Natural Plant Dyes, Preschool-Style

I work at a nature center, and every summer we have day camps. In and of itself this is not gripping, but let me tell you, smashing berries and leaves into fabric? A gripping thing indeed. You can do this activity with your preschooler too, and it’s a great way to create a summer beach bag, decorate a white hat, or make a funky bandanna. Now to many people, natural plant dyes bring up ideas of hippie camp leaders sitting around with a group of children for hours upon hours. It is true that you can create dyes that take … Continue reading

Redecorating a Room- Part 2

Last week we looked at some tips for redecorating a room. I suggested using your favorite color or colors to decorate a room. Another idea is to think of your favorite outdoor location. If it is the beach, you might be a person who is most comfortable with blues and sandy colors. If it is a forest you might be happier with deep greens. Don’t just consider plain paint for the walls. Instead you might chose to go with a textured paint such as a suede look or you might decide to do what we did in one house and … Continue reading

Creative Collages Scrapbook Layouts

Designing scrapbook layouts is a fun way to give your scrapbook personality. There are so many options for scrapbook layouts, it is often hard to decide on just one layout. Personally, my favorite layouts always include photo collages. I enjoy creating collages of my son for his scrapbook. For example, if we went to the beach and I took photos of him playing in the sand with a beach ball and holding a sea shell, I would create a layout and make a collage of those three photos. Then, I would design a page with shell designs around the edges, … Continue reading

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I picked up my beloved PEOPLE magazine yesterday, hoping for some entertaining celebrity news and read an article that shocked me. Call me a naive Green Living blogger, but I have never heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. If that term is unfamiliar to you, let me clue you in. In central North Pacific Ocean, there is a huge mass of marine litter. And by huge, I mean this thing is twice the size of Texas! This mass of trash, made up of mostly old toys, plastic bottles, bags, etc. washed off beaches, is so large, it has often … Continue reading

Four Ways to Save Money on Birthday Cake

This week we are in the middle of trying to finalize plans for an upcoming birthday party for our two sons. Two boys with birthdays only a month apart means one party to save the relatives from traveling, but two separate cakes with different themes. All of that cake can add up in expense. Here are four different ways to save money on birthday cake. With these various options, you should be able to find your own great way to shave off some of the cost of the birthday cake. Buy a regular birthday cake but skip the special decorating. … Continue reading

Edible Sand Castle and Other Summer Fun for Kids

Can’t make it to the beach this summer? Don’t let the “Mom, I’m bored!” blues get you down. Instead, consider making your own summer fun at home with the following fun ideas: EDIBLE SAND CASTLE Ingredients: 1 package (18 1/4 ounces) banana cake mix plus ingredients to prepare mix as directed on box 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 package (6 serving size) instant butterscotch flavor pudding mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix as directed on box Clean small plastic beach pail and shovel 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, divided Beach-themed candy: Gummy fish, octopus, starfish, … Continue reading

That Extra Ingredient

The ingredient I left off my recipe for a happy marriage was being attuned to each other’s moods. This never became more obvious than on Tuesday. I was feeling rather flat-I suspect because I’d been confined to the house so much lately. ‘I feel rather flat,’ Mick announced. ‘Me Too,’I agreed. Mick then proposed we take ourselves out for a day date, ‘if you can spare the time from work.’ I’d been thinking exactly the same. As so often we were in tune with each other’s feelings and thought processes, which I comes from having been married so many years … Continue reading

The Relaxed Cottage Look

I love decor that has a fresh, relaxed look, is light and airy and reminds me of a summer cottage. Blame it on the fact that I lived in New England across the road from a lake and down a few more roads to the ocean shore. The summers there were wonderful: warm but with cooling breezes and the scents of cliff roses mixed with the scent of the sea. The feeling was very casual, as if you could come in from watching the sunset over the water, enter the house, kick off your flip flops and flop yourself down … Continue reading

Sea Tones for Spring

You may remember a blog I posted a few months ago about creating a room decor that was inspired by the beach. Well, it seems that home decor has finally caught up with me. Sea tones are definitely coming around as a popular decor for spring. You’ll find colors, fabrics and accessories that are all inspired by the sea. Obviously, I appreciate this look. It is calming, relaxing and restorative. The natural elements that are incorporated into the look lend a bit of authenticity. It brings me back to my days living in a Connecticut shoreline town, were sea breezes … Continue reading

Florida Loggerhead Numbers Drop

On the heels of a movement to protect Pacific loggerhead sea turtles, news comes from Florida that the number of turtle nests went down in 2007. Loggerhead sea turtles are already listed as “threatened” by the federal Endangered Species Act. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission surveyed nineteen different beaches were loggerhead turtles nest. Scientists reported more than twenty-eight thousand turtle nests. This seems like a good number until you compare it to the 2006 survey, which counted nearly fifty thousand turtle nests. In 2007, there were twenty-two thousand fewer loggerhead nests on Florida beaches — possibly the lowest … Continue reading