Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Green Horn

Pttt, pttt, is this thing on? In the St. Nick of time I bit the bullet and bought my MacBook. It's so...cute! And quiet. I was not aware that my poor HP was a major source of noise pollution. Heck, I could even take my MacBook into bed with me!! NO! (Maybe). Kidding. (Not.) Yes. (No.) And with my external hard drive humming away backing up every .37 seconds I am feeling oh so superior. That is if it weren't for the fact that I am still not out of the woods with my old(er) PC. In fact, it's sitting here glaring at me as I type this, so I'm sure smoke will start billowing out of its hard drive at any moment.

[Oh dagnabbit! Note to self...control c followed by control v on a Mac equals the letter v. Must. learn. about. command. keys.]

So I'm glad to be back - the next week or so has me catching up on your comments, my favorite blogs, a SusieJ meme and DC Metro Moms posts. As for Gift of Green, let's start where we left off, shall we? And that would be with Crunchy Chicken's Freeze Yer Buns challenge.

First, let me say that I am always cold, I hate to be cold, and I will curl up on the couch like a cat creating an oasis of warmth from which I will not move. My co-workers tales of her heated *mattress pad* makes me want to cry tears of joy (and envy). I sometimes hop in bed with all my clothes on because...heck, it's COLD! Do I live in Massachusetts? Maine? The Yukon? No. Virginia. Doesn't Virginia just conjure up images of frosty window panes and 6 foot snow drifts? Negatory. I admit that since my upbringing in Massachusetts I have become a weather wimp.

So let's just say I was shocked, nay, horrified, by the average day and night temps in which these fellow Freeze Your Buns off participants were managing to...exist.

But enough of my blathering. Let's do the numbers (Cue "Stormy Weather"):

[Hold please...checking automatic thermostat for night temp in the Gift of Green household]

OH MY JEEZ 72 degrees! I'm so ashamed!

But for some reason that's only on weekday nights. Saturday and Sunday nights I've set the thermostat for 62 degrees starting at 10:00 p.m. (with 70 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) - as well as during the weekdays. Looks like my thermostat might need some fine tuning...but maybe not tonight.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Greening Your Thermostat

I am not getting any [more] sympathy from Green Husband about my home computer (now dead as a doorknob (where did that expression come from anyway? Dead as a doorknob? Or is it doornail? But I digress) since I'd been belly-aching about it for eons and had done nothing about it and so this is just a means to gain *your* sympathy, dear reader, and to tell you that after this Tuesday posts should be back up and running.

So here I am typing at work, albeit on a break, but at work nonetheless, which I think is highly prohibited, so I'll make it short because shortly I will need to pay off a new computer and having a job makes that slightly easier.

So, to keep a long story short (too late) here is a great tidbit I want to share, and to give props where props are do, I must say that I was directed to Crunchy Chicken's site from Geggie's site (thank you, Geggie) and even though I'm a bit late in starting the Freeze Yer Buns challenge, there is still plenty o' time to jump on the bandwagon.

More deets on our strategy in one of those Post-Tuesday posts I alluded too...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Green Chit Chat

Just a few updates from hither and yon.

Our region has just recently emerged from a series of MRSA outbreaks. Here's an interesting piece from Salon on MRSA and the foods we "produce" and eat called "Is the way we raise our food giving us MRSA?"

MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Some opportunities for green educational grants from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA estimates that 70 awards will be given and will be for approximately $20,000 a piece " support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop aware and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. This grant program provides financial support to seed innovative projects that design, demonstrate, or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques ..." Deadline is December 20th.

And...we are experiencing technical difficulties with the home computer...please stay tuned. We appreciate your patience and hope to return to our regularly scheduled blog posts as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh You Lucky Green North Carolinians...

Green Boss recently forwarded a little tidbit to me and I guess you could say I'm a slightly green with envy.

Who has been to this fabulous place and was it everything you had ever dreamed, and more?

The Scrap Exchange
Celebrating 16 years of Creative Reuse
548 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27701
phone 919-688-6960 fax 919-688-2792

I remember going the Boston Children's Museum which has a similar set up; it was every little sculpture artist's dream. Incidentally, the Boston Children's Museum is now going for its LEED certification by incorporating the following elements into its new addition:

• Green roofs on the new addition
• Storm water reclamation to reduce run-off into Fort Point Channel
• New infrastructure and fixtures to increase building efficiency
• Recycled, local, and low-emitting building materials

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WFMW - Green Search Terms for Amazon

Amazon can be a great resource for book buying, not only because of the discounts, but also because you can often find a copy of a book used, for a fraction of the original cost. Of course, there is shipping involved, so if you are sending a book to someone as a gift, or not able to find the book at your local library or at your small, independent bookstore, you may want to try Amazon instead.

Amazon, like any database, can be a bit tricky to search. Here are some subject headings (there are so many others) that might help you narrow down your search for green-related children's books (don't forget to combine the term(s) below with the subject heading "Children" if you really want to limit your search to books for and about kids):

Natural Foods
Environmental Protection
Nature Craft
Outdoor Games

{{Lots of other tips over at Shannon's house!}}

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bloggy Giveaway Winners!

We have a winner(s)!! Congratulations to Ames from yay pie! and hooray for bananas for scoring a copy of Autumn and to Smiling Mama for getting her bloggy paws on a copy of Winter. Oh, you lucky ladies - I envy you! Oh wait, I already have these books! Yay! Thanks for entering everyone and I hope to have another bloggy giveaway very soon.

I managed to burn the midnight oil last night and thanks again to Kellie's excellent tutorial, I finished up Sprout's tulle ballet skirt.
I was very happy with it, if I don't say so myself, and Sprout wanted to wear it to daycare which I took to be the ultimate in compliments.

Deb from I'm Organic emailed me to let me know about her site and to mention that she has some giveaways (one a week) for those of you who sign up for their newsletter. Lots of cute stuff, Deb, and there's even an organiblog! Thanks for sharing!

For all you non-vegetarians out there...what are you doing about your Thanksgiving turkey? Organic or Butterball?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tulle Ballet Skirts, Advent Calendars and a Few Bits of Green

Thank you so, so much, dear readers, for all of your recent comments.

I would like to thank those of you who replied in response to my quest for tulle ballet skirt tutorials and for home made advent calender ideas. Here are some of the lovely links - in case you missed them in the comment section - for you to visit and enjoy.

Kellie from La Vida Dulce made an absolutely adorable skirt in such yummy colors. Here are her pictures and she promises to have her tutorial up soon. Thank you, Kellie!

Gretchen from Lifenut also posted pictures of a tulle NO SEW ballet skirt she made from a tutorial. She writes, "When I hear or read the words “no sew” my eyes grow bright and my heart swells with hope." I hear ya, Gretchen. Lovely skirt.

Joanie at Nini Makes has a pretty advent calendar with directions published in that wacky UK-centric magazine Green Parent (Green Parent, you may send me free copies to review at any time, please and thank you) but has graciously offered to email the template to anyone on this side of the pond who asks. Aww, thanks Joanie. I'll take one!

And how very nice of Mommy from Heart of a Mommy to comment on Wednesday and I mention her comment because she recently posted about winning a subscription to Family Fun which gets me to my green info. of the day which is...(good NIGHT, get to it all ready!) the December 2007 issue of Family Fun has a piece on 10 ways to have a happy green holiday. Most of the ideas have to do with recycling boxes, bags and cards from holidays past. Not a bad idea, eh?

Oh, and these is still plenty of time to get your comment down for my bloggy book giveaway. Too shy to comment (Jackie?)? Aw, come on. Just a monosyllabic "er." or "epp." will do.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday Me For Works

First of all, thanks to all you for suggesting ways to corral my Playmobil toys and to iron my organics at the last Backwards WFMW!

Now, a plea to both loyal readers and guests...two of you once posted about making tulle skirts for kids from scratch and non-food advent calendars (actually, update: I've since found one I had in mind from Nini Makes). Can you please refresh my ailing memory and alert me if you were indeed the one (or two or three or four of you...anyone!) that addressed these topics?

More questions to be answered over at Shannon's place!

Don't forget my bloggy book giveaway...still plenty of time to enter!

With bloggy love,


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Eco-Friendly Crafts

Do you believe that sometimes the stars just align? Look at this post over at Sew, Mama, Sew. It includes links to two eco-friendly products: a rag rug tutorial from Vintage Chica (you crochet it from scraps of fabric!) and then this clever draft dodger dog (or snake) tutorial from Crafty Crafty. Helps ya keep yer cold air out and your warm air in - very smart.

Did you remember I'm having a bloggy book giveaway until this Sunday?

And oh gosh, the November 2007 issue of Working Mother is green, it's green, it's green as a fresh green bean (did you know that every episode of The Backyardigans focuses on a different style of music?).

And one more thing...I had forgotten about another Massachusetts word that gets a "Huh?" in Virginia: rotary. You know...that thing were you have to merge to cars that are already in the rotary? Anyone?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bloggy Giveaway - from...MOI.

Last Thursday night Sprout, Pip and I sat down before bed and re-read Autumn illustrated by the lovely Leslie Evans. I must share this book with the world. Therefore, please comment on this post by midnight Eastern time on Sunday, November, 11th and I will randomly select one winner to receive this fine book. A second winner will receive Winter, also illustrated by the owner and operator of Sea Dog Press. Yes, I will ship internationally so enter away. And remember, blogger does not automatically alert me to your email address or web address, so please make sure you leave some notion of how I can get in touch with you should you be the lucky winner.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Green Musings

'Ello luvs.

Lots of chit chat to share with you this evening.

First, as I mentioned, lots of linking to green giveaways to ensue...My Two Boys is featuring a lovely tool set from Natural Pod and an adorable doll from HappyGreenBee.

Perusing through the Post this morning...back to back items of interest. One piece about bloggers and 10 tips to see and be seen in the blogosphere, and another about green, green, and more green by Michelle Thomas. Setchi is a new boutique on Wisconsin Avenue in the Georgetown section of D.C. According to its owner, Jessica del Pilar, all of the store's items "lay claim to at least one of four green concepts. Every item is made of organic fabrics or reclaimed materials, or it is produced locally or according to fair-trade standards." Worth a look-see even if if the Again Clutch is entirely beyond my budget.

Speaking of fabulous things but within budget, I must make a shameless plug for Because I'm Me...'s Etsy shop, now almost fully stocked. I purchased one of her quilts some time ago now - the fabrics are just luscious.

Non-sequitor - Big Binder has drawn my attention to a clever little program in Michigan...Paper Gator a fundraiser. So long Sally Foster!

While I have decided that I am no longer entirely uncrafty, I sure am not crafty enough to make one of these fabulous eco-friendly lunch bags. See 'em and swoon over at Sew, Mama, Sew.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Green Giveways Central

Because my average daily readership is about, um, forty, I have not exactly received oodles of offers to share as bloggy giveaways (Barefoot Books being one fabulous exception)...but why should you, my loyal readers, suffer?

Welcome to Green Bloggy Giveaway Roundup, a new service (that needs a catchier name - sounds like a weedkiller) that alerts you to the latest in green bloggy giveaways. Links to bloggers giving you an opportunity to win some green swag will be featured as links on the left...links will be removed when the giveaway is over. I figure it's a chance to try your luck at winning a new product or two that you otherwise can't afford (or can't even locate in your neck of the woods) and a great way to discover some new bloggers "leaning towards green" (which is why I will refrain from linking to specific product sites that are sponsoring contests).

Have a great Thursday and remember to compost all that leftover Halloween candy...AS IF!