Archive for January, 2011

What makes your pulse race?

So that’s me…at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival (!) with friends.  I returned yesterday and I’m slowly trying to integrate back into reality. It was everything that I had hoped it would be and more! Fabulous films (The Music Never Stopped, Miss Representation, Higher Ground, etc), celebrity run-ins (Liv Tyler, Adrian Grenier, Morgan Spurlock, etc.), and THE best time hanging out with friends old & new. This trip was conceived many, many years ago with my friend Lesley, and a few years ago we got serious saving and planning to go this year. For weeks, I was was like a little kid, getting more excited every day until finally we left. Honestly, it was one of the best times of my life and it was great fun to check it off my “list”.

I’ve got to go on record stating that I think everyone should have a list of things they want to accomplish in their lives. 2 sites –2dobeforeidie & 43things are great places to record your list and  Lifehack & Squidoo both help you get started. It can really be anything – but I’m a true convert that if you “list” it, it can happen.

Selecting Safe Sustenance

If you are resolving to make better health and food choices this year, I’ve found 2 great articles that offer simple,  straight forward directives on making these decisions a little easier. Planet Green has listed 15 Foods To Banish From Your Kitchen which include:

Pasteurized Homogenized Milk, White Bread, Vegetable Oils,  Mac & Cheese Box, Canned SoupsPeanut Butter with additives, Breakfast Cereal, Refined White Flour, Velveeta Cheese, Enriched Pasta, Coffee, Chicken Eggs, Instant Grains, Frozen Dinners & White Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners.

Now I will still enjoy  my daily cup of joe, my kids will still eat  mac & cheese and eggs are a constant in our lives but the article gives sound background on why organic may be important for some of these items and suggested alternatives.

In addition, as we work to add more seafood in our lives, it’s hard to remember which is safest and most ethical. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a handy Seafood Watch Pocket Guide that is perfect to take along on your next shopping trip or I downloaded the Seafood Watch app for my iphone. It helps you choose safe seafood as well as ocean friendly restaurants and stores. The newest version, with Project FishMap, lets you share the locations of restaurants and markets where you’ve found sustainable seafood. As the map grows, you’ll also be able to see what others have found near you.

Lighten Your Load

I’m slow on the execution of resolutions each year and try to trick myself into making small changes which is actually the very same thing but it’s all in the way I present it to myself. My friend, Lucy, said she is committing to giving away something every day for all 365 days this year (from 365lessthings.com) Family Circle also published a good article this month on 18 Things You Can Get Rid of Today. I did make the statement that I wanted to “lighten up” this year (in a lot of areas) so this has become my starting place.

Since I’m already way behind Lucy, I started with the 18 things from Family Circle and so far so good. I’ve bagged up unwanted kitchen utensils, coffee mugs, plastic containers (I already tossed most of these a few years ago with all the BPA “leeching” and moved to glass), Little-Used Kitchen Stuff (goodbye bundt pan), vases ( do I really need more than 3), & food / spices (yikes, hello expiration 2008).

Multiple others I already stay on top of such as magazines (I trade my US Weekly and Entertainment Weekly with a neighbor for her Peoples’), mail (I read standing next to the recycling bin and stopped all the unsolicited mail through the DMA), kid’s clothes (we get hand me downs and keep handing them down), and kid’s art (they’re not all picasso’s).  Check out the rest of the list for yourself and let me know if you have additional suggestions to help me lighten my load.

1/11/11 – A date that can change a life

Tuesday, January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Across the country, anti-trafficking organizations are hosting activities, from film screenings to training on community response efforts. Locally, The Covering House will be part of a panel discussion at St. Louis University tomorrow night at 5pm.  The discussion will follow the movie Very Young Girls.  This is a good opportunity to learn more about the child prostitution and trafficking crisis in the US and it will be good way to meet those in the St. Louis area who are trying to help. Current statistics site:

  • Human trafficking generates an estimated $9.5 billion in annual revenue in the United States. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • There are reportedly up to 300,000 child prostitutes in the United States. And that number is growing daily. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • The average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim in the United States is 13 years old. (The U.S. Department of Justice) Read the rest of this entry

Got a gift card that you’ll never use?

Are you the recipient of a gift card for a store that  doesn’t interest you? Head on over to plastic jungle where you can sell, exchange or buy gift cards.

Plastic jungle offers up to 92% with the following payout choices:

  • Amazon gift card
  • Paypal
  • Cashiers Check
  • Donate to Charity

A much better solution than letting those cards gather dust or buying something you didn’t really want…or need.