Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tips on Tuesday- Teaching kids to go green

Teach by example! We just started being more earth conscious this year and Amara had followed suite and has taught us some things along the way.

We first started by recycling items. I then bought reusable bags, use natural cleaning supplies, planted an organic garden and lots of other things. Wow..I am impressing myself!

Amara also learns about recycling in school and well as on her cartoons ( those annoying shows are good for something!).

Ways to get the kids involved:

  • Let them help sort the recyclables.

  • Let them help clean-- a lot of the "green" products are harmless ( just done drink them)

  • Let kids help plant the garden and pick the reward. Same with trees and flowers.

  • Let them turn the lights off when not in use.

  • Let your kids pick out some toys and take them to Good Will

We have done most of the the things on the list, but are ready to add more things. What things are you doing to get your kids involved in Green living I would love to hear about it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Garden update....

My garden is producing mass amounts of leaves. Leaves from the peppers, squash, broccoli, peas and beans-but nothing else! My patience is wearing thin. It's a good thing my lovely strawberries are flourishing--kind of! I want to pick mass quantities at once time, but that's not happening yet.
I was able to get in the garden this week to give it some tender loving care. The darn weeds seem to be doing better then the crops. I took care of 90% of those on Sunday. The weather was perfect ( low to mid 70's), a far cry from the 95-98 degree temperatures we had been having all week. It was just too hot to be in the sun for too long--even at 9 PM! I will make this week a good one for my garden. I want crops!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Organic strawberries......are they better ( tasting) than non-organic???

A few weeks ago my local grocery store had organic strawberries on sale. I admit I don't regularly purchase fresh organic fruits and veggies. On occasion and while on sale is more my speed for now. I decided to get the organic strawberries not only because I hear that it's healthier ( for obvious reason including no chemicals!), but they were on sale!

Well, to my surprise ( kind of) they tasted so much better than the non-organic kinds. I am not sure what I expected, but it's true, these were so much better!! I had to make sure it was not all in my head though. Miles has sworn off strawberries for about a month now. He used to ask for them, but lately he will turn his nose up at them and even go as far as throwing them off his tray.

So back to the point. I gave ( shoved) a piece of strawberry in his mouth and he asked for "mo, mo, mo!" I knew there was something different about these berries. Amara likes strawberries just fine, but she even noticed how great they tasted and was sure to ask me why. I told her they were organically grown and did not use any chemicals at all. She wants me to only buy organic strawberries from now on. I might have to agree with her this time. Yes, they were that good! I am almost certain that I can't buy non-organic strawberries now. The taste alone has convinced me.

We also picked our first organic strawberry from our garden this week!! I even let Amara eat it. I am not good at giving up the first anything! It's a youngest child trait I think. She said it was as good as grandma's! Whew!

Couponizer Review and Giveaway

COUPONIZER review and giveaway at Fitness & Family Blog.
Head on over to check it out and try to win..even though I hope I win this one!!
Don't delay...giveaway ends this Sunday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Healthy Family Updates

This week has been a HOT one! We have been looking for ways to stay cool and still have a good time ( and not spend a ton of cash!) and not use a lot of gas( Eco-friendly).

We have had trips to the library, the gym, craft making, and the gym( did I already say that?!?)

We also are starting to declutter our home ( third attempt this year) and have finally made some headway! While I slept, Matt tackled behind the couch. Oh my! What a dusty mess. Now there is NOTHING behind the couch. NOTHING! I am glad I did not take before and after pictures because I would have felt obligated to post them. It was horrible, and we vow to never let it get that way again. Our recylce bins runneth over after the declutter effort! There are also lots of items for our yet to be determined future garage sale! I have never had a yard sale before and am a bit overwhelmed and excited. Kind of. Any tips for a first timer would be appreciated! We vow to take back our home, one clutter pile at a time!

Amara is not so interested in Operation Declutter. She actually declared Tuesday " The worst day of my life!" Was it bad that I giggled after she said that?? I had to remind her of all the tings she did that day: track and field at the gym, swimming at the gym a fun craft at home and played outside. She literally had NO time to have the worst day of her life! By the end of her exhausting day she agreed with me!

Her craft was drawing on an old tank top with fabric markers.

All week long we have been doing environmentally friendly tasks without really trying!

What are some ways you and your family make fun, healthy environment choices? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Green Works Review

Green Works natural all-purpose cleaner from Clorox is a fine product. We are trying to be more GREEN in my household including cleaning products. Most popular cleaning products are filled with foul smelling chemicals that are bad for the environment, our lungs and our skin. I hate when I clean and a chalky film is left behind-I have to go over that film with plain water. What's the point of that?

Green Works gives you the same cleaning power as traditional cleaners. It's made with plant- and mineral based ingredients. Green works uses biodegradable ingredients and has never been tested on animals.

What's not to like about that?!?! The first ingredient is filtered water.I use the all-purpose cleaner mainly for my kitchen counters and the kitchen sink. It really does work just as well if not better then my chemical based products ( which I am weeding out!). It has a pleasant fresh smell that does not burn my nostrils ( or my skin for that matter) and no film is left behind after I clean with it.
I not only recommend this because of it's cleaning power, but because of it's ability to be environmentally friendly as well. It is a product that I will continue to use on my crusade to "greening" up my life!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tips on Tuesday- Fruits, vegetables and the kids that don't want them!

I am trying to have a daily theme...we will see how long I can keep that up!!

Nutrition is very near and dear to my family. We strive to teach the kids about healthy eating without being overly neurotic about it. We are looking for the balance of healthy foods and not so healthy stuff. I know that if we are too restrictive ( as my single parent dad was...my first taste of sugar cereal was in the 6th grade at a friends house) it could backfire. On the flip -side if we are too leiniet with goodies the kids will get the wrong idea as well. Finding the middle ground is very important to us.

Miles is 20 months and eats just about anything you put in front of him. So far so good. I know his habits will change, but it's nice that he is not picky.

5 year old Amara is another story all together! She knows what she likes and thinks she knows what she does not like! She likes green veggies; broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, green beans and fresh asparagus. She is not too keen on carrots or anything in the squash family! Her tastes have changed through the years. She now likes strawberries and bananas. She normally gets 2 fruits and 2 veggies a day; along with a half serving of 100% fruit juice.

Some tips I can offer to help make mealtime less stressful. We have done or still do these things for Amara.

Giving her the veggies before the main course.

Letting her pick out what fruit/veggie we eat for dinner. ( letting her choose between 2 foods)

Letting her pick the seasoning for her veggies.

Giving her a dip for her carrots--works every time! I also let her count out the carrots-- she has eaten 10 baby carrots at one meal before!

Incorporating fruits in the dessert. This week it has been strawberry shortcake!

When we do get fast food; she eats a serving of veggies before she gets the junk food.

In the end it is up to the caregiver to provide a variety of nutritious foods for their kids and to also be a role model. I guess that means I have to start eating bananas and peas! Yuck! :)

What tips do you have to share? I would love to learn some new tactics!

EcoUsable Review and Giveaway WINNER!!

Congratulations to MountainMommy!!

Please contact me w/in 48 hours to claim your prize!!

Random numer 68--generated by random.org

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garden update....

What a mess!! The storms that rumbled through on Friday night really left my garden in shambles!! My poor onion tops are all broken and battered!! My peas are falling over even though I have then set up on make-shift steaks ( long sticks), and my broccoli looks as if somebody came and trampled on them! The good thing is that everything got watered and then some. I hope to be able to do some damage control tomorrow, but it's going to be so hot so I might wait until tomorrow evening.
My mother in law sent over a big container of strawberries from her vast garden. I think she's rubbing it in! I also heard that Amara spent lots of time in her garden this past weekend!! I asked her if she picked up any tips from grandma about growing the good stuff. She told me " no, but I did tell her to put cayenne pepper and coffee grounds around the strawberry plants so they don't spread too much"
She was close, but the cayenne pepper is to keep critters away and the coffee is to enrich the soil. She still gets points for trying! I am sure she left poor grandma totally confused because if I know Amara ( and I do), she was very matter of fact when she gave the information! Love her!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Syrup anyone?

I think I can identify lots of things in my garden now. Bell peppers, squash, strawberries and maple trees! Yes, those darn helicopters are now growing. I know I did not get them all out a few weeks ago when they dropped in the dirt. I tried my best. Now when I am picking the weeds I am also picking maple trees before they get HUGE. I think there are already 2-3 big ones in the garden with bark and everything--great.
The maple trees are also growing in our gutters. This happens every year though. I just need Matt to get up there and clean them out.
I am still impatient about having to wait to pick the stuff! Hurry up and grow!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thanks Starbucks!

I went to my neighborhood Starbucks yesterday and asked for their old coffee grounds. They told me to come back in 45 minutes to get a bad full. Grounds for your garden they call it. To my surprise they gave me a HUGE bag of grounds!! I have never used this tactic for my garden yet, but I thought I would give it a try. My mother in law says it did wonders for her garden. She is an expert gardener though, but I have nothing to lose. I just spread the grounds all around the plants ( weeds too) and that's it. I think. I guess that I should really see the effects of the coffee grounds NEXT year. But I want to see it NOW!!! Patience!!

According to the website coffee grounds have a good amount of nitrogen, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and potassium. I guess these nutrients are good for gardens!!

I plan on going to Starbucks once a week to get some grounds. I should probably find out if you can over caffeinate a garden......

Thursday, June 11, 2009

EcoUsable Review and Giveaway!

I consider myself very lucky to have received 2 ecofriendly water bottles from EcoUsable. 1 for me and 1 for my 5 year old daughter Amara! The cool thing about these water bottles is that they are stainless steel. Not only does that make me feel better about using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic, but with all the new evidence of the chemicals in plastic leeching into our bodies; the need for a stainless steel water bottle is a must!
About EcoUsable: EcoUsable, Inc. invents, produces and markets reusable eco-friendly products that are fashionable and affordable for everyone. Our company’s product line is founded on its desire to save our natural resources in an ecologically, environmentally and economical way. The two flagship products, Water Wrapz™ (a removable and reusable band to identify your water bottle) and EcoUsable bottles (Stainless Steel bottle that are 100% recyclable) reduce the amount of plastic water bottles one uses, while saving money everyday. The Company will also offer other planet-friendly products manufactured by sustainable companies looking to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to be the premiere online source for eco-shopping, offering reusable eco-friendly products, to reduce the carbon footprint for the future generations.
The neat thing about the Ech2o water bottle is that it comes with a filter! That’s right….it’s built right into the top! It’s actually the first and only of its kind—EVER. I was sent a purple bottle (I am not sure how they knew it is my favorite color) that holds 25 oz. of water. I eagerly used this bottle right away and was very impressed. The was no after taste (I am not sue why I expected there to be one..but there wasn’t). I thought for sure that the filter would not last that long. We have one on our kitchen sink and it seems as if we are always replacing it. The filter on the Ech2o lasts up to 12 months!! That’s a long time and a lot of water! This is very economical as the replacement filter is under $30!
EcoUsable™ presents the world's only Environmentally Safe Stainless Filtered Water Bottle.Enjoy filtered tap water on the go instantly filtered as you drink through the ech2o sport top! This exclusive top removes up to 99.99% of pollutants for up to 100 gallons* of great tasting filtered water.Each 25 oz. 304 food grade stainless steel water bottle is non-leaching, BPA-free, reusable, lightweight, and taste-neutral.The Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration System is an entire water filtration plant within a portable bottle.

My daughter was very excited to see that there was also a pretty pink 10 oz butterfly stainless steel bottle just for her! I am not sure how the people at EcoUsable knew that butterflies (and pink) are her favorite things in the whole world. She has had this bottle stuck to her hand ever since! It’s a great way to insure that she is drinking her water everyday.
EcoUsable™ water bottles are the new eco-friendly alternative to using plastic water bottles. Each 10 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle is reusable, lightweight, and taste-neutral. It comes with a loop cap made from safe, non-leaching polypropylene and a color coordinated carabineer.
EcoUsable also included a sport top for Amara to use and also a few more accessories. The Water Wrapz®! This great idea was invented to fit around the EcoUsable bottles for style and comfort! They are really cute. There are over 25 different designs to choose from so I am sure there is something for everyone!
I highly recommend this product and have been bragging to my health minded and Green friends about this great find!
I am very happy to announce that the great people at EcoUsable are giving away One (1) 25 oz. Ech2o Filtered Water bottle and also One (1) 10 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle!
MAIN RULE (this must be followed or no other entries will count!) Log onto the
EcoUsable website and tell me what filtered bottle you like and what 10 oz. bottle you like.
1 extra entry-follow my blog.
1 extra entry-subscribe to my RSS feed (or let me know that you already have) in a separate comment.
1 extra entry- Write a post in your blog linking to my blog
1 extra entry- Write a post in your blog linking to the
EcoUsable site.
1 extra entry-Follow me on Twitter. ( sidebar access)
1 extra entry-Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to include the link in your comment so I can check!)
*you have 7 chances to enter……. Please be sure to separate your entries in the comment box.*This giveaway will run through 11:59pm of June 22nd and the winner will be announced by the afternoon of June 23rd. The winner will be chosen by using Random.org from all valid entries and will be contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me before they forfeit their prize. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dry spell is over!

We finally have rain! Let the weed growing begin!! Oh, I sure hope I have more stuff sprouting then weeds this week. I think there is some type of green ( romaine?) growing too. Not planted by me, must be why it's actually growing! The previous owners must have had a nice garden. I am still finding pumpkin and/or squash seeds strewn about the dirt.
I was only in the garden for a little while this past weekend. My son is grumpy. He is getting teeth. I should take back the grumpy statement. He is never grumpy. A bit clingy with the teeth, but that is to be expected. We spent some time at the park and getting ice cream to get his mind off those sore gums! There will be plenty of time for the garden after he feels back to his normal self.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dry spell...........

Lots of things are starting to sprout up in the weeds I mean garden!
I just got some huge steaks to put in there so my peas have something to climb up, but they are HUGE. I need them cut down to size for sure.
I just wish it would rain already! Perhaps I should get a sprinkler, watering the garden with just a hose is getting old!
I am not sure I will get to planting flowers this year. I am kind of done with the whole planting thing already. That didn't take long.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Invasion of the helicopters!

It seems I have been slacking on my gardening these days. We have been quite busy for a few days in a row, so that's my excuse!

We have big maple trees in my front and back yard. Our neighbors do as well. That means we get a nice layer of helicopters or whirley birds covering our lawns in the spring. I went to bed one night and there was no evidence of the helicopters, but when I woke up in the morning it seemed it had rained helicopters all night. The lawns were completely covered, so was the driveway and our car. And so was the garden! It looked horrible!! I have spent 2 days in there trying to get those darn things out among the plants and weeds. I am happy to say that it is all cleared out for now. I know it will most likely get covered again, but the clean up should go faster I hope.

Today I planted 8 watermelon seeds and 9 green bean seeds. All I have left to plant is the summer squash and the flowers if I have not waited too long. I can't believe I did not plant any type of tomato! I have all the ingredients for salsa ( one of my fave foods), but not the main one! Duh.

The onions are looking good ( I think). They are getting very tall. I am not sure where to go from here yet. I need to get on the Internet to see what my next step is.

Amara was helping me until her friend came over to play. I see where her priorities are! Right where they should be.

ReDraw for Fresh Body Market Giveaway.....

A new winner has been chosen.....

Anonymous said...
I would like to try Cherry Papaya Body Spread and Skin Yogurt Duo! What an exciting approach to healthy skin! Can hear the skin saying AAAHHH! Thanks for this giveaway and education!
Please respond to your eamil w/in 48 hours or you will forfeit your prize.

Here are your random numbers:59
Timestamp: 2009-06-01 19:17:59 UTC