Monday, August 22, 2011

Real Food Isn't Perfect

Real apples do not shine like they have been buffed to perfection.  Real carrots have ridges, come to a point, and are bigger on one end than the other.  Real peaches are uneven, the fuzz thicker in some places than others.  Real cucumbers have dirt on them when pulled off the vine (and by the way, they grow on a vine).

I think that sometimes in the supermarket we lose touch with what real food looks like.  We search for the perfect in a bin under florescent lights because it's what we have come to expect.  We teach our kids to do the same.  Real food is not perfect in the way it looks.  Nothing real looks perfect.  But in the way it treats our bodies and nourishes our earth, real food is as close to perfect as it gets.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Like Water for Children

A while back, I shared how I was feeling called to do something for the cause of clean water for those in need.  I am happy to report that my friends and I have been able to make a difference for one village.  Over the past several months we have been fundraising.  We...
  • Collected coins
  • Collected bottles and cans
  • Did 2 fundraising garage sales
  • and....zumba'ed for the world!
All of this resulted in us raising $1,255 for Clean Water for the World.  This is enough for one solar purification to be places in a village in need of clean water (probably in Haiti), which is a human right.

My friends and I are all moms.  We have taken the opportunity to use what we have (money, resources, time, energy) to help other moms save their kids.  We did it a way that would teach our kids the importance of giving back.  Our kids brought coins to playdates, saved bottles, ran lemonade stands at our sales, and were always reminded of why we were doing this.  It feels good to do good.  It feels good to pass it on.

How do you get your kids involved in giving back?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Deadly Dragonflies

Can you see that little dragonfly?  He is one of many that have shared our yard this summer.  At first we wondered where they had all come from.  Then we realized, we don't care as long as they stay.  Do you know what is one of the primary food sources for dragonflies?  Mosquitos!  Despite the swamp on our property and the rainy weather, we have had virtually no mosquitos this year.  I will take the dragonflies any day.

What's insects is your yard hosting this summer?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Room Reveal :: The Loft

 My loft was in sad shape.  I shared a little bit with you about my efforts to add some character to the space. Here is what it looked like before.  Please excuse the little boy.

Just in case you needed me to recap the things that weren't working here....
  • No adequate storage
  • An old table does not a TV stand make
  • Sad, empty spaces
Now, for the afters....
I did a little craigslisting and came up with the TV stand, couch, and lamp.  Now we can all fit on the sofa for family movie night.

And finally, my mother-in-law had this table/chest in her basement.  It is the perfect accompaniment to the couch and it stores all our board games easily.

What spaces in your home are next on your green re-vamp list?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Sorry I have been a little MIA.  Things have been busy.  My dad came to visit.  I got a haircut.  That's me before the hair cut.  I donated 8 inches to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  I tell you all about this because doing good is a passion of mine.  I know many of you share that passion.  Often people think we need money or boundless resources to do good.  We do not.  We have hair, blood, bone marrow, all of which can be donated for little or no cost.  Many of us have time and energy.  There are opportunities for good all over the place.  Where are you finding yours?
Later this week I will have another good update and loft re-do pictures!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Farmer's Market Report :: August 5, 2011

Here is our haul from the Farmer's Market this week.  Much of it is the same as in recent weeks.  I scooped up what may very well be the last of the cherries, and will enjoy every bite.  Tucker was over the moon about the arrival of peaches, which he has been requesting in the grocery store.  This summer has been a big lesson for him in seasonal food.

What did you find at the farmer's market this week?

Friday, August 5, 2011

On My Mind :: Grounded

Life is crazy.  I am especially prone to being driven bonkers my kids, my "friends," my family, myself.  My bare toes in this patch of moss is my effort to reground, refocus, and relax.

What's on your mind this week?
Linking to: Down to Earth

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thermostat Check :: August 2011

The dog days of summer are upon us.  Here in Michigan it has been hovering between 80 and 90 every day with humidity to occasionally push us over 100 on the heat index.  I took this shot of the thermostat the other evening.

Our house stays cool in part because of the way it was built (3/4 earth sheltered using passive solar heating and cooling) and in part because we make an effort.  We open the windows on cool nights, close them as soon as the outside temp rises above the inside, and shut the curtains.  We rarely run our air conditioning except to condition the air and get some of the humidity out.

What is your thermostat set at?  How are you naturally trying to keep your home cool this summer?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stubby Pencil (School Supplies) Discount

August means back-to-school supply shopping.  Stubby Pencil (of which we are big fans) is offering 15% off through August 13th with the coupon code: SAVE4SCHOOL.  If you have to stock up anyway, best to do it green.

What back to school supplies are grabbing this year?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hybrid Car Graphic

Kris from Consumer Car Reviews recently contacted me to share this graphic.  I think it's a great visual representation of how hybrid cars can contribute to helping, rather than hurting, our planet if we need to have a car.  My family does not (yet?) own a hybrid car.  We instead chose the smallest, most fuel efficient cars for our needs, and might soon go down to one car.  But this chart will certainly be part of our consideration when we are making our next car decision.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mud-room Makeover

Our mud-room is much appreciated but not large, so I wanted to make the most of the space.  Before it had two closets that looked just like that, directly across from each other.  For us, it was just wasted space until I decided to change it up.

The theme of the change turned out to be doors.  We removed the bifold doors from one closet.  I found this bench at a local craft store made from...a door.  There is extra storage in the bench for our winter duds.

Antique door knobs (from Ebay) became hooks.  I founded adorable added hooks for company from a local consignment store.

Old drawers became shoe boxes.

And see that shelf right there....turns out it is made out of....

a door!
 Extra seating, storage, and usability-all upcycled and reused.