Monday, January 28, 2008

Le This and Le That

A few tidbits before I get back to hitting the books.

Yes, I have been remiss in not announcing sooner the winner of my bloggy book(s) here goes:

Village Mama over at Mama's Village is the winner of Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom

Carrie from With All That I've Been Given is the winner of Time to Feed Baby

Congratulations ladies! Please contact me at giftofgreen [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing address.

The two books I am reading this week for my class are The Outsiders and The Chocolate War (Readers Circle). Blast from the past, eh?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whole Food Purges the Plastic

Am I always the last to know?

I just came across this tidbit on our NBC affiliate website about the Whole Food phase-out of plastic bags (on, when else, Earth Day 2008).

Considering Whole Foods has seemingly led the way on provide inexpensive reusable bags with seasonal graphics, this shouldn't be to hard for their customers to adjust.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Classes Resume

This week is the first week of my class.

We are reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

I'm reading this particularly adorable edition illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (of We're Going on a Bear Hunt fame).

Monday, January 21, 2008

Green Cleaning, Redux

A few months back I posted about my search for a green carpet cleaning company such as Zoots and I also inquired over at Shannon's house to see if any of her Works for Me Wednesday readers had any suggestions.

Green Nana reminded me that she and Green Gramps use a steam cleaner but without any of those toxic chemicals. Smiling Mama said to ditch the wall-to-wall altogether and highly recommended Flor carpet tiles. Someone Being Me suggested the old standby, vinegar and water, for spot cleaning.

Today, Green Husband alerted me to a recent segment on our local NBC affiliate that took a look at some green cleaning alternatives. Two recommended products, other than the vinegar solution, were Simple Green and Bon Ami products.

There was also a link to the Maid Brigade's "Green Clean Certified system" and a neat little "Tips for a Green Home" interactive quiz which was fun (I, shamefully, received a 70%). Of course the tip I cherished most was to line dry your linens on sunny days.

Speaking of sunny days, Susan over at Toddler Planet is looking forward to many more. Stop by and wish her well today.

Kids' Health 2008

Zoinks, there were a lot of comments about my comments post the other day. I tend to comment on "less popular" blogs, if that makes any sense {and no, that does not mean *your* blog is unpopular, my dear friends} - I mean I tend not to comment on blogs that receive dozens and dozens of comments. Dunno why. Also, sometimes I do not comment on blogs where the person responds regularly to my comment(s). Why? I feel like I'm "bothering" them, when sometimes their bloggy spirit has just moved me and I want to let them know. To make a long story short (too late!), I think the one reason I really appreciate comments is because it alerts me to more bloggy friends and the fabulous work they are doing, commented upon or not.

Due to the nature of my *real* job, I frequently access the website I found interesting their list of the 10 Kids' Health Issues to Watch in 2008. Several of the issues to watch include those that we on the green parenting blogs have been chatting about for months if not years:

Keeping Child's Play Safe

A wave of toy recalls put new questions about toy safety — and the dangers of lead exposure — in the spotlight.

Food Allergies: Outlawing PB&J

As food allergies become more prevalent and more persistent among kids, the medical community is trying to find out why — and how to deal with the trend.

Battling the Superbug

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) made frequent headlines as the so-called "superbug" and put the spotlight on the growing threat posed by drug-resistant bacteria.

Rethinking a Pill for Every Ill

New questions about the safety and effectiveness of cough and cold medicines marketed to kids put the spotlight on the fact that many of the medications marketed for kids have not been tested in children.

And while I haven't spent any time on this particular issue, oh, my breaking heart:

Lost Childhoods

For most kids, childhood is a time of playing, learning, and making friends. But in more than 20 countries, thousands of kids serve as soldiers on the front lines of brutal conflicts.

My children are so very lucky.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Deep Thoughts

Guess my "break" is over.

I couldn't stay away from you.

Which leads me to my question of the hour:

Would you blog if no one could leave comments? Not if no one *left* comments - I think we've all been there at one time or another - but if you say, disabled your reader(s)' ability to comment.

Discuss. In the comments. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Please Don't Eat the Aloe

When Green Husband and I embarked on this journal called kids-dom, we immediately got rid of all our plants. We pictured tipping, and eating, and dirt-flinging. We got rid of my five foot cactus I'd had since college fearing impalement (unintentional).

But now Pip and Sprout are past that stage and so we say "Bring Back the Houseplants!" and it was done.

Why? Well, as Rebecca Kolls from the National Gardening Association reminds us, plants are nature's air filters. She even suggests ten plants for cleaning the air in your home:

Areca palm

Australian sword fern

Boston fern

Dwarf Date Palm (Not too sure about the rationale behind this one...)

English Ivy (Although, correct me if I'm wrong...isn't this an invasive non-native plant? Perhaps house bound in a pot it won't do much damage but I think I'll pass on this one)

Janet Craig dracaena Okay, at first I thought this was some sick reference to my weight loss resolutions but then I realized that that's JENNY Craig. Neeeevermind.

Peace lily

Reed palm

Rubber plant: "This plant does well in a variety of conditions, and is more likely to outgrow its home than die there." What the...?

Weeping fig
Ah. I've always had a fondness for the ficus.

Please note that I have not evaluated these suggestions for kid-friendly/pet-friendly-ness. Consider hanging plants or putting them up high to discourage paws and craws (hey, I like that one).

What's your favorite houseplant? And why. Discuss.

Monday, January 14, 2008

This Just In! The Newbery and The Caldecott

No, these are not yummy, fair-trade chocolates!

The winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished picture book for children is The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and the winner of John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature is Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village, written by Laura Amy Schlitz.

For a complete listing of the just-announced literary award winners, head on over the the American Library Association's website.

Any of these books on your reading list?

~And don't forget my book giveaway~

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Book Giveaway! Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom Pregnancy Journal

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Potter Style, an imprint of Random House, and asked if I would be willing to peruse their new publication, Happy Baby, Healthy Mom, a pregnancy journal authored by Dr. Robert Greene and Laurie Tarkan. This book, spiral-bound and featuring gender-neutral cool colors of grays and greens, is journal/guide that takes pregnant moms-to-be from the first week to the postpartum periods. Use the charts provided to record daily exercise, review the prenatal visit information before meeting with your health care provider, and read the tips marked with exclamation points for important pointers or marked with a cup of tea for some stress-relieving suggestions.

Remembering back to my pregnancy days, I'm not sure there is much information this book that you would not find in others, but it is more certainly more succinct and for those moms who are having an uncomplicated pregnancy or for moms who might find some of the other books more alarming than reassuring, this is a happy medium. The writing prompts that assist in recording thoughts, memories and feelings throughout are a very nice touch from "Write about your thoughts on prenatal testing and any worries you are having while waiting for results." to "How do you feel about asking friends and family for help after your baby comes home?"

From a green perspective, this book does address some of the eco-friendly, "going green" concepts that we've all been exploring: buying more organics instead of conventionally grown foods, suggesting a water filter (rather than suggesting bottled water), and addressing the hazards of plastic baby bottles that contain Bisphenol-A.

This book would make a nice gift for an expecting friend or...for you. So, I'm giving my copy away. Please leave a comment, with a way of contacting you (Blogger does not provide me with email addresses), by, oh...midnight, Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 16th. I will draw winners randomly. And wait! There's more! A second winner will receive "Time to Feed Baby: A Journal for Recording Your Baby's Feeding Schedule", also by Potter Style. This adorable slim book is simply a nice way of recording breast and/or bottle/formula feedings and those lovely peeps and poops. So much nicer than the scraps of paper on which I hastily jotted down notes those first few weeks of Sprout and Pip's life.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cute Crochet Cries Out for Crafting

I have sworn off crocheting as part of my NYRs, but *if* I were to take up the hook again, you can bet I'd be buying this book. Cuuuuuuute!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hug a Tree Today

It's me. And Jennifer at Tree Hugging Family, which is so chock full o' ideas every day that it makes my head spin, is literally hugging trees.

So, even in winter, in an attempt to avoid The Television, the Wanna-Greenies are going to hug some trees too. Stay tuned for pictures - although identifying trees may be a bit harder in winter without those tell-tale leaves to give their identity away.

Oh, and I'll be back. I have a give away. I can't very well take a break from give aways, can I?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Really...I'm on Break

Okay, so I'm having a little bit of trouble staying away. Especially when it's Backwards Works-for-Me Wednesday over at Shannon's House.

I have posted about this previously, but I spit this out to the wider audience:

What is a nice, natural way of deep-cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting? The kind that has some orange juice down near its roots?

Now I'm on break. Really.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Break

Well, you could have seen it coming, couldn't you...

Seems like a lot of people are taking a break from the blogging or took a break over the holidays and found the break quite nice. Some people are taking leave entirely - they will be sorely missed.

I will be taking a brief break from this blogging business as I try to complete some online coursework necessary for my school media specialist certification.

I'll be popping in to your blogs, just like in the old days, as a commenter with "no reply necessary". It will be kind of nice to be merely the visitor again, instead of the visitee. See you at your house!