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Archive for the ‘Your Environment’ Category

Take some time out to have some fun with your kids!  Here are some helpful suggestions and ideas!

1. Build an amazing couch cushion fort!

2. Celebrate an eco-friendly Valentine’s day together.

3. Here’s a whole list of fun winter time activities for you to enjoy.

4. Parent Magazine has a large collection of activity ideas for you to pick and choose from.

5. Do you have a tiny chef in your family?  Encourage his/her culinary passion with these baking recipes for kids.

6. Want to play games with your kids and have them learn at the same time?  Check out PBS Kids for a good start.

7. And eHow has an article on how to have more family fun on a small family budget.

What are your favorite ways to have fun with the kids?

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Hey!  Welcome to Home on Tuesday, where every Tuesday I scour the internet to find great tips on design, cleaning, automobiles, organization, and more!  Please note that I will be out of town tomorrow and so Working Wednesday will be postponed until next week.  Please subscribe to Life Lists’ RSS feed so you can be updated each time there is a new post!  Please feel free to leave your comments, even if it is to say hello!  I see you are coming by, so don’t be shy, just say hello! 🙂  See you on Thursday!  Enjoy!

1. Brighten up the dreary days of winter by planting pre-season blooms!  HGTV shows you just the plants to use.

2. Think you can’t decorate because of the economy?  Well, the Budget Decorator begs to differ!  Find unique ideas for decorating, organizing, gardening, and more!  And you can sign up for a free budget decorating newsletter.

3. Cleaning a home thoroughly can be painstakingly exhausting.  So Stepcase Lifehack has provided 150 tips and tricks on cleaning everything from carpets to vinyl records.

4. Extend the life of your electronics with tips from Real Simple.

5. And while you are at it, learn how to extend the life of your mattress, as well, with the help of Eco Salon.

6. The Daily Green and the American Lung Association show you 25 ways to keep the air quality in your home safe.

7. Everyone wants to go greener these days- whether you care about the future of the environment and a balanced ecosystem or just for the sake of cutting costs in the belly of a recession.  EcoHomeResource.com has a plethora of resources to help you achieve a greener living space from your kitchen to your nursery.

8. And, finally, don’t forget to take a look at the Innovative Project of the Week brought to you by Interior Design Magazine.  This week’s project was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and is for the California Academy of Sciences.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s links!  Leave a comment and let me know which one(s) were most helpful to you.  You could see more of the same in a future Home on Tuesday!

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Article was found on the web site Zen Habits and was written by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind.

At the beginning of the new year I decided to go Raw for 30 days. I’ve always been interested in eating a raw diet, but never had the guts to completely jump in and do it. I would eat raw for breakfast and lunch most days but would break down at dinner time and eat cooked food. I was eating about 60-80% raw, I just needed the extra push to move to eating 100% raw vegan food. I got that push after seeing these amazing before and after eating raw photos. (Link was in original article.)

I decided the best way to know if something is all it’s cracked up to be is to try it. At the very worst if it doesn’t work out you can always go back, right?

What I found is that eating raw is not only easy to do, but makes you feel amazing.

It wasn’t easy to resist eating cooked foods at first. Just like breaking any habit, it takes time and persistence. Most of all, it helps to simply take it one day at a time and focus on only one goal. For the new year I decided not to make any other resolutions or goals, but to simply eat a raw vegan diet for 30 days.

Here are just a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Live foods. It’s common sense right? A cooked seed won’t grow, but a raw seed will. Heating food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys much of the nutrients in your food. Cooking food also diminishes the natural life energy. I’d rather put living food in my body.
  2. Enzymes. Cooking food destroys much of the natural enzymes (your body can also create enzymes, but can only do so much) in your food that are needed to break down nutrients. Eating raw eliminates this problem.
  3. Insane energy. You won’t know this unless you try it for yourself, but eating raw gives you an amazing boost in energy. I used to get tired around 2 or 3pm during the day. Now I simply don’t have that problem. When I do get tired, it doesn’t last nearly as long and an orange or apple will recharge me within a few minutes.
  4. Better sleep and less sleep needed. I’ve slept better than ever while eating raw. But most importantly, I don’t wake up feeling tired or groggy anymore. On most days, I wake up feeling full of energy.
  5. Increased mental clarity. Eating raw has helped me focus on the things that are important and made me more emotionally in tune with others. I feel like a wall of fog has been removed in my mind. It’s easier to think clearly and focus for long periods of time.
  6. Eat as much as you want. This isn’t really a health benefit, but it is pretty awesome. I never get that uncomfortable full feeling eating raw. You know where you have to unbutton the top button on your pants and take a nap? I don’t get that. I can eat as much as I want, and while I will feel full, I don’t feel weighed down or tired.
  7. Less cleanup. Simply put, there aren’t many dishes to wash when you eat fruit and vegetables. Although if you do compost (like I do), you’ll probably have to do it more often.
  8. No packaging. Eating raw means less packaging all around (well, I guess you could argue that banana and orange peels are “packaging”). This means less trash in a landfill and more room in your cupboards. Win/win for everyone.
  9. More regularity. You should naturally have around two to three bowel movements a day. If you’re going less than that, it probably means your intestines are unhealthily clogged. A raw diet gives you more than enough fiber to keep you regular.
  10. Connection with the earth. Eating food that’s been freshly picked just feels different. You feel more connected to the earth and more grounded. Eating lots of processed foods — frozen or from a box — makes creates more of a gap and leaves you feeling disconnected from the earth that sustains you.

Want to give it a try? If you’re interested in pursuing a raw diet, here are a few great resources to get you started:

It should be noted that you don’t have to go 100% raw to see the benefits of eating this way. My transition to a raw diet wasn’t a quick process. I’ve been vegetarian for seven years and in the past two, started eliminating most dairy as well.

You don’t have to drop out and becoming a complete raw foodist right away. Any increase in raw foods in your diet will give you noticeable, immediate results.

This article was written by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind.

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This is the first post for Home on Tuesday, part of the new weekly schedule here at Life Lists.  I was going to add this first article I linked to as the post for today, but found it was more user-friendly on their own site.  Plus, I found a couple of other articles I couldn’t wait to share with you.  So, here you go!  Hope you find something useful!

1. Check out these deliciously creative ways to showcase your collectibles in your home from Better Homes and Gardens, whether the collections are family heirlooms or baseball memorabillia.

2. Where you live depends greatly upon how you plant and cultivate your garden.  Get gardening tips specific to your geographic location from Lowe’s (U.S. only).

3. It’s on nearly everyone’s minds these days.  Gasoline is expensive and in a lot of cities and towns in the U.S. (and, indeed, around the world), cars are a must because of the lack of public transportation (or where I live, even sidewalks).  So, how can we be greener if we can’t give up our cars?  Ethenol, perhaps?  Well, the hosts at About.com’s Hybrid Cars & Alt Fuels try to get to exactly what is Ethenol, and the pros and cons of its use.

4. Take a look at the Innovative Project of the Week, brought to you by Interior Design Magazine.  This week’s project was designed by Barker Nestor.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Working Wednesday!  You can also subscribe to Life Lists’ RSS feed by clicking on the icon in the top right corner of the page, above the banner.


The New Weekly Schedule:

Relationships Monday

Home on Tuesday

Working Wednesdays

Fit & Healthy Thursdays

Fun Friday Lists

Stress-Free Saturdays

A Spot of Sunday Creativity

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There are some great websites out there for helping you live your life to the fullest.  This blog features many of these through its posts.  However, there are other websites out there that I would like to share with you that you might find interesting, as well.  These sites will be listed on Fridays, five at a time.  Called Five for Friday.  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. 🙂

1. Lost in Books – This is actually my other blog that I began this month.  But I will tell you why I want to share it with you (other than just to let you know about it).  I am an avid reader and I have started this blog in order to review and share books I have read, to challenge myself in my reading, and to learn about books from others.  The book blogging world is a wonderful place and I invite you to participate if you enjoy reading- if not with my own blog, than with any of the many others out there.

2. 43 Things – If you don’t know about 43 Things, I can’t wait for you to discover it!  43 Things allows you to list your goals, share your progress, and cheer each other on.  The members here love to cheer each other on and it is a terrific motivational tool.  Whether your goals are short-term or long-term, you can list them and keep track of your progress with entries until you have reached your objective!

3. PatientsLikeMe – PatientsLikeMe is a kind of social networking site for those with chronic illnesses, from multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia to post-traumatic stress disorder (and if your illness is not listed, you can add it!)  You can keep track of your symptoms and treatments, track changes in your condition, find other patients, and learn from their experiences with different treatment options, medication dosages, and more.

4. Words that have different meanings in British and American English – Wikipedia’s list of words that can mean completely different things depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on.  Everything from “beaver” to “checker” to “tailback”.

5. The Daily Green –  A consumer’s guide to green living- from fuel-efficient cars and solar water heaters to green beauty products and “green cuisine”.

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1. Give your friends and family a break and don’t tell the same story at every get together.


2. Do 5 minutes of exercise every day. You can do that during a commercial break for American Idol.


3. Every time you buy something new this year, donate something old to charity.


4. Compliment someone every day- maybe they are wearing a color that compliments their eyes, maybe they cooked you a delicious meal, maybe they actually remembered to put their towel back on the rack after their shower, maybe they simply combed their hair today. Let them know you noticed it. 🙂


5. Go paperless. Sign up for online bill paying. You can sign up for automatic draft with your checking account or you can sign up for an e-mail that informs you when it is time. You will be saving the environment and could be saving yourself money by never being late for a payment. Plus, it’s completely free.


6. Save money by doing swaps. Hold a clothing swap with your friends. Someone’s “I’m over that” could be someone else’s “I am so into that”. Sign up for a book swap online. Paperbackswap.com even lets you have 3 free credits when you list 10 books you can swap. All you pay for is postage to send your books.


7. Pencil in one night a week to have a family dinner together. No BlackBerry, no IPods, no friends over, just you and your family. You can cook or have a pizza delivered. The point is to savor your time together. One night out of seven is completely doable.


8. If you have to have a store credit card (ex. from Sears or Kohl’s), then resolve to use the card for the discounts only, not as a credit card. Purchase only what you would if you were paying in cash. Then you can pay off the card in full every time you use it instead of spending a headache of money due to high interest rates.


9. Spend one minute every day cleaning or organizing something in your home. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish for only 60 seconds of your time. It takes longer than that to read this list.


10. Tell those whom you love that you love them. Time is short and we never know what tomorrow will or won’t bring. If something happened to you, would they know for sure how you felt about them?

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1. Be sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much air you should have in each tire.

2. If you get a discount for using a store card, use it. If you get a discount for a credit card, use it only if you plan to pay off the balance when it’s due. Your savings on gasoline might be lost if you have to pay interest.

3. Keep your highway speed to around 55mph. Faster speeds can consume more gasoline.

4. Don’t accelerate up and down while driving. Try to keep a constant pressure on the gas pedal. (my note- this includes hills!)

5. Plan your trips. If you have to drive very far to the market, make sure you purchase everything you might need for several days.

6. Have your automobile checked by a reputable mechanic to be sure it is tuned up and running it’s best.

7. When possible, walk instead of driving. It’s healthier and will save gasoline. (my note- or ride a bicycle.)

8. Carpool whenever possible.

9. Keep your car clean and waxed. Dirt and grime can cause a small decrease in gas mileage. (my note- also try not to haul around things in your trunk or back seat that you don’t need in there.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but the added weight uses more gasoline.)

10. Watch for things that can obstruct the air flow on your automobile. Things such as the car top carriers can reduce gas mileage.

11. Use cruise control if you car is equipped with it.

12. Let the kids ride the school bus instead of driving them to and from school.

13. Never let your car run while you dash into the store, post office, etc.

14. Use your air conditioner instead of opening the windows while driving at high speeds.

It’s hard enough to save money for retirement without having to spend unnecessarily on the necessities of life. Almost everyone has a car and relies on gasoline or some type of fuel so it makes sense to try to economize whenever possible. We should really try to save on fuel even if it weren’t so expensive.

Wondering what prices are at some of the stations across the country? fueleconomy.gov is a handy web site that will answer your questions.

This was originally posted at About.com.

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