Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Earth Day Tips

Another year, another set of easy tips for helping to save the Earth. Every little bit helps!

1. Pay your bills online. This can save a lot of trees and energy.

2. Recycle your batteries. It's illegal to dump them in some states, including here in California. There's lots of toxins in those batteries. Go to earth911 to search by zip code for a battery recycling facility near you. Also using rechargeable batteries is very helpful.

3. Set your refrigerator temp at 40 degrees, and your freezer for 0-5 degrees. No need for colder temperatures, it just wastes energy.

4. Try to avoid styrofoam. If you're gutsy, mention to your favorite restaurant to stop using this for their carry outs; or the same goes for take out restaurants that use styrofoam cups. I stopped going to an independent coffee house because their mochas come in styrofoam. (and I do prefer an independent coffee house over Starbucks when possible). It tastes weird to me, not to mention the 500 years it takes for this stuff to disappear!

5. Use more wax paper when you can, instead of aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It's biodegradable.

6. Buy local, anything, whenever possible. Local produce helps slow down sprawl in your area, and uses less energy. Buy local honey. The bees are in danger, support those farmers. Learn more about honey here.

7. Use soy candles instead of paraffin varieties. Paraffin is derived from oil. Soy is clean burning, soot free, and lasts 30-50% longer. Plus you'll promote American farmers. Soy is grown and processed in the USA. My family back in Michigan are soy farmers, and have been for generations. Buy soy candles on Etsy.

8. Don't dump your paint. Instead, after use, let the paint dry in the can. Then recycle the can.

9. Subscribe to Ideal Bite for daily tips on saving the Earth sent to your email. They have so many green tips, you'll be amazed. If you're in the LA area, watch KTLA News at 10 for daily tips, or check out the website. Also go to Earth Share for some more everyday tips. Oh and please check out my last year's post on Earth saving tips!

10. Finally something fun to do if you've got some volunteer hours... Go to Frog Watch USA to help monitor the frogs in your area.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Break Continued

Another adventure we went on while in the OC was a trip up to the "Canyon." This is Modjeska and Silverado Canyon, places dear to my heart, in the Santa Ana Mountains. I hadn't been there for years before the fires of 2007. Thanks to all the rain, it's green again, and mending.

We took all four boys (my son, and my 3 nephews) to the little park, and went on a little walk up to the gazebo. You can only hike so far with 2 1/2 year old twins.

The sentimental lupines were blooming. So pretty! I was so happy that the Tucker Wildlife Bird Sanctuary made it through the fires. Seeing the effects of the fire really makes me fearful yet so grateful at the same time. Firefighters are so amazing to me, and they are my heros. It was a lot of fun to go back to my childhood stomping grounds!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Save The Rain Forest... Disney That Is

One thing we did over Spring Break is go to Disneyland! This is a regular thing for us. We hadn't been in a year, so we had been missing it! We renewed our yearly passes, and luckily for us it wasn't too crowded.

One of our favorite things is the Tiki Room. We always get a Dole Whip Float and enjoy the Tikis outside, it's very refreshing!

The Jungle Boat is very relaxing too. I'm so amazed with the jungle, and how very large the bamboo grows there. AHHH!

Disneyland is extra special in the Spring. Lots of trees are blooming, and look at how dazzling these foxgloves are! They are very storybook indeed!

I found out that the so called "Imagineers" are planning an update for the Small World. I first heard they were completely redoing the ride. WHAT!!?? How can this be I thought. Well now I've learned they are planning on adding some characters here and there (just another commercializing, brain-washing maneuver to squeeze even more money from parents). Well, I can handle that if they MUST. But what's worse is the possible plan to exterminate the Rain Forest room to modernize it with a "Celebrate America" room. YUCK! I don't like the idea, and now I'm on the wagon to Save The Small World! Sure it's a small, meaningless cause, but I love that Rain Forest and those characters created by Mary Blair! Let's leave some of the original, retro wonders alone as they are! And don't think I'm unpatriotic, I love many things American. But isn't this ride a place to embrace THE WORLD? I'm happy with the little Cowboy and Indian at the end of the ride for America, as stereotypical as it is.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

New Magnets

New magnets have arrived in my etsy shop! I've been wanting to make some of these for a while now. I finally got a magnetic sheet and went a made a few. Three so far. There's this one here for the cat lover. It has a quote written around the edge..."A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." --Judith Merkle Riley... How true is that?! I know my cats add much happiness to my life! I have this cat one, an ostrich, and a puppy Ziggy.

I made them the size of an ACEO 2.5x3.5 inches. But I think I want to make a smaller variety soon. The little mini prints were mounted on the magnet sheet, then sealed for protection.

I see them as little freebie/gifts in the future!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Spring Break Begins!

Just a quick little post to announce the beginning of Spring Break! Seems a little late, but I'll take it! It was a busy week with school work this week, and we're ready, especially Wesley!

This is one of the so special first signs of spring, a Flowering Plum. I have one in my yard, but this one at the school is exceptional. I could smell it as I took it's photo, and it's was wonderful to smell some flowers again. The pink blossoms are very short lived, and usually get snowed on around here, so I was lucky to get this shot.