Posts Tagged ‘ nature ’

Cool Way to Create a Keepsake

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Picture_1 Check out this awesome piece of personalized artwork from Sticks and Stones. Visit their site and choose from the library of letters to spell out a word or name and they’ll mail you a matted and framed keepsake – a one of a kind gift for sure! (Fun Fact: All the photos were taken by the company’s founders and their three young daughters when they started an ongoing project to find letters in nature and architecture.) So cool!

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Tags: , , , | Categories: Crafts, Shopping & Gear

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Spankin’ New Headlines

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

News_image_newYour kids may breathe easier if you live on a tree-lined street, according to new research. BBC News

More U.S. mothers are at least trying to breastfeed, says a CDC survey. New York Times

Why your child may be dyslexic in English, but not in Chinese. Wall Street Journal

Immunization rates for American children are lower than experts thought.
ABC News

You probably really are tougher on your firstborn, a new study finds. Newsweek

Original photo via

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We Dig This Deal…

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

2056331945_a92b43b0f1_mPriceless memorabilia, great food and a family-friendly atmosphere make Hard Rock Cafe a fun dinner destination. And now here’s another reason that the Hard Rock Cafe, well, rocks. Beginning Arbor Day (tomorrow!) the restaurants located in North America and Puerto  Rico will include tree seed packets with their kid’s meals. Sure, initially your kids might not be as excited about the seeds as they would be about finding a plastic toy with their meal, but how cool is it that ten years from now their "prize" will still be around and doing the earth good (the same can’t be said for the plastic toy…) In addition, Hard Rock International has teamed up with the Arbor Day Foundation, making the commitment to plant at least 25,000 trees this year.

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Tags: , | Categories: Green, Shopping & Gear

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Aah, Go Take a Hike!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

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On Earth Day, it’s totally appropriate to focus on environmentally friendly products, habits, and the like. I love new gadgets and energy-saving technology as much as the next geek. But I’d rather skip all that and go right to the pith of the day: Enjoying and exploring nature. Without experiencing the world as it is, with all its wonder and color, the message of Earth Day seems severely lacking at best.

And, in my opinion, the best way to do this is to take a hike. A good hike is the perfect weekend day trip, especially as the weather gets warmer. The trail is not just a destination, it’s a classroom, an art museum, a workshop, and a playground. Showing your kids the splendor of the out-of-doors is easy when you’re surrounded by it.

Most likely, there’s hiking closer than you think. For example, there’s excellent hiking only about 20-30 minutes northwest of New York at the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey. Considering the stereotypes both NYC and Jersey have, if we can find beautiful hiking, so can you.

Online, there are plenty of resources available. The National Park Service and your state park’s web site has plenty of information and ideas on where to go. In addition, most states have hiking or trail clubs. These are excellent resources to tap into. Not only do they offer maps, books, and other information, they offer opportunities for group hiking, volunteer projects, activism, and more.

So this Earth Day, plant a tree, recycle, and consider planning a hiking trip with your family.

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Tags: , , , | Categories: Green

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Skunk Cabbage: A (Smelly) Sign of the Times

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

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Spring is slowly emerging within the wilds of Central New Jersey. Forsythia have begun to show their sunny glow. Trees have that impressionistic blur when buds start to
turn into leaves. The ground is no longer crunchy and hard.

And, of course, there are the skunk cabbages. They’ve been around for a few weeks now. They’re the first sign of spring in the Central Jersey area, appearing before any of their attractive and nicely fragranced cousins. But when I see them pop up around the local creek, the sight warms the heart.

But the heart isn’t the only thing they warm—they generate their own heat. When the plant blooms, it’s able to raise its heat to about 70°F. This is why you can see them poke through the grounded snow.

Mom always warned us not to kick them, because our shoes would stink afterward. So, when we eventually did, our shoes did indeed smell of skunk. But why the stink? The odor, which is akin to rotting flesh, attracts carrion-attracted flies who eventually pollinate the plants. Crushed leaves bring out more of their hellish perfume.

Of course, kids probably shouldn’t be kicking the skunk cabbages anyhow, due to the fact that they usually grow on protected wetlands. (In Tennessee, they’re considered protected.) Perhaps they’re best appreciated from afar—laws being the least of it.

Point them out to your kids on your next family walk in the out-of-doors. Unless you’re in Manhattan. You can get any type of vegetable in the City, but skunk cabbages aren’t in the mix. Their roots are poisonous and the smell can’t be appealing to the palate. You’d be better off buying bok choy.

 

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Tags: | Categories: Your Life

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Spankin’ New Headlines

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

News_image_newWaiting for daycare can start in utero. Wall Street Journal

The rate of late pre-term births—deliveries between the 34th and 36th week—is growing, and these infants often have medical complications.
Chicago Tribune

Most kids still have 2 parents at home, according to a census bureau report.
New York Times

Why nature-time is important for children.
U.S. News & World Report

Are your online photos of your kids as private as you think?
The Washington Post

Original photo
via

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Good Deed Friday: A Practical Eco-Accessory

Friday, January 11th, 2008

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I can’t decide what’s more amazing about Zulugrass jewelry: The fact that the beautiful grass beads are strung on super-durable elastic (the same used to film the movie Spiderman) or that handcrafting these works of art has given more than 1,400 Massai women in Kenya steady work for over 5 years.

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Zulugrass is the brainchild of The Leakey Collection, created by a husband and wife team in hope of giving the people in the Rift Valley a means to take care of their families when their pasture lands were devastated by drought in 2001. They harvest, dry and cut grass into tiny beads, which they then dye and string with elastic. To balance the modern, natural feel of the grass beads, they intersperse glass beads from the Czech Republic (the only material imported to create the jewelry) in the design to give each piece a soft, classic feel.39 

Each piece is designed to be worn a number of ways, which makes Zulugrass jewelry extremely versatile. I absolutely love the clasps too. They act more like a finishing touch than a single-purpose clasp! And even better is that the elastic used doesn’t lose shape if it’s stretched. So your baby can tug away on your arms and neck without you worrying about delicate chains breaking or stretching.   

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Tags: , , | Categories: Doing Good, Green

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The Greenest Calendar Ever?

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

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Yes, I know it’s already January 9th, but if no one gave you a desk calendar over the holidays, check out cute and clever "plantable" calendar from Botanical Paperworks. Each month’s sheet is embedded with wildflower seeds, so once the month is up, you can plant it and enjoy! Not in the market for a calendar? They also sell plantable cards, gift tags, and more. Love it!

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