Lent starts February 13 this year, and this is the time that Christians across the world give up something in their lives. Normally it is something of a vice: soda, junk food, smoking, Facebook, etc. But during this time of fasting, repentance, charity, and sacrifice, you could strive to give up something that would help out the environment, too. While these suggestions work great for those who observe Lent, they would work for anyone and anytime.
1. Reduce shower time to 5 minutes.
2. Give up meat every day, not just Fridays.
3. Stop your vending machine habit at work.
4. Give up plastic bags.
5. Give up 2 degrees (on your thermostat).
There are plenty of other options for Lent, and for everyday. What are you giving up for Lent? Any plans to consider eco-friendly sacrifices?
It’s here, again. Awards season! The time of year where celebrities get together in expensive dresses, and collect award after award for their outstanding performances. That’s great, but yesterday some other awards were announced: The Randolph Caldecott award for illustration and the John Newbery Medal. Both of these awards are given for excellence in children’s literature. The winners, and honorable mentions, are listed below:
- This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen – Winner!
- Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen – Honor
- One Cool Friend written by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small – Honor
- Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – Honor
- Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Loque, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski – Honor
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – Winner!
- Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage -Honor
- Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin – Honor
- Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz – Honor
Have you or your children read any of these books? What did you think?
If you’re like me, you love books. Reading them, seeing them, and just thinking about the possibility that could be in between those covers. I stumbled upon an article by Book Riot listing the 16 best library scenes in film.
These scenes are such great visuals, and makes me remember my love of books (and movies). It’s great that many film makers see the power that exists in libraries, and choose to use that environment for some very memorable movie scenes.
Many of the scenes are from some of my favorite movies, like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Harry Potter, and Beauty and the Beast.
See the full list here.
Do you have any other favorite movie scenes that take place in a library?
I have had a Keurig coffee system for a while. After having it a few weeks, it was clear to me that the system wasn’t very eco-friendly. Each cup of coffee you make comes from a one-time use plastic, coffee filter. After you’re done, you have to throw it away. And if you’re a heavy coffee drinker, that could equal a whole lot of trash. I’ve looked into ways to make the coffee brewer more eco-friendly, and here are some of the best ways I’ve found.
1. Reusable Filter
Not long after the Keurig came out, companies started selling reusable coffee filters for use in the Keurig. The brand I have, Eko-Brew, is great. It has a fill line, is easy to clean, and pretty cheap. As I said, a few different companies make this product, and it’s a great alternative to the non-reusable coffee filters. Although, one of the drawbacks is that it takes the coffee brewer from being super quick and simple, to a little more time consuming.
2. Eco-Friendly K-Cups
I have seen a few companies begin to offer more eco-friendly solutions for the K-Cups. For example, San Fransisco Bay coffee offers a K-Cup with less plastic. Another such company is the Organic Coffee Company. I have yet to try either brand, but I have heard good reviews. It seems like a good solution because it doesn’t take away from the ease that the Keurig offers when brewing coffee.
Admittedly, this method seems like it would take a little longer, and might not be as simple as the reusable filter. But, some people have found ways to reuse their non-reusable K-Cups in an interesting way. Here is a great tutorial on how to use the My-Kap or My-Cap products. This solution is much cheaper than a reusable filter, and yields many more usable cups at a time. It just might take a bit more time than any other option.
If you have Keurig or other single-cup brewing system, how have you tried to make it more eco-friendly?
Last week, I highlighted the many lists found online listing the best books of 2012; today I am talking about the best selling books of 2012. USA Today tracks the sale of books from January to December, and then compiles a list of the 100 best selling. Here are the top 20 (with a little commentary):
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
(I think I am seeing a pattern here. . . )
4. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
9. Fifty Shades Trilogy: The Bundle by E.L. James (Really??)
10. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
11. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Sparks (Of course.)
12. No Easy Day by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer
13. Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day
14. Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
15. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
16. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
17. The Racketeer by John Grisham
18. Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent
19. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
20. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
For the complete list, see USA Today’s 100 Best Selling Books of 2012.
Have a bunch of used books that you want to sell, but you are pressed for time? Well, that isn’t a problem when it comes to BookJingle.
Because when you use BookJingle, you’ll get immediate offers when you sell your used books. No waiting for offers. Just enter the ISBN information on the site, and then receive immediate offers on the books entered.
Since you get immediate offers, you can also quickly accept or deny offers shown. The whole process is so quick and simple. Even after you’ve finished that, the rest is a piece of cake as well. Just box up the books in your order, print out BookJingle’s free shipping label, and send it to BookJingle. And within 48 hours of receiving your books, BookJingle will send you cash.
And just like that, your used books are cash!
I am always telling people that eating in season and eating locally is very important. Not only does the food taste better, but it saves energy when produce doesn’t have to travel as far. Well, today I found a great tool to aid in helping you to eat in season and locally.
It is the peak season map from Epicurious. You pick the month, and your region, and it tells you what foods are in season in your area. Unfortunately, the growing season in my area is dormant, but this tool will be useful year round. I should have known this existed, but it never crossed my mind to actual look for it. Ah, the wonders of the internet.
Try it out! It’s pretty cool, and it makes me anxious for strawberry season. But I guess I’m stuck with frozen vegetables and soup until growing season starts up again.
Now that 2012 is behind us, it’s a great time to look at the myriad of “Best Book” websites, and figure out new books to read that you may have missed. I’ve gathered some links to just a few of the multitude of lists available online from The New Yorker, Barnes & Noble, Publisher’s Weekly, and NPR.
Best Books of 2012 by The New Yorker
Best Books of 2012 by Barnes & Noble
Best Books of 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly
Best Books of 2012 by NPR
Obviously, these are based on opinions of many different people, so a vast variety of genres are covered. I see everything from non-fiction about diagrams (100 Diagrams that Changed the World by Scott Christianson) to poetry (Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain by Lucia Perillo) to a novel about a missing woman (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn).
There are so many books published each year, so instead of looking at these books as the best, I think I would rather think of them as some of the best. I’m sure there are books that were released last year that just got overlooked. What are your favorite books from 2012?
With the Spring semester starting up for colleges across the country, I thought I would take this opportunity to remind everyone gearing up for school that BookJingle is great for students. Why? Because, unlike university bookstores who seldom offer fair prices in exchange for textbooks, BookJingle gives you the most for your books. When I was in college, I can’t count the number of times I heard complaints about someone buying a book for $150, using it for one semester, and then only getting pennies back at the university bookstore. A lot of this is because new editions of textbooks come out constantly, yearly in some cases. Professors often choose to use the newest, so bookstores no longer want to buy the previous editions. Not the case with BookJingle!
BookJingle is always buying textbooks, even older editions that your university bookstore might refuse to buy. Plus, you don’t even have to leave your house to use BookJingle. You can sell your used textbooks for cash from the comfort of your couch. Ship the books for free using BookJingle’s Media Mail shipping label, and you’re good to go!
So, when this semester is over, skip that trip to the bookstore and head to BookJingle.com to get the most money for your used textbooks!
Unfortunately, cold and flu season is rearing its ugly head. And it’s a nasty one this year. So, not only is the weather outside a little nasty and unpredictable, your health might also be unpredictable with coughing, runny noses, sore throats, and fevers. We all know that being sick is no fun. Of course, getting a flu shot is a good way to stave off certain strains of the flu, but there are other things you can do to try and stay well.
In order to prevent sickness, be sure to do all of the following:
- Wash your hands often. Use soap, lather up, and scrub for 15 seconds.
- Sleep! Those who are sleep deprived have compromised immune systems, and are more susceptible to sickness.
- De-stress. Like those who are sleep deprived, those of you who are stressed are more likely to get sick.
- Drink more water.
- Disinfect surfaces daily.
- Get plenty of Vitamin C daily.
It’s not always possible to keep the cold away. So, if you still end up getting sick, just use these suggestions to make it a little less agonizing than it already is:
- Take it easy. Listen to your body, and only do what you feel ready to do. Don’t do too much too fast, or you risk allowing the illness to drag on.
- If possible, start treatment within the first 24 hours of being sick. It is much easier to kick an illness during the first few hours than it is later.
- Ask for help. If you need something (soup, ginger ale, a good magazine), don’t be afraid to ask others so you don’t risk spreading your germs at the drugstore.
- Get a new toothbrush, especially after a bacterial infection. The infection may actually stay on the brush even after you are better.
And we all know that when you’re sick, there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of warm soup. Here is a link to over 20 recipes for comforting soup that will make you feel better, if only for a little bit. Stay well!