country and the people we met there.

One thing people in Costa Rica say a lot is “pura vida.” It literally translates to “pure life” but can also be used to sort of mean “full of life.” It’s definitely true of Costa Rica, it was true of our trip, and it’s something I’m trying to make true of my life as well. As the comments on the “No Clothes” post keep rolling in and people affirm the challenge, I’ve been pondering my motivations for the challenge and for my desire to begin to live a simpler life in general. Part of it is that I know that for me, the cycle of wanting and buying and wanting and buying is not actually leading to a happier, more joyful life, but rather a vicious cycle of materialism. And another part of it is, I don’t want the things that give me happiness, like a pretty new dress, to be tainted by the fact that they’re bad for the environment and made by very poor people in very poor working conditions. A life of “pura vida” would be about life and happiness for all, not life and happiness that is dependent on others’ suffering and oppression.

When we were in San Jose, we stayed in an amazing house-turned-bed-and-breakfast that we found through AirBnB. Our host, when we asked what brought him to Costa Rica, told us about the day he was liberated from a life of comfort and material things the day a wildfire destroyed his nice house and everything he owned in Southern California. And that’s the way he describes that experience: liberating. Now he lives in a lovely condo in San Jose and shares the gifts of hospitality and good conversation with everyone blessed to stay with him. And I do mean blessed– hospitality, shared meals, and good conversation are practically the sacraments of my faith.

Over the course of the week, I just kept ruminating on what it would be like to feel liberated from materialism. I don’t mean liberated from actually having things, or appreciating beauty, or even from buying things, but I do mean liberated from the never-ending desire of my current shopping habits. For example– I like to browse lots of style blogs, largely for inspiration on how to wear things I already have, or things to DIY for myself or my home– they inspire my creativity, and that’s always a good thing. However, they also often inspire my desire to shop and spend. For example, while perusing my backlog accumulated in Google Reader during a week without my computer, I saw, and immediately wanted this dress from Ruche: Why? Because it’s a very good knockoff of a Marc Jacobs dress I’ve been coveting ever since Michelle Obama wore it (source): The Marc Jacobs version was $685. The Ruche version, which is sold out, was $43. Why? Well, the knockoff is 100% polyester (read: made from petroleum, not very breathable) and “imported” (read: probably not manufactured under the best of conditions). I could (were it not sold out, and had I not taken a no shopping for clothes vow) buy that $43 dress and simply enjoy its beauty and the feeling that I had scored a great look that I had long admired at an insane price. But I’d be bothered by the fact that it’s a blatant ripoff of something someone else created, and I’d be more bothered by the fact that it was made of oil and most likely sewn under not great working conditions. And the sad fact is, the person I am right now, that person can easily say to herself, “BUT IT’S CUUUUTE. AND SO CHEAP!” I don’t want to be that person. That person who says she cares about living “la pura vida” and advocates for the environment and social justice, but is willing to throw all that away for a cute dress. Maybe one day I’ll actually live up to my own values, but it’s hard. Anyone else out there on the same sort of journey?

not shopping, and a chambray skirt

Thanks to my “no shopping” post being featured on the WordPress homepage, a lot of new faces have showed up around here in the last two days! Welcome! Even though I said I wouldn’t be posting daily outfit photos, I will be occasionally sharing photos of items I’ve sewn, and possibly particularly interesting outfits remixed from items in my closet. Though seriously, I need to get a tripod and some self confidence, because I feel sublimely silly posing while my husband snaps photos with our 5 year old digital camera in my kitchen, home to the only bare wall I could find (I like art), while also trying to keep two large dogs from hopping into the picture (I was standing near their food bowls and it was almost dinner time, so they got rather excited).

I thought I’d clarify a bit on what motivated the no-shopping challenge. I identify as a follower of Jesus, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how my consumerism lines up with that identity. I read Shane Claibourne’s Jesus for President with a book group at my church, and I’ve also been reading a lot of Pete Rollins. Basically, I think I undermine my statements about following Jesus and trying to love people like he loved when my dollars every day are a) going toward my own comfort instead of those in need, and b) are perpetuating a system of slavery and oppression in other parts of the world, where the poor are exploited just to make my clothes. And yet: there’s no other way to say this, I want to look cute. Yesterday, while out buying a must-have hair product, in an apparent act of self-torture, I wandered into Forever21, “just to look.” I saw about 20 things that I really wanted. “Wouldn’t that little dress be a great beach cover-up for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica?” I didn’t buy anything, but I realized what an addict I am. I can’t say that I’ll swear off buying clothes forever, and only buy from thrift stores or make my own, though that would probably be ideal. I can’t even say I’ll never buy something from Forever21 again. But I am going to spend the next several months abstaining from buying clothes (I have a feeling trips to Target are going to be torture! I also spotted a gray striped jersey dress there yesterday that I really wanted.),  and I hope to learn something from the experience.

One area I do hope to improve are my sewing skills. I am confident that I can learn to make a lot of the clothes that I want, for myself, for less money than I would spend in retail stores, and in the process, with confidence that my clothes weren’t made in a sweatshop. Now, when I want an item, if it looks “sewable,” I pin it to my Sewing Inspiration board on Pinterest. One thing I had been pinning a lot of lately was chambray skirts (click image to be taken to Pinterest page which links to original source):

So, armed with several skirts under my sewing belt, I decided this covetable item was something I could make myself. And sure enough, I followed this tutorial to make myself an adorable (if I do say so myself) chambray skirt:

I used a double layer of chambray for the skirt, to prevent sheerness and give the skirt more of the full look I was going for. I have to say, I think it turned out just as cute as several of the skirts I had pinned!

no clothes til december

my actual closet.

Wait. That title seems misleading. I’m not going to be running around naked between now and Christmas. What I mean is, I’m not buying any clothes between now and December. What the what? (Sorry. I quote Liz Lemon ALL THE TIME. Jon thinks people actually think I can’t speak properly because of the number of times per day I say “I want to go to there.”)

I’ve been feeling more than a little convicted lately about my consumerism, and the way in which my shopping habits don’t really line up with my values, and the way in which I spend money like it’s going out of style. (Me, however? Never going out of style.) So, I’m trying to take a break from shopping. This isn’t some sort of blog stunt. I’m not going to wear the same dress every day for a year like that one chick did, or one of those “me made” monthly things I see on some sewing blogs, where the talented seamstresses wear only clothes made with their dainty hands for an entire month. (Quite frankly, I haven’t sewn enough stuff to wear for a week, let alone a month.)

And I’m not going to post pictures of my outfits every day, because, for one, Jon would be really annoyed with having to take pics of me by about day 3, and in the warm weather, you’d all be bored looking at pictures of me wearing various tank tops with various skirts, and in the winter, you’d be totally over my rotating uniform that consists of skinny jeans (ok, let’s be honest, I wear jeggings, deal with it), sweaters, scarves, and my beloved boots. I wish I were a cute style blogger with a top knot and bold lipstick and a seeming unending supply of vintage frocks, kooky necklaces, and colorful scarves, posed in front of a wall of artfully peeling paint that contrasts just so with my adorable ensemble, but the truth is, my style is cute but predictable. And I can’t be arsed to style my hair any other way but the same way I style it every single day. Because I have half the hair of a normal person, and it makes the world’s teeniest top knot.

Instead of all that, this is just a little personal challenge to wear the clothes I’ve got, which I’m positive is more than the average person, thanks largely to the fact that I can and do still wear items I’ve had since high school (before you hate me, know that I’m NOT wearing the same pants size I wore in high school, by any stretch). I take up the entire closet in our bedroom, though I must point out (what is with me and the caveats today?) that our house was built in 1925 and thus the closets are teeny. I bought myself one new pair of jeans before my little challenge started, and I’m exempting underwear and white teeshirts/tank tops from the “clothing” category. Other than that, I have to wear what I have.

A sign of just how big my problem is? A new pair of shoes came in the mail yesterday. Jon, aware of my “no shopping for clothes” challenge, raised his eyebrows. Me: “What? Shoes don’t count as clothes! Plus they were only $20!”

my new sneaks.

Think I can make it?

current obsessions

I’m not one of those adorable, beautifully photographed lifestyle bloggers with a perfectly curated life. But, I read plenty of those sites, and I secretly love it when people share the pretty things they’re obsessed with. And, in that spirit, thought I’d share some of my current favorite things.

When I was a teen, everyone I knew had a pair of Doc Martens. I *begged* my mother for a pair, but she said they were too expensive for someone whose feet might still be growing and said I could have a pair when my feet stopped growing. Well, my feet haven’t grown since 6th grade, it turns out, and I never got those Docs. Since I recently discovered the flower-printed variety, I think I might need to call in that old promise so I can have a pair of cute ass-kicking shoes. Hey, Mom! My feet stopped growing! Can I have a pair of these?

Don’t you think I need a pair?

Now, we all know that I love my vintage bike. BUT. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes window shop for the bike of my dreams, either online or in the fancy new bike shop that just opened near my house. It turns out the bike of my dreams is an Electra Amsterdam. Anyone wanna buy me an $800 bike? That fancy new bike shop sells them! They’re SO pretty, and they’ve got all the things I want in a bike: good looks, multiple gears (this is why I hate cruisers), fenders, chain guards, lights, and racks for baskets and panniers. See:

The other day when I went home for my Lil’est Sister’s 13th birthday, my mom showed me some amazing photos of foxes playing in their back yard. Two of the cutest little foxes you ever did see, just frolicking and playing. Then, this morning, she sent me this gorgeous picture of a fox playing in her newly snowy backyard:

Now I’m obsessed with foxes. And I recently saw a documentary on dogs which featured domesticated foxes. It spurred a new dream: a snuggly pet fox. They’re like the best of both worlds between dogs and cats. But I bet they’re hard to potty train. So, how about some cute fox stuff instead? (each picture links to the Etsy listing for the item)

I vote that we make buffalo the next cute trendy animal. Think it could happen?

What are you obsessed with lately?

by my own bootstraps

I’m a fan of the skinny jeans tucked into boots look.  In the summer I’m all about skirts and dresses with bare legs and ballet flats, but in the winter I don’t want even one inch of ankle to feel a bit of a chill.  (Hell, I don’t want one inch of anything to feel one bit of chill, and so you’ll see me bundled from head to toe out at the bus stop in the mornings, though that didn’t stop THREE people from honking at me this morning!)  It’s hard to find any shoes that look cute with socks, so the solution is to just wear boots over pants, preventing anyone from seeing my socks, and preventing frigid air from making its way up my pantlegs.  Not to mention, you get to show off your cute boots, and I definitely want to show off my boots if I’ve made the investment.  The problem is that the pants scootch their way up inside the boots and I end up with baggy knees and annoying bunches around my ankles.

I thought one solution might be tighter jeans, and for a minute, I contemplated some jeggings (jean leggings), but was assured by my friends that there’d be an intervention if I dared to make the purchase. Then, via Consumerist, I learned that people are making little straps for turning normal pants into stirrup pants, keeping them from riding up when tucked into boots.  However, these straps cost from $9.99 (jeanstraps) to $25 (stirrupz). (Seriously? $25? INSANE!) And I could have a whole pair of jeggings for that cost…

I mentioned my problem to my sister, and she said she uses those straps made to keep sheets on beds to keep her pants in her boots. GENIUS.  They’re only around $5, and I found a set of four in the bedding section at Target. Way cheap and no shipping.  They’re a little too long for my purposes, and if I weren’t so low class I’d probably cut and sew them properly, but instead I shortened them using folding and safety pins.  I tried out my new style tool with skinny jeans and a pair of Frye boots I scored for the unheard of price of $70 while on Christmas break, and THEY WORKED.

So there ya go kids. This durn librul is telling you to pull yourself up by your homemade bootstraps.

Edited to include: I also found these jodhpur clips (for horseback riders) for around $3 on Amazon if you can’t find the sheet straps at Target or Walmart.

rude and j.crew’d

Sometimes I get the feeling that I am the target of a very specific market research campaign waged by gurus at J.Crew.  You see, they send out emails, and, I believe, count the seconds between my receipt of “ADDITIONAL 20% OFF” and my arrival either at the website or in the store, which happens to be a hop, skip, and a jump down the street from my office.  They send out these emails and then rub their hands together like DANCE, MONKEY, DANCE.  And usually I do.  I’m addicted to their swimwear and their knit dresses and their sweaters, especially, but really?  If I had my choice of only one store, and unlimited funds, all my clothes would probably come from J.Crew (a close second would be Anthropologie, but I only own one dress from there, as they are SO DANG EXPENSIVE and less conducive to my mix-and-match style.  Plus, who am I foolin’?  I may wish I looked arty but I’m really some flavor of laid-back prep).

Anyway, it’s been, oh, a week since I last purchased something from J.Crew, and like clockwork, the new catalog just arrived to make me drool over things I can’t afford until they are at least an additional 20% off clearance.  So I figured instead of shopping, I’d just post a few of the things I’m coveting here on the ‘ol blerg.

Silk Frances Cami, $88.
Silk Frances Cami, $88.

I love this cami.  But I would never be able to own it because a) OH FOR THE LOVE OF SWEATING and b) I’d NEVER get it dry cleaned so it would never be worn.  But how gorgeous is it? SO GORGEOUS THAT’S HOW.

Slub cotton swirling flowers tee, $45.
Slub cotton swirling flowers tee, $45.

I wear a lot of t-shirts.  I have an entire drawer full of t-shirts.  They go with my skirts and jeans, and I pretty much don’t wear shirts that aren’t of the t-shirt variety, unless they are tank tops, which really, how different is that?  This isn’t just an ordinary t-shirt though.  It’s pretty and flowery and feminine and special.  Anyway, I’m sure this shirt cost them $3 to make with child labor in some East Asian country, and there is absolutely no reason for it to cost $45 except to TAUNT ME, you cruel J.Crew jerks.

Dressy Jersey Ruffle Neck Dress, $88.
Dressy Jersey Ruffle Neck Dress, $88.

Ok, this?  This I will buy.  When it goes on sale, of course.  This dress is exactly my JAM.  I own, I believe, 7 knit dresses from J.Crew, and have been wearing them 99.9% of this spring and summer. They are my wardrobe.  They’re comfy as heck and yet I don’t actually LOOK like I’m wearing a nightgown, which is exactly how comfy they are.  (Key here, though, is that belt, as I need a defined waist or I look like I’ve got a bun in the oven.)  I’m counting down until I can get my hands on this for less than $88.

Also?  If I could order that model’s hair, I so would.  I confess, J.Crew models’ long, naturally-wavy-looking hair was a major inspiration for growing my hair out and embracing my natural texture, allowing me to sleep many more minutes a day.  So thanks for that, J.Crew!

Flutter Scoopneck Dress, $78.
Flutter Scoopneck Dress, $78.

I would also wear the heck out of this dress.  It has all the things I love: made of t-shirt, fun details, defined waist, pretty color.  But thanks to my cheap cheap cheap mama, I would never ever pay full price for something like this.  It’s a curse.

Silk Sirrah Dress, $148.
Silk Sirrah Dress, $148.

This is beautiful.  I want it in the dark blue color.  And I promise I wouldn’t be ridiculous enough to wear it with SHOOTIES.  I really dig that it’s SPOSED to look wrinkly, because I refuse to iron.  It also has a skirt cousin.

Nottingham tall suede flat boots, $250.
Nottingham tall suede flat boots, $250.

I’ve been looking for the perfect tall boots for YEARS.  Alas, I have ridiculously skinny (13″) calves, and all boots flap around my calves and look ridiculous.  I really love these, as the gray color would eliminate worries about black vs. brown, and they don’t have a heel, which is crucial, as I’m like a drunk baby giraffe in heels.  I’d have to call them or go in store to figure out the calf issue though.

Kelcey crackle-metallic ballet flats, $125.
Kelcey crackle-metallic ballet flats, $125.

I could almost justify these, as I wore my last pair of silver ballet flats until the sole I re-glued on finally refused to stay glued, part of the silver had rubbed off the toes, and the inside lining was ripping out.  I wear so many ballet flats that my husband’s family refers to them as “Sarah shoes.”

Dominique gown, $2850.
Dominique gown, $2850.

Let’s end with something totally fantastical, shall we?  Every time the J.Crew catalog comes, I ask Jon if we can have another wedding so I can have another wedding dress.  I was not all that into wedding planning, but man do I love wedding dresses.  I ride past a couture wedding boutique every day on the bus and drool over the dresses, which have a similar aesthetic to J.Crew’s.  Anyway, my three-year anniversary is tomorrow, and the ONLY thing I’d do over again is I’d get my dress, and my bridesmaid’s dresses, from J.Crew.  (And lest any of you think I’m insane, no, my original wedding gown did not cost this much.  Try $350 at David’s Bridal.)

So, maybe I should go buy a lotto ticket if I ever hope to have even one of these things?  Curse you J.Crew and your endless temptations!

bufflo roams back home

a pic from our trip: a weed near Red Rocks in CO.
a pic from our trip: a weed near Red Rocks in CO.

So, I’m back from a week spent in Colorado with family, and I’m catching up on all the things I’ve missed out on during what was probably a much needed break from the internets and news.  Seriously, my Google Reader had “1000+” items in it when I got on for the first time this morning since Tuesday (besides a little BlackBerry powered browsing while sitting in airports).  And since I’m motoring through it, I figured I’d put a few of the hits right here.  Sorta like a less-timely Bufflo Tips.  I will probably be blogging more about my trip later, but for now, enjoy some linkylinkys.

First up: I love Jenny Lewis’ video for her song See Fernando.  She’s definitely a girl crush of mine.  If someone would PLEASE teach me how to embed non-YouTube videos on WordPress, it would be much appreciated.  In the meantime, you have to watch this 60’s spy-thriller music video here.

Next, check out the trailer for No Impact Man (and Family)’s documentary!  I’ve loved following their journey on the blog and look forward to seeing the film.

  • We have been out of town for a week.  Duh.  We were staying with family who probably had every toiletry that I could possibly need and thus could have preventing me from needing to pack any.  We didn’t check any bags.  We were gone less than a week.  I overpacked.  It’s chronic.  I should have read this post, from one of my fave bloggers, Decorno.
  • Journalism great Walter Cronkite died this week, and Glenn Greenwald points out that most of the journalists marking his passing and running retrospectives are nowhere NEAR the journalist Cronkite was, and are opposed to doing the kind of reporting he did.  Greenwald writes:

    Cronkite’s best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do — directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won’t even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.

  • I used to respect John McCain, even if I didn’t always agree with him, until he ran such a despicable campaign for the presidency and chose an idiot to be his running mate.  Now, he’s losing even more points from me because he’s blocking nominees to the Department of the Interior because he wants a copper mine to be allowed in a national forest.
  • Via Jezebel, I never thought Charlie Brown could be creepy.  Turns out he can.
  • Nate Silver notes that Sarah Palin really *isn’t* all that much of a fundraiser.
  • Meanwhile, in my absence, Palin decided to try to string a few coherent sentences together (a huge undertaking from the Queen of Fragments, though I’m guessing this piece was heavily edited by someone with at least a bare-bones knowledge of basic grammar) in opposition to cap and trade in the Washington Post.  Alex Koppelman of Salon’s War Room blog summarized the op ed thusly:

    While the piece is certainly more coherent than her resignation announcement or some of her past interviews, the article makes numerous unsubstantiated claims and reads like a greatest hits list of Republican talking points on the Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill currently working its way through Congress.

    The entire piece refuting Palin’s points is worth a read if you haven’t seen it yet. I like this part: “She does not rely on any scientific evidence to back up any of the bold statements she makes in the piece.” BECUZ SARAH PALIN DON’T NEED UR FANCY BOOK LERNIN’.  ALSO, SY-ENCE IS FUR ATHEEISTS.  Another good reaction to the Palin op ed can be found at The Daily Beast, written by Edward Markey, of Waxman-Markey fame.  I think I’ll trust the chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee over a less-than-one-term governor with a degree in communications that apparently failed to give her a basic grasp of Standard English any day.

  • Ezra Klein says Palin probably didn’t write it.  She signed her name to it.  He’s probably right.  He also writes:

    The term “global warming” is absent. So is “climate change.” It’s a bit like an op-ed that attacks firefighters for pointing pressurized water cannons at everything but never mentions fires, or a column that condemns surgeons for sticking sharp things into people but never mentions illness.

  • Conor Clark at The Daily Dish says “Palin’s op-ed displays an ignorance for the subject so profound it’s almost gutsy. Almost.”
  • Obama nominated a Surgeon General who isn’t Sanjay Gupta and who seems to be an all-around awesome lady.  Apparently some haters think she’s too fat to be Surgeon General, 4rlz.  Frances Kissling of Salon’s Broadsheet addresses those haters.
  • Meanwhile Ezra Klein has a sensical piece about why we as a society should worry about obesity.
  • So, a bunch of “Blue Dogs” are threatening to derail health reform.  Nate Silver points out that this could hurt them in the end, as their districts have higher rates of uninsurance than most.  He writes:

    Mike Ross of the Arkansas 4th, where almost 22 percent of the population is uninsured? This is a bill designed to help districts like his. And the same goes for most of the other Blue Dogs. A lot of the time, these guys are stuck in a tough spot between their party and their constituents. Here, those interests are mostly aligned.

  • Yay for good news when it comes to SAVING THE ANTIBIOTICS.
  • And finally, check out this piece on How Outlet Malls Rip Us Off, and maybe next time you head to the outlets, take a smart phone so you can check reference prices online and find out what retail price REALLY is.

no sweat

OK, so, I’ve been wondering whether or not to post about this thing which has changed my life.  Because this thing?  It’s a deodorant, and how lame is that to blog about?  But the thing is, every time I discover something life-changingly awesome, it tends to get discontinued.  SO.  I’m going to tell you, the Interwebz, about it in hopes that if more people buy this amazing thing, the company won’t stop making it.

This amazing, life-changing deodorant is Adidas Cotton-Tech.  Now, about a year ago, I went on a major hunt for an aluminum free deodorant.  I know the aluminum-breast cancer/Alzheimer’s link is unproven, but my thought was, if I can ditch the aluminum and not suffer a loss of quality of life, then it’s worth the peace of mind.  Well, about a week into my experiment with Alba Organics and Tom’s of Maine deodorants, my loving husband informed me that I smelled like a dirty hippie.  So.  That experiment ended abruptly.  After all, I don’t want to smell repellant to the one person I want to snuggle close (this was also the reason a lovely “orange blossom” fragrance did not work out).

On a recent trip to the grocery store (Harris Teeter), I noticed the Adidas Cotton-Tech and thought I’d give it a try.  I was fed up with the Secret I was using, because it was making white marks on all my clothes.  Adidas Cotton-Tech is aluminum free and apparently somehow absorbs the sweat like cotton, while killing bacteria that cause smells.  Dear readers, I had low expectations, but I can now report that the AC has been out in my office all day, and my underarms are not sweating.  Meanwhile my legs, which I habitually cross, keep sticking together.  The Adidas deodorant is also more of a clear-gel type, so it’s not going to make white marks on your clothes.  And I rather like the “green floral” smell.  It’s not baby powdery (though you can get a baby powder variety), which I enjoy, but also not overwhelmingly flowery.  It just smells clean, but not in some sort of Old Spice way, and doesn’t conflict with my other fragrances be they lotion or perfume.  So, please, help me make sure they don’t discontinue this product.  It’s only $3.99 at my local grocery store!

(P.S. If you ever need to guarnatee that you won’t sweat, say, wearing a silk top or something, CertainDri WORKS.)

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