my scraps

Thursday, April 17, 2014

4 Ways to Protect our Planet Every Day

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We hear it a lot don't we? In fact, I just used it in a post about finding additional recycling materials in your own bathroom. Seems like everyone is going "green" too. And with Earth Day celebrations planned for April 22, it seems as if we are being bombarded with green messages.

But what does it all mean? Does planting trees on one particular day, or recycling on one day make a difference? Actually it does. . .but think of what we could do for our family's, our neighborhood's, and even our planet's sustainability if we made some small changes Every Day.

I'm not saying you need to add solar panels to your house and buy an electric car, although both of those things are good for the planet and can save you money in the long run. But thinking about how you consume things in your own home, what it takes to produce those things and then trash those things, how you use them, and what their carbon footprint is, can make a difference. The last thing any of us need, is to make our lives more difficult. But sometimes, some easy things can make a big difference.

What are some simple ways you and I can help the planet - not just on Earth Day, but Every Day?
  • Something I've been considering is switching to cloth napkins and trying to eliminate so many paper products in our home.  Reusable snack bags and sandwich bags are an additional option.
  • Grow your own herbs and vegetables. We do a bit of this each year. It doesn't have to be a "garden" - just some pots on a sunny windowsill or on your back step.
  • Try composting. There are some great tips out there for starting your own composting bin - it doesn't have to be large, every little bit helps. This is also on my consideration list.
  • Walk. Are you lucky enough to live within walking distance of entertainment and supplies? Can you walk (or bike) to the school or park where your kids have sporting and other activities?
All of these choices have a gentler impact on our planet. What "easy" activities, tips and tricks do you have for protecting our planet? 

Here's a little video about some eco-friendly products from Melissa Gerstein, Co-Founder of Lifestyle Brand, "The Moms" - what are some of your favorite earth-friendly products and brands?


I'd love to know more about how your family helps protect our planet - leave me a comment!

catch you soon -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wearing Color | What I Wore #OOTD

Color can be a pretty scary thing. I know, that sounds a little crazy, but where fashion is concerned, I tend to stick to neutrals, with a pop of color in my bag or scarf. But I've been trying to move away from that "uniform" and have more fun with color in my daily wardrobe.

Color has made a real comeback in clothing the last few years, colored jeans, colored shoes, etc. It's no longer a pair of blue jeans with a variety of t-shirts. I've been lucky to find a few pairs of colored jeans/pants that fit great and work with a lot of pieces I already own. Let us not forget the sacred pair of green jeans I bought for a PENNY - literally.

This past week, I met some great friends for lunch and did a little shopping at the mall. So for my day out outfit, I went with a mix of color AND print - so bold, right? I am still struggling in the spring shoe department, and really need to find a few pairs. Here's how I styled my Pantone color-of-the-year, Radiant Orchid pants:

Radiant Orchid Jeans, White T, Leopard Cardigan

Pants - Ann Taylor Loft
T-Shirt - Ann Taylor
Cardigan - Lands End (they have really kicked up their style)
Shoes - Clarks
Bag - Kate Spade
Jewelry - Ann Taylor necklace, Alex & Ani and Tiffany bracelets

Color can be hard to wear. If you're just getting started, add one piece at a time to your wardrobe. If you're feeling color-shy, pair your color with a neutral like black or white. Keep shoes simple and make sure your color piece is comfortable so you feel good wearing it. The best accessory a girl can wear is her confidence - right?

What's your favorite way to wear color?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at The Pleated Poppy and Get Your Pretty On

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Want to Improve Your Recycling Game in Time for Earth Day? {sponsored}

We hear a lot about "reduce, reuse and recycle" these days. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it's a great time to take a look around your house and remember that recycling isn't just for your kitchen.

Globe and Sky

I don't know about you, but our bathroom trash can gets full of small paper cups, empty mouthwash and shampoo bottles and spent toilet paper rolls pretty quickly. We started taking a harder looks at this packaging, and setting aside many empty containers for the recycling. The smallest room in your house, can actually have a big impact on the planet. A lot of that bathroom "trash" is actually recyclable material.

How do you keep up on the recycling in your home? For additional tips and facts on what and where to recycle, check out

Guess what? HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering my wonderful readers amazing printable coupons, tips and tools and so much more for all the products you and your family love. You can save over $55 by visiting in April and signing up for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program coupons and offers.

One more thing - do you like to take photos? If so, for every photo shared through Donate A Photo, Johnson&Johnson will donate one dollar to one of its non-profit partners, (you can choose from a rotating list). The free Donate A Photo (DAP) app allows you to make a difference by raising money and awareness for causes that you care about through one simple act - taking a photo . . .and who doesn't like to do that?

catch you soon -

Disclosure - This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Spring Cleaning with Goodwill {sponsored}

Around here, I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning. For me, that means clearing out all our closets (including the dreaded coat closet) and drawers for clothes that no longer fit. With two growing boys, ill-fitting clothes happen often around here.

As I clear things out, I put them in a "holding area" which is a nice way of saying a spot in my basement. I do this, "just in case" we still want something. After an undisclosed amount of time, it's then much easier to part with things - especially toys and games - because they are out of sight.

Typically, I call a local service that will come and pick up my donated clothing and household goods, but I recently learned that making a donation of my used clothing or household goods to Goodwill helps create jobs directly in my community. That's a total win-win!

If you want to see what impact your donation can have, simply check out the Goodwill Donation Impact Calculator at (YES - it's THAT easy).

This past weekend, we had a great bout of summer weather and I took advantage of it to clean out the garage. I am pretty sure that my 7 year old no longer needs his tricycle. I pulled out so many things that are still in great shape (some of them are unused) that someone else can use. Not sure to where to start in your own home? Check out this handy guide:

Check out How to Clean Your Home AND Create Jobs by Goodwill Industries International on Snapguide.

Do you spring clean the clutter form your home? What are some of your best motivators and tips?

catch you soon -

This post was made possible through the support of Goodwill. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - 2014 Week 16

Wow - we had a bit of summer weather this past weekend, and we took advantage of it by practically living outside. I'm busy organizing and pinning good grill recipes and summer meal ideas too for the coming months.

In the meantime, I'm working on organizing meal plans that can be flexible enough for our busy sports and school activity schedules. It's tough to find time to cook a meal while transporting kids to events - isn't it? But if we wait and eat late - they have filled up on snacks and small meals. If you have any tips or go-to meal ideas, I'd love to hear them!

With Spring break, this is an easy week so here's what's on our plan:

Monday - Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Potatoes & Parisian Carrots and Pearl Onions
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday with Guacamole and Corn
Wednesday - Tortellini Soup, Salad and Bread
Thursday - Sloppy Joes, Caesar Salad
Friday - Pizza Night
Saturday and Sunday - TBD and Easter Dinner

What's on your meal plan this week? You can can sign up for post emails in the upper right hand corner and get my meal plans delivered to your inbox.

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at I'm An Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

An Easy Spring Dress | What I Wore #OOTD

As Spring arrives, I find myself constantly hunting through my closet for the "right" outfit. Nothing too summery or too wintery. Fashion can be a real challenge during seasonal changes.  Layers work well. That's when I like to pull out jackets and cardis to pair with t-shirts and summer-weight shirts.

I recently got this dress to wear to an event, and it's so comfortable and easy to wear, it's quickly going to become one of my favorites. The print (plus a little stretch) makes it figure forgiving, while the green and subtle royal blue accent colors give it some oomph.

White House | Black Market Early Spring 2014 Dress

Dress - White House | Black Market (this year)
Tights - Spanx (Tight-End Tights)
Boots - Anne Kline
Bag - Kate Spade (vintage?)
Jewelry - Ann Taylor Necklace, Tiffany and Alex and Ani Bracelets.

The real season changing question - when is it time to ditch the boots? I paired this mid-weight dress with tights and boots because while it was sunny, there is still a chill in the air here, with morning temperatures in the 30s and 40s. I also added a black ruffle edged cardi and royal blue scarf.

As temperatures around here rise, I'll lose the tights and boots (obviously). The dress will look great with a pair of black low-heel sling backs for dressy occasions and also with a pair of wedge-heel black sandals I think.

Do you have a favorite spring dress? And when do you ditch the boots?

catch you soon -
This post is linked to The Pleated Poppy and to Get Your Pretty On.