Green kids, health, and economics *Guest Blog*

Note from Nicole: Although I’m far from what I call “hippie dippy trippy” I feel I’m a happy balance when it comes to the green vs. not green movement–“slighty crunchy” is a good way I’ve heard it described, haha. I definitely believe that if something natural works as well as, if not better than something man derived–well then by all means use it! 🙂 I hope you will enjoy this guest post that was sent to me!

It’s an interesting fact that the Green concepts which started as a sort of lifestyle protest have become virtual necessities in a sickly, unlovable human environment. The economic and health realities which have become so much more oppressive in the last few decades are now drivers for a new generation which is having to battle exactly what the original Green movement predicted. The green bags which have taken over the world are now full of lifestyle ideas that would have seemed like Hippie Heaven and are now mainstream.
Green kids

A very noticeable part of the new mode of life is that new parents are now voting with their wallets for green products. Kids are getting everything from organic nappies and the incredibly popular eco-toys on a scale not seen since the Baby Boom in terms of “the best and the latest”. This isn’t even an ideological effect, it’s an obvious attempt to play safe with what goes anywhere near the kids.

The lethal synthetic kids clothes, the shrapnel producing toys and the deadly junk food are definitely being avoided. If it wasn’t for the relative costs, junk food probably wouldn’t even exist these days, if parents could afford the decent stuff. The result, so far, is a massive emerging market for good quality Green kids toys, clothes, and even the major manufacturers and retailers are coming on board with new product lines daily.

Green health

It’s almost a tautology to say that health is more important than anything else. The Green health movement has been conducting a long campaign against toxic medicines, as well as going for much more natural products. Given the state of the health sector, this is also an economic move, a reaction against the fantastic prices of health care and the general perception of lack of progress in affordability.

The irony is that science is now backing up Green health concepts. Things like dandelions are now considered good nutrition, mainly because of their strong copper and B complex contents, as well as being true vegetables. Supplements like the Schuessler biochemical salts (Schuessler was the guy who invented the term biochemistry) are replacing a range of antacids and painkillers.

In market terms, it’s a major paradigm shift. The days of mindless acceptance of prices and claims are long gone, and a healthier, if much warier, market is slowly but definitely improving market quality standards, as well as giving the big pharmaceutical companies something to think about.

Green economics

The greening of the economy is filtering through to the corporate hardheads, albeit gradually, and in some cases grudgingly. The fact is that a mentality based on spreadsheets can’t argue with sales figures. What sells is what rules, and if the public deserts to your competitors selling Green products, you can’t really ignore it for long without taking a major hit to the bottom line.

You can be sure that the next generation, growing up in their organic diapers, playing with their eco-toys, and wearing cotton, not fire hazards, will carry on the message. Vote with your dollars, as well as your heart, and the world will change.

Prima Princessa Presents the Nutcracker *Review*

One of my favorite Christmas memories is going to the local presentation of The Nutcracker every December. I was so enamored with it as a little girl that I signed up for ballet one year just so I could play a part in it! I have missed seeing it since I moved away from home and hope to take Amber some day.
Because of all that I was really excited to get to review Prima Princessa Presents the Nutcracker. It provided me a way to show Amber The Nutcracker in a way that was fun and easy for her to understand at her age now! She loved dancing along to it (as you can see!) and I was impressed with the gorgeous costumes & scenery during the ballet which I guess is not surprising considering it’s the Birmingham Royal Ballet preforming. Like the other Prima Princessa DVD the breaks were cute and fun and Amber and I both really enjoyed it! This would make a perfect Christmas gift and you can’t beat the $6.99 price tag!!! I highly recommend getting it for the little ballerina in your life! You can find their website here for free  ballerina coloring book pages, free ballerina princess dress up games and more, or purchase the DVD from Amazon by clicking on the name above!

Not So Fat Tuesday ~ Week 3

I tell ya–it was the brownies!!!

Yes, brownies, again….sigh. Dear sweet church ppl with delicious meals and brownie desserts were the death of the first 2 weeks. BUT even with the mentioned brownies I haven’t gained any weight…sooooo….I guess that’s ok??? Also Tyler just had his 2 month well baby so I have 7 months left and also considering that with Amber I didn’t even think about exercising till she was over 6 months old I’d say I’m doing ok so far….definitely room for improvement though!!!

Now that I am back to cooking my own meals I promise to be better! 🙂 I did workout 4 times(yey!) and am up to 15 Girl Pushups and 30 sit ups. Only managed to not after dinner snack one day–so that still needs lots of work! Also missed the past 2 days of my food journal, but I was insanely busy (more so than usual, lol) and hardly home/on the computer at all.

Goals for this week: Work out 4 times (even if it’s just hauling kiddos and trash up and down and up and down the oh-so-many stairs), be *really* good with eating (my family is coming out next week and we’ll be eating out lots so will try to be a good girl this week!!) and for the first time do a complete week of writing EVERYTHING down in my food journal!

How was your week??? I’d love for you to link up and let us know–maybe you can give me some inspiration!!! 🙂

(short and sweet–no pun intended–post this week, I’m absolutely exhausted right now–really rough night with the kiddos not sleeping last night)

Another chance to Win a Kindle!

Cheryl Ricker is hosting this great contest over at her website during the blog tour for A Friend in the Storm, Zondervan’s latest innovative gift book of quotes, Scripture and poetry that leads to lasting hope!
Since this book covers matters of the heart, Cheryl wants to hear from YOUR heart! In the midst of any type of loss, grief or crisis, A Friend in the Storm takes you on a healing journey where you experience Christ’s love in a fresh, memorable way. Now she invites you to submit an original poem, story or snippet about a time when someone was a friend in your storm… and she’s giving you the opportunity to win a KINDLE to do it!

Head on over to her Contest Page on her website to find out how to enter!

On October 3rd, she will randomly select one winner to receive a brand-new KINDLE! She’s also choosing 5 more names at random to receive a signed copy of A Friend in the Storm! The winners will be announced at her Facebook Party on October 4th. The party will take place on Cheryl’s Facebook “A Friend in the Storm” Page – go here for all the details.

Share Your Storm Kindle GiveawayThe Facebook Party will be a blast!  Not only will she be announcing the
Share Your Storm Kindle Giveaway winners, but she’ll also be chatting with party goers, hosting fun trivia contests, and giving away even more prizes every 10 minutes – including signed copies of A Friend in the Storm, and gift certificates to and!

Oh, and check this out – Cheryl is also giving away a $50 Amazon gift certificate! Simply help her spread the word about the contest; Facebook Party. Interested? It’s easy to enter! Here’s how:

Share this on FACEBOOK: Want to help someone who’s hurting? “A Friend in the Storm,” Zondervan’s latest gift book of quotes, Scripture and poetry, is helping thousands find lasting Hope! Go here to enter to win a KINDLE!

Post this on TWITTER: A Friend in the Storm by @cherylricker heals hearts in tough times. Enter 2 win a KINDLE here! #litfuse (You must use hashtag #litfuse to be entered.)

Share this as many times as you like – just email by October 4th and let her know how many times you tweeted/shared on Facebook, twittered or blogged about the contest. Each ‘sharing’ represents one entry into the contest.

Another way to ‘share’ the contest is to add this button to your blog or website.  Adding the button is worth ten entries into the contest!

Simply copy and paste the code in the text box below into the html screen of your blog/website, then send Amy an email letting her know that you added it along with your URL and she’ll toss your extra entries into the pot.

Share Your Storm Kindle Giveaway

Win a Kindle & More!

It’s a Giveaway Extravaganza! Kindle Giveaway, Facebook Party and Book Bomb – OH MY!

Visit the Roaring 20’s with Julie Lessman in the Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway! Julie’s latest series has just ‘shimmied’ it’s way onto the scene with book 1 in The Winds of Change series, A Hope Undaunted! 

Find out more about the book, Julie here.

Enter The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway!

One Grand Prize winner will receive a KINDLE preloaded with Julie Lessman’s latest title. The Prize Pack (valued at over $150.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, with Wi-Fi
* A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form and be sure to tell your friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 7th.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Not only is Julie hosting the fabulous KINDLE giveaway, but also a FACEBOOK  PARTY and a BOOK BOMB!!!

Are you ready for PRIZES GALORE??? Then come to the Facebook Party!

How does a gift certificate and a signed book given away EVERY 10 minutes during an hour-long Facebook party sound? (Yeah, we think it sounds pretty great too!) On October 7th at 5pm PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST, & 8:00 EST) Julie is inviting you to attend the A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party! She’ll announce the winner of the KINDLE and in addition to the prizes every 10 minutes, she’ll also be giving away great prize baskets filled with even more Romance and Technology (Netflix, Starbucks,, Champagne body Lotion, Pearls, & more!)!

BUT WAIT … there’s more (and no, this is not an infomercial … it’s WAY better!).  If you participate in the Book Bomb on October 7th you’ll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to All you need to do to participate is buy a copy of A Hope Undaunted on October 7th and send your receipt (just transaction number from store, store name & date) to! Each book purchased equals one entry, buy 10 books get 10 entries!

All this fun begins with Revell’s blog tour SEPTEMBER 19-25, when 122 blogger/reviewers will post reviews about A Hope Undaunted, followed by the Book Bomb and Facebook Party!

So mark your calendars with these important dates:
September 19-25: A Hope Undaunted will be making an appearance on blogs across the country (and beyond!) in Revell’s blog tour!

September 20th: The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway launches (contest runs 9/20 – 10/6)

October 7th: Book Bomb Day (where everyone is encouraged to buy the book online at the same time!) and Facebook Party – meet and chat with Julie, win some great prizes & find out who won the KINDLE!

Want to help us spread the word about all this fun and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate?

Share Julie’s Giveaway Extravaganza on Facebook, Twitter or your blog and we’ll enter your name into our random drawing to win 50 smackers to!

Once you’ve tweeted, posted on Facebok or added the button to your blog/website – simple email Amy and let her know you helped spread the word. Easy.

Here is a sample post for both Twitter/Facebook:

Tweet This: @JulieLessman is giving away a KINDLE and tons more during her giveaway extravaganza! Details here: Pls RT

Share on Facebook: Julie Lessman is celebrating her new release, A Hope Undaunted by giving away a KINDLE, having a Book Bomb and a Facebook Party! Prizes Galore – don’t miss the fun!

Or add this button to your blog or website! Simply copy and paste the code in the box into the HTML screen of your blog or website. Then email Amy and let her know you did!

A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party

Grants for Educators

Although I’m a huge supporter/believer in homeschooling I realize the majority of the children in the US aren’t homeschooled. So I thought I would pass along this information in case any of you might want to get it to your child’s teacher or a teacher you know!

Learning should always be this much fun!

LOFT and Kids In Need Foundation Partner to Provide Grants for Educators

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2010

The LOFT Loves Teachers program is providing grant funding to teachers through a dynamic partnership with the Kids In Need Foundation. LOFT will provide over 100 grants, totaling $50,000, so that educators may purchase supplies needed to conduct innovative projects in their classrooms. All certified K-12 teachers in the U.S. are eligible to apply for a grant valued at up to $500.

The LOFT Loves Teachers program is dedicated to recognizing educators and the valuable contributions they make every day. By showing valid school identification educators receive a 15% discount on all LOFT purchases. The LOFT Loves Teachers community offers access to special offers and style tips to outfit teachers in stylish yet functional looks for the classroom. Above all, LOFT Loves Teachers strives to identify ways to positively impact the educational process that teachers give shape to every day.

The application deadline for grant requests is September 30, 2010. For more information on the LOFT Loves Teachers program and to register for a grant please visit our Facebook Fanpage  and click on the LOFT Teachers tab.

LOFT is the ultimate casual, feminine and stylish fashion retail destination for women. LOFT operates 503 stores across the United States and online at LOFT is a division of Ann Taylor Stores Corporation (NYSE: ANN).

The Kids In Need Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1995. The Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. The Kids In Need National Network of Resource Centers includes 23 facilities that allow teachers from low-income schools to obtain free school supplies for their students. In addition, Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for students. The Kids In Need Foundation has distributed nearly $300 million in school supplies since its founding, directly benefiting 1.6 million students and 100,000 teachers annually, and has awarded $1 million in grants to teachers. The Kids In Need Foundation has received Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating, indicating that it executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way and outperforms most other charities in America. For more information, visit Follow Kids In Need on Twitter ,

CVS Carmark All Kids Can Community on Facebook

Thought this sounded helpful for those of you who either have or know of families with children with disabilities!

CVS Caremark has launched a Facebook page for its philanthropic program All Kids Can, a five-year, $25 million commitment aimed at making life easier for children with disabilities. We hope you will check it out!

The page is a place for families that have been impacted by disability and will serve as a community for other families, teachers and experts alike to share stories, pictures or articles and have meaningful conversations related to helping children of all abilities to learn, play and succeed in life. We’ll also be posting insights from experts, news, and videos on the latest innovations benefiting kids of all shapes, sizes and abilities.

If you’d like to join the discussion, we encourage you to visit our page and “Like” us.

Bad stuff comes along…but good still exists

You’re bound to have loneliness, trials & troubles, & “Jonah Days”.

You’ll miss your hubby only to find out he’s coming home a day later than you thought to turn around and leave again after a few hours together.

You’ll end up with ER visits and hospital stays.

You’ll get absolutely no sleep to wake up to snarky blog comments to then have your toddler smash a glass bowl on the floor and have potty training accidents.

You’ll  do work for people out of faith that they’ll pay you only to find they leave you high and dry without so much as a sentence.


Your time apart from hubby will deepen your appreciation for each other, you’ll send flirty texts, and the few hours together will be even sweeter than they would have been.

Trials and troubles will make you realize even more how precious your children are and how lucky you are that most of the time they’re happy, healthy, and beautiful.
Jonah days will be brightened with both kids napping at the same time, sweet blog comments from dear friends, & toddler smiles and hugs.
And money will “mysteriously” show up in your Paypal account from a sweet angel friend who understands and who you stole a sentence from for the title of this post and gave you the inspiration to write it.

So yes, bad stuff does and will come along, but thankfully so does good and it will always far outweigh the bad if you let it!


So I guess hitting 500 followers on your blog signifies that you’ve made it in the Big Leagues…well, ok, minor leagues at least. As soon as I hit it suddenly my email was flooded with pitches, requests to post information, requests to guest blog, requests to have my site listed in exchange for a link….annnnnd my first very snarky comment.

I guess I’m actually lucky that up until this point I’ve dodged the hateful comments bullet. I mean-with stuff like my Created To Be His Help Meet Study I kinda expected for the hate mail to come rolling in. I mean, if Rainbow Pancakes can cause hatred and discontent what can’t??? Everything else I’ve posted has been pretty target free for nasty comments though–or so I thought! A few days ago I posted about a Liberty Mutual event because it sounded informative and my PR rep that sends me lots of good stuff specifically asked if I could post it a couple of times (result of me being sooo behind still) so I did.

Well this morning (after pretty much NO sleep last night at all) I wake up to find this little lovely gem in my inbox:

“Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “Liberty Mutual “National Conversation Drive” In Ch…”:

I don’t want to see your fat kid in a car seat, as if it is cute, and you want to take away my driving rights. I am currently teaching my 16 year old grandaughter to drive, who will not listen to my instruction, because she already know everything, while making right turns at 35mph, and telling me im to old. I am 62. The problem is not with the older generation, its is the younger ones who seem to know-it-all, and are so disrespectful.”

I mean SERIOUSLY???????? Let’s look at this for just a second!

Anonymous has left–ok this is always a bad sign to start off with because it’s so easy for someone to just leave nasty snarky remarks “anonymously” What, like they don’t have to own up to the fact they were just nasty and hateful??!! By all means feel free to tell me what’s on your mind but at least give me a name and an email so that I can issue a rebuttal or apologize if I was truly in the wrong!!! If not–well then, my dear, you are getting an entire blog post ranted about you!!! *Ahem*

Just look at that first sentence–does it not make your blood BOIL????!!! Talk about a way to get a momma seething with rage! I honestly had to stop, go back, and re-read it a couple times before it sunk in that, yes, she really did just say that!!! Are you kidding me???? First of all my kids are the most gorgeous creatures in the whole world so don’t you DARE ever say other wise and secondly it’s pretty obvious that she didn’t read anything else on my entire blog or she would have seen that “the fat kid in the car seat” was just hospitalized and traumatized and that this kind of crap is really the last thing I need to be dealing with right now!!!!!!

I honestly would have tracked the woman down (somehow…I do know at least 2 guys who could probably figure out exactly who she is because they’re super techy spies, no serious the one really is) and ripped her a new one but the rest of the comment made everything come into perspective.
What is a 62 year old doing teaching a snotty little teenager how to drive? Obviously it’s a case where Grandma got stuck raising the kids because mom and dad didn’t want to or couldn’t. Why is a 16 year old who’s learning not getting in HUGE trouble for talking back like that??!! I wouldn’t have seen the light of day if I had dared to ever talk to my parents that way, even at 16!!! Because, you see, I was taught respect for the people around me in authority and who were older than me.
Obviously what’s the problem is that you have a stressed out old woman with a rebellious horrible kid who gets online and then thinks that I’m part of the “younger generation”–which, by the way, thank you but I AM a little older than 16 even if I might not look it–and now she’s getting her keys, which to most seniors represent their last bit of freedom, taken away.
Really it’s just sad. Because that’s not what I meant at all and that’s not what the post was about. I am deeply respectful towards the older people in my life. I realize that for many of them driving is what helps them keep on going as they get older and makes them feel independent. My Grandpa Joe was driving till he was nearly 90 and did just fine. There are, however, some who just can’t do it safely anymore. And those are the people who need to swallow their pride and accept help. I hope and pray that some day in the far future I will accept help and be able to age gracefully, not becoming a bitter, nasty old woman who goes around stomping on young mother’s feelings just because they were trying to be helpful.

Kraft Foods, U.N. World Food Programme and KaBOOM! join forces

I thought this was a wonderful program and such an easy way to help!!! If all my followers were to upload a picture that would be 2,500 meals!!!!!!! just from us alone! Please go do it! Here’s the picture I’m uploading 🙂



· Kraft Foods to Donate Five Meals to World Food Programme for Every Photo of Play Uploaded to the Company’s New Corporate Facebook Site
· 14,000 Employees in 50 Countries to Volunteer during Delicious Difference Week, including 1,500 in U.S. Who Will Build Playgrounds with KaBOOM!

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Sept. 13, 2010 – Kraft Foods today launched a worldwide initiative to celebrate play and fight world hunger. Through an app on Kraft Foods’ corporate Facebook site  the company is encouraging consumers to upload photos of people at play. And for each photo provided, Kraft Foods will donate five meals (up to 500,000) to the United Nations World Food Programme’s Fill the Cup campaign, which aims to feed more than 20 million children around the world who go to school hungry every day.

“While play and hunger may seem unrelated, there’s a remarkable overlap between food deserts and play deserts,” said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO. “Access to wholesome foods and safe places to play are necessary for a child’s healthy development. This is why we’ve been at the forefront of fighting hunger and promoting healthy and active lifestyles for more than a quarter century.

“Through our new corporate Facebook site, we want to create a snapshot of the world at play,” Rosenfeld said. “With a few clicks, people can fight hunger by contributing to our photo mosaic that captures the joy that comes from play.”

This “playful” initiative introduces Kraft Foods’ annual global week of service – Delicious Difference Week. From Oct. 4-9, approximately 14,000 Kraft Foods employees in 50 countries around the world will volunteer time to hunger relief and healthy lifestyles service projects in their communities. Together with Cadbury colleagues for the first time, Kraft Foods is mobilizing more volunteers in more communities for much more impact. Delicious Difference Week 2010 will be the largest employee volunteer event in the company’s history. In the United States, employees in eight states will work with community members building more than a dozen playgrounds, which translates into safe, vibrant places for 100,000 children.

In addition to the commitment to build playgrounds across the country, Kraft Foods Foundation becomes an official National Partner of KaBOOM!. As a National Partner, Kraft Foods Foundation supports KaBOOM! in its efforts to spread the message that play is critical to the development of children and to facilitate the ongoing development of tools and resources to ensure that children in communities have access to a great place to play within walking distance of their homes. Kraft Foods Foundation will serve alongside KaBOOM! as a national proponent of the importance of play and will assist in creating solutions to address the play deficit currently existing in thousands of communities nationwide.

“Kraft Foods is a wonderful corporate partner and has helped significantly bring fun and safe play places to countless kids across the United States,” said Darell Hammond, the CEO and Co-Founder of KaBOOM!. Kraft Foods, through its Kool-Aid and Oscar Mayer brands, has built 33 playgrounds in the United States with KaBOOM! since 2007.

“We’re thrilled at a partnership that will provide us with a greater platform to talk about the importance of play while partnering with the World Food Programme to fight hunger and malnutrition,” Hammond said. “At KaBOOM!, we believe play is a fundamental right, and that kids who are hungry or food insecure cannot play and cannot learn. Just as all children must have access to healthy food, they must also have access to unstructured play for their mental, emotional and physical development. A healthy and active life should be the right of every child, everywhere.”

“Hunger and malnutrition are the biggest threats to global health today,” said Monica Marshall, Head of Global Private Partnerships at the United Nations World Food Programme. “Hunger robs a child even of the energy to laugh and play, and malnutrition early on in life can have irreversible effects on a child’s physical and mental development. Investing in children means investing in the future, and everyone can make a difference in the fight against hunger. We’re excited about this new initiative, because we depend on the generosity of companies like Kraft Foods, but also because we need to engage new audiences and new communities around hunger-related issues.”

Kraft Foods has been a supporter of the World Food Programme for more than 15 years, supporting its school feeding programs in Ethiopia and most recently as a chief collaborator in Project Laser Beam, a public-private partnership to eradicate child malnutrition, starting in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

About these brands/programs:

Kraft Foods is building a global snacks powerhouse and an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. With annual revenues of approximately $48 billion, the company is the world’s second largest food company, making delicious products for billions of consumers in approximately 170 countries. The portfolio includes 11 iconic brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion – Oreo, Nabisco and LU biscuits; Milka and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees; Philadelphia cream cheeses; Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; and Oscar Mayer meats. Approximately 70 brands generate annual revenues of more than $100 million. Kraft Foods ( NYSE: KFT) is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.

Kraft Foods and the Kraft Foods Foundation have donated nearly $1 billion in cash and food to hunger-relief organizations over the past 25 years. Through support of partners including Save the Children, Feeding America and CARE, the company and Foundation support programs in 46 countries and on almost every continent.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play. Through community building, the organization is focused on giving every child in America a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,800 new playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, free online trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and Playmakers – a national network of individual advocates for play. KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif.

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, the WFP gets food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, the WFP uses food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives. WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded. Born in 1962, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. The WFP works toward that vision with other UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, U.N. and NGO partners.