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Archive for Blogging
May 5th, 2014
The ideas never come to me when they should. Sticky notes are everywhere and I never remember their intended order.
When I write a blog post the final piece somehow ends up organized, but certainly doesn’t start off that way. There are nights when ideas hit and are preserved in a dark bathroom on a single piece of toilet paper or on a stray sticky note by the side of my bed.
Running also seems to bring on random ideas for articles. They come fast and furiously once I’m in a running groove. The problem is there’s no toilet paper or sticky notes-just me and my forgetful brain, trying desperately to remember each and every idea for 6 miles. Many are lost by the second mile.
I share this with you because I’ve been invited to participate in a blog tour called “My Writing Process“. Thanks to my lovely friend, Maggie, the author of the fabulous blog Maternal Dementia, for reaching out to me and asking me to join. Maggie writes about motherhood from the heart and everything that goes along with it. Her honesty and eloquent writing style is refreshing and always welcome in my world. She has given her family adorable pen names such as De-facto for her darling partner and Short-pants and Buddy-roo for her beautiful daughters. Maggie and her family lived for many years in Paris (where I last saw her) and have now made the move to Barcelona. I’ve known Maggie for quite sometime and am honored to call her a friend on-line and in real life.
As part of the blog tour I’ve been asked to answer 4 questions about my writing process.
What are you working on?
This was probably the most challenging of the questions to answer since my work changes daily. This is also what I love most about my career change. There’s certainly no room for boredom. Right now I’m working on finding time to write my book. I just can’t find the time. Or is it that I won’t make the time? While struggling with this, I’ve also taken on quite a few clients for various exciting projects. Stay tuned for more details.
How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
Many writers bring a unique and powerful voice to the blogging world. I feel very fortunate to be part of a strong and passionate group of bloggers that write about green living. Each of us is unique, and the green living umbrella is wide providing space for many of us. I’ve been saying for quite sometime that our collective voices are what can and will make a difference. When we join our unique voices together and write about similar topics we show a united front. The issues we tackle are real – climate change, product and food safety, GMOs, keeping our families safe and healthy -these are issues that affect each of us in many ways.
Why do you write what you do?
After practicing law for many years, I realized that I had outgrown the fast paced and stressful lifestyle. My body and health were starting to show signs that it was time for a change. I slowly shifted my focus towards a creating a green and clean lifestyle and began to educate myself about chemicals and other toxins that were going into and on my body. I was amazed at what I found as I continued to dig. A few years later, two of our children developed life threatening food allergies. My commitment to living as toxin-free as possible became even stronger as a way to gain some control over their allergies. Blogging offered a venue to share information and connect with others interested in a green lifestyle. When my youngest went off to Kindergarten I decided to trade in my suits and focus on writing. I was inspired and continue to be inspired by the incredible community of like-minded people I have found. Blogging has provided me with a space to find a voice that I didn’t know I had and an opportunity to stand beside many remarkable people who are making a difference.
How does your writing process work? Sticky notes and more.
Over the few, short years that I’ve been blogging there’s actually a writing process that takes place before each post is published. In addition to the sticky notes, toilet paper and random running thoughts, I try to settle on a topic the night before. Finding the perfect photo takes up a good chunk of time. When I write I use my laptop and carve out time to write without social media distractions. After I’m finished I don’t hit publish. I let the post sit and then go back and read it with fresh eyes. I’m almost guaranteed to find a few errors that would have otherwise not been caught. Once published it doesn’t stop there. The post is shared throughout social media- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest. I also have a weekly newsletter used to share my writing and other special offers with subscribers.
My last task was to find two bloggers to join the blog tour and share stories about our writing processes.
Micaela from Mindful Momma will be joining on Monday, May 12th. I’ve known Micaela for quite sometime. She was one of the first bloggers I connected with online before I launched my blog. I’ll never forget her wise advice: “Write from your heart”. After connecting we discovered that we both grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, went to the same high school and graduated a year apart. We are certainly proof that it’s a small world out there.
Lindsay Dahl will also be participating. Lindsay is the Deputy Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the founder of LindsayDahl.com. I’ve been working with Lindsay for many years on various projects fighting for the health and safety of our families including the Stroller Brigade and the Mind the Store campaigns. She is an amazing leader, advocate and friend.
Feel free to follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #mywritingprocess.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by.
Do you have your own writing process?
photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc
April 25th, 2014
My plan was to take this week off from writing, but I have a few green updates and other info to share. Before I dive in, I can finally say “happy spring!” The weather has been gorgeous and I’ve really been able to enjoy it since this week is our spring vacation. Hope you’re able to do the same.
Home Harmony Class
Thank you to Christa O’Leary, MA, MFT, founder and CEO of Home in Harmony Lifestyle for inviting me to be one of the speakers in her Home In Harmony Master Class. Christa pulled together experts who are successful at creating an inspired life to share how they’re doing it. Christa is an Interior Designer, Marriage & Family Therapist, and Green Living expert. She teaches people how to ‘Design Inspired Living’ and has been featured on CBS, NBC & Dr. Laura.
There were over 20 of us who participated, each with our own take on what has worked for us. If you want to check out the interviews (including mine) you can sign up HERE.
Named one of the Top 10 Green and Eco-Friendly Blogs
I’m honored that voiceBoks, the Voice of Parenthood, has named Groovy Green Livin one of the Top 10 Green and Eco-Friendly Blogs. I’m in some good company-some of my ‘green’ favorites made the list too!
In the Hot Seat at The Collective
Thanks to The Collective for the exclusive interview feature! I was in the hot seat for a few great questions. Check it out HERE.
My Manilla Makeover Makes its Way Over to The Huffington Post
Helping college student, Annie, transform her kitchen into a lean, green, eco-friendly kitchen was a lot of fun. If you haven’t had a chance to watch my Manilla Makeover: Green Kitchen Edition you can now check it out on The Huffington Post.
Green Tips to Celebrate Earth Day from thredUp
In honor of one of Earth Day I was interviewed over at thredUp along with Diane MacEachern from Big Green Purse, for simple tips to incorporate into our daily routine that can benefit the environment. If you’re not familiar with thredUp, it’s a great way to save money on great Women’s and Kids’ clothing brands and sell clothes for cash. They’re like a consignment store, but online. What a great concept!
Green Update: BIG News on the GMO Labeling Front
On Wednesday Vermont passed a law requiring the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. This is HUGE! The good news is that there are no real strings attached…except the law won’t go into effect until July 1, 2016. I understand that it takes a while to get labeling into place, but this seems like an extraordinarily long time to wait. Don’t you agree?
Green Update: Eco-Warrior Makes an Appearance on The Queen Latifah Show!
The amazing Kristina from The Greening of Westford was asked to fly to LA for an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show! This was quite an honor for all of her hard work to make the world a better place. And there’s more….she was given a gorgeous red Ford CMAX Energi. Read all about it HERE. Congratulations Kristina!
That’s it for groovy green updates for now. Enjoy the weekend!
Do you have any groovy green updates to share?
photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc
February 26th, 2014
The apartment wasn’t anything special, but the location was amazing.
The North End of Boston was a happening place. At any moment of the day or night people were roaming the streets with a fresh cannoli in hand. The locals and the yuppies were constantly competing for space. It wasn’t uncommon to see a random chair in the street as an attempt to save a parking space for later use. We all knew not to mess with that spot. It’s been a few years, but I’m guessing things haven’t changed much.
The apartment belonged to my boyfriend at the time (now my husband). We were both in school and I spent most weekdays and weekends living there, although I had my own apartment not too far away.
On a cold and windy Thursday night I was sleeping alone in the apartment while my boyfriend was up in Maine doing an externship for school. My plan was to head to classes the next day and then drive up to Maine to meet him for a weekend of skiing.
Early Friday morning, while I was still deep asleep, someone yelled “fire” and began pounding on the door. The apartment was on the first floor, directly across from a famous North End restaurant where the customers could easily look across and wave (which they often did). The photo above is the actual apartment building.
I’m a deep sleeper so someone yelling “fire” didn’t register for a few seconds. Once I realized what was happening I grabbed what I could, which happened to be my ski gear, and ran through thick smoke to the street outside.
There I stood, along with the other residents of the building and several onlookers, for what seemed like an eternity watching the building burn.
Everyone made it out.
I remember a very kind woman taking me into her home and giving me shoes to wear. The ski jacket, hat and gloves worked, but the flip flops on my feet weren’t going to cut it on this cold and wintry day.
My boyfriend’s sweet mother (now my mother-in-law) drove to the North End at an ungodly hour. We sat in her warm car together watching the building continue to smolder.
Thankfully everyone was fine. Our possessions were not. The flames impacted the upper apartments the most, however everything was severely smoke damaged. Virtually nothing was salvageable.
A kind firefighter escorted me back into the apartment after the flames subsided to help find my car keys and a few important pieces of paper. It was a crazy scene. Everything was covered in soot and the walls were ripped apart. It was hard to imagine that we had lived there just a few hours before.
To this day I still love heading to the North End of Boston. The North End has some of the best people watching in the city and the restaurants are fabulous. The apartment building has been rebuilt and now looks like something special.
Now I’ve become one of those parents who points at the building, makes her kids stop talking to look at the building and then tells them the same story over and over.
I didn’t ski that weekend, but I survived a fire and I thank my lucky stars.
I felt inspired to write this after seeing the #WhereILivedWednesday prompt over at Ann’s Rants. Head on over to Ann’s wonderful site to see where others have lived.
photo credit: Michael Kappel via photopin cc
January 6th, 2014
I was inspired a few years ago by Chris Brogan to come up with three words for the year ahead. This is NOT a list of New Year’s Resolutions. The commitment to lose 5 pounds or the intention to cut out sugar-that’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not big on resolutions. While they’re generally well -intentioned, I usually try them out for a few days or even weeks and then I’m right back where I started.
For all of us, January resolutions roll in just as the holiday season rolls out. After a wonderful two week vacation with my family the last thing I need to do is create any extra burdens. Waking up after sleeping in for many days is challenging enough. That’s my resolution: to wake up every morning on time. This morning didn’t go very well.
In place of a resolution I’m going to stick with something that has proven inspirational rather than daunting. Chris Brogan came up with the brilliant suggestion to forgo the idea of a resolution, and instead, come up with 3 words that will help define your goals and experiences for the coming year.
I took Chris’s advice and chose words that “….mean something to you. Who cares if others don’t get it?”
MY THREE WORDS
Working from home can cause the lines between family time and work time to blend and overlap. Towards the end of 2013 I worked hard to stop working when my kids came home from school and really be present for them. My intention to create clear boundaries for 2014 continues. My oldest turned 13 this year and I’m realizing that he’s only home for a few more years before heading off to college. When my kids come home from school my mom hat is back on.
As much as I love social media and spend a good chunk of my day on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google + it’s really a huge time suck. I’m working towards creating a better system for managing my social media and spending more time writing and working with my clients. I have about 100 plus posts in draft form for my blog and about 50 others for sites I write for. I also have a book draft that needs my attention. Managing my time is imperative if any of this is going to happen.
I’ve seen over the past few years how together we truly can make a difference. The power of our collective voices is unstoppable and together we can make change happen. We’ve seen how it’s possible to sway some of the largest consumer product companies. I have no doubt that in 2014 we will see much more of the same. I’ll be focusing on how we can do this together. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. ~Helen Keller
AND NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: What are your three words?
I would love to know what you want to focus on in 2014. Feel free to leave a comment here with your three words or write your very own post.
Happy New Year!
My three words in 2012: honesty, present, learn
photo credit: thomasstache via photopin
December 20th, 2013
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~William Arthur Ward
As 2013 comes to a close and many of us are heading off on vacation for a few days, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what I’m truly and deeply grateful for.
This year the answer is simple: I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and all you bring to this amazing community of groovy greeness that we’ve created together.
As of this afternoon the long awaited winter vacation will officially begin. I’m planning to spend some quality time with my family and relax for a few days on our local ski slope.
May whatever you do to celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year bring you much joy and happiness. I am going to take a few days off from writing and I will be back in 2014 with more groovy green info to share.
If you want to follow me on vacation I’ll be posting photos of my ski and snow shoe adventures on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to find me on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+!
I’ll leave you with this heartwarming and funny video from Kid President: How to Change the World. He says “The world is changed by ordinary people. Little people living out big love,”. I love this kid.
Much of my gratitude this year goes out to you. Thank you.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Wishing you much love and groovy greenness in the new year. See you back here in 2014.
What are you most grateful for?
December 13th, 2013
Sometimes there’s a lot of news to share. It may not be earth-shattering news, but nonetheless I want to keep you involved and up-to-date on the groovy green goings-on. If you’re following me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest or Instagram you could already be in the know. Sometimes I get giddy so I post things on my social media channels.
So here it goes. Take a peek at some of the groovy green news and highlights over the past few weeks.
Stonyfield News: I’m a Yo-Getter Captain
This year was pretty amazing and 2014 is starting off with a bang. I’m so excited to share that I’ve been selected to work with Stonyfield as a Yo-Getter Captain. As most of you know, Stonyfield is the world’s leading organic yogurt producer. I’ve been working with Stonyfield over the years and am quite passionate about the brand and what they stand for. The more I learn about the company the more I like what I see. This position takes my passion and connection with the brand to a new level. My roll will be to work with and manage a fantastic team of fellow bloggers on many exciting projects. I’m thrilled to be working with 4 other Yo-Getter Captains: Sarah White, Mindfully Frugal Mom, Amelia Winslow, Eating Made Easy, Caroline Edwards, Chocolate & Carrots, Lindsey Galvez, So Easy Being Green. Stay tuned for more info in 2014!
Mamavation’s List of the Top 50 Healthy Bloggers 2013
I’m both humbled and honored to be included as one of Mamavation’s Top 50 Healthy Bloggers for 2013. There are plenty of amazing folks on this list including some of my bloggy mentors and idols. Take a look when you have a chance to see who you know and follow. The list is laid out in a great format- making it simple to find each blog and follow either on Facebook or Twitter.
Speaking Gig for Center for Health, Environmental & Justice (CHEJ)
A few weeks ago I was asked by CHEJ to speak about Social Media and Environmental Health Campaigns-What You Need to Know. I presented alongside one of my favorite people, Margie Kelly who is the Communications Project Manager at the Breast Cancer Fund and the Marketing Communications Manager at Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The wonderful Mike Schade of CHEJ was the moderator. I had a revelation about speaking-I’m finding the more I do it the more I love it. If you’re interested in listening to the presentation a recording can be found HERE.
Ways to Save Green This Winter
My recent post over at Manilla, 5 Ways to Save Green This Winter, was also picked up by Yahoo!Finance. Head on over to check out my tips.
My Uncommon Goods Gift List
If you’re not familiar with Uncommon Goods you should be. They’re a Brooklyn-based online marketplace with a penchant for design and focus on sustainability. And they have some pretty cool gift ideas. This year they asked me to curate a gift list including the top organic/green gifts for kids. There were so many fantastic choices, but THIS is what I finally came up with. Maybe you’ll find that last minute gift!
That’s all the news for the moment!
As we all start winding down for the holiday break remember to take time for yourself and enjoy! I’ll be back a few more times before closing up my laptop for a few days.
Any big weekend plans?
photo credit: ingirogiro via photopin cc
September 23rd, 2013
Headed to New York for the Day
As many of you know I’ve been the Green-Living Expert over at Manilla for quite some time. It’s been a fun gig, but the Manilla funometer just went through the roof.
For those of you unfamiliar with Manilla, it’s a free and secure service that lets you manage and organize your bills and accounts in one place online or using their mobile apps. With just one password, you can manage all of your household accounts, including your finances, utilities, travel rewards, subscriptions, daily deals and more. Pretty cool.
Filming 5 Manilla Mini Topic Videos in New York
This week I had an incredible opportunity to travel to New York and film 5 short videos for Manilla covering the many ways we can all go ‘green’.
I’ve known about the trip for a while, but somehow still managed to leave my packing and wardrobe selection until 10:30 pm the night before. Take note: trying on multiple outfits over and over for your husband at 11 pm isn’t advisable unless they have a Victoria’s Secret label. These did not.
After several wardrobe malfunctions and juggling the logistics for the next day’s childcare and soccer drop-off/pickups I was ready to roll.
I absolutely love heading to New York City. I’ve always had a special connection to the city since I was born there and spent the first five years of my life trying to perfect a New York accent. More importantly, both my parents were born and raised in the heart of the city.
I arrived at the Hearst Tower just in time for the shoot and was greeted by two of the fabulous women from the Manilla team- Sarah and Caroline. If you’ve never been to the Hearst Tower I can assure you that it’s pretty spectacular. The elevators alone are a techno-geek’s dream. This building houses many of the magazines that we’re all familiar with including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping and Seventeen.
Up in the elevator I went and then into the private studio for filming. After makeup and hair touch ups (a 3 1/2 hour train ride from Boston isn’t great for hair and makeup) I was ready to shoot.
Thankfully I was able to use a teleprompter for my lines. I thought that my glasses might have to make a guest appearance in the videos if the print was too small, but we were able to adjust the font so I could actually see.
Filming was interesting. I was alone in the studio with a chair, a microphone, a camera, a teleprompter and some mighty bright lights. All of the controls were handled outside the studio. I could hear everyone only through a loud speaker-asking me to smile, read through a script again or telling me “that’s a wrap”. There were several hair fixes in person, but otherwise I was solo in the studio. After an hour or so of shooting we had 5 videos ready for editing.
And that was that. I had a 1/2 hour to kill before taking the Acela back to Boston. Just enough time to stop at my new favorite lunch spot: Juice Generation.
And then, in the blink of an eye I was plopped back into my life and everything returned to its normal chaos.
The videos will be ready to share over the next few weeks so stay tuned…….
What’s your favorite place to visit in New York City?