BSM – 4/23/07

This week’s Best Shot Monday (BSM) comes from the farm we visited (along with Grandma, Aunt Carrie & Jason) over the weekend.

Ava had a great time seeing all of the animals and she took her very first pony ride. Ya think she enjoyed it? :)

Ava riding a pony, with daddy 4/21/07 Ava on the pony, and daddy 4/21/07

Spring is in the air and I couldn’t help taking several pictures of flowers this weekend. I love to see all of the colors reemerging after an unusually snowy winter here.

New blooms


Take a moment to visit Picture This to see everyone else’s best shots for the week. :)

And if you haven’t yet read my Earth Day post on things you can do to help save the Earth, please check it out now. Mother Earth and I thank you. :)

Go Green! – Earth Day 2007

Because living green is important to me and my family, I turned on Oprah’s Going Green 101: What Your Family Can Do Today! show on Friday to see if I could pick up some more tips. While we’re already doing several of the things they discussed on the show, I learned quite a bit more that we can start doing to help save our planet Earth.

I decided to make a list (in no particular order) of things YOU can do RIGHT NOW to help save the world. Many of the things are from Oprah’s show, while some are things I came up with myself or got elsewhere.

Choose one or two to get started, or do them all! Every little bit helps. :)

Help save the world by…

— Change the light bulbs in your house to energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) – CFL’s are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents. They cost more upfront, but will save you money on your electricity bill almost immediately and they last from 8 to 10 years!

— Buy natural cleaning products like Shaklee, Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer’s. Or, make your own cleaning products – Homemade Cleaners!

— Buy organic foods whenever possible.

— Unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them. Even if items are in the off position, they are still using energy. Or buy Smart Power Strips to conserve energy and cash.

— Use cloth napkins.

— Use cloth diapers or if you must use disposables, consider buying gDiapers (which are flushable!) or Seventh Generation diapers.

— Use a reusable menstruation product like The Diva Cup or The Moon Cup or use cloth pads like Glad Rags.

— Take public transportation, carpool, bike or walk.

— Reuse one bottle for your water instead of buying bottled water.

— Bring your own coffee cup/mug/thermos when you go to Starbucks, etc. for your coffee. Starbucks even offers a discount when you bring in your own cup.

— Use cloth grocery bags.

— Breastfeed.

— RECYCLE your plastic, glass, aluminum and paper! Go to Earth911 and enter your zip code to find out what is recyclable in your area.

— Shop at second hand stores for clothing, etc., and donate, give or sell your old clothes, shoes, etc. to others.

— Keep stuff out of the landfills by Freecycling items you no longer need. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

— Take shorter showers.

— Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.

— Reduce your meat consumption, better yet – eat vegetarian, or even better still – go vegan. “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein

More Earth-friendly tips, contributed by Leigh:

— Purchase wooden toys, or at least used toys.

— Practice sustainable, green building practices for new homes or remodels (low VOC paint, renewable floors like bamboo, solar/passive solar, native planting, sustainable materials, low-water usage appliances, and so much more).

— If you can, convert your car to a bio-diesel or SVO powered vehicle.

— Compost and use in your garden

— Support businesses who invest in sustainable, earth-friendly practices

— Buy fair-trade (while it’s not directly linked to the earth per se, I believe that peace and fair living practices = respect for the Earth).

— Thank the earth daily.

Some more tips, contributed by Bazu:

— Use cold water when doing laundry. I was a little hesitant at first, but I haven’t noticed any difference in the level of cleanliness in the clothes, and it saves a good amount of energy.

— Keep your freezer full, it cools more efficiently. If you don’t have a lot of food, even ice packs or bags of ice will do.

— Convert your yard/lawn to natural native plants instead of non-local plants or grass. Lawn maintenance is a huge energy sucker.

Caroline suggests:
— Use biodegradable dog poop bags

And Erica recommends:
— Even better than vegan – eat RAW! No energy used to cook the food, and your body will thank you.

Check out these related links:

GreenDimes – Reduce your junk mail by 75-90% and have a tree planted for you each month – all for a dime/day

The Green Book – Full of hundreds of simple environmental solutions that can make a big difference in the world

Breastfeeding and the Environment – Breastmilk is a valuable renewable natural resource that is the most ecologically sound food source available. It is produced and delivered to the consumer without using other resources, and it creates no pollution. In contrast, artificial baby milk production pollutes our land, air, and water and uses up natural resources.

An Inconvenient Truth – Al Gore’s movie about global warming

Ten Tips for Earth Day: Preserving Biodiversity

The History of Earth Day

Top 10 Earth Day Tips from National Geographic’s The Green Guide

Logical Environmental Reasoning for a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Climate Teacher – Focused on helping people understand, communicate, and take action on climate change.

Do you have more tips or sites to share about going green or Earth Day? Please share them with me and I’ll add them to the list.

Mother Earth thanks you.
Happy Earth Day! :)

“I do”

Six years ago today, Jody and I spoke those two little words and began our married life together. (I posted some pics from our wedding day last year on my blog if you are interested.)

Since my mom is staying with us until Monday, we are planning a dinner out alone together tomorrow night while she watches the kids. I’m looking forward to a little couple’s time alone.

Happy anniversary, Jody. :)

more on putting myself “out there”

Thanks to all of you for your comments and support regarding my last post. Lots of good food for thought there.

I’ve been thinking more about this topic and wanted to clarify some things for myself (and anyone else who wants to read it). I said in my comments that part of my issue with putting myself out there is that family reads my blog, so that makes me tentative to post about certain things. However I want to clarify that that doesn’t mean I’m stewing, wanting to talk/write smack about my family or anything. I feel that some things that are a part of my life/family’s life seem a little too personal for me to blog about, even though there are times I’d like to get them off my chest.

My bigger issue really is that, like it or not, I’m a people pleaser. You might think it’s odd that I like to avoid confrontation, while in the same breath I admit I like to blog about controversial things from time to time. I like to share my opinions, however I’m not good about letting the negative responses I receive slide off my back. I tend to carry that negativity around with me for a while and I know that’s not healthy. That may be why I’ve avoided writing about controversial topics lately. I don’t want the negativity that they seem to bring.

I want to be liked and respected for my thoughts and opinions. I try hard not to trash other people for their opinions, while still reserving my right to disagree.

Perhaps in the next week or so, I will post a challenge to myself and those of you who are interested (MB – thanks for suggesting this in your comments), to post about a topic of your choosing on your blog with complete honesty. (Maybe it could be a topic that you’ve avoided writing about in the past, but really want to put out there.) Then you can respond to let me know that you posted and I’ll link to everybody’s raw, honest posts. Anyone up for the challenge?

thoughts on Blogher and being proud

I’m sitting here at the computer with a sleeping Julian on my chest, while two men from South Africa clean out the air ducts in my house. Ava and Grandma left for a few hours to go to the library and buy material to make clothes for her baby “Trajan” and to get away from all of the noise. I figured I’d use this time to catch up on some Group Talks on Maya’s Mom and I came across some posts about Blogher, specifically the upcoming annual Blogher conference which is in July this year in Chicago.

I never gave any thought to attending the conference before, even though I’ve been blogging for over 2 years now, but after reading many women say what a great time they had in the past and how they are planning to return this year, I started wondering if it might be something I’d like to do someday.

My reading on Maya’s Mom lead me to Elizabeth’s blog Table for Five, specifically this post about her experience at Blogher ’06 and some things she took away from the closing session.
She wrote:
“1. Find your voice.
2. Stop apologizing. Be proud of who you are and what you do.
3.Stop hesitating. Move yourself forward.
4. You ARE worthy.”

Those things really hit home for me, especially the part about “Stop apologizing. Be proud of who you are and what you do.” and “Stop hesitating. Move yourself forward.”

There are sometimes things I want to write about, but don’t for fear of offending someone, somewhere. Or if I do write about something controversial, like circumcision, I’m so careful to be as politically-correct as possible, that I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. But then I wonder, why is it my responsibility to protect people? It’s my blog and I should be able to write or not write about whatever I want. If people chose to read it, that is their prerogative, and if it bothers or offends them, they have the option to stop reading it.

I admire the bloggers (and several come to mind) who lay it all out there and say whatever the hell is on their mind, without regard for who it might upset. They are proud of who they are what they do. They don’t apologize for sharing THEIR thoughts on THEIR blog. I respect them for being true to themselves.

While I don’t imagine I will make it to Blogher this year, maybe I will make it a goal to go next year. It sounds like a very empowering and fun conference to attend. Maybe I can talk a few of my friends turned bloggers to go with me. (Hint, hint – you know who you are – Nicole, Heather, Julie, Sonja…) And in the meantime, I’m going to try to be more true to myself in my blogging and speak my mind. I am proud of who I am, so why should I be so afraid to put myself “out there”?


And now for a “shout out.” Thank you Caroline, for including my blog among the five blogs you recommend. I think it’s awesome that you choose to read my blog even though it’s far removed from the world you are familiar with. :) Thanks for your open mindedness.

Best Shot Monday – 4/16/07

I actually didn’t pick up my SLR at all this past week. *gasp* I know, I know. I need to crack the old girl out again. I did, however, take a few snapshots with my beat-up, old P&S (point & shoot, or as I really like to call it, piece of sh*t). Using that thing sure does make a girl appreciate her SLR, that’s for sure!

Anyway, this week’s shots are just for fun – nothing “technically” great about them. ;)

Look, mom! I found the headbands!
One for me and…

Ava headband - 4/2/07

One for Julian! Doesn’t he look pretty? LOL
Julian headband - 4/2/07

What’s for lunch, Julian? Daddy’s nose! *suck, suck, suck*
Julian snacks on daddy’s nose - 4/15/07
(I used a retro action on this one.)

Now go take a moment to visit Picture This to see everyone else’s best shots for the week. :)