Friday, September 24, 2010

short post today...

Hey all, sorry I've been a little absent lately. Our family has had a really rough couple of weeks. We lost my husband's grandfather this past week, last Thursday to be exact. He had physically taken a turn for the worse a couple of weeks ago & then passed on rather quickly since then. So my post tonight is to simply remember & honor him.

I would like to thank him for helping to raise my husband & his brother & for being a positive force in my husband's life. I am so very thankful that he lived to see his 5 great-grandchildren thus far.

Thank you Dickie & Rest now In Peace.

Colette, Bob, Patrick & Casey

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coolest Store I've heard about in a long time....

We were watching DIY (Do It Yourself) network, which we love & there are always great tips, some expected & some unexpected... this was one of those unexpected tips which was both environmentally friendly, budget friendly & best of all for a good cause!! (Habitat for Humanity).

They mentioned if you have a home improvement project coming up to check out a store called: Re-Store. It's run by Habitat for Humanity, here is the blip from their home page:

ReStore resale outlets

ReStores sell new fixtures (like these toilets) as well as gently used furniture, home accessories, appliances and building materials.

Habitat’s ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials to the public
While every ReStore is a little different, most focus on home improvement goods like furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances.

ReStores accept donated goods which are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities.

Promoting reuse and recycling
ReStores provide an environmentally and socially responsible way to keep good, reusable materials out of the waste stream while providing funding for Habitat’s community improvement work.

Find a ReStore near you or donate materials
To shop, follow the links below to find a ReStore near you. To donate materials, please contact your local ReStore by following the links below.

The DIY segment didn't include a website, but here it is:

What a phenomenal idea & for such a great cause!!

To find a store near you, use the following link (in U.S., they also have a link for Canada): From there you click on your state.

I thought this was super exciting, especially coming from a totaly DIY nerd!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Join Us In Taking Sustainability To The Next Level | Seventh Generation

Join me & 7th Generation in this Collaborative!! A group to buy & support sustainable living & cleaning products.....

Join Us In Taking Sustainability To The Next Level Seventh Generation

Friday, September 3, 2010

Green Jargon Friday - "Carbon Footprint"

Simply put your "Carbon Footprint" is the amount of carbon dioxide emissions created by a person or industry. To further explain it is the amount of carbon dioxide output by yourself, your home, your vehicle, your every day life. There are several sites that can estimate your carbon footprint & offer tips to reduce it.

Why would you want to reduce it you may ask? Well, because the earth can only maintain so much carbon dioxide, we need oxygen to survive, so we want more oxygen & less carbon dioxide, or the earth and it's inhabitants; humans, cannot possibly survive.

Here is a site where you can measure your carbon footprint:

There are many sites with suggestions & tips to reduce your footprint, I will give you one example:

Now, this is an interesting site I stumbled upon while doing some research If you have some time check it out!!

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What is Happiness to you? Can you find it every day?

I read another blog: about Happiness and August being happiness month, so on and so forth. So, it got me to thinking.... how happy am I every day, what about my husband and my children, are they truly happy? How can I make them & myself happier? Would love some comments/feedback on this....

What truly makes you happy? Do you have a "happy" moment every single day? How can we be happier people?

For me I believe it changes with the stages of my life.... for example, when I was single, had no kids, I was happy to buy something new & get overtime at work, so I could buy more stuff! (seems rather silly now - a lot of the stuff I bought I mean) I was also happy to go out w/my friends and dance & drink & meet guys. Then I met my husband, and I was happy to be w/someone like him, someone handsome & intelligent & a good man, very happy to spend time alone w/him, or even w/our friends. Then we got married & I was happy to be a part of a married couple, happy when we got weekends alone sleeping late in bed & going to breakfast together; taking vacations together. Then we had 1 son & now 2 sons & I'm happy to have a conversation w/my husband after the kids go to bed, I'm happy when my children make new friends, I'm extatic when my children laugh & they are happy, I'm happy to stay home & raise them & I'm happy to meet other moms, both like me & very different from me.

I'm not happy about having hardly any money, barely enough to pay our bills, because I do stay home & when I have work from home (which I always try to do) I am very happy to contribute financially & make our family more comfortable. In those moments when I'm feeling sad about cancelling plans for a "mom's night out" w/some girlfriends, because I literally couldn't afford to do something so "selfish" I sit & write & then look for more legitimate work from home.... I also concentrate on how smart my children are, how healthy they are and how hard I work and struggle to give them everything, gymnastics class, organic, farm fresh, local food & how good of a cook I am to prepare delicious meals for us.

I have a passion for being a mom & a wife (& a bit of a "greenie") & this, yes this after 11 years as a "corporate" person is definitely what makes me happy!! I was interupted about 50 time while writing this by my son & we cracked up laughing every single time!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Honestly - Honest Tea! Delicious....

So, this past week one of our local markets had this brand of organic ice teas on sale, 5 for $5, so I figured we'd buy the 5 & give it a try for something different to drink in the house. (We pretty much stick to water - lots of water & milk) We're not soda, or juice drinkers, so this was a nice alternative.
I get to the "Market" & the flavor choices are; white tea, black forest, pomegranite; red tea, and so on.
They are so tasty & most of the flavors you can get caffeine free, not bad on carbs, or sugar, and the ones that are caffeinated are only 1/4 the amount in coffee, so not bad.
I was very, very impressed. I added a link/post with a link to their site for coupons - give 'em a try.
*coupon in separate post*

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Five Ways You Can Join Us at the Table to Save America’s Farms

Please, please if you believe in sustainable living & America's Farms, read this article & help if you possibly can! I found out about this through America's Farmland Trust.

Five Ways You Can Join Us at the Table to Save America’s Farms

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In love with this lunchbox!! Kids, or Adults, check it out!

So, I heard about this from a post on Nature's Path Organic and decided to check it out for myself. My son is starting Pre-School in a couple weeks, while he doesn't yet need a lunchbox, because he only goes for 2 1/2 hours, 2 days a week to start, I still wanted to be prepared. So, I tried this out, the GoodByn: .

First of all it's adorable! Secondly it's eco-friendly & thirdly when your children are old enough to not be soooo "cute" - you can get them w/out ears!! LOL Love it!

You can get them slightly less expensive here:

Some good honest reviews here:

Enjoy!! Need some recipes for your lunchbox, message, or just follow me, I will have some posted very soon.


Monday, August 23, 2010

My Trash Guys

It's called EZ-Cycle!! This is the best idea I have heard of in a LONG time. We signed up with "My Trash Guys", because they do the recycling for you, plus I believe in as a community you use & promote local companies. You put out the trash & they pick it up & sort it out. If you pre sort, you get a discount. You can't beat the convenience of this for a busy family. Check them out:

If you sign up, please tell them the Bell Family of Plymouth referred you!!

Eco-Eco .... tip on food shopping

This is an example on how to save $$ while food shopping on an item that you know you will use & can be frozen in the meantime. So, this example stems from the Deli at a store near us called "The Market" on sale this week, (yes, I scour all the sales flyers when they come in on Thu., circle what we would use & then go do the main food shopping where they have the most stuff on sale that we'll need), But I will go to another store if they have something on super sale that we will definitely use.

This is just such a time: Land o' Lakes American cheese on sale for $3.88 per pound!! Now, if any of you buy cheese/cold cuts regularly you know they are fairly expensive, so this is a great deal. One that cannot go to waste. So, I will buy a minimum of 2lbs. (I'll probably buy 3). One lb. will be for the next couple weeks & the other will go into the freezer for later. (making this an eco-eco tip)

Economically friendly on the budget (for more than 1 week) and Ecologically friendly because there's no waste, by putting what we can't use now in the freezer and saving it safely for later, that is friendly on the earth, less waste, more use out of something!

I hope you enjoy this tip & more to come. This is my real life, we try to live green on a budget and I enjoy sharing our tips with others!! Please follow me if you enjoy getting useful every day tips from a homemaker, not an expert.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tax free weekend in Massachusetts...

This past weekend was tax free here in Massachusetts (which just went up this past year from 5% to 6.25%), so I believe for some people this was an added incentive to get out there & buy something, just because it was tax free! I'm going to do some research & see if I can't find the statistics for spending trends here in the Bay State this past weekend. Check back for an update to this (short) post.

** Yes, we did go out shopping, it was my son Patrick's birthday on Sat.,, so I went out Sat. morning to get all his presents!!**

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Organic Clothing ~ too expensive??

Here is just one example of a site for organic clothing Gaiam (and all sort of other green, or fair trade items) : At first glance might seem to expensive - here's how to make it work on a budget; immediatly go to clearance section: Now you're talking!! Well worth the cost, plus shipping is only .99 cents per order, that's great!! Check it out!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Free Family Film Festival | Regal Theaters

Free Family Film Festival | Regal Theaters

You can't get more economically friendly than free!!

Need Green! (need some work, telecommuting)!!

So, I search every day, driving myself crazy sometimes; all in the name of trying to find legitimate work from home, telecommuting jobs. I'm overqualified for a lot, but willing to take the work, my family does need some extra money. First & foremost I am a Stay at Home Mother, homemaker, so I only look for work from home positions. There are so many scams online to sort through. I have had fairly consistent work for a specific company, but when they have no projects, I have no work. And right now I'm in that situation, I have no work & really need the extra income. At a loss, any suggestions would be great. I would ideally like to find work for a "green" company, something I can really get behind.

I check, craigslist, indeed & so on.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Real Men Eat Pink Pancakes

Last year was our first year participating in a CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture) (from Plato’s Harvest – Middleboro, MA) & we wasted a lot of food, because we either didn’t know how to cook it, or didn’t think we’d like it. This led to a lot of google searches for recipes & the trying of more & more foods. Our next hurdle came about 6 months ago when my son (then 2 1/2) started being a lot more picky about what he ate, i.e. – not wanting veggies!! UGH, he’d always been a great eater, anything we put in front of him, he’d try & love. So, I buy “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld for some creative options. One of the very first recipes that piqued my interest was “pink pancakes”, P.143 (Deceptively Delicious). Beets, one of the main items we wasted last year, because we really didn’t think we’d like or didn’t know what to do with them. Well, now we had our answer. So, this year, we roasted up our beets & pureed them & got to work. Now, I say this started with the Deceptively Delish recipe, which I changed slightly to make even more healthy for my family. I will first give you Jessica Seinfeld’s recipe & then give you mine:

Recipe for “Pink Pancakes” from Jessica Seinfeld’s book “Deceptively Delicious” copyright 2007

(with Beet)

* 3/4 cup water

* 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

* 1/4 cup beet puree

*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1 cup pancake mix

* 1/4 cup grated apple

* Nonstick cooking spray

* 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

* Pure maple syrup or fruit for serving

1 In a blender or food processor, combine the water, ricotta cheese, beet puree, vanilla, and cinnamon and blend. Dump the mixture into a medium bowl, add the pancake mix and apple, and stir until just combined. Do not overmix – the batter will be a little lumpy.

2 Coat a griddle or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. Spoon the batter onto the griddle or skillet, using about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, 1 to 2 minutes. Then flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with syrup, or fruit.


* I use “Bisquik” wheat pancake mix(or I make my own)

* I DO NOT use ricotta cheese (you don’t need it)

* I use blueberries if I have them fresh.

* I use Agave nectar in place of the vanilla (sometimes I use both)

* I use cinammon, or a nice little trick – apple pie spice

* I also don’t use the oil, I either just use the cooking spray, or the cooking spray w/a tiny bit of vegetable spread (or margarine, or butter – whatever you prefer)

Cook, eat & enjoy!! My boys love them & so do I!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday; "Green" Jargon Day

Eco-Chic (Eeko-Sheek); in its simplest explanation is a combination of current trends (trendiness) and a consciousness of the environment.

"her home is very Eco-Chic, using a mixture of green materials, such as bamboo & organic cottons, but making it look modern & current"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Confessions at the McDonald's Drive-Thru

Yap, yap.... I did. I rolled on through the McD's drive-thru for a quick lunch for my son today after gymnastics class. I rolled on through with my (seemingly) hypocritical "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" bumper sticker on the back of my "low emissions" CR-V!! I did it, I did it because it was fast & convenient & I couldn't bear the thought of making lunch when we got home; couldn't think of what to make, and didn't feel like wasting time searching before Patrick's nap. Of course these are all fairly lame excuses for my own laziness & desire for some chicken selects mind you. This is my very honest confession of the day! As I hang my head in shame, enjoy your own little bit of laziness & self indulgence today; please.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Eco - Eco (eco-friendly & economically friendly)

This might initially sound ridiculous, but it works! So, we all end up with cardboard boxes, we buy things that come in boxes, so invariably these cardboard boxes are "free", can't get more economically friendly than that.
Well, here's what to do with them, Eco-friendly/Green solution: weed mat! You read right weed mat. It works. First spray (not plants, this will kill them too), spray weeds with 3 parts vinegar & 1 part lemon juice (or salt), next put down carboard (once you have removed all tape), it is biodegradable, free & effective! Win, win, win.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Easy links to learning more about our Environment & Environmental Issues...

I'm sure there are many, many more resources to learn & get involved in our environment. I am putting a couple into this post to give you a start & then you'll find your own way, what works for you & your family & what makes you comfortable. (that is the best way to go green)

You can easily look up farms, or (even better) Organic farms in your area, which will decrease your carbon footprint ("green" jargon .... Every Friday I will do a "green" word post & detail it) ( ) - your carbon footprint can be calculated here.

For looking up local farms here: (type in your zip code). You can usually find local sites that are a lot more specific, for example, this is for my area: (SouthEastern Mass.)

Also, here are a couple of non-profit sites aimed at giving information, fundraising & petitioning environmental causes. Sierra Club: (one of my personal faves)
and this is a new one I found that really piqued my interest:

I would would like to hear comments and feedback. I love sharing information with people who are interested in being a greener, more eco-friendly family.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CSA Supper Wednesday....

Every Wednesday I wait anxiously for Bob to get home from work, so we can head out with the kids to pick up our CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture) at our local Organic farm (Plato's Harvest). Patrick loves to run around the farm, pick peas & feed the goats; Plato & Einsteen (too cute, I know)!
I can hardly wait to see what's on the list for us that week when we get there, how many pounds of carrots, or potatoes, new vegetable this week, pick lettuce, flowers, tons of herbs, it's just so much fun to go get your food; fresh, you can't get fresher than picking it up from the farm.
On the ride home, my mind if popping, turning over all the wonderful things I can make for supper that night with all of our new treasures.
Tonight, being Wednesday, I made whole wheat pasta with summer vegetables, I know doesn't sound all that unique, or exciting, but when you consider how fresh everything was, all the herbs even fresh picked, the flavors just completely popped & Patrick (who is a fussy eater) at 4 bowls, 4 bowls!! I wish our CSA lasted all year, not just 20 weeks!!

Keep ticks away the "GREEN" way!!

I was researching a way to get rid of ticks on my property & to also keep my dog (Morey) healthy. We have always used "conventional" medicines on him to keep ticks away, but even with that, this year we have had a huge tick infestation in our yard and they are apparantly using Mo as a means of transportation into the house! We have found far too many in our house on, or near our children, which began my quest for a solution that was "green" & wouldn't put Morey, any other neighborhood pets, our children, or ourselves in any danger. During my research I discovered "Garlic Juice" here is a link that will explain in greater detail what I found to my sheer delight:
I have ordered some and can't wait to get it & try it out. I'm thinking I might try to make some up myself & spray around the perimeter of our house. It can't hurt. I will follow up on this post to update how it works.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Where has all the Customer Service Gone?

Does anyone actually care about and, or do their job the way it was intended anymore? Just a short rant folks. I don't get it, can someone explain this to me? If you sign up for service, your bill should reflect what you signed up for. It's always a struggle, placed on hold while they look at your account? How much information is there to look at if you just signed up less than a week ago? How could your first bill be so very, very wrong?? Isn't it simple? I have worked in customer service, if I promised a customer a certain service, or a specific price I made sure that that's exactly what they got, no arguments, not questions asked, no hidden fees. So ridiculous!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I find myself at a stage in my life where I'm constantly wondering....
Am I a good mother?
Am I a good wife?
Am I a good friend?
Am I doing enough for the environment?
Am I smart enough?
Do I have any goals, or ambitions?
When I meet new people, do they like me?
The friends I allready have, do they really like me?

Is all this wondering part of my age, my current life situations, is it normal, am I too self critical? Why did I get to 34 without ever knowing what my true dream is? Why do I underestimate my potential? Hmmmm..... wondering!

Sometimes I sit back & say, okay; figure it out. You have this amazing husband, two gorgeous, intelligent sons, you live in a great community, you're as green & eco-friendly as you can possibly be, you're meeting new moms, but you still have days where you'd rather sit on the couch & watch t.v., so that's okay, have those days, but on the rest, get out there, be you, find out who you are now, you used to know, so get to know the new you, the married mother of two you!!

I would love to go back to school, get my college degree!! I will eventually; right now, we just can't afford it & that's the simple truth of that. I would love, love to own a breakfast spot down by the water, that would be a dream come true! Would I get rich? NO! but this is the type of thing that would make me happy, it would be mine, I don't want to work for other people, I don't want to push papers, been there, done all of that! My life cooking for my family & friends is home to me, happiness to me, so maybe that's it, now to find a way to magically make enough money to open my own spot with no experience whatsoever!! Ha! Easy, right?

Like I tell my boys, if you can think it, you can dream it, if you can dream it (you have to see the dreams), you can make it real! I always tell my oldest, please don't say you can't, especially before you try, you always have to try and then you'll realize that you can.

So, wondering..... lots of wondering....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Being Green on a tight budget 6.14.10

Let me say, we have a very tight, but I do my very best to be as "green" as humanly buy organic, to buy "green" cleaning products, etc. It can be done even on the smallest of budgets.
Part of this Blog that I'm starting will be about just that, it will also be about day to day life with my wonderful little family. I am a Stay at Home Mother of 2 boys, and CEO of our little house & Executive Partners with my loving & handsome husband. (I also do online work from home - keep that in mind if you have a project that can be performed remotely, or virtually - I am a telecommuting queen)!!
I can offer you recipes, I can offer tips on going green little by little, so that it doesn't hurt your wallet & how to stay green on a tight budget, once you work it into your routine & budget it's very easy to stick with it.
First tip I'll give you, is as you run out of your current cleaning product, replace it with a more eco-friendly alternative. Clip coupons, or buy on sale, when a product is on sale, buy the full amount, i.e. - limit 6 - buy all 6.
I will also offer you links to websites that are eco-friendly, or green inspired, as I find them interesting. I live in Southeastern Massachusetts, but my tips & techniques can easily be applied anywhere.
Comments are welcome, as are suggestions. Please enjoy reading my little space on the web.