Family Activism and Helping Teens Make a Difference

Family activism is tough when you have kids. If you have teens, you probably realize by now that they enjoy spending their free time sleeping, eating, shopping and hanging with friends. While those are all fun pursuits for teens, they aren't what I consider great life goals.  Sleeping til noon and eating an entire bag of chips in one sitting aren't activities that are going to change the world anytime soon.I am trying to raise my teens with an awareness for social issues. While we are definitely on the 'far left' in terms of our beliefs, I … [Read more...]

Sustainable Family Activites for Teaching Kids about the Environment

One day, when my son was about 6 years old, we were driving down the road and stopped at a red light.  Along the side of the road, there was a new building being built and I commented, "I wonder what they are building there".  My son answered me "Probably something we don't need".  I had to chuckle at that and it really hit home at that exact moment that my kids learn from the things I do and say.  Teaching kids about the environment is something we have to do every day by modeling sustainable behavior and explaining our choices to them in … [Read more...]

5 Awesome Reasons to Feed Organic Food to Teenagers

This post about organic food is sponsored by Annie's Homegrown  but all opinions expressed here are my own.Whenever I see commercials for organic food, there always seems to be babies in it.  Or maybe a few toddlers and a stray preschooler or two. Rarely do I see commercials for organic food that feature teenagers.  I always wonder why that is?  Sure, I started feeding my kids organic food when they were babies but they don't magically just grow out of their need for the highest quality natural and organic food.  In fact, I think there are … [Read more...]

Eco Friendly Children: They only learn what their parents teach them!

Eco friendly children are not born, they're made.  My husband and I are avid outdoor lovers and some of the best times we have had as a family have taken place in the woods.  Hiking, camping, kayaking, and gardening are all considered favorite family activities. I'm lucky my kids enjoy tagging along on our outdoor adventures (most of the time!). Maybe it's because from the time they could walk (or even just sit in a backpack) they have been out in the woods.  When we hike they know to leave the indigenous wildlife, rocks, sticks and whatnot … [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. #RicolaCrowdLast 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...]

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...]

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...]

8 Things We Need to Teach our Kids about Food

This post about things we need to teach our kids has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own.Last week I took my children to the grocery store to shop for a church service project. The goal was to provide a Thanksgiving Day feast in a box for our local food pantry. We were provided a list of items that we were to buy so there was really no creativity or substitution allowed. As expected, the list of foods contained things like 'instant potatoes' and 'canned gravy'.  My daughter asked why we were buying all these processed … [Read more...]

Skip the Cafeteria’s School Lunch and Start #LunchingAwesome with Applegate!

This school lunch post has been brought to you by TapInfluence and Applegate but all opinions expressed here are my own.My children have always hated the food offered through the school lunch program. The grilled cheese is soggy, the canned green beans are squishy and many of the offerings are not readily identified as food. Needless to say, they don't buy school lunch very often. What does that mean for me? Basically, it means that I am awake every morning at 5 AM packing three lunches...every sing day (two kids, one husband...they eat a … [Read more...]

Silver Turtles, Kids in the Kitchen and a Lesson in Patience

My children are in their early teens and as part of their 'summer chores' I decided that they needed to learn how to cook.  My daughter is very good in the kitchen, although she definitely prefers to make sweets and not actual dinner.  Unless she is going to live on cake for the rest of her life, that  needs to change.  My son would happily live on 'ready to eat' food.  That may include bagels (raw...because toasting is too much work), cheese sticks (because slicing actual cheese is too much work), and fruit that does not require cutting or … [Read more...]

Bing in the Classroom Makes Internet Research Safer for Teens #adfreesearch #BingClassroom

I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Bing for today’s Bing in the Classroom post. All opinions are my own.Many years ago, when my children were in elementary school,  I was working on a project with my daughter.  We were putting together a collection of photos for a classroom project and we needed pictures of flowers.  Of course, being the computer loving girl that I am, we headed to the Internet to print some off the computer.  Our search for 'spring flowers' resulted in a mostly naked woman with flowers strategically places over the … [Read more...]

How to Teach Teens About Going Green! #TurnItGreen

This post about how to teach teens about going green has been sponsored by Linqui and Repreve but all opinions expressed here are my own.When my children were young it was fairly easy to turn every moment into a teaching moment.  And they LOVED to learn!  Trips to the grocery store were a great time to teach them their colors.  A day trip to the museum would teach them about history and science.  Teaching them to go green just meant modeling green behavior at home and hoping they caught on.  Now that I have teenagers they are getting too … [Read more...]

How to Tell if Your Child Needs Glasses and VSP Vision Care Info #SeeMuchMore

This post about how to tell if your child needs glasses has been sponsored by VSP Vision Care and Clever Girls Collective but all opinions expressed here are my own.My kids started back to school a few weeks ago and in preparation for the new school year we had a lot of things to get done.  There were clothes to buy, pencils to sharpen and summer reading to finish.  There were also doctor and dentist appointments to make to ensure that we had all of the information we needed to complete the registration paperwork for middle school.  They … [Read more...]

Eco-Friendly Spring Activities for Kids #SCJgreenerchoices #spon

This Eco-Friendly Spring Activities post is sponsored by SC Johnson but all opinions expressed here are my own.During the cold, winter months it is often hard to find fun activities that keep kids busy. After being cooped up inside for much of the winter, I am looking forward to spending some time outdoors. If you are looking for a few creative ways to keep your older kids busy this spring, come check out my post on the SC Johnson Greener Choices blog for a few eco-friendly spring activities! Disclaimer: I have been … [Read more...]

Family Dinner: Families that eat together, stay together!

When I was growing up, there were certain RULES that had to be followed at dinner time.  It was a given that we would eat together every single night.  You didn't go to soccer practice or flute lessons during dinner time.  Family dinner became something I was passionate about because of the experiences I had growing up.  Were things perfect every night?  Nope.  I lingered for an hour every time my mom served Brussels sprouts.  But, it was a time to gather together after having been apart all day and it gave me a sense of family even when I … [Read more...]