Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Free Gifts To Share!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on December 23rd, 2011

It’s that time a year again and if you’re like someone I know (i’m not mentioning any names…) you’ve waited ’til last minute to do your holiday shopping. Well, let me make it easy for you. I’ve got FREE gift ideas to share with you and it all starts with the most precious gift you can give…..YOU!

Did you know that you can actually be an eco-friendly gift?

1.  Make coupons that offer your time or services. For example, “This coupon entitles you to a special dinner for 2 lovingly prepared by me.” This coupon works great for friends or relatives that don’t cook. Or, “This coupon entitles you to 2 hours of book keeping services.” If you know what services someone really needs, then taylor made coupons makes them extra special.

2. Know someone with an office? (of course you do!) Check out this adorable business card holder  that was given to me  by a friend who created it special just for me. You can do the same with just a few pieces of cardboard , some glue and colored markers. 

3. Visit a lonely neighbor. Whether they’re down the street or across the hall, go knock on their door and say hello. Yes, even to the cranky guy that never smiles at you when you check your mail. Ever think he’s cranky because he’s lonely? Bring a plate of cookies to sweeten him up!

Your time and attention to someone less fortunate is the most precious gift you can give and …it’s FREE! Nothing feels as good as knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

Give the gift of time…….The gift of YOU!

Happy Holidays!

Colleen

Healthy Holiday Kitchen Tips

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on November 17th, 2011

 

The holidays are right around the corner and that means…..lots of food! If you’re doing the cooking this year, here are some tips on how to make your holiday food experience a little more healthy.Below are tips  from a great article I read on EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) website. I really enjoyed the article and just want to pass it along their tips to you.

1.  Choose Foods Low In Added Chemicals And Pollutants

Food can contain ingredients we don’t want to eat — from pesticides to hormones to artificial additives to food packaging chemicals. Some simple tips to cut the chemicals:

Buy organic when you can. I make sure fresh fruits and vegetables are on the menu, and I go organic when I can. Organic produce is grown without synthetic pesticides (I prefer my dinner without, thanks!). Organic meat and dairy products also limit your family’s exposure to growth hormones and antibiotics.

It’s OK to choose non-organic from our “Clean 15″ list of less-contaminated conventional fruits and vegetables, too. EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce ranks popular fruits and vegetables based on the amount of pesticide residues found on them.  Check out our Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce (and get the iPhone App).

Cook with fresh foods, rather than packaged and canned, whenever you can. Food containers can leach packaging chemicals into food, including the synthetic estrogen bisphenol A that’s used to make the linings of food cans. Go for fresh food or prepared foods stored in glass containers. Pick recipes that call for fresh, not canned, foods.

When I’m planning a grocery trip, I like to check in with EWG’s Healthy Home Tip: Go organic and eat fresh foods.

2. Use Non Toxic Cookware

Using a great pan makes a huge difference when I cook. I skip the non-stick so I don’t have to breathe toxic fumes that can off-gas from non-stick pans over high heat. Non-stick cookware is in most American kitchens. Is it in yours?

For safer cooking, use cast iron, stainless steel and oven-safe glass. Yes, there are many new products on the market, but most companies won’t tell you exactly what’s in them. Even if they’re advertised as “green” or “not non-stick,” manufacturers do not have to release their safety data to the public.

If you’re ‘stuck’ with non-stick, cook safer with it. You can reduce the possibility of toxic fumes by cooking smart with any non-stick cookware you happen to own: Never heat an empty pan, don’t put it in an oven hotter than 500 degrees F and use an exhaust fan over the stove.

If you’re in the market for a new cast iron pan, purchase it through Amazon and a portion of your purchase total will go to EWG!

3. Store & Reheat Leftovers Safely

Leftovers can extend the joy of a holiday — by giving you a break from the kitchen! But be sure to avoid plastic when storing and (especially) when heating them. Here’s why — and how:

Skip plastic food storage containers if you can. The chemical additives in plastic can migrate into food and liquids. Ceramic or glass food containers (such as Pyrex) are safer. Click here to get a 10-piece Pyrex set on Amazon (and a portion of your purchase will go towards helping EWG!).

  • Don’t microwave food or drinks in plastic containers, even if they claim to be “microwave safe.” Heat can release chemicals into your food and drink. Microwave ovens heat unevenly, creating hot spots where the plastic is more likely to break down.
  • If you do use a plastic container, handle it carefully. Use it for cool liquids only; wash plastics by hand or on the top rack of the dishwasher, farther from the heating element; use a paper towel instead of plastic wrap to cover food in the microwave. Also, avoid single-use plastic as much as possible — reusing it isn’t safe (it can harbor bacteria) and tossing it out fills up landfills (and pollutes the environment).

Read more about heating and storing food safely in our Healthy Home Tip: Pick plastics carefully.

 

So get cooking! And enjoy the Holidays!

Colleen :)


3 Boxes Away From Living Clutter-Free!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on January 29th, 2010

The new year has just begun and so has the task of cleaning up your clutter. If you’re like me, you still have a few decorations and gifts lying around the house. I love my winter decorations but it’s time to let them go and get ready for Spring. Here’s a few tips on how to get started.

First, don’t try to do everything all in one day unless you ate a whole box of Wheaties and you’re rearing to go! Set aside a couple of hours per week and you’ll get a lot accomplished. Next, think about which area of your home is causing you the most stress from it’s clutter. Maybe it’s the living room, your bed room or entry way. Start there.

Grab 3 good size boxes for collecting items: a  Throw Away box, Give-Away box and a Storage box. Then proceed with the following steps.

3 boxes

1. Throw Away box: Place any items like broken pens, old magazines, junk mail, greeting cards, etc. here. Some of these items you will later recycle and some will go in the trash. For now, place them all in the box.

2. Give-Away box: Place any item that you no longer want, need or have a use for, like jackets, books, the striped sweater you received from Aunt Mary, in this box. These items can be donated to a friend, family member (not Aunt Mary!) or to charity. Or, save the items for you garage sale, but only if you’re really planning on having one, or  your garage will end up looking like the houses on that T.V. show, Hoarders.

3. Storage box: Place in this box anything you want to keep but isn’t in it’s proper place like, Holiday decorations, tools, shoes etc. You don’t have to put them away right now, just put them in the box.

If filling these three boxes was enough to wear you out, then your done for the day. You are now one step closer to getting organized. Keep these boxes handy, as you go about your business during the week you may add to them. Next week you’ll be ready to start emptying them. Then, move on to the next room and start again! Before you know it, your entire home will be clutter-free and you’ll be stress-free! It doesn’t mater if it takes you a month or more to do this. What is important is that you start. The small steps you take today, will make a big difference tomorrow!