September 6, 2012

Motherhood Exaggerated: Dealing with life-threatening illness in a child

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Motherhood Exaggerated by Judith Hannan is a book I can relate to. It is the story of motherhood dealing with a child who has a life threatening illness. Judith's daughter has a rare bone cancer; my son has a congenital heart defect. My son's illness was discovered when he was a baby. Judith's daughter's was discovered when she was eight-years-old.

Judith Hannan has performed a valuable service by publishing this remarkably honest account of the crisis she and her family went through as her daughter--now a brilliant and beautiful young woman--dealt with a rare form of cancer. She takes us with her on her journey through the valley of the shadow of death and then back to the sunshine of life. Tears of remembrance came to my eyes and will to the eyes of other readers who have been through similar crises. Judith's willingness to share intimate
feelings and to discuss difficult moments is a gift that will help so many, as it has already helped me, to deal with the pas [sic] as well as the future. --Alan M. Dershowitz

This book is published by CavanKerry Press, a "not-for-profit literary press dedicated to art and community". Thankfully, all of their books are use recycled paper. Just this book alone saved "2 trees, 1 million BTUs of energy, 127 lbs. of CO2, 67 lbs of solid waste, and 524 gallons of water".

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 1, 2012

Radically Simplify Your Life: You Can Buy Happiness

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Unfortunately, we live in a consumer culture which does affect our happiness. We want things, even eco-friendly things, and if we don't get them, many of us suffer. 

 Don't let the title of this book by Tammy Strobel fool you, it's not about buying your happiness but making choices to downsize and live more sustainably.

You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too is written by the blogger at Rowdy Kittens.

Once, Tammy Strobel and her husband were living a normal middle-class lifestyle: driving two cars, commuting long distances, and living well beyond their means. Now they are living the voluntary downsizing -- or smart-sizing -- dream. In this book Strobel combines research on well-being with numerous real-world examples to offer practical inspiration. Her fresh take on our things, our work, and our relationships spells out micro-actions that anyone can take to step into a life that's more conscious and connected, sustainable and sustaining, heartfelt and happy.

I found the author's conversation with Dusti Arab interesting, as it involves kids. Tammy does not have kids, and those of with them, know they have a lot of crap! My son, especially, has lots of toy trucks and tractors. Sure most of them are eco-friendly, but our house is overrun. It's the obligatory holidays and gifts from others that packs the place. The conversation with Dusti is interesting about how you handle family and friends as you downsize. For example, giving a gift to the Goodwill can be insulting to those that don't understand your motivation.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 18, 2012

Bravo Cookbook: No Sugar, Oil or Salt Vegan Recipes

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Are you trying to limit or eliminate SOS ingredients from your diet: salt, sugar, or oil? Bravo!: Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen by Ramses Bravo is filled with vegan recipes.

The growing popularity of a vegan lifestyle is exemplified in the profusion of superb recipes comprising "Bravo! Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen. A 160-page compendium of health-promoting and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes from the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, ably compiled by executive chef Ramses Bravo, the dishes range from Coconut-Vanilla Granola; to Chayote-Apple Slaw; to Toasted Barley and Tomato Stew; to Peach-Blueberry Crisp. Enhanced with informed and informative opening chapters on 'Getting Started' and 'The Basics', Bravo will prove to be an exceptionally popular addition to personal, family, and community library Vegetarian & Vegan cookbook collections. --The Midwest Book Review - July 2012

There are some mouth watering photographs throughout the book, such as the mango banana pie. The photos are not placed right next to the text of the recipes, which I find annoying. The recipes are not hard, and I love that they avoid the SOS ingredients!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 14, 2012

Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

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Yesterday was the hottest day I have ever seen recorded on our thermometer in the shade of the apple tree. The summer of 2012 has been filled with record breaking temperatures.

As people try to stay cool and healthy in the heat, there are still those staunch believers that climate change is not real. I sort of equate this with believing in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Why have so many Americans been convinced the global warming is fake?

Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan should be mandatory reading for all deniers.

Talk of global warming is nearly inescapable these days -- but there are some who believe the concept of climate change is an elaborate hoax. Despite the input of the world's leading climate scientists, the urgings of politicians, and the outcry of many grassroots activists, many Americans continue to ignore the warning signs of severe climate shifts. How did this happen? Climate Cover-up seeks to answer this question, describing the pollsters and public faces who have crafted careful language to refute the findings of environmental scientists. Exploring the PR techniques, phony "think tanks," and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth.
This is the kind of book that gets me riled up. David Suzuki describes the books as, "Climate Cover-Up documents one of the most disgusting stories ever hidden about corporate disinformation. What you'll discover in this book amounts to proof of an intergenerational crime."
 

If you can get the deniers you know to read this book, I am sure their minds will be changed. I can only handle little bits of it at a time and must use the information for empowerment rather than depression.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 26, 2012

Recession Survival: Made for You and Me

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Many families have struggled during the current economic recession. Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home by Caitlin Shetterly is one such story.

Newlywed Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis, two hardworking freelancers, began their lives together in 2008 by pursuing a lifelong, shared dream of leaving Maine and going West. At first, California was the land of plenty. Quickly, though, the recession landed, and a surprise pregnancy that was also surprisingly rough made Caitlin too sick to work. By December, every job Dan had lined up had been canceled, and though he pounded the pavement, from shop to shop and from bar to bar, he could not find any work at all. By March 2009, every cent of the couple's savings had been spent.

So, a year after they'd set out with big plans, Caitlin and Dan packed up again, this time with a baby on board, to make their way home to move in with Caitlin's mother. As they drove, Caitlin blogged about their situation and created audio diaries for NPR's Weekend Edition--and received an astounding response. From all across the country, listeners offered help, opening their hearts and their homes. And when the young family arrived back in rural Maine and squeezed into Caitlin's mother's small saltbox house, Caitlin learned that the bonds of family run deeper than any tug to roam, and that, with love, she and Dan could hold their dreams in sight, wherever they were.


I could not find any information about the paper or printing of this book. There is nothing green about it, as far as I can tell.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

Great Green Children's Literature The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet

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I have always been impressed with any title published by Barefoot Books. The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet does not disappoint!

Listen to the soothing patter of a summer rainfall, watch the first flames of the rising sun, and sing with the stars as you travel through this enchanting anthology of nature poems. Poems from many different cultures are brought together here to celebrate the beauty and fragility of our lovely Earth.
One of my favorite poems is called "The Song of the Stars" from a Pasamaquoddy Indian song:
We are the stars which sing.
We sing with our light.
We are the birds of fire
We fly across the heaven.

These lovely poems very in length and are sure to inspire your own little poets. It would also be a great project for Earth Day to use this book as a spring board for a classroom set of "poems for the planet".

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 21, 2012

Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things

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Do you like to tinker and create? My son does, and Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: Power Devices with Your Plants, Modify High-Tech Toys, Turn a Penny into a Battery, Make Sneaky Light-up Nails ... Sneaky Levitation with Everyday Things will be his favorite book once he his older.

As the eighth book in Cy Tymony's Sneaky Uses series Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things includes never-before-seen activities, including Sneaky Fashion such as Light-up Nails and Sneaky Belts and Bracelets.

Over 30 new inventions are outlined inside Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, and most projects can be completed in just minutes using common items already found around the house. Each activity begins with a complete list of materials and continues with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions paired with helpful illustrations. Fans of all ages will use their ingenuity to turn ordinary, everyday objects into something extraordinary with the help of Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things.


There isn't really anything eco-friendly about the book, other than you use everyday objects you already own. It is printed in the USA. The publisher's website states:

Environment We uphold high ethical standards of honesty and integrity in all aspects of our business dealings. We maintain a climate that attracts the best people and provides them with rewarding career opportunities.
Obviously, they are not referring to environment in the same context as this blog. There is no information as to the source of the paper in this book, but it appears to be newsprint.

This would be a great book for fun science projects as part of school!
 

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook: Food to Live By

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Earthbound Farm is a large organic producer available around the country and in many big box stores. Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook is filled with beautiful recipes and photographs from the one of the founders Myra Goodman.

Organic food is synonymous with premium quality, the deepest, richest taste, conscientious farming, and optimum health. It's what we need to feed our kids, what we deserve to feed ourselves. And no one is doing more to popularize organic food that Myra Goodman, a mother, a creative cook, and most significantly, co-owner of Earthbound Farm, the world's largest grower and purveyor of organic produce.

In Food to Live By, a dazzling full-color cookbook, Myra Goodman offers an utterly appealing, new casual style of cooking based on using the best ingredients, organic or otherwise. The dishes are irresistible: Sweet Corn Chowder. Spinach, Feta and Mushroom Quiche. Foggy Day Chili. Merlot-Braised Short Ribs with Cipollini Onions. Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Ginger Lime Salmon. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Orange Sauce. Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes. Coconut Lemongrass Sorbet. Cherry Panna Cotta. Farm Stand Carrot Cake. Plus, throughout are Farm-Fresh Ingredient boxes--on sorrel, corn, asparagus, artichokes-- cooking and shopping tips, and health notes.

I can't wait to try the summer berry crisp and the roasted beet salad!

This is an omnivore's cookbook.

I try to buy local produce and avoid bagged items like Earthbound Farm, but I do enjoy this cookbook. 

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 12, 2012

Mental Floss the Book: Only the Greatest Lists in the History of Listory

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Do you enjoy reading about random facts and information? Then Mental Floss: The Book: The Greatest Lists in the History of Listory is for you.

For ten years, the knowledge seekers at mental_floss have been hunting and trapping the world's rarest facts, locking them into captivating lists for the world to admire. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Mental Floss: The Book is packed with a decade's worth of the smartest, quirkiest stories around, including:

Five Presidential Fashion Flubs
Seven Shameless Abuses of Diplomatic Immunity
Five Units of Measurement Weirder Than the Metric System
Four Toys That Have Gone to War for America
Seven Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever
Five Things Your Body Can Do After You Die
Six of Baseball's Strangest Trades
Four Foods People Actually Die For
Seven Things Walmart Has Banned
Four TV Shows That Changed the Course of History
Ten "Q" Words That Aren't "Q-U" Words
Four Horrifying Parasites to Keep You Awake at Night
Eight Fake Archaeological Finds
Five Articles of Clothing That Caused Riots
Four Memorable Moments in Cross-Dressing History
Five Doomsdays We've Already Survived
And 124 Other Extraordinary Lists!


This is the kind of book that you can just randomly open and find something interesting to read. It's great for the coffee table or bathroom.

At first, I though I would not be interested in these lists, but upon perusal, there is some good stuff inside.

Published by Harper Collins, this book's green characteristics are based on publisher's policies:

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

HarperCollins is committed to reducing its overall use of fiber and recycling where possible. Since 2006, we have reduced our global carbon footprint by 14%. We seek to reduce basis weights on titles where appropriate in order to reduce the use of fiber and raw materials consumed in the production of that paper. In addition, we have an extensive supply chain management process that allows to better manage print runs, and we are increasing the use of Print on Demand (POD) technologies to make for less waste in printing and shipping.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 14, 2012

From Chocolate Souffle Guinness Stout: Make Your Own Natural Soaps

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I have a couple of friends that make soap, and it is a cottage industry I have always wanted to try but don't really know where to begin.

The Natural Soap Chef: Making Luxurious Delights from Cucumber Melon and Almond Cookie to Chai Tea and Espresso Forte by Heidi Corley Barto is filled with delicious recipes to make your own luxe soap.

TRANSFORM YOUR SKIN WITH HOMEMADE SOAPS
Pamper yourself with natural moisturizing lather. Indulge your senses with aromatic fragrances. Beautify your bath with stunning soap that you've created. This book shows how to take wonderful ingredients and turn them into amazing soaps like:

• Rosemary Olive Oil Soap
• Pink Grapefruit Soap
• Lemon Verbena Soap
• Chocolate Soufflé Soap
• Chai Tea Soap
• Baby Rose Soap
• Guinness Stout Soap
• Espresso Forte Soap
• Cut Grass Soap
• Head-to-Toe Shampoo Bar
• Cucumber Melon Soap
• Pumpkin Spice Soap

Including easy step-by-step directions and helpful instructive photos, The Natural Soap Chef is chockfull of inventive recipes and techniques that will teach you basic cold process soap making. Make your own luxurious bars and unique soaps right in your own kitchen that will please even the most sensitive skin.


These soap recipes look good enough to eat, but of course you wouldn't want to. They do include Lye (Sodium Hydroxide), which is one of the reasons I have never gotten into soap making. I have used lye when making an indigo bath for natural dyeing; this caustic substance needs to be handled carefully. Lye is important in the process of saponification. There are ways to make soap without lye, but they are less common.

The pictures in this book are quite beautiful and inspirational. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. I think this book is just what I need to start my adventures in soap making.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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