Thursday, November 20, 2008

More My Style

KA-CHOW!
Remember what Jack was for Halloween?Jack actually like Princess Mulan. Even gave her a hug. Here is his self-portrait with her.

Princess Overload

We saw so many princesses while at Disney World! My Princess Kate loved them all...
Belle
Snow White
Jasmine
Mulan
Sleeping Beauty
And, our favorite, Ariel
But Jack wasn't so thrilled. His response to Ariel... "I can't believe you are making me sit next to the mermaid!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I had intended to blog about the Tell Disney to Go Green! National Day of Action that took place in late October before we left for our Disney trip, but you know how that often goes around here! LOL

The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) launched the Disney Go Green campaign two years ago and has since been asking Disney to eliminate toxic cleaning products from their parks and hotels. This was important to me before our trip, but after being in Disney World and seeing for myself how busy the parks are and the vast number of hotel rooms, it seems like an even more important cause.
I plan to write Disney a letter this week to express my opinion. I'll share it with you when it is complete. I hope you will write a letter or email also.

And if you are on Facebook, you can show your support by adding Green Mickey as a friend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Fun at Disney

On our Disney trip, we stayed in the Yacht Club hotel (we chose this one because Matt's conference - our excuse for the trip - was being held there) which is on the Disney property. We were walking distance to Epcot and the Boardwalk so we had lots of dining options. The pool was amazing and had a sandy bottom! They had big areas of sand where the kids could dig and build sandcastles. The sand areas were zero entry into a large, shallow pool. They also had a big water slide that landed in a larger pool with a whirlpool, waterfalls, bridges, etc. We could have spent the whole week just playing in the pool.

Kate coming down the water slide (I should have taken more pool photos!)
Because we were staying in a Disney hotel, they gave us a complimentary copy of the Disney magazine Family Fun. While it isn't specifically an eco-friendly magazine, there were a ton of craft ideas and homemade fun. I'm sure I'll be posting about some of them later this winter when we spend more time indoors doing crafty things.

Family Fun magazine is currently looking for Green Tips from families. If your tip is chosen for publication, you will receive $25. Go to the submission page on their website to enter your green tip. Deadline is Nov 30th.

Monday, November 17, 2008

GreenStyleMom in Real Simple Magazine

Be sure to check out the current (December) issue of Real Simple Magazine. I am quoted in "Your Words" about my Charity Giveaway. I will be repeating the Charity Giveaway again this December.

A big welcome to any new readers coming from the magazine!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Belated Halloween

As I am downloading Disney photos, I found all our Halloween photos! Even though it is over 2 weeks late, I still want to share. With all the moving hubub, we didn't even go to get pumpkins until Halloween afternoon. We went straight home, pulled out the pulp, separated the seeds and carved. We discovered that Nina Sprinkles loves to eat pumpkin pulp! I planned to cut up our pumpkins and put them in our worm compost bin until I discovered that the pumpkin faces had been chewed away overnight. Seems Nina isn't the only one who likes pumpkin!
We left the pumpkins out for the squirrels while on vacation. When we arrived back home, one pumpkin was completely gone and there isn't much left of the other! The rather plump squirrel couple that lives in our backyard are still gnawing away at it.
And one last photo of my kids in their Halloween costumes. Jack is a monster (supposedly it is Sulley from Monsters, Inc. but we didn't know that as we have never seen the movie), and Kate is a princess (original, huh?). Both costumes proudly came from the thrift store.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

America Recycles Day

Don't forget that today is America Recycles Day. Their website has lots of great information. I was hoping to have my new recycling system in our new home all organized to show off for today, but it isn't even close to being organized! Currently pick-up recyclables are on a corner of the kitchen counter waiting to be taken out to the big bin, plastic bags are in a big plastic bag on the floor of the mudroom, CFL lightbulbs are in a brown paper bag hanging on a hook in the mudroom, bottle caps are in another bag on a hook, and styrofoam pieces are in the empty dining room being used as bridges for toy cars. For my sanity, we need to organize our system soon.

In our cohousing home, we had 2 sets of simplehuman pull-out recyclers in a cabinet. We had one can for trash, one for paper, one for plastic, and one for glass, styrofoam and cardboard (because they went to a separate recycling area in the cohousing trash bins). I am still not certain how we will do it in our new place.

In our new neighborhood, we arrange for our own trash/recycling pick-up through private companies. I have no experience with private companies as all our previous homes have been multi-family units where trash pick-up is included or have been homes with city pick-up. I was a little annoyed that the 96-gallon trash can was less expensive than the smaller versions, and we barely covered the bottom of the bin our first week! I am a bit horrified to think that a family might actually fill a 96-gallon trash bin every week. A separate and smaller recycle bin is included with our pick-up. It will be interesting to monitor the amount of trash and recycling our family produces every week.

I have some ideas for how I would like to organize the recycling inside the house but have yet to find the time to get it done. If you have a good system for recycling, I'd love to hear about it!

Just Back

We've been on vacation at Disney World in Florida! Can't wait to show you photos and share my "green" observations of the parks. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

ps - the new house is still a disaster, but I am getting closer to taking some photos and blogging about the place!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

After over a week of mostly staying home so mom can do things around the house (unpack, arrange cabinets, plant bulbs - I planted over 80 bulbs on Monday - youch!), we decided we needed an outing last Tuesday. Despite being a bit chilly and overcast, we headed to the zoo. The sun came out as soon as we arrived, and we basically had the place to ourselves. It was a leisurely trip, and we didn't even see our first animal until 20 min after we arrived. The kids climbed and played, we spent over 45min just watching the hippos get in their pool, poop in the pool (the kids are still talking about the hippo poop!), and play with their ball. Then we headed over to the ape house. Again we took our time mingling running and jumping on the big step bench and watching the orangutans swing around outside. Our arrival coincided with the zoo keeper's training session that Kate watched intently. Afterwards, Kate was full of questions for the keeper - Why do you wear a mask? Why do they climb so high? Are they cold outside? The keeper happily answered our questions and then even let Kate and Jack help her put down treats in the orangutan's enclosure...For information about the endangered orangutans and palm oil, read my Palm Oil Lessons at the Zoo from last year.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Alma Mater in the News

My father-in-law sent me this news article. St. Olaf is my alma mater. With the penalities that the professor faces for pulling political yard signs, I cant imagine the trouble my college friends and I would have faced for what we occasionally took out of yards! LOL

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mouse in Our House

The moving and settling in is coming along. Not getting done quite as fast as I expected, but it is getting done none the less. We are slowly starting to get back into our routine, but I am anticipating something will come along again soon to throw us off! It always does...

About the same time we moved into our new house, a new friend arrived in our lives. His name is Mouse. He apparently lives at a Target in California (although this morning I heard that Mouse has moved into a new house in California.) It takes him 10 airplanes to get to our house to visit, and his favorite colors are purple and red. Mouse is 3 and has and older sister who is 4. He goes to preschool and likes to eat candy. I haven't figured out if Mouse is an animal or a person as Mouse is Jack's imaginary friend.

I have heard of other kids with imaginary friends, but I never really expected my kids to have one. At least not one that is so vivid, detailed, and consistent (the consistency amazes me!). I also find it interesting that Kate has accepted Mouse into our lives without hesitation. She doesn't question his existence, tease Jack, or even make up details. If she wants to know something about Mouse, she asks Jack.

I hope Mouse sticks around for awhile because I am really looking forward to the Adventures of Mouse and Jack.