Guest Post: Green Your Home

5 Easy Ways to Go Green at Home
Without Spending a Fortune

There are lots of reasons why people are deciding to make a concerted effort to live a greener lifestyle. Many feel guilty about contributing to global warming, others simply want to act as better role models for their children. Whatever your motivation is to make your home greener, you are doing a great thing. Global warming is an increasingly real problem and if we’re ever going to improve matters there needs to be a global commitment to minimizing the waste and bi-products we produce. 
Here are 5 ways to cut down your carbon footprint, whilst saving money and creating a greener, more sustainable home for yourself and your family. Remember, it’s the accumulation of all the small changes that you make, which make the difference.
1. Cut Down. Conserve. Waste Less.
The insanity of it all, is that we are ruining the planet because too many of us are consuming and wasting too much energy and too much water – often  because we forget to turn off the heating, the lights, the TV or the radio in the shed. If everybody on earth paid more attention to turning off appliances, or fixing those leaking taps, the situation would be a whole lot better. To make your home more green, start paying more attention to how you can consume less. Do you really need to leave the heating all day? Do you leave your TV or music system on standby? Switch it off. Do you do lots of little washing loads? Stop! Wait until you have a full load of washing to fill it up. One washing cycle should be enough.
2. Replace. Invest. Improve.
Is your house fitted with energy efficient light bulbs or do you use the old-fashioned energy-sapping type? Sometimes, to save money you need to invest a little bit of money to bring your home up-to-date. Don’t be afraid to spend money on things that will save you money in the long run – you’ll make huge savings and contribute less to global warming. If your home is fitted with draughty old doors and windows, consider replacing them with modern Upvc windows and composite doors. They will keep your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, meaning you don’t have to spend a fortune of heating/cooling your home and you won’t generate unnecessary carbon emissions. If you really want to be green, use a man and van clearance company to remove and recycle your old windows and doors.
3. Water, Water, All Around.
One of the major contributors of carbon dioxide, according to the Energy Saving Trust UK, is the old fashioned gas heated boiler. Apparently, they account for 60% of a home’s carbon dioxide emissions. There is a fantastic alternative and it’s called a “G-rated boiler”. They are highly efficient and will drastically reduce your home’s carbon footprint. It is also estimated that they cost around £250 less to run, on a yearly basis. Of course, replacing your boiler may not be an attractive or affordable option but it is one quick and easy way to create a greener home. If you can’t afford a G-rated boiler, focus on improving your current boiler’s efficiency by making sure it isn’t over heating or coming on at unnecessary times. When you leave your home for a few days or weeks, make sure to switch it off entirely. We all know how it feels to get home from a holiday, only to realize that you’ve left the heating on full-blast the whole time! Other simple steps include monitoring your garden watering facilities. That water pump that comes on once a day to water your plants, even when it’s raining! A lot of the time, creating a greener home is about studying where and how you are wasting energy.
4. Go Green from the Ground Up.
People rarely think of the floor when they try to ‘greenify’ their home. But insulating your floorboards will reduce your yearly energy bill by around £65 a year and will, of course, reduce your home’s carbon emissions. If you have a higher budget, you could also re=seal any gaps or holes in your skirting boards to further insulate your home and make it that little bit more green.
5. Green & Clean Products.
Creating a green home and living a green lifestyle is about dedication to everything you do. If you can, try to make green options when buying your household cleaning products. Many of the products on the market are toxic to the environment, as well as to you and your family. Read the labels and try to commit yourself to buying products that are made with eco-friendly ingredients. More often than not you’ll find that they work just as well, only they have the added bonus of being better for the environment. There are lots to choose from when searching for eco-friendly brands, but a good place to start is with well-known brands such as Ecover who make their products from plant-based ingredients. This makes them biodegradable and less damaging to the environment and wildlife.

Written by Sohaib, who is passionate about living a green lifestyle and helping others to do the same.


Blog Tip: Custom Signature for Comments!

Hey everyone!

Quick Blogging Tip: If you want to add a custom signature to your COMMENTS on other blog posts... just create it, like mine below, in a post draft and then COPY/PASTE the HTML CODE of that signature you created. Then paste that, code and all, in the comment. It'll appear perfectly once posted. If you have a MAC... create a STICKIES note with this code and post it to your desktop for easy access. Here is what the code looks like pasted in a comment:

Here's how it looks when posted in comment!
(check the comments of this post to see too)


Feel free to copy/paste the hearts next to my name! I stole them too from somewhere. Ciao!

Stuffed Shells Recipe

I got inspired by this dish and made some tweaks. The turkey makes these stuffed shells very filling. You can also spread the dish out into different pans before you bake and freeze individually for other nights! Also, the key ingredient here is the egg to hold the mixture together when it bakes. DO NOT skip that part!

Turkey & Spinach Stuffed Shells


What you'll need:
1 box JUMBO Stuffed Shells
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced (more if you hate vampires)
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tsp dried herbs de provence
2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 large bunches baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, and a little extra for topping
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, and a little extra for topping
1x 15ounce container ricotta cheese (you can use low-fat too)
1 cup shredded mozzarella, and a little extra for topping
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, and a little extra for topping
2 eggs, beaten
dusting of ground nutmeg
5 cups of your favorite marinara sauce

What you'll do:


Preheat oven to 375. Heat up your sauce. Heat your water for pasta. Cook the shells for about 6-8 minutes but make sure they are not fully cooked. Since you are baking them later, they can afford to be just a tad under al dente. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the oil. Add the pepper flakes. When oil is ready, add onions for 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic (add garlic after onions so they don't burn). When the onions and garlic are soft, add turkey and stir to break apart the meat as it browns. Add some salt, pepper and dried herbs. When the meat is browned and mostly cooked, add the spinach and let wilt. Add the fresh herbs too. Turn off heat. Mix the following together in a bowl first, THEN add it to the turkey: Eggs, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan (be sure to save some for topping). Stir the cheese and egg mixture into the turkey until it's all incorporated. Dust the mixture lightly with a ground nutmeg. Only a little folks. Once everything is all mixed it's time to stuff the shells. Add a little sauce to your pans to coat the bottoms. Make sure you rinse the shells with cold water or let them cool before handling. Just add about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into each shell and organize the shells in a row in the pan. Once your pan is full, top the shells with more sauce, and any leftover mozzarella and Parmesan cheese so that it creates a crispy topping in oven. Bake until the cheese is golden brown (about 20-30 minutes). Top with your leftover fresh herbs. You're done! And folks... this is a significant other pleaser.



Schwinn Bike-In Movie Review

Last weekend I went to the Schwinn Bike-In Movie on Pier 1 in NYC. I went with a friend to see Puss in Boots. We are both cat ladies, so the film's subject could not have been more perfect. We went to the VIP section, as instructed, and grabbed our little blankets and butt pillows because sitting on the hard concrete would eventually take its toll. There was also another free seating area with plastic chairs too.

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The event included free popcorn, water, and ice cream. There was also a bike giveaway... 8 bikes total! I was kind of shocked. I was expecting it to just be 1 bike, but 8 is pretty generous Schwinn. However, I did not win even with those chances. Which I guess is a blessing in disguise because I can barely fit my own ass in my tiny apartment let alone a bike.

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As we waited for the sun to set and the film to start the children attending started to get antsy. Popcorn everywhere, screams everywhere... oh dear, here is the catch. However, my dear friend got up and walked back to her apartment for a bottle of wine (clever girl). The booze buzzed out the cherubs and we were ready to get our cat on!

It was really beautiful just sitting out on the Pier on the Hudson as the sun set. The beginning of the film was hysterical... again, need to reiterate that I'm a cat lady so any time an animated cat hissed I was in stitches.

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So, what have we learned?

1) The Schwinn people are super nice, and thank you for inviting me to blog about this event.

2) Watching a film on Pier 1 is really fun but don't forget: something cushy to sit on, snacks, and of course... spirits! There is a Cafe right off the pier and a Liquor store 1 block away.

3) To quote Puss in Boots, "Cat people are crazy."


Guest Post: Green Organizing for the Home Office

Loving this guest post about organizing your space in an Eco-friendly and clever manner!

Cords tangled like a nest of poisonous snakes beneath the desk. A jumble of unsorted mail and papers avalanching across the desk and threatening to sweep away everything in the way. Post-its from weeks ago covered with barely decipherable scrawl floating to the surface. Office supplies disappearing and resurfacing like a bad practical joke. Does this sound a little bit like your home office?

Disorganization will, at one time or another, plague just about all of us. It starts out small with an especially busy day and then spreads like some kind of skin infection until it covers the entire body of your office. Unfortunately, it can be quite aggressive; however, there are steps you can take to combat it. Steps that don’t involve professional help or large amounts of money. Steps that allow your office to look fabulous AND be environmentally friendly. 

Here are some tips that are quick and involve no extra money on your part:

    •    Warning: This is your final notice.  
When you retrieve your mail sort it immediately! As soon as you walk in the door take the 60 seconds to go through your mail. Allocate specific boxes or shelves in your home office to specific items. For instance, have an in box, a bill box, and a junk mail box. This will help you ensure that the junk mail actually ends up in the recycle bin instead of swept into the trash when you semi-annually dig your desk out from beneath the snow storm of accumulated papers.

    •    Don’t waste leftovers. 
If you find yourself printing a lot of documents or with leftover paper that has only been written on on one side, use it as scrap paper for jotting down numbers, to-do lists, or etc. Remember tip one (you should, this is only tip two!) for sorting mail immediately and creating appropriate boxes? You can apply that here too - create a separate box for scrap paper. You can also cut scrap paper into smaller squares, staple it together, and leave it next to the phone so it’s right at your fingertips. 

    •    Be a snake charmer. 
Don’t be afraid to tackle those tangled cords beneath your desk. You can use twisty ties (some generally come with each box of garbage bags you buy) to bind up the slack in cables. You can also take bread tie tabs, label them with a permanent marker (ex. computer monitor), and attach them to cords to make locating the correct cord super fast and easy. Use empty CD/DVD spindles to keep spare cords and cables from getting tangled into a hopeless knot. Peel off the label, with a permanent marker label the outside of the container so you don’t forget which cord is where, and then wrap cords around the spindle. These spindles are pretty compact and stackable.

    •    Put a cork in it! 
 Do you have stick pins and thumb tacks menacingly lurking in the shadows of your desk drawers just waiting to prick you? One trick for taming these sharp creatures is taking the cork from a wine bottle and sticking them into the cork. Not only will this protect your fingers, it will also make finding those stick pins and tacks much easier.

    •    It’s all the small things....  
You can use egg cartons for sorting and storing small items such as different sizes of paper clips. You can cut the lid off of the carton and just use the side with indentations or leave the lid on and place other office supplies such as pencils and pens in it (the lid will keep them from rolling around your drawer).


 •    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 
If you (or your family) eat cereal don’t just pitch those old boxes into the trash. Use those boxes (even the minis) to create great desk drawer organizers sure to corral any chaos. Just carefully slice off the tops and bottoms and fill them with office supplies. To dress up the dull cardboard, just paint, color, or paste decorative paper on.

Here are some tips that will require some extra effort and money on your part:

    •    From trash to treasure. 
If you’ve ever been to a yard sale or thrift store, you’ve surely seen those dusty, mismatched glasses and thought “who’s going to buy those”. Well, the answer should be you if you’re trying to organize your office. Use a glass to store pencils, pens, markers, and etc. on your desktop so that they are sorted, easily visible, and within reach.

    •    A glass of wine is good for your health - and for organization. If you partake of some wine now and then, you can do more than stick those empty bottles in the recycle bin. You can actually cut those bottles down into glasses of any height and use them as you would in the tip above or for storage of smaller things (keys, batteries, paper clips, staples, or well, use your imagination - just about anything). Visit Instructables for easy to follow instructions. Remember to wear proper safety gear for this project!

    •    Shop till you drop! 
If you need baskets, boxes, and bins to finish off your office organization project and don’t mind spending some money head to the store. Places like The Container Store sell a variety of environmentally friendly options for your home office. For example, you can pick up boxes made of 100% re-purposed newspaper, bamboo, or 90% recycled fiberboard. If you can find your mouse in all the clutter spend a few minutes surfing the Internet and you’re sure to find some gorgeous “green” goodies that will put the finishing touch on your office!

Clutter and disorganization creep up on you. It often seems like you went to bed with a decently organized office and woke up to the scene of an epic disaster. The best thing to do is to take preventative measures to protect yourself from disorganization in the first place. These measure don’t have to be time, energy, or money intensive. In fact, it’s pretty easy to organize your home office so that it’s green without spending a lot of green. Being “green” is all about reducing, reusing, and recycling, so with a little imagination you’re sure to be able to come up with some other great ideas on how to organize your office.

Post contributed by Alex Webb on behalf of Blue Moon - Cincinnati’s rustic furniture provider. Alex is an HGTV addict who is always looking for fabulous, frugal decorating ideas. She has a long standing struggle with disorganization. Follow her on Twitter @alexandriakwebb.


Monday Funday: My Favorite Movie Quotes

This post is totally random, but was sparked from watching one of my favorite comedies the other night. It got me thinking about my favorite movie quotes, but not of the, "Here's looking at you, kid..." kind. I'm talking the, "Put the fucking lotion in the basket..." kind! These are the quotes that I randomly laugh at, even if the movie is a thriller, or the kind that I am able to incorporate into my everyday conversation. Many of the films listed below have multiple quotes. Go figure!

This post totally reveals how much of a product of the 80's I am... and how twisted.

"Now that's what I call Marine Biology!"

"I'd love to tame your shrew!"

"Dishes are done, man..."

"Clown dog shit's gone, man..."

"I'm right on top of that, Rose!"

"It's a rat race and it sucks, Kenny. So what do you want, a medal?"

"It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again."

"Put the fucking lotion in the basket!"

"...was she a great big fat person?"

"..are about a size 14?"

There's one more from this flick but I think I've revealed too many sick quotes that I find to be hilarious... can you guess?

"She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine"


"If it's a severed head, I'm going to be very upset."

"Ribbed for her pleasure. Ewww."

"Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder? "

"It certainly does suck."

Why don't I just recite the whole movie for you?

"I made you short?"

"It's aspirin with the "A" and the "S" scraped off."

"Oh God, I pierced the toast!"

"He blew a BUBBLE with his GUM while I was singing. He can't do that while I'm SINGING!"

"My Guatemalan-ness, my natural heat."

"Fuck the shrimp!"

"I don't know, I made it up. I made it up!"

"What is this, sludge?"

"We got no food, no jobs... our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!"

"Excuse me, Flo?"


" No and I DON'T CARE!"

"Can I get... any of you c@#!$... a drink?"

 "Don't forget to kill Philip!"

"You've got red on you."

"I'll stop doing it when you stop laughing!"

"There's a girl in the garden."

" Must go faster."

"Ah, now eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur tour, right? Hello?"

"Clever girl..."

"I'm very busy and important. How can I help you?"

"Let's get pissed and watch porn."

"America, watch out, here comes Colin Frissell! ... And he's got a big *knob*!"

"Try my lovely nuts."

If you read to the end of this... once again:



Make-up Giveaway & Product Review

Really excited for this post today. I will be giving away 1 Anastasia of Beverly Hills Lash Genius!

Product details: Waterproof when you want it to be. LASH GENIUS CLEAR WATERPROOF TOPCOAT instantly waterproofs, refreshes, and protects any mascara all day, without the typical drying or clumping. Its advanced, lightweight formula glides on smooth, dries quickly, and gives your lashes a touchably soft lacquer finish that lasts all day.

I've been using it for a while now and honestly think it works!

Rules for the giveaway:
(total of 6 entries... do them all for a better chance of winning! No need to post in the comments multiple times, just tell me everything that you did once if you like...)

1) Tweet about the giveaway

Check out this awesome #giveaway for #lashgenius : http://bit.ly/MwynEb
(please send me a link in comments)

2)Blog about this giveaway
(please send me a link in comments)

3)Follow me on Facebook
(let me know in the comments)

4)Follow me on Twitter
(let me know in the comments)
5)Follow my blog
(let me know in the comments)

6) What is your favorite Anastasia of Beverly Hills product?
(let me know in the comments)

I will choose a winner on July 6th!
This giveaway is only for the Lash Genius, not the other products below.

Also on the agenda for today, would like to introduce you all to the Anastasia See and Be Seen Collection.

It includes the following products:
HYDRAFULL GLOSS in Heiress and Plastic

I really like the gloss in Plastic. Very fun pink for summer. The shadows are a great gold color for the season as well, and with a little primer glide on perfectly. It's only available for a few more weeks so definitely check it out at Sephora now!

note: lash genius is not in this kit but it's in my photo above...

**I did not receive compensation for the post. I did receive product for giveaway and review.


Guest Post: Functional Decor in Small Spaces!

Double-duty Furniture for Big Impact in Small Spaces
Living in the city means practicality and convenience. Moving from a spacious house in the suburbs to a small apartment in the city requires serious deliberation as to what can actually fit into your new lifestyle. Cramming your entire life into less than 500 square feet shouldn't be so difficult -- especially when there are plenty of options to choose from.

Bed Issues
There are double-duty furniture which can replace your beautiful but huge Victorian sofa that serves the same purpose and more. Sofa beds, futons, and daybeds are the perfect solutions to limited spaces. They function as a regular sofa in the day and transform into a comfortable bed at night. There are also couches that transform into bunk beds and master beds that can be tucked into to the closet.

Seat Issues
If free seating has always been a problem, opt for ottomans. Aside from being an instant chair or side table, an ottoman serves as storage for all your knickknacks and magazines. If you like having company once in a while, you can use foldable chairs and hang them on walls as decor when not in use.


Kitchen Issues
Multipurpose kitchen appliances are bountiful because new technology is constantly being discovered and applied to everyday living. If you aren't impressed by "transformer furniture" for the living room and bedroom, you may think twice when you see what modern homeowners have in the kitchen.
Some will have you thinking "why didn't I think of that?" like pulling out a dining area space from kitchen drawers. The Tower Kitchen, for example, requires only a square meter of space but can house an oven, fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. Other practical solutions are chairs that double as a kitchen counter top, or an entire kitchenette that fold away.

Storage Issues
One of the biggest concern of city living is storage. With little places come even smaller storage spaces. Maximize this by being open and creative. Stack up magazines as a base, top it with a glass sheet or wood panel and you have a shabby chic coffee table! Another idea is to use a single chair where you can place your books.

The great thing with modern furniture design is that they cater not just to the aesthetic but to practicality as well. Though most pieces have minimalistic designs, you can still add accessories that are faithful to your own sense of style. When shopping for new furniture to fit your humble abode, it's best to keep an open mind. Sometimes, it's just a question of how unique you allow your style to be.

Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.


Schwinn Bike-In & a Movie!

This Saturday (June 23rd) there will be a really fun event at Pier 1: Riverside Park in NYC. All you have to do is ride your bike (or walk of course, get some exercise!) to a complimentary screening of Puss in Boots! The event will be from 6-10pm (movie begins at 8:30p).
There will also be a giveaway for a hot new bike, and more:

·         Additional bike racks with hired security guard for the night
·         Free popcorn and ice cones
·         Free water bottles
·         Bike Trial Tent
·         Instagram Photo Booth
·         Step and Repeat Photo Booth
·         200 foldable seats for viewing pleasure
·         1 On-site Bike giveaway
·         Special Appearance by Dancing With The Stars Derek Hough
·         Movie will be a screening of Puss In Boots
·         Foursquare check-ins

I'll be at the event checking things out... let me know if you are going. If you can't make it, you can still enter the giveaway here on Facebook!


Broadway Shows for June

Perfect timing for this guest post!
After the Tony's on Sunday, and this post, you've got your research covered for what to see this summer!

Broadway Shows for June in NYC

Broadway is a never ending source of entertainment and fun. People all around the world gather every week on this magical avenue to attend some of the best performances and shows on the globe. Everyone who is visiting New York City must go to at least one Broadway performance. They are going to see great actors and marvelous plays. Even though summer is just around the corner, Broadway will not close its doors.

Individuals who are in a vacation with their kids can choose from the numerous Broadway musicals for children. Mary Poppins, for example, is a great show for children. The musical will be performed in the New Amsterdam Theater all summer long. The shows will be held the entire week, except Mondays. The play is inspired from the Walt Disney film and the stories created by P. L. Travers. Another impressive show happening on Broadway in June for kids is The Lion King. Those who have seen the Walt Disney movie will definitely adore this musical. The performance had its first opening on November 13, 1997 and has been played regularly since. The Lion King will be played at the Minskoff Theater until the end of the summer.

Grownups have their own shows on Broadway. For example, they must not miss the famous musical Chicago. This is a Tony – winning show in which the 20s and their crimes, love, hate, dance and jazz come back to life. It is a must see. It will be played at the Ambassador Theater until January 6, 2013. Those who are in for some comedy will love the play called Harvey, starring Jim Parsons. The opening night will be on June 14 at Studio 54 and the routine will be played until August 5, 2012. It is the lovely story of an invisible rabbit and the only man who can see him, who also happens to be his best friend.

A more serious show is The Best Man, a drama that is being played at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater. The play talks about the presidential election and its 2 leading candidates. It is an interesting show for those who are into politics. The closing night of the show will be on September 9, 2012. The Columnist is another excellent performance that has received very good reviews until now. People will be able to see it at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater until July 1, 2012. The columnist is an American king of the midcentury. The story is spectacular and talks about the king’s political career and his personal dramas.

Last but not least, people should go see The Lyons, an amazing comedy played at the Cort Theater on Broadway. The show talks about a family who lost its patriarch and about how each member of the family realizes how lonely and isolated they are. Funny situations are coming about as they try to reestablish the human connection. The show can be seen until September 2, 2012. There are many other amazing shows on Broadway, so those who are interested should book their tickets in advance if they want to catch a good seat.  

With some many aspects of New York to experience, there is never enough time in the day to see it all. Making sure you have a centrally located vacation rental apartment in New York is essential to maximizing your time in the Big Apple!


Yummy Vegan Dish!

Most of the time, we just want to be bad and eat something scrumptious.
And then we need to cleanse and eat only healthy things that taste like cardboard.
But what if, one of the super healthy dishes actually tasted AMAZING?

This recipe is healthy.
It's vegan (I think, don't quote me).

Veggie and Bean Amazingness


What you'll need:

1-2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small white onion, minced
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups wild muchrooms
1 tsp herbs de provence 
1 16oz can butter beans
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 16oz can diced tomatoes
2 small green zucchini, sliced with a potato peeler so they are paper thin.
1 tbs tomato paste
chopped/fresh italian parsley and basil for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or deep pan. Add pepper flakes to season oil as it heats.
Add in onion and a little salt to soften about 3 minutes.
Add the fennel and mushrooms and saute for another 3 minutes.
Add garlic (add garlic later in cooking so it won't burn and get bitter!)
Add herbs de provence and beans.
Cook for about another 2 minutes.
Add white and bay leaf and bring alcohol to a simmer.
Add in the tomatoes.
Bring back up to simmer for about 2 minutes.
Add the zucchini.
Add in paste to thicken.
You can stew this as long as you like but it doesn't not need a long time as you want veggies to still have a bite! I turned it off when zucchini was soft yet still firm.

Serve with a few freshly chopped parsley and basil leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.