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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gentle reminders to help family reuse

I have been taking baby steps toward a much greener life since Sweetpea was born. Many of them don't require buy in or even get noticed by the rest of the family. When I started sending reused containers (yogurt, cottage cheese, etc) with EmDee's lunch, I noticed many of them weren't making it back home for another round. He would forget and throw them in the trash...these fun notes are a gentle reminder to bring home his containers, and also that I love him! :)
How do you help your family participate in your "greening initiatives"?

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer, Fabulous Summer

I absolutely love this photo of the girls...the relaxed, fun and spunky feel really captures the entire summer for me in one moment.  As Sweetpea is fast approaching kindergarten and I'm headed back to school myself (this time as a teacher - my career transition is finally complete!) I will be keeping this photo handy as a reminder of the fabulous summer we had!

There were some wonderful trips, and many fun days exploring and relaxing at home as well.  I'll be sharing some of our favorites in the coming days, as well as some ideas for easing back into the structure and routines that the school year brings.  What have you been up to this summer?!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Make your own grass head friend!

This upcycled craft is both adorable and fun, and even better it provides plenty of opportunity to talk science! Sweetpea and Sugar Plum were able to attend "mad science" camp this summer and this was one of the fun crafts they brought home. If you've ever wanted to make your own chia pet like friend you'll love these!

Start with a white tube sock - if your house is like mine you have several orphan socks to choose from...but that's a post for another day :) I like to have a picture or sketch of our finished product handy when we get started. This provides an opportunity to brainstorm the steps with your kids. We want the grass to be the hair, so where/when do we want to add the grass seed? This leads naturally into a discussion of what grass (and more generally, plants) need to grow.  For more advanced learners, you can also discuss how do the needs of plants - water, light, soil and air compare to what people and animals need to grow and survive. Follow the questions and topics that seem to naturally interest your child, and if a question stumps you, head to the computer for a little research!

Now for the instructions!
1 tube sock
A handful of grass seed
A few cups of dirt or potting soil
Permanent marker
Google eyes or other embellishments if desired
A cup or pot for your pet to sit in

It helps to roll your tube sock up to shorten it while filling.
First, place the grass seed in the end of the sock. Add a few cups of potting soil to reach desired size of your pet. Tie a knot in the end of your sock, as close as you can to the soil. Now add a face and any embellishments! A hot glue gun works best for your embellishments as you will be watering your pet.  Now place pet in his cup or pot "home" add water and find a sunny spot for him to live. In a few days he or she will be ready for a haircut!

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Splash it On, Step it Up with Nakano!

Two things I'm always working on are staying active and eating healthy.  I want my girls to know how important it is for them to take care of themselves - and to really understand what that means.  As a Mizkan blogger advocate, I was really excited to see them launch the Nakano Splash it On, Step it Up challenge this summer.  The program encourages participants to get active and make healthy choices - one of the campaign goals is to help people eat more veggies - how cool is that?!

If you're interested in becoming healthier or could use support in your healthy lifestyle, I encourage you to check it out.  There is an app to help participants worldwide track their steps, as well as healthy eating and workout tips. Nakano rice vinegars are flavorful and pack a bold flavor that pairs wonderfully with vegetables.  The website has some great recipes that incorporate their productsEntrants are eligible to win gym memberships, personal training sessions and workout bags.  What are you waiting for - let's Splash it on and Step it Up!

Disclosure: I am compensated for my time working as a Mizkan Blogger Advocate, but my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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