Is your family Eco-aware?

Do you care about environment? Do your children care about it? Parents have major influence on their children when it comes to their beliefs about everything, including topics related to environment. A nowadays, besides the need to become more and more eco-conscious, studies show that families are trying to leave more and more eco-conscious legacy for their children. Are you?

Based on the results of the EcoFocus Worldwide’s 2013 EcoFocus Trend Study, 73% of mothers believe that personal and environmental health are connected, and those moms could be called EcoAware Moms. According to the study 72% of moms surveyed agree that it’s important to choose products that have been packaged responsibly. What’s more, 83 percent are trying to choose products with recyclable packaging. And around half of the moms almost always think about the environmental impact of the packaging before buying anything.

Knowing all this, Evergreen Packaging decided to relaunch a website dedicated to educating families about their packaging choices and tell them about the environmental benefits of carton packaging (in case of which over 70% is made from paper). Everyone are invited to check out to learn about this topic as well as other issues related to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.

Key activities to prepare for the hurricane season

Hurricane season officially started on June 1 and it will last until November 30. That’s the time when most tropical cyclones can form. According to information provided by the storm-prediction specialists in Colorado State University there are as many as 18 named storms you should be prepared for this year.

What can you do, what are the key activities you should do to prepare for the hurricane season? For starters, of course, you need to have access to timely weather information. One such option is Allstate Alerts, it’s free and it can send you either texts or email messages when the weather is about get ugly at your location. You can sign up for it at

Secondly you should definitely plan an evacuation route to make sure you can get out of the town safely and as fast as possible. GPS would be a good thing to have in your car should you have the need to drive untraveled roads. By then you should definitely also have an emergency kit put together. as well It would also be good to take pictures of your belongings, a room by room inventory.

All in one, you need an evacuation plan that includes everything mentioned above as well as a meeting place should your family get separated, and out-of-state contact for in case of emergencies.

Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.

Is your child at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions?

“Like most kids, my son spends 180 days in school each year and I need to know that the people he is with every day know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do if it occurs,” said Julie Bowen, actress known for her roles in Modern Family and Boston Legal. Her son who had an allergic reaction as a toddler, fortunately received immediate help and recovered quickly. However, nearly 1500 people every year in the U.S. alone aren’t that lucky.

And it should be both the parents’ as well as the kids’ own interest to make sure that everyone in the schools would be prepared for it. As nearly 8% of children (1 in 13) in the U.S. suffers from a food allergy, it’s no small issue.

“My son is only five, but he has already started to take responsibility for his life-threatening allergies and become his own advocate,” said Bowen, who will be doing the public service announcement (PSA) about anaphylaxis.

The current campaign, launched by Mylan Specialty L.P. and joined by Julie Bowen, is focusing on raising awareness of anaphylaxis in schools and to make sure first-line of treatment, epinephrine, would be always available.

If you’re a child, your teachers, your classmates, ideally all of them should be aware of your condition, the symptoms as well as the need for immediate treatment. During the campaign, from September 26 to November 9, 2012, students in grades from 1-12 are encouraged to write a brief essay and submit up to two visual images to explain an idea to:

• Improve awareness of life-threatening allergies in schools
• Help students who may be at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions feel more accepted in their school or
• Provide a unique solution to a challenge faced by students who may be at risk for anaphylaxis.

The essays can be submitted at Fifteen best works will also be receiving a college scholarship in the amount of $2000.

I Love New Things: Rain Chains

Have you ever heard of rain chains?  I just learned about them today and I can’t figure out how I never heard of them before.  As a hobby I look at houses and landscaping – maybe they’re kind of new here, even though from what I understand they’ve been using them in Japan for hundreds of years. I thought I’d pass the info along so you don’t miss out on them too. See? I care. :)

Okay. So a rain chain, as I understand it, is designed to take the place of your gutter downspout. When you hang the chains rain hits them, attaches, and follows the links down to the ground. They come in a variety of styles and are much prettier than standard downspouts. The ting ting sound of the water hitting the chain is pleasant and you can put a bucket at the bottom of it to create a peaceful waterfall or meditation garden atmosphere. Doesn’t that sound nice?

I will have to fight my husband to get him to consider these because he is very traditional and kind of stuck in his ways. He doesn’t generally like to try new things unless other people have done it first. Sigh. But I’m going to try. I can already hear the sound of the rain on the chain in harmony with my wind chimes on the back deck. Have you ever tried a rain chain or know anyone who has?


$5 Off ROAST-e Order – Mama Has a Coupon Code!

As I have experimented over time monetizing my blogs, I have settled on making money for content, not ads. I feel it gives me more control to be able to adapt certain keyword links into sincere blog posts, rather than accept money to actually advertise for a company by putting their banner up, regardless of whether or not I like the product or how ugly their ad is. This is still the case. HOWEVER. NEVER SAY NEVER. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO EVERY RULE. And so on.

This, by the way, is not a paid post. If I’m yammering on about how much I like something, it is sincere. I don’t do paid reviews.  Unless I was asked to SAMPLE and review something I have mad passionate love for like say…. Adam Lambert or Moscato… I would accept those jobs of course, but disclose that it was paid. :)

I think that Groupon ad is so PRETTY! lol. I think it enhances the scenery AND I think Groupon is a cool company.  Have you ever read their ads? I have a clear memory of me sitting at the doctor’s office where I worked in my 20s-30’s, reading over tons of boring technical optical stuff. At that time I was considering going back to school for technical writing and I remember saying, “why does everything have to be so boring? I could write this manual and make it fun!”  Of course I talked myself out of the field. (surprise!) Over the years, though, lots of companies have taken on more personality in their text. Groupon is one of the best.  I don’t know WHY they haven’t hired me yet.  But that’s something different.

So Groupon is fun and pretty. Whitesmoke is a grammar correcting program so that represents me I feel, too. And like I said. I like aliens. But the real reason for my update is Roast-e! I decided to run their banner because I like coffee and I liked their style of communication and the way they described their company to me.  I gave them a tiny square ad spot. I am going to go bigger I think now that I’ve researched and sampled the company.

Using my own banner link so I could see what happens if someone clicks through, I scanned the products, coffee, coffee makers, and accessories… and plugged in two criteria. “Organic” and “Fair trade.” I was actually looking for direct trade but clicked the wrong button. Anyway, was given a selection, made my choice, put in the discount code the company gave me, and checked out with PayPal. You can use any method of payment, but I love PayPal so that was a bonus for me. Got my coffee two days later and am drinking it right now. Actually, it smelled so good it woke me up this morning when Tim brewed some at 3am before work. Or maybe it was the bean grinder that woke me up first. REGARDLESS. It smells good. And now I can confirm how good it tastes. I even dropped a swirl of organic agave sweetener in instead of sugar. I’m feeling all kinds of good right now.

It really was a good experience from beginning to end. The product passes my test.The website is pleasant and user friendly. The company is really interesting too. Their social conscience is enhanced by their apparent use of a social business model. Two of my favorite things. AND with the $5 off coupon code, it was financially satisfying too. And now they tell me I can pass the discount on to you! There is a 10% first off first order code on the website but don’t use that unless you place a big order. You know, do the math is all I’m sayin. BLOGME5 is the code for $5 off.


Working With What You Have

I read a quote somewhere about what is holding us back a lot, as a society trying to survive and recover from a bad economy, is holding onto ideals of  “before.”  How the world worked “before”. How I did things “before.” But “before” is then.  Like it or not we have to do things differently now. I’ve been thinking about this lately in terms of household maintenance.

Ten years ago I made lots of money and my favorite thing to spend it on was my house. At one point everything in it was brand new and I had a plan for updating things, from the candles on the tables to the shingles on the roof – we were on a schedule. But then we had kids. And I lost my business. Then my husband’s employer (the auto industry!) took a bad turn and our income was further reduced.  We have been scaling back for years and the first things to go on the back burner were things around the house. As a realtor I have seen this happen to many houses, but didn’t realize it was happening to mine – until I did.

I was feeling a little depressed to begin with – just not having any spare money – no going to the movies or splurging once in awhile on the kids. Another summer passed without a vacation, the fridge and pantry were empy, car was on empty, and laundry was piled up – just one of those days that you feel like you’re “failing at life.”  (thanks to my good friend Ames for putting a name on it for me and assuring me I’m not the only one who feels it occasionally.) And I sat there and looked around the house. One flaw led me to another. Walls that needed painting, a torn shower curtain, missing trim, stuffing falling out of the couch cushions, towel bar dangling in the bathroom, outdated furnishings, appliances,  and fixtures… the list went on and on.  I had put everything off until “later.” But at that moment it hit me that I have no idea when that “later” is going to come.

So whereas I had previously thrown my hands in the air and said, “Nothing I can do here,” I made a list of the things I COULD do that would make an impact on the care and appearance of my home.  I replaced the torn shower curtain and hounded hubby til he fixed the shower bar. I washed the walls in the heavy traffic area that were such an eyesore. I wanted to freshen up my bathroom rugs but couldn’t afford that right now so I traded them out between bathrooms and some older ones that were still in good shape.  I really need new furniture but that’s a while down the road yet. I did come up with the idea though, that changing out a couple lighting fixtures would really update the appearance at a much smaller price.

Our house was built with the ugliest brass lighting fixtures. My decor is based on silvers. We were replacing the tacky fixtures one by one but never got around to the one in the hallway.  I had originally had trouble finding one in the silver family that looked good in there because of the size of the hall and the oak trim. But I found this super cool simple light that the silver I like with a lit bit of brown that really popped with the oak trim, online at this place called Murray Feiss lighting. I wanted to show you the old one and the new one because I like it so much but WordPress is being funky right now and will not upload pictures. Maybe later :)

All these little things have taken place over the span of months and it didn’t happen right away, but suddenly – I don’t feel like I live in a foreclosure any more.  And I haven’t had to spend a lot of money.  Alot of times it was just elbow grease, once I got it out of my head that “fixed” didn’t have to mean “new.”

So what I am trying to impress to you today is to let go of what you think you should be doing and where you think you should be, and simply take care of where you are what you’ve got.  You will be amazed how you start to see things differently.