How to save money on your home energy use. Seventeen energy-saving steps that green your home

piles of folded blankets and quilts that appear maybe homemade sitting on aged/vintage chairs in a yard with a background of trees

(photo compliments of laundry.co.uk)

Saving money on energy and home bills and conserving energy and the environment are the same thing. You want lower bills, everyone needs greener air. Win-win!

Check out a few tips for how to save your wallet and the planet:

  1. Cuddle up at night. Lower your heat at night to save. Pile on the blankets, cuddle up, and remember to wear socks. Keeping your feet warm at night helps you fall asleep faster. Continue reading

See your nutritional health in a daily bar graph with SuperTracker

ChooseMyPlate.gov's SuperTracker Website allows users to input their food and activity information to create nutritional and exercise goals. it provides users with a comprehensive report on their nutrition and links to information regarding the individual's daily habits

The SuperTracker at ChooseMyPlate provides comprehensive reports on a user’s nutritional needs and successes.

No, calorie counting is not my thing.

I just posted about it. But while researching for that post, I found the SuperTracker at ChooseMyPlate.gov and the curiosity was too much.

All of a sudden I have a profile and I’m entering my breakfast information.

But it’s amazing! And soooooooo much more than a calorie counter.

I set any 5 goals from 5 categories: weight managment, physical activity, calories, food groups and nutrients. Daily, I get to watch a graph display my progress on each goal, and when I succeed at one, I get an email.

Continue reading

We need both mothers and fathers.

young girl swings from her parents' arms, but the father character has been painted over in white so that only the mother and daughter are visible while the father figure is vacant in the photo

(photo compliments of dailymail.co.uk)

Of the people I know, I can tell you who has been raised without a father, or a mother, or in a home victim to divorce, without having ever asked the person.

The people in the above categories exhibit similar behaviors and conduct their lives similarly.

We frequently hear about women with “daddy problems” who grow up without father figures. These women seek male attention in all of the wrong ways and participate in risky behavior. People say, Oh haha! Her daddy didn’t hug her enough as a child! But any person missing either a mother figure or father figure is starved of essential information in life, and have problems maintaining healthy relationships forever.

I recently read, “Like Father, Like Son, and, Yes, Like Daughter” by Molly B. Koch in Baltimore’s Child. It’s a good read about the importance of father figures.

Continue reading

Thirteen auto tips for saving gas and lowering car repair costs

car fuel gauge, orange arm on a black background with white E and F, indicating an almost empty tank

(photo compliments of black-and-right.com)

Everyone knows the cost of gas. Everyone complains about the cost of gas. Chances are, if you are drawing a blank on small-talk topics, gas prices will be popular.

So how do you take care of your car and drive to maximize your miles-per-gallon (mpg)?

  1. Get the lead out–of your trunk. Your car’s trunk is a handy place to store all sorts of things–car stuff, sports stuff, that return-bound bag of cement you never used for that fencepost project. Whatever it is, it adds up, and every one hundred pounds removed can improve fuel economy by 2 percent, according to a Federal Trade Commission report.
  2. Walk! Park your car and get some exercise. The best way to stretch your gas money is to leave your car parked and walk instead. It is rumored that short trips of 1 mile or less are the number-one reason for most American car trips. And, according to the Web site www.walkscore.com, a study in Washington State found that the average resident of a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood weighs seven pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood. | So next time you think about climbing in your car to drive somewhere nearby, stop and think–can I walk there? Can I ride my bike? The life (and the money) you save may be your own. Continue reading

My rules for eating healthy and managing my weight

new US food pyramid, featuring vertical categories of the whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean proteins with a stick figure person climbing the pyramid to represent exercise. next to it is the old food pyramid.

(photo compliments of choosemyplate.gov)

I’ve never read a diet book. These fancy-schmancy planned-out diets are not my thing.

I have created some rules over the past few years that keep me eating healthy, and keep me in the healthy weight category.

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  • Quit drinking soda. Drink water (eight 8 ounce glasses daily). With a glass of 100% fruit juice watered down and/or a glass of low-fat milk daily.
  • Eat 3-5 fruits and vegetables per day. That’s 6 to 10 all-in-all.
  • Get quality protein with every meal. The top ones are: chicken, turkey, eggs, tuna fish, shrimp, low/non-fat cottage cheese, low/non-fat greek yogurt, and whey protein powders.
  • Include fiber-rich foods as often as possible. I love popping corn on the stove plain and adding my own low-calorie flavors. Delicious!
  • White foods are evil. Enriched, bleached foods need to be replaced with WHOLE wheats; read the ingredients to make sure you’re not being conned by misleading labels. Read 6 more…

Twelve hobbies and crafts that will lighten your family budget

(photo compliments of blog.phaseonelandscapes.com)

Need a hobby? Need to revisit an old craft or skill? The following tips are ways crafts or hobbies can save you and your family money.

  1. Paint for a new look. Jennifer gets tired of furniture easily, but instead of rushing out to buy new, she reaches for a paint can. A fresh color, and the world looks bright and shiny again. But old wooden chairs at garage sales, give them a quick coat of new color, and change the way your dining room looks. You’ll spend far less than if you headed for the mall furniture store.
  2. Decorate with blooming plants. Instead of treating yourself to cut flowers on your dinner table (unless you can cut them for free in your own garden) buy a flowering indoor plant. It is less expensive to buy one pretty plant than a series of bouquets. Continue reading

Social awareness: people you should follow on Twitter

The “Be Good.” Twitter list has been difficult to build, but I have added new members that deserve to be noted here. If you’re interested in beefing up your timeline with some informative tweets, check out these profiles.

Twitter icon for Adam Jackson or @SmartBlackMan. black background, light bulb, "smart black man" on red,black,green stripes

Adam Jackson @SmartBlackMan Founder of SmartBlackMan.com. VP of @LBSBaltimore. Dedicated to justice, freedom and peace. Black Nationalist. Born/Raised/Live in BMore.

Twitter icon for Real Time LA Riots or @RealTimeLARiots.

Real Time LA Riots @RealTimeLARiots 20 years later: Livetweeting the Los Angeles Riots as they happened on this date and time in 1992. Account powered by@NBCLA.

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Twitter icon for Anti Consumerism or @ANTIconsumerism

Anti Consumerism @ANTIconsumerism Consumerism destroys human beings psychologically, emotionally and spiritually; it creates a self-destructive society bent on consuming everything in its path.

Two more…

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