Archive for April 2012

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7 Kid & Eco Friendly Activities

Our generation is in danger, due to the many environmental problems we face today. Getting our children involved in Eco-friendly activities around the house can help ensure our environment is safe for another generation. Eco-friendly activities can also be quite fun, and provide your children with something to do!

1. Start a Compost Garden!

Trash accumulates very easily and can often account for one of the main ways our oceans and forests become polluted. Taking some of your biodegradable trash and starting a garden with it provides the environment with effective fertilizer, promoting future growth for plants! This can also teach your children how to care for plants, which can lead to bigger lessons about responsibility.

2. Recycle!

Our world comes with limited resources, and it is very important that we conserve them. Teaching your children to recycle their empty plastic bottles and used or unwanted paper can benefit the environment in a number of ways. Recycling your plastic bottles means they can be re-used, and they won’t pile up on beaches and landfills. Plastics cause a huge problem on beaches, as turtles often mistake plastic bags as jellyfish, and end up sick.

3. Teach your Kids

One of the best ways to get your children involved in Eco-friendly activities is by teaching them about it and spending time with them. It is a lot easier to learn about things such as this with a guide, and what better person to do it than their parent? This will also encourage children to share the green activity, and soon, many children will be sharing good environmental habits.

4. Turn off Lights

One of the best ways to conserve energy is to shut off lights that are not in us, one of the biggest energy-wasters in houses. Teaching your children this good habit when they are young will encourage them to continue it for a lifetime, saving both of you money.

5. CFLs

Energy-efficient light bulbs cost less over time, and they can help save large amounts of energy. It can also help save money on bills too! One of the main reasons electricity consumption is on the rise is due to the fact that homeowners have not switched to energy-efficient light bulbs. Teaching children to replace light bulbs can be a helpful way to get them involved in Eco-friendly activities AND learn how to handle a basic household chore!

6. Clean up Trash

Often, people are careless and will not bother to put their trash in the appropriate bins. This can cause much harm to the environment, because trash can be swept away by wind or the waves and be carried out into the environment, where it can cause a large amount of damage to wildlife and forests. Teaching your children to pick up trash when they see it can be an effective way to assist the environment, and get them involved in Eco-friendly activities.

7. Turn Off Faucets

Faucets and kitchen sinks are often left on longer than they need to be, and as a result, this wastes a large amount of water. Water is Earth’s most precious resource, and it helps sustain life as we know it. Helping to conserve water can ensure that there is enough water for both humans and wildlife to survive. It will also ensure that our planet is safe and cared for when further generations come!

Mathilda Finnegan likes to write about green living, saving money & www.backgroundcheck.org.

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Posting this pretty late but better late than never, right?

HAPPY EASTER!


 

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LOW CAL FUDGCICLES

I stumbled across a pic of this recipe on Pinterest the other day & just knew I had to try it. Growing up, Fudgcicles were my favorite type of ice cream treat on a stick. Any time the ice cream truck rolled into our neighborhood a Fudgcicle was what I picked.

This particular recipe is a whole lot less in calories however, & even a little good for you too! They definitely have that “fudgy” goodness about them but if you can’t stand bananas then you might want to skip this. The banana in them does seem to be the most prominent of flavors but I think the blend of everything makes them just perfect.

I only have a 4 pop Popsicle mold so I halved the recipe & added a heaping tablespoon of Nutella rather than Peanut Butter. Delicious!

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
(Makes 6-8 depending on the size of your molds)

* 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
* 1/2 cup canned Coconut Milk (Pour left overs into a container & refrigerate for your next batch if you plan to make more within a few days)
* 2 small, very-ripe Bananas
* 1/16 tsp Salt
* 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
* optional: Peanut Butter or Nutella

WHAT TO DO:

* Combine all items in a blender (I used a small food processor).
* Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.

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I’ve been working on getting this post out for a couple weeks now but have been one busy Mama & have been struggling to coordinate my thoughts into something coherent enough to make a post.

Most of our readers are already aware I’m sure, but it’s true! We finally have our long awaited baby boy!!!

MICHAEL THOMAS

Born March 7th, 2012 – 5lbs, 3oz’s – 17 & 3/4″ Long

I got the call around 12:30pm on March 8th waking me from a sound nap to tell me that a full African American baby boy had been born the night before & after reviewing many profiles the birth mother had decided on us! He was in Philadelphia, PA & would be getting released from hospital in the next day or two so we needed to get going & fast!

I immediately called Roy at work to tell him the exciting news & then my gramma to fill her in too before beginning a mad search to find a flight out that night & a suitable hotel for our needs close to the hospital. I quickly settled on the Hilton’s Homewood Suites since it was close to the hospital, provided a full kitchen, complimentary breakfast & internet all for a reasonable price. I also later found out they provide a yummy complimentary dinner 4 evenings a week as well!

I flew out that night on my own to be there for the birth mom & baby as soon as possible while Roy waited back for his sister, who flew to us to stay with the girls & pets at the house. Roy also had to get his leave paper work signed off by his chain of command before he could leave & so he flew out the following evening.

I didn’t get in to the hotel until 2am. By the time I showered, ate & settled down as much as I could for the night it was 4am. At 5am I was startled awake by the hotels fire alarm & PA system blasting directions every 30 seconds or so on what to do. I quickly threw on some jeans & my winter coat before stumbling down 7 flights of stairs only to find out a short while later it was just a false alarm. Unfortunately, it took them until 6am to get the elevators reset. There was no way I had the endurance to climb all those flights so I waited, finally getting to my room & back to sleep shortly after 6am.

At 8am I woke to my alarm & started getting ready for the nerve racking day of meeting birth mom & baby. I had been sent a picture of the baby on my cell by the birth moms agency specialist the night before while I was awaiting my flight & I couldn’t help but already be in love. I was terrified however that I’d get there & the birth mom would change her mind about everything.

Meeting her however, was definitely an interesting experience. I had brought her a  gift bag of some pampering goodies, not that they in any way measured up with the incredible gift she was giving to us but, I wanted to give her something. She was quite shy & soft spoken & was holding the baby when I walked in. Once I sat down she handed him to me & I fell even more in love with him. He was just the sweetest tiniest little guy & absolutely perfect!

Birth mom & I mingled as best we could in between staring at the baby or the TV to fill in the gaps of awkward silence. She showed me some pictures on her cell of her previous 2 boys, one which she was raising & the other which she had also placed for adoption a couple years prior. They were adorable boys & gave me a sneak peak as to what this little guy might look like in a few years.

I don’t know all the details, nor could I share much of anything if I did, but the birth dad apparently lives in another State so we were not able to meet him. We will however be providing picture & letter updates over the years to both birth parents as he’s expressed the desire for this as well.

Just before dinner we decided to call it a day since we were both completely exhausted & agreed to meet back the following day at 11am. That night Roy arrived, joining me at the hotel & I past out for the night a very short while later.

The next morning we headed back to the hospital together along with the car seat & stroller frame because I had received word from our agency that the baby was due to be released that day at some point.

It was much easier the second day having Roy there to help carry the conversation. We even shared some laughter all together & she asked us all about the Military as it’s something she’s considering possibly going into.

We separated for lunch & during that time I browsed the hospital gift shop for a special card. I found one, filled it in & gave it to her when we returned to her room. She had showered & gotten dressed while we were gone & was just holding the baby awaiting the arrival of her attorney to guide us all through the discharge process.

I removed a bracelet which I loved, that Roy had made for me, & attached it to her wrist explaining that it was special to me, had been hand made by Roy with many hours of work & that I hoped it would be special to her too. She had been quite strong up until this point but this set off the tears & once she started so did I. We hugged tightly but there was very little I could say. The whole situation really left me speechless & fortunately as we were hugging the attorney arrived.

The attorney helped us get a group photo with us, birth mom & the baby but it was a difficult moment. Birth mom was still crying & I felt like smiling for this particular picture just seemed stupid. I didn’t know what I should do, only that I wanted to have this pic for him to reflect on in the future. In the end this is what we got….

Hospital staff came in & out with various paper work. They were very short tempered & rather rude. None of them would even speak to us & it was a bit unsettling. The attorney ensured all the necessary paper work was done & then we hugged again saying our goodbye’s & the attorney left with the birth mom while Roy & I finished packing up the baby’s things & dressing him for the freezing cold weather that was waiting outside.

As we left the hospital pushing him in the car seat (which no one even bothered to check!) that was snapped into the stroller frame I couldn’t help feeling like the whole thing was surreal. I was in disbelief that we were really leaving with him… he was really ours!

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