Just Heather

smart-mamas-green-guideTo most of my friends, I’m the crunchy, hippie, uber-green girl. To the real organic, super greenies, I’m a newbie. I understand and appreciate the reasons behind the green movement. I desire to provide a safer, healthier environment for my children and their future but I don’t have the knowledge or resources to succeed in all areas of our lives.

I do, however, have friends who try. My friends can be divided into two categories: the crunchy, granola buddies who still have much to teach me and everyone else. This month, I had the opportunity to review a book that will help them both!

When I first heard about the Smart Mama’s Green Guide, I was most interested the line that indicated the book “delivers the information busy parents want and the tools to make informed, individual choices without the demand to go all-out green.” A book designed to help parents who want to do better without a switch to completely organic? Pick me, pick me!

Jennifer Taggart understands that it is difficult for most people to eliminate all sources of toxic chemicals in their homes. It is often too expensive or time consuming to control everything, but she provides several simple, practical ideas to get you started. She breaks down each hazard, giving detailed explanations on how and why each poses a threat. For those of us who can’t quite grasp the acronyms or decipher the various chemicals, she gives real world examples. However, for those of you who thrive on the details that I can’t quite comprehend, she includes those as well.

Hachette Book Group has also offered additional books for me to giveaway to my readers! The books will be shipped directly from the publisher. To be entered into the giveaway, leave me a comment here, sharing simple ways you choose a greener life. You can also earn additional entries by blogging or tweeting about this giveaway (leave a separate comment with the link to each additional entry).

prizey_fmg_purpleThe contest runs from June 23rd to June 30th at 11:59pm. Two winners will be notified by email on July 1st (as selected by Random.org) and must reply with their mailing address within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Open only to residents of the U.S. & Canada and books cannot be shipped to PO boxes.

When I jumped back in to this blogging thing, I once again enjoyed the community aspect—reading other blogs, commenting on posts, chatting with fellow bloggers.  I discovered a lot had happened while I was away.  Gone were the useless memes and quizzes (those are all on Facebook now), but the space is now filled with giveaways and contests.

I entered one, mostly because I actually had a comment about the prize, at Gotcha Baby.  The prize was listed as a collection of Hallmark cards for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Excellent timing, what with both holidays coming up (okay, so I’m a little behind on posting this), and me being too cheap to buy cards.  Anyway, as the title suggests, I actually won!

2009-05-266I wasn’t really thinking much about it, other than to be thrilled that I didn’t have to traipse through the store with 3 girls and attempt to choose cards for our parents.  Imagine my surprise when the package arrived just a few days later and it was chock full of photo cards, musical cards, recordable cards and a selection of their inexpensive (there’s the stuff!) recycled cards for every day use. I have been officially welcomed back to the world of blogging. Most importantly, I am set on cards for the next couple months.

I was super impressed, even if I am negligent in sending my thanks.  The cards themselves are a lot of fun. There are 4 that are clearly the highlight of the package—2 for Mother’s Day and 2 for Father’s Day.  Both are recordable music cards.  There is a song already in the card plus an opportunity for you to record your own, personal message.  The girls had a lot of fun with that part and I was impressed with how easy they are to use.  I figured the mic would have trouble picking up their voices, but they didn’t even have to be super close to the card for it to work.  In fact, you could conceivably make a recording with all 3 kids buckled into their respective carseats on the way to dinner with the recipient.  Just sayin’.

girlsTwo of the cards were also photo cards.  Unfortunately, it turns out that we don’t have a good, recent picture of all 3 kids.  That is probably in part because one of them is in constant motion.  Lucky for me, my hubby is rather talented.  He threw together a collage of the girls that I like even better than a posed still shot. I think it captures each girl’s personality quite nicely. Each set of grandparents will get a copy (though some have to wait until Father’s Day) and I printed another for us but I’m still not sure what I’m doing with it. I only know that I needed to capture this moment in time, when each girl has her own distinct personality yet somehow still forms a cohesive family unit.