Nichole D.
Albuquerque, New Mexico

I currently live in New Mexico with my boyfriend and beautiful daughter in The Retro Palace. I'm currently a student double-majoring in Cosmetology and Architectural Drafting. I spend what little free time I have knitting, crocheting, sewing, and almost any other project I have time for. I do occasionally eat and shower, but only if there is no knitting to be done.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It's the night before Halloween, and we had our kind of "grown-up" Halloween. We went to see a scary movie (Paranormal Activity) and went to a pretty decent haunted house. To keep up the vibe, I decided it would be a good time to get caught up on Ghost Hunters. Tomorrow night we'll start early since we have The Monsterette tomorrow night. We were thinking either the zoo or Old Town before some trick-or-treating. I think tomorrow I'm going to decorate a cool Venetian style mask to wear trick-or-treating. Should be a good time! Pictures soon, after we all come out of our sugar-induced comas.

What are you're plans for Halloween? Hope you have a great time, no matter what you do!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Some Hippy Stuff

I've been going through my blog lately, kind of like looking through an old journal. Remembering things I created, projects I started, memories I made, things I did. I thought I would give you old readers a little update on some of my greener endeavors, and some new readers a little more information about me. Assuming, of course, there is actually still someone reading this out there.

Anyways, in the summer of 2008, I decided to quit using shampoo and go for a more natural option. I now use baking soda dissolved in a glass of water, and some diluted cider vinegar if I feel like I need a little conditioning. (Side note: the vinegar is actually good for balancing the Ph of your scalp, too!) Looking back, I've been doing this for over a year now! The benefits of this are great. I save a TON of money, because baking soda is rediculously cheap, I'm not exposing myself to anything unnatural just by washing my hair, and my hair is a lot healthier for it. I do, on occasion, use some shampoo. It is all-natural, and is made by Alba. Really, the only reason I use it is because it was a gift from my boyfriend for Christmas. I use it very rarely, though- that bottle, which is not very big, should last me through this Christmas. So, yes, a decision I am glad that I made!

I also decided to start making my own laundry detergent. I still think this works great, it is a much less expensive alternative, and I really like being able to use something less polluting and more natural here, as well. I still have not found a good alternative to stain remover though, and that's kind of neccessary with a toddler. Always searching, though!

I am still on the search for the perfect (for me, at least) natural soap. I always thought I would do a big test, but of course, since a bar of soap lasts quite a while, it would be slow going. Maybe "Soap Wars" is still in the works, though. Maybe I should figure that out...

Hmmm, what else... I have switched to an all-natural deoderant (I refer to it as my "hippy deoderant"). It took me a few tries to find my favorite one there, too. I also use all-natural toothpaste, and try to use all-natural lotions and what-nots as well. Lotion I am not so picky on, mostly because a lot of what I have isn't natural, and I'm not one to throw something out just because. I'll use it until it's gone. Waste not, want not and all that jazz.

(Another side note: The Boyfriend says "'What's up!" He also want's me to say something all mushy and gross, but that's another day.)

I use diluted white vinegar to disinfect and clean around the house. I find it works pretty well, maybe a little more elbow grease required. I don't mind that, though. It's also really cheap, I'm not having to deal with packaging waste, it's 100% food safe, and it's not harmful to people or the environment. Woot!

Hmmm. I'm also trying to do my part to recycle (The Retro Palace is in part of the Albuquerque test market area!), working on cutting back on processed foods, and thinking about starting composting. I would also like to have a little garden next year! I think that would be so cool!

So, that's pretty much what's been going on in my life as far as "green" goes. I'm making small steps to making less of an impact, not only on the environment, but also on myself and my family. I feel pretty good about all of it, and most of it is just second nature now.

Do you have any "green" habits, or things that you do to lessen your impact?

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Balloon Fiesta 2009

Every year in Albuquerque, there is a massive festival of hot air balloons. Our tourist areas fill, traffic gets crappy, and dogs all over the city freak out. Really, though, there is no way to explain how magical it is to go down to the big, grassy field of Balloon Fiesta Park, congregating in the cold early morning (5:30 AM is a good time to get there) with masses of people from all over the world, watching as that first balloon goes up in the dark, glowing with every blast of the burner, to check the weather conditions, and then the awesome experience of hearing and seeing and being surrounded by hundreds of hot air balloons filling, rising, slowly taking to the air. The whole experience fills me with joy and happiness and child-like wonder. It really is amazing. This was the first year that The Monsterette was really excited to go, too, and she had such a great time. Also, my mom, two aunts, and my grandparents were here for the festival, which was great, too! It was a lot of fun to share with my family.

I always take TONS of pictures at the Balloon Fiesta, and this year was no exception. Here are my Top 10 from the morning sessions, in somewhat chronological order:

The first balloons of the day, all lined up and ready to launch:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-10

The Monsterette, with some cinnamon roll on her face:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-09

One picture was enough, mom:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-08

The balloons up before the sun:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-06

The balloons that stray from the conventional shape are called "special shape" balloons:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-05

That little white spot is the moon:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-07

One of the special shape balloons, right after launch:

Balloon Fiesta 2009-04

Balloon Fiesta 2009-03

Balloon Fiesta 2009-01

Balloon Fiesta 2009-02

They also do a special event at night, called a Balloon Glow. This year was the first time I have been able to go, and it was a blast! They start filling the balloons right before dark, and they are all inflated and tethered across the field. Once it gets dark, a blast from the burner will light up the balloon. Also a very magical experience! I haven't uploaded those pictures yet, but will share as soon as I do.

If you're bored, check out my pictures from 2007 Balloon Fiesta! Apparently last year I didn't post pictures of it. Oh well.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009


Once again, blogging got away from me. A lot of family was here, a big festival of balloons, a surprise trip to Minnesota with The Monsterette, and of course the general business of my life- being a mom, going to class, doing my homework, and trying to squeeze in time for a few friends, my wonderful boyfriend, and Facebook. But here I am, on a chilly Saturday, and all day I have been pretending like there isn't homework or laundry or dishes, that the really the only thing needing to be done is to lounge around in my pajamas and catch up on the blogs that I used to read and miss dearly! This evening The Boyfriend is at work, so it'll be a quiet house- maybe a stop at my friend Devon's gallery to hang out for a bit, and then a night to myself. Since I'm neglecting all of the things I should be doing, I suppose I could continue that into the evening, instead of working on the refinishing projects in the garage or picking up the mess all over the house. I would much rather sit and watch a movie, maybe do some knitting, or curl up with my book and some hot herbal tea. Sometime this week, hopefully in the next few days, I'll post my pictures from Balloon Fiesta- Always a great time, and a great chance to take some cool pictures!

See you soon...