Archive for February, 2012
As most people know it’s February 29th, which means it’s Leap Day! Celebrate by watching Quantum Leap, playing Leap Frog, or watching the movie Leap Year with Amy Adams. For those of you who just treat this day like any other, that’s okay. You don’t have to do anything fancy. But this extra day has me thinking, what exactly is Leap Year all about? I found this cool infographic (courtesty of CheapSally.com) that tells you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Leap Year.
Now that you are a Leap Year Know-It-All, enjoy this extra day by sharing this knowledge with everyone you meet today! Maybe that isn’t the best suggestion, but whatever you do, enjoy February 29th. You won’t have another for four years.
Bookjingle.com is very easy to use. It only takes a few steps to sell your used books for cash.
Step 2.) Click the “Show my offer(s)” button to see your offer for each book.
Step 3.) You can then choose to accept or reject the offer for each book. If you decide to accept the offer, simply click on the “accept offer” check box and the books will be added to your cart.
Step 4.) Select a delivery method. Shipping is always FREE when you use BookJingle’s mailing label.
Step 5.) Complete the check out process and confirm the books you are selling. Then ship your books in a sturdy box.
Step 6.) Get paid FAST! We offer payment via PayPal or check. PayPal payments will be sent and checks mailed within 48 hours of receiving your shipment.
Normally, I update this blog on Fridays. But I saved this particular post for Oscar Sunday! It was only recently brought to my attention that of the nine nominees for Best Picture, six of them are based on books. I’m no Oscar trivia buff, but I feel confident in saying that that doesn’t always happen. The following six movies are all book to movie adaptations that are up for the big win tonight:
1. Hugo (Based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick)
2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer)
3. The Help (Based on the book of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, which I have previously posted about)
4. Moneyball (Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis)
5. The Descendants (Based on the book of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings)
6. War Horse (Based on the book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo)
Of those six movies, I have seen The Help and The Descendants. Of the books, I have read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Help. While the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of my absolute favorites, I have yet to watch the movie. It is very common for books to be adapted to movies, but it is hard to make a movie that lives up to a favorite book. For this reason I have been hesitant to watch the movie adaptation of the book. Although The Artist is a favorite to win the coveted Best Picture Oscar, I am still rooting for one of the many book adaptations to take the title. It’s great to see that these books have been successfully translated from page to screen.
What about you? What movies are you rooting for in the Oscar race? The Academy Awards air tonight, so don’t forget to watch and find out who wins (or just check every news site in the morning)!
There have been previous posts on this site about green cleaners, and now I want to talk about even more green cleaners! Specifically, natural stain fighters. Many of us are guilty of spilling grape juice or coffee on the rug and believing that natural cleaners just aren’t strong enough to fight the stains. Well, with this guide on wholeliving.com, you can clean practically any stain — naturally! Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Stain: Berries
Natural Cleaner: White vinegar or lemon juice; washing soda
Instructions: Soak stains in white vinegar or lemon juice for one hour; rinse. If there is some remnants of a stain, dampen with water, and rub gently with a paste of equal parts washing soda and water.
2. Stain: Coffee or Tea
Natural Solution: White vinegar or lemon juice; cream of tartar
Instructions: Soak the stain in straight white vinegar or lemon juice for one hour. Alternatively, clean with a paste made of cream of tartar and water.
3. Stain: Gum
Natural Solution: Ice
Instructions: Freeze gum with a wrapped ice cube, then peel off the frozen gum.
4. Stain: Tomato Sauce
Natural Solution: White vinegar; washing soda; borax
Instructions: Soak in white vinegar. Alternatively, make a paste of equal parts washing soda or borax and water and rub in gently.
5. Stain: Blood
Natural Solution: Cold water; hydrogen peroxide; corn starch
Instructions: Soak in cold water. For stubborn stains, soak in hydrogen peroxide (a natural bleach; spot-test to make sure it won’t affect the fabric). Or use a paste of equal parts corn starch and cold water.
If you’re anything like me, you are constantly spilling and dripping things all over clothing, carpet, the couch – everywhere! It’s a little annoying to be so clumsy, but as long as you keep this guide handy, you’ll be able to get rid of those stains with non-toxic, all-natural solutions.
A few weeks back, I made the ambitious promise to read 12 classic novels in 2012. So far, that is not going as planned. While I haven’t yet completed one (I am 30% finished with David Copperfield), I have had time to make a list of other books I plan to read in the year. Today, I have simply decided to share my “to-read” list with you.
1. The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah Mccoy
2. In the Bleak Mid-Winter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
3. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
4. The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo
5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
6. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
7. The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
8. The Little Russian by Susan Sherman
9. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
10. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
It will probably take a while to finish this list (in addition to the classics I mentioned before, I hope), but those are the books I hope to read in the next 10 months. What is on your 2012 reading list?
BookJingle prides itself on its excellent customer service. Not only will you get free shipping, payment within 48 hours, and top prices for your used books, you will also receive the highest quality of service and convenience. With such an easy to use website, and communication through-out the entire process, why even use the other sites?
You will be contacted when your shipment arrives to the BookJingle headquarters, as well as when your payment has been sent. Since BookJingle is not a corporate conglomerate, questions are thoroughly answered in a timely manner. Should you have any questions, all you need to do is contact BookJingle via their contact page. You can also find BookJingle on Facebook and ask your question there.
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Did you know that the average household tosses approximately 1.28 pounds of wasted food daily? That is around 14 percent of the household’s food purchases. It’s bad enough that these discarded food items take up precious landfill space, (and cost families wasted money), but rotting food also releases methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But there is good news: it is fairly easy to reduce food waste. Here are the five best tips I have found for reducing food waste:
1. Take Smaller Portions
Not only will this affect your waste, it could also affect your waist! When doling out your food, stick to smaller portions — not the giant restaurant-sized portions that many have become accustomed to. Since you are less likely to save a half-eaten piece of lasagna than an entire uneaten piece, put less on your plate. You can always get a second (smaller) helping if you want it. And the rest can be stored to be eaten later.
2. Declare One Meal a Week “Use it Up Meal”
Design one meal around produce that is about to go bad. Casseroles, frittatas, smoothies, and soups are great ways to use vegetables that have gone a little limp or overripe bananas (and everyone knows overripe bananas are great for banana bread, as well!). These dishes hold up well, even if the vegetables comprising them aren’t at their freshest.
3. Buy Local
Those peppers in the produce aisle at your local grocery have already endured a trip of at least a week to 10 days — that’s half its life span! Buying local ensures the freshest possible produce, thus extending its shelf life in your kitchen. It would be nice if we all lived in areas where all kinds of produce is abundant year-round, but those of us who don’t can still do what we can by shopping as locally as possible.
4. Rethink Quantity
By just buying what you need, you can save up to 35 percent. What I mean by that is, shopping at the deli counter or bulk bins to buy just the quantity you need. If you always buy way too much cheese, buy a few slices from the deli counter and go back when you run out instead of tossing half the package. If you need nuts for a recipe, buy the exact amount you need from the bulk bins instead of an entire package. That way you are ensuring you will use it up, and not throw away excess. Many health food stores have a ton of foods in bulk bins, from oats to dried fruits.
5. Shop More Often
Shopping once a week can lead to more food waste because fruits and veggies have the possibility of going bad before you get a chance to use them. Supplementing that large Sunday grocery trip with a few small trips through-out the week for fresh produce will keep you from tossing out that limp asparagus the next Saturday.
Using these five tips will give you a little peace of mind that you aren’t filling up the landfills with methane-releasing food waste, and you are saving your family money by shopping and eating a little smarter. For more ways on reducing food waste, see the following article on Whole Living: Prevent Food Waste in Your Home.
So, while many people prefer to give chocolates, flowers, and stuffed teddy bears for Valentine’s Day, I prefer to bake! Last year, I was only vegetarian so cupcakes were still fairly straightforward — eggs, butter, flour, sugar. Since I have since decided to omit dairy and eggs from my diet, it might seem difficult. But I happen to have a secret weapon: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.
Now, before I go on about the delicious recipes in the book, I just want to point out that this is a great book for anyone — vegan or not. Just hearing the word vegan may scare a few people, but it is just food prepared without the use of animal products. No biggie. The book is great to have around the house for when a sweet craving hits, and you might be out of milk or eggs. Learning new ways of baking is always fun and useful. Plus, omitting those products from your baked goods lowers the amount of cholesterol in your cupcakes (while still keeping the yummy amount pretty high). And who knows when a hungry vegan (or someone allergic to dairy) might just drop by expecting some kind of treat.
And on to the praise for this great book! I have made several of these cupcakes (chai latte, pumpkin chocolate chip, and apple cider to name a few), and they did not disappoint. You won’t even know that they aren’t dairy-laden. Moist and sweet, with just the right amount of crumble. Plus, most of the varieties come with their own icing recipe.
For Valentine’s Day, I am planning to make the Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes with Old-Fashioned Velvet Icing (a fancy way of saying red velvet). The red color is perfect for the holiday, and it just so happens to be my favorite kind of cake. There are 75 recipes, each sounding more delicious than the next. On my to-d0 list after tomorrow’s red velvet are the carrot cake, s’mores, and the blueberry lemon creme.
Even if you don’t choose to pick up this book (which would be a mistake on your part), consider giving the gift of home baked cupcakes for Valentine’s Day (or cookies or brownies). The work that goes into baking your own makes them that much more satisfying, and who doesn’t love a good cupcake!?
With BookJingle’s unique Book Scouts program, you have the opportunity and tools to find more books and make more money. Using BookJingle’s proprietary PDA and bar code scanner (or Jingle Scout), you can be your own boss, and work your own hours. Some benefits of being a Book Scout are:
- Speed. Results are displayed in under a second. Plus, top Book Scouts may be eligible to receive a bar code scanner attachment. This turns your PDA into a book finding machine. You don’t have to type in a single ISBN. The scanner allows you to evaluate 15-30 books per minute.
- Knowledge. Jingle Scout devices contain information on millions of books.
- Portability. The PDA can be taken anywhere. You are not limited by cell phone service as the data is all located on the PDA.
As a Book Scout, you will also receive a free copy of Guide to Finding Used Books. Plus, Book Scouts get to take part in contests available only to Book Scouts, and are pre-approved to sell multiple copies.
This opportunity would be great for stay at home moms, retirees, students, those interested in working from home or working part time, and book lovers. If you are interested or would like more information on BookJingle’s Book Scout program, contact BookJingle.
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up (it’s Tuesday the 14th for those non-observant readers among us), I thought it would be a good time to discuss some eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas. Some conventional, others a little less, they are all eco-friendly and sure to please. Your loved one will appreciate the thought you put into it more than a Target gift card and a Hershey bar.
1. A recycled wooden frame from uncommongoods.com. This colorful frame is perfect for the amateur photographer in your life. And as a bonus, it is handmade with recycled wood from old boats, houses, schools and buildings in Thailand. And if you act fast, you can get it for $29.99!
2. Body wash from Pangea Organics. This company is amazing. All of their products are natural, organic, fair trade, and cruelty-free (meaning they don’t test on animals). A little pricier than other body wash, they are more concentrated to last longer. And who doesn’t mind paying a little extra to ensure non-toxic, Earth-loving body wash?
3. Organic cotton sheets! These 325 thread count organic sheets on Target’s website are affordable and comfortable. I own these sheets in green and I love them. Not only are you giving the gift of comfort, you are giving the Earth a gift of buying organic.
4. Fair-trade, organic chocolates. Always a stand-by, chocolate is the epitome of a Valentine’s Day gift. Equal Exchange sells fair-trade, organic chocolate bars that are delicious. There are many varieties available, many of which are completely vegan. While organic signifies that no pesticides are used in growing the cacao beans to make chocolate, fair-trade means that the source of the chocolate comes from farms where children and workers are not exploited. So, you are doing good things for the environment, small farmers, and getting delicious chocolate all at the same time.
5. If you are strapped for time, simply go with a classic — flowers! But, maybe not in the sense you are thinking. Seeds and seedlings would be a good gift, and would allow your loved one to plant their own little garden and think of you all spring and summer long! Getting cut flowers is a little wasteful, as you will end up throwing them away in a couple of weeks anyway. Pair it with your loved one’s favorite candy, and that’s a great gift.
While Valentine’s Day is touted by many to be a very consumerist holiday, you can ensure that your money is spent on goods that don’t hurt the environment. And there’s never anything wrong with a little gift giving if you ask me.