Juggle and Balance


Spring cleaning – get new books, cds, dvds – recycle
March 23, 2010, 6:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I love swaptree.com.

This web site is so simple to use and it helps you trade old books/cds/dvds for new ones. You recycle instead of buy new. Plus, I got inspired by this to give away old books to my daughter’s school and charities. It helped me open up some bookshelf space.

All you do is type in the isbns of about 25 or 30 books/cds/dvds that you or your kids have outgrown. Then you type in some isbns of books/cd/dvds that you would want. Then, sit back and wait. The swaptree software matches up people who own the book you want with people who want the book you have. Just go check it out.

You don’t have to go to the post office either. The postage is charged to your credit card (about $3 for books, less for cds). You print out a label and drop it in the mail.

I especially love it for books/dvds that my daughter has outgrown. I can get books that fit her current reading level by trading things she’s outgrown. Enjoy.

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The balancing act: fresh food and work

So many of us are trying to eat in a more healthy way.  We’re trying to grow more of our own food and not using processed foods.  We buy local as much as possible, we buy organic, and we sign up for CSAs.  All this is fabulous, but there is a need for convenience sometimes and we can feel guilty about this. There’s a good essay about this at:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/magazine/14fob-wwln-t.html.  Thanks to Bonnie Azab Powell at Grist for her blog entry about it.

I don’t really think this is a black or white thing.  One thing we do is check out cookbooks from the library that have the “fast, easy food” bent.

I’ve also found http://www.epicurious.com to be a godsend.  I love it because I can take a couple ingredients and do a search for an easy way to use those ingredients that I already have. You can also load in your favorite recipes so that everything is in one place.

We also eat more raw stuff.  We’ve tried to get into the slow cooker thing, but that would require thinking ahead too much.  What do you do to cook real food but do it in this time-starved world?



Bored with the same old books?

Most parents are looking for book recommendations for their kids. Of course, kids are great at picking out their own books, but sometimes they need a little help, too.

Before you head to the library or the bookstore, check out Planet Esme, a very helpful children’s lit resource planetesme.blogspot.com.

Right now she’s featuring books for February’s African American history month and I discovered a gem, a book about Jackie Robinson that I think my daughter will love (called Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson.) She’ll love the art and she’s in a “this is a true story?” stage.

Esme is a former teacher and the blog has amazing info for parents and teachers alike.  I also ran across some fun grandparent-themed books….one on a nana detective looks like serious fun.



Did you say foodie?
March 2, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Food category | Tags: , , ,

I’m not a huge foodie…I don’t have time to be, but I do indulge in thinking, reading, and  listening to stories about food some of the time.  I love the web site http://www.epicurious.com because it helps me organize my “old favorite” recipes and find recipes for “what do I do with this, tonight?”  Last night I was staring at some salmon and wondering what to do and epicurious solved my dilemma.

But, when I want to listen to some thoughtful, fun commentary about food, I download a podcast from the Splendid Table. This week’s episode is all about Mexico.  But last week’s story was how folks outside the U.S. are dealing with the obesity issue.  Check it out at http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/.  Enjoy.