April 23, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Diary, Day 43: Socially Distanced Dancing

Socially Distanced Dancing

My daughter and niece entered a dance choreography contest recently. 

And they placed runners-up in the Short & Sweet category!

Lindy Bout Short & Sweet Champion 2020


As of this writing, four of my friends have shared the video on YouTube.

Proof that people are hungry for uplifting, positive content ... in these unprecedented times (LOL, that phrase has become such a cliche!).

I'm super proud of these two! They did a great job choreographing a socially distanced routine and then editing their videos so it looked like they were truly dancing together.

I'm also very grateful that they have each other.

In Today's News

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that the federal government will provide $1.1-billion for research to address COVID-19.

This aligns with an article I read today, where a former World Bank chief said:

"...it makes absolutely no sense to keep putting trillions of dollars into a stimulus package and not put hundreds of billions into the one thing that will stop the financial crisis. The thing that will stop the financial crisis is getting the virus under control." - Jim Yong Kim

When I pray the rosary, I pray for our leaders and scientists that they may be guided towards the best way to solve the COVID-19 pandemic.

People Are Also Talking About...

Mainstream media picked up on a recent "study" that debunks the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as treatment for COVID-19.

I fear that because US President Donald Trump had been promoting the drug, then its use has become highly political.

In fact, the study is not rigorous. The sampling wasn't random, and it's still in pre-print stage. Meaning, it has not been peer reviewed.

Here are a couple of good explanations why the results of this study should be taken with a grain of salt.

Here's another one from a medical doctor who's been treating COVID-19 patients.

Let's hope this doesn't stop researchers from carrying out more rigorous studies on hydroxychloroquine and other possible treatments for COVID-19.

April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Diary, Day 42: The New Normal

COVID-19 Diary, Day 42

Unbelievable but true: It's been 42 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

By now, we've gotten accustomed to what some like to refer as "the new normal."

(On the other hand, some people have an almost violent objection to this term.)

The New Normal

What does this look like?

  • We're washing our hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • We're disinfecting high-use surfaces at home, such as door knobs, light switches, remote controls, and cellphones.
  • We're wearing cloth masks when we're in public places, especially the grocery.
  • We only go out when it's absolutely necessary. This means only for sunshine and exercise for the children and me. The only other time I've gone out was to pick up supplements from our naturopathic doctor. Contact-less, of course. And, for Bobby, this means going to the groceries for food runs, gassing up the car, and running other errands.
  • The children are attending online classes.
  • Bobby's working from home in his window-less man-cave — an arrangement that he's decided to continue even after the shutdowns are lifted.
Olson mask for COVID-19

This homemade cloth mask passes the candle blowing test. It's made with old 100% cotton t-shirts that were headed for donation.

It's amazing what humans can adapt to.

Our lives have been turned upside-down, inside-out, and shaken all around ... and now the dust seems to have settled and we're carrying on.

We're doing what needs to be done. And there are signs of hope.

COVID-19 Case Increases in Windsor-Essex

The number of new cases in Windsor-Essex has remained low this past week. (Source)

Nova Scotia Shooting

But maybe not everyone is doing quite so well.

Over in Nova Scotia, a man drove around killing people. As of today, a total of 23 people have been killed.

His motives are still a big mystery and I wonder if we'll ever really know for sure what set off this killing spree.

As if we didn't have enough on our plate!

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day 2020

On another note, today is Earth Day!

I haven't had the chance to plan anything special to celebrate this year.

It seems that Mother Nature herself is in a state of flux. It's mid-April, but we've been getting snow.

Dear Mother Nature, I urgently need to be able to go outdoors and soak up some sun. It could make the difference between getting a mild or serious case of this disease, if at all.

Love,
?Lexi

May 31, 2018

6 Ways To Be Eco-Friendlier After Having a New Baby

Eco-friendly New Baby

Following is a guest post contributed to this blog:

Dirty diapers… baby food containers… mounds of laundry… is it possible to have a new baby and still be eco-friendly?

While new babies can make it tough for families to lower their carbon footprint, there are plenty of ways new parents can opt for an eco-friendly lifestyle, even with their new arrival.

Here are six ways you can make greener choices when your new baby is born.

1. Cloth Diapers

To start with, stay away from disposable diapers.

Approximately 20 billion disposable diapers are trashed in landfills every year, and every new baby born increases the amount of waste being put into the ground.

An alternative to disposables is to use cloth diapers. Today, cloth diapers have come a long way. They are more absorbent and convenient, and they can be washed at home without a pricey diaper service.

Here’s an example of a one-size-fits-all cloth diaper available at Amazon:

Amazon Image

breastfeeding baby2. Breastfeeding

Next, choose to breastfeed your new baby instead of formula feeding.

Women who breastfeed saving money on the cost of expensive infant formula, feeding bottles, and sterilization for the first year of life. Breastfeeding also helps eliminate another source of plastic packaging that you would get from the formula company.

Even before your little one arrives, get help from a lactation consultant so you can be more confident in your breastfeeding technique. Over time, it will get easier, your bond with your baby will thrive, and you’ll enjoy the other benefits of breastfeeding.

3. Table Foods

When it’s time to start solid foods, you can choose to be greener with your baby.

Stay away from expensive jarred baby foods and choose to make your own baby food instead. It’s easy and quick to mash up soft foods, such as bananas and avocados. for your baby’s first solid meal.

Or, you could try baby led weaning, which brings your child to the family table and has her participating and choosing the foods everyone is eating instead of purees and mashes.

baby solid foods

Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron was my favorite reference when my babies were learning to eat solid food.

4. Second-hand Clothes and Toys

The amount of baby gear and other stuff a new infant needs can be overwhelming and costly. You can make it easier and cheaper for yourself by going for second-hand items whenever possible.

Clothes, toys, furniture, and other gear can be reused. Find out among your family and friends who are looking to get rid of their old baby clothes and gear. Or, look online at yard sale groups to pick up some items for a little bit of money.

In turn, make sure to reuse and recycle your baby items. Clothes can either be given away, donated to thrift stores, or sold at yard sales. You can also get creative and repurpose baby furniture into other useful items for the household.

5. Water Conservation

Water usage for a new baby is also something to watch out for if you want to be kind to the planet.

Educate yourself about water conservation practices and efforts, such as the Cadiz Water Project, and make sure you don’t contribute to water waste. For example, you don’t have to bathe your baby every day during those first few months. Instead, give him a bath every couple of days. This could help keep his skin supple and smooth.

If you are using cloth diapers, use an energy-saving washing machine and dryer. And line-dry the diapers, whenever possible. That way, you reap the benefits of the sun’s sanitizing properties as well.

6. Green Products

The last thing to do to have an eco-friendlier experience when you have a baby is to choose products carefully. Research the best options for you and your family for your baby’s skin, such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Choose products from responsible companies that use green practices for manufacturing. Shop for baby items made of natural materials, like cotton, linen, and bamboo. If you must use plastic, make sure it’s BPA-free and recyclable.

Amazon Image

When your new baby arrives, you can continue to practice eco-friendly habits as long as you make choices with your products and child rearing.

Follow the tips above to give your baby a great new safe start in life while helping to contribute to a healthier planet!

 

Cleaning Without Toxins – A Dirty Secret?

Toxin-Free Cleaning

Following is a guest post from Sally Collins, a freelance writer.

Being eco-friendly means avoiding commercial cleaning products as much as possible because so many of them contain chemicals which are harmful to the planet and to ourselves.

Lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda are great natural ingredients to use for most daily cleaning needs, but sometimes that is not enough. When you need something a bit stronger, how can you make sure you are using a product which is safe?Continue reading

Review: Cariloha Bamboo Bed Sheets, Towel, and Skirt

Growing up in the Philippines, I was surrounded by bamboo and we used many things made out of bamboo, from furniture, to coin banks, to cooking implements.

So it was a pleasant surprise when I began seeing fabric products made out of bamboo.

And the benefits of fabric made from bamboo are numerous: they’re incredibly soft, breathable, hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and provide UV protection.

And bamboo is probably the most ecologically sustainable source of fiber. You see, bamboo grows without the need for pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. And, because they mature fast, they’re very easy to replenish.

I had the opportunity to try bamboo fabric products from Cariloha, a US-based company specializing in leisure wear and other products made of a proprietary blend of bamboo.

Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets – Blue Lagoon

Cariloha Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets - Blue Lagoon

Source: Cariloha.com

The Good:

  • Incredibly soft and luxurious – These sheets are so soft that my children wanted to sleep on our bed. Hubby and I had to beat them away with a stick, LOL! These sheets are as soft as my high-thread count cotton sheets. No, maybe softer.
  • Cool to the skin – These sheets are perfect for summer, because they keep you cool and wick moisture (sweat) from your skin, so you stay comfortable as you sleep.
  • Impressive packaging – The sheets come in this beautiful, sturdy, and reusable box. It would make an impressive gift:
Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets Box

Source: Cariloha

The bad:

  • Wrinkly – Probably because they’re ultra soft, they wrinkle terribly. Reason why I couldn’t take any photos of mine. Even if I ironed or steamed mine (which I would never do, lazy as I am), the sheets wouldn’t have stayed nice and smooth.
  • Expensive – They cost more than some cotton sheets with upwards of 1500 thread count.

The Bottom Line:

  • If you have sensitive skin, want natural, eco-friendly sheets, and are willing to pay for quality, then these bamboo bed sheets are a good alternative to cotton or silk sheets.

Bamboo Bath Sheet – White

Cariloha Bamboo Bath Sheet

Source: Cariloha.com

The Good:

  • Soft and thick – Like the bed sheets, this towel was super soft and luxurious to use.
  • Versatile size – Until I received this bath sheet, I didn’t know towels came in this larger 40″ x 70″ size. It’s great for swimming. It will keep up with you as you dry off, get wet again, dry off again…. And you can use it as a beach towel.

The Bad:

The Bottom Line:

  • I’m not picky when it comes to towels. A towel only needs to be reasonably soft and absorbent. But if you’re the type who wants the most luxurious towel, or you only want sustainable products, then you should definitely check out the Cariloha bamboo-cotton towels.

Bamboo Burnout Reversible Skirt – Merlot

Bamboo Burnout Reversible Skirt - Merlot

Source: Cariloha.com

The Good:

  • Super soft and comfortable – This is now my most favorite skirt! Although I made the mistake of requesting this longish skirt (I’m petite) instead of the shorter cotton-viscose skirt, and even though it’s too loose for me now that I’ve lost some weight, I still love wearing this skirt! It’s super soft and cool, and the A-line style is so easy to move in, even in the hottest of days.
  • Value – This is a reversible skirt, so it’s like getting two skirts for the price of one. And if you happen to buy it when Cariloha has a sale, then it’s an even better deal. This is also a good skirt to pack during a trip, since you get two skirts but without the bulk. Here’s what the other side of my skirt looks like;
Bamboo Burnout Reversible Skirt

Source: Cariloha.com

  • Crease-resistant – I was surprised that this skirt isn’t wrinkly at all (probably because it’s mixed with polyester). This is another reason why this should be your go-to travel skirt.

The Bad:

  • Not 100% natural – This skirt is 35% Viscose from bamboo and 65% polyester, so it’s not made with 100% natural fabric. That can be a deal-breaker for some.

The Bottom Line:

  • If you don’t mind some polyester in your clothing, you’ll enjoy this soft, cool, and flattering skirt that retains the hypoallergenic properties of bamboo fabric. If it’s important for you to use only natural fiber, then the Bamboo Sinclair Skirt, which is 60% organic cotton and 40% viscose from bamboo, is a better option. Although I suspect it doesn’t flow as nicely as this one. Also, the Burnout skirt’s reversibility is a unique feature that makes it particularly useful.

If you want to give Cariloha bamboo products a try, remember that they offer two guarantees:

There’s a 90-Day Satisfaction Guarantee, which says if you don’t love the product, you can return it within 90 days for a full refund (less shipping charges).

And then there’s the Lifetime Quality Guarantee. You read that right, a lifetime guarantee. At any time after purchase, if you’re not completely satisfied with the quality of the product, you can return it and exchange the item(s).

I think it’s great that companies like Cariloha are providing various products made out of bamboo and other natural fibers. Now those with sensitive skin, those who value natural fibers, and those who want to use ecologically sustainable products have more choices. Cariloha proves that eco-friendly products can be good for you, good for the environment, and look good all at the same time.

Have you tried bamboo-based fabric products before? What do you think of them? And what are your favorite bamboo-based fabric products?

PS: I received these products for free to review on my blog. Nevertheless, I’ve provided my honest opinions about the products.  :

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