1 Cup of Love

1 Tbls of Creativity

A Dash of Eco-friendliness

Servings: The Whole Universe

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Paper or Plastic? Neither If You Ask Me!

On Saturday July 17th, FLV had our first Documentary & Dinner Night.  The featured film was called "Bag It".  And let me tell you, it was definitely an eye opener!  I mean I already knew the detrimental effects of plastic bags and plastic in general (thus the reason why I stopped receiving plastic bags when shopping and the reason why Andrik's toys consist mainly of wood) but watching this movie solidifies my support in doing my best not to buy plastic items.  But what do you do when EVERYTHING is practically made, wrapped and sealed in plastic?  Just witness this, the next time you step foot in a grocery store, try to find how many items that do not consist of plastic - it will be very slim, trust me.  It is literally discouraging seeing every aisle plastered in this stuff.  But I do my best to buy as many items as I can that don't consist of plastic (which at times can be challenging) but like I said I do my best and I do my part to stay committed to being more sustainable and health conscious.

Here's the trailer to the movie that has inspired me to be an even more eco-friendly geek!

I was truly inspired by this documentary's message (as everyone else was that evening) and want to share it with the world!  But for now I'll share some interesting and appalling facts that I derived from the Bag It website and notes I wrote that evening:

  1. In the United States alone, an estimated 12 million barrels of oil is used annually to make the plastic bags that Americans consume. The United States International Trade Commission reported that 102 billion plastic bags were used in the U.S. in 2009. These bags often wind up in waterways or on the landscape, becoming eyesores and degrading water and soil as they break down into toxic bits. Their manufacture, transportation and disposal use large quantities of non-renewable resources and release equally large amounts of global-warming gases. Ecologically, hundreds of thousands of marine animals die every year when they eat plastic bags mistaken for food. 
  2.  Governments around the world have taken action to ban or restrict the use of plastic bags. In 2008, China banned the use of ultra-thin plastic bags, and it is estimated to have eliminated 40 billion bags in the first year. Ireland placed a fee on plastic bags and reportedly reduced consumption by 90%. 
  3.  Towns all over the United States are rising to the challenge and standing up to the oil, gas and plastic
    industries. San Francisco has banned plastic bags. Seattle has fought a hard fight to place a fee on single-use disposable plastic AND paper bags, only to be shut down by the American Chemistry Council, a group that profits greatly from the production of plastic bags. The ACC spends millions to combat anti-plastic bag campaigns.  In spite of this challenge, U.S. cities including Austin, Boston, New Haven, Portland, Phoenix and Annapolis are considering bag bans or fees.
  4. The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas, both non-renewable resources that increase our dependency on foreign suppliers. Additionally, prospecting and drilling for these resources contributes to the destruction of fragile habitats and ecosystems around the world.
  5. Annual cost to US retailers alone is estimated at $4 billion.
  6. In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade. As litter, they breakdown into tiny bits, contaminating our soil and water.
  7. When plastic bags break down, small plastic particles can pose threats to marine life and contaminate the food web. A 2001 paper by Japanese researchers reported that plastic debris acts like a sponge for toxic chemicals, soaking up a million fold greater concentration of such deadly compounds as PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of the notorious insecticide DDT), than the surrounding seawater. These turn into toxic gut bombs for marine animals which frequently mistake these bits for food.  For more information and statistics, please visit Reuse It.
  8. Single-use disposables like water bottles, coffee cups, plastic utensils and take out containers make our lives more convenient. About 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were disposed of in 2008 around the world.

    Unfortunately, plastic is not disposable and the use of these items leads to environmental degradation. After being disposed, plastic containers and water bottles get placed in overflowing landfills, clogged rivers, and our ocean. And when the plastics break down, they do not biodegrade. Instead they break down into fragments that contaminate our natural resources.
  9. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 lbs. of garbage every day. That’s 29 lbs. per week or 1,600 lbs. per year. The United States produces approximately 220 million tons of garbage each year. This is equivalent to burying more than 82,000 football fields six feet deep in compacted garbage. This amount of trash could cover the state of Texas two and half times and also fills enough trucks to form a line to the moon.
  10. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area of the Pacific Ocean created by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. It's a plastic soup that in some areas has concentrations of plastic 40 times greater than that of plankton. That means there is 40 times more plastic than food for the marine animals to eat. Scientists estimate its size to be at least twice the area of Texas.

    80% of the plastic and trash that finds its way into our oceans comes from the land. It takes about five years for garbage from the west coast of the United States to make it to the gyre and about one year from Asia. Plastic debris in the ocean doesn't biodegrade. It photodegrades, meaning sunlight and water break it down to smaller and smaller pieces that are mistaken for food by fish, sea birds and marine mammals.
  11. BPA has the characteristics of estrogen, a hormone that determines sexual traits and is key in the development of brain function and nerve cells. Recent studies have linked BPA to breast and prostate cancer, enlargement of the prostate, early onset of puberty, hyperactivity in children, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
  12. Biologists studying BPA and phthalates are in agreement over the harmful effects of both chemicals. These chemicals are now proven to be toxic, endocrine-disrupting, hormone level-changing, and disease-causing. Do your best to avoid them by reading labels, using reusable containers and bottles, and seeking out BPA and phthalate-free products. 
  13. You can get further details on the above topics at Bag It Movie.
  14. Where does the plastic go beyond the blue bin?  And was the recycling logo created as a marketing strategy just so ACC (American Chemistry Council) can make more plastic products out of non-renewable resources?  Check out this link for further details.

    Here are a few more links to learn more about plastics and what others are doing to make a difference:
    1. The Story of Stuff
    2. B.E.A.C. H. (Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii)
    3. Ecology Center
    4. Cradle to Cradle and here's a link from TED TV with William McDonough
    5. 365 Days of Trash - one man's goal to not throw away trash for a whole year
    6. How Do You Bag It? - Another great post about the documentary from a blog called Attainable Sustainable. 
 As Jeb Berrier (the film's main character) asks, "Why would you make something out of a material that is going to last forever, and you're just going to throw it away?"


1. Reduce single use items 
2. Bring your own cloth shopping bags 
3. Bring your own stainless steel water bottle

4. Bring your own coffee mug (have you ever noticed that when people go to a coffee chain, they order their coffee and receive them in those coffee cups (which are LINED in plastic) and end up drinking the coffee at the coffee shop??  Then 20 minutes later, they discard the coffee cup and once again is a single use item back into the landfills and oceans.
5. Buy it used
6. Buy less stuff
7. Buy less cans and more bottled goods - did you know that canned food is lined in BPA?? But there is hope and at least several that have made the transition to BPA-FREE cans.

8. Volunteer for community clean up 

So the facts are pretty crazy (and this is just a taste of what facts were given in the movie).  I highly recommend this movie to everyone!!!  I feel the desire to spread and share this movie with all willing to watch and especially share it within the school system.  Hey if the ACC is trying to brainwash our children by adding it in the textbooks for schools (read more here),  then why can't we educate them with the truth!  Hmmm....perhaps I should propose this to the producers of this movie if they haven't already started doing.

So yes our very first Documentary and Dinner night was very enlightening and has actually brought alot more awareness to those present that night.  One of our FLVillager mamas has even gone grocery shopping and forgot her bags at home and just like Jeb in the movie, put all the groceries in the car without bags and brought it home.  Even myself (the eco-friendly freak that I am), am even more aware and no longer buy almond milk because of the plastic tops that they come in (which was a good point in the movie - since when did they start using those and why?  They poured perfectly fine without those dang plastic tops!).  Now I make homemade almond milk at home and not only is it way less sugar than the store bought versions, I feel good about knowing exactly what is in the milk and feel good that one less plastic top will be found in the carcass of an Albatross bird.

What are ways YOU can make a difference and stop using plastic?  Check out these links:

1. Green Guides - How To Avoid Plastic 
2.  The Good Human - 10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Consumption
3. Eco Child's Play - 10 Ways to Avoid Toxic Plastic 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Next Generation of Children ROCKS!

Are you guys still here? Wow thank you a thousand times over for still wanting to check out what I passionately write about. It truly has been a busy few months for me as myself and a team of creators, innovators, thinkers, doers, be-ers have all been collaborating on a project for the Family Love Village (FLV) so I do again apologize for not writing as much as I would like to in this blog (as well as the other blog).  But I do plan to come back more often to write about my eco-friendly findings once again.  :o) 

I saw this on my cousin, Maya's blog, Urban Organica and I just had to share! Now this is what I'm talking about!! This 11 year old boy, Birke Baehr is truly an inspiration that all of us adults can learn from! This gets my heart pumping full of passion for what I am wanting to create for FLV - especially since our children are the citizens of the world!! 

And yes I do believe that this is the shortest post in history that I have ever written!  LOL  With that said, please enjoy the video. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eco Training Pants - Continuing the Journey With Sticking to Cloth and Staying Green!

Hi folks!  I wanted to share some great resources for eco-friendly cloth training pants for your little ones.  Previously, I had posted about my geeky passion for cloth diapers and Elimination Communication (EC) and realized that I hadn't shared my findings on training pants. 

I had actually introduced training pants to Andrik when he was about 18 months.  Now that Andrik is 27 months (as of today) and is mostly wearing training pants now (he still wears cloth diapers at night since it holds more pee for the times I miss), I thought it would be helpful to you parents wanting to find an alternative to those icky, disposable training pants!

For a 2 year old, Andrik is on the smaller end.  The last time he was weighed (about a month ago), he was 20 lbs and 10 ounces.  And at 18 months, he was even smaller so it was really important to find training pants that could fit him. 

Thankfully my dear friend Yvonne referred me to Potty Scotty and Potty PattyPotty Scotty are training pants for boys and Potty Patty is for girls - although I have both for Andrik because the only noticable difference between the two is that Potty Scotty's are blue and Potty Patty's are red.  I wanted a little variety for Andrik's colors so I bought both.  What I love about these is that they are not only reasonably priced (3 pack for $12.95) but they come in extra small (19 lbs - 24 lbs).   I would've gotten some of the 2 in 1 Waterproof Potty Training Pants  for times when we go out and about but they don't come in extra small unfortunately.

When I was researching on cloth training pants, as mentioned, these were the most reasonably priced but I wanted to try out a few more styles to see which ones I liked best. 

The following is a list of training pants that we purchased:

1). Beetle Learners - I purchased these from one of the Holistic Moms Network (HMN) members, Lisa Carey's store.  I loved the fact that they are organic and so soft but the downside is that they didn't fit Andrik (even now they are still a little big on him).  But for children that weigh up to 24lbs for their size small, it would work out just fine!

2). A great store for ECing and other Attachment Parenting needs is Continuum Family.  I ended up purchasing a couple of their CF Organic Side Snap Training Pants in size Medium.  I also like these as well because they are organic and have side snaps.  This helped out with the poop misses where I could just unsnap the training pants vs. pulling them off and perhaps making a mess on my son.

3) Another wonderful store for ECing is EC Wear.  I purchased 2 Bikini Britches Basic Trainers by Daisy Doodles. What I like about these is that they have the outer PUL so that it protects the clothes from getting wet.  I save these for when we go out and about. 

There was one other training pant with PUL that I purchased from EC Wear but is no longer in business and that was "Why Mommy".  So I have 3 training pants with PUL that I save for when we go out and about.  Since I am able to catch more pees when we go out, I tend to only need those 3 (but of course I pack at least 5-6 more of a variation of his training pants mentioned above, just in case).

So there's the scoop on what I've found online that I use for Andrik's ECing needs.  Speaking of ECing, I wanted to also share a little bit about our journey with ECing here (for those that are contemplating on trying it).  The first advice I would like to offer is: DO IT!  It's soo worth it!  Again, it's not about getting your child potty trained (although eventually that is what ends up occurring during the process) but it'so much more.  It's about being able to communicate with your baby, it's about being able to start noticing when they have to go pee or poop.  And trust me, the first catch (EC terminology of when you help your baby to go pee or poop outside of their diaper), is exhiliarating and exciting to say the least!  Not to mention you just saved having to wash another cloth diaper (for those new at this, cloth diapering and ECing truly go hand in hand).

When I first heard of ECing, it was before Andrik was born.  But I just couldn't wrap my head around that concept because at the time it was too overwhelming for me to even do research on cloth diapering and vaccinating (although truthfully I had wished I would've done ECing from the beginning).  The 2nd time I heard about it, Andrik was 7 months old.  I had tried it here and there but didn't stick to it. Until it was brought into my world once again when he was 10 months old when my cousin, Miriam had shared in an email about her starting to EC her daughter.  I felt it was the Universe trying to tell me something and decided to try it again.  Except of course Andrik was considered a late-starter in the EC world because he was already mobile.  But I did it anyways and found great support with online support groups, such as Infant Potty Training Late Starters, Mothering Online Elimination Communication Forum and Diaper Free Baby Local Groups.

Of course it had its challenges but honestly I'm grateful that Dalmacio, Cindy (Andrik's nanny) and I stuck with it.  Before Andrik could communicate via the English language, he would sign when he had to go potty but what he used most of the time was grunting.  He would grunt to let us know when he had to go pee or caca.  I was ecstatic at this point because we were saving alot of cloth diapers from going into the laundry (I would say we were only having to wash once a week as opposed to twice a week or pre-ECing with every other day)!  And then the next milestone came along (walking) and we went back to having some misses.  But for the most part, looking back at my EC log (I had created a spreadsheet to tally the catches and misses each day throughout the week to see the progress we were having), we were having more catches than misses!!  Woohooo!

And then the inevitable happened - we moved twice within 3 months!  Now I had heard about potty strikes where the baby/toddler won't use the potty.  Well this was starting to happen with us.  We moved and Andrik was starting to talk more but he would only let us know that he went peepees and caca after the fact.  I had read about potty strikes online and in the book I read, Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer and the one thing these resources mentioned was to notice if there are any milestones or changes within the environement that the baby/toddler could be experiencing.  Well moving twice within 3 months of each other could definitely create a potty strike, or 2, or 3, or 4....

We were back to washing diapers and training pants at least twice a week.  At least Andrik was still telling us that he went peepees and caca so he was at least still aware of when he went.  I had actually stopped logging the catches and misses in the EC log back in July 2010 because we were so successful back then and felt there was no longer a need.  But just recently within the past month started logging in it again and it is actually reassuring knowing that I'm not missing as many as I had thought.  The funny thing is within a week of us starting to tally the catches and misses, suddenly Andrik was letting us know more often when he had to go peepees and caca.  And then we were having more catches (average of about 11-12 for pees, 3 cacas and about 3 pee misses a day)!  So looks like we're back on track or shall I say moving forward with communicating Andrik's elimination needs!  This is the update as of today.  Yayyy!! 

All in all, I am definitely grateful that the Universe kept guiding me down this path with ECing.  Not only has it created another way for us to communicate with Andrik when he couldn't speak yet, but it created such a loving and trusting bond between him and us.  I recall one time when Andrik was younger, he was still getting used to eating solids and the changes that come with going caca after eating solids.  He was having a hard time pushing it out while sitting on his potty seat reducer.  It was hurting him and he started to cry and a look of panick came across his face.  Dalmacio stepped in and connected with Andrik and reassured him that Daddy was there for him.  Dalmacio started making grunting/pushing noises and touched his forehead to Andrik's forehead.  It was such a beautiful connection they had that it was because of this moment that enabled Andrik to feel safe and supported and was able to push it out.  Now that right there is a beautiful example of conscious and eco-parenting at its fullest! 

Nope..I wouldn't change a thing with our decision to cloth diaper, EC and use cloth training pants.  Not only are we making a difference with our carbon footprint on planet Earth but we are continuously connecting with our son on so many different levels.  Just like so many of our conscious parenting choices, it may take a bit of practice and take longer to instill but  in the end, is well worth it!  And sure a disposable diaper may be the "quick fix" just like "rewards and praise" may seem like the best answer to solving an issue you're having with your child so you can go to the next thing on your parening to-do list but when we take the time to connect with our children through love parenting vs. being coercive through fear-based parenting, in the long run, we are helping to guide our children into becoming conscious, loving, nurturing citizens of the world.  And that my friend, is what the world needs more of in order for our planet to thrive!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Emergency Preparedness with Alegre Ramos

Hi my fellow eco-conscious readers!  Although this post may not totally be focused on my eco-friendly findings, I am posting this because I feel it is such an important topic that I feel I need to share (especially after the tragic occurrences that have been recently happening).  Dalmacio and I attended an Emergency Preparedness workshop presented by one of our fellow villagers Alegre Ramos (owner of Green and Greener - an eco-friendly store located in Studio City, CA) for another group we are a part of called Holistic Moms Network (HMN)

I am soo grateful that Alegre did this presentation because I actually was planning to have another friend, Aaron do this presentation for the Family Love Village this year but he had moved away last year.  So when I heard Alegre was doing this presentation I approached her to see if she'd be willing to do a presentation for our village, as well and am very excited to announce that she will be coming to us in the next few months!

For the time being, here are my extensive notes on this very important topic.  And yes this is going to be a novel (lol) and I will not apologize this time for the lengthyness of this post (like I normally do) because, well... I feel you and your family could benefit from all the information listed in this post.  So here goes:


STAGE 1: PLAN AND TRAIN - Estimated cost is around $100 and takes about 30 hours. 

Part of planning is sitting down and creating a plan.  This can consist of getting your important documents (i.e. driver's license, ID, birth certificate, SSN #, etc ) and making copies of it.  Copies to go in 1) each To-Go kit, 2) a fireproof safe outside the house (actually it's best to keep the originals in this fireproof safe), and 3) 3 flash drives - one in your To-Go Kit, one to a trusted family member, and one at the office.  You can also fax yourself a copy to your email address, as well.  Videotape and photograph all of your belongings of important and valuable items so you can show the insurance.  A good note is videotaping the date on a newspaper to show proof of the date that you are videotaping.  Fax yourself your bank statements, a copy of your mortgage, insurance paperwork, your pet's chip ID, etc.  It's also a good idea to have recent photographs with your pet so that you can show proof that your pet belongs to you.  It's also important to have recent photographs of family so you can identify them.

Create and type a wallet sized emergency plan.  Make copies and laminate them.  Each To-Go Kit should have a laminated emergency plan card!  (The "To Go" kits will be described in detail under Stage 2 below)

Here's an example of a wallet sized emergency plan:

Grab flashlight/lightstick and shoes under bed. Duck/cover under solid piece of furniture AWAY from glass or in interior hallway.  DO NOT switch on lights until you are sure there is no gas leak.  If you smell gas, shut it off. Turn off water to house to keep it clean and potable and turn off electrical breakers (individual first then main.) Water heater good source of drinking water. Stay where you are if it’s safe, you may want to go to nearby park (nothing to fall on you) but call each other or out of town contact so that someone knows you are safe. If you can’t get a hold of anyone and not safe where you are, head to [designated location]. Leave a note under your door mat saying where you’ve gone. If you are passing by [location on the way], stop there & leave a note in “message drop” saying day/time, where you are going, your condition, and anything else important. Message drop locations: My house: Potted orange tree to the right of hose in front of house, Your house: Pot under living room window.

If we can’t reach each other, out of town calls may still be possible, once safe check in with: 1st [out of town contact] 646.322.XXXX (cell), 212.412.XXX (work land) 2nd [out of town contact], 636.346.XXX (cell) or 317.276.XXX (work land).  

Our phone numbers and networks:
Dalmacio & Vivi Verizon: 818.333.XXX and 310.259.XXX, land
818.708.XXX | Linda/Michael: AT&T 818.634.XXX,
818.634.XXX/818.635.XXX, land 818.776.XXX | Bob: AT&T
213.447.XXXX | Davon: Sprint 213.926.XXX | Eddie: land

Remember: 911 for emergencies
-Same network cell phones more likely to work with each other
-If cell phones don’t work for calls, texting may still work
-Landlines have their own electricity source

Other important aspects of planning for an emergency is making a disaster plan with 1-3 other families.  There is peace of mind in numbers.  It's always good to have other people that have your back and vice versa.  Part of planning with a group, it should be decided who's house is the best location to store supplies and in the event of an emergency should all go to this location.  Once you have decided who's house that everyone should try to go to, it's a good idea for everyone to help pitch in with the supplies. 

Other examples that are part of planning is safe guarding doors and putting child-proof latches on the top cupboards so that your glassware doesn't fall down.  If you don't already have one, get a landline that plugs into an electrical source in case your cell phone doesn't work.

Get your community organized.  See if your neighborhood is open to organizing an emergency plan together.  Google map the streets in your neighborhood.  Find out the ages of children and elderly.  Find out who has what skills in your neighborhood (i.e. your neighbor 3 houses down is a fireman, etc).  And find out where the gas meter is for each of your neighbors on either side of your house.

I. Steps to Creating a Plan:

1. Pick your SAFE ZONE inside the house.  The safest place is under heavy furniture but if that furniture is surrounded by windows, then that wouldn't be a good place to pick as your safe zone.  Another good option is interior hallways where there are no pictures or glass within the vicinity.  This is a good place to pick because normally you don't have to worry about doors swinging open.  During an earthquake, even in a hallway that doesn't have anything breakable, it is still wise to duck and cover.  NOTE: Majority of injuries occur due to flying objects!

2. Make sure to have your "To Go" kits near the Safe Zone. 

3. Prepare a bag for "Under Your Bed" supplies.  This consist of: 1) a pair of tennis shoes, 2) hard hat, 3) crankable LED flashlight, 4) glow sticks, 5) whistle, 6) mask, and 7) goggles.  If it's in the middle of the night and it's during an emergency, grab these supplies and go to your Safe Zone.  I also put both my cats' carriers next to the "Under Your Bed" supplies in our open closet.  Since our bed lies on a Japanese tatami mat close to the floor, we don't have the option to put these supplies under the bed.  And since our closet doesn't have a door on it (which is probably a good thing), we have the supplies on a rack close to the floor in the closet.

4. Do NOT turn your lights on due to sparks.

5. Know where your gas meter is ahead of time.  That way if you smell gas after an earthquake, you will know to go to your gas and turn it off.  To turn off your gas valve, turn the valve clockwise and the knob should be horizontal.  It is also a good idea to know ahead of time where your neighbors' gas meters are at in case you need to shut their gas off.  There is a handy gas shut-off tool with no moving parts that you can tie to your gas meter (unlike a wrench with moving parts it won’t rust and be inoperable so it’s perfect to just leave out at your gas meter “just in case.”). If your gas meter doesn't have an auto shut off, it's advisable to get one.  When Alegre's neighborhood did their planning, one neighbor called around and many companies were willing to give a discount for doing multiple houses at once.  Also, when you go on vacation remind your neighbors that if something happens while you are away to turn off your gas/water/electrical for you.

6. It's also a good idea to turn off your water because whatever is in your water heater is good drinkable water.  It's also good to know how to turn off your electrical, as well.

7. Once earthquake is over and it is safe to go outside, grab your "To Go" Kits. 

II. Training  - Training is also an important part of Stage 1.  You can check to see if your local fire department offers training for emergency preparedness.  This is FREE to the public.  You can also go to and download certificate programs there and learn more information on getting certified.

1. It's important to know that during an emergency, it can take up to about 3-5 days for emergency services to get to you and your loved ones. So it's best to be prepared and take it into your own hands during this time by following the 4 stages of preparation. It's suggested to prepare for at least 4-5 weeks worth of supplies.

STAGE 2: CREATING "TO GO" KITS - Estimated cost is $300 and takes about 6 hours

I. Home To-Go Kit:

Pack the following items in a large and sturdy backpack:

  1. Laminated wallet sized card with your typed Emergency Plan.
  2. Leather  gloves (to get glass out of the way)
  3. Medical latex gloves
  4. Crankable flashlight
  5. Glowsticks
  6. Wrench
  7. WD 40 lube
  8.  Matches
  9.  Shovel
  10. Crowbar
    11. Map of your area (identify parks, fire depts and safe places to go)
    12. Female hygiene
    13. Food (energy bars, dehydrated foods, nuts except for oily nuts like walnuts, chocolate - make sure it's a shelf life of at least 5 years)
    14. Water (change every 6 months)
    15. Pen and paper to leave notes
    16.  Antibacterial
    17. Masks & goggles
    18. Small bills
    19. Carabiner
    20. Whistles
    21. Plastic bags for sanitation
    22. Clothes (for warm weather and cold weather)
    23. Hat
    24. Shoes
    25. First aid kit
    26. Copy of important documents (paper and/or flashdrive)

    NOTE: The top 4 most important items on this list are: water, hat, shoes and first aid kit in case you have to walk far and it is hot).

    II. Work To-Go Kit:

    1. All of the above PLUS the following:
    2. Flash drive with copies of important documents at the office
    3. Need to create a separate wallet card Emergency Plan for your office

    III. Car To-Go Kit:

    1. Everything that is listed in the Home To-Go Kit PLUS the following:
    2. If you have a baby or toddler, an extra baby carrier
    3. A favorite toy that your child won't miss, books, crayons and paper for your child (I thought of this one since it may help to keep your child occupied after an emergency or to have things that help to calm them down, such as a favorite toy or book).
    4. Leash for your pet
    5. Harness for your pet
    6. Formula for your baby
    7. Eco-friendly baby wipes
    8. Eco-friendly diapers
    9. Knife and/or box cutters (My hubby Dalmacio is a firm believer in box cutter/utility knives and loves this brand.)
    10. Binoculars
    11. Water filter on top of Kleen Kanteen bottle water
    12. Toiletries
    13. Rubber tubing/surgical tubing
    14. Mosquito control
    15. Compass
    16. Crank radio or solar radio
    17. Check books
    18. Head lamps
    19. Emergency Response Kit
    20. Dog kit (saddle bag) - you can get one that has everything needed for pets
    21. Booties for your dog - in case they have to walk on glass
    22. Clothes for your pet in case it is cold
    23. "Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants" Book
    24. "US Army Survival Manual"
    25. Lamp light
    26. Batteries (Home Depot has batteries that have a shelf life of 15 years).  It's best to keep in the original packaging, standing upright!
    27. Hydrogen Peroxide
    28. Coffee filters - this is helpful when deciphering and filtering water to make into drinkable water
    29. Thermal blankets
    30. Emergency sleeping bags
    31. Tube tents
NOTE: The above To-Go lists AND the Emergency Plan are examples of what Alegre and her family created for what was important to them (I added a few things that I felt were important to my family).  These lists can be modified to fit what you and your family feel is valid and important. 

STAGE 3: MAJOR HOME SUPPLIES: Estimated cost is $1000. This is storage for water and food.

  1. Rule for water: 1 gallon per person per day.  For 1 month, you may want to have up to 100 gallons.  You can get ring barrels (55 gallons each).  If it's a plastic container, make sure it is NOT sitting on the concrete because chemicals can leach into the container.  So it's highly suggested to put the ring barrels on top of cardboard.  Since long-term survival is all about water, it's a great idea to have a way to filter the water, as well as have purification tablets on hand.  Boil/filter/purify…whatever you have to do to have fresh water!  You can get these at camping stores.  Here’s a long info page on emergency water storage that is a good resource to review.
  2. Store home supplies in a trash can that has wheels outside so that you can roll offsite.
  3. Examples of food to store: dehydrated foods, nuts (avoid oily nuts like walnuts), beans, rice.
  4. For pets: canned food. We do our best not to have dry kibble because kibble is not good for our cats to eat but in this case of an emergency, it doesn't hurt to have a bag of grain-free dry kibble, as well.

  5. Tent & sleeping bags
  6. Old cast iron skillets
  7. Stainless steel utensils
  8. Cardboard boxes and aluminum.  You can cook food as a solar cooker this way.
  9. Portable solar panels, such as Silicon Solar
  10. Keep bikes accessible and part of preparedness
STAGE 4: MAJOR HOME IMPROVEMENTS - Estimated cost can vary depending on what improvements you feel you need to do for your home.

  1. Get your windows tempered.
  2. Bolt foundation and visible studs
  3. Secure top heavy furniture (especially if taller than wide)
  4. Secure electronics
  5. Secure water heater (move it outside if you can)
  6. Secure cabinets
  7. Get fire extinguishers
  8. Remove chemicals from the house and make sure to bring to a safe center for disposal!
Phew...You made it to this point!  Congratulations!  I know there's alot of information here to digest but it's soo worth reading through all of it.  And just so you don't get too overwhelmed, you don't have to do all of the 4 stages at once.  Alegre stated that if you at least begin with Stage 1 ("Plan and Train") and Stage 2 ("Create your To Go Kits"), this could take a few years to do.  So do what you can but start NOW!

And just to continue with my tradition of posting references, I wanted to share more information.  Remember how I mentioned in the beginning of this post that my friend Aaron was going to be a guest speaker for the Family Love Village but moved away?  Well good news, a mutual friend of ours sent me a link to a post that Aaron put on his blog.  Not only was there one but there are two posts on his blog, Transitional Forces that I feel are great resources.  So please check out: Shaken Up and Earthquakes and Whistles.

Other great resources are:

  1. Quake Kare: Variety of Emergency Kits that provides some of the items listed in the To-Go kits. The company is a local company too.  They are located in Moopark, CA (which thankfully isn't too far from where my family just moved to).
  2. Gluten Free & Vegan Survival Foods: I did a search and found this company that sells gluten free and vegan survival foods which is important for Andrik and myself since he is allergic to wheat/gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, and cashews.  Although I haven't yet figured out how to get to the actual option to review the foods they sell.  I may have to call them to find out.
  3. Earthquake Country: a great reference for earthquakes
  4. Linda Pruett- If you live in the San Fernando Valley, ask to be part of her email list.  She sends out important information in regards to emergencies.  Her email is
  5. True Readiness: Another website that offers emergency kits that also looks local.  Their area code is 818.  Just compare between Quake Kare and True Readiness to see which one has a better deal and supplies.
Phew...Ok I feel a whole LOT better now that I've shared all of this insightful information that can better prepare all of us!  Sending you and your loved ones much loving energy as you create your emergency preparedness!  And if there is an emergency that we do end up experiencing, may we all feel reassured at least just a little bit, knowing that we are more prepared than we were before!

I would like to end this post with a loving and affirmative prayer towards the souls that are being affected by natural disasters throughout the world.

I set the loving intention that all the souls being affected by natural disasters are healing - whether it's for physical, emotional and/or spiritual healing.  Knowing that they are not alone, that there are people here to help them - whether it's actually being physically there to lend a hand or through donations or through prayers - we as loving beings are continuing to keep the vibrations high and envisioning global healing NOW.  Knowing that as aware beings, we are setting the intention to continue leading and role modeling conscious and eco-holistic living.  By being conscious, by being eco-friendly and by living a more holistic lifestyle, we are setting the pathway for this global healing to continue through us role modeling and creating this healing in our own backyards, our own homes, as well.  I am ever-so-grateful for the families that have joined the Family Love Village and for my fellow readers on this blog who are continuing to join us on this conscious journey for it is within this space where change occurs.  Just by supporting and having the willingness to actually "be the change we wish to see in the world", we are making a difference...we are a creating the conscious shift on a vibrational level.  And I thank each and everyone of you for being on this playing field of conscious BEINGness for yourself, for your families, for Mama Gaia, for the animal kingdom, for ALL living things.  And with this deep gratitude, I release this prayer towards all living kind to experience this shift with us.  I release it into the winds, into the oceans, into the embers and into the earth - knowing that we are ALL one with each other, one with animals, one with creatures, one with the planet, one with life.  And so it is...Aho, Aum and Amen.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Series

Hi everyone. I just wanted to share with everyone a FREE teleconference that I've been joining for the past couple of weeks. It's called the Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Series. And let me tell you, I am just sooo inspired, empowered and fired up (no pun intended) about the plethora of resources, information and tools that these guest speakers are providing for social entrepreneurs that want to make a difference in the world in creating a more loving, peaceful and sustainable planet!

I just listened to an interview w/ the founder of this project, Ryan Eliason last night and am in such deep gratitude for what he is creating for us entrepreneurs! I am deeply passionate about listening to as many interviews as I possibly can - as part of my commitment to going full-force with my vision for my other blog, the Family Love Village! (Well the Family Love Village and Made With EcoLOVE visions actually go hand in hand).

For more details, check out The Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Series. You'll hear from NY Times #1 best selling authors, self-made millionare entrepreneurs, and global visionaries such as Marianne Williamson, John Robbins, Ali Brown, Fabien Fredrickson, Julia Butterfly Hill, Lynne Twist, Bruce Lipton, Bill Drayton and more inspiring pioneers of social change.

The first wave of guest speakers are still available and I believe it will be available to everyone even after the series is done. The first wave is to inspire you with guest speakers' achievements and the 2nd wave is to empower you by giving you the tools to create your own achievements. We’re already in the second wave of guest speakers which is only available within 24 hours of recording from each day that interviews are given.  Even if you only listen to 1-2 guest speakers from the 2nd wave, I guarantee you will receive a benefit from it for your own social entrepreneur movement or business.  I can almost guarantee by just listening to even just 1 interview that you'll be so inspired and empowered to want to listen to all of them!  And if this peaks your interest to Get Details and RSVP, you will still be able to listen to alot of the interviews now! 

I feel that you will truly benefit from this and leave with numerous valuable strategies you can implement right away, including the latest thinking on: social change, green marketing, conscious marketing, mission-based business, online movement building, client attraction, book authoring and marketing, branding, niching, outsourcing, generating a mindset for success, the blueprint for launching a social enterprise, standing out on the web, attracting a global following, building a financially-successful enterprise, product launch formulas, time management secrets, social media strategies, leading fundraising methods, and more to help you triple your bottom line - people, planet, and profit!

So I just wanted to share with all of you what I've been up to these days and what has been ecstatically moving me forward with my vision for both Made With EcoLOVE and the Family Love Village!
Peace & ignition,

Your fellow eco-friendly advocate,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Celebrating a 2nd Green Birthday for Andrik

Wowwww!  I can't believe our son is already 2 years old!  WHAT?!  Seriously, who put the time machine on forward??  Wasn't it just yesterday that I found out I was pregnant?  Amazing!!

So if you don't know already, my goal is to create every birthday celebration for Andrik in an eco-friendly way.  This year not only did we celebrate Andrik's 2nd birthday but it was his best buddy, Kien's 2nd birthday party too.  Our good friends, the Touissants (Yvonne and Kent) and Dalmacio and myself thought it would be a great idea to have a duo celebration for our two beautiful boys!  We met this wonderful family over a year ago when we first joined Holistic Moms Network.  Yvonne just so happened to be the leader of the San Fernando Valley chapter.  Soon after joining, we all hit it off and became very close friends.  The mere fact that Andrik and Kien are only 13 hours apart AND that we had home births with similar birth stories just blocks from each other is a trip in itself!  It's as if we're living parallel lives or something.  Wait - it gets even better!  So not only are our boys practically like twins, Yvonne and I are both leaders of conscious parenting groups, we're both mixed with Asian with a little bit of this and that in our blood, AND both our husbands are funny guys and always strangely getting sick at the same time (don't ask)!  So yeah... it just made sense to celebrate it together! 

And to tell you the truth, I was actually very grateful too because Yvonne is an amazing coordinator!  I mean, I love to coordinate gatherings too but because at the time we were taking care of our furry girl Chachi - it was alot for me to handle.  So I was sooo glad that Yvonne and I planned things together...I wouldn't have been able to do it without her by my side!  :o)

But before I get started on the duo birthday, Andrik had a special solo birthday celebration on the day of his  birthday, Wednesday 2/26/11.  For the past couple of months, he had been mentioning that he "missed the land" - which was the beautiful place we lived in Topanga for a few months before moving to our present home.  We had grown to love the families and individuals that lived there but at this point hadn't had a moment to come by and visit.  Well it was definitely due time that we did - and what better timing than to celebrate Andrik at their Wednesday potluck dinner! I wish I would've taken a picture of the feast because it was amazing!  But at least I have the memory of the yummy food that my belly consumed that night!  What's most important though was the captured moments of Andrik connecting with his friends.

Here are a few pics from that night:

Learning how to play the flute with Skywalker

Sweet face!

Playing percussion with Daddy and Jarreau

Beautiful Isaiah drumming

Andrik and Isaiah in the drum circle
Andrik learning to play guitar
Andrik having fun with Angel and Jenny along with Yanika & Pathfinder in the back

So after an eventful evening with everyone from the land, it was time to finish organizing everything for the eco-friendly duo birthday party for Sunday.   Thankfully Yvonne and I are both on the same page when it comes to living a more "green" lifestyle. 

We both agreed that we wanted party favors that the kids could actually use and not just be forgotten and thrown away into our landfills.  After wonderful research on Yvonne's behalf, we decided on these two: Eco Stars Recycled Crayons and Flavorful Memories Plantable Herb Favors.  Now what child doesn't like drawing with crayons?  Even if she already has a box of them at home, a couple more given as gifts will surely be used up for some creative project.  And these star shaped recycled crayons are adorable!  And what we really liked about the plantable herb favors is that this gives children and parents an opportunity to learn about gardening together, as a family - that's if they don't already have a garden.  And if they do, well this just gives them more flavors to work with.  Speaking of flavors - the seeds that came in the cards are dill, basil and parsley - talk about great selection!  I can't wait to start our garden soon so I can make as much pesto pasta as I want (mmm I love basil)!  :o)  The best part about the seed packets is that the paper the seeds are in can all go directly into the pot or ground and are biodegradable!  You know that's got a BIG green thumbs up in my book (yes, pun intended)!  :o)

So I have a confession to make...remember how last year I had every single thing eco-friendly - all the way down to the utensils, plates and cups?  Well unfortunately this year, most of that stock was used up.  What I did have alot of was utensils.  A huge bag, as a matter of fact, from when the office of the company I work for closed down (I still work for the same company, just now from home thankfully).  Anyways, I couldn't bare to see a huge drawer full of knives, forks and spoons be thrown away (each utensil had its own drawer that's how many there were).  So I took all of them.  Let's just say I've got plastic knives for years to come for future birthday parties (the knives drawer was the fullest)!  So anyways, unfortunately due to finances, we were not able to purchase all the green stuff like we had done last year (we had just spent alot when our girl Chachi was sick and had to be put down).  The landlord of the house we just recently moved into had forgotten to take with him 2 big bags full of styrofoam plates...I know, even typing that word on here gives me the shivers...Ugh...Yvonne and I had gone back and forth about the decision to use them and I may get some upset readers on here about this but money was tough for both families and Yvonne and I had come to the realization that these plates will either be sitting there in the house or could be used for the party.  We had a choice to either to be in a constant battle of having "toxic" thoughts about using them because we were needing to use the rest of our monies towards food OR we could release all those negative thoughts and feelings and just feel good with what things we are able to do that is eco-friendly.  So we chose the latter.

Ok now that I've confessed my "sins" (oh geez, even that word as I type is so ridiculous coming from a spiritual being such as myself)...Ok so let me rephrase that - now that I've released my guilt around that (yes I stuttered) dilemma - I can now easefully move onto my favorite topic: FOOD!  Yvonne and I decided to keep it simple yet yummy.  Ok truthfully it wasn't as simple as we thought it would be but it was indeed yummy!  The organic menu included:

~ Black beans (made by Yvonne)
~ Spanish rice (made by Dalmacio)
~ Hummus (made by moi) along with carrots and celery sticks to dip with
~ Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (for the kids)
~ Hummus and cucumber sandwiches (for the kids)
~ Scrumptious gluten free, vegan cacao cupcakes (made by Yvonne until 4am the day of the party - I swear I love that woman!  She basically chose gluten free and vegan so that Andrik could enjoy a cake without wheat/gluten or dairy.  I suggested using cacao just because raw cacao is just so much yummier).
~ And Homemade lemonade (which my mom had made the morning of the party.  Remember that part where we thought it was going to be a simple menu?  Well this is where 2 hours of making lemonade definitely became unsimple - is that even a word?)

Ok here's a funny story.  So about 8-9pm or so the night before the party, Yvonne asked if I could make the lemonade for the party.  To save on costs, we had decided to make lemonade since her and Kent have a lemon tree in their backyard.  I had been asking her for about 2 days before the party, if I could help with anything (especially since Yvonne was just getting over being sick) and she finally surrendered and knew that she could use some help, which I was very happy to do so.  After putting Andrik to sleep, I went to their place and of course had no idea that I would not only be picking up the lemons and their juicer to make the lemonade the next morning but we needed to pick the lemons too.  Did I mention it was around 10pm or so by this time? LOL It was quite funny seeing both Kent and I walking through the backyard in the dark, making sure not to step in any dog poop.  Between that, coming across a black widow and then me and Yvonne having to go back in the yard to pick another 50 lemons later on - it was quite the funny scene.  I felt like I was in a comedy at that point (or perhaps it was the delirious state I was already in).

So moving onto the day of the party.  Here's where things got a little sticky or shall I say, wet.  We chose to have the celebration at the Franklin Canyon Park - a beautiful park with nature trails, a nature store, a lake and a duck pond.  All week it was nice and sunny but of course the day of our sons' celebration, it started to rain.  We had been monitoring the weather forecast and it kept saying that it wouldn't rain until around 3pm.  LOL - it was actually quite the opposite.  It rained throughout the party and then stopped at around that time.  All morning Dalmacio and I had been stressing out about the rain and if we should have a Plan B and just have everyone at our place.  But thankfully both Yvonne and Kent felt we wouldn't get rained out (this is before we found out that it would soon start raining more after guests arrived) and felt we should stick with Plan A.  And ya know, I'm actually thankful for this because they helped Dalmacio and I to get out of our comfort zone and embrace the weather.  Ok so normally when it's drizzling outside you would think that no one would want to head out to a party in the woods but surprisingly, they did!  I mean what's wrong with a little rain, right?  Unfortunately some of the guests on our side didn't show up due to the rain but everyone on Yvonne & Kent's side did (just goes to show their friends are definitely more into nature - LOL).

Soon after all the guests arrived, everyone huddled underneath the 2 EZup's (thank God I went with my instincts on this one and requested Daddy get them out of storage!).  What Dalmacio noticed was how the rain truly brought everyone closer together.  People from both parties got to know each other and really connected.  It made everything, as my son likes to say when he's cuddling in bed with me under the covers, "nice and cozy".  And what kid doesn't like playing in the rain?  All the older kids had a blast!  We tend to forget as adults the fun aspect of being out in the rain.  Of course what made it even more fun was my good friend Sarah Peters from World Citizen Baby who brought out the eco-friendly face paint for the kids faces! The best part though was the music.  Sarah brought a bunch of drums, shakers, pandeiros and other musical instruments and scarves for the kids to play with while she played her guitar, berimbau (an afro-brazilian instrument normally used while playing Capoeira) and a flute throughout music time. Thankfully there was an enclosed area right outside the nature store where the forest rangers allowed us to gather for the kids to play music.

So what started out at first to be a stressful morning ended up being a beautiful day in nature (it was truly breathtaking) and it was definitely a birthday party to always remember!  I can't wait to see what next year will bring us..Ok wait- rewind, did I just start thinking of plans for next year's birthday party?  Come on woman, enjoy this year with your son first before planning a 3rd one!  Sheesh... :o)

With that, I'll end this post by sharing some pictures of that memorable day.

G-Da & Nona with Andrik

Dana, Clif & Myles

The Best Nanny in the Whole Wide World!  Cindy a.k.a. Ninny

Uncle Rel & Eva

Daddy the Monkey and Auntie Blonde Eye

Jaime, Kent, Kien, Mama and Me

Tia and Me

Daddy, Irma, Adam (to the left) and Nino Vinny and Auntie Leah (to the right)

Daddy and Uncle Rel playing the berimbau

Look!  It's Nana and Pappa in the back!

Todd, Jen & Isaiah

Here are some professional pics that Yvonne's friend took of that day:

Auntie Yvonne, Uncle Kent & Kien singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider

Darth Vader playing the drums

Auntie Sarah playing the guitar

Auntie Sarah playing the flute

Phew - I'm exhausted just reliving this whole day, or shall I say week!  Well here's to 2 Mama's that pulled off an adventurous birthday celebration for their 2 beautiful boys (with the help of 2 wonderful daddies of course - who arrived extra early to the park to save the benches, setup the EZups and make the kids' sandwiches.  Oh and can't forget all the help from the grandparents too)! 

Next up, look for the post on the eco-friendly birthday gift that Daddy creatively made for Andrik.  I'll give you a hint, it has to do with landscaping.  LOL  Ok that's all you get for now.  Until next time, happy celebrations to you and your family! :o)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chachi, The Epitome of Unconditional Love

I wanted to share a story with all my readers.  A story about the power of unconditional love and how this empowering feeling, if felt by every single being could shift what our world is today.  It would be a world where humankind consciously lives in harmony with all living things...treating animals and Mama Gaia with respect and gentleness.  We are moving towards this direction.  And the way we move towards it, is by doing what we can in our own all starts with us because in order to shift the consciousness of the way the world creates and lives, we have to first shift the consciousness of the way we create and live in our own lives.  So people say it may not make a difference and that the government makes all the decisions so why even bother doing anything.  But this just isn't the case - every little bit does count.  Just by making that conscious effort to recycle what we can, using our reusable bags when we go grocery shopping, and supporting eco-friendly products and companies, to name a few - the more that we create that bond with Mother Earth and all living kind.  This creates community and community is what I feel the world is truly reaching for, hungry for.

So here's my story about the power of unconditional love and how this beautiful emotion can bring community together.

Chachi's sweet smile
It is with great sorrow that today at around 12am, we had to put our beautiful girl Chachi to sleep.  It was a very hard decision but we just didn't want our pretty girl to suffer anymore.  It had been over a month that we were taking care of her.  From making homemade organic baby food (although Dalmacio didn't like calling it that - out of respect for Chachi so let me rephrase that - organic Chachi food) to eco-friendlier cloth pee pads that Dalmacio made (I just couldn't take another moment of using those disposable pads to add to our landfills) to exercising her to Daddy sleeping in the living room with Chachi for a whole month to be near her if she needed researching and giving her as much holistic & alternative medicines and therapies that we could, as well as giving her Reiki and Quantum Touch healings almost every night. To us, all of this wasn't a have-to, it was just what we believe in and wanted only the best for our daughter.  Yes, our daughter.  To us,  Chachi and her two cat sisters (Dartagnia and Star) are family.  And what beautiful family members they truly are.  Laurie Reyon, one of the pet communicators that we were honored to connect with said the most empowering thing to us.  That dogs are here to model to us humans unconditional love and that cats are here to model to us self-love.  Us humans can definitely learn alot from these special beings about this empowering feeling.

What began as a possible herniated disk (the actual cause still unknown) had crippled her hind legs.  Yet there was still hope, especially with the wonderful donation that the Ozzy Foundation had given to us to get Chachi her own wheel chariot from Eddie's Wheels.  But tonight was the night that we just knew...we just knew that the hope that she still wanted to stay in her snowy white vessel was getting too difficult to withstand.  Earlier in the day, I had asked Chachi to let us know whether she wanted to stay here (previously she kept communicating through the pet communicators that she wanted to stay) or if she was ready to transition to the Other side.   I had asked her to please make it clear to us what she wanted and what would be in her highest good.                                                                                      
This is how I like to remember our beautiful girl. Smiling and standing strong

Oh my sweet, sweet Chachi...she was the epitome of unconditional love...even with her protective growls towards some people that she didn't know too well, it was all just her trying to act like a tough girl to protect Andrik and myself.  She was all show and bark.  Oh but once Chachi got a full sense of your genuine energy, it was all over, she was nothing but ALL LOVE!   You couldn't get rid of her once you walked through that door.  :o)  Little do most people know is our cat Dartagnia is the Alpha of our house.  Whenever we would call Chachi over and she wouldn't come, it was most likely because Dartagnia was blocking the hallway and Chachi was too scared to pass by in case she would get swiped by Dartagnia's claws... It was actually quite funny seeing a 65lb Pitbull scared of a 10lb cat!

But even through the sleepless nights and this deep heartache, Dalmacio and I are in such deep gratitude.  We are thankful to Ramsey and Buzz for asking us to adopt Chachi.  We are so honored and still remember what Ramsey said over the phone: "we can't think of any better parents for Chachi than the two of you."  Such sweet words that echo in my heart now...thank you Ramsey and Buzz for entrusting us to create a loving home for her.

We are grateful to alot of beautiful souls.  For the continuous healing energy & monetary support from our family and loving support from friends...for Sandy Smith with her special gift to communicate with Chachi along with her reference to Evey Gold who consulted with us on natural remedies and for introducing us to two wonderful specialists: Pam Holt who gave Chachi the most relaxing massage ever and Suzanne Weed who gave Chachi Acuscope therapy the last 2 weeks of her life.  To Laurie Reyon for her spiritual insight and gift to communicate with Chachi.  To the Ozzy Foundation (as mentioned above) for their loving generosity to donate money to get Chachi a wheelchair.  To my friend, Renee Stonehocker from Capitol Drugs for her suggestions on homeopathics.  To Jennifer Kelly with her suggestions on essential oils.  To the wonderful staff at the Holistic Vet Center for their genuine support and care, as well as Veterinary Specialists of the Valley who also helped us throughout Chachi's health issues and for helping to elevate Chachi to her next transition.  To Dartagnia & Star for holding the healing space for their sister.  It was truly amazing that these beings who normally show self-love, gave unconditional love to Chach and gave her "sniff" kisses.  Star even slept out in the livingroom for the last few days to keep Chachi company at night (normally Star is next to my feet at night).

I know it's a long list of people to thank - just goes to show how truly uplifting it can be when we raise the vibration high, pay it forward and open ourselves to the support of community.  I also wanted to share this knowledge of amazing references who helped us through all of this.  Perhaps it could help someone else with their furry kids like it did with us.

My girl and I connecting
Oh Chach - I already miss you sooo very much.  I miss the nonstop kisses you'd plant on my face (or whenever I'd put lotion on my legs - always wondered what was the point when you'd lick it all off.  LOL).  And I miss the way you would always keep my feet warm when I worked at my desk...I miss your pink, pink belly and those genuinely sweet eyes of yours with the lil brown spot that covered your left eye...I miss that brown spot on your lower back that Daddy would always say was your "off" button but that you never turned off because you were just so full of life and energy.  I miss the way you would tear down the road as fast as lightning and zip on by us like a speeding bullet.  And to think you were still doing this a couple of months ago at the age of 10.  And most of all, I miss your unconditional loving heart.  You truly are the epitome of unconditional love.  Thank you Chachi for being here with us through thick and thin.  For being so, so patient and loving towards us and Andrik.  We'll never forget how you guarded the bedroom door as I gave birth to your little brother.  Thank you for being the protector of our home and the sweet, sweet soul that you are.  We know that you're vessel is gone but your soul still lives on and are here with us right now.   It is with great comfort knowing that our other two  beautiful kids, Jade and Sugar are waiting for you on the Other Side.

There's her "off" button on her back that never turned off :o)

Until we meet again, we love you.

Chachi giving "Peace"