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If you are on MySpace, I would like to recommend that you become friends with this group. They are traveling with the Vans Warped Tour this summer.

To Write Love on Her Arms

To Write Love On Her Arms – Intro Video

To Write Love on Her Arms is a work in progress. This began with one broken girl, one painful night; addiction, depression, cutting. This is a glimpse at the five days that followed, a decision to love and to begin telling her true story. To Write Love on Her Arms is becoming something bigger, something hopeful. It’s the realization of what life can be when we commit to meeting a need. A friend of mine told me there’s no such thing as suicide prevention. This is an attempt to prove him wrong, to say that love can change a life. We can hold back the darkness. Rescue is possible. More soon to come. Join us as we continue to write this story, and as we begin to offer hope to the many hopeless who walk these dark roads. A Jimmy Eat World lyric has been stuck in my head today, “Believe your voice can mean something.”

Or visit their website. www.twloha.com

They have lots of shirts including this awesome one for sale here.

While screwing around on the internet last night I found these two cute bags.

1. “I don’t get wasted” Organic Cotton Reusable Shopping Tote by Origins Organics

i don't get wasted tote

As someone who doesn’t drink (and never has) and likes organic/green stuff, I thought this bag was really awesome. Up to $120K of profits from the bag will benefit the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), a not-for-profit organization that offers grants to organic farmers. It doesn’t look like you can buy it online, but apparently it’s only $10 at Origins stores (looks like they are in most Macy’s stores).

2. “Hot dog” tote bag. From fred flare

Dachshund toteDachshund tote

I kind of have a thing for dogs with little legs! They don’t have a Corgi tote, but this Dachshund is just too cute. I can never spell dachshund, so I googled it…

cute daschund puppy
Awww! I <3 puppies.

I always recycle, I can’t stand to see bottles, cans, paper, etc thrown away, but instead of reusing water bottles and then recycling them, I’ve decided I’m going to get this SIGG I AM NOT A PLASTIC 1.0L (33 OZ) reusable water bottle.

SIGG I AM NOT A PLASTIC water bottle

StopGlobalWarming.org is proud to partner with SIGG to create a re-usable water bottle so we can all do our part and ditch the plastic!

Some info from the SIGG website:
• SIGG bottles exceed FDA requirements and have been thoroughly tested to ensure 0.0% leaching – so they are 100% safe.

• SIGG bottles are manufactured in an ecologically-friendly environment and are 100% recyclable after their very long lives. In fact, most SIGGs in Europe are still being used 10-20 years after purchase.

• SIGG Switzerland utilizes only foodgrade, 100% safe paint in the manufacturing of our water bottles.

• SIGG bottles absolutely do not contain any of the following harmful ingredients: antimony, arsenic, soluble barium, lead, cadmium, mercury and selenium. The paints used to decorate SIGG products are completely safe and in compliance with ASTM F963-2007.

• Most disposable water bottles (e.g. – Evian, Dasani, Aquafina, etc.) are made of PET plastic. According to the American Recycling Institute, only 14% of these bottles are recycled. Most of the PET bottles end up in litter or trash where they can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, filling our landfills and injuring wildlife.

• Americans are currently adding 30 million PET water bottles to our nation’s landfills – everyday

• Even if PET bottles are sent to the recycling center, they are really being “down-cycled”, converted to a lower form of plastic, much of which goes unused.

• PET is a petroleum-based plastic. Manufacturing and transporting bottled water (especially from distant countries such as France and Fiji) unnecessarily burns fossil fuels – approximately 1.5 million barrels per year according to the NRDC.

Only 14% are recycled?! That’s terrible. I’m disappointed in you America :(

Little changes can make a big difference. Start today!

Update: I got to see the rest of my family for mother’s day and my brother gave me my birthday present…
Whispering Meadows 0.6 Liter Sigg Water Bottle
this beautiful Whispering Meadows 0.6 Liter Sigg Water Bottle! It’s so cute. It has an illustration of a field with ladybugs. I used it all day today. Thanks Mike!

I think I’m still going to get the other one for Jeff. Saving the word, one water bottle at a time ;)

 

Lately I’ve been focusing on trying to lead a healthier (and greener) life. I’ve been taking my dog for longer walks, doing yoga most days and trying to run, jump rope, or some other physical activity daily.

I’ve also tried to cut the junk food out of my diet. I’m choosing foods that are all natural and organic when possible. I’ve also been trying to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients and preservatives. I’ve started eating brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat bread instead of white bread, Multigrain Cheerios instead of regular or Honey Nut Cheerios and baby spinach instead of iceberg lettuce. The changes have been easy to make (although I have to admit, I like white bread a lot!)

Some more foods I’ve found I like are:


Kashi Organic Promise Cinnamon Harvest
It tastes awesome and one serving really fills me up. It’s great to snack on instead of chips or cookies, plus it only has 4 ingredients: Organic Whole Wheat, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Cinnamon and Natural Cinnamon Flavor. Yum. Oh, and if you didn’t know, paperboard like cereal boxes can be recycled!!

Organic Apple Sauce.
I used to buy the little cups of Mott’s Apple Sauce because they are convenient and I found I was more likely to eat it in a single serving cup rather than out of the jar. I wanted to eat organic apple sauce and I didn’t like throwing away all of the plastic cups so I went to Target on a mission to find some reusable cups. What I found to be the cheapest (and met my requirement of not being made of type 3, 6 or 7 plastic) were Gladware Mini Round Containers with interlocking lids. They are about the size of the single serving apple sauce cups and the can be reused, plus the jar can be recycled :) So I’ve been buying a jar of organic apple sauce, filling up the cups and enjoying producing less waste.


Lifeway LowFat Raspberry Kefir

I usually only drink a little bit at a time, about half a cup, but I like it better than yogurt.

Kefir contains probiotics. “Probiotics which literally mean “beneficial to life,” are live cultures that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Most probiotics include the live active cultures often added to foods like yogurt. Researchers have studied bacteria extensively and considerable evidence indicates that there are several strains of essential good-for-you bacteria that have an ability to promote healthy gastrointestinal functions, increase immunity and help prevent the development of cancer-causing toxins throughout the body. Lifeway Foods has seven live and active cultures to produce a wide array of health benefits.”

Research has indicated that the bacteria in kefir help:
* Traveler’s diarrhea, viral diarrhea in children and irritable bowel syndrome
* Prevent vaginal yeast infections
* Boost the immune system
* Reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol
* Reduce the symptoms of food allergies such as lactose intolerance
* Suppress the development of certain cancers, such as bladder or colon cancer


SunChips
The bag says they are All Natural and I like that their plant in California runs on solar energy and that they buy green energy credits to match 100% of the electricity required to make each bag of SunChips.

Some of these still might not be the best things in the world that I could be eating, but they’re better than Coke, Dorritos and Oreos!

I should have never signed up for Crate and Barrel emails… I got one today with this awesome couch. It’s called The Azure Sofa and is my favorite color and it is green! I wish I had $1,899 to spend on a couch.

my new couch

awesome

I’m totally in love with this tree. I want a dogwood (or two, or three) at our new house because they are pretty and the first place Jeff and I lived together was Dogwood Circle.

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser

This face wash is awesome and 100% natural and it smells like I’m washing my face with orange sherbet. Burt’s Bee’s Orange Essence Facial Cleanser.

Simple Toepaz

I really like these Toepaz shoes from Simple… too bad they are $75!

  • The women’s Toepaz contains no animal byproducts or even regular animal products. This shoe is vegan friendly and veggie friendly.
  • Hemp uppers
  • Lined in bamboo
  • Natural latex pedbed with an organic cotton canvas cover
  • Recycled car tire outsole
  • Uses water-based cements
  • 100% post consumer paper pulp foot forms
  • Ships in our totally state-of-the-art/back-to-the-future post-consumer recycled box
  • And last but not least..

    Alexis visiting her aldergaters on Jon & Kate plus 8.

    We have this on our DVR and I think I’ve watched it at least 6 or 7 times.
    “Him a yittle guy.” “Awwww hi!” “I have hiccups.”

    I<3 the Gosselin kids.

    Post Office kicks off free, by-mail gadget recycling

    http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/15011 

    recycle cell phonesGot an old camera, cell phone, or MP3 player that you want to toss? Under a new pilot program offered by the U.S. Postal Service, recycling your dead gadgets is as easy as dropping them in the mail.
    Computerworld reports that the Post Office’s new “Mail Back” program is getting a trial run in 10 U.S. markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. If the pilot program takes off, a nationwide rollout will follow.

    So here’s the deal: Just bring your old gadgets (handhelds, cell phones, MP3 players, and even inkjet cartridges – no 20″ CRTs or dead dot-matrix printers, unfortunately) to one of 1,500 participating post offices, seal them in preprinted, postage-paid envelopes (you can take as many envelopes as you want), and drop them in the mail.

    The package goes to Clover Technologies Group, which is partnering with the Post Office in the new recycling program. In a press release, the Post Office promises that Clover will refurbish, resell, or break down the discarded gadgets for recycling, and that nothing will end up in a landfill.

    It’s a clever idea for those of us with old electronics too outdated to sell on eBay. Indeed, I have an old, 2001-era iPod that’s essentially worthless (I priced it over at SecondRotation and got an estimate of exactly $0), and I’d rather drop it in the mail than pay to have it recycled.

    I read here that “according to Salon’s sources, organic cotton fiber may still be sprayed with fumigants when it’s brought into the U.S. due to laws meant to keep immigrant bugs out. And “made with organic cotton” garments can contain as little as 3 percent of the good stuff.”

    “Almost as bad are the dyes to make denim blue, and the finishers and bleaches that give your trendy jeans that lived-in look. These can release tons of harsh chemicals and potential carcinogens during the manufacturing process. ”

    Raising cotton uses about 25 percent of the world’s insecticides. Look for organic cotton that’s grown in the U.S, to avoid that import spraying. The U.S. is one of the top two producers of organic cotton (Turkey is the other).”

    “The harder part is finding out about the dyes and finishes. Ask for materials using low-impact dyes (though don’t get fooled by promises of natural dyes; those aren’t necessarily safe in production).”

    “Avoid all those crazy finishes unless the seller explicitly says they’re created by hand, not by chemicals. Pre-faded knees, whiskering, faux-dirty rinses, and simulated aging all add junk to the fabric while polluting the planet. And stone-washing is rarely done with stones these days; the effect is usually achieved by chemicals.” THIS STUFF LOOKS STUPID ANYWAY.

    happy bunny spaz juice


    By CLAUDIA WALLIS

    Parents who suspect that artificial ingredients in food are affecting their children’s behavior can now point to some cold, hard proof. A carefully designed study released Thursday in The Lancet, a leading British medical journal, shows that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate — an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and other foods — causes some children to become more hyperactive and distractible than usual.

    The research, led by Jim Stevenson, a professor of psychology at England’s University of Southampton, involved about 300 children in two age groups: 3-year-olds and 8- and 9-year-olds. Over three one-week periods, the children were randomly assigned to consume one of three fruit drinks daily: one contained the amount of dye and sodium benzoate typically found in a British child’s diet, a second drink had a lower concentration of the additives, and a third was additive-free. All the children spent a week drinking each of the three mixtures, which looked and tasted alike. During each weeklong period, teachers and parents, who did not know which drink the kids were getting, used a variety of standardized behavior-evaluation tools — some observational and one computer-based — to size up such qualities as restlessness, lack of concentration, fidgeting, and talking or interrupting too much.

    Stevenson found that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive when drinking the stuff containing additives. Three-year-olds had a bigger response than the older kids to the lower dose of additives — roughly the same amount of food coloring as in two 2-oz. bags of candy. And, there were big individual differences in sensitivity. While the effects were not nearly so great as to cause full-blown ADHD, Stevenson nonetheless warns that “these adverse effects could affect the child’s ability to benefit from the experience of school.”

    He notes that a separate pilot study found that kids can become more hyperactive within one hour of consuming food additives.

    The Lancet study is the first to nail down a link between artificial ingredients and hyperactivity, though the connection has long been suspected and was the basis for the Feingold Diet, which eliminates all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives and was popularized in the 1970s as a treatment for ADHD. Though such a diet alone is not a proven treatment for ADHD, some clinicians routinely advise parents of kids with ADHD to stick with a more natural diet.” I’m not maniacal about it, but I tell parents that your kid will do better if they are on a diet that is free of additives and junk food,” says psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, author a several books on ADHD. “I urge them to eat whole foods; they’ll be healthier anyway.”

    Now that a link has been found, researchers will be looking to confirm the British study and build upon it. “My guess is that if we do similarly systematic work with other additives, we’d learn they, too, have implications for behavior,” says Dr. James Perrin, professor of pediatrics at Harvard. “My friends who study the food industry say we have about 70,000 new products a year, so children are facing tremendous numbers of new opportunities for things that may not be good for them.” The study, he says, is one more reason to cheer the movement toward organic and natural foods. Read the whole story here.


    Since I’m such a tree hugger, I love this “organic needs” tote bag from Roxy. Too bad it seems to be sold out everywhere :(

    i love clean air roxy organic needs tote bag

    Baby Einsteins: Not So Smart After All
    The claim always seemed too good to be true: park your infant in front of a video and, in no time, he or she will be talking and getting smarter than the neighbor’s kid. In the latest study on the effects of popular videos such as the “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers. Read the story here.

    CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) — Anything made by McDonald’s tastes better, preschoolers said in a study that powerfully demonstrates how advertising can trick the taste buds of young children.Even carrots, milk and apple juice tasted better to the kids when they were wrapped in the familiar packaging of the Golden Arches.The study had youngsters sample identical McDonald’s foods in name-brand and unmarked wrappers. The unmarked foods always lost the taste test.

    “You see a McDonald’s label and kids start salivating,” said Diane Levin, a childhood development specialist who campaigns against advertising to kids. She had no role in the research.

    Levin said it was “the first study I know of that has shown so simply and clearly what’s going on with (marketing to) young children.”

    Study author Dr. Tom Robinson said the kids’ perception of taste was “physically altered by the branding.” The Stanford University researcher said it was remarkable how children so young were already so influenced by advertising.

    The study involved 63 low-income children ages 3 to 5 from Head Start centers in San Mateo County, Calif. Robinson believes the results would be similar for children from wealthier families.

    The research, appearing in August’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, was funded by Stanford and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    The study is likely to stir more debate over the movement to restrict ads to kids. It comes less than a month after 11 major food and drink companies, including McDonald’s, announced new curbs on marketing to children under 12.

    McDonald’s says the only Happy Meals it will promote to young children will contain fruit and have fewer calories and less fat.

    “This is an important subject and McDonald’s has been actively addressing it for quite some time,” said company spokesman Walt Riker. “We’ve always wanted to be part of the solution and we are providing solutions.”

    But Dr. Victor Strasburger, an author of an American Academy of Pediatrics policy urging limits on marketing to children, said the study shows too little is being done.

    “It’s an amazing study and it’s very sad,” Strasburger said.

    “Advertisers have tried to do exactly what this study is talking about — to brand younger and younger children, to instill in them an almost obsessional desire for a particular brand-name product,” he said.

    Just two of the 63 children studied said they’d never eaten at McDonald’s, and about one-third ate there at least weekly. Most recognized the McDonald’s logo but it was mentioned to those who didn’t.

    The study included three McDonald’s menu items — hamburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries — and store-bought milk or juice and carrots. Children got two identical samples of each food on a tray, one in McDonald’s wrappers or cups and the other in plain, unmarked packaging. The kids were asked whether they tasted the same or whether one was better. (Some children didn’t taste all the foods.)

    McDonald’s-labeled samples were the clear favorites. French fries were the biggest winner; almost 77 percent said the labeled fries tasted best while only 13 percent preferred the others.

    Fifty-four percent preferred McDonald’s-wrapped carrots versus 23 percent who liked the plain-wrapped sample.

    The only results not statistically clear-cut involved the hamburgers, with 29 kids choosing McDonald’s-wrapped burgers and 22 choosing the unmarked ones.

    Fewer than one-fourth of the children said both samples of all foods tasted the same.

    Pradeep Chintagunta, a University of Chicago marketing professor, said a fairer comparison might have gauged kids’ preferences for the McDonald’s label versus another familiar brand, such as Mickey Mouse.

    “I don’t think you can necessarily hold this against” McDonald’s, he said, since the goal of marketing is to build familiarity and sell products.

    He noted that parents play a strong role in controlling food choices for children so young.

    But Robinson argued that because young children are unaware of the persuasive intent of marketing, “it is an unfair playing field Read the story here.