Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This bookshelf is a recent Craigslist find and for $30 it was the addition to this space. Someday I may get something bigger that takes up more of the wall, but right now the kids play there. The lamp was given to us by my husband's Grandma who wasn't using it in her home.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
1. Removes cellulite
2. Cleanses the lymphatic system
3. Removes dead skin layers
4. Strengthens the immune system
5. Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
6. Tightens the skin preventing premature aging
7. Tones the muscles
8. Stimulates circulation
9. Improves the function of the nervous system
10. Helps digestion
11. AND it’s easy, inexpensive and invigorating!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- Start healthy. We try to always eat a balanced diet with lots of (organic when possible) fruits and veggies. Yogurt is a daily staple for everyone (Ok, almost everyone. I can't get my husband on board yet.) because it is filled with the good bacteria that helps keep your system balanced and restore your body to where it needs to be, especially if you are taking antibiotics. We all take multivitamins daily. The truth is, if you keep your immune system up, you are less likely to get sick even if you are exposed and if you do get sick, you will get over it quicker.
- Wash your hands. This is common sense right? But sometimes it's tough. Like yesterday when Tucker kept putting his hands in his mouth and I literally had to ask him to wash his hands with soap over 20 times. Also, the kind of soap you use is important too. There a lot of studies now saying that over using anti-bacterial soap may be weakening our immune systems. So try to get a soap that's as chemical free as possible. If you want a hand sanitizer on the go, try for something that will still do the job chemical free, like Babyganics hand sanitizer.
- Change your toothbrush. It's a good idea to regularly change your toothbrush anyway, but even more so when you or someone in the house has been sick. Try Preserve toothbrushes (for adults and kids) that are made out of recycled toothbrushes and try to recycle yours when possible.
- Get the chemicals out. This may seem counter intuitive when you are trying to stay healthy, but being surrounded by chemicals constantly can actually make you more sick and weaken your immune system. Kind of ironic if the very thing you are using to clean is making you sicker. I try to wipe down high traffic areas (faucets, light switches, computers, cell phones, door knobs) every day with vinegar and water and a microfiber cloth. Remember, vinegar is the original disinfectant.
- Try not to stress. Worry and stress will knock down your immune system. So take the precautions you can and then try to let it go.
Monday, October 19, 2009
- Make your own where you can. Start with the really simple stuff like vinegar, water, and baking soda to clean. You won't believe how much you can save just on cleaning products. Then if you want, you can reinvest that into some more pricey green purchases.
- Reuse. Cloth napkins, taking furniture from one place in your house to another, washing ziplock baggies (that haven't been used for meat), these are all great examples of reusing things in your house to keep from having to buy more and thus, save money. And there are about a million or so more.
- Buy used. Before you head to the store, make it a habit to check out the local consignment store, garage sale, Craigslist, or Ebay. You would be amazed at what you find. I keep a running list of what I need (right now measuring cups are on there) on my phone so I can reference it when I am out and about.
- Sell used. Think about listing your things on Craigslist, Ebay, or having a garage sale. I list all the bigger items we don't need anymore (furniture, large toys, etc...) and keep a running rubbermaid bin in a closet for our annual garage sale.
- Look for a bargain. Because organic is becoming more popular, it is coming down in price a little. And more mainstream brands are realizing that going green is a good idea. Look at places you shop frequently (my big one is Target) for organic alternatives when you are out and you may be surprised at how they compare in price to what you were using.
- Learn something new. Doing it yourself is one of the original green secrets. Learn to sew, bake, cook, garden, etc...and you will feel empowered, talented, and be capable of doing a lot more green good.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
- On a dry fall day gather small sticks, pine cones, pine needles, and dry leaves in a bucket.
- Wrap them in little bundles with paper-you can use newspaper, or I used packaging paper. Make sure each bundle has a little bit of everything and tie with raffia or small string.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I recently tried the organic body polish from Trillium Organics at the request of my loving wife. I had finally run out of my usual shaving gel, so it was time to try a more environmentally friendly option. I will admit that I don’t spend much time or money on personal hygiene and the associated products. I take a minimalist approach. You know, just enough not to get funny looks at work. Needless to say, the exfoliating scrub was a new experience for me. The directions indicated that I should apply the body polish to my face, scrub as desired, and then rinse with water. After the rinse, I was to be left with a layer of oil that would protect my skin as I shaved. It sounded reasonable and simple, so I gave it a try.
The body polish came in a fist-sized jar. It fit nicely in my mirror medicine cabinet. The polish was a dense mixture of salt crystals soaking in an oil. On the first day, I hesitantly scooped up the polish and brought it toward my face. I dropped some as I moved my hand from the jar to my face. As I scrubbed my face, more fell onto the bathroom counter and into the sink. It was a messier situation than I was used to. I rinsed with cool water (rinse with cool water for a thicker oil layer; warm water will thin it out), and began to shave. It was apparent after the first stroke that my protective layer of oil was not up to the task. I made a mental note to get more oil and less salt when I scooped the next day. Well, scooping more oil leads to more drips on the counter top and on my shirt, but it also led to a thicker layer of oil on my face. I shaved with minimal discomfort, but it still was not as good as my usual shave gel. I experimented for a couple more days, varying the consistency of the polish, the amount of scrubbing, and the temperature of the water I rinsed with. I found that for some areas of my face, it worked wonderfully. I had a close shave, no irritation, and a pleasant smell. But for other areas, I just couldn’t seem to get it right. The body polish just wasn’t staying where it was supposed to and was not doing its job. There is a distinct possibility that I just wasn’t using the polish the right way. Maybe I needed handfuls of the stuff. Maybe I needed more rinsing. Maybe less rinsing. The fact that I had good results sometimes leads me to believe that someone out there could get good results all the time. But not me. So for now, I am going back to the shaving gel.
Looking back at my trial of the body polish, I think it is a great exfoliator and body polish. It smells clean and natural. I found it enjoyable to do a really good scrub and get that fresh feeling for my skin. I may even encourage my wife to try it for shaving her legs. But, when it comes to my face and the daily routine of shaving, it just didn’t meet my needs for ease of use, neatness, and consistently great results.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
- Decorate with nature! Gourds, pumpkins, corn, hay, mums, all found in nature, all beautiful green decorations. Or...
- Pick up great second hand decorations. Check out Craigslist, Ebay, and (best yet) local consignment stores for some great festive decor.
- Do the same for costumes! I have found all kinds of costumes for kids and adults (all of the costumes in these pictures were garage sale or consignment finds) on Craigslist recently and the consignment stores near us are running great specials.
- If you can't find the costume, try making it (or asking/hiring someone). Handmade ensures that the costume is one of a kind and made out of love. It also prevents a lot of plastic packaging, processing, shipping, etc...
- Get creative! (And save money!) There are so many great ideas for costumes using things you have around your house. My husband has put on a Detroit Tigers shirt and had me draw on whiskers with eye liner. What about "Iron Chef" (wear a chef's hat and carry an iron), "Quarter Pounder" (a quarter in one hand a hammer in the other), "Freudian Slip" (iron on picture of Freud on slip), "Stick in the Mud" (wear all brown and put sticks on you. What are your ideas?
- Think outside the bag of candy. Individual wrapping means lots of extra packaging and lots of extra impact. What about apples? Money? Popcorn balls? What are your ideas?
- Pillow cases rock! You don't need a special Halloween bucket (often made of plastic). Grab a clean pillow case and hit the road. Extra bons-they hold more!
- Stay local! Try to stick close to home to do your candy collecting. This will prevent extra driving and help you get to know your neighbors better.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
- Gluttony can be a really bad thing. It can make us unhealthy and divert our focus from the important things in life (which are mostly not things but people). In the movie this is about food, but really it can expand to anything (facebook anyone?).
- We need to be careful with our food. Food that has been mutated beyond recognition or for which you don't know the source can spell bad news.
- Creativity, not easy answers will brighten our sluggish economy. Green energy anyone?