Archives for March 2014

How YOU Can #FightToxins and Help Create Change!

Disclaimer: This post is a part of a sponsored awareness program and campaign by Seventh Generation via Mom Bloggers for Social Good to raise awareness, #FightToxins, and demand change to the Toxic Substances Control Act.  All opinions expressed are my own.

As a mom who is trying to raise my children to understand and live green, I am excited to help Seventh Generation raise awareness about the hundreds of toxic chemicals in our products that are hurting our families and our world.

Help fight toxins and create change by simply signing your name! Seventh Generation needs our help to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, and we need 100,000 signatures by April 30, 2014. Help spread the word! #FightToxins

I’ve worked with Seventh Generation before by sharing how I teach my kids to live like The Lorax. I strongly believe in Seventh Generation products and what they are doing for the earth, our children, and our health. I try to live a little greener every day, and do what I can to buy environmentally friendly and safe products to use in my home. So there are lots of  Seventh Generation products here! I also try to make my own cleaning products and buy organic foods to avoid toxic chemicals. We have solar panels on our home and have changed light bulbs to be more energy efficient. We have an organic garden that the kids help with, recycle, compost, and reuse.

I  know I’m taking baby steps towards helping my family and the environment in the big scheme of things and I feel like I’ve educated myself about chemicals, but I was still shocked to learn about how many toxic chemicals we are exposed to daily. Here’s why we need to #FightToxins…

Did you know that of the 85,000 synthetic chemicals introduced into the American market since the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976, only a mere 10% of them have required testing by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). That means thousands of synthetic chemicals are currently being used in our products that we have no idea whether or not they are safe to our bodies and our planet. Scary, huh?

Help fight toxins and create change by simply signing your name! Seventh Generation needs our help to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, and we need 100,000 signatures by April 30, 2014. Help spread the word! #FightToxins

Not only that, but over 80,000 chemicals currently in use in the United States have never been tested. Scientists have linked exposure to toxic chemicals to many health risks, such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s, learning disabilities, asthma, birth defects, and various reproductive problems.

How YOU Can Help Create Change and #FightToxins

TSCA should protect us, but it was written in 1976 and has never been updated. So that’s where we come in. Seventh Generation is working to push a reform on TSCA which would have all of these chemicals studied, evaluated and tested. FightToxins is dedicated to making that happen. Sponsored by Seventh Generation, it urges Congress to make meaningful reform to protect all of us. We need 100,000 signatures to stand up for safer chemicals by April 30, 2014.  Here is how you can help #FightToxins and push Congress to act:

  • Visit fighttoxins.com 
  • Sign your name
  • Encourage all your friends and family here in the US to #FightToxins. All we need is 100,000 signatures to get Congress to act and change necessary laws!
  • Follow #FightToxins on all social media to spread the word.

Think of the difference YOU can make! If you share this, and one person you share it with and on and on, we’ll have 100,000 signatures in no time! Help create change, better health, and a better world by simply signing your name. You’ll be glad you did.

Carmelitas: A Caramel Recipe That’s A Crowd Favorite!

I’ve shared lots of family recipes here, like my Dad’s favorite 7-Up Cake, my mom’s cake recipe, and my sister’s Buffalo Chicken Dip. Today I’m going to share one of my husband Jason’s favorite desserts that his mom used to make for him. It’s a caramel recipe that you will love if you’re a caramel lover. This is one of those recipes you can take to a party and everybody will ask you for it. It’s my mother-in-law Mellie’s Carmelita recipe.

This caramel recipe is a crowd favorite! It's a dessert bar made with caramel, chocolate chips, walnuts, coconut and oatmeal.

It’s quick and easy to make and adults and kids alike love it. It’s very rich, so cut it into small pieces. The original recipe didn’t call for coconut, but Jason and I thought it would be a yummy inclusion and we were right!

Carmelitas
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate, but you can use whatever your family prefers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 6-8 ounces of caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pat the mixture into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the caramel and flour. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the oatmeal crust. Top by sprinkling the chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut on top.
  4. Return to oven and bake an additional 20-25 minutes.
7.6.3
322
http://mommyofamonster.com/caramel-recipe/

 

Sounds easy and delicious, right? But beware: these bars are highly addicting. I’m not even a huge fan of caramel and this caramel recipe has caused me to gain several pounds since I can’t stop eating it once I make it!

This caramel recipe is a crowd favorite! It's a dessert bar made with caramel, chocolate chips, walnuts, coconut and oatmeal.

Looking for more dessert recipes? You can find several dessert recipes here on my blog and also on my board Desserts on Pinterest.

4 and 40

medium_2862753596

March is a big month for me – there are lots of birthdays to celebrate, spring finally makes its appearance (today in fact!), and it’s also the month of my blogoversary.

On March 16, 2010, I posted my first blog post titled – so original, I know – My First Entry. I’d like to think that my writing and style have both come a long way since then…especially since I had no idea what I was doing!

So I’ve been at this blogging thing for four years. Time has sure flown by. Even though I go back and forth with whether or not I want to continue to blog, I can’t give it up. I’ve cut back on how often I do it, but I’m still doing it. And I don’t see an ending in my future.

And today is also the big 4-0 for me. Yep, I am 40 today. So if you’ve sent me a text, email, or Facebook birthday wish, I want to say thank you! It’s nice to know that my friends are thinking of me! No big plans…it’s just another day. But we do have a Vegas getaway weekend planned in the next few months. I’ll be celebrating my birthday and so will two other friends. It will be a very fun trip, I already know it!

photo credit: Tim van Kempen via photopin cc

Wake Up Your Water With These Flavored Water Recipes!

Since I’m trying working really hard to get myself into shape (even though I just took a 2-week hiatus for no reason at all except that I got lazy), I drink a lot of water. I try to drink only water, with a cup of coffee or green tea thrown in. I try to stay away from juices, sodas, and (my favorite) lemonade. But water can get boring if you don’t liven it up. Here are a couple of my favorite flavored water recipes that will wake up your water.

You can wake up boring water with these easy, and healthy flavored water recipes! Includes two recipes as well as links to others. Never drink soda again!

Once you make these flavored waters, they will last in the fridge for a few days. But I usually drink a gallon or more a day so I rotate the recipes throughout the week. Also, if you drink ice cold water it helps you burn more calories. Learn more about why drinking ice water burns calories here.

You can wake up boring water with these easy, and healthy flavored water recipes! Includes two recipes as well as links to others. Never drink soda again!

Minty Lemon and Cucumber Flavored Water

This one is my favorite. It’s also called detox water because it helps cleanse out your system (but doesn’t all water?) and also helps you not feel hungry throughout the day.

Minty Cucumber-Lemon Water Wake Up Your Water With Two Flavored Water Recipes!
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • Drinking water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • Handful of mint sprigs
  • (Optional and yummy) 2 rosemary sprigs
  • Drinking water
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 apple sliced (I like to use green apples for the tartness)
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a 2 to 2-1/2 quart pitcher, add the mint and rosemary and crush lightly. Add water, cucumber, and lemon. Chill an hour or two for the flavors to combine in the water. Add ice cubes just before serving.
  2. Add the cinnamon into a 2 to 2-1/2 quart pitcher. Next add the water and other ingredients. Chill an hour or two for the flavors to combine in the water. Add ice cubes just before serving.
7.6.3
321
http://mommyofamonster.com/flavored-water/

I have a few other flavored water recipes that I love.

This basil, lemon, strawberry and watermelon flavored water recipe is my newest addiction. I can’t wait until summer gets here and watermelon is a lot cheaper than it is right now! I think I’ll be living on this water!

The Yummy Life has a ton of flavored water recipes that I enjoy – try the Raspberry Lime and the Pineapple Mint.

Still looking for more flavored water ideas? I have several on my board Beverages on Pinterest. And I have lots of healthy recipes here.

If you have a flavored water recipe that you love, please share it! I’d love to add it to my list!

photo credit: Louish Pixel via photopincc

How To Stop Getting Junk Mail (You Can Thank Me Later)

If it weren’t for junk mail, most days I probably wouldn’t even get any mail. The flyers, the sales, the catalogs, the deals…all junk that I rarely even glance at. I subscribe to (too many) magazines, and so of course my name gets put on LOTS of mailing lists. And mailing lists equal LOTS of junk mail. But you can stop the madness. I’m gonna tell you how to stop getting junk mail…and it won’t cost you a penny.

Tired of weeding the junk mail out of your mailbox and all those trees that are killed to send you mail you don't want? I'll tell you how to stop getting junk mail delivered to your mailbox. It takes some time to see it working, but it's worth it!

Junk mail (technically referred to as direct mail) includes all of those credit and insurance offers, catalogs, magazine offers (including subscription offers, newsletters, periodicals and other promotional mailings) and “other” mail offers like donation requests, bank offers, retail promotions and all of that kind of stuff. Some people like getting this type of mail because it keeps them in the know about new products and services, allows them to see the money saving deals that are out there, and connects them with local merchants. If you are one of those people, no need to read on!

A few years back, CBS News asked a regular person like you and me to “document all the junk mail she and her family received in a month. And then weigh it. At the end of the month, she had received 15 pounds of junk mail. She received only three-and-a-half pounds of mail she actually wanted or needed. That number doesn’t even include the free newspapers she doesn’t want.” What a waste, right?

Not only is junk mail irritating to have to sort out of the real mail, it’s also a waste of paper, energy, and all kinds of other environmental things. If you are one of those people who actually like to get junk mail, please recycle it or compost it when you’re done with it. If you are one of those people who love getting catalogs in the mail, consider getting online catalogs delivered instead. And if you’re like me and hate getting junk mail, let’s begin…

How To Stop Getting Junk Mail In Your Mailbox

If you would prefer to never get another piece of direct mail again, there are a few great websites out there that can help you get rid of it for free.

Tired of weeding the junk mail out of your mailbox and all those trees that are killed to send you mail you don't want? I'll tell you how to stop getting junk mail delivered to your mailbox. It takes some time to see it working, but it's worth it!

With Catalog Choice, you can decide whether you want to remove your name(s) and address(es) from company mailing lists, as well as whether you’d like to not release your name(s) and address(es) to any unaffiliated party for advertising or marketing purposes.

Tired of weeding the junk mail out of your mailbox and all those trees that are killed to send you mail you don't want? I'll tell you how to stop getting junk mail delivered to your mailbox. It takes some time to see it working, but it's worth it!

OptOutPrescreen.com is a centralized service that accepts and processes requests from consumers to “Opt-In” or “Opt-Out” of firm offers of credit or insurance. You can request to opt out for five years or even permanently. It’s worth it if you want to get rid of all types of credit and insurance offers. Super simple to do, and just takes a minute. But you do need to also include your social security number.

Now maybe you aren’t comfortable giving your social or maybe you want to continue getting some direct mail – you want to manage your direct mail. You can do that to with DMAchoice.org.

Tired of weeding the junk mail out of your mailbox and all those trees that are killed to send you mail you don't want? I'll tell you how to stop getting junk mail delivered to your mailbox. It takes some time to see it working, but it's worth it!

DMAchoice allows you to manage what types of direct mail you want to get. You can even manage emails that you receive! Note: This site will direct you back to OptOutPrescreen.com for some services.

I’ll be honest – it does take some time before you will notice that the junk mail in your mailbox is decreasing. But the wait is worth it! So tell me, are you going to change the junk mail you receive or do you enjoy getting it?

photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc