Life With Cora : 7 Years

Cora is 7 years old! So much has happened since her last birthday. Cora wrapped up her Kindergarten year, we spent a lot of time at the pool over the summer, Cora learned to swim, we traveled to our favorite place, Cora started first grade at a new school, she started playing soccer, she lost 3 more teeth, and we enjoyed so many play dates with friends and family. I was looking back at last year's post and was just reminded how consistently awesome Cora is. She is always loving, creative, driven, silly, helpful, strong, intelligent, beautiful, and so much more. She has grown so much over the years, but she is also always so much herself and I love that about her. 
I love that Cora is always so fashionable. She has an opinion on everything she wears and is pretty particular about her hair, outfits, and accessories. Cora picks some wild outfits and rocks them! She draws lots of pictures and her characters always have the most creative and awesome outfits.

I love that Cora is so thoughtful. She is always helping her sister out, taking great care of the dog, and is always the first to offer to help me with whatever I'm working on. I love watching her with her little sister. They have such a great bond and they are always off playing games, coloring, watching tv, and playing dress up and having fashion shows. 

Happy Birthday sweet Cora - you bring so much light to our lives. This birthday is hard because we do not get to do our regular birthday things like going to the zoo or throwing a birthday party, but you roll with the punches and enjoy each and every little thing to celebrate. We are so grateful that you joined our family 7 years ago. I am the luckiest mommy in the world. May this birthday be the best one yet. xxoo!


Devou Park: The Ludlow Icinerator

Last year when Jazz visited over Easter weekend, the weather was kind of yucky so we kept the adventuring to the minimum. She always does a great job finding off-the-beaten-path things to do and this adventure was no exception. 
She requested we go to the Ludlow incinerator. We drove around the park a bit and stopped by the Mr Red bench (Ida was not a fan) then searched for the incinerator. 
We weren't super clear about where the incinerator was, so it took us a bit to find the right trail. It was drizzling and we weren't sure how far down the path we'd have to go (the incinerator trail is 1.2 miles) so we decided we'd suck it up, make it an adventure, and see how far we could make it before one of my kids has a meltdown. The girls were busy squishing around in the mud and doing a bit of whining, so Jazz went ahead of us and found that the incinerator wasn't too far.

We took our time making it up there so she would be able to get pictures without us in it. The girls liked walking around and finding our favorite little graffiti spots.


Compost 101

I started to compost about a year ago and I've learned so much since I started. Every time I share about compost I get messages asking me how they should start, so I thought I'd share a couple basics to get people started and some resources if you want to dig deeper.
WHERE DO I GET STARTED? Composting can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I always tell me friends to grab a small bin for your kitchen and identify an outdoor spot that you'll dump the food waste.

WHAT CAN I COMPOST? This is where it can get complex if you really want to get into it and different sources say different things. There are many different ratios of Green vs Brown compost, but if there are too many 'browns' then it will decompose at a much slower rate, and if there is too many 'greens' the compost will be too acidic.

I am on the more simple composting end of the spectrum. I looked at a list of green and brown materials and made sure I'm adding things from both sides and hope the ratio works itself out in the end. Right now, we only compost veggie scraps (green), eggshells (green), grass clippings (green), paper (brown), and leaves (brown).

DOES IT SMELL OR ATTRACT CRITTERS? Mostly no. Sometimes the bin in our kitchen will smell when I open it if I haven't emptied it enough... if that happens, I empty, clean it out and it is back to normal. Sidenote: I have seen people put their compost in a ziploc in their freezer if they can't empty it often enough or if they use a composting service.

The outdoor bin never smells. If you don't already have critters, this will not attract them... If you do already have critters, then you should build a more enclosed outdoor bin.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO I NEED? The great thing about compost is you can start with what you already have! We use an old butter tub in the kitchen for scraps and started out just making a pile in our backyard. I currently have a wire compost bin that I fill up for a couple months then move it over to let the pile really decompose. I've also been keeping my eye out for good deals on a tumbling composter or a cuter countertop compost bin, but I 100% encourage trying out compost with no upfront costs to really figure out if it's something you'll be able to keep with.

I'll continue to add to the post as I learn more information, but really my biggest tip is just get started where you are and build on your knowledge and setup from there.

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