What is the True Meaning of Friendship in a World that Moves Too Fast?

This post about what is the true meaning of friendship has been sponsored by Ricola swiss herbs throat drops and Social Stars but all opinions are my own. #RicolaCrowd #FriendshipDay When we are young, it's easy to make friends.  You spend hours hanging out with them at school, go to their birthday parties, and ride your bike aimlessly through the neighborhood with them.  As you get older, there are sleepovers, long phone conversations and extracurricular activities that you both enjoy together.  Friendships are easier to make because as a … [Read more...]

Advice for My Teenage Daughter as She Begins High School

This post about advice for my teenage daughter has been sponsored by Ricola swiss herbs throat drops and Social Stars but all opinions are my own. #RicolaCrowd Last week, I attended my daughter's 8th-grade award ceremony.  It's hard to believe that my baby girl will be entering into high school in just 10 more weeks.  What happened to my little side kick with those pudgy legs and cute blond curls?  Where is the courageous little kindergartner who got on that school bus without a single backward glance for her crying mother?  I miss that … [Read more...]

Raising Green Kids in a Not So Green World

Raising green kids isn't an easy task in this throwaway, disposable society.  As parents, we spend a lot of time teaching our children things we feel they will need to know when they get older.  We teach them their colors and how to count and spell.  We teach them to say please and thank you and to always use good manners at the table.  Maybe you teach them about God, how to be compassionate, and to take care of those people who are less fortunate than they are.  But have you ever stopped to teach them how to care for our planet?  Have you … [Read more...]

“Where Does Meat Come From?”: How to Answer Your Child’s Questions

When I tell people that my kids have been to a slaughter house they look at me like I'm insane.  (It was empty except for a couple deer carcasses in the refrigerator and spotlessly clean....) However, from the time my children were incredibly young, I answered their ' where does meat come from ?' questions quite honestly.  They have been coming with me to the farm for meat pickups since they were young and know that the animals we see there will eventually end up on our plates.  You might think that's harsh but too many children today are … [Read more...]

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

In a recent conversation with my mom, she told me she is trying to clean out her house and get rid of some things. For my mom, learning how to eliminate clutter is quite a chore…she is a packrat and still has things like my old prom corsage and 50 years worth of cookbooks! It got me to thinking: why do we keep the things we do? To hold on to the memories? Because we feel guilty throwing them away?  You are not the only person who needs to learn how to eliminate clutter from their lives.  The average American house size has more than doubled … [Read more...]

Simple Meditation Tips for Mindful Living

One of my goals for the new year is to stop multitasking and learn to focus my mind on one thing at a time.  I want to quiet my mind from the chaos that is constantly scrolling through it and decided to share some simple meditation tips if you want to join me.  My husband has been going to the Shambhala Meditation Center for about a year now and has found it incredibly helpful on his journey to mindful living.  What is mindful living?  It is basically the state of keeping your mind on the present moment. Is your mind clouded with thoughts about … [Read more...]

Best Tips for Decluttering Your Child’s Room

Want to know the best tips for decluttering your child's room?  Keep reading and see what I have learned over the years! My kids, like most everyone elses, have WAY too many toys.  They are scattered from their bedrooms to the playroom into the living room and occasionally make their way into my office.  I get tired of seeing them, frankly, and we need to start sorting through this mess before the holidays.  Since my kids have November and December birthdays there is a HUGE influx of STUFF into my house during the fall and winter.  Decluttering … [Read more...]

Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners: For Perfect Cookies Every Time!

When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved to bake.  I remember when I was about 6 or 7, I would go to school with my homemade lunch and kids would pay me a quarter just for me to give them homemade cookies from my mom.  I had a nice little side business going there for a while!  I truly love making cookies from scratch and am trying to instill that love of baking in my own kids.  But, I know there are a lot of people who were not raised with Betty Crocker for a mom.  If you don't learn from a mom, where to you learn to make … [Read more...]

Green Mom Guilt: Perfect Dreams versus Stark Reality

From that first moment when you know for certain you are pregnant, you begin planning the details of how you will raise your child.  Will you stay home with your new baby or put them in daycare and go back to work?  Will you breast feed or bottle feed?  Do you believe in spanking or co sleeping?  There are a huge number of parenting issues to worry about even before the baby arrives.  Its no wonder we are overwhelmed with mom guilt over every action we take as a parent.  But, when you decide you want to raise your child in as natural an … [Read more...]

Never Buy Second Hand for These 10 Items

Over the years, I have become a huge fan of thrift stores.  When you buy second hand, you reduce your carbon footprint and save a whole ton of money.  I have spent an amazing amount of time roaming around Goodwill and checking out local garage sales.  Even buying items online at places like Etsy and Craigslist have become incredibly popular in the last few years.  However, there are a number of items that I will not buy second hand.  Sometimes it is just too great a risk for the cost and other times there is some 'ick factor' that I just can't … [Read more...]

5 Unusual Uses for Aspirin for Home, Health and Garden!

My father has always told me that taking aspirin at the very onset of a cold will keep him from getting sick.  It is a tried and true method that he always swears by and he is a relatively healthy man.  I don't take too many aspirin, myself, but I have gotten into the habit of keeping it in the house 'just in case'.  Because dad told me to.  Advice from dad should never be taken lightly!  Since I always have aspirin around the house and it does expire eventually, I have found a few unusual uses for aspirin around the house that I thought I … [Read more...]

Managing Sports Teams and Clubs with TeamSnap

This post about managing sports teams and clubs has been sponsored by TeamSnap but all opinions expressed here are my own. Over the last 10 years I have signed my children up for more activities than I can count.  When they were little, we joined the hoards of other suburbanites signing our kids up for soccer.  When they showed no aptitude for soccer, we moved on to everything from gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do to Ultimate Frisbee and Running Club.  We didn't just sign them up for sports activities, either....oh NO!  We had Boy Scouts, Girl … [Read more...]

How to Go Green Without Going Broke

Earth Day has come and gone and maybe you stumbled across an article or two online about reducing your carbon footprint. The raw vegans insist that eating animal products is single handedly destroying the planet. The anti plastic folks are insisting that you stop buying milk in plastic jugs and instead carry it home directly from the farm in glass bottles. And then you have the real hard core environmentalists who tell you that you need to do away with toilet paper and use only washable cloth scraps to clean your bum. Can you say 'not gonna … [Read more...]

Green and Healthy Picnic Ideas for Summer

Today is my kids last day of school and I am torn between excitement and dread for the coming months.  I love those kids like you would not believe but two teenagers at home all day every day is enough to stress out any mom!  I find that the key to maintaining my sanity over the summer is two fold.  Keep them well fed and get out of the house occasionally.  Both of those things can be accomplished by taking a picnic basket to the park.  You think teens don't like parks?  HAH!  We take scooters and skate boards and watch the dogs at the dog park … [Read more...]

5 Things Your Daughter Should Know About Her Period

I am sharing these things your daughter should know as part of a Playtex® Sport®  sponsored campaign for Socialstars #PlaytexSportSquad. As a child, my daughter was obsessed with babies.  She wanted to know how she could get one for herself.  Why does that 16 year old girl at church have one and she can't?  If she asks Santa, will he leave her one under the Christmas tree?  She was intent on figuring out how we could get a new baby.  *I* can honestly say that there was no way in heck I wanted one of those little buggers in my life again!  … [Read more...]

The Many Uses for Rosemary Besides Cooking!

I have quite an extensive herb garden in the back yard and herbs are the one thing I can actually grow pretty well.  Not because I am a good gardener but because they are incredibly 'idiot tolerant' when it comes to my gardening abilities!  I have yet to find a bug that actually attacks most herbs.  They are very drought tolerant, meaning that when I forget to water them they don't care in the least.  And they also have very few nutritional needs beyond plain old dirt with a little bit of manure mixed in.  I have been growing rosemary for quite … [Read more...]

My Holiday Wishes Just for You

December is a hectic time of year, whether you choose to celebrate Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice or whatever else your chosen holiday happens to be.  There are gifts to buy, cookies to bake, parties to attend and obligations to deal with.  More so than any other time of year, we get caught up in our never ending to do list.  There are things we wish for during this time of year but never vocalize because there is too much else going on.  But wishes will never come true unless we work hard to MAKE them happen.  I don't believe … [Read more...]

Setting Financial Goals to ensure Retirement Security #RetireHappyNow

My husband and I have always been goal oriented people.  Within a year of dating, we knew we wanted to get married and started planning the 'where, when and how' of making it happen.  We both wanted to have our children while we were still young so we set a goal of 2 children before I turned 30.  We bought our first house with the understanding that it was a 5 year ownership before we upsized to something in a better school district.  And we have a very firm retirement security plan because our goal is to retire by the time my husband is 58 (in … [Read more...]

What to Put in Military Care Packages #BICMerryMarking #DeepSeaBlue

When I was little, my father was in the Naval Reserves.  I have fond memories of him in his shiny black shoes and spiffy white hat.  I was too young to understand much about war or what military men and women were dedicating themselves to.  As an adult, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices of these brave men and woman.  They dedicate so much of their lives to protecting and serving our nation and that commitment doesn't get to take a Christmas vacation.  One of the service projects that our church participates in is putting together … [Read more...]