Saturday, October 31, 2015

Green Your #Halloween or Happy Hallowgreen!

Please enjoy this article by me about how to Green Your Halloween!

Between costumes, candy holders, treat wrappers and plastic decorations, Halloween can quickly become a landfill’s worst nightmare. Multiply that by the number of kids you have and you have quite a bit of wasted junk on your conscience. Fortunately, just about anything you do can be done in a more ecologically responsible way, and it’s easy! Check out my tips to green your Halloween — and save some serious cash (paper green!) in the process.

Costumes
GreenHalloween.org has started National Costume Swap Day, which is October 13, 2012. Their great idea is that your kids trade costumes with friends instead of buying new ones. Other ideas to go green and save green: recycle among your own family members; use an old karate or ballet outfit; break out the princess dress-up clothes. Google “Halloween costumes you can make at home for cheap” and start surfing. And don’t forget to check thrift stores and garage sales all year.

Trick or Treating
Grab that rechargeable or LED shake flashlight and head out the door. Wait! Don’t forget the decorated cloth bag you can reuse next year. An even cheaper route (and it’s still space- and eco-friendly) is to go retro and use a pillowcase or go modern and use a cloth shopping bag. Pick up trash as you follow your trick-or-treaters and keep it in a separate bag or in the bottom of the stroller if you’re taking littles along, too.

Treats
Just so we’re clear, I’m not of the camp that lumps eco-friendly with sugar-free. And even if you’re handing out healthy Halloween treats, chances are you’re still sending individually wrapped stuff into the world (oh, the trash all over my neighborhood!). Instead of doing that, consider handing out something that can be either useful or recycled. Ideas include pencils, erasers, quarters, crayons, juice boxes (recyclable cardboard), cool bandages, bookmarks or seed packets (edible flowers, herbs, etc.).

Decorations
Instead of buying decorations made in China that eat up batteries, consider strategically placing some hay bales in your yard or on your deck or front porch. Chrysanthemums, gourds, colorful corn, ghosts made of sheets stuffed with batting and scarecrows stuffed with hay (use some old clothes) are cheap and green choices. Nontoxic window paints are fun for kids to use on windows and doors. There are all kinds of Halloween crafts you can make out of materials you have around the house that can be saved for next year or recycled later. Crafts like bottle cap pumpkin magnets, tin can bat treat holders and an egg carton animal nose mask can also be a great activity at your Halloween party (see below). Check out http://familycrafts.about.com/od/halloween/tp/Recycled-Halloween-Crafts-For-Kids.htm for instructions and more craft ideas.

Pumpkins
Speaking of decorations, pumpkins are the best decoration out there, and you can even grow your own if you have the space. Just toss a bunch of seeds in a large garden area and you’ll have freebies for next year. Otherwise, take an educational trip to a local pumpkin patch (www.PumpkinPatchesAndMore.org) so you support local farmers. Make sure you toast some pumpkin seeds (cinnamon sugar seeds rock!) and make a pie with the rest.

Parties
After you send out an Evite to the parents, start planning your green Halloween party. Instead of setting out individually wrapped treats, put carrots, orange slices and pretzels in bowls. Make sugar cookies in advance in cool Halloween shapes (bats, pumpkins, ghosts) and have the kids frost and decorate them with orange and black frosting. Throw some newspaper on the table, break out the nontoxic paints and decorate some pumpkins.



This  picture is for my friend Smoosh, who I have known forever, as in BEFORE I GOT MARRIED. We worked together at a public relations firm and were both secretaries who ended up having a much better time as stay-at-home-moms sharing a breast pump and other gross secrets. She said her son looked over her shoulder when she was reading The Kerrie Show (like a good friend should!) and wanted to know what my kids were for Halloween.

Laptop issues prevented me from posting in a timely manner, so here you go on Thanksgiving: the picture of my kids at the church Trunk or Treat. It was COLD here in the Midwest, so they are a bit covered up! Here's your cheat sheet:

Joel was a leopard with taped-on spots because his mom is too lazy and cheap to sew or buy a costume.

Michael was a wizard (recycled costume and hand me down from a friend).

Callie was a "skating queen" (hey, whatever floats your boat and I don't have to come up with a creative idea for).

Eva was a ghost, using a trash bag and a Sharpie, costume by Michael. A neighbor asked if she was wearing a trash bag (incredulous!) and I said she was going as White Trash this year.

Sam was a cow. Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP for a costume that has been used by ALL FIVE kids in my family? Take THAT, Green Movement!


No, I was not passed out drunk on the couch while they got dressed. Would that I could drink alcohol and enjoy it and not get a headache. I just like to let them use their imagination and get creative and find their own stuff to wear!

Friday, October 23, 2015

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" for a Big Family

I had heard of this book before, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, many times. I was intrigued. I wonder, how is it different from other books I have read on organizing? The other day my friend Jill said she was reading it and that is was really making her think about getting rid of a lot of things and that she knew it would help with her peace of mind in general. That sounded goooood to me as well! (disclaimer: I have now figured out that if you buy the book from my site using the link below I might make a few cents)



I mean, I feel like I've gotten rid of a lot of things over the years. And we don't hit every gift shop on the way out of every zoo anymore ... I'm not trying to buy my kids' love so much anymore or spoil them with presents because presents take over our smallish house with seven people living in it. So I have put the brakes somewhat on buying things and acquiring things for the kids and I have given away a lot of my own stuff but we still have a lot, especially that "just in case" stuff and "aspirational" stuff like smaller or bigger clothing and books I may or may not read someday.

So I feel like I have a PRETTY GOOD grasp on the whole "get rid of crap" concept. So much so that I see other people's clutter lately and I am itching to help organize it and carry half of it to the recycle bin and another 25% to Goodwill. I feel like if I had a psychology degree I could really be a professional organizer and help some people out for a side job!

As usual, I digress.

So I have this book on hold as an audiobook at the library. I'm hoping to get it soon so I can walk and learn how to awesome-size my life. Mr. Kerrie would certainly be happy if I did this. I hear the author has no kids herself and thinks the purge should be a MAJOR EVENT, but kids outgrow crap so we'll have to make this MAJOR EVENT happen probably twice a year.

I'll just apply her ideas to kids and see how we do; I hear she has tips for organizing children and those with ADD, which I seriously have a touch of. My mom doesn't believe me but I'm like, "Mom, how many times did you guys call me SIDETRACK and ride me for getting lost in trying to clean up my room?" I'm the same way at 44 only probably a bit worse and focus is like a 4-letter word in my world unless I'm working on a writing project or really in the zone with homeschooling or something. So it sounds like the author has tips for those of us who can't fathom tackling a huge project like this and suggests things like (I'm totally making this up) "organize just the spoons in the drawer, not ALL the silverware."

Check out this quote then go buy the book!


I'll probably have to write my own version for those with kids and then for those with big families for inexpensive, self-published ebook world where I live!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Do Not Eat My Son's Snack Cake #funnykids #bigfamilyproblems


*Michael is my most mild-mannered kid, the quietest and also hilarious. I opened the fridge to this yesterday morning and couldn't stop laughing. I did not eat the snack cake, that's for sure. (it's something he does where he coats and Oreo with some cream cheese and sugar concoction)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Stainless Steel Wire Grill Brush Review (Cave Tools)

Okay, so when Mr. Kerrie and I were asked to review this grill brush, we were pretty excited and curious. We'd used the same grill brush for a long time and it was one of those regular ones that's shaped like a rectangle and was super scratchy and got all smooshed down when we would clean the grill a few times.

Immediately I noticed this grill brush was different.



I love that it has a long handle (21 inches) so nobody will be burning themselves on my watch. It took care of the gunk on my 20-plus-year-old grill with no problem at all and then easily hangs on the deck near the grill so we can just grab it when it's time for another cleaning.

This would make an excellent gift for anyone on your list who likes to grill out. Anyone who owns a grill, for that matter! Birthday gift, Father's Day, Valentine's Day ... but Christmas is coming up pretty quickly so I recommend you grab one of these for every man or woman in your life (including yourself if you love to grill out)! Some people grill out all year round ... we have been known to grill out in the winter and the grill gets grubby ... this is an awesome tool!

Here's the product page at Cave Tools so you can check it out! It also includes a lot of great info about the product. It even includes a free recipe book!

The best way to order, though, is through Amazon.com, below. Readers get 20% off is they use the coupon code XNTLKUOV, and I might get a little something as well since I work with Amazon Affiliates.


Thanks for checking out this review!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Why Are More Young Women Choosing Botox Before Their First Wrinkle Appears?

Why Are More Young Women Choosing Botox Before Their First Wrinkle Appears?

There have been a lot of stories in the media in recent months about younger and younger women using the anti-aging treatment Botox. Botox has been around for a long time now, and hasn't really been replaced yet as the most popular and effective way of reducing facial wrinkles as you age. It works by locally paralyzing the muscles it is injected into, meaning that the movements of the face don't cause wrinkles to show.

Preventative Botox

It is also thought that this temporary paralysis can prevent wrinkles from occurring at all, because it is the repeated movement of the skin due to changing facial expressions, talking, laughing and smiling that leads to permanent lines. Of course, to get those benefits you would need to start having Botox injections before any wrinkles appeared, and it is this idea – that Botox can be used as a preventative measure – that is leading women as young as 20 to go under the needle.

Does Preventative Botox Actually Work?

While the theory behind preventing wrinkles by preventing facial muscle movement is sound, it is such a recent trend that it is impossible to say for sure whether these 20-something women will indeed avoid wrinkles by keeping up a regimen of Botox now. There is also the fact that Botox only lasts for a few months, and many of these women may not have the money or the inclination to keep up their Botox for the rest of their lives – for many people vanity becomes a less important use of money once they get married and have kids than it is in their early twenties. However, Botox is believed to be safe, so if a woman does have the time and money to give preventative Botox a shot, then there isn't really any reason not to – assuming it works, she may well be grateful to her younger self for taking these measures when she gets to 45!

What Is Getting Botox Like?

Botox is a procedure that can be done very quickly, with many people seeing it as something they can have done in their lunch hour - though this does mean going back to the office with what look like bee stings on the treated areas. It involves a series of quick injections, which feel like, well, intramuscular injections in your face, but are more of a discomfort than an agonizing pain, and aside from a bit of soreness and redness there is no real recovery to worry about. If you go to a good Botox Los Angeles clinic like Your Laser Skin, the process will be safe and hygienic and you will be well taken care of, and the practitioner will explain exactly what to expect.


While there are various arguments for and against getting Botox before you look like you need it, for many women it is worth it to feel that they are doing everything can to preserve their youthful good looks. If you want to join them, Botox is a fairly routine procedure now, and it can be well worth talking to a good clinic.

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