Oct 25, 2010

Do You Believe in "American-Made"?

A recent blog post by homestead goods retailer Lehman's got me thinking about the how cheap "cheap foreign imports" really are. This is my response to them:

Is "American-Made" Worth the Cost?

The Lehman's blog post today was different. It spoke about the company's struggle to provide American-made goods while also trying to give customers the best prices. Lehman's has always prided itself on selling mostly domestic products.

Jul 14, 2010

There's Something About Baking Bread...

Everyone has an activity that helps them cope with stress. For me, it's baking bread. There's something about the rhythmic motion of kneading and the yeasty earthy smell that makes me feel that all is right with the world again. Perhaps it's the surety that such simple ingredients will produce a consistent puffy reaction and become something more than their sum. Or maybe just the knowledge that good filling sustenance has been made this way for centuries.

Whatever it is, I welcome it into my life. The scent of baking bread draws family to my kitchen and seems to encourage discussion, laughter, and togetherness. Breaking bread together at the dinner table is a habit I hope my children will carry on with their own. And I hope that, no matter how far away my family is from home, remembering being in mom's kitchen and watching bread bake in the oven will always give them strength and make them smile.

Jul 7, 2010

Guerrilla Gardening Tips: How to Make Wildflower Seed Bombs

Guerrilla gardening has been around since the 1970s but has really taken off in the past few years as people are becoming more aware of the environmental dangers facing us. Guerrilla gardening refers to the practice of planting seeds, seedlings and trees on abandoned, vacant or otherwise derelict property. The benefits of brightening up drab and dreary urban spaces are many, but the most important one is that it can stimulate further urban renewal and clean up whole neighborhoods. The downside, of course, is that it is somewhat illegal to plant on property that does not belong to you. However, there are guerrilla gardening cells all over the world that carry out this beautification work. 


Guerrilla Gardening Tips: Make Your City a More Colorful Place

The concept of guerrilla gardening has been around since the '70s. Guerrilla gardening refers to the trend of gardeners and urban renewal enthusiasts illicitly planting flowers, herbs and trees on vacant, neglected, or abandoned land. The illicit part comes into play because the land in question is either privately owned land or public spaces, neither of which it is technically legal to plant on. However, guerrilla gardeners have brightened the most desolate urban spaces from The Bowery in New York to abandoned lots in Berlin to dreary roundabouts in London. There is evidence to suggest that the "greening" of these kinds of spaces stimulates a sense of community and provides a catalyst for even more clean up and renewal.

Here are some tips if you are planning a guerrilla gardening campaign of your own:

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent: Save Money and Control Ingredients

If you have children, buying laundry detergent can suck up a fair amount of your grocery budget. Sizes keep getting smaller, but prices keep going up. Laundry detergent also presents challenges for those who are allergic or sensitive to perfumes, dyes, and other chemicals. With a few easily obtained ingredients, you can make your own laundry detergent for a fraction of the cost of buying it and, as an added benefit, you can control what dyes and chemicals go into it when you make your own laundry detergent. 


Make Your Own Yogurt the Easy Way

Making Your Own Yogurt Can Save You Money and Make You Healthy

As the price of yogurt in store rises and more people begin to understand the benefits to their health of eating live-culture yogurt daily, it makes more and more sense to make yogurt at home. Making your own yogurt can seem like a daunting task, but I have developed an easy method that results in the least fussing and least mess.