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Monthly Archives: October 2010
where to buy: www.amazon.com
If you are a pet owner, I am sure that you have come across incidents and accidents with your pets, and were at a loss to know what to do in the aftermath. First aid can make the difference between life and death, even in your pets. Therefore, I think it is important to read up and own a first aid guide book to be prepared for all eventualities.
The book gives you lots of information on what you should do in the case of an emergency, such as how to appraise the situation and basic first aid techniques. You can also read up on what you should have in your pet’s first aid kit. The guide gives advice on first aid on more than 150 types of different injuries and conditions, which range from things like animal bites, car accidents to dehydration, pad burns, eye injuries and worms. I like the fact that for each condition/injury there is guidance when to call a vet, how to perform first aid and which medication you should give your injured pet.
As a pet owner myself, I think this guide is of the utmost importance in keeping your pet safe and healthy and should be kept in easy reach on your bookshelf. That way, you’ll be ready when your pet needs immediate first aid care.
Having a big Thanksgiving meal is only part of the celebration. To make it a truly memorable occasion, you need to take some time to celebrate in such a way that you’ll treasure the holiday memories forever. Here are some ideas to make this the most memorable Thanksgiving ever.
1. Count your blessings with a blessing tree. Have every family member and guest write his or her name and a blessing on construction paper leaf-shaped cut-outs. You can use a branch from outdoors to hang your blessing “leaves” on, or paste them onto a flat paper cut-out of a tree that you have glued to a sturdy piece of paper or cardboard.
2. Volunteer your time and your family’s time at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or nursing home. Food pantries are another area where you can give of your time – they are usually very busy at this time of year.
3. Have guests over to share your Thanksgiving meal, but invite someone new. Maybe you can share your celebrations with a new neighbor, or someone from another country, or an elderly person without any family nearby.
4. Invoke the history of the holiday into your celebrations. With crafts, decorations, and authentic foods and table settings, you can present a Thanksgiving meal that is rich in history and tradition.
5. If there are children involved, get them into the celebration. Children can help celebrate by making decorations or even putting on a Thanksgiving play or puppet show.
6. Start a blessing chain. On strips of colored paper, guests and family members can write something they are thankful for. Then, the strips will be linked to make a paper chain. Each year, more links can be added.
7. Start a tradition. Whether it’s serving a special dish or playing a certain game, start something that you don’t do any other time of year, and that you can continue year after year.
8. Make phone calls to family members who can’t be present for the festivities. Have everyone participate in the phone calls. Making cards or notes to send is another activity that will help your family connect.
9. Have everyone share something he or she is thankful for. You can do this by writing these things down, then reading them aloud at the table, or by making them into a decoration like the blessing tree. One way or another, having guests and family members share their sense of gratitude is a memorable family tradition.
When people think of composting, they often think of it occurring on a large farm or in a rural area, but you can compost whether you live in a small home or an apartment. Here are your top 5 composting tips for success.
1. Be mindful of what you put in: When considering what times of food items to put in your compost, think natural. If the food is pretty close to its natural state, it is likely that it is a good choice. Think about things such as fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grinds. You can also put in such unlikely food items like rice and bread. Any type of paper is an ideal ingredient for your compost, such as newspaper that has been shredded or even your old bills that have been shredded.
2. Avoid these items, if possible: It is important to stay away from most types of animal products. This includes any type of meat or bones from animals, as well as butter. These types of food items can draw animals and bugs to the composting site. They can also increase the smell.
3. Maintain a good balance: Ideally, you want a good balance of ingredients to go in your compost. In addition to the food items, you can also add grass clippings, pet hair, and almost any type of paper products from brown paper bags to tissues. This mixture of different items will help to balance each other out and you will have better success with your composting efforts.
4. Add water: You could wait for the rain to add needed moisture to your compost. However, if you want quicker results, consider watering your compost pile on a regular basis. You do not need to soak the pile but you do need to ensure that it is damp.
5. Make sure you turn it: In order for the pile to compost in a timely manner, you need to turn it regularly as well. It is a good idea to get into the habit of turning your compost pile before you water it. If you compost indoors, you can purchase a special composting bin that turns itself or you can simply use a dedicated utensil to turn the compost over.
Where to buy: www.seasonsgreenings.net
It is that time of the year again when most of us are starting to think about writing Christmas and Season’s Greetings cards. You might be thinking on how to do this more sustainably – you could send e-mails or e-cards, but if you want to write a personal note, you might want to make sure that the cards you are writing are made from recycled paper. Using sustainable cards reduces the carbon footprint considerably and helps to protect our environment.
Plain Jane’s Season’s Greenings offer eco chic customizable holiday cards. The company’s cards are printed on recycled FSC paper with vegetable inks and are printed by a FSC certified and 100% wind powered company. In addition to the cards being a green option, the company also promises to plant a tree for every order received. The minimum order number is 50 cards. Simply choose one of the attractive designs, customize the holiday message, choose the font and return address which will be printed on the included envelopes.
In my opinion, I would certainly recommend that you look at this company’s website for more information on their choice of greener holiday cards. I think we should all do our bit for the environment. If you are a small business owner, sending green holiday cards will show that your company has a green conscience.
Meditation can help reduce stress. It works as an overall management technique, and also as a means to alleviate the effects of immediate stress. Here are some ideas on how to meditate your way out of stress.
1. Engage in guided meditation. Led by a teacher, guided meditation employs multiple senses – sight, smell, touch, and so forth are involved. This kind of meditation helps you learn how to process stimuli without becoming stressed.
2. Yoga is a series of stretching and balancing exercises, but the concentration required redirects your thoughts away from stressful patterns. Enrolling in a yoga class can help you deal with stress, and practicing for a while during the workday (you could use part of your lunch hour) can help you deal with daily stress.
3. Qigong is a form of Chinese meditation that focuses on and directs the “qi” or life force. Like yoga, it involves physical movement as well, but qigong is more about holding certain stances than stretching. It involves calm, measured breathing as well. You can practice elements of qigong anywhere.
4. Mantras can help. Mantra meditation involves repeating a key phrase over and over while you focus on its meaning and the words themselves. Mantra meditation helps wire the brain so that you can tap into the calming effects of the meditation just by invoking the mantra anytime, anywhere.
5. Mindful meditation is about living in the present moment. When you practice this kind of meditation, you let your thoughts pass without analyzing or judging them. It helps reduce stress as you just let thoughts go.
6. Forge new brain pathways. As you practice meditation, your mind will learn constructive ways to deal with daily stresses. Meditation also helps you deal with overarching stress that comes from within, or that is associated with a long-term situation (such as a difficult relationship).
Where to buy: www.amazon.com
Thought of winterizing your home by doing it yourself? Winterizing and weatherizing your home can make a big saving in your energy bills. At the same time, it helps our environment by protecting natural resources. You might not have a clue where to begin in insulating or weatherizing your home. This book contains a very detailed introductory section on insulation, heat transfer and other related topics.
The included do-it-yourself projects include things like sealing air leaks and weather stripping throughout the house, ventilation systems, replacing or improving your windows, hot water conservation and upgrades, heating systems and air conditioning.
The projects range from the very basic and easy to the more advanced. If you attempt a more difficult project, you obviously might want to have some prior handyman experience.
I find the sections on “What Can Go Wrong”, “Pro Tips” and “Trade Secrets” to be a big help if you are planning to build like a pro.
Overall, weatherizing your home is of the utmost importance in conserving energy and reducing the strain on your wallet. This book certainly will give you lots of good information and project ideas on how to achieve a weather-tight home.
You don’t have to invest in a lot of chemical-based cleaners to kill germs. You can make your own disinfectant spray at home. Lavender has antiseptic properties, and it smells fresh and clean. Here are two recipes for lavender spray.
Ingredients for Lavender Antibacterial Spray:
-3 cups water
-1/4 cup white vinegar
-2 teaspoons vegetable-based liquid soap (or biodegradable dish soap)
-10 to 20 drops lavender essential oil
-10 drops grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil
Put all the ingredients into a 1-quart spray bottle, shake well, and use on countertops, tables, and even glass.
Here is another recipe for lavender antibacterial spray that does not have any vinegar.
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
-15-20 drops of lavender essential oil
Put all of these ingredients into a spray bottle, shake, and spray on any hard surface that needs cleaning.
Where to buy: www.amazon.com
Most of us worry about the environment and try hard to implement changes in our lifestyle that help to sustain our environment. At the same time, I found, it is difficult to know where to begin and which changes you can easily make within your household.
I came across the book Green, Greener, Greenest and found it to be a great source of information on various green topics, how to live sustainably and how to make green choices. I like the fact that the book is divided into everyday green lifestyle changes for every budget. It includes topics such as food, beverages, babies and children, home building, energy and water conservation. The recommended lifestyle options explain how to make a big difference in this world, with even the smallest sustainable changes. For example, why you should always choose non-toxic cleaners instead of cleaners laden with chemicals, these are harmful to our family’s health and the health of our planet. How to make healthy food choices for your family, the pros and cons of local food vs organic food is also covered as well as lots of other topics.
The book also contains an extensive resource list of green products and suppliers as well as website information.
Overall, if you want to live greener and are looking for a book that includes information on how to make easy greener changes, this book ‘Green, Greener, Greenest’ would be a great purchase. Not only will these changes be better for your family’s overall health, but they will also help our planet in the long run.
Making incense is an ancient art. You can make your own incense using much the same process and ingredients as ancient people. Incense can be made loose or shaped into sticks, cones, and spirals. Here are recipes for both kinds of incense.
1. Resin, such as amber, gum arabic, balsam, dragon’s blood, myrrh, and frankincense
2. Wood powder, such as cedar, sandalwood, juniper, pine, and spruce
3. Aromatics, such as powdered cloves, chamomile, henna, coriander, lavender, juniper berries, lemongrass, patchouli, marjoram, rosemary, rose petals, and vanilla. There are other aromatics you can use, too, as long as they are dried and powered. Herbs like sage and ginger can be used, and come in powdered form at the grocery store.
All of your ingredients will need to be powdered. Powdering the resin should be done last, since you will probably have to wash your mortar and pestle afterward. Freeze the resin to make it easier to pulverize. While it is in the freezer, you can powder your herbs. Powdering wood by using home implements is difficult. Try to get wood/saw dust from someone who cuts wood or cut your own and collect the dust.
Mix these ingredients to make loose incense in the following proportion:
2 parts resin
2 parts wood (you can use a combination, say pine and spruce, 1 part of each)
4 parts aromatic, or a combination of aromatics
To release the scent of loose incense, there are various things you can do.
-Sprinkle your loose incense over a hot, wood coal that has been set into a bowl of sand or ash.
-Place a plate made from mica over the burning coal and sprinkle the loose incense onto the mica plate.
Incense Sticks and Cones
To make incense sticks and cones or other shapes, you will need to mix in a moist binder. Then you can shape the incense “clay” or “dough” into whatever shape you like. The ingredients are the same but the method is different.
Begin by liquefying your powdered gum resin. Stir a teaspoon of the ground resin into a cup of warm water or other liquid. (You can make this liquid part of the scent, using tea, rose water, or other scented liquid.) As the resin absorbs the water and thickens into a paste, you can powder and mix your dry ingredients.
Gradually add the thick, liquid gum to the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing with your hands as you go. When it is the consistency of play-dough, shape into cones, coils, or even fun cut-out shapes. Set your shaped incense on a wooden board to dry.
Where to buy: www.ecodiscoveries.com
If you are a proud pet owner, you will also know about the unsightly stains your pets can leave behind on carpets, sofas or other not so easy to clean places. With the right type of cleaner, these stains can be gotten rid of in no time.
The EcoDiscoveries Pet Cleaner is a biodegradable and effective solution that keeps your house and your pets spotlessly clean. The spray attacks even the hardest stains and at the same time deodorizes the area to give your house a clean and fresh smell. I like the fact that this cleaner is very versatile and can be used on almost any material. It works on any textile, carpet and upholstery, but it can also be used to deodorize kitty litter boxes, kennels or anywhere else your pet might sleep. In addition, the spray is kind and gentle enough to use on your pet’s fur, if they have come in contact with some not-so-nice smelling substances, i.e. skunks.
EcoDiscoveries is a company that holds the environment and safety to your family in high regard. All their products are safe to use around your kids and pets and are definitively not laden with any harsh chemicals. Overall, if you are an eco-conscious pet owner, you should have this eco-friendly EcoDiscoveries Pet Cleaner handy so you are prepared for any mess that your pets can create.