book review: don’t drink the pink

“Don’t Drink the Pink” is the third children’s book by B.C.R. Fegan that I will be reviewing on my blog. 

This story is about a girl named Madeline. Madeline’s grandpa gives her a different coloured potion each birthday to drink down. These potions have fun and peculiar effects. Madeline is allowed to choose any colour except pink- that is, until her grandfather passes away.

Like “Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32” and “The Day that A Ran Away,” this is another rhyming and colourful children’s book. Yet, while the previous two focus on number and alphabet learning, this one seems to have graduated to more mature subject matter, like growing up and death.

The back of the book states that it will explore “the reality of growing older.” I found that due to its whimsical nature, and especially the ending, I found it to be less realistic and more idealistic.

That said, I think that it might help Remy have a better understanding of death. This is something that we are trying to work on with her. So far we have only read through it once, and although she loved it, I didn’t go into great depth with explaining what really happened. I certainly will over the next few times that we reread it.

I think that “Don’t Drink the Pink” is a wonderful book for preschool-age children, up to perhaps grades 3 or 4. It is cute, sentimental, and honestly just a nice read. Look for it today.

This book was graciously sent to me to review on my blog. All words and opinions are mine.

Emory

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ten months old

Our Wilder is now 10 months old! This was a month of many, many new things for him.

Wilder saw the ocean! And mountains! Plus two new provinces! We got out of our prairie routine and took a 2-week vacation to BC where we mostly stayed with family. There, Wilder saw landscapes that he has never seen before. I will be very excited to share that with him when he is old enough to understand.

He now points to objects. He also gives high fives. It’s the cutest dang thing.

He says “mama” on repeat. I swear he also says “hey dad” sometimes as well.

He is constantly standing with support and walks along furniture.

He is still breastfed but is beginning to not want it as much. He now only wakes once or twice during the night, and nurses for just a few minutes. He is growing up too quickly!

Only 2 more months until he is a toddler. My mama heart just isn’t ready.

Emory

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zero waste (part two)

” … [W]hen we say ‘we threw something away,’ what do we really mean? … After all, our discards don’t just evaporate because the garbageman whisked them off. Our waste end up in our landfills, spoiling our precious environment, leaching toxic compounds into our air and soil, wasting the resources used to create the discarded goods, and costing us billions of dollars each year in processing.”

Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson

Above is how the second chapter of Zero Waste Home begins, detailing why eliminating our waste output is imperative. As gathered by the title, this is my second post in my newest zero waste series. In the first post, I discussed composting for the first time, utilizing a clothesline, our septic field, and collecting rainwater. Looking back, I focused on reducing our waste outdoors. This time, I will examine bringing it indoors- from recycling, to phasing out paper towels, and cleaning products.

Let’s begin with recycling. I am fortunate enough to have access to bins in the city where we can take everything there to recycle without having to sort it out beforehand. This has made going from recycling nothing only a few months ago, to now recycling practically everything! Geoffrey and I always have cardboard boxes or reusable bags in our home that are dedicated to these items. A couple of times every month we drop them off at the depot on one of our trips into town.

These depots accept all paper, plastics, aluminum foil, tin cans, milk jugs, cartons, glass bottles, jars, and bagged plastic bags. The only items that they don’t accept are hazardous materials, electronics, clothes, food, and tires. Having a depot located on the side of town that are closest to makes this an incredibly easy and rewarding experience.

We also have a collection of recyclable bottles in the bottom of our pantry that we drop off at SARCAN.

Let’s move on to cleaning supplies- or more specifically, vinegar. Growing up, my mum had always used vinegar and water as a cleaner, so by default when I moved out on my own, I did as well. Yet, I didn’t realize the power of vinegar or how all-purpose it is until only recently! In Zero Waste Home, it lists what vinegar can be used for and how to use it. For example, vinegar can be used as: an adhesive remover, bathroom cleaner, colour set, drain cleaner, eraser sponge, flower food, glass cleaner, herbicide, insect repellent, jewelry cleaner, kitchen cleaner, laundry booster, mildew remover, nicotine stain remover, odor neutralizer, pet repellent, quick mop, rust remover, stain remover, toilet cleaner, upholstery freshener, vinyl cleaner, and wood renewer. Simply dilute 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water (for added scent, you can also add citrus peels to vinegar several weeks before diluting it).

Of those, I was using it as a bathroom and kitchen cleaner, pouring it down my drains with baking soda, pouring it over weeds to kill them, in my laundry to boost colour, in bowls to eliminate odors, on my floors when I washed them, and to clean my windows- all without a second thought. It really is just an incredibly simple and versatile cleaner to have on hand! (I will return to window cleaning in a moment.)

Now if I am writing about cleaning products, at some point I need to address the elephant in the room. That is the notion of paper towels. Paper towels are a huge zero waste problem. In my research I found that paper products account for roughly 25% of landfill waste. Additionally, the US produces over 3000 tonnes of paper towel waste each day, which significantly increases methane gas. Cutting out paper towel would save trees, water, the atmosphere, and us money!

Until very recently, I was horrible when it came to buying and using paper towels. Being somewhat of a germophobe, I proudly used an entire roll every two days. I used to think more paper towel equaled a cleaner home. I loved the idea of spraying something down, wiping it with those fresh white sheets, and then throwing them out and thus getting rid of the dirt. Now, I shudder at the idea.

When I began this journey a few months ago, I knew that I would have to eventually stop buying paper towel. I was anxious and a little grossed out at the thought of using rags to clean up my dirtiest messes, and then having to touch and wash said rags with our clothes that we wore. I know what you’re thinking, ‘princess, get over yourself’. So one morning I purchased one more six-pack of paper towel with our groceries, and announced to Geoff that it would be our last. I also told him to start collecting every piece of old clothing in order to cut it up into rags. We went through one roll, then two rolls, then slowly went through the third and fourth. Then somewhere along the lines, I completely stopped using them. In all honesty, I can’t even tell you when I did this. Opening our kitchen drawer and grabbing a rag to clean quickly and seamlessly became second nature. I thought that it would be such a hard transition having to break a thirty-year habit, but it really was one of the most natural things that I have done in a long time. We still have those last two rolls laying around our home, but I have no intention on ever using them.

So how do we keep our windows clean? Guys, have you ever used newspaper for this job? If you haven’t, please switch now! I didn’t believe people when I heard and read that it kept your windows streak-free. I thought that it would certainly leave ink or bits of paper behind. I was so wrong. It’s thickness and durability make for a wonderful texture to clean your windows (using vinegar and water for the cleaning agent, of course). I have never had clearer windows. Afterwards, you have the added bonus of throwing the newspaper in the recycling bin. I hope to never, ever return to paper towel and Windex.

If anyone was needing tips for ditching paper towel, you can find a cute and helpful website here.

Please join me on my next zero waste post in just a few weeks!

Emory

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remy is three

You guys. Remy turns three years old today. Three!!

I feel like this past year went the quickest of all since she was born. Geoff was still living in a different city at the beginning of last year. Then in February, she turned two, and little did I know that I was already two weeks pregnant. Shortly thereafter we found out, and so we filled the year with finalizing renovations on our home, cherishing the pregnancy, and relishing in our last year of having her as an only child.

Over this last year, Remy has gone from barely talking to barely staying quiet. She is now potty trained, can count to fifty (forwards and backwards), knows how to spell her name, can draw faces and recognizable shapes, gets dressed by herself, and helps out with everything related to Wilder. She is still fiercely shy around adults that she does not know, but loves all children of all ages. I would say that this was the year that she grew up.

We love our little goose more than anything. She is certainly not perfect, but she is a sweet, kind, and stubborn little girl who is turning into a beautiful soul. I am sad to let go of two, but am excited for her to turn three and all that it will bring.

Keep growing, my darling. Happy birthday. I love you!

Mama

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recipe: drop biscuits in shrimp casserole

This is a rich and savory meal that is packed full of flavor and comfort. Enjoy!

Drop Biscuits in Shrimp Casserole

Ingredients:

(For the biscuits)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup milk

(For the shrimp casserole)

300 g peeled shrimp, thawed
½ cup corn, frozen
½ leek, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ tbsp salt
pepper, to taste
3 tbsp butter
¼ cup canola oil

Steps:

For the biscuits

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix the first four ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Then add the final ingredients, stirring until just combined.

2. Place parchment or aluminum foil onto a large cookie sheet. Grease well. Using a tablespoon, drop twelve biscuits onto the sheet.

3. Place in oven, and bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool.

For the shrimp casserole

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place six fresh biscuits in an oblong casserole dish. Then add the shrimp, corn, leek, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drop the butter on top of the casserole mixture. Drizzle with oil, and place in oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve hot.

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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