Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Today is Earth Day. What does that mean? Today is the day we are supposed to renew our love for our planet. Appreciate our environment. And also to reflect upon what WE can do to make it a better place.

Here's 7 easy ways to start (if you aren't already!)

1. Recycle
Seriously, just do it! There's no excuse to pick the garbage bag over the recycle bag. That 1/2 a second of effort really makes a difference not just for you, but for generations to come. 

2. Reuse
Use a cloth shopping bag
These have almost become a fashion statement in recent years. I like to get cloth ones that I can toss in the wash.

Here's a cute one to show off your love of all things green:

Use a travel coffee mug
Bring your own and most places will even give you a discount. My favorite? A double walled insulated travel mug like this
Get a reusable water bottle
My #1 pet peeve is bottled water. Seriously, how hard is it to use a glass? Or a reusable bottle? People survived for centuries without plastic bottles of water every where. For the laziness convenience, our landfills are being clogged. They never deteriorate! Each bottle is petroleum based (higher gas prices anyone?) And the plastic can leach chemicals into the water. And we all know that the same people who are using bottled water are not likely to even be recycling all those bottles. Just say no! 

I have a filter installed on my sink but and even easier fix is a Brita pitcher. They make super cool water bottles with a filter built in too:

3. Buy organic produce
If you can't afford to buy ALL your food organic, at least start with these. This "dirty dozen" list makes it easy to focus on the top offenders. Biggest surprise? Celery!

4. Meatless Monday
Or if it suits you, make it a Tuesday. Reducing our consumption of meat products makes a big impact. It takes a lot of veggies to produce a pound of meat. At my house we eat less meat and what we do buy is organic, +/or grass-fed. Quality over quantity.

5. Buy organic dairy
Hormones and antibiotics in my daily bowl of cereal or cup of yogurt - no thank you!

6. Shop local
This is a great way to help yourself AND your local economy. Buy from the farmers, stores and vendors in your city or region. It keeps your dollars in your local economy, there's less transportation cost and pollution, and you'll be able to see where your products come from. 

One of my favorites is Fresh Fork. Instead of a true CSA, it's a weekly subscription service for local foods. Almost every product comes from within 75 miles of Cleveland and includes veggies, fruit, bread, meat, cheese, milk and more. This is how I found out about my favorite yogurt Velvet-View Farmstead. Sign ups are going on now.

If you prefer a classic CSA, click here.

Avoid big box stores when possible. Instead of running to Home Depot or Lowes for everything, seek out local businesses. You'll likely find what you need at a competitive price with great service. I love to go to my local hardware store - they are also super friendly and have an amazing assortment of products.

Buy locally made unique items instead of shopping at the mall or Walmart. Need jewelry? I'm in love with Heather Smotzer.
My birthday is right around the corner...hint hint
CLE Clothing Co is another favorite. Super cute designs. Local company. Made in USA. Yes please!

7. Ride your bike
Put a basket on that bike and use it to run errands. Or use a backpack if that's more your style. It's super easy to pick up a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, or a 1/2 gallon of milk using only pedal power. Plus, that extra fresh air and exercise is good for you!
Ohuhu Rust-Proof Quick Release Front Handlebar Bicycle Lift Off Basket / Wire Mesh Bike Basket with Holder, Mesh Bottom
And in honor of Earth Day, you can enter a $250 giftcard giveaway from Whole Mom by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Thankfulness

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax Day 2013 - Deals and Discounts

Are your taxes done yet? Hopefully they are so you can just sit back and enjoy these deals and discounts available today!

Cinnabon is offering up two free bites tonight from 6-8pm. If you can't resist and need to get there sooner, I recommend the cup of the center of the rolls...mmmm.

Arby's is my favorite fast food joint. And today you can get free curly fries or potato cakes. Click here for your coupon.

Today looks like a perfect day to be slurping on a slushy. Head to Sonic for 1/2-price Cherry Limeade, Blackberry Mint Iced Green Tea, Vanilla Coke or your favorite SONIC drink combination.

Head over to the Brueggers Facebook Page to score a coupon for a Big Bagel Bundle for $10.40.

At Boston Market, the IRS stands for Incredible Rib Specials and their offering a Rib-Bate: You'll get two dinners of 1/4 rack of St. Louis Style BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn and corn bread for only $10.40. No coupon needed.

I personally have seen enough movies to last me a few months at least thanks to a fabulous 37th Cleveland International Film Festival, but if you're heading to the movies go to your local AMC Theatre tonight, grab a free popcorn and munch away.
Bonefish has their Bang Bang Shrimp for $5 from 4pm to close today. Combine that with their Happy Hour for an extra cheap night out.

If you'd rather stay home, call up Papa John's for their deal: a large 3 topping pizza and a 2 liter for $10.40.

And for some non-food deals, check out Zazzle for custom gifts, business cards, invitations, art work and more. Score 10.40% off using code TAXDAYDEALIO

And if you still need to file, here's the two late night drop offs from the USPS

Cleveland Main Post Office - 2400 Orange Ave --
Open until 10 p.m. At about 3 p.m., the traffic flow in the customer parking will be reversed to accommodate the anticipated increased customer volume.
Curbside collectors will be working until 10 p.m. to accept prepared returns with postage already affixed.
Akron Main Post Office - 675 Wolf Ledges Parkway -
Open until 7 p.m. Customers who mail their returns on April 15 should check with their local Post Office or read the posted times on the collection box to make sure that their tax return will be collected and postmarked before the deadline.
Also, any letters or packages weighing 13 ounces or more must be brought to a Post Office and handed to a postal clerk at the window.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pancakes in the Park

I'm a sucker for a good pancake breakfast, especially if it benefits a good cause. 
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga National Park is committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing our national park's natural beauty and cultural history for all people, for all time.
This one has the added benefit of including a nice walk to hike off some of the butter and syrup!

Pancakes in the Park

Sunday, April 14th 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at Stanford House, 6093 Stanford Road in Peninsula
Bring your family and friends to our pancake breakfast on the grounds of the beautiful Stanford House in the Village of Boston. Enjoy a wonderful locally-sourced breakfast in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We'll have naturalist-led hikes on the Stanford Trail and you may tour the rehabilitated Stanford House. 
Fee:   $8.00/adults, $6.00/children ages 12 and under.  No pre-registration for this event.
Please park at the Boston Mills Ski Resort and take the shuttle to the Stanford House.  No parking is available at Stanford.
For questions regarding this event, please contact Marilyn Vernyi, Stanford House Manager, at 330-697-9675.

We are all so lucky to have CVNP right here in our backyards! Being able to hop on the Tow Path for a bike ride, walk or jog is something that's easy to take for granted. I'm a member. If you want to join the Conservancy, click here

Monday, April 1, 2013

Big Spring at the Botanical Garden

I've always been a huge fan of the Botanical Garden but I'm even more in love with it now that we have chosen it for our wedding ceremony site. We have been itching to go back and see it before the wedding and now we have the perfect excuse Big Spring. Who isn't dying for spring to REALLY get here? 

Don't these remind you of Bellagio in Vegas?
The Garden of Fun makes me want to be a kid again! I want to go to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and play in the Ladybug Labyrinth and I bet your kids will too.

I'm really looking forward to wandering the grounds to see what's popping up after a long winter's sleep. And a visit to the Garden isn't complete without a stroll through The Glasshouse. Love those electric blue birds and butterflies and the balmy temperature. 

And you know we'll be stealing a smooch on our ceremony site...practice makes perfect!

Tickets are free for member or $12 for adults/$8 for kids/kids under 3 Free. You can purchase your tickets here.

**Disclaimer: I was provided tickets to see Big Spring. As always, my opinions are my own. **