My month through Instagram-January 2015

January 31, 2015

Cooking up the New Year's yummies today. Hope you all are having your lucky foods as well. Don't forget the two Southern classics for a prosperous year: 
1. Greens: Representing dollar bills 
2. Black-eyed Peas: Representing the coins 
3. Cornbread: Representing golden fortune and good things to come.
4. Pork: Representing the girth of your life (the important things)
5. Eat them on the first of the year, together: Ensures wealth and luck. -According to folklore, this auspicious New Year’s Day tradition dates back to the Civil War, when Union troops pillaged the land, leaving behind only black-eyed peas and greens as animal fodder. Rich in nutrients, these were the humble foods that enabled Southerners to survive. Details of stories differ, but each celebrates a communion of family and friends bound by grateful hearts and renewed hope for good things yet to come.

Happy New Year, from our house to yours!
#newyears #fortune #happiness #wealth#goodthingstocome #traditions #foods

I think I just found the coolest person in Oregon.
#parkinglothumor #bazinga #licenseplate #loveit

This little kitty was not happy to see our living Christmas tree go back outside.
#meiasworld #fortheloveofcats #christmas#livingchristmastree

Skylar's becoming quite the little writer. What better thing to dedicate a book about "Love" to.
#rainvalley #redsnails #love #writing #books #stories#crackthespine #homeschool

Looking through some magazines from 1970 and enjoying some laughs. 8-Track Tapes for 5¢. A few tracks are: Barry Manilow, John Denver's Greatest Hits, Peter Frampton, KISS, Jefferson Starship, Three Dog Night, and Supertramp. 
#eighttracks #music #tapes #nineteenseventy #RCA#mailinganickelthroughthemail

"Make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living. There's more to life than decorating and cleaning." #christmasisover #home #living #thoughts #alberthadleyquote

Make it happen!
#pepsi #backtothefuture #michaeljfox #thefuture#stillwaitingtoseepeopleonhoverboards

I'm not a big Dungeons & Dragons fan, but this is pretty funny. These girls, The Doubleclicks (from Oregon), sing about online gaming, Dungeons & Dragons, and their geeky math uncle where at his house, everyone gets pie at 3:14. Check them out at:
#onlinegaming #doubleclicks #geek #nerd#dungeonsanddragons #folkmusic #math #music#portlandmonthlymagazine

Yay, it's Friday night! Let's get fired up!
......on chicken noodle soup, orange juice, and cough medicine. Darn it. :( #sick #cold #flu#homemadechickennoodlesoup #runningnose#wehavebeensickmoretimesthaneverthisyear#readyforsummer #sunwhereareyou #friday#getfiredup

My "little" bean. He is growing up ever so quickly. I'm just not ready yet. 
#stayyoungforever #blackandwhiteworld #bean#stilltryingtofigureouthowtostoptime

Had a little classroom excitement today. We got visited by Lebanon's wild turkey gang.
#turkeys #lebanon #gobblegobble

In my quest to get organized this year, I stumbled upon this gem. It's a drawing of a tank my brother Will drew for me when we were growing up. Never know what you're going to find when going through old boxes. Circa 1990-91
#brothers #art #mybrotherthepicasso #organizing#memories

Jeff and Skylar-Braden's railroad shirts came in and they look awesome! They've been working hard on their train room. 
#railroad #trains #jeffandskylarsrailroad #hoscaletrains@skylarbeandeer @jeffreytodd72

Downton Abbey/Highclere Castle had a write-up in February issue of Town & Country magazine. * A few fun facts about the castle: 
1. The music room's ceiling was painted by Francis Hayman.
2. The saloon us the heart of the house.
3. The elegant Lady Carnarvon and the Eighth Earl of Carnarvon are the current residents at Highclere.
4. The castle sits on 1,000 acres.
5. The castle was build in the 1830s.
6. The show was set at Highclere because the castle is in need of maintenance. The maintenance bill currently is nearly 12 million pounds; With 50 of its 200 rooms uninhabitable, containing leaks and mold. 
7. Highclere has a core staff: Two housekeepers, two chefs, one porter, two footman, one butler (part-time), three gardeners, nine staff, 40 castle guides, and some painters, electricians, estate staff, and farm staff (60-80 staff total).
8. Lady Carnarvon published a book titled, "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey".
9. Highclere Castle has been host to kings, queens, and prime ministers in its lifetime, so far.
10. You can learn a lot about Highclere and Downton Abbey at 
#downtonabbey #highclerecastle #edwardianera


The Dirty Dozen (Guest Post from Garrick Dee)

January 28, 2015

The Dirty Dozen (Plus Clean Fifteen) Infographic

When it comes to buying produce, I often shy away from organic because these items are expensive (it can be twice as expensive) and add a lot to my credit card bill every month. But after reading the article about the dirty dozen from the Huffington post and Health Trekker, it somehow changed my views because of the risks pesticides causes to our health.
So I did some research and came up with this infographic to guide you when to go organic or conventional. Also I have bonus tips at the end of the infographic on where you can buy affordable organic produce in your area and much more, so make sure to scroll all the way down.

Dirty Dozen Infographic
There is a lot of debate about the negative effects of pesticide, critics of the dirty dozen say that these effects are minimal and should not be taken too seriously but as I dug deeper in my research I found some startling facts that should not be ignored, particularly if you’re an expecting mother.
Over a billion pounds of pesticide is used every year in the United States along and most of these have one common ingredient – organophosphates. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, exposure to this chemical has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, even with minimal exposure because it all adds up.
Direct exposure to organophosphates has a terrible effect on pregnant women and their unborn babies. In a CHAMACOS study done, they followed pregnant women who live in Salinas Valley – a large agricultural land where half a million pounds of organophosphates sprayed every year. They found out that women experienced shorter pregnancies and their children suffered poor neonatal reflexes, lower IQ, shorter attention spans and poor cognitive function.
Pesticides are also known to be carcinogenic which can lead to diseases like cancer. Ever wonder why more and more people suffer from cancer every year? It’s because of the environment we live in – we are bombarded with pesticides from the air we breathe to the food we eat, if we can minimize our exposure to these chemicals, the better our chances of avoiding cancer.
The dirty dozen list helps us by ranking the foods with the most and least amount of pesticide residue on it. This serves as a guide for us shoppers on which foods to buy organic and which ones we can get away with buying conventional.
If you think buying organic is expensive, I’ve listed 5 tips on the infographic that’ll help you find affordable organic produce. By the way, if you’re looking for more tips head over to Foodbabe’s site where she has a monster list of 75 ways on how to go organic on a budget. Another great resource on money saving shopping tips is Bankrate where they list down 17 tips on buying organic on the cheap.
If you’re into eating raw foods or juicing you’d have to be more careful because pesticides with go into your system at full strength in the absence of heat from cooking. As always, right produce selection is paramount and don’t forget wash it well even if it’s organic.
Spreading the word!
Finally, please spread the word about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen so more people are educated when it comes to knowing which produce has most pesticide content so that they can make an informed decision whether to go organic or not.
For more information about this, check out these sources:
If you'd like to know more about Garrick Dee, visit his site at Juicing with G.

My month through Instagram-December 2014

January 1, 2015

A video posted by Shelly Hardage-Wilkerson (@sh3llysh3lly) on