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Showing posts from June, 2012

Preparing for Doomsday 2012 and The End of the World

Is the end of the world coming on December 21, 2012? If you watch enough of the Discovery or History channel, then you may think it is. Whether the whole world ends this year or not, your world could end at any moment and it makes sense to prepare.
This isn't meant to scare you into some fanatical doomsday prepping situation, but disaster could legitimately strike at any time. 
Look what's happening to the people in Syria, Egypt, and Libya right now. Takea  closer look at Sudan! Look what happened in London just last year. And remember, the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia were not that long ago. Really! Look it up!
Do you think they were prepared for the riots, the battles, the death? Not all tragedies have to involve mass murder, so consider these situations.
What would happen if your home lost electricity for 3 days, for a week, for 2 weeks? What if it was winter or the hottest part of August? 
What would happen if your water became contaminated? What if there was an EMP p…

Foods that Make you Lose Weight - 2 Secret foods you can add today!

A calorie is not a calorie. I know what you're thinking: calories in/calories out is what matters in weight loss. I think you're wrong. Obviously, calories matter, but that's not the whole story.

After reading the entire Master Your Metabolism, my biggest takeaway from the book was that our bodies process whole foods differently than manufactured foods.

For example, a cookie that says it's 150 calories will give off 150 calories of quick energy. But if you ate an orange that is labeled as having 80 calories, once your body processes the orange, you might actually get only 50 calories worth of energy.

That's important! So surely you could lose weight just by limiting your manufactured food intake and stocking up on more whole foods. I mean, that's a given, and it's one of the big reasons I have personally stayed slender for a good chunk of my life.

But there's more to it. I'm going to share with you something I've found to be truly amazing (in t…

Switched at Birth - a Plant Tale

Sometimes it seems like the exact same thing keeps happening. When this happens, I think we must be somehow causing it to happen. For instance, when my husband drives, cars always merge into him. Always!

That almost never happens to me, so it must be something about him. Well, I have my own version of "cars merging into me." It's called plant-switcheroo.

It all started with the Autumn blaze maple. I ordered it from our landscaper and was annoyed when it turned out to be a "fall fiesta."

Then there were the red astilbes I planted in front of my house. They turned out to be pink.

Then the oregano seeds. They grew into petunias.

But this week, something alarming happened. I had replanted fallgold raspberries for the 3rd time and was so excited to see berries ripening. Would I finally have a golden raspberry patch? Wahoo!

Three years of unsuccessful plantings were about to be rewarded.

By now, you know what happened. No, the plants didn't crumble up and die req…

5 Steps to improve your health today!

Summer is the perfect time to focus on your health! It's almost the perfect time to start anything. The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and you should be in a better mood.

Here are 5 steps you can take today to improve your health.

1. Stop Smoking. If you've never smoked, don't start. If you do smoke, then now is the time to quit. Any little bit helps, even if that means just one less cigarette per day. You don't have to do it all at once, but get started on quitting today.

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Pick which ever ones you like and eat them as unprocessed as possible. Maybe you love raw cucumbers or carrots? Or baked carrots or sweet potatoes. Great! Add them to your diet and add as many leafy greens as you want. They are key to good health.

3. Move. Choose activities that you love - dancing, hiking, walking, riding bike - and do more of them! But also do the things you don't like - clean your own house, mow your yard, take out the trash, mop t…

Ecover Sunny Day Detergent Review

Laundry is one of the easiest places to go green! I say that because there are so many great detergents available that make it really easy to get the job done and still be ecologically friendly.

One of those products is Ecover Sunny Day Laundry Detergent. You use it just like any other detergent, except that Ecover makes a huge effort to ensure that their products are very eco-friendly.

Ecover products are manufactured in two state-of-the-art Eco Factories complete with sedum roofs and skylights to virtually eliminate the need for heating and cooling systems and artificial lighting. That's amazing!

Their bottles are made of 100% plant plastic - made from sugarcane. They are both 100% recyclable and 100% renewable.

Those are all fantastic things that make me really like the company, but what about the actual detergent? It's plant and mineral based with no artificial fragrances, perfumes, or phosphates.

Plus it's HE and septic tank friendly.

It smells fine and does a great j…

Quick Reminder to upload your data to an external hard drive

Every few years, my computer will die. In the process, I've lost all sorts of data and photos. Then, I got smart (or my husband got smart) and we bought an external hard drive.

For a while, I was great at remembering to upload pictures and videos to the external drive. Then I got lazy about it and my last computer died again.

So this is a quick reminder to upload your data and photos onto an external drive.

Leap Frog and Brave Product Review

A while back, we got a tag reader and leap pad system for our children. They absolutely loved them, and I have been telling moms everywhere about how great they are.

Recently, we had the chance to review two new products for LeapFrog. My children have been busy reading the New Disney Pixar Brave Tag Book and playing the Disney Pixar Brave Explorer cartridge on their leap pad.

Before I tell you what we thought of the individual products, let me take a second to tell you how I feel about the LeapFrog products related to these products.

My children are 6 and 7 years old and they absolutely love their Leap Pad. We take it on all long road trips and they fight over who gets to play it!

My seven year old is very against doing homework, but he will play games on the Leap Pad that reinforce his math skills and help with spelling and vocabulary all day long! While I wish he would learn the "traditional" way, by using the Leap Pad, he still practices the things he needs to learn.

It&…

How do you REALLY get skinny & A Review of Bob Harper's The Skinny Rules

Want to know to know the truth about getting skinny? I'm guessing you do because almost everyone I meet asks me about it. Today, I met with a lady to discuss home insurance rates, and she and I had an hour and a half discussion about weight! She was a total stranger. My friends ask me, my neighbors ask me, strangers ask me.

Why do they ask me?  Because I'm skinny. I'm old and I'm skinny! Maybe they want help, they want advice, or they want an excuse. I swear some women ask me "how did you get so thin?" just to make themselves feel better. They want me to say "it's genetics" or "I never eat" or some other line that makes it out of my control and of course out of theirs.

Then again, some people might mean it as an insult. "Ew, how'd you get SO skinny?" I've never heard the "Ew" but it's probably been implied. I don't know, women's issues are extremely complicated.

Even still, I had been planning a …

Keeping Your Dog Well During the Dog Days of Summer

Summer is my favorite season because you can be outside every day. If dogs didn't act so happy every day, I'd guess that summer was their favorite season too. When their humans are outside, they get to be outside. There's tremendous opportunity for fetch, running, swimming and just relaxing in the breeze.

But summer is also a time to focus on keeping your pets healthy. Here are my top tips for keeping your dog healthy during the summer:
Be sure your dog gets outside for a bit of exercise every day (or even time to just relax with the family out of doors)If you are taking your dog outside, be sure he has access to water at all times (especially after playing or exercise.)Make sure your dog is never left in the car, and if you stop the car to wait - be sure to run the a/c or open windows.Check for ticks and other bugs frequently. You may want to consider using medicine to prevent ticks and fleas.Be aware of the grasses your dog runs in - dogs can get poison ivy and other aller…

Really LIVE your life, get a FREE book, and Enter for a chance to win a fantastic prize!

For large sections of my life, I have felt connected, driven, and in control of my destiny. And for large sections of my life, I haven't. When I had the spark (or The Charge)  I was unstoppable and success came to me easily. I was happy and it was great to be alive.

But when I lost it, life was dull and often miserable. I remember each time I lost that inner spark. It's happened 4 times and sometimes I stayed in mental limbo for years.

Last October, I lost my spark again. As ridiculous as it may seem, I lost it because of a conversation that lasted only a few minutes. That conversation changed my world forever and since I had lost the spark before, I knew that I had to get it back. (In case you're wondering, the "conversation" included a deep personal attack from someone I really trusted.)

I moped around for over a week: not exercising, not interacting, not learning anything new.  Then I started to force myself into action. Since that unfortunate date, I have be…

How many berries can you get from a small garden?

My children and I pick berries from the garden EVERY day beginning in June and ending in late September. We have a relatively small garden and a lot of "issues" like heavy clay soil, deer, chipmunks, and this year...caterpillars. But still, we are able to pick handfuls of berries every single day.

Today I went out to the garden to grab some lettuce for burgers, and I realized that we had been busy all day and hadn't picked berries yet. And for the first time in my life, I was annoyed that I "had to" pick berries. It made me smile.

I've always wanted to have so many berries that it became a chore. That I had to start giving them away. We're aren't quite at giveaway status yet, but if I had a little more land....

Anyway, check out how many berries I brought in today:


It's not even berry season yet. It's only June 16th! Well, technically it's strawberry season, but raspberries and blueberries won't start going crazy for a few weeks. The…

Chicken Envy

A few years ago, I wrote about my sister's garden. It was amazing. I was jealous. And in a creepy turn of events, someone grabbed that article and posted it on a website dedicated to making fun of people that are jealous.

Well, it's time for the creeps to revel in my jealousy once again. This time - it's chicken jealousy. For the record, I would like to have bees, laying chickens, a huge garden, and a berry orchard. If my zone magically changes, I'd also love to grow peaches.

Having said that, I live in the suburbs and all of those things will have to wait. But my sister lives on a ton of acres and has chickens, taps her maple trees, plants monster awesome gardens, and will probably be getting pigs and bees.

I have no dreams of owning pigs but I'm excited to see hers. And to remember to bring my peels and extra veggies for them to enjoy.

This week I had the chance to see her chickens and I left with all sorts of chicken-y feelings. She lets her laying hens roam th…

Mott's Medley's Fruit Flavored Snacks

Kids love fruit snacks. Moms - not so much. Why don't we love them? I can only speak for myself and my friends, but we are not fans of the ingredients. I don't want my kids eating tons of sugar (no matter what it's called on the label.) 
But things are getting better in the fruit snack world. Ingredients are starting to improve. Mott's recently came out with their own brand of fruit flavored snacks, called Mott's Medleys.
These fruit snacks are made with real fruit and vegetable juice, natural colors and natural flavors. Some of the snacks are even shaped like carrots. 
They are available year round and even come with double box tops. 
If you want to try these for your family, you can visit this link to download a $0.60 off the purchase of 1 Mott's Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks. 
Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by Mott’s® through MyBlogSpark.

Arbonne Omega 3 Plus and Restorative Day Cream Review

Arbonne® is well known for creating products that are vegan-certified and formulated without animal products, animal by- products, gluten, parabens, formaldehyde-donating preservatives, PABA and the following petroleum-based ingredients: Benzene, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Phthalates and Toluene. 

Arbonne is also cruelty free and does not test any product on animals.

Why should you care? Because you are what you eat and whatever you put on your skin gets into your body. 

Because Arbonne is inspired by nature and strives to create high quality products, I'm always excited when I get a chance to try their new creations.

This spring, Arbonne launched 5 great new products. I had a chance to review 2 of them and will give you the details in this post.

The first product I reviewed wasArbonneEssentials® Omega-3 Plus. This product contains flaxseed oil and algal derived DHA to provide a vegetarian omega-3 fatty acid supplement that also includes DHA. I really like this product. How many times ha…

Start Your Engines! this summer without ruining your equipment

Did you know gas goes bad in as little as 30 days? I knew that - and I learned it the hard way. By ruining lawnmowers and trimmers with bad gas! What an unbelievable waste.

Each season, when you get out your lawn equipment or snow blowers, you need to properly inspect and maintain your equipment. Lucky for me, my husband takes care of all this. And he's learned the right way to do it over the last few years, some of it through trial and error.

One of the things he uses is a fuel system  revitalizer like Start Your Engines! We had a chance to review the product and I handed it right over to him. He knew exactly what it was for and was happy to use it.

Start Your Engines! is a fuel system  that makes bad gas good again by dissolving gunk and allowing the fuel system to run freely again. It removes water from fuel and prevents rust and corrosion.

Have you ever tried to start a lawnmower or tiller after a long winter? Not fun. Start Your Engines! makes starting outdoor equipment easy…

The Vitamin D Cure Book Review

It's summer, so I'm naturally thinking about the sun, but after reading The Vitamin D Cure, I'll never look at it  the same way again.  This is the first summer that I am going to go without sunscreen. I know, right?

I do wear sun hats and protective clothing during the most fierce daily sun and when I've been out a little too long, but The Vitamin D Cure changed the way I think about sun exposure. Plus, I had really been annoyed with the chemicals in sunscreen and was already thinking about a compromise between chemical sunscreen and too much sun.

Anyway, this book will probably surprise you because it's not just about Vitamin D. It's a lot about Vitamin D, but it's also about magnesium, potassium, calcium, acid/base balance, and activity level. It's about how our bodies work and why we feel sick. And of course, how to fix that.

I'm not a pill popper, so the title kind of turned me off at first. But it's not about supplementing unless you real…