Archive for the ‘Organic Thoughts’ Category

Blogging Hiatus

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9/17/14

 

Dear Friends,

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. That was intentional. I’ve been busy with Back-to-School/Work, the yoga studio, etc. While it’s nice to get back into a routine, it’s just a reminder of how quickly time continues to fly. My baby girl turned 8 last week. She started 3rd grade and absolutely loves her teacher…so do I! It’s going to be a good year for her.  I’ve heard from several friends and colleagues how significant 3rd grade can be. I think it has a little to do with being able to remember more from that year. It was very memorable for me. I don’t have much recollection of anything before 2nd grade….but 3rd? I remember my wonderful teacher Mrs. Pahoundis, the ice cream scoop book report chart, the reading cave in her classroom, my best friend Carissa (who is still my best friend!), my first crush, and a trip to Colombia. I also think that the step from 3rd to 4th is huge…I see it in the kids I teach now. There is something still so innocent and young about the 3rd graders, but as the year progresses you see so much growth…physically, intellectually and emotionally. It’s hard to believe, let alone accept, that my little one is growing up….

All Summer I anticipated writing this post. Last year was so busy for me that I think I stretched myself too thin (almost!). The reality hit me within the first couple days of vacation. When I realized that I had to almost force myself to relearn how to relax, I knew something had to change. So as I basked in the California (hottest!) Summer sun, I vowed that this school year would be different. I don’t want to forget what’s truly important. I don’t want to lose the beautiful connection I have with my baby girl. I don’t want to miss a single beat. I’ve been grateful that the school she started at this last year has been a good fit for her, but I do miss our days of homeschooling, taking field trips and running errands together. The days seemed longer then. I still do hold on to the idea of homeschooling again soon, but for now things are working out the way they are.  I am super proud of her….this year she has joined the Dance Company at her dance school. She is so excited that they will be performing at a 76ers half time show! It’s everything to me to see her face light up when she tells whoever she can. lol. I want her to flourish and be all that she can be and never lose that positive energy and confidence she has. I know that in order to support and guide her I need to make sure that I am truly available to her. So, for now, it means setting aside quality family time, reprioritizing, learning how to say no, and taking a little more time for me.  After all, I don’t want to lose myself either.

So I take this time to thank all of those who have spent a few minutes reading my posts. I truly appreciate the support. I have had an amazing time sharing my thoughts, reviewing products so I can report back, and connecting with other moms out there that are also busy trying to juggle it all for the love of our families. I appreciate all of the opportunities and while blogging has been a fun outlet, many of you know that it can also be very time consuming. Therefore, the time has come for me, not to say goodbye, but see you later. Wishing you all health, love and happiness!

Until next year,

~Dee

 

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DIY Summer Spruce-Up

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As my vacation comes to an end, I already feel the anxiety of getting back to a dusty home and the back-to-school craze.  I’ve been a student and a teacher practically my whole life, making September a  month of new beginnings for me. Now with a school aged child the end of Summer and beginning of Fall continues to be my New Year and Spring Cleaning rolled into one.  I like to call it time for my “Summer Spruce-Up.”

Last Fall I began experimenting with several different homemade cleaner recipes. After much trial and error I found that all you really need is water, baking soda, vinegar and your favorite essential oil for scent. So as you clean out those rooms and closets to prepare for a new school year and scrub those floors after a Summer of trekking in pool water and mud, consider making your own eco-friendly household cleaners. This step-by-step easy guide to making your own cleaners from www.brightnest.com will help save you money and protect your family and the environment from toxins and chemicals found in conventional cleaning brands.

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Smart Irrigation Month

I’ve been visiting family here in my home state of CA this past month and temperatures have been very high! The idea of slip and slides and running through sprinklers have not been more appealing since childhood. Yet, just taking a few extra minutes in the shower makes me feel guilty. You see, on every major freeway you’ll find the lit up signs announcing the severe drought taking place here. It compelled me to look into the major causes and also share ways we can all pitch in and conserve water.

This isn’t just a problem in CA. Surprisingly, I learned that in the US  we have one of the highest averages of water use per person. Not surprising, I also learned that July is the peak month for water use. Through a campaign started in 2005 by the Irrigation Association it is now also considered Smart Irrigation Month. To learn more about how you can be involved and help support this cause visit their website: www.smartirrigationmonth.org.  You can also visit the EPA website and learn about the WaterSense program and products.

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WaterSense's Save Water Summer Infographic

The Benefits of Yoga

As a yoga instructor, I often get asked what the best type of practice is and if yoga really “works.” With such a variety of styles and levels, it can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner. While people look to yoga for different reasons, some for flexibility, others for weightloss, and some just to de-stress, it’s no secret that the physical and mental benefits are abundant. Recently, the Huffington Post published the infographic below “How Yoga Transforms Your Body”. It does a great job of breaking down the many immediate and long-term benefits of Yoga. It’s no wonder why it continues to be the number one form of exercise for all ages, with many adopting it as a lifestyle. Yoga has been around for many years and continues to grow in popularity, showing no sign of slowing down.

This article originally appeared on the GreenDeals Go Green Blog.

5 Tips to Green Your Summer Celebrations

Grilling season is here! With the excitement of picnics, parks and parties, it can be easy to overlook that your Summer celebration may be creating more waste. The sales of paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and utensils, bottles and cans of beverages go up in the summer and so does the amount of waste in our landfills. Understandably, dragging your finest china and cloth napkins to the beach or park is not as convenient. However there are some other easy and effective ways you can green up your BBQ festivities. In no particular order, here are the Top 5 reasons and ways to green up your grilling:

Gas Grill or Charcoal: Natural gas or propane is the more eco-conscious of the two.  While eco-friendly charcoal exists, grilling with gas is still considered to be better for the environment and your health, particularly if you are the chef! You will want to prevent you and your guests from inhaling carbon monoxide and other toxic chemicals released by charcoal briquettes and lighter fluids. Don’t forget to cook with the lid down as much as possible to preserve energy.

Shop Local and Sustainable: When shopping for meats, veggies and fruits for your celebration, hit up a local farmer’s market, if possible.  At the store, look for meats and produce that are organic, sustainable and have not traveled too much of a distance. By supporting local farmers and green businesses you are helping support the local economy, reducing negative environmental impacts, and adopting healthier habits through eating more naturally.

Make your own beverages: Instead of juice boxes, bottled waters and other beverages, why not bring a couple of pitchers? You can fit a nice sized pitcher or two in a cooler, or make sure you have enough ice, and serve up some refreshing homemade lemonade, sangria or even just water! If you plan to serve beer, look into a keg instead. You can bring enough recyclable cups for your guests and provide them with name labels so they won’t lose their drink.

basketAvoid plastics and other disposables: If you don’t mind reusables, which really are most cost effective and eco-friendly, bamboo utensils and plates are great. Another, more unique option is to use reusable, cloth place mats instead of paper or plastic plates. Once guests are done with their meal, they can even wipe up with them instead of paper napkins…two in one! If you really feel you must purchase paper or plastic products, find those that are biodegradable, recyclable, made without bleach or dyes, etc. Whatever you do to lessen the carbon footprint you make will help in some way.

Lastly, bring a separate container or bags: preferably in a different color, and encourage all your guests to help take care of the Earth by recycling!

~This article was originally featured on Green Deals.org

 

Easy Compost Tips

I have always wanted to start a compost, but just assumed it would be messy, stinky and too much work. When I ran across the following infographic, I realized I was being silly. RiverbendHome.com does a great job of breaking composting into 5 easy steps and I had to share. No more excuses! I am finally convinced and ready to start my own organic compost pile. Even better, by this time next year, I have high hopes my compost pile will help provide a beautiful organic garden.

Reflections…

Happy Anniversary!