Safe, Natural Steroid Free Eczema Treatment

 I've struggled with eczema for years. I'm lucky. I only get it behind and in my ears. I know people who have it all over their bodies. It's horribly itchy and uncomfortable. Children are especially vulnerable as it's harder for them to follow treatment protocol and avoid scratching.  Got Eczema? Try This Steroid Free Treatment

How to Plan a Drama-Free Christmas Gift Exchange

I just wrote about how I dislike holiday gift exchanges among students, coworkers and extended family.  I know I sound more like Scrooge than Santa. But it's motivated by love. And gou're probably thinking--Easy for you to say. I'm stuck and have to get a gift. Well, here are some Christmas present exchange tips.
  How to Plan a Fun Drama-Free Christmas Gift Exchange

Why We Don't Get Flu Shot

We don't get flu shots. Never have. Here's why.

* Albumen allergy. I have one and you're not supposed to get flu shot if you have one. But beyond that....

* Ironically, I write this as husband came home sick. He has stomach flu which flu vaccines don't address. But it brings up a bone of contention with the pro-flu-vaccine crowd. They say we who don't get inoculated make them sick. But random vaccine and antibiotic dousing CREATES resistant superbugs. So it could be said that pro-shot folks make us sick.   Why We Do Not Get Flu Shot 

Do Not Forget Younkers Community Days Coupons Nov 15-16

If you bought Younkers Community Days coupon fundraiser coupon books, this weekend, November 15-16 are the days (the ONLY days) to use them. Remember, your book has a $10 off anything coupon. Use that one at least. And you can't use online, but you can purchase in-store day of sale and designate which school program you want the money to go to. Read one Remember Younkers Community Days Coupons Nov 15-16 

My Cat is Not Carrying His Weight

Our cat Scooter came to us malnourished. Now he is slightly...avoir du pois (cough, fat). But for all the girth, he's not carrying his weight around here. Whilst my husband and I slave away, to earn his daily salmon, mind, he does precisely nothing. Okay, he has rid the house of a few bats, but he is handsomely rewarded for every tiny deed. One catch and he expects a smorgasbord of treats, hours of petting. Here's a diary of his day compared to mine.  My Cat is Not Carrying His Weight

Catmeister Scooter--Lord of all he surveys (and doesn't)

I am not one of those crazy cat ladies (I am NOT), but I fear my husband is becoming one. You've heard the expression "dogs have owners but cats have staff?" My husband calls himself our cat Scooter's bit--, um servant. He buys the litter, changes the box, buys the cat food (only a certain kind will do for His Nibs). Hubs (Albert) informs me there's a certain ritual (bonding, not mating) for feeding. Scooter must have a "full body, nose to tail tip" massage (yes, Alb describes it like that). That's the dry cat food part. For the moist, I must feed it (minced on a small glass plate, please). Then dad must give the cat milk (I know, not good for kitties, yada yada--try telling that to Catmeister and his love slave). So we compromise. Dad gives him a small splash of lowfat.   Catmeister Scooter--Lord of all he surveys (and stuff he doesn't)

Diet Recipe Root Veggie Leftover Use Up Soup

I'm working to get the last 12 pounds off from 100 gained over the last nine years. I hit a plateau in weight loss after losing nearly 90 pounds. Every day I write a diet recipe of the day post and a diet tip to share how I lost weight. Today's tip is: mix it up. So I'm sharing an unconventional recipe

Root Veggie Leftover Use Up Soup--ingredients will vary depending on what root vegetable leftovers you have to use up. First, collect any and all vegetable leftovers: squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes (any color), onions, scallions, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas. You know, those bags of chopped onions mouldering in the fridge. Those withered carrots and sweet potatoes, those cooked potatoes you need to use up. Then read on for recipes  Diet Recipe Root Veggie Leftover Use Up Soup

Washing Machine Maintenance Tips I Almost Overlooked

 I was doing a load of wash today. As I was putting the clothes in the machine, I noticed filth build up on the tank and agitator. I use liquid fabric softener which can create sticky residue if used with cold water. That collects dirt and clings to the basin. I regular clean that away, but today I looked a little deeper. I saw that same sticky dirt collected under the rim of the tank. Washing machine tanks are like toilet bowls, which also collect yuck just under the rim.Washing Machine Maintenance Tips I Almost Missed

Home Furnace and Appliance Maintenance Tips

We just discovered a problem with our furnace and so I wrote about getting a furnace tune-up before winter. The blower switch had gone out on ours and it's going to cost about $50 to fix. It's a do-it-yourself job for anyone who's relatively handy (luckily both sons and husband are). The tune-up we're leaving to HVAC professionals. That's a little more intensive job. But there's another DIY job you can and should do with your furnace, in fact all your appliances: clean or replace furnace filters. Dirty filters blow dust back into the air. This is not only messy, it's unhealthy and unsanitary. It wreaks havoc with allergies. Dirty filters pose fire hazards. Read moreDIY Furnace and Appliance Maintenance Tips

Harvest Superfood Recipes Indian Squash with Apples

I have lost 86 pounds and have been writing a series on How I lost weight. I write a diet recipe of the day. In honor of my favorite season, fall, here's a harvest favorite. It includes two of my favorite Michigan produce offerings: apples and squash. And features exotic Indian spices. It's low-calorie, kosher, vegan, halal and uses superfoods. Diet Recipe of the Day Squash Apple Masala Bake

Diet Tip: Eat Mostly Veggies and Fruit, Locally Grown Preferrably

I've lost 83 pounds, 40 in the last 5 months. I've been writing a series of articles on +How-I-lost-weight using Diet recipe of the day and Diet tip of the day tags. Diet wisdom varies on fats, starch, meat, salt, dairy--which are the worst for weight loss. Sometimes dairy is the culprit. Then health gurus say it's starch. From my experience, it's not so much about what you don't eat as what you do. Diet Tip of the Day: Eat Mostly Veggies and Fruit - News

Balance is Healthier Parenting Than Health Obsession

Drugs, cleaning products, household items, cosmetics, disposable items, kids products--we try to use natural ingredients as much as possible. Note I said "as possible." It's virtually impossible to avoid all chemicals. M
y naturalista friends are going to gasp, but I say balance is healthier parenting that rigid obsession with health.

Organic, raw foods may be physically healthier, though with the chemical saturation of our environment, I'm not sure. But I know myself. I over think everything. it would make me a crazy (crazier) wreck trying serve perfectly pure foods. Raising four kids, I couldn't afford all natural foods, even if we ate only vegan. That food is super expensive! And even if I had one child, or no kids, I couldn't afford it. We live in the city--I couldn't grow all my own food if I wanted to. Our soil is toxic. I'd feel anxious and guilty that I'm a bad mom.Constantly worrying, makes me nervous and grouchy. And then I'm not a good mom. And THAT is my main priority.  Balance is Healthier Parenting Than Health Obsession

Save Money, Get Best Back to School Prices on College Textbooks

Dwindling federal financial aid means fewer students get money for college tuition, let alone textbooks. College textbook prices can actually rival tuition, they're so high. Not an exaggeration when you factor in that textbooks and materials are generally not tax-deductible. Here are ways to save money on college textbooks and stretch your college textbook dollar. Lady Greenwise says spend smart, not big. Back to School Shopping: How to Save Money and Find Best Prices on College Textbooks

Art or Tagging? Detroit Gets Graffiti Makeover

We've heard the stories of ruin in Detroit till they're coming out of our ears. From the Motown moniker, "blight belt" seems to be the new nickname. But there's one thing about urban decay -- it makes a great backdrop for graffiti, a superb canvas, if you will, for tag art. And it's that juxtaposition that's causing some controversy. At what point does philistine tagging become patrician art? Model D recently explored some new downtown Detroit mural paint-overs that recover old tags with new art. Is this a makeover or urban decay tarted up as art?  Art or Tagging? Detroit Gets Graffiti Makeover 

Daily Deals of the Day: Priceline Travel Booking

I'm Super Frugalista! I pinch pennies so hard the Lincoln Monument walls rumble. Every day, I submit a tightwad tip for you on Bubblews or Yahoo Contributor Network. Today's I use the tag +Dailydealsoftheday. Today's is travel. And the place I find the best deals is Priceline "Name Your Own Price" or daily deals. I started booking book hotels, flights and car rentals through Priceline about 6 years ago. Since then, I've tried Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Cheap Seats, Kayak and just about every site you can name. I've even tried some that use Euros instead of dollars (I'll save in any currency!) Bill Shatner's price compactor wins every time. Daily Deals of the Day: Priceline Travel Booking 

Detroit Mower Gang Reclaiming Abandoned City Parks

A community group, the Detroit Mower Gang, is taking their urban renewal campaign to Detroit's parks. The group's Motown Mowdown event last Saturday, May 25, was a 24-hour marathon of freshening up closed and disused city parks. It's the quintessential "grassroots" effort, as the Detroit Free Press aptly called it. But the mowers don't stop at one day of service (weeds and grass don't stop growing!) They meet bi-weekly to maintain parks. If your community needs a spruce up, and you're fortunate enough to have a mower and truck to haul, this would be a relatively simple give-back.Detroit Mower Gang Reclaiming Abandoned City Parks

How to Remove Wallpaper: Easy, Cheap, Green

In 2000, my husband and I bought a 100+ year-old home. In its long, colorful history, interior walls sported a plethora of coverings--paint, spackle, and wallpaper. Remodeling, we found four themes, the earliest dating back to the 20s. We have become adept at removing wallpaper and treating walls. Here are tricks to remove wallpaper and treat walls, from 13 years of DIY home fix-ups.How to Remove Wallpaper: Easy, Cheap, Green

Perk Up Your Work Space (and Mood) Easy and Cheap

The best and worst part of being a WAHM (work at home mom) is being home. As my second son quipped, "You don't work at home. You live at work." Wherever you work, environment impacts your attitude about your job. Here are easy, cheap, DIY ways to perk up your work space and mood! Take it seriously. Work-at-home folks don't succeed often because they discount their contributions. This is your work space, no less than if you left home for a job. It's where you make money. If you're a home business, you're claiming it on your taxes. Treat it like the professional office space it is. Make everyone else do likewise. Remind them it's your office first and anything else last. Ergo, arrange so it works best for you first, others if possible.  Perk Up Your Work Space (and Mood) Easy and Cheap

For Best Mother's Day Gifts, Save Green, Give Green

With Mother's Day approaching, the buzz is on the best gifts for mom. Mother's Day is one of the top holidays spending-wise; there's a lot of competition for our gift-giving buck. Stores and vendors are ripe with advice about what mom supposedly wants. I say think outside the vase, envelope and box. Give green, save green and reduce waste. For Mother's Day shopping, the best tips I found come from Denver Post $MART columnist Amber Johnson, who surveyed moms about what they wanted most. Essentially, the consensus was to dial down the spending and pay attention to the individual mom's preferences.   Read more

Repurposed Greeting Cards, Valentines, Wrapping Paper--Art Projects, Crafts, Gifts

Greeting cards are a bane of my existence (one of several alas).  I hate to waste money on throw-aways, but seniors in my life love them. So I buy for them. But then I'm stuck with the reciprocal cards. My thrifty, eco-conscious self hates to discard, but my clean freak side doesn't want the clutter. Even neatly organized (which I have no time to do) cards, valentines and such tchotchkis get cumbersome. Here are five cheap, homemade recycled ways to repurpose greeting cards, old wrapping paper, gift tags and kids valentines.  5 Repurposed Uses for Valentines--Art Projects, Crafts, Gifts

Spring is Mini-Flu Season; Dress for the Weather

 As a mom of four, I know all about kids and spring fever. At the first melting of snow off from Lake Michigan, they want to get the bathing suits out. In their warm weather zeal, they forget that they can still catch a chill. Just because the weather is getting nicer, doesn't mean you won't get sick if you don't dress properly. Winter is the official flu season, but spring can be a mini flu season. Spring is Mini-Flu Season; Dress for the Weather

Shared Spaces, Gazelle Businesses Regrow Detroit

Most Detroiters probably didn't need the recent state report to tell them that their city is in fiscal trouble. Gov. Rick Snyder is aiming an emergency manager at the Motor City, hoping to balance municipal books, says the Detroit Free Press. A look around once-glorious Detroit shows the toll the auto-making exodus took on the city. Vacant building shells compete with each other for most squalid. Abandoned businesses, derelict homes, underfunded city services, missing streetlights, defunct traffic signals -- most Detroiters are probably more concerned about these than an agenda from Lansing. But it's not all negative in Detroit. An economic spring is sprouting new life in the urban wasteland. Locals are using shared spaces, think tanks, and "gazelle" business opportunities to regrow Detroit. And these green models can be used in any financially ailing business climate. This is Trumbellplex in the photo. It operates on the shared-space concept, too. Shared Spaces, Gazelle Businesses Regrow Detroit - Yahoo! News

Cheap, Homemade, Green Spring Cleaning Tips

As days get longer and snow melts, my thoughts turn to spring cleaning: out with the old-man-winter accumulation and in with sunshine and spring-green-clean! Here are easy, cheap, homemade spring cleaning tips and earth-friendly tool swaps. Save money, labor and the environment with these solutions.  Cheap, Homemade, Green Spring Cleaning Tips

Easy, Healthy, Cheap WIC Foods Recipes

When our four kids were young, our income qualified me and the children for WIC (Woman, Infants and Children) food coupons.WIC, a USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) program, gives low-income families coupons for free food. Unlike food stamps, WIC can only be used for specific foods and baby formula. Breastfeeding moms like me couldn't use formula coupons and so WIC added vegetables, rice and tuna to supplement nursing moms' diets. WIC added Project Fresh coupons (used at farmers markets) and later produce vouchers. Here are recipes using basic WIC foods: eggs, juice, milk, peanut butter, cheese, approved cereal, tuna, carrots, bread, fruit and vegetables. Use these cheap recipes stretch your grocery budget and food stamps. For transitional housing dwellers, I've kept preparation and ingredients simple. Great for using up leftovers. Omit anything you don't have. Easy, Healthy, Cheap WIC Foods Recipes

Lenten Stations of the Cross Garden

The Stations of the Cross are an essential part of spiritual exercises during Lent in the Catholic Church. Each Catholic Church has in it's nave a series of 12 to 15 images representing the agonizing walk that our Lord made on His way to Golgotha. Each image depicts a biblical passage describing Our Lord Jesus's journey to Calvary. The Stations of the Cross are little grottos in and of themselves. Different Catholic churches represent the Stations of the Cross in their own way. I've seen lovely mosaics, sandstone bas-relief, oil paintings, stunning plaster dioramas, marble carvings, scuptures and many other beautiful images.  Lenten Garden: Stations of the Cross - Yahoo! Voices -

3M Scotchgard Fabric Protector is Environmentally Friendly

3M Scotchgard is a super power fabric, carpet, textiles and upholstery protector. Scotchgard was a household name when I was a kid. To 'Scotchgard', became a verb, meaning to spray with Scotchgard to protect the fabric. Scotchgard is now made with a new environmenally friendly formula. Environmental groups, including the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have been warning us about chlorofluorocarbons, including fluorochemical compounds known as Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA are found in spray chemicals, cleaners and health and beauty aids. PFOS and PFOA have been shown to negatively impact wildlife and habitats.  Spring Cleaning Tips: 3M Scotchgard is Green

Fire Hazard, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Precautions for Winter Weather

Winter weather means increased risk of fire hazard and carbon monoxide poisoning from home heating and cooking sources. Increased use of supplemental heating or cooking units in cold weather and during power outages pose significant safety risks. The biggest offenders are portable space heaters, electric blankets and electric sheets. Electric heating units cause safety risks in several ways. First, plugs can spark and cause fires. Sometimes electric heaters and blankets require extra energy to heat causing them to overheat and short. Heating elements in space heaters can cause fires and property damage. Electric blankets and sheets have electric current running through them. This puts them at risk for catching fire, causing injuries and damage to property. Home heating issues result in 33,000 fires annually and approximately 180 fire deaths per year.  Please, keep yourself and your family safe. Read this information. Fire Hazard, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Precautions for Winter Weather

Free Printable Caves Lessons, Paleontology, Bats, Fossils, Deserts

Caves are one of nature's most alluring geological landforms. Caves are a separate biome. They've been used as dwelling places by animals and people. Mystics have sought divine enlightenment living as hermits in caves. Caves walls, like those at Lascaux in France were used by ancient peoples to record information through images. Teachers and homeschool families, if you're planning a unit on caves here are free printable lessons plans, Activities cover cave-related subjects: paleontology, bats, fossils, geology, spelunking and earth science. Free Lessons on Caves Paleontology, Bats, Fossils, Deserts 

Healthy Cooking Cheats for Crazy-busy Parents

Mealtimes present a dilemma for me: I want the kids to enjoy hot, hearty, healthy meals, but I generally lack adequate time to cook. If you're a crazy-busy parent who values nutritious meals, you need shortcuts to "get-er-done" fast. Here are cooking cheats from a 24-year veteran mom of four. Tailor recipe sizes to family need. These meals are easy on the budget as well. Healthy, Cheap Cooking Cheats for Crazy-busy Folks

Money Saving Tips for Welfare Recipients

"Octomom" Nadya Suleman, the single mom of 14 (including octuplets) is back on welfare again, says TMZ. Suleman is an extreme example of negative welfare stereotype. But her unhealthy financial choices highlight key issues that we can all learn from. Here are money tips for parents on welfare, culled from five months when we received food stamps and Medicaid. I practiced these then and now that we're not receiving food stamps. Living simply is the key. Money Tips for Welfare Recipient Parents

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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