Green Living : Pre-Shopping The Kia Optima

So I have been on a green kick this week on the blog with my Scotch-Brite Botanical Wipes giveaway and my Top Ten Green Cleaners. I think it's because I am in the middle of deep cleaning before my inlaws visit this week. These spurts always get me motivated to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Part of this mantra is our determination to keep our second car going as long as possible. It's more cost effective and we figure that there will be more "green" cars out on the market the longer we wait. But that doesn't keep a girl from day dreaming. So when I was asked to check out the new Kia Optima Hybrid, I jumped on the chance to do a little "window shopping." Before my current mom mobile, I drove a Hyundai Elantra so I personally know the value and quality that Kia offers. The 2011 Optima Hybrid delivers 40 MPG on the highway and has a starting MSRP of $26,5002. Awesome gas mileage and even more awesome price. Plus it comes standard with a 16-inch alloy wheel design, headlamp design, fog … [Read more...]

Top Ten Easy Green Cleaning Substitutes

After my Scotch-Brite giveaway post yesterday, I started thinking about other green cleaners I use when white vinegar won't do (or I am feeling lazy). Here are my top ten green home cleaners. They make it easy to go non-toxic. 1. Microfiber cloths: You probably already know about these but if not, get yourself a pack and never look back. They make dusting a snap and you don't have to worry about inhaling a spray. Plus they are completely safe for kids to use. 2. Steam Mop: This household is ridden with allergies so hard floors are a must. Instead of risking build up, we use a steam mop to clean and disinfect our floors. We have this one and we have only had one hiccup in two years (and Bissel sent us a new one!) Unlike the ones with disposable cloths, you can use the mop heads again and again. Just run them through the washing machine. 3. Skoy cloth: Love this wonder cloth. According to the company, One Skoy cloth saves 15 rolls of paper towels. We use them in the sink and … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday : Meeting a Princess

I couldn't resist sharing this today since we are headed to see Disney Live : Enchanted Fairy Tales this Sunday! … [Read more...]

Going Green : Natural Pain Relief

As someone who suffers from an auto-immune disorder, I am constantly on the search for alternative pain relief methods. I carefully monitor my diet and what I put on to my body, since I have found that certain ingredients and foods can exacerbate my vulardynia. The worst symptom are those muscle cramps and aches that seem to come from nowhere. Besides popping ibuprofen like candy, I haven't really found something that helps. So when Tropricin asked me if I wanted to try out their topical homepathic Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream, I was gungho. Tropricin was originally developed to treat the muscle pain of its' developer and since going on the market it has been used sucessfully by firbomyalgia patients. It definitely lessened what I call the "stabbies", allowing me to get to sleep at night. But what I have really found myself using it for is the shoulder and back pain I get from carrying my four year old twins around (I know they shouldn't be carried anymore but sometimes … [Read more...]

BlogHer BootCamp : Top Ten Fashion Tips

On the Sundays leading up to BlogHer 2011, I am posting a series of top ten tips that will make your BlogHer experience a little better (I hope!). Last Sunday I tackled packing so it seems appropriate to follow it with one on fashion. Especially since judging from the tweets, clothing seems to give people some of the biggest anxiety. This list will help you tackle your fears and prepare you to wow the crowds or at least keep you from dissolving into tears as you pack.   Top Ten BlogHer Conference Packing Tips   1. Be Comfortable: When planning what to wear, think about what you feel most comfortable in and then pack that. No, I am not advising you to pack the sweats and tee you wear around the house. But when picking out what to wear maybe you pack an elevated version. During the day a nice pair of jeans and a fancy tshirt with a nice blazer or sweater work just as well as slacks and a blouse.  Candice over at Fashionably Organized wrote a fantastic post with … [Read more...]

BlogHer Bootcamp : Top Ten BlogHer Conference Packing Tips

When I looked at the calendar this morning, I couldn't believe that a month from now I will be flying out to San Diego for the BlogHer conference. BlogHer11 will be my second BlogHer. After taking New York by storm, or at least surviving, I feel much more prepared for this year. So along with help from Twitter friends here are my top ten tips for BlogHer packing. I will be adding a new top ten list every Sunday until BlogHer!   Top Ten BlogHer Packing Tips 1. Plan for swag: There's a lot of swag at BlogHer and trust me, you will come home with way more than you thought. I personally like to tuck an extra soft sided suitcase into the front pocket of my carry on so I can check my swag. Target carries a line of expandable bags that fold up into a pouch and retail for about $15. Just remember to strategically pack the heavier items in your carry on so you're under the 50lb limit. If you would rather ship, consider bringing pre-printed labels with you to save time and money. Then … [Read more...]

Hall Closet Makeover

Part of my summer bucket list is cleaning out my closets. I have about eight weeks of home time during the summer and eight closets in my home so it seems like a natural project to take on.  I eased into it this week with our hall closet. A major selling point of our house was this closet. For some reason having a place for people to hang their coats seemed to make this place feel like a "grown up" home. Even though we don't often use it since we enter our home through the garage, the closet is still a repository for coats of the moment and shoes that we don't want the dog to chew on. And during the winter, mittens and hats get stashed here. I also like to stick my boots there during Missouri's mud season, also know as Spring.  In my head I thought a shoe rack and some bins for items that would be returned to their owners would be perfect. So what did I end up with? Take a look. The changes were pretty simple. I added hooks for the girls backpacks so that they could hang them … [Read more...]

Summer Bucket List

  It's hard to believe that this is the last day of May. My kids' last day of school is Thursday and I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. As I dip my toes back into the working world, I definitely hard it find to balance being home with my kids and working out of the house. But I want to enjoy the time I do have with my kids while they are still young so I am trying to readjust my attitude. I may have to scale back slightly on social media work and concentrate more on blogging which I can do in small chunks of time.  And I am working on a list of things we can do together. Plus a few projects I would like to get done around the house.   Summer Bucket List make an outdoor house, tent or some kind of playhouse draw with chalk all over our driveway visit every park in the city frame all those unframed pictures sitting around my house clean up my office take at least one weekend trip with the family become a better blogger rock … [Read more...]

Organizing Online : Meal Planning

Even though I love to write things down, since it's the best way to clear my head, it's just not working out for me anymore. I spend at least of my home free time online; it only makes sense to move move of my planning to an online space. Plus I can't lose the notes I write online. My husband, who hates the clutter my notes produce, is always sending me handy websites to help me out. On Monday he saw Food on the Table on Netted and sent me the link. Since it looked like a good way to get me out of my food rut and stop my random buys at the grocery store, I decided to to give it a whirl. PROS: able to log in with Facebook easy to use interface recipes I hadn't seen before grocery list shows measurements so I can check to see if I have enough before adding items can email grocery list from site so husband can do the shopping CONS: only has one store in my area (HyVee where I don't usually shop since Gerbes is up the street) does not give the option of searching … [Read more...]

Digital Spring Cleaning : In-Box Makeover

I have declared April my spring cleaning month. A month to get things cleared out and my life in order. I need a clean slate before we start the dog days of summer. Though there will be plenty of the regular old hand and knees traditional scrubbing spring cleaning activities, I also wanted to take it to the place that I spend most of my time: online. So I started today by tackling my inboxes. Over the weekend, I read my friend Tim Miles' blog post on keeping his email in-box clean and got inspired to emulate him. I don't know that I will ever be able to get down to zero every night but I know that there's room to improve. Vastly. The first step was to close down Twitter and Facebook, pour myself a cup of tea, and concentrate on the task at hand. Thanks to Tim's advice, I had Instapaper and TeuxDeux open so I would have somewhere to transfer items to. It was on like Donkey Kong. I delved in and deleted at will, unsubscribed from almost every newsletter, and took care of all the … [Read more...]