Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Life, Our Planet

When you were little, did your parents ever get you a fish to take care of? I'm sure your answer is yes. Everyone had a fish! I'm also sure your mom and dad told you it was your responsibility to feed the fish and clean it's bowl. I had a fish named Fred and he lived for about 7 years. Every morning, I'd wake up and feed Fred. It was my life goal to protect him. You're nodding your head right now in agreement. I bet you had the coolest fish tank or bowl for your fish too. Think about a fishbowl. It's an environment, a home, if you will, for our fellow fish friends. We made sure we cleaned that out every other week or else it would have been so slimey and so gross and our fish would've died. Then you would've had to have a fish funeral and you'd be upset for weeks. Okay, maybe that was just me.

This is going somewhere, I promise.

So our planet is no different than a fishbowl. We, as people, encompass that bowl. We live amongst each other and nature. We need clean water and clean air just as much as a goldfish does.

Am I making sense?

There's a term called "green" that I'm sure you've heard of. It can mean a lot of things to different people. Buying products made of sustainable material, products that are made with natural ingredients, eating local or organic, eating less or no meat, conserving energy, renewable energy, clean energy, living off the grid, creating your own energy, planting trees, recycling, and so forth. I'm sure you can think of a ton of products in your head that could be defined as "green." Or, maybe you can't and that's why I'm here.

Specifying green products will be a huge part of my job as a designer. It's so important to have knowledge about finding these products and using them in everyday life. Choosing to be green isn't easy; it's a lifestyle. There are so many ways that you can help save our planet at home, at work, at school, wherever you are! It all starts with simple habit changes.

I really want to encourage all of you to change one habit in your daily life that will benefit the environment. I have made a small list of great starters that are so easy to do. If you pick just one of these things it'll make all the difference.

  • During the day, keep the lights off. Open the blinds and let natural sunlight light your spaces.
  • Recycle cans, bottles, paper, plastic, etc.
  • Replace light bulbs with Energy Star lesser wattage bulbs. AKA the ice cream cone bulbs.
  • Buy recycled paper products for office and school use.
  • Stop using Styrofoam! It doesn't disintegrate.
  • Unplug lamps, chargers, electronics when not in use.
These are just a few things, but there are many more. Keep checking back for awesome new ways to benefit the environment in your daily life. I will be posting "green" products from time to time as I come across them.

It's your planet. It's up to you to keep it clean.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chevron Pumpkin

Pumpkin of the Day
I love this painted chevron pumpkin. So adorable and fun. This pumpkin came from:
 Follow her!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I mustache you something.

Don't you love this pumpkin?
Pumpkin of the Day

This mustache pumpkin came from
The Swell Life

Crunchy Ranch Chicken

I would love to share with you a recipe that my mother shared with me. I fixed it for dinner tonight for my boyfriend and his roommate. I guess we were all so hungry that I didn't get a chance to snap a picture. But the recipe is so simple and easy and the best part is is that it's soooooo good.

The best picture I could find!

skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 cup Hidden Valley ranch dressing
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (whatever you like)

Preheat oven to 350. Make sure chicken is thawed out. Dip chicken in ranch dressing. Then cover chicken in bread crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked (white middle).

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli for a delicious meal.

The boys loved it so I give it an A+!

Earning My Stripes

Halloween is a week from today. Do you have your costume ready? I know I don't. I'm volunteering at the zoo for the night of so I need something family friendly that's warm. I'm thinking about being a zebra. Check out this costume!

Okay, that's possibly the cutest thing ever. But let's be honest, I can't wear that. By the way, you can get this costume from Macy's. On the real, I'm kind of going for this....

... except I'll be wearing tights and boots and I won't be looking like a skank. I like the tutu part so I'm going to make my own from a cool Pin I saw on Pinterest. The ladies who created this adorable tutu are Real Moms, Real Views.

I can't wait to see those kids at Boo at the Zoo! Have a happy hump day!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shoutout to all the cancer surviors!

As everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and today was the Race For The Cure. I hope everyone participated and ran/walked in honor of someone that has either survived or lost their battle with breast cancer.
I was thinking today about all the other types of cancers that don't get near as much recognition as breast cancer. I totally support Breast Cancer Awareness and every year since freshman year in high school I've participated by donating to find a cure for this terrible disease that so many have battled. Cancer is a terrible thing and there are so many types of cancers out there that you might not even know about. Each one as it's own support website where you can donate to help find cures for all of them. I have put together a list of awareness months for each type of cancer so that hopefully you can support each type of cancer instead of just breast cancer. And if you have a friend or family member that suffers or survived from any of the following, my heart goes out to you. Hopefully, one day, our children and grandchildren won't know what the word "cancer" means.
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (my sister is a survivor!)
National Cancer Awareness Month
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month
Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month
Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

Brain Cancer Awareness Month
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

National Cancer Survivors Day

Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
Sarcoma Awareness Week

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
Hodgkin's Lymphoma Awareness Month
Leukemia Awareness Month

Lymphoma Awareness Month
Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Thyroid Cancer Awareness Week
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Liver Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Month
National Family Caregivers Month
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

Here is a video that was featured in the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) program. This is Avalanna's story.

This little girl passed away September 26, 2012 but Avalanna's journey will always be a reminder of the critical need for additional research for children facing cancer everywhere. Don't sit and do nothing. If you pick one cancer and support it and fight for it, that will make all the difference in the world. Don't feel sorry for Avalanna and all the other's fighting with cancer; get out and support them!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Budget Living

My first essay in English is coming up and I've chosen the topic "Living on a Tight Budget." I thought this would also make a great blog post. I've found out it's not at hard as you think to budget your life. I'm definitely going to try this month to save a little more. So, this is my rough draft. Hope you enjoy.

 Living on your own for the first time and finding out that you have no money for fun activities can be a hard pill to swallow. There are so many bills that can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to have a little fun every now and then without feeling bad for spending money. There are three things that you can budget so that if you want to buy yourself a pair of boots for fall, it doesn’t demolish your bank account. If you can save on entertainment, gas, and groceries you’ll be in better shape, literally.
Entertainment is the first expense that is hard to cut back. Everyone loves to do things in their free time like concerts or shopping. In my case, it’s crafting. Those things are certainly fun, but not always necessary. When money is tight, you have to pull out your creativity and do things that are free. Yes, there are things to do into your town that are free. Look up in the newspaper or online at the free events taking place in your city. You’ll be surprised how many there are. You can head to your local art museum or city library, both of which are free to residents. You’ll learn something new and have a lot of fun. There are tons of great parks that available to you, too. Pack a lunch and bring your dog and have a great day outside. Going to the movies can ultimately cost you about $20 just to have an enjoyable evening. Instead, have a movie night at home with friends or family. There are new sources for renting movies for as little as one dollar a night. These techniques, as well as others, can really help you when you’re on a tight budget. Consider these options or create some of your own.
Gas prices aren’t like they used to be and I don’t know about you, but I hate leaving the house. We can’t all go out and buy an energy-efficient vehicle but there are ways you can stop filling up every single week. Find gas stations that aren’t brand names, such as Shell and BP. The local owned stations get their gas for a cheaper price because it doesn’t have all the chemicals in it. If you have a Sam’s or Costco membership, than you can also save a couple of cents on your gas. Carpool whenever possible. If you and three other friends are going to the mall, ride together. Avoid making extra trips out for little things. Try to take one day and run all your errands on that day. Take the interstate when possible; you’ll save on gas by limiting the stop’s and go’s of a city street. Gas prices will probably not ever make it down to a dollar a gallon, but cutting out on time in the car can really help you when you’re on a tight budget.
Who doesn’t love to eat? Eating out is one of my favorite things to do, but going out every week is not a necessity. Instead, plan for one date night with your significant other or a fun girl’s night one night out of the month. That way you can have a somewhat expensive dinner if you choose and you’ll appreciate it more because you saved. During the day, pack your lunch. This is where being in “good shape” comes in. You will not only save a lot of money, but you’ll be a lot healthier too. When buying groceries, use as many coupons as you can, buy in bulk, take advantage of BOGO opportunities, and look for generic products. Stop buying snack foods instead of meals. Prepare a week’s dinner in advance and buy everything when you go to the store. There are ton of websites to find coupons and recipes that are easy to use. When it comes to food, it’s hard to say no, but do you really need those Debbie cakes?
Living on a budget is tough but when you’ve been eyeing those fall boots, they seem worth it in the end because you had the money to spend and money after for bills. In retrospect, saving will make your happier and less stressed in the end. Kim Roach, author of The Optimized Life said it best, “Living on a tighter budget simply requires you to add a bit of creativity to your financial planning and daily expenses. There are plenty of ways to live life on the ‘cheap’ without feeling like you’re pinching every penny.”