? ??????????????????? ????Easy Install Instructions:???1. Copy the Code??2. Log in to your Blogger account
and go to "Manage Layout" from the Blogger Dashboard??3. Click on the "Edit HTML" tab.??4. Delete the code already in the "Edit Template" box and paste the new code in.??5. Click "S BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS ?



The next time you’re asked whether you would prefer paper or plastic, why not make an informed decision rather than just choosing paper because you think that might be more in keeping with going green. Do you ever wonder if banning plastic bags really has an impact on the building piles of plastic litter? Does choosing paper over plastic have it’s drawbacks as it leads to more deforestation?


The very first run-in I ever had with plastic bags had little to do with green living. I was too young to remember my near death experience of suffocation by plastic but my mom gives the event credit for giving her a gray streak in her hair. The story goes that a small portion of a plastic cleaner bag blew across my face and stuck while I was riding in my baby car seat unbeknownst to my mother who was driving. She swears that she happened to glance in the rearview mirror and swerved to the roadside just in time to rescue me from becoming a plastic bag suffocation victim. The lesson learned is to not hang the dry cleaning anywhere near sleeping babies or kids of any age.

Beyond their tendency to suffocate kids, the plastic bag problem encompasses overflowing landfills, clogged sewers and ingestion of the stuff that refuses to biodegrade by animals, birds and marine life.


There are a number of countries banning plastic bags outright and others are imposing taxes on their use. San Francisco, California is the first and only major city in America to pass a plastic bag ban.


Environmentalists are in favor of our using bags made of a biodegradable cornstarch-based plastic to customers who don’t have their own reusable canvas grocery bags. These bags have the same biodegradable characteristics and convenience of paper bags without contributing to deforestation.


If plastic is banned will that just lead to more problems? It’s a fact that this could lead to increased deforestation but the good news is that most paper bags are now made from recycled materials not virgin wood. Plus, there is the additional benefit of paper’s biodegradability.

The truth is that there are issues surrounding the use of paper or plastic bags. For now, perhaps the best answer is to break out the old sewing machine and make some fabric shopping bags to use while the argument of paper vs. plastic rages on. And while you’re at it, make some for your friends who are devoted to green living. Mother Earth and future generations will be eternally grateful.



The story I'm about to share proves that most peoples' idea of self sufficient living, just like recycling and going green, are much more grandiose than they have to be. Not that there is anything wrong with self-sufficiency or recycling on a large scale, it's just not that practical for most people without large farms with plenty of acreage.

My earliest example of a self-sufficient life came through the example set by a man who probably had no property at all much less enough farmland with pastures filled with homegrown livestock and land where he could grow his own vegetables. Bill’s way of life was simple and while it would probably not be appealing to everybody; it was effective.

Bill didn’t own a vehicle, and what money he raised he did by doing yard work. He didn’t own a vehicle and oddly enough didn’t even own a lawn mower (much less his own farm). When he cut your yard he did it with your family’s lawnmower.

He walked to work and spent his day going from house to house in our subdivision asking if anything needed done, setting a price and then taking care of business. This part of the process was just part of the equation in Bill’s style of self sufficient living.

Most afternoons, on his way out of the neighborhood, he would be carrying a sack filled with food and stuff that other people were letting go to waste (his words). While he was tending peoples’ yards, he would also gather poke salad for supper, plums, apples and in the fall he would stay after work to pick up pecans in what we called the "old hospital yard". The nuts that fell off those trees were no bigger than your thumbnail and everybody else considered shelling them to be way too much work for what little meat you got for your trouble.

In my opinion, this is a super example of how simple a self sufficient lifestyle can be. Self sufficiency doesn't have to be fancy, just making the best use of what is around us and not letting anything go to waste by recycling and a little bit of scavenging. The things we recycle help the environment and the items we find and make use of soothe our souls and lift our spirits.

And, yes, Bill was happy with his special brand of self sufficient living. In fact, he was probably more satisfied with his life than CEOs of major corporations who make millions of dollars a year will ever be.



I have to ask you, "Is Mother Nature out of control?". After nearly getting our tushes handed to us in last weekend's tornadoes I'm thinking she's lost her rabid mind! The massive twister that rolled through the south was said at times to be up to 1.75 miles wide which is just about as wide a tornado as ever has been documented and that's saying something. Big funnel clouds are not rare in Mississippi but this was one for the books. One of the pictures I saw snapped in Yazoo City looked like something out of a sci-fi movie!

The weather channel people who, bless their hearts, struggled so valiantly in their efforts to correctly pronounce Yazoo much less a tongue twister (hate that word, twister) like Kosciusko did a great job of covering the misery and devastation that was left in this horrific storm's wake. They stated several times this was the worst storm since Katrina hit...people, that was only a couple of years ago!

Are we now to expect weather events that used to happen once in a lifetime on a regular basis? I can remember the old folks talking about Hurricane Camille back in 1969 and a tornado that came through so fast and unexpectedly in the late 1940s that it not only picked up train cars but neighborhood who were out playing ball and couldn't get home or take cover quickly enough.

My point being that these storms were so memorable because they were isolated events. These days, you might want to start a diary to keep track of all the major hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms that you live through so you won't forget some of the important details when entertaining your grandchildren.

I have to wonder if we have just had a really bad spell of weather over the last decade and that things will calm down getting back to normal or after getting a taste of walking on the wild side is Mother Nature out of control and are there more tornadoes than there used to be?

I'm sure that the citizens of Weir and Yazoo City Mississippi still sifting through the wreckage hope that the old bat, Mom Nature, has one heck of a hangover after all she put everybody through last weekend. Beyond that, they are probably afraid to talk too bad about her for fear she'll get pissed off and come back and take another swing at us.

Meanwhile, this mother is wondering if everybody waited so late to start going green that the old broad will never forgive and forget.

And kudos to the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore for not only being there but actually pronouncing the names of the towns beautifully. I know that he was just doing his job but small consideration during such dreadful times can make a huge difference.



It’s time to break out the green weed killers because the cracks in our driveway are filling up with weeds! Am I heading out to the lawn and garden supply store for a buggy full of poisonous chemicals? Well, heck no because I have one of the best earth friendly weed killers right in my kitchen cabinet at home and vinegar is the cheapest thing going when it comes to killing weeds!

Chemical weed killers are not cheap but I wouldn’t use them even if they were giving them away for free! You may have already guessed my secret weed killing weapon; yes, I’m going to use plain, old garden variety vinegar to kill those weeds right in their tracks. It’s slower acting than the most common poison, Roundup, and you have to dump it on the plant a couple of times before you kill the roots, but using natural products over chemicals is worth a little extra time to me.

I would rather use green weed killers than chemicals that will first soak into the earth and then leach into our water supply, evaporate into the air we breathe and on and on. Everything we dump into the ground will eventually land on our doorstep so think about that the next time you take the quick and easy chemical method of weed killing when you could have killed those pesky weeds with something much less harmful to the planet. PLUS, I have a real problem with my kids playing on a lawn that has been doused with chemicals!

The only dangerous thing about using this green weed killer is that you have to protect the surrounding plants that you don’t want to kill. Pour to your heart’s contest on sidewalks and around fence lines but be careful around your flowers and any shrubs you want to keep because this green method of weed killing really works.
I have always used household vinegar that I buy in gallon containers but I have been told that there is such a thing as agricultural vinegar that is 20-30% acetic acid where the vinegar that I’ve been using (and it works just fine) is only 5%. Even though it’s much more acidic word is that it still is environmentally friendly. All you do is spray it on the pesky weeds and they shrivel up and die. However, I have not tried it myself and I understand it’s not EPA approved for use as an herbicide and can be difficult to find.

The weaker stuff is working just fine for me which is such an affirmation for my efforts in going green but if you have a resource for agricultural vinegar, would you please leave a comment telling us where to find it, how much it costs and how it worked for you?



GOING GREEN is not that hard. It's going green and STAYING green that's tough. I have some "GO GREEN TIPS" for homes and work that might help moms resist the urge to drift back into nasty environmentally UN friendly habits when stress on the job or in our daily lives makes going the extra mile for Mother Earth too time consuming or (horrors!) expensive.

Inside the home, there are two easy tips that if everybody would put to use would have a major impact on home energy savings and a reduction in our carbon footprint.

1. Wash your clothes in cold water

2. Stop the dishwasher before it goes into the dry cycle

You can manage either of these Go Green tips for your home by pushing a button!

That's the kind of energy saving, environmentally thing that is so very easy to do and if you're a busy mom, sometimes baby steps is the best we can do. The thing is that baby steps are just the beginning. I started out with the little things and then dedicated myself to learning and utilizing more green living practices along the way and that works for me! My current goal is to pass my desire to clean up the environment to my children so if you have some green parenting tips, please take a minute and share them.


Jennifer Lopez Body After Babies

I've read so much speculation and so many comments about Jennifer Lopez body after babies that it made me all the more happy about my total lack of celebrity mom status. How awful it must be to think that the public at large is sitting around wondering about how flabby your belly is or how low your boobs are going to drop after breastfeeding.

Other than running across her name plastered on the front of magazines in the checkout line at the grocery and enjoying some of the movies she's starred in, I must make the confession that I haven't given Jennifer Lopez body after babies, before babies or otherwise much thought. However, after reading an article today with quotes from her on motherhood and her flabby tummy after having her twins; I am now one of her most devoted fans.

She was quoted as saying that when she got a peek at her flabby belly after giving birth she just laughed and said to her husband 'Look, baby! Isn't this crazy?' and that she just didn't care." Now THAT is, in my humble opinion, a celebrity mom with an attitude worthy of admiration!


Here's a heads up to look for Terracyle products in Walmart from April 5 to April 29 coinciding with Earth Day! I just read that Terracycle will be keeping 60 products in every Wal-Mart across the United States during that time span and it would be a shame if anybody misses them!

If you're wondering what I find so exciting about this company, you should visit the Terracyle website and take a look at their garbage recycling process. Their claim to environmental fame is that they actually convert your household trash into products that are being sold at major retailers. And the day that there are Terracycle products in Walmart, well, that's a day to crow about!


The company was nine years ago by a Princeton graduate right out of business school and what they do is convert non-recyclable stuff like plastic potato chip bags and plastic bottles into items that are now being sold at big name stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart.

Not only is the company doing something to clean up the planet, but they actually pays consumers to send in their garbage or drop it off at one of their collection centers to be converted into usable items like children's toys, kitchen cutting boards. And they do all this using a very small amount of energy which is key to effective recycling and green living in my book!

Make a point to check out the Terracycle Products in Walmart and if you see a manager lurking around give him a big, hearty pat on the back for drawing attention to earth friendly companies and their products...now if they would only stock more organic foods.


How Do I Entertain My Newborn

A neighbor recently asked me, "How do I entertain my newborn?" I suppose she had noticed my house bursting at the seams with babies and felt I had lots of experience with entertaining them to maintain my sanity. My response was, "How do you know she's bored?". Her crestfallen expression made me feel so bad and brought back memories of how lost I was at times with my first that I wanted to offer some assistance.

I had never given this much thought and when I did, I had to question how DO I entertain my newborn? After putting my mind to it I realized that I have got a few tricks up my sleeve for keeping a four month old (or thereabouts) occupied. Here are a few tips that have served me well during church services, in doctor's waiting rooms and at other times when I noticed that my babies were getting bored.

At home, I simply talk to my infants, make the occasional silly face and then laugh with them. I take their bouncy seat, swing, playpen or high chair into the room where I'm working to give them a change of scenery and let them be a part of what I'm doing.

How do I entertain my newborn at church? My little ones refused to stay in the nursery much to the dismay of those close to our family's pew. There are Sundays when it's just not worth the effort but on special occasions when watching church on television just won't do, I resort to quiet toys and making funny faces behind my hand so the minister won't get the idea that I'm mocking him.

After typing this post, I've come to the conclusion that entertaining a four month old baby will come naturally if you just relax and let it happen. Giggling, being silly and being in the moment is easy; it's thinking about it that makes it more complicated than it has to be.


How Often Should You Clean Your House

After seeing me cleaning window screens a newlywed neighbor asked me how often should you clean your house. I pondered the question a minute and realized that I couldn't give her an answer because I clean some parts of my house more often than others.

The young bride (read: novice housekeeper) may been more interested in conversation than a cleaning schedule but as this may be a topic that lots of young wives and mothers might be interested in I made the following list. Please remember that I don't claim to be an expert on homemaking plus I probably clean the dusty parts of our family's home more than the average person because my babies have such severe asthma and allergies.

In other words I don't know the answer to how often should you clean your house because your circumstances may be completely different from mine.

How often should you clean your air ducts?
I clean my heat and air ducts monthly using my crevice tool because I see them as a major contributor of dust particles. If you have a good air filter, you could probably get away with cleaning them at the start of each season or a couple of times a year and don't forget to use green house cleaners!

How often should you clean your bathroom?

As you probably know, we've been fighting MRSA (staph infection) in my house so I clean mine after each family member takes a bath.

If you have no such problem, you could probably get away with cleaning your bathroom once or twice a week. To make weekly bathroom cleaning easier:

  • always crack a window or run the exhaust fan while showering to keep the bathroom from getting moldy
  • wipe down the sides of the tub or shower walls using a squeegee. This is important because removing hard water stains from glass shower doors is a pain in the ass!
  • toss the bar soap and use body wash
    pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet once a week and let sit over night to break down hard water stains

How often should you clean your carpet?

This question is a no-brainer for me because I don't have carpet. Allergies and carpet don't mix. I have no rugs that can't be washed. As for others, it's still an easy to answer question; once a year or when it looks nasty. In my personal opinion carpet is nasty all the time even when it looks clean. If you don't believe me, hang around and take a peek underneath next your old carpet pad next time you have new wall to wall carpet installed. If that doesn't make you want to tile your floors nothing will, my friend.

That's just hitting the high points but it should give you some idea of how often should you clean your house as well as easy ways to keep it looking good in between scrubbings.