Posts Tagged ‘life hacks’

Grab Bag Midway Message:

Feeling a little overwhelmed, sick and frustrated by this. 

Beautifully done, ugly story. 

3 minutes 52 seconds… you can take it.

Go full screen. 

Here are actions we can all take on a personal level to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem, from BayNature.org:

What You Can Do

When Shopping

Bring your own:

  • durable reusable bags, baskets, and containers for shopping at all stores
  • reusable lightweight cloth bags for produce
  • mug or cup for take-out coffee, tea, smoothies, etc.
  • reusable storage containers from home for restaurant meal leftovers
  • food from home in place of buying takeout

Avoid plastic packaging.

Avoid buying bottled water; the caps are not recyclable and their size and shape increase the likelihood they will end up in the ocean.

Buy products with minimal or truly recyclable packaging:

  • beverages and foods in glass containers with metal lids (and reuse the glass containers)
  • berries in paper pulp baskets
  • meat from the butcher counter and cheese from the deli counter–and ask that they be wrapped in butcher paper or waxed paper
  • cream cheese packaged in foil rather than plastic tubs
  • margarine in paper-wrapped cubes rather than plastic tubs
  • powdered laundry detergent in paper boxes rather than liquid in plastic bottles (but watch out for plastic bags inside the boxes)
  • toilet paper packaged in paper
  • bar soap instead of liquid soap in plastic bottles
  • wine in glass bottles with natural cork rather than plastic stoppers
  • pet food and cat litter in paper bags or boxes
  • nursery plants in pressed paper rather than plastic pots

Buy in bulk:

  • Buy foods like grains, seeds, nuts, beans, flour, pasta, cereal, crackers, cookies, tea, coffee, olives, etc., in bulk, and bring them home in your own containers or durable reusable bags.
  • Buy personal care products like shampoo and body lotion in bulk by refilling your own containers (some stores with large bulk sections carry personal care products in bulk).
  • Avoid buying individually wrapped or single-serving foods like cheese slices, pudding, juice in boxes, etc.

If you can’t buy in bulk, buy items in larger quantities to reduce packaging.

Avoid buying disposable plastic products like razors, pens, lighters, diapers, etc.

Buy used items when possible.

At Home

Fill your own stainless steel water bottle with tap water instead of buying bottled water.

Make foods from scratch if they usually come packaged in plastic (salsa, applesauce, yogurt, etc.).

Use non-plastic utensils and picnicware:

  • glass or paper drinking straws
  • metal utensils, plates, and cups for picnics

Use cloth rags and napkins instead of paper towels and paper napkins, which are packaged in plastic.

Store sustainably:

  • put leftovers in glass canning jars or other durable, reusable containers
  • dry items in waxed paper bags and aluminum foil instead of plastic bags and plastic wrap
  • cheeses in an airtight container rather than plastic wrap
  • lettuce in a dry, airtight container in the refrigerator
  • hardy greens like collards and kale in an airtight container with a damp cloth inside in the refrigerator or in a vase or jar of water on the counter for up to a week
  • spinach in an airtight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator
  • ripe fruits (including berries) in airtight containers in the refrigerator
  • fresh basil in either a vase of water or an airtight container on the counter for a week or more

Use paper bags or no bags at all for garbage disposal. If you must use a plastic garbage bag, choose one with recycled content.

For dish washing and household cleaning, use cloth rags, natural cellulose sponges, and loofa scrubbers instead of paper towels (which are packaged in plastic), synthetic sponges, and plastic scrubbers. (Note from LK: I buy a apck of 1-2 dozen washclothes at Costco and use these almost exclusively in the kitchen, reducing paper towel consumption dramatically.)

Dispose of dog and cat feces in 100 percent biodegradable bags or wrap them in old newspaper.

When a plastic item breaks, try to repair it instead of buying a new one.

In the Office

Replace plastic products with more sustainable ones:

  • paper tape instead of plastic tape
  • refillable tape dispensers
  • fountain pen (refill with bottled ink)
  • printer paper in paper-wrapped reams
  • Refill toner cartridges instead of buying new ones.

Upgrade your computer instead of replacing it. And when you must replace it, take the old computer, monitor, keyboard, printer, etc., to an e-waste disposal facility. Plastic computer housings collected in this manner are more often recycled.

In Your Community

Give away rather than throw away plastic items you no longer use.

Pick up plastic litter when you see it in streets and waterways.

Contact retailers and ask them to stock products packaged in non-plastic recyclable and compostable materials.

Contact manufacturers and ask them to use compostable non-plastic packaging or truly recyclable packaging like glass.

Write to your legislators and support bills aimed to reduce plastic in the environment:

  • AB 1358: Bans single use, take-out polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers
  • AB 925: Requires that single-use beverage caps be integrally attached to the container and made of recyclable material
  • AB 283: Gives producers an incentive to create sustainable products by requiring them to share responsibility for their products’ packaging
  • Local plastic bag bans and plastic packaging ordinances
  • More stringent recycling laws (some types of plastic are not currently recyclable and most plastic is not recycled unless the price of oil used for producing virgin plastic is very high)

Grab Bag Limitless :

“I don’t listen to people too much when they tell me I can’t do something”.

– Richie Parker

Richie Parker

Grab Bag Can I Get a Fitness?:

Hopefully I am chipping away at the myriad of excuses people have for deferring exercise.

Here’s the crow bar for the “I can’t get to the gym” boulder in your path…. it’s free, it’s fun, it’s a great workout, and it’s right in your own home:

It’s a site called FitnessBlender.com, created by a husband and wife team with really good priorities:

We started Fitness Blender because we believe that fitness should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their income. We also felt like there was a lack of reliable health and fitness information on the web, and too many people in the industry were more focused on appearance than they were on good health.

Fitness Blender is funded by ad revenue and the generosity of donations made by our users. Donations help keep Fitness Blender free and go directly towards funding expansions of Fitness Blender’s features and services.

Love this concept. You can get a ton of fun and well-constructed workouts for FREE… like this one I did and really liked:

Fitness Blender

Grab Bag Sweet Stuff:


Grab Bag MacGyver Moment:

I figured out how to make a couple of slides have links to videos… so feel free to click on them when they come up.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Tetravex is an interesting game where you must drag and place  the blocks in such a way so that all sides that contact another block have the same color. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.07.20 PM

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:


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Grab Bag Silver Lining:


For those who do not know her, let me introduce you to a really incredible woman named Hollye Jacobs. I met Hollye a couple of years ago through our mutual friend, Roxie. I was pretty sure I would love her from everything I already knew about her: She was an R.N., so we could talk medical stuff. She was a mother, so we could talk mom stuff, and she was funny and fun-loving, and, well, so am I :-).

But there was a great deal more I would come to learn about this woman, and just how her walk through life could benefit us all.


Here are the details:

Hollye is a Pediatric and Adult Palliative Care Nurse and Social Worker with graduate degrees in Bioethics and Child Development. She has made it her specialty to help deliver tough news in the best possible way. This would prove to be ironic.

Hollye is the mother of 4; 3 adult men and a lovely young girl, now about 8.

In 2010, Hollye VERY SUDDENLY (mere months after an exam that had no abnormal findings) developed multiple, aggressive tumors in both breasts.

The steps she took, the documentation she has registered and posted, and the perspective she shares is nothing short of miraculous inspiration. It is a story well worth digesting, because one hopes that by doing so, we might all share in the flavor of her wise and lusty spirit.

And the funny and fun-loving? They come into this story, too. As in GANGBUSTERS.

Hollye’s latest major accomplishment is the release of her new book, 


Click on the image above to order Hollye’s book.

And whether you’re colliding with cancer or healthy as a hobbit, do yourself a favor and read her story here at TheSilverPen.com.

Grab Bag Garden Gasp:

Here’s a little eye candy of garden art in China… throw one of these in the front yard and make your neighbors up their game 🙂

Go full screen for sure…

Grab Bag Life Hacks:

Grab Bag Skinny Rules:

I’m not too stoked with this title, as it connotes that SKINNY should perhaps be the goal.

I disagree.

Skinny could be one of many side effects resulting from a healthy lifestyle. 

But these rules are, indeed, a comprehensive list of a healthy habits, and can benefit us all. The side effects will be positive, noticeable and life-giving. If skinny is among them, so be it.


Grab Bag Rakin’ in the S’mores:

Total genius… as long as the rake is clean… and metal.


Grab Bag Brain Game:

As in the last few weeks, this is more of a brain exercise, found on Gethighnow.com

Fraser Spiral

View a fullscreen version.

Try the follow the spiral by tracing just above it with a pen or the tip of your finger. You can’t. Why? Because what you’ll be seeing is not a spiral but a set of circles. Yes, really. Check it out.

Fraser Spiral

How It Works

This illusion was created by British psychologist James Fraser, who first published it in 1908. When you look at the Fraser Spiral it appears a single line is twisting its way into the center, spiraling into a funnel. Your eyes, Judas-like, are deceiving you. The Fraser Spiral works by guiding the eye through a sequence of counter-angles. The eye and brain are not accustomed to processing images this geometrically complicated, and thus try to normalize the circles by imagining them as a single line, a phantom spiral corkscrewing its way to the center.

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Then and now… inspiring me to want to recreate iconic images from my past…

Go full screen to enjoy all the subtle nuances :-)

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