Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Freezing corn and more...

Too good to waste
Yesterday, I asked if anyone could offer me some guidance about freezing corn and no one, not a single one of you, responded. What's that about? Maybe you're as clueless as I am. So I did some research and here's what I discovered:

After cutting the corn off of the cob, I need to blanch it by boiling it in a little bit of water for about 4 minutes. Then I immediately dunk it into ice water (with lots of ice), drain the water, and put the corn in freezer containers. 

Sounds easy enough. I can't wait to try it this coming weekend. If you have any other suggestions, let me know. Or if you want to learn more about freezing veggies, click on this link from ecoCENTRIC.

In the meantime, I had some grass-fed ground meat in the fridge and decided I better get it in the freezer since the expiration date was just a few days away. We'd had red meat within the past couple of days and didn't want to have it again right now. Sometimes it's hard to know whether or not to freeze what we have or keep it in the refrigerator so it's ready to be cooked. But the important thing is to not waste it, so this time around, freezing was the best option. 

But really, other than saving money by not wasting food, why does this matter? Food waste comes with an environmental cost as well as a cost to your grocery budget. It is estimated that nearly one-third (1.3 billion tons) of the global food supply is wasted annually. Average families of 4 generally toss out about $175 worth of food monthly! Ouch.

Wasted food accounts for more than 25% of all freshwater consumption and uses 300 million barrels of oil per year. With the current water crisis, this is a disturbing figure. Unless composted, the food rots in landfills, releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that traps 23 times more heat than CO2. Keep in mind, there is a cost to disposing the waste as well, close to $1 billion in the U.S. alone!

The more food wasted, the more food needed. That means more fertilizer, pesticide use (unless you're buying only organic foods), more processing, more transportation fuel, and, unless we all learn our lessons, more food wasting away in the landfill. Yikes.

That's why learning proper freezing methods is important, folks. It's about more than our pocketbooks. It, too, is about caring for this amazing planet of ours.

So, are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? What are you doing to prevent food waste?

Are you interested in 'eco-eating'? NBC's Green is Universal is hosting an "Eco Eats" sweepstakes from September 29 - October 17. To join, visit their free green-living tool, One Small Act, and join the "Eco Eats" challenge. Everyone who signs up and tackles at least one action by October 17th will be entered to win one of five 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox. No Purchase Necessary. Must be US resident and 18+. Read official rules here.

Disclosure: In exchange for participating in the challenge and writing this post, I was given a gift package from Green is Universal. All opinions here are still my own.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's about the corn

I'll tell you what. I've really enjoyed eating corn-on-the-cob this summer, which is pretty awesome since I had almost given up on it. You see, I will NOT eat conventional corn because of the GMOs and it was difficult to find non-GMO corn. But when I did (thank you, Freedom Farms), I went out of my way to buy it nearly every week.

As autumn is upon us, I'm being challenged to do something I've never done. Freeze corn. I know that if I don't take the time to do it now, I will not be eating corn again until next summer. Yikes! The problem is, I don't have a whole lot of time right now. I over-packed my schedule and I'm operating a little bit on panic mode. So how am I going to find the time to freeze corn?

But what if I don't find the time? It's a real dilemma.

My mom froze corn. I'd love visiting her in the middle of winter and she'd pull some lovely Silver Queen corn out of the freezer that she'd frozen the summer before. But I never took the time to learn how she did it. I took for granted that when the time came for me to start freezing corn, she'd be around to help. 

Well, she's not. And now I'm on my own to figure it out for myself. 

So, if you have a good method for freezing corn and you'd like to share it with me, please do so in the comments below. My mom would appreciate it. So would I.

Trying to plan ahead,

Friday, September 26, 2014

IOTUT -- It's about your wedding gown

Have you ever wondered what to do with your wedding gown after the wedding (or after the divorce, for that matter)? It's Friday's Instead of This, Use (or Do) This. Today, I'm going to share some suggestions for those of you who no longer want to hang on to their wedding dresses.

There are a number of organizations that take wedding dresses for a variety of purposes. My first suggestion, if you're not looking to sell your gown, is to donate it to a local charity that provides dresses for women who simply can't afford a brand new dress. You'll have to do your research on that one. These would either be organizations that provide the dresses for free, or thrift shops that accept wedding gowns. 

On a national level, here are some suggestions:

DonateMyWeddingDress.org offers a selection of charities that benefit from wedding dress donations, including
  • Adorned in Grace -- Benefiting victims of sex trafficking, they sell the donated gowns and use the money to help the victims on the US West Coast.
  • Brides Across America -- This Massachusetts charity gives out free gowns to US military brides.
  • Brides for Haiti -- They accept both wedding gowns and prom dresses. They're located in Maryland and they sell the donated dresses at consignment shops to raise money to help St. Joseph's parish in a remote location in Haiti.
  • St. Anthony's Bridal -- Located in Bethesda, MD, they loan wedding gowns to lower income brides in the Washington, DC area.
  • Wish Upon a Wedding -- Partnering with Brides for a Cause, they help couples to have their dream wedding or renewal of vows in the case of terminal illness and serious challenges.
  • The Bridal Garden -- The donated gowns are sold and the money is used to help underprivileged children in NYC.
These are fabulous ways to take a dress that was special to you and use it to make a difference!

You can also contact NICUHelpingHands.org and donate your gown for the Angel Gown program. Volunteers make gowns for those precious little ones who never make it home from the hospital.

One of their missions is to make sure parents have something special and sacred to bury their child in.

There are many other options of what to do with your wedding gown. You can scroll through Pinterest for a variety of ideas. But I think the above suggestions are worthy of consideration. Why not extend the special meaning of your bridal gown by donating it to a charity that makes a difference. It made a difference for you on your wedding day... so perhaps, instead of letting it take up space in your home, you can let it take up space in someone's heart.

Presenting alternatives for you to consider,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Frozen Soundtrack Giveaway!

Frozen - The Songs Soundtrack Giveaway

Hosted by: Queen of Savings

Sponsor: Walt Disney Records/Disney Music Group

Admit it. You love the songs from FROZEN as much as your kiddos do. Right? How often have you found yourself humming, or even belting out, "Let it Go"?

Well, here's your chance to win the soundtrack for yourself... ummm, I mean your kiddos.

Featuring original songs from Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit,” “Winnie the Pooh”) and Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”), and an original score by Christophe Beck (“The Muppets,” Oscar®-winning short “Paperman”), FROZEN won two Academy Awards® (best animated film and best original song with “Let It Go”) and a Golden Globe® (best animated feature film). It is the fifth highest grossing film of all time and the highest grossing animated film earning more than $1.27 billion globally. See the full track list here.

Prize: Frozen - The Songs Soundtrack CD

Dates: 9/25-10/3
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!


Disclosure: Green Grandma did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.


TBT -- I poo in blue... really now?

It's Throwback Thursday. Today I'm reposting an updated post from July 2010. I had one grandchild at the time and she was in cloth diapers. Since then, I added a cloth-diapered grandson and another cloth-diapered granddaughter. This post evolved from my feelings about a popular commercial of the day, shown in this video. Cue the sexy music.

Here's the post:
Photo courtesy of Heather Desuta
Since I'm on an advertising roll -- with a critical eye on ads that make my blood boil, I thought it would be a good time to express my feelings about that catchy commercial where the toddler struts his stuff in a denim-colored diaper. I HATE THAT COMMERCIAL! Granted, it has its appeal. My granddaughter giggles when it comes on. But really folks, making a toddler appear sexy in a diaper pushes all the wrong buttons. He's so suave and debonair...why? He's a baby, people! A baby with a chauffeur and NO CAR SEAT! This ad is wrong on so many levels.

While he may poo in blue, my grandbaby tinkles in periwinkle. And a whole rainbow of other colors and designs. After all, cloth diapers shifted away from plain white a long time ago... there just aren't commercials with catchy jingles promoting that. Too bad. I wish there were. After all, if cloth were cool, perhaps more young parents would be jumping on the bandwagon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beyond being politically correct

Political correctness. Blehh. I'm not a fan. Unfortunately, some rather important issues are overlooked by intelligent people who simply stop listening because they sense a ploy by those who are seamlessly PC. Like this one:

Apparently, there is a conflict between the pro-Washington R_ _ _ _ _ _ s and the anti-Washington R_ _ _ _ _ _ _ s. The former wanting to stay true to the team's name (which I will not print here) and the latter saying it should be changed. Is it just a matter of being politically correct? I don't think so. And let me tell you why.

First, let me ask you a question. If the Cleveland Browns were instead called the Cleveland N_ _ _ _ _s, would there be an issue? Or would people turn away, disgusted at those politically correct liberals spouting off again?

But it's not the same, you may be thinking. Isn't it?

Have you ever looked up the R-word in the dictionary? According to The Free Dictionary: "n: Offensive slang. Used as a disparaging term for a Native American." 

How about the N-word? "n: Offensive slang. Used as a disparaging term for a Black person."

Hmmm. Note any similarity here? I sure do. But maybe what you need is some background. Do you know why Native Americans were called the R-word 100 years ago or so? It seems there were some bounty hunters who were paid to slaughter the Native Americans. To prove they'd done so, they brought back the bloody scalps, or red skins. But it went a step further. Because men were worth more than women and women more than children, they also brought back bloody genitalia as proof of gender and age. Those being killed were referred to as the very same name of a popular football team that is fighting tooth and nail to maintain that name. 

So, maybe the history doesn't move you enough to take a stand. How about some current day facts about Native American youth in our country. Did you know, among any ethnicity, Native American youth have
  • the highest dropout rate
  • the lowest graduation rate
  • the highest suicide rate
Seriously, did you know that? According to 15-year-old Dahkota Franklin Kicking Bear Brown, a Wilton Miwok, the above sad facts are tied in part to sports teams' mascots who portray savage Indians. "These teens lose their cultural identity and don't feel they fit in anywhere."

If you were a Native American teenager, how would you feel if you were seated at a football game and all around you fans were screaming, "Kill the Indians!" "Scalp the R_ _ _ _ _ _ _s!" 

Remember, we're talking the fragile youth of this country. We love to talk about bullying and its horrifying effects, but don't you see how this, too, is a form of bullying?

Dahkota Franklin Kicking Bear Brown wasn't about to sit by and watch as his friends and family members gave in to the despair. Rather, he formed N.E.R.D.S. (Native Education Raising Dedicated Students), a nonprofit organization providing peer-to-peer tutoring and mentoring for Native American students in California. The goal is to spread to other states so more young lives can be changed and possibly saved. Good for you, Dahkota! The world needs more young men like you.

But let's get back to the issue. Should the pro-football team in Washington be forced to change their name? Should high schools (including my children's Alma mater), universities, and other pro sports teams change their team names and/or mascots? Or do you think American Indians/Native Americans are fair game when it comes to things like this? I'm really curious. What do you think?

Let me know in the comments below.

And if you're still on the fence, watch this:

Monday, September 22, 2014

StyleWriter 4 Basic Edition Sweepstakes

If you do much writing for work, personal business or as a career, as I do, you know how important it is to make sure your written word is fluent, grammatically correct and flows well. Even if you have great ideas, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the right words, but mostly even the best writers need a little help with proofreading from time to time.  

Since so many of you are writers and bloggers, I thought you'd be especially interested in the following:

StyleWriter 4 is the perfect addition to your office to help you become the best writer you can possibly be! Whether you have years of experience, or you are sitting down for the first time, you can become a better writer instantly with StyleWriter 4. With this great Free Trial Offer, you can start using the world's most powerful editing software immediately

 If you aren't sure about whether this is for you or not, check out the great video: Introducing StyleWriter 4! Not only will you learn more about the program, but you'll surely be convinced about what a great tool it is for you!  

StyleWriter 4 is great for:  
  • Back-to-school students in high school & college. Great for editing research papers, term papers and creating brilliant essays with ease. Students who download the free trial will also receive the acclaimed guide: “How To Write An A-Grade Essay!" Not only will they have the tool to use, they will have instructions applicable to their school needs.  
  • Content creators & freelancers. With the extra edge you'll have on the competition, you'll find this software helps you focus on your projects more. Being able to make your ideas come to life on paper is so much easier when you are using this amazing software.
  • Job applicants. Anyone who is currently looking for a new job can benefit from this great software. Not only could it be used to adjust your current resume, but it will also give you an edge with those careers where the written word is vital in securing the job. You already depend on spell checker to point out basic errors in your writing. Now you can use StyleWriter4 as an intuitive copy-editing software. It will show you how to edit, redraft, change and overhaul your writing into a style that is competitive with top writers and journalists in your field.  

Not sure if this is a program that is quality enough for you to invest in? StyleWriter 4 is currently being used by many organizations you will recognize and respect. Current StyleWriter's users include: 
  • University and high school students
  • City of Los Angeles (2,000-user licenses)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (1,000-user licenses)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (1,000-user licenses)
  • Farm Credit Administration (Agency-wide license)
Start your journey toward becoming a better, more professional writer with a Free Trial Download of StyleWriter 4! Once you see how invaluable this program is, you can easily upgrade to the edition that works best for your needs.
  • Starter Edition: Popular with students and others on a budget. StyleWriter Starter takes what you have written and shows you how to edit it into a plain English document -- clear, concise and flowing.
  • Standard Edition: StyleWriter Standard has all the features to improve your writing, including a powerful style checker with advanced editing techniques, style writing graphs and customization.
  • Professional Edition: StyleWriter Pro adds a powerful Editor's List to the Standard Edition. This is the most popular choice for our users, especially academics, lawyers, accountants, engineers, technical writers and journalists.
No matter what your need is when it comes to proofreading, writing and excelling in the written word, StyleWriter 4 is the program you want to add to your computer today. Not only will you be giving your clients, teachers, or simply yourself the best you can, you can do so with pride and know the words were totally yours. Get your Free Trial of StyleWriter 4 today to begin making the most of the writing talent you already possess. 

Seven winners will each receive a StyleWriter 4 Starter Edition.

Giveaway ends October 6th at 11:59 p.m. Open WW, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck! 

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

You have a stack of expired medications and you don't know what to do with them. Perhaps someone died in the family and left behind a medicine chest of prescription drugs. You know enough not to flush them down the toilet, right? And throwing them in the trash is not a good option. If you're like me, you have a box where you collect them until you figure out what to do.

Well, I have good news! This coming Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day! And it's not just about prescription drugs; it's also about OTC drugs as well.

Click here to find a location near you.

Those in the Pittsburgh area can also drop off medications at a variety of UPMC hospital locations in the area on Friday, September 26 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

They recommend that you keep all drugs in their original containers, but to conceal your personal information on prescribed medication vials.

Let's do our part in keeping the waterways and landfill free of toxins from medications. I'll be dropping mine off. How about you?

Keeping it green and out of the landfill,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weekend quote -- Our love of pets

Pets are humanizing.
They remind us we have
an obligation and responsibility
to preserve and nurture
and care for all life.

~ James Cromwell    

Friday, September 19, 2014

IOTUT Friday -- Some tips for converting your family to real food

It's Friday, which means it's time for me to suggest an alternative to the way we tend to do things. 

Today's is short and sweet (mostly because I have to leave soon to go teach my class at Carnegie Mellon for their Osher program!):

Based on the wonderful book, 100 Days of Real Food, which I reviewed yesterday on the blog, here are a few of Lisa Leake's tactics (in my own words) for convincing a reluctant spouse or other family member to make the switch to real food:
  • Don't tell them you're making the switch. Just feed them good food.
  • Buy some of the same foods (i.e. peanut butter, pasta, dairy products), but opt for the better versions.
  •  Slowly (did you get that... slowly) add more vegetables into the weekly menu. You want to win your family over to veggies? Skip the canned versions and get the fresh, non-GMO stuff. It's seriously much better.
  • Let them have the occasional junk food... it's not going to kill them.
  • Practice patience and gentle persistence.
If all else fails, use the age-old adage -- If you don't like what I'm serving, make your own dinner!

So, instead of harping and lecturing, just use the above tactics and you'll be feeding your family wholesome, healthy meals in no time!

Offering healthy alternatives,

Click here to read my review of 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

100 Days of Real Food

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for the possibility of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


Are you ready to give up what appears to be food but really isn't? Well, I have the perfect book for you!

Wait, did I just call 100 DAYS OF REAL FOOD the perfect book? Why, yes. Yes, I did.
Lisa Leake, photo by Kelly Trimble

Lisa Leake has managed to take the cookbook from so-so to fabulous. This 360-page book is a must-have resource for every kitchen out there. Seriously. Not only does Leake present some amazing recipes, but she seasons the pages with wisdom and more information than a brain can hold in one sitting!

Here are some of the things I love about the book:
  • An understandable definition of what "real food" is; specifically, "More of a product of nature than a 'product of industry.'"
  • An explanation of what real food is not. So many people gravitate toward, "low-fat," "low-carb," or "low-calorie" thinking they're making healthy choices. Wrong. She even puts us in our place when we find ourselves reaching for organic products -- pointing out that highly processed foods, such as cookies, candy, and crackers, are not healthy for us, even if they're labeled as organic.
  • Reasons why we should avoid highly processed foods. How about coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or cancer? Did you know that a long shelf life is a high priority in the food industry? The reason? Profit, not health.
  • The real-food impacts on our health.
  • How to decipher food labels, including a break down of some popular foods and what their labels are actually saying.
  • How to shop for real food, including a farmer's market shopping list.
  • What to do when traveling and/or eating out.
  • How to decide on portion size.
  • What to do about reluctant spouses.
  • How to explain your mission to friends.

The 14-week mini-pledges: doing 100 days, step by step.Leake doesn't throw all this info at you and expect you to change your family's eating habits overnight. No. It's a purposeful 100-day process, broken down into 14 weeks. 

Between her wisdom and her writing style, Lisa Leake presents a solid argument for eating real food. I enjoyed the book and then enjoyed trying out some of the recipes. 

The first one I tried was her Veggie Pancakes. Oh.my.goodness. So, so good. 

I did find my batter was a bit too runny after grating the vegetables, so I ran it through a strainer before cooking. I also added onion because, well... just because onion makes everything better.

Photo by Carrie Vitt

Admittedly, the picture in the book looks a whole lot better than mine. But trust me. They were delicious.


Then I tried her Eggs in a Basket. While they were good, I preferred my own version of this wonderful recipe a bit more. However, I think part of the problem lies with gas stove (what she uses) versus electric cooktop (which I use).

The third recipe I tried was her Potato Hash. Again, the cooking times varied, but in the end, my husband said they were the best "homefries" he'd ever eaten. 

Some other bloggers reviewed recipes from the book and I wanted to share one with you that seemed especially delicious.

Looks good, right? My mom used to make eggplant parmesan for her cousin, Kelly, every year for her birthday. I wish Mom was still around to try this recipe out for her.

All in all, I give this book a resounding 2 Green Thumbs Up! Put it on your Christmas list. Better yet, buy it for everyone on your list. They'll seriously love you for it!

If you want to find out more about Lisa Leake and her revolutionary approach to eating, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Reviewing it for you,

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for the possibility of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hyland's Second Annual 5-Day Stress Challenge

Disclaimer: I am a Hyland's Homeopathy Ambassador and receive various products and gift cards from Hyland's and promotional partners at no cost to me. All views and opinions expressed on this blog post and corresponding social network mentions are my own and are not to be interpreted as medical advice.

Congratulations to Lisa Williams, winner of $75 worth of Hyland's Homeopathic products!


Thanks to everyone who entered. Now are you ready to take on the second annual Hyland's 5-Day Stress Challenge?

If you are one of the first 1,000 to sign up, Hyland's will send you a full size bottle of Nerve Tonic!

Here's the scoop about the Challenge:

Monday, September 29th through Friday, October 3rd: Each day on the Hyland’s Facebook page, they will feature daily challenges and content relating to a specific topic that promotes natural solutions for managing your stress.

At the end of each day, you can answer a question for a chance to win a Hyland’s Stress Less Duo, which includes a full-size Hyland’s Nerve Tonic© and Hyland’s Calms Forté©.

Ten winners will be chosen at random each day.

Saturday, October 4th: Fill out a brief survey to help us better understand your experience with The Challenge for a chance to win the GRAND PRIZE basket chock-full of sleep products from Hyland’s and other amazing partner brands AND a $100 Spafinder gift card.

So... what are you waiting for? Less stress is right around the corner. And you know you want to win that Spafinder gift card, right?

Just head over to Hyland's Facebook page and sign up! Click here to get started.

Presenting healthy options for limiting stress,

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