Birthday weeks have come and gone- Three family birthdays in a week and a half span!

And we got some cool gifts! Among them:






Have I ever mentioned how much I LOOOOVE Birkenstocks and my conversion story? Oh yeah- here.

I’ve successfully converted my husband! I got him a pair and he can’t take them off now! We spent 1 hour and a half at the” “hippie store” as we like to call it. They are the nicest people and they KNOW Birkenstocks. They made sure we had the perfect fit. Since they’re hand-made, different styles and sometimes even pairs of the same style can vary a tad. The freaky part (which I knew would sell my husband on these shoes) came when she made us pull our socks off, examine our arches and then step down on them to see how the arch collapses as the foot twists to one end with ones weight. FREAAAKKY! That’s what almost every shoe out there doesn’t prevent!

I could NOT decide on what color for my birthday gift- and I’m so glad I went with black! They look cute- as in- I know Birks aren’t the most stylish shoe out there, but the black kinda blends in nice and doesn’t stand out screaming CASUAL-ness! I was so picky about my cow, too. The floor was lined with black Birks my size. Some of those “black” cows were kinda blue.. others too gray. . .

And for Tommy we went with the oiled leather instead of a suede. The saleslady took one look at him (he always dresses nice 🙂 ) and said he seemed more of a leather, more dressy type. She proceeded to convince him how he WILL end up wearing these to work. He was skeptical- a manager can’t wear casual shoes. . . I told him- you’re going to end up wanting to. I know I have plans to wear these at the office on my low-key days. (I always keep dress shoes in my drawer to pull out at a moment’s notice). 

We also got SMART WOOL SOCKS! If you’ve never tried these- do so! They are so cozy and it’s a thin type of wool that’s NOT itchy!

sock sock2

And then came the biggest surprise-



Do you know what this amazing thingDOES?

It will remove harmful pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli, Cholera Salmonella Typhi, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The filters remove and reduce unwanted chemicals such as Chlorine, lead, rust, sediment, pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, VOC’s, SOC’s, Trihalomethanes and foul tastes and odors.

(We also got the FLOURIDE filter for it!)

They used these for Hurricane Katrina and recently for post earthquakes in Haiti. You can buy these through Amazon– that’s what our in-laws did.

The reason we are so excited about this is because our water- let’s just say is pink, smells funny, and even with a Brita filter tastes awful! Our flat is in an old house and those pipes are rusty. I wouldn’t trust any tap water anyway, especially living by a big city.

What we had been doing for months is filling up a 5 gal. tank once a week at my inlaws’ from their well.  But even still we knew we were drinking “dead” water from the reverse osmosis process.

Don’t want to bore you with too much info- but if you’re wondering why this instead of distillation or reverse osmosis systems, read this.

Big Berkey is amazing because it’s:


The Big Berkey is far superior to other filters because it removes harmful pathogenic bacteria. Its unique filtering system reduces unhealthy organic chemical contaminates and impurities while leaving in the beneficial minerals your body needs from water. It’s simply the most healthful, clean, and delicious water available.
Berkey filters assemble in minutes without tools, electricity, water pressure, or plumbing. What’s more, they are simple to operate, understand, and maintain.
The Berkey is easily the most economical water filtration system you can own. Its unique design allows you to easily remove and clean the ceramic filters over and over again.
The powerful Big Berkey easily cleans ordinary tap water, yet it is so powerful, it effectively handles even raw, untreated water from lakes and streams. What’s more, the Berkey is the ideal water filtration system to have on hand in the event of an emergency or natural disaster such as blackouts, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, when tap water is not available.
The Berkey is so convenient and easy to use, you can take it with you anywhere: a vacation, hunting & camping trips, college dorms, and use it in your RV or boat.
The Berkey is made of durable, high-grade polished stainless steel. Its attractive, high quality design makes it a beautiful addition to your kitchen and home.
Proven History.
The Big Berkey Water Filter’s high quality and effectiveness has stood the test of time. First ordered by the Royal House in England, it’s also been used by relief organizations such as Unicef, the Peace Corps, and Red Cross Societies internationally. What’s more, British Berkefeld systems have been used for over 150 years by missionaries, explorers, and relief workers in over 140 countries around the world.


Here he is in all his glory!

Do you KNOW what’s in YOUR water?



. . . in case you didn’t catch the allusion in the title.