The X-factor

One of the more frequently asked questions that I get is "why do you eat organic?". I've been asked on many occasions about our organic eating habits... or about our refusal to spray our house for bugs/pests, or the yard for weeds... or about my stubborn dedication to exclusively breastfeed preemies... Check out these links: Environment plays larger role in autism, study says Antidepressant use in pregnancy may raise autism risk As these articles discuss, and which I believe, ...more

hiking with kids

One of the first items on our mountain agenda: Take the kids hiking. But of course, not just any hike would do. The ever-adventurous hubs had his sights set on an alpine lake perched at nearly 12,000 feet. Way too steep for the kids to walk on their own, so we loaded them up in backpacks. Yep. Mommy and Daddy were pack mules. Side note: Comfortable child carrier packs make a world of difference. Thanks to having worked for ...more

Amazingly Effective, Nontoxic Fly Repellant

Share Tweet Flies seem to be everywhere this time of year.  I was out at a local farm just yesterday and the flies were very noticeable and quite annoying as I went about my work. Seeing all those flies reminded me of a simple, nontoxic and very effective fly repellant that I observed in action at one of my children’s field trips a couple of months ago. The class was visiting a petting farm with a large open barn ...more

A Sustainable Lifestyle Through Urban & Suburban Homesteading

On Tuesday, I saw Rachel Kaplan speak about her book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. I walked away feeling totally inspired and motivated to take my little backyard garden to the next level. I learned urban homesteading is about more than backyard gardening. People at the forefront of the movement are getting creative to find ways to conserve energy and water while producing their own food and herbal remedies, among other things. Some of the things that are happening ...more

Homemade Mosquito Repellants

Let’s say you’re in your backyard this summer with the family. You’ve just finished cleaning off the grill after a great meal. It is dusk and the kids are using up their last bits of energy before they crash in their beds and you are enjoying the peaceful wind down of a relaxing summer day. Ouch! You look down on your arm and see a swelling mosquito bite and realize you’ve become something of a feast yourself. What can ...more

How to go Paperless

1. Stop Receiving Regular Statements & Go Online Sign up for online bill access & payment by going to the websites of your banks, utility companies or any company that sends you a regular paper statement and see if they have an e-option. Most banks will allow you to stop receiving your standard bank statements and lots of companies will let you check your balances or do anything you need to get done online, but by law there are ...more

Solar Panels

 image courtesy of  In early June, 18 solar panels were installed on the roof of our house (a 3 kilowatt system). Over the past few days I have noticed with much excitement that we are generating more electricity than we are using every day, and it's still late winter.  We currently have the old-fashioned type of meter with a dial that spins backwards when we produce more than we use - a fantastic sight! In September, ETSA (our ...more

The Bee Effect

Unfortunately for honeybees, they are bees, and therefore lumped into the unsavory category of “bug” for me.  I’ve never been into bugs.  In fact, I’d rather they not come near me.  Just this morning my skin crawled when I was walking Kid 1 to school and we came across a tarantula. Yes, I said tarantula.  It was moseying down the sidewalk, minding its own business, when the population of Kid 1′s elementary school that walks to school began collecting ...more

Stylish Pregnancy Without the Fashion Splurge

[Editor's Note: To me, "maternity" and "fashion" don't really go together. Clearly, though, for Molly they do! In her post, she takes you through what to buy during your pregnancy and what to leave on the rack -- so you've got more to spend or save later when baby arrives. -Rita]...more
ha, ha, Amy, me too!more