My family spends a lot less time in the car than the American average, but we get into our car for hours-long errand binges some weekends and several long road trips each year. For the past three school years, my son had to be driven through urban rush-hour traffic to a weekly activity at dinnertime. … Continue reading Cutting Back on Car Snacks
This is an honest review of a product I was offered for free, with no restrictions on what I could say in the review. I did not receive any compensation other than this tote bag shipped internationally to my home, and I have no other connection to this company. Hello Sunday is an Australian business … Continue reading Hello Sunday tote bag review
In this particular household of Earthlings, we all have about the same color of skin, and if we wanted to wear makeup we'd get the second-lightest shade in most brands: We are not the palest people on the planet, but we're fairly fair. That said, we're not especially prone to sunburn, so we don't wear … Continue reading Sunscreens that Save Your Skin Without Hurting the Earth
Well, it's happened with the second child: That moment when a total stranger interrupts my reading aloud to voice the opinion that the child is too young to understand what I'm reading. Here's how I described this phenomenon when my first child was 4 years old: I must say, I got far less flak from … Continue reading Our kids understand books because we read them books!
I've explained how to use a box full of seasonal produce in a week when you're cooking at home. But what if you've received your CSA farm share, or a bountiful harvest from your garden, the night before you're going to leave on a week's vacation? What can you do with all those fresh vegetables?! … Continue reading Veggie Inundation Just Before Vacation? How to Cope.
One of the most effective things you can do to reduce your environmental impact is to drive less. Every gallon of gasoline burned puts 24 pounds of pollution into our air! Of course we should work toward powering more cars with cleanly generated electricity or other alternative fuels, but we also need to move away … Continue reading Go Green in 2018: Get Out of the Car!
I started the year by finishing my library book, then dived into the stack of books I got for Christmas! Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, translated from Swedish by Henning KochThis novel featuring one of the background characters from My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (reviewed here) isn't nearly as unusual … Continue reading What I Read First in 2018
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
It's getting harder and harder for me to believe that the majority of Americans who work outside the home commute by car. I understand that many small towns and suburban and rural areas have no public transit at all, and that many cities have inadequate public transit providing infrequent service to just a few neighborhoods. … Continue reading Public Transit and Convenient Commuting
When our son Nicholas was 2 years old, we drove from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma, stayed a while, and drove back. In each direction, we spent 3 days in a row on the road for about 8 hours a day of actual driving time, plus rest stops. My cousin who has older children gave me two … Continue reading Secrets to a Happy Road Trip with a Two-year-old
This is a guest post by Maria Ramos. Maria is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles. National Drive Electric Week is … Continue reading National Drive Electric Week: Events Around the Country!
WARNING: People who are offended by graphic discussion of menstruation should go read something else. I first tried a reusable menstrual cup in 1997 and reusable cloth menstrual pads in 2001. Over the years, I've tried a number of different brands, and I've written about why these alternatives are better than disposable pads and tampons … Continue reading Sckoon Menstrual Cup and Cloth Pad Review
Three years after I explained how I survive everyday life without a cell phone, I'm still doing fine without one. I recently took a three-day vacation by myself, and as I often do when traveling alone, I borrowed my partner Daniel's cell phone for the trip. However, I found that none of the times I … Continue reading 6 Unnecessary Types of Cell Phone Call
Warm weather is here, and I'm looking forward to summer! We won't be taking any big vacations; most weekdays, I'll be going to work in my office as usual, and our seven-year-old Nicholas will be attending art and natural history day camps at the Carnegie Museum while his dad works from home. I take a … Continue reading Public Transit and Summer Fun (Plus tips on vacationing in Pittsburgh!)
When our child was wearing diapers, Daniel and I found it very easy to stick to this simple rule that teaches the child good habits for the future, simplifies clean-up of your hands and anything else that's soiled, is more courteous to the people around you, minimizes the spread of germs, and is respectful of … Continue reading Change diapers in bathrooms.
[UPDATE: Port Authority Transit now offers annual, monthly, and weekly passes or cash debit on the ConnectCard, which you can refill online. It's even more convenient than the paper passes were! Also, we no longer have zones; all trips are the same price.] In my purse is a 2"x3" piece of paper that is worth … Continue reading The Beauty of a Bus Pass
Today is the organizing tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I have no new organizing tips to impart. Check out my articles on Organizing Girl Scout Troop Information and Things Not To Do: Home Organizing Edition. Meanwhile, here's an idea for a homemade gift kids can use to surprise their faraway relatives! In early December, … Continue reading A Doorstop from Reused Materials, Delivered By Airplane!
A few weeks ago, I explained how we appreciate the little forests within our city. During our Thanksgiving trip, Nicholas (almost seven years old) and I found a much larger forest to explore--in a place where we never knew there was a forest. Cousin Mike hosts Thanksgiving in his home near Albany, New York. I've … Continue reading Adventure in the Forest Across the Street
We took our six-year-old son to visit New York City; Montclair, New Jersey; and Philadelphia, leaving our car at home in Pittsburgh and traveling by train or bus the whole way. It was great! We felt it was more relaxing than driving, more pleasant than going by airplane, and generally pretty easy to do. I'm … Continue reading A Family Vacation by Public Transit
I grew up in Oklahoma, visiting my grandparents in New York City every summer from age 6 to 14. Then my grandma died, and my grandpa began spending most of his time in Arizona. I had two more brief visits in New York before he sold the house when I was 17. I had thought … Continue reading 7 Quick Takes on visiting New York City again after 21 years