Friday, April 26, 2013

Green Giveaway Friday 4/26

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hopping! Be sure to include the expiration date. Thanks!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays.

Current giveaways here at Marianna
$25 Whole Foods Gift Card 5/7
$100 Natural Vitality Gift Card 5/12

Crunchy Beach Mama
LUSH ~ Organic Bath Products 5/1
 "Green" Prize Pack 5/2
Ettitude Organic Sheet Set 5/14

Family Focus Blog
Pura Stainless Steel Bottles 5/1

Leslie Loves Veggies
RawEssence: 180 Delicious Recipes For Raw Living Cookbook 4/27
Room 88 Soap Co. Natural Soap Prize Package 5/4

Oh My Veggies
BELLA NutriPro Juicer 4/30
Conscious Box 3-month Subscription 4/30
Pacific Foods Broth 4/30

Monday, April 22, 2013

What Earth Day Means to Me

The Earth and the environment have been important to me since I was a child. In middle school, we had a guest speaker come in one day and talk about things like waste, recycling, conserving water and so on and I was just hooked from that point on. While I do my best to be as green as possible and teach my children to care about the Earth, sometimes day to day life tends to put important things on the back burner. So Earth Day is a reminder to me to make sure I am on track with where I want to be as far as a green lifestyle and evaluate if I am doing all I can do.

While I am obviously a believer in the "Earth Day, Every Day" motto, I do like to put a little extra emphasis into Earth Day as a family. Preferably with some sort of outdoor, nature related activity. For Earth Day 2012 last year, we planted two apple trees in our front yard. While it will still be several years since we will get edible fruit from the trees, I can't wait for the day where I can walk into my yard and pick an apple off my tree to eat.

What does Earth Day mean to you?

Cascadian Farm Earth Day Blog Carnival
Want to hear what other green bloggers have to say about Earth Day? Check them out below!

Celebrate Earth Month with Whole Foods - $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

Happy Earth Day! I hope you are doing something special to commemorate this day. While last Earth Day we planted some apple trees, this year our day is filled with school and little league baseball. So I am hoping to make up for it over the weekend and come up with something really great to do as a family.

To celebrate Earth Month, Whole Foods Market is transforming into a hub for Earthlings so we can meet up, share ideas and celebrate the Earth both in store and at Earthlings (that's you and I by the way!) are encouraged to celebrate the planet’s beauty and what it inspires by sharing images, tweets and videos. To join the fun, visit to upload a message, photo or video using Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Or, simply use the hashtag #WFMEarthling via Twitter or Instagram. Your photo or tweet will than instantly post to

Whole Foods Market has also created The Earthling Guide with tips on how to maintain the planet’s beauty and minimize the human footprint. Plus don't forget to check out your local store to see what else is happening this Earth Month!

One (1) winner will receive a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card. Giveaway ends May 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST. Open to US residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

I will receive a gift card for hosting this giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beautiful Mom Giveaway - $100 Natural Vitality GC plus More!

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Do you know what you’ll be asking for? How about winning an awesome prize package for yourself that will let your inner and outer beauty shine?


We’re giving away a fabulous prize package that will let you do just that! The winner of the Beautiful Mom Giveaway will receive 3 amazing prizes (total value of $170.95)! This event is sponsored by Natural Vitality and hosted by Happy Mothering and the Green Moms Network.

NV Gift card #4 

$100 Gift Certificate for the Natural Vitality Store

Natural Vitality makes high-quality, award-winning dietary supplements to assist your in achieving optimum health. They are probably best know for Natural Calm, a magnesium supplement that helps your muscles and nerves function properly, keeps your heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and assists in keeping your bones strong.

But they also offer several other high-quality supplements:

  • Osteo Calm
  • Vitality B Complex
  • Vitality C Complex
  • Organic Life Vitamins
  • Plant-Sourced Minerals
  • Energy28
  • Natural Kids Calm Multi

All of Natural Vitality’s products are Non-GMO project verified and the ingredients in their supplements are organically grown!

Read Happy Mothering’s review of Natural Vitality supplements here.


100% Pure Red Wine Resveratrol Gift Set

The 100% Pure Red Wine Resveratrol Gift Set is designed to aggressively protect against signs of aging such as environmental damage, lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity. These products don’t contain harsh detergents, synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances or any other toxins.


Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged

From celebrated dietitian Ashley Koff and fitness trainer to the stars Kathy Kaehler comes Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged, an exciting new way for moms to tap into their own natural and renewable sources of energy to overcome fatigue and achieve their personal health goals. Koff and Kaehler have put together a safe, sensible, flexible and, most importantly, effective program for moms of any age—whether their kids are in diapers or heading off to college.

This amazing package could be yours! To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marianna was not compensated for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Green Giveaway Friday 4/19

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hopping! Be sure to include the expiration date. Thanks!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays.

Crunchy Beach Mama
Arttero ecoArt Kits 4/22
Coola Organic Skincare 4/23
LUSH ~ Organic Bath Products 5/1
Ettitude Organic Sheet Set 5/14

Family Focus Blog
Pura Stainless Steel Bottles 5/1

Leslie Loves Veggies
RawEssence: 180 Delicious Recipes For Raw Living Cookbook 4/27
Room 88 Soap Co. Natural Soap Prize Package 5/4

Oh My Veggies
BELLA NutriPro Juicer 4/30
Conscious Box 3-month Subscription 4/30
Pacific Foods Broth 4/30

Wee Share
Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures 4/23
Provella Probiotic Dietary Supplement 4/23

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Go Green with NBC's Share and Tell App

Who doesn't like shiny new stuff all the time? However nice new things may be, the reality is that brand new isn't always necessary. A gently used item can work just as well while saving you money and helping out the environment. Did you know that for every pound of new goods produced, 71 pounds of waste are generated during manufacturing? So instead of running out to buy that new something, why not ask around to your friends to see if maybe someone is looking to get rid of one?

In honor of Earth Week, NBC has created the Share and Tell app to help you minimize your impact on the planet by sharing your stuff. Here is why you will love this:

• How Are You Green? Eco Quiz - It’s not easy being green…(or is it?) We all want to take better care of our environment and go green, but the question is... How are YOU Green? Take the Eco quiz to find out!
• 7 Easy Ways to Start Sharing Now - Now, more than ever, sharing makes sense. Getting started sharing is simpler than you think! Read these 7 easy ways to start sharing now and create healthier, happier families and communities.
• Real Life Share and Tell Stories - Read real life stories of how sharing on yerdle has helped people just like you get the stuff they need - without buying a thing!
• Get Social - Tweet with the #ShareandTell hashtag to get your audience excited about NBC’s Share and Tell!

You can check out the Share and Tall Blog App right here on this page (below) or to learn more, check out NBC's Green is Universal Facebook Page. Happy Sharing!

Easy Tips To Help You Be Green Year Round

Being green does not have to be an all or nothing lifestyle choice. Even if you can't live off the grid growing all your own organic food, there are lots of little day to day things that you can do that will make a difference. And yes, even the smallest things make an impact, especially if we all start doing them. So here are a few of my tips on how you can easily be a little more green all year round.

Recycle. Most municipalities and private garbage companies include recycling with their garbage removal. If yours doesn't, call around to find one that does. Recycling your plastics, metals and paper takes little to no effrot but has a great impact on the environment.

Turn off the lights. During the day, open up all of your blinds to use natural light instead of electricity. When you leave a room, make sure you turn the lights off. Make sure you teach your kids this since they can be the biggest culprits of leaving lights on all over the house.

Switch to CFL or LED lights. CFL light bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to six times longer. LED light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than incandescents and can last up to 25 times longer. While these bulbs are more expensive to purchase up front, they will save energy and money over the long haul. CFL vs. LED

Unplug appliance and electronics. Even when not powered on, plugged in appliances like toasters and coffee pots use electricity. So when you are not using them, unplug them. For electronics like your TVs, DVD players, game consoles, etc., plug them all into a surge protector strip and at the end of the day, you just have to flip one switch to cut off power to them all.

Compost. Instead of placing green waste like vegetable and fruit scraps in a plastic trash bag where they will sit in a land fill for ages, compost them. Compost bins can be very expensive, but you can make your own compost bin fairly easy and cheap. After a little bit of time and work, you will be left with wonderful fertilizer for your garden. Personally, I'm lazy, so in the warmer months I collect my green kitchen scraps in a large fruit bowl and at the end of the day, dump into into our woods.

Eat organic. Eating organic food is better for your body and for the environment. Even though organic prices have come down slightly over the years, they are still more expensive. So do what you can. I feel that the items you consume the most of, like maybe milk, peanut butter, bread, etc., are the things that you should change first. Check out the Environment Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to see which produce items have the most and least amount of pesticides. This will help you choose which produce you want to make sure are organic.

Buy local. During the winter months, there are really no farmer's markets available here in our corner of Connecticut. But in the Spring/Summer/Fall we are part of a local organic CSA plus there is a great farmer's market down on our town green. Buying local produce helps your local economy and community and gives you a chance to talk with the farmer's personally to find out about their farming practices. To find CSAs and farmer's markets in your area, visit

Do you have any easy green tips? Share them with us in the comments!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Trapped in a Box

So my three year old is a trouble maker. I found him in here the other night when he should have been in bed sleeping.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Women's Care Probiotics Review

For the past year I have been dealing with some chronic women's health issues. Any woman knows that urinary tract infections and yeast infections are no fun at all, so never mind having them over and over again. Two months ago my doctor told me to start taking a probiotic to see if that would help me. I have taken probiotics many times in the past, I just tend to forget about them over time. I decided to give the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Women's Care high potency probiotics a try since.

Ultimate Flora are natural high-potency probiotic supplements formulated to help replenish good bacteria in your digestive tract. When taken daily, Ultimate Flora probiotics can help promote a healthy digestive system, restore regularity, and promote immune health.

Ultimate Flora Women's Care probiotics are designed specifically for women which means it is exactly what I needed. It contains high amounts of Lactobacilli which help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast while supporting optimal vaginal and urinary tract health. As with all of the Renew Life Ultimate Care probiotics, these are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free as well as free of artificial ingredients.

I have been taking these daily for almost two months now and during that time I have not suffered from a single infection. Honestly, its the longest I have gone without an issue for quite some time. I'm also impressed with myself for not forgetting to take them, which is what normally happens with supplements for me. I store them in the fridge and grab them every morning when I'm making my breakfast. To say I am pleased with the results of my Ultimate Flora Women's Care trial is an understatement. I plan to continue using these, well for forever. My body is very happy and healthier because of them.

Renew Life's Ultimate Flor probiotics are available to purchase at Walgreens, Albertsons, CVS, Kroger, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Rite Aid, and Walmart. Full list:

Please note that the opinions and views expressed in this review are my own and based on my personal experience with the product and/or company. You may encounter a different experience with this than I did. I received free product to review.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Potty Training: Learning with the Animals iOS App

I was provided with compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Potty Training. An undertaking that parents both equally dread and look forward to. Dread because it can be downright awful. But look forward to because it is great to get one more kid out of diapers. Or in my case, the last kid. Our youngest son turned three this past December, and now that Spring is here and the weather is slowly warming up, we will be diving into potty training. Sure I have been down this road three times already, but each child is different and presents their own set of problems, so I will take all of the help that I can get.

The Potty Training: Learning with the Animals iOS app for kids is a great way to introduce toddlers into the idea of using the potty. My toddler happens t be a lot like his mama and loves tech gadgets and while I do not let him play with the iPad too often, he does use my iPhone daily. So I was able to put this app into his games folder and see what he could do.

This game is very simple and easy to use even if your little one hasn't used an app before. The child is presented with several farm animals that need to use the toilet. Their job is to help everyone get to the toilet and once everyone is done, they can start it all over again.

I love the bright colors in this app and how quickly my three year old was able to pick it up. Since he loves animals, he enjoyed being able to help each one of them get onto their potty. For future updates to this app, I would love to see them incorporate some more potty training concepts like washing hands.

This was definitely a great intro into the potty concept for him and we will continue to use it as we progress through the potty training steps. I'm hoping that in a few months I will have changed my last diaper!

The Potty Training: Learning with the Animals is available to purchase for $1.99 in the iTunes store. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later.

Green Giveaway Friday 4/12

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hopping! Be sure to include the expiration date. Thanks!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays.

Crunchy Beach Mama
Arttero ecoArt Kits 4/22
Coola Organic Skincare 4/23

Kiddies Corner Deals
$50 Visa Gift Card 4/15

Leslie Loves Veggies
$25 Whole Foods Market Gift Card 4/14
RawEssence: 180 Delicious Recipes For Raw Living Cookbook 4/27

Oh My Veggies
BELLA NutriPro Juicer 4/30
Conscious Box 3-month Subscription 4/30
Pacific Foods Broth 4/30

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our First Bullying Experience: Help Us Put An End To Bullying

Now that my boys are in school, one of the many things I worry about is bullying. Bullying just seems to have gotten out of control over the years. When I was child,  I never witnessed the downright cruelty that is happening amongst American children these days.

Last year when my oldest was in first grade, we encountered our first bullying experience. My son (W) came home from school one afternoon and told us that a girl (S) from his class hit him in the face during lunch time in the cafeteria. I asked him if he told an adult and if they talked to S and while a lunch aide was told, nothing was done about the matter. Let me tell you, when your child tells you something like that, it is impossible not to get infuriated. Not only did another child put their hands on mine, but it appeared to be ignored.

After taking some time to calm myself down, I sat down and wrote an email to the teacher and principal. While my son isn't one to make up stories, I know that children can unintentionally exaggerate or leave out part of what happened, so I wanted to clarify what exactly took place. Here is just a snippet of my letter, in case it might help another parent out there who finds themself in a similar situation. I also recommend that if you find yourself in a situation like this, start the  communication process via email that way you have a paper trail of the conversations.

W told us that while sitting at the lunch table his classmate S punched him in the eye. I asked him if maybe it was just an accident but he replied that "it was really on purpose." I also asked if he had done something to upset S, but he says he did not. Then I asked if he told a teacher or grownup and what they said and W replied that he told Mrs. K, but she didn't say anything to S.

I realize that you are not in the cafeteria during lunch and this is probably the first you have heard of this incident. I also realize that a child's perception of the events might not be accurate and he very well might be unintentionally leaving out part of the story. I'd like to find out more about what happened and why S hit W and I would also like to know what the school policy is for something like this. Of course this happens time to time with children, but I would have expected more action and follow up to have been taken. Was S spoken to about her behavior? Was the teacher of each student notified of what happened? And I have to say I am rather upset that a note was not sent home with W to let us know about this.

I would expect that any time a child puts his or her hands or body on another child that parents of all involved are notified. And in this instance, W said repeatedly that he was punched in the eye, which is far more extreme than just a playground tap. In a time where bullying is such a huge problem in this country, I just would like to see more action taken.

I am so glad that I didn't ignore the issue and blow it off as kids will be kids.  My email got the assistant principal involved and both the kids were interviewed to find out what happened as well as other kids at the table. As it turns out, S didn't punch him but she did hit him. Apparently not intentionally as she was teasing him by putting her hand in front of his face and then she accidentally hit him. Regardless, her hand shouldn't have been near his face nor should she have been teasing him. We didn't have any issues after that and hopefully it prevented this child from doing it to anyone else. Perhaps even more importantly, I hope that the school administration will pay more attention to incidents like this and take even the most minor ones seriously.

I wanted to share that story with you because in this day and age, it is important that we stop ignoring bullying, no matter how small the incident may be. One small incident can snowball into more and more and leave a child tortured and miserable. If your child is being teased, pushed around or bullied in any way - get involved. And please, help us put a stop to bullying by taking this pledge.

For more information on what to do if your child is being bullied or on how to talk to your children about bullying, visit and

This post has been brought to you by TakePart. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Participant Media, TakePart’s parent company, produces socially relevant films with the idea that “a good story well-told can change the world.” Films such as An Inconvenient Truth, The Help, Lincoln, and Waiting for Superman have helped inspire action in a wide range of issues. TakePart aims to further those messages with quality content. In our education and social justice coverage, we're committed to exploring important topics that impact our children. 

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