Sunday, January 15, 2012

Organic Beer & Wine?

I was both intrigued and inspired by Ridge Organics’ post “Is Organic alcohol hangover proof?”  For me the bigger question is why the notion of organic beer and wine never crossed my mind previously?  Regardless of whether organic beer or wine is less likely than its conventional counterpart to leave you with a hangover or the much dreaded wine flu, organic beer and wine are surely healthier for you than those tainted with pesticides, fertilizers and other toxins. 

The Count & I Enjoying Some Locally Brewed Beers
Some Occasions Really Could
Use a Hangover Proof Option!

(or possibly a tad more moderation
than this crazy couple is exhibiting here :-)   
The Count and I are definite beer fans. We love sampling different craft beers, and The Count began brewing his own beer at home last year. I am not sure why I never thought about organic beer before, since I stress about the contamination and impurities in so many other things in our lives on a daily basis. I have not noticed organic beer being sold here locally, but that may just be a complete oversight on my part.  I am definitely going to have to check into it, and The Count is looking into buying organic supplies for his next batch of home-brew.

Have you tried organic beer, wine or liquor?  Do you have any favorites that you would recommend? Have you noticed any less after effects from drinking organic beer, wine or alcohol?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Happy New Year!  As we start 2012, I know many of you are taking down and putting away your Christmas decor today or planning to do so in the next week or so.  This year we did all homemade Christmas Ornaments and the "Un-Christmasing" at our house, something I usually dread, was so quick and easy.  Here's what we did:

Our Adventure in Homemade Christmas Tree Trimming
I have a large box full of painstakingly wrapped and stored Christmas ornaments carefully chosen and collected over the last twenty five plus years. I love those ornaments, but since having children, I have found that they bring me more stress and aggravation than joy. Getting them out and placing them perfectly on our tree, only to have my fragile little treasures ripped off the branches and thrown into a bucket of Little People or jammed into Elmo's mailbox is nerve-wracking for me.

Seeing baubles I have saved for years and years carelessly tossed about or crushed by excited two and three year old hands, is not something I wanted to have to deal with this holiday season. I also didn’t want to have to play "Christmas Tree Nazi" guarding and hovering over the tree, putting an ugly play-yard gate around it, only putting my favorite "grown up" ornaments on the upper branches of the tree where curious little hands can't reach and/or never allowing my little ones to help decorate or touch the tree. With hopes of making Christmas decorating simpler, more fun and more of a family affair, The Count and I decided that this year we would forgo our tradition tree trimmings for all home-made ornaments.

Quality Time and Crafty Fun with Our Teacup Humans
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we made every single ornament that went on our tree. We made salt dough ornaments, some stamped and some painted and glittered, paper chain garland, snowmen ornaments from a craft kit, and hand-print snowmen Christmas balls. I think The Count and I enjoyed making our own ornaments as much as our kids did.

Stress Free Holiday Decorating!
The girls and I decorated the tree with no fuss over being careful with the ornaments or getting them perfectly placed. Kaylicious and Zazu absolutely loved the whole process, and The Count and I were both pleasantly surprised at how pretty our tree looked. It wasn't just "our babies made this pretty." It was truly a good-looking tree!

Beyond the fun we had making all the ornaments and decorating the tree, I loved not worrying about it. Some of our new home-made ornaments got broken over the holiday season, but it was no big deal. The kids danced and ran around the tree more times than I could count, lots of fun, no stress!

The Christmas Cleanup was a Breeze
As a bonus, I was able to with the help of Kaylicious and Zazu take all the ornaments off the tree and pack them away it under ten minutes. I never look forward to having to put my ornaments away after Christmas. Wrapping and packing all those fragile porcelain and glass decorations is so tedious and never any fun. It usually takes me several hours.

A New Homemade Christmas Tradition? I think so!
Our adventure in home-made tree trimmings was such a success that it may be a new family tradition. Who knows when and if that big box of fancy-smancy, fragile Christmas ornaments will grace the branches of our Christmas tree again? I kind of relish the idea of someday having a tree decorated entirely in ornaments made by hand by my sweet little children and maybe even their children and grandchildren one day. What a festive trip down memory lane that would be for our family!
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