Saturday, March 31, 2012

You can make a difference

"By making changes in our lifestyle choices,
we can improve the environment
in our own community
and other parts of the world.
From how you take care of your lawn and garden,
to what you buy, 
how you travel,
and where you volunteer your time,
you can make a difference.

                                                                                                -- The Green Journal

Friday, March 30, 2012

Earth Hour 2012

In lieu of a post about vinegar today, I am posting a challenge to each and every one of you.

Tomorrow we celebrate Earth Hour 2012. From 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. on March 31st, people from all over the world will be turning off the lights ... and the televisions, computers, phones, radios, mp3 players, etc., etc. and observing an hour of darkness and quiet. Why? To raise personal awareness of the impact each one of us has to health of this planet.

Bill and I will be participating. Won't you join us?

Last year, we sat a card table up in front of the fireplace, ate dinner, and played Bananagrams by candlelight. The fire kept us warm and the candles lit the table enough to see the light colored tiles. We enjoyed ourselves so much, Earth Hour turned into several hours of no lights on. It was serene and refreshing.

We went around the house and turned off and unplugged everything we could (with the exception of the refrigerators and the furnace -- we turned the thermostat way down so it wouldn't come on). It was a magical time that made us even more aware of the energy we tend to waste.

Below is the Official Earth Hour 2012 video. Please watch it (before 8:30!!) and then convince your family to participate with you. Your Saturday night will turn into an experience rather than simply another weekend night. Let me know if you take part in the challenge, and please share your experience with the community!

Keeping it green in the dark,


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Family fun for a Thursday ... and a giveaway!

How about some fun as we transition into a new season?

Lace up your sneakers because the new Nutritious Chick-fil-A Kid’s Meals are going to help fuel active family fun! Spring is here and what better way to promote an active lifestyle, and enjoy the great outdoors than with some old school games for your family to enjoy.

Spin the wheel to get an endless amount of Old School Fun and games for the entire family! You’re just a spin away from creating awesome family memories!

The Old School Fun Quiz! Are you a disco-dynamo or the bomb dot com? Take the throwback quiz to reminisce about the pop culture icons of your era!

Three of you can win a Free Chick-fil-A Kids Meals! But even if you don't win one of the free meals, you can still be a winner by participating in these fun activities with your kids! It doesn't get any better than that.

Here's what you need to do to be entered into the drawing for a Free Chick-fil-A Kids Meal: 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review it Wednesday -- Sayeth the Raven

An original design by Petite Paintbrush

Back in August, Raven Fyre won a pretty amazing prize package in the Green Grandma 2nd Anniversary celebration.

This past week, I received an email from her with a review of many of the products she received. I thought today would be a good day to pass on someone else's opinion of products from companies I love. 

Green Grandma Product Reviews

First, I have to say I was overwhelmed to win the anniversary prize package last year. Over the past few months my family and I have had a chance to use most of the products, so I wanted to share with you, the Green Grandma Community, my thoughts and opinions.

I obviously didn’t share this one! LOL. I have to say I was on the fence about buying one, as they are quite pricey here [in Canada]. That said, if that’s all that’s holding you back, go buy one immediately! I’d say, for me, after day 3 on my period, I got the hang of it and I love it. This is an amazing green product. I can’t rave about it enough! For a full review check what fellow Canadian, Wanda, had to say about it awhile back on this blog.

Ok, first I’m not a huge fan of strong scents, but I loved how the foaming body wash smelled on both my kids and myself. It has this warm orange, vanilla smell -- just amazing -- especially since I’m not a huge fan of smells or vanilla. The foaming wash also made the HUGE luxurious bubbles that both my kids loved. My kids really enjoyed playing with the bubbles. I carry the lotion in my diaper bag mostly for myself, but I feel confident using it knowing it’s safe for my kids as well. This really has healed my hands up quite a bit. I love the bag -- it’s handy and a great size for a quick trip out. I’m looking forward to having a bath by myself and using the bath blossoms. The bottom balm works amazingly well and again I’m happy that its safe. 

This, I have to say, convinced me to switch from an eco-friendly laundry soap from a box store to soap nuts. Not only was the Eco Nuts laundry soap convenient, but super concentrated. This tiny bottle did about a month's worth of clothes for four people. It only took a cap full (which was a tiny cap by the way). Like I said -- super concentrated! The cleaning power, even with two adults (one who works some days literally in dirt) and two kids, managed to get all of our laundry clean every time without any artificial scent.

Available through Leaf and Bud Naturals
Ok, I’m a huge fan of this company and the owners, Catriona and Al Faragalli. Not only will they work with you if you have allergies and find a great product for you, but you can rest easy knowing it's safe ... really safe. Sadly, I was allergic to a few of the ingredients in the eye cream, so I picked up some of my very favourite soap instead -- the Druide Pur and Pure soap. Not only is this soap mild and gentle for even the most sensitive skin, it’s also a great cleanser. I love this product.

I used the gift certificate from Petite Paintbrush to order an original art collage for my kids.  A meadow lark and a moonflower on a night sky with a moon -- it's quite breath taking and I urge you to go check out the Etsy listing for the prints.  Sadly, I’m not giving up the original. LOL!

Lisa Marie Bruno, the artisan behind ARTchaeology, is truly a unique artist.  I love my ring and wear it often.  Pairing history with jewelry -- it’s amazing.  Anytime I wear my ring, I get lots of compliments.  If you are looking for something unique I recommend Lisa Marie’s ARTchaeology! 

Unfortunately, I cannot comment on this product as I haven’t had a chance to use it at all.  As soon as my significant other saw this was deodorant he decided it was his to use. That said, from what he’s told me, he loves it.  

Eat Cleaner
I adore these, especially for apples.  Who knew apples, of all things, were so filthy?!  It really does scare me to think that I used to just bite into an apple without cleaning it. YUCK!  These wipes are both handy and great at getting your fruit really clean.

The Green Salve is so handy, I keep one bottle in my diaper backpack and the other at home.  It’s both versatile and amazing for bumps, bruises, scrapes, and scratches.     

I want to thank everyone who congratulated me, and all the wonderful people who provided me with gifts that not only made my life easier, but greener as well.  I know its cheesy to say so, but a few of these products changed not only my life, but gave my family a better understanding of how going green can be really easy and money saving too.

Thank you again,

Raven Fyre

You often hear me extolling the virtues of these products. Well, now you have the opinion of a regular consumer ... a consumer who is now going to be living a greener and healthier life, thanks to the generous gifts of the above Green Grandma supporters.

Letting someone else review it for you,


Monday, March 26, 2012

It's not what I planned ....

Table set for a lovely Saturday morning breakfast

Do you ever have weekends when you don't accomplish much of anything you had planned to accomplish? Yep, that was my weekend. On the other hand, it was a simply delightful weekend, so I can't complain. I simply have to focus, focus, focus over the next few days so I can catch up on all I didn't do. 

On Friday, I spent my afternoon consulting with a friend/writer. What was supposed to be a 'lunch,' ended up turning into a lovely 4-hour chat on my back porch. I promised myself I would make up for the missed time at work, by working into the night. But Bill came home early and we decided to go to a local fish fry. This is hard to admit, but it was my first fish fry ever.

We got home and decided to invite our neighbors over to sit out on the porch and enjoy more of the warm weather. 

Result -- I had an interesting and fun, but non-productive day. 

I'll make up for it on Saturday, I thought. And that's as far as that went. 

I got up at 7:30 on Saturday, posted my Weekend Quote, checked out my email accounts and Facebook, and then decided I felt like cooking. So I sent a text to my daughter, asking her to come over for breakfast, and then headed to the kitchen. I put blueberry muffins in the oven, cleaned and cut up some new potatoes to boil, chopped onions, cooked bacon, whipped up some eggs and milk with some other ingredients and cut some strawberries. 

I woke Bill up with the news that Jess and Laura would be there in a few minutes for breakfast. When Laura saw the table, which was set with love, her face lit up with a huge smile. I served a bacon, cheese and onion quiche, potatoes and onions fried with butter and paprika, blueberry muffins and strawberries. It was delicious, and such a rare Saturday morning happening. By the time they left at 2:30, the day was on its way to being over. Oops. So much for my plans for the day. Work day -- fail, family day -- huge success. My heart was full. Saturday night didn't fare much better for me in the office. I accomplished some things, but spending time with my husband was way too tempting, so that's what I opted for. An episode of season 2 of the television show, Beauty and the Beast, a challenging game of Bananagrams (I won) and an equally challenging game of Quiddlers (he won). Lovely.

Sunday school, church, lunch with Jess, Laura and some friends, a long phone conversation with my mom while I sat on the patio in the sun, more time in the kitchen (fresh baked cherry crumb pie -- raw sugar makes a huge difference -- yum!) and even more time with family, as my daughter, Bethany, stopped over for some pie with her husband and my other grandbaby, Lincoln. Nice. 

When I got up on Friday morning, my plans did not include much of what actually happened. Sometimes life goes that way. But here it is, Monday morning, and I have a whole new week to 'get it right.' Or, wait, did I already do that?

Sharing more than just my Sabbath with you ... and with my wonderful family and friends,


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A spring canvas

Photo by Yana Ray

Everything is blooming most recklessly; 
if it were voices instead of colors, 
there would be an unbelievable shrieking 
into the heart of the night.  

 ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vinegar Friday

It's been a busy week. So busy, in fact, that I really didn't plan what I would write about for this week's Vinegar Friday. So ... I decided to post the index for my book. If you purchased the book prior to last week, you probably were disappointed to find the lack of an index for all the helpful info in the book.After receiving more than a few complaints about this, I decided to remedy the situation.

If you haven't purchased the book yet, here is the index, which gives you a glimpse into what you are missing! So why not order your copy today? What better way to celebrate Vinegar Friday?!

Front and back cover of Vinegar Fridays, designed by Heather Desuta


                                                                     Aches and pains 33
                                                                     Acid reflux 33, 37
                                                                     Acne 24, 26, 32
                                                                     Age spots 27
                                                                     Aluminum pot 12
                                                                     Ammonia 3
                                                                     Angina 33
                                                                     Ants 54-55
                                                                     Anxiety 34
                                                                     Aquarium 49
                                                                     Asthma 36
                                                                     Athlete’s foot 44

                                                                     Bacteria 16, 17
                                                                     Baking soda 8, 10, 11, 41, 49, 52
                                                                     Balsamic vinegar 38-39, 64-67
                                                                     Barking 49
                                                                     Barn flies 48, 50
                                                                     Baseboards 8
                                                                     Bath pillow 10
                                                                     Bathroom 9-11
                                                                     Bathtub 11
                                                                     Beauty 23-27
                                                                     Bed-wetting 45
                                                                     Berry stains 53
                                                                     Beta-carotene 37
                                                                     Bird baths 51
                                                                     Bird cage 49
                                                                     Bird feeder 51
                                                                     Black spot 53
                                                                     Bleach 3
                                                                     Blood sugar 28, 29
                                                                     Body odor 27
                                                                     Bone mineral density 38
                                                                     Boots 9
                                                                     Borax 54-55
                                                                     Bragg Vinegar 29, 31-39
                                                                     Bragg, Dr. Paul C. 31-32
                                                                     Bragg, Patricia 32
                                                                     Bruises 23
                                                                     Bug bites 44
                                                                     Bumper sticker 22
                                                                     Butterfly feeders 51
                                                                     Buttermilk 63

                                                                     Calcium deposits 11
                                                                     Can opener 12
                                                                     Cancer 37, 38, 40, 57-59
                                                                     Car windows 22
                                                                     Cars 21-22
                                                                     Cat spraying 48
                                                                     Cayenne pepper 34
                                                                     Cellulite 28
                                                                     Centipedes 55
                                                                     Chamomile 33
                                                                     Chewing on plants 49
                                                                     Cholesterol 38
                                                                     Chrome 12, 21
                                                                     Cloudy glassware 13
                                                                     Cockroaches 55
                                                                     Coffee maker 13
                                                                     Colds 34
                                                                     Congestion 34
                                                                     Constipation 32, 34
                                                                     Cough 34
                                                                     Cradle cap 46
                                                                     Crayon 8
                                                                     Cumin 55
                                                                     Cupboards 13

                                                                     Depression 32, 35
                                                                     Detangler 42
                                                                     Detoxification 28
                                                                     Diabetes 29
                                                                     Dinginess 60
                                                                     Dishwasher 13
                                                                     Disinfectant 60
                                                                     Distillates 5
                                                                     Doorknobs 10
                                                                     Drain stopper 10
                                                                     Drain 15
                                                                     Dry shampoo 42
                                                                     Dry skin 24, 32

                                                                      E. coli 6
                                                                      Earache 35
                                                                      Enzymes 37
                                                                      Exfoliant 25

                                                                      Fabric deodorizer 60
                                                                      Fabric softener 45, 57-60
                                                                      Fabric whitener 60
                                                                      Facial mask 24
                                                                      Fat 28-30
                                                                      Fatigue 32
                                                                      Faucets 11
                                                                      Fecal bacteria 16
                                                                      Feet 23
                                                                      Fingernails 26
                                                                      Fish bowl 49
                                                                      Flavonoids 37
                                                                      Fleas 47-50
                                                                      Floors 11
                                                                     Flower pots 52
                                                                     Flowering plants 52
                                                                     Flowers 52
                                                                     Flu 35
                                                                     Formaldehyde 3, 45
                                                                     Fountain pump 51
                                                                     Freckles 26
                                                                     Frizzies 42
                                                                     Fruit flies 55
                                                                     Fungus 16, 44
                                                                     Furniture polish 9

                                                                     Garden pests 51
                                                                     Gargle 34
                                                                     Glycols 4
                                                                     Goldenseal 35
                                                                     Grill 51
                                                                     Grits 54
                                                                     Grout 11
                                                                     Gum 21, 45

                                                                     Hair 40-42
                                                                     Hard water deposits 10
                                                                     Health 31-39
                                                                     Heart palpitations 32
                                                                     Hemorrhoids 35
                                                                     Honey 29, 33-36, 54
                                                                     Horses 48
                                                                     Hot flashes 36
                                                                     Hot spots 48
                                                                     Hot tub 16
                                                                     Hot Tub Lung 17
                                                                     Hot tub rash 16
                                                                     Hummingbird feeder 51
                                                                     Hypertension 32

                                                                     IBS 35
                                                                     Insomnia 36
                                                                     Iodine 9
                                                                     Iron deficiency 38
                                                                     Ironing 61-62
                                                                     Irregular heartbeat 32
                                                                     Itchiness 44

                                                                     Jacuzzi 16
                                                                     Jellyfish 44

                                                                     Kidney disease 32
                                                                     Killing germs 10
                                                                     Kitchen 12-15

                                                                     Laundry 56-62
                                                                     Laundry stains 60
                                                                     Leather 9, 21
                                                                     Leather shoes 9
                                                                     Leg cramps 32
                                                                     Lemon oil 9
                                                                     Lemon 35
                                                                     Lime deposits 11
                                                                     Linseed oil 9
                                                                     Liquid soap 9
                                                                     Litter box 49
                                                                     Loofahs 10
                                                                     Louise, Dr. Ann 28
                                                                     Lunch box 14
                                                                     Lye 4

                                                                     Main, Emily 6
                                                                     Meat tenderizer 63
                                                                     Memory loss 32
                                                                     Menopause 36
                                                                     Metabolism 28
                                                                     Microwave 14
                                                                     Mildew 8, 61
                                                                     Mini blinds 7
                                                                     Mirrors and chrome 11
                                                                     Molasses 55
                                                                     Mold 6, 17
                                                                     Mosquitoes 53
                                                                     Moths 55
                                                                     Muscle cramps 36
                                                                     Muscular weakness 32
                                                                     Musty odor 61
                                                                     Mycobacterium avium 17

                                                                     Naphthalene 4
                                                                     Nausea 36
                                                                     Nervous system 32
                                                                     New clothes 61
                                                                     No-poo 40-42

                                                                     Odors 19-20
                                                                     Oily skin 24
                                                                     Olive oil 8, 9
                                                                     Outdoor equipment 52
                                                                     Outdoor furniture 52
                                                                     Outdoor rug 52
                                                                     Outdoor toys 52
                                                                     Oven 14

                                                                     Patio 53
                                                                     Pectin 37
                                                                     Pesticides 63
                                                                     Pet accidents 21, 48-49
                                                                     Pet behavior problems 49
                                                                     Pet cage 49
                                                                     Pet fur 47-48
                                                                     Pet health 48
                                                                     Petroleum 5
                                                                     Pets 47-50
                                                                     pH balance 43
                                                                     Plastic containers 14
                                                                     Poison ivy 44
                                                                     Poison oak 44
                                                                     Poison sumac 44
                                                                     Polyphenols 38
                                                                     Pond pump 51
                                                                     Potassium 38
                                                                     Potassium deficiency 32
                                                                     Premature aging 32

                                                                     Rabbits 51
                                                                     Raccoon 51
                                                                     Rashes 44
                                                                     Recipes 65-67
                                                                     Red wine vinegar 37
                                                                     Refrigerator 15
                                                                     Rice 63
                                                                     Rose fungus 53
                                                                     Rubbing alcohol 9

                                                                     Saggy eyelids 32
                                                                     Sedative 33
                                                                     Shampoo 40
                                                                     Shower door tracks 10
                                                                     Shower doors 10
                                                                     Showerhead 11
                                                                     Shrubs 52
                                                                     Shutters 7
                                                                     Sink 11
                                                                     Skin problems 23-27, 32
                                                                     Skunk 48
                                                                     Sleep problems 32
                                                                     Slugs 55
                                                                     Smoke 61
                                                                     Soap scum 11
                                                                     Sore throat 34
                                                                     Spider veins 25
                                                                     Sponges 10
                                                                     Sprains 36
                                                                     Staph bacteria 16
                                                                     Static cling 60
                                                                     Stinkbugs 55
                                                                     Strains 36
                                                                     Sulfites 64
                                                                     Sun burn 43
                                                                     Sweat 61
                                                                     Sweaters 61
                                                                     Swimmer’s ear 44

                                                                     Teacups 15
                                                                     Teethers 46
                                                                     Thacker, Emily 36
                                                                     Thrush 46
                                                                     Toenail fungus 26
                                                                     Toilet seat bowl 10
                                                                     Tooth enamel 30
                                                                     Toys 45

                                                                     Urine spots on lawn 53

                                                                     Varicose veins 25
                                                                     Vases 52
                                                                     Vegetables 63
                                                                     Vinyl 9
                                                                     Vinyl upholstery 21
                                                                     Virus 17
                                                                     Vitamin A 37
                                                                     Vitamin C 37
                                                                     Vitamin E 37
                                                                     Vomit 21
                                                                     Vomiting 36

                                                                     Wallpaper 8
                                                                     Walls 8
                                                                     Warts 26
                                                                     Weight loss 28-30
                                                                     Whirlpool 16
                                                                     Whiskey 9
                                                                     Wilted vegetables 63
                                                                     Windows 7
                                                                     Windshield wipers 22
                                                                     Wood furniture 8
                                                                     Wood paneling 8
                                                                     Woodwork 8

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