We’ve raised our kids to be mostly vegetarian. We have fish once every week or two, but we never cook any other meat at home. We sometimes eat meat in restaurants or in other people’s homes. So it’s really more accurate to say we eat a low-meat diet than to say we’re vegetarian. It’s more … Continue reading I let my vegetarian kid cook a steak.
A few years ago, some people from Alumni Relations invited me out to lunch so they could ask for my perspective (about 20 years after graduation) on what my Carnegie Mellon education has meant to me. I was flattered, and it was such an interesting question to consider that I've thought about it many times … Continue reading What I Really Learned in College
Are you the parent struggling to leave your child's school each day as he clings to your legs, screaming and crying? Is every morning a struggle to get yourself ready for work and your kid ready for childcare, while she delays in every way imaginable until you're shrieking in frustration, and then she looks at … Continue reading Coping with a Clingy Child
Today is the first day of seventh grade for my son Nicholas and the first day in the new Bigger Sprouts classroom for my three-year-old daughter Lydia! Even if you're not in school and have no kids in your life, this is a great time of year to start something new. As the leaves begin … Continue reading Go Green in 2017: Something New in September!
My brother got me two books about cities for my birthday--one fiction and one nonfiction, both great books with great covers! Here they are, along with reviews of the other books I've read recently. Walkable City by Jeff Speck I love living in a walkable urban neighborhood! This book by a city planner told me a … Continue reading Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews
This is a guest post by Justin Havre, a Calgary native and owner of Justin Havre & Associates. A home's carbon footprint is its impact on the environment, measured in the amount of carbon dioxide released in the process of operating that home. Excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere traps heat, accelerating the process of global climate … Continue reading How to Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint
This is an honest review. I received a discount on this product, and if you join Grove Collaborative using my affiliate link I will receive a discount on my future purchases there, but I was not paid to promote this product. All opinions stated here are my own. For the past two years, I've been … Continue reading Acure Brightening Facial Scrub review
My three-year-old Lydia and I recently enjoyed a picture book from our local library, Jacob's New Dress by Sarah & Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case. Jacob is a preschool boy who enjoys wearing dresses from the costume box but is criticized by his classmate Christopher. His mom is kind about his hurt feelings, but when … Continue reading Every school needs a Jacob!
We save money on fair-trade organic coffee by buying five-pound bags. Larger bags also mean less garbage per pound of coffee, but those metallized plastic bags are still an environmental problem: Most recycling programs won’t take them, and they're not biodegradable. For several years, I collected coffee bags—our own and those discarded by friends, co-workers, my … Continue reading Recycling Coffee Bags with TerraCycle
I'm nervous posting this because of the freakout when Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year-old ride public transit alone. I don't want to be the next "America's Worst Mom"! But I think it's important to talk about how to approach children's independence safely and gradually so that they learn the skills they'll need as adults. Nicholas is … Continue reading Why My 12-year-old Is Riding Public Transit Alone
Years ago, Daniel and I made friends with this guy named Vinnie who lived in one of the apartments over the garages behind the cluster of rowhouses where we were living at the time. His apartment was small and shabby, but he'd chosen it because it had a large yard, and he loved gardening. In … Continue reading That Time I Bought Ladybugs by Mail
As a VIP member of Grove Collaborative, I get a free item or special deal every month or two. Recently, we've tried two new natural toothpastes. Based on our 20 years' experience trying natural and Earth-friendly hygiene products and cleaning products, here's our evaluation of these two minty mouth-cleaning options. This is an honest review. We … Continue reading A Tale of Two Toothpastes
Lydia, three years old, informed me that this is NOT called a soap dish. It is a soap bench. You can see her point. Immediately after this pronouncement, she stood up and started dancing. MAMA: Don't dance in the bathtub. It's slippery. LYDIA: I am just showing you how horses dance. (slips a little; casually … Continue reading Horses don’t dance in the bathtub.
This is a guest post by Neil Stawski of ClimateWise.co . Mr. Stawski believes we aren’t doing enough to protect our planet. He created ClimateWise.co to educate the public and encourage people to take action. Global warming, climate change, fossil fuels, and greenhouse gases: all things you’ve probably heard about in the news in recent years, … Continue reading A Look At Climate Change And The Questions That Surround It
Last night, Daniel and I were talking about what might happen with Africa in this century. It's an interesting question, considering that Africa has an unusually young population, many unstable governments, metals that are hard to find anywhere else on Earth, significant presence of both Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, and very uneven distribution of resources. All kinds … Continue reading Compost Blanketing the Sahara
Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I've read in the past month. The God We Never Knew by Marcus Borg Marcus Borg is a theologian and Biblical scholar who admits that he got well into his adult life and graduate studies before he realized that his understanding of God was warped by … Continue reading 5 Book Reviews
Many things in our home previously belonged to our relatives. I claimed many books, dishes, pieces of furniture, and framed artwork from my grandparents' homes after they died. Daniel's parents and grandparents have given us household items that they don't need anymore but that are still useful. Making use of these things in our home is a way … Continue reading The Dishwasher Ladybug
It happens to us all at some point: When we least expect it, our normally reliable toilet lets us down. A few flushes and a poke with the toilet brush often will be enough to get things moving again, but when that isn’t enough, here are some great suggestions to tackle the problem easily with … Continue reading 6 Ways to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger or a Plumber [Infographic]
Happy Earth Day! What is your Earth Day Resolution? I hope you've already switched to greener cleaners and started drinking better milk, and now you're ready for something new! There are many ways you could change your habits to reduce your environmental impact. Let's talk about the stuff you use to clean and care for … Continue reading Go Green in 2017: Clean Up Your Hygiene Routine!
We've never established a traditional Easter dinner for our family. Partly it's because we don't eat lamb or ham, but the biggest reason is that for the past 15 years I've been heavily involved in the Easter celebrations at church. The Easter Vigil service is late Saturday night, followed by a festive reception, and then … Continue reading Why we had Banana Bread and Black Bean Soup for Easter dinner