I Resolve to…Cut Back on…

…PLASTICS! Stories about the plastics floating in our oceans and waterways and the dangers this poses to marine life filled headlines in 2018. One statistic stated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than marine life.  That’s a pretty sobering statistic.

Many communities banned plastic straws and some even eliminated plastic bags as an option when shopping for groceries.At the start of a new year, when our minds are focused on “resolutions” and starting fresh, I am resolving to work on cutting back on the use of plastics in my life.

I already use cloth bags for groceries. I have stopped asking for straws at restaurants. I try to recycle as much plastic as I can. I also try to store food in containers that can be reused. I have a stainless steel bottle that I take to the gym and refill. I also use a pitcher with a filter in it for drinking water, so I don’t buy those plastic bottles. (FYI: bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline when you buy it in those portable bottles. Think of how much money you’d save each year if you went to a filter system.)

I know there is more…much more that I can do.  If healthy oceans and marine life are important to you and your families, maybe you’d like to know what YOU can do to cut back on plastic use.  

One company is making a difference. 4ocean cleans up ocean plastic from oceans around the world, collecting and recycling it into bracelets that support and help pay for the continued clean up effort. You can help by buying  a bracelet. Each bracelet purchased pays for the clean-up of one pound of ocean trash.  Visit: http://www.4ocean.com

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Visit:  http://www.myplasticfreelife.com   for 100 IDEAS and WAYS to get rid of plastic in your life.

May 22019 be a healthy year for all of us!

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Writing Reviews For Beloved Books:How Did I Do? Are You Up For the Challenge?

Last January I began this blog with a personal challenge to write a review for KidLit books from Authors I admire. You can read about the challenge here: https://wordpress.com/post/darlenebeckjacobson.wordpress.com/4428

I am happy to say that I posted EIGHTEEN REVIEWS for PB, MG , and YA books and even gifted three of them in contest give-aways. Here is the list of titles I reviewed – in no particular order  – all of them amazing reads and worthy of recognition.

  1. CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?  by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (poems)
  2. 101 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU GROW UP  by Bianca Schulze (book list for kids)
  3. SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK by Patricia Keeler (PB)
  4. THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES by Peter Brown (MG)
  5. SAM & EVA by Debbi Ohi (PB)
  6. GRANDMOTHER THORN by Katey Howes (PB)
  7. ECOSYSTEM by Josh Bellin (YA)
  8. 7 ATE 9 by Tara Lazar (PB)
  9. COUNTING ON KATHERINE  by Helaine Becker (PB)
  10. JUST ONE THING by Nancy Viau (MG)
  11. QUINCY THE CHAMELEON by Barbara DiLorenzo (PB)
  12. WHAT THE NIGHT SINGS by Vesper Stamper (YA)
  13. LOVE IS KIND by Laura Sassi (PB)
  14. I REMEMBER YOU: A RUBY’S PLACE NOVEL  by Holly Schindler (adult romance)
  15. THE ART OF BEING REMMY  by Mary Zisk (MG)
  16. A PROMISE STITCHED IN TIME by Colleen Kosinski (MG)
  17. EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE by Tracy Holtzer (MG)
  18. ALL THE LOVELY CHILDREN by Andrew Nance (YA)

I read more than FIFTY books, but managed to write reviews on the above 18.  I hope to do better this year and spread the word about great books, and under-represented authors.

Care to join me? Next time you read a book that you love, let the author know in the best way possible: write a few sentences telling him or her what you enjoyed about the story, and share it on Goodreads or Amazon. Take it from me, it will make a writer’s day and let other readers know about great books.

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Happy Reading and reviewing.  May 2019 be a great year!

 

Don’t Throw it Away Post Holiday.

Now that the holidays are over, many of us are left to “un-decorate” and put away or toss the remnants of another holiday . Instead of tossing old cut trees to the curb, your tree can become a great winter snack for an elephant.  Contact your local zoo or wildlife sanctuary to see if it accepts trees. Goats also enjoy evergreens, and they are full of vitamin C to keep goats healthy all winter. No animal farms nearby? Stick it in the garden bed for birds to shelter in all winter long.

DONATE your old Christmas cards to ST JUDE’S RANCH  for their Children’s Recycled Card Program. It helps teens learn entrepreneurial skills by remaking and selling greeting cards.  http://www.stjudesranch.org

Got wine corks? Drop them off at a collection site and  an organization like ReCork will recycle them  into Yoga blocks and other products.  http://www.recork.org

You can offer your gently used Christmas lights and ornaments to a local nursing home or homeless shelter to use for next year’s season.

So Who Gets the Signed Copy of THE ART OF BEING REMMY?

The winner of a signed copy of the middle grade novel THE ART OF BEING REMMY  by Mary Zisk is Andrea Stephens.  Please send your address so we can get that to you.

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Congratulations and many thanks to all who shared their favorite memories of growing up.

When you enjoy a good book, why not write a review on Amazon or Goodreads to let others know. It is the best way to spread the word about good books.

Gifts That Give Back.

While searching for those perfect gifts for everyone on your holiday list, why not try some of the sites listed below. These companies/products “pay it forward” with your purchase and provide a variety of wonderful services for children, animals and the homeless. Gifts that keep on giving.

  1. BOBS from Skechers: I am a HUGE fan of Skechers shoes for the comfort they provide. By buying from the BOBS collection, you help save the lives of SHELTER DOGS AND CATS in the US thanks to their partnership with Best Friends Animal Society. http://www.skechers.com
  2. Cuddle+Kind: Every time you purchase one of these handmade, soft and cuddly dolls you donate TEN MEALS to hungry kids around the world.  http://www.cuddleandkind.com
  3. STATE: With each purchase of a State bag, the company delivers a backpack of school supplies, including socks and snacks, to a local child in need.  http://www.Statebags.com
  4. Help give poverty the Boot with a purchase of a pair of ROMA BOOTS. The company has provided durable, colorful rain boots to needy children in 26 countries including US.  http://www.Romaboots.com
  5. Smile: Did you know 5.1 Billion people in the world own cell phones, but only 4.2 Billion of them own a toothbrush?  For every toothbrush bought from Synced Smiles, the company donates TEN to people in places like Malawi, Ugands, and the Philippines.  http://www.Syncedsmiles.com
  6. Need Socks?: These foot-warmers are one of the most requested items at homeless shelters. When you buy a pair of soft and comfy BOMBAS, the company sends a pair with antimicrobial treatment and reinforced seams to a homeless shelter.  http://www.Bombas.com
  7. This Bar Saves Lives: When you purchase one of these yummy non GMO and gluten-free snacks, a NUTRITION PACKET to help fight malnutrition is sent around the world. http://www.Thisbarsaveslives.com
  8. Need Toilet Paper? Who doesn’t.: When you buy Who Gives A Crap brand toilet tissue and paper towels – made from 100% recycles paper or bamboo, 50% of profits are used to build toilets for people who need them in developing countries.  http://www.Whogivesacrap.org

May all your gifts make a difference. Happy Holidays!

Easy Recipe to Boost Immunity This Holiday Season.

I imagine most of us are even busier than usual during the month of December getting ready for holidays, or visits from friends and family. When days offer little free time, we often neglect taking care of ourselves and end up feeling tired, out of sorts, or even sick. And, the temptation to grab something quick to eat doesn’t help in the long run. Instead, why not choose food that boosts your immunity, reduces inflammation, and helps to ward off colds, fatigue, and even dry skin.

Numerous studies have proven that foods rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamin C and Zinc go a long way toward boosting our body’s immune system, especially during stressful periods like the holidays. These foods include leafy greens, broccoli and brussel sprouts, citrus fruits, berries, pomegranates, nuts and seeds.

Here is a simple recipe for a CITRUS SALAD I like to eat for breakfast with a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal.

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This one has grapefruit, mandarin oranges, pomegranate seeds and coconut flakes. You can add sunflower seeds, chia seeds, or a handful of your favorite chopped nuts.

Also try adding nuts and berries to yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal. Make a green salad with MIXED GREENS, and sprinkle in sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, mandarin oranges, or grapefruit. salmon salad

This salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds also has chunk salmon from a packet to make it a main dish for lunch or dinner. Just add your favorite dressing.

The prep time for these is minutes, so there is no excuse not to eat healthy during this busy season. What are some of your favorite Vitamin boosting recipes for this time of year?

 

New Hess Truck For the Holiday Season.

When my son was a boy, he looked forward to getting a new Hess Truck for Christmas.  Since 1964, the company has produced a new one each holiday season, still delighting kids young and old. This year’s model will be three times special: Along with the RV, there is an ATV and a motorbike. The ramp doors of the RV fold down so you can roll out the ATV and motorbike, both of which have drivers wearing helmets. These smaller vehicles can pop wheelies and move around on their own thanks to the friction motors.  The RV lights up with a total of 72 lights, the most for any vehicle. And, it’s quiet.

You can check out this holiday tradition at: http://www.hesstoytruck.com

2018 Hess RV with ATV and Motorbike

Photo courtesy of Hess.