Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vintage Linens

Every once in a while I feel the need to share with you an artisan who is creating really lovely things with recycled or repurposed materials (remember Mrs. Krafty & Stefanie Marco of KiNDSPiN Design?)

This one in particular really resonates with me...for several reasons.  The most intrinsic being that she uses vintage french linens (and grain sacks.)  I immediately connect with that because the only possession I have that belonged to my grandmother is a piece of old linen, with a narrow green stripe, used as a dishcloth.  For all I know it could have been her mother's, or grandmother's, or come over from France with earlier generations of us. It's a tangible piece of family history.  That's the thing about good linen...a piece has probably been around generations but is still in use.  It's a reminder to me that quality is worth every penny.  As you can imagine, something that lasts so long suits my GREEN sensibilities.  

One of my new favorite pillows made by Atelierbe


The artisan is Jessica, originally from CT, of Atelierbe and I first discovered her while reading one of my other favorite blogs, My French Country Home.  Jessica creates delicious pillow slips and sells them through her Etsy shop.



Once I started following her fan page on Facebook I also got to enjoy the photos she posts, including beautiful scenes of Switzerland, where she lives with her family, and photos from France, where her husband is from.  She also creates special personalized orders, so you can commission a design (I've already made a few rough sketches inspired by scenes like the Norman church in my ancestral village) for very meaningful, custom pieces.  You can even choose the fabric, and add things like ruffles or welting so suit your taste.  She ships to the US.  Fantastic, right?  Perfect gift for Francophile friends!

So as much as I do try to support my local businesses (I recently bought a sweet cake plate made by a local artist at Anything Goes, one of the shops in my village center) sometimes I still branch out to artisans across the pond.  I'm hoping that the fact that she is reusing vintage fabrics is canceling out the shipping factor :)  Then again... I could place my order and have it sent to one of my local addresses this summer when we're on vacation in Europe...

Happy Holidays!




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Return of the GREEN CT Realtor!

Has it really been 6 months?  It's like time zipped into fast forward mode and I couldn't slow things down!  I suppose it started in the Spring, when I saw a sharp rise in my real estate activity, and then things got fast & furious by summer.  I averaged working 60 hours per week, and even when I tried to take a few days off for a family vacation, I spent every day with phone calls, emails, texts, & negotiations.  No complaints though - life was just a little off-balance for a while.  I used to work that many hours per week when I was first building my business, before I had children.  With children = a little more difficult and a greater need to schedule some real time off.

So part of the craziness included upping our GREEN lifestyle!  We added a Solar Hot Water system to our house.  I'll post about that shortly.  It really does deserve it's own post :)

Also on the GREEN front, my first very GREEN real estate listing!  

 
122 East Hebron Tpke., Lebanon, CT.  It's this really well-built 12-yr old home on almost 3 acres with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths (which includes an in-law set-up with separate entrance AND a 1st floor bedroom & full bath!) for only $319,900.  I know - what a steal!  

So what are the GREEN features, you ask?  Besides the gorgeous photovoltaic array you can see in the photo?  Some details...starting with the big one :)


Solar Energy - With 91% annual solar access, an 8.4 kW system comprised of 42 Sanyo photovoltaic panels (or modules) generates clean solar energy to power the house.  Monthly electric bills generally run $16 – the fee to be connected to CL&P, and instead of a regular electric bill, a payment is made through the CT Solar Lease program for a flat fee of $233.26. This amount does not change even if electric rates go up, insulating the homeowner from rising prices.  Documentation is available to explain the system design, inverters, solar dividends program, leasing details. 
Bamboo flooring in 1st floor bedroom – Bamboo is a renewable resource and a choice that does not diminish decades old hardwood forests.  This very hard and very durable material is an average of 13% harder than maple. It is 27% harder than northern red oak and expands and contracts 50% less. Most people with pets find it harder and longer lasting that most other floor coverings.

Ipe Brazilian hardwood decking – The “king of tropical hardwood decking” this Brazilian Walnut is a very high end, quality product.  Typically used for decking, docks and other outdoor applications, Ipe is one of the most dense, durable hardwoods in the world, lasting for decades in service.  100% recyclable.

Wood stove – Considerable savings on oil costs with this handsome Jotel F500 Oslo wood stove heating the 1st floor with its open floor plan.  This very clean-burning stove is meant to heat a whole house and the seller uses approximately 2 cords of wood per heating season. The seller has 2 cords of wood stacked and ready for next heating season. 

Energy-Saving Appliances - Hot water is stored in a super-insulated double-walled stainless steel passive 55 gallon tank, so in the off-season the boiler does not come on to make hot water.
Furnace, washer, dryer, refrigerator, and window air conditioning units are all Energy Star rated.
Insulating Factors - 6 inch construction with R18 Fiberglass bat insulation in the walls and R30 blown fiberglass in the attic space.
Double pane low-E glass.  
Air Quality - Sellers used low VOC (volatile organic chemical) paints when repainting.
Water-Savings - Dual-flush water-efficient toilets save up to 67% of water.
Perennial Gardens & Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens – The 2.74 acre lot is a gardener’s haven with a striking mix of perennial flowers, shrubs, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees, an espalier apple tree, and raised bed vegetable & herb gardens.  A perfect yard for homesteading or saving money by growing your own organic fruits & vegetables.  

Some of my other favorite things about the house....it has a very zen feeling to it.  Very peaceful.  Part of that is the location.  Despite it's name, East Hebron Turnpike is a very peaceful country road, with farms, cornfields and stone walls.  There are horses and goats and chickens as neighbors down the road.  Lebanon is a farm town, and this is a gentle & tranquil area.  Sitting on the porch is really lovely. The sellers are gardeners and the yard is filled with perennials, ornamental grasses, little vignettes to appreciate and gardens to discover.

Do you know what else is pretty unique about this property?  It's also available for rent, even for short periods, so if you wanted to say, try out the house for a month before you buy, that's an option!  (In the spirit of full disclosure, it's listed both as a rental or a sale, so if you're only in the rental market with no real intent to buy at the moment, you can certainly check it out as a great rental option!)  Want to see more photos & details?  Please visit my website, http://www.lynnminnick.com to see all my listings.  
Wishing all of my friends & family here in the United States a really beautiful Thanksgiving.  We have SO MUCH to be thankful for.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Will Get You Hooked on Salads

Once upon a time, about 8 years ago, hubby & I hosted friends from the south of France for about 2 weeks.  It was an older, very chic couple we'd visited several times and we were excited to finally have them visiting us.
Here they are goofing around at the Comstock Covered Bridge


While they were here, Marie taught me what she called a basic dressing for salads.  Let me tell you, there is nothing basic about it.  It officially ruined any bottled dressing for me.

Over the years it has evolved as I've experimented with the ingredients, but here's the current version I make, and the one that is requested by pretty much everyone who has ever tried it.  I serve it on green salads especially arugula, spinach or watercress, as well as over cold pasta salads.  I use a scaled down simpler version on potato salad too.  I'm sorry to say I generally don't use precise measurements - it's more of a feel of what's right by personal taste and experience.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup or less of Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
Few squeezes of agave nectar (or honey)
1 large garlic clove, pressed and/or small shallot minced
1/4 or more tsp of dijon mustard
palm of hand measurement of herbes de provence
squeezes of fresh lemon juice - maybe a quarter of a lemon or more to taste - I've used orange in a pinch
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
(sometimes I throw in a splash of white wine if I happen to be drinking some while I'm making dinner)

whisk it all together

That's pretty much it.  When I make it with a spinach & goat cheese salad I use balsamic vinegar.  I cut back on the vinegar when I make it with potato salad and add a little more lemon for freshness & a little bit of mayonnaise or sour cream.  With pasta salad I've been known to add capers and chopped sun dried tomatoes.  It's a really versatile dressing (last night I poured the left over dressing from this weekend into a linguine dish with pancetta, olives, basil & tomatoes!) and it so good I always sop up the extra with baguette.

Merci Marie for sharing the love.  Now I share it with all of you.  Bon App├ętit mes amis!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spotting the GREEN CT Realtor


Haven't seen much of me lately, have you?  Neither have many of my friends, or the instructors at my gym (I swear I'm going back!) This past month I've been the blur running from real estate appointments to showings, to appraisals, to inspections, to letting in the carpet guys, to meeting the movers....the insanity of the Spring real estate market has me working until almost 8pm, then collapsing in a heap while my iPhone continues to buzz with other Realtors calling me as late as 10:30pm.  (Btw, I don't take calls that late.)  I've felt like the subject of a British documentary (naturally British because the narrator in my head has an accent) on the "elusive and rarely seen in her own habitat" GREEN CT Realtor.

In this month of crazy, I did manage to carve out a half-day a week of quality family time.  I signed up my family, Team Minnick aka The Minnick Adventure Squad, to participate in the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection's  No Child Left Inside activity called The Great Park Pursuit.  Briefly, the idea of No Child Left Inside is to fight nature-deficit disorder.  Get the kids outside instead of in front of a TV/computer/video game.  The Great Park Pursuit started maybe 6 years ago and has evolved to the program it was this year, which was 4 Saturdays of environmentally-themed days in a secret state park location revealed through clues to solve.  For completing enough of the events or educational stations each Saturday, the kids earned a patch and if we completed all 4 weeks we earned a season pass to all the Connecticut state parks.  When I mentioned to friends on Facebook that we were committing to doing it, another family decided to join us and each Saturday we'd pack picnics (which got progressively better each week!) head out early, and meet up in places far & near.  From week to week we'd see the same friendly volunteers working the events and 3 of the 4 parks we visited were new to me.  Overall a really positive experience for us!

Week I - Goodwin State Forest - Theme: Forestry - Kids Highlight: Canoeing

Learning forestry techniques, taking tree inventory for logging and measurements
If you're thinking my daughter is wearing "war paint" you'd be correct.  Turns out my children thought this was a competition and came downstairs that morning with blue paint they applied together!

Week II - Sherwood Island State Park - Theme: Birding - Kids Highlight: Climbing Rocks on Beach
Bird banding demonstration
C releases a just-banded American Robin 
Sherwood Island has a really nice beach, birding areas, nature center and Sept. 11th memorial.

Week III - Day Pond State Park - Theme: Fishing - Kids Highlight: Fishing & Trout Stocking

                         
           


                      
                                      
                                                               Making fish prints.  Like stamping, with fish.

                      

Week IV - Dinosaur State Park - Theme: Energy - Kids Highlight: Solar-Powered Blender & Smart Energy Game
CT Clean Energy Fund serving up smoothies made in 2 solar-powered blenders and served in reusable water bottles for the kids.  We are big fans of the CTCEF and used them for our solar panel project.  They tell me the program will be up and running again for grants in 3-4 months for all of you who have asked me about that.
This game is a great visual of the comparison of how much energy traditional appliances use versus Energy Star appliances.  The two biggest differences I saw were the refrigerator and the cfl lightbulbs.  The kids loved it too!

I'm going to say this about the Great Park Pursuit:  we loved it.  Macy's sponsored the season passes and it was run by volunteers who seemed to know what they were talking about: foresters, fishermen, birding experts from the Audubon Society,  etc., and it was obvious how much work went into it.  I feel like we got a lot out of it - they made it very educational and active (did I mention the relay-type events each week?) and interesting for all of us.  It was a great family experience, and my children have already asked if we can do it again next year.  



Monday, April 16, 2012

Earth Day Straight Ahead!

Before I really started living GREEN, I used to spend a whole lot more time thinking about Earth Day.  It was that big day when we made such a huge effort.  (We've planted trees, done a dozen cleanups around town, planted gardens, recycled, gone on nature walks...you hame it!)


Even though being GREEN is fairly effortless now (mind you, it's taken us a while to get to this place) I'll confess that I still get excited about Earth Day.  I can't help it.  It's nice to see people come together like the way my own town's historic village center is doing, to clean up and beautify the area.  Our little village center is great example of GREEN businesses with the likes of a clothing consignment shop, a repurposed/used furniture & home shop, and a coffee house that serves organic locally roasted coffee and locally sourced food in season. 


On a global scale, the theme for this year's Earth Day (which is celebrating it's 42nd anniversary!) is Mobilize the Earth. 


One of the big campaigns this year (and there are several campaigns you can choose to explore & participate in) is One Billion Acts of Green.  They're doing pretty well with it because the last time I checked they were at 958 Million+  pledged acts already! 

I urge you to check out the Earth Day websites for ideas and for browsing their campaigns.  (There are so many great ideas and efforts in these campaigns - some geared towards libraries & schools!)  Maybe even register your own pledges - it can be easy ideas like eating more local foods or changing out light bulbs, or that you participated in Earth Hour.  With everyone making small steps we can all benefit.

Of course I'll be participating in the village center's clean up effort, as well as what my kids call "the garbage walk" on our street, and the debris that collects in the conservation easement along our yard.    

A quick shout out to my International readers from the past month in Turkey, France, Canada, Malaysia, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Serbia, Taiwan & Austria.  Happy Earth Day across the globe!  

  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earth Hour is This Weekend!

It's that time again!  Time to turn off the lights, turn off the electricity for an hour on Saturday, March 31st starting at 8:30pm to support what is called "the largest environmental event in history."


Last year was my first Earth Hour, and my kids really got into it.  First I showed them the video of the cities and world monuments going dark, which was very powerful and helped them get the message.  We talked about climate change and things people can do to take action.  I believe that each and every one of us can help make a difference.  This year's video looks like this:



They say that over 135 countries participated last year, which I find very impressive.  Someone recently asked me what the 60+ means on the logo.  It refers to the 60 minutes of Earth Hour AND BEYOND.  As in, what will you do beyond Earth Hour to make a difference.  I've read that a lot of International celebrities have committed to certain environmental actions such as planting trees for each person who pledges to plant trees themselves.  That's one of the cool things about the Earth Hour website - you can pledge and share what you plan to do, and read what others are doing.  I think it's a great way to bring the focus back to being GREEN if you've slipped a little since making GREEN New Year's Resolutions!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Today I Ate a (mostly organic) Rainbow

As a general rule, we eat pretty healthy in my house.  We always made the kids eat what we eat so they're less picky eaters.  Eating healthy is easy to do in the months when we're producing in the garden, but the rest of the time it does take a little more effort to keep the fridge stocked with fresh goodness.  A few days ago I realized I had gotten to that point where there wasn't much in fridge that qualified as green, leafy, orange, red or even yellow.  Other than bags of organic apples, kiwis & lemons of course - 'cause those are pretty much always there and we could use a little variety.

After an early meeting this morning I hit up the produce aisle - hard!  My plan of attack was to bring home at least a few days worth of rainbow foods, which yes, was inspired by Today I Ate A Rainbow!  The idea is that kids probably aren't getting 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day, so this serves as a reminder (they sell magnetic charts and such that you track each day - the goal being to fill the rainbow.)  They consider the color groups to be red, orange, yellow, green & blue/purple.  The others don't seem to hard, but finding a lot of blue/purple food is like a challenge!  Blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, purple grapes & raisins, prunes...


Here's one of the rainbow combinations I brought home.  All organic but the bananas, which is ok, because that's one of the safer foods to buy conventionally grown.  (Oh, and I only buy Chiquita after reading years ago that they were making huge efforts to protect the rainforest and using responsible farming practices.  I wish my local grocery store carried them.)  You can't see much of the blackberries, but they look yummy and the kids will wolf them down as an after school snack.  They also love them in their lunches. 

I'm looking forward to showing you my own food rainbows from my garden in a few months.  It's so much GREENER that way!  My seeds are ready and I'm itching to get some in the dirt!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pallets!

About a week ago I noticed that my friends had begun amassing wood pallets in their driveway.  It's not an unusual sight in my town... I know people who've told me they get them for free to burn as firewood to heat their homes.  It's so common that I just assume that's why people have them in quantities.

Then it occurred to me.  These friends are pretty extraordinary & creative people.  I'll bet they have bigger plans for these pallets.  I'll bet they're going to be upcycled!  If I were to guess, I'd say they're going to become a chicken coop.  That made me think of this video I'd seen from the Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association:


This video showcases so many great ways to put to good use what so many see as scrap wood.

I love a good upcycling project!  My little project this week involved trying to transform a pair of "boyish" slippers of very good quality to something my "it has to be pink" daughter would wear.  Enter my craft box and sewing box and between scheduling showings and making new international real estate contacts the past 2 days, we have this:


Turns out a little embellishing will change her attitude about her brother's hand-me-down jeans, khakis & most shorts too.

Happy March 1st my friends!  Just about 2 weeks until St. Patrick's Day - THE day for planting my first cold-weather crops - Peas!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

All I Want for Valentine's Day is a Rain Barrel!

Once again my very GREEN local library is offering a sweet deal on helping us be a little GREENER too!  This is part of the 2012 Backyard Composting Campaign by the Northeast Resource Recovery Association.   I'm going to share the details with you as I sip this yummy, spicy organic fair trade hot cocoa from Trader Joe's.  It's super spicy, just so you know, just the way those crazy Aztecs & Mayans (thanks for making us freak out that the world is ending this year) drank. 

I already have (AND LOVE!) the Earth Machine Compost Bin and they're offering it at only $52 ($100 retail value.)  Along side that there's the compost turner for $20.  I use an old pitch fork for turning my compost and I feel so old-school cool doing it, I have to admit, and it's pretty hard work.  (In my head, Martha Stewart uses an old pitch fork too.)  This tool, however, may actually work better, and I probably wouldn't have to worry about getting a tetanus booster if I dropped it on my foot or something.  Maybe I should try it out sometime...

Here's my composter in my garden (and yes, there is a mailbox in my garden.)  It's kind of handy for small garden tools and it's whimsical.  Yes, as in full of whimsy (classic line from the Bloggess!)  I see the flag is up - maybe we have mail from a garden gnome?  That traveling gnome does love to send postcards.





They are also offering the Systern Rain Barrel for $67 ($120 retail value.)  Hubby & I both want at least one of these.  I imagine it will be perfect for watering the little orchard planned behind the garage... and hey, what's not romantic about being GREEN?


Oh, and I envision my little orchard (it'll only be up to 9 trees max) will one day look like this:


...even though by then my son will probably be closer to 6 ft tall.  All the easier for him to pick the apples (& pears & peaches & plums & cherries,) right!  

They're taking pre-orders at the East Hampton Public Library until April 2nd, and then the orders will be available at the Dept of Public Works here in town the week of April 16th - just in time for Earth Day!

The details are here.  While our local library sells them at a very small profit, that money covers sales tax and the remainder (around $100 each of the past years) is dedicated to purchasing eco-themed books for the library, which is great because I READ THOSE BOOKS!  Win-win everybody!

So thanks, East Hampton Public Library, for offering another helpful service to our community!  I'm a fan of your blog too, by the way :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Best of My GREEN Bento Lunches!

Those of you who've been following along for a while may remember that in honor of Earth Day 2010 and my desire to create waste-free lunches after seeing how much trash was being generated in the school lunch room, that I decided to go Bento for my son's lunches.  Actually, it may have been my son's idea come to think of it!  I had a great response from readers, other moms, teachers, and even the children in my son's class who referred to me as "the cool lunch mom" and "Mrs. Perfect Lunch-Maker!"  I like to think that I'm making healthy, mostly-organic, fun lunches.

My bento boxes of choice were and still are, made by Laptop Lunches.  Since purchasing my first set, the 2.0 system, I've purchased a 2nd for my daughter and several extra container sets & water bottles, which all mix & match.  I also bought a slew of extra water bottle tops so that I can just change out the tops.  (My personal preference - I find that I use more of the lidded containers than the others, so when I buy extras, instead of getting a set, I buy the lidded containers individually.)  It's colorful and fun!  Everything has held up pretty well too.  (I've noticed that the prices have gone up since I first purchased my sets, so here's a money-saving tip: if you follow @LaptopLunches on Twitter, they announce sales & discounts on there from time to time.)  If you get free shipping from Amazon.com you might also make out better buying from them, as shipping runs just over $5 from Laptop Lunches.com.

Like it was in the beginning, it still takes me a little longer to make lunches.  That's because I'm doing prep work, cutting, running outside to pick fresh stuff right out of the garden when it's in season, and trying to make it creative.  I also love to use cookie & sandwich cutters to make shapes with the food and my little ones think it's great.

Without further ado, I present some of my favorite Bento lunches (at least the ones I've remembered to photograph - because I don't actually remember to do that very often.  In fact I'm noticing that the lunches with things like thai dumplings and other things I serve with chopsticks are all missing from my photo album - whoops!)  For the record, all the flowers I use are edible from my garden, and my kid gets "oohs & ahhs" when he eats them at the lunch table!  I still put fresh organic citrus slices in his water bottle fairly often for a little extra zing.

Cucumber, rolled jam sandwich, mango, french crepe cookies

Apple fritter & apple slices, tuna & carrot "sushi", fig newtons, mandarin orange & strawberry

Chicken salad sanwich, cheese & fruit leather butterfly, oatmeal banana muffin, cucumber slices

Jam sandwich, strawberry mountains & mango, oatmeal banana muffin, carrot & cucumbers

Turkey, hummus & cucumber sandwich, blueberry muffin, pretzel rod, blood orange, ginger cats

Kiwi, raisin bagel w/cream cheese, pomegranate seeds, brownie

Carrots w/hummus & dip, crepes w/kisses, raspberries & kiwi, cheddar crackers

Pain au chocolat, jam sandwiches, carrot & cucumber, tortilla chips

Tuna & lettuce sandwich, carrots, blueberry muffin

Raspberries, chicken salad sandwich, carrots, lemon bundt cake

Special cupcake for dessert

Mixed dried berries & power berries, wheat bagel w/nutella, carrots & cucumber slices, cheese 

Tuna sandwich, pretzel rods, star-shaped rice krispie treats, cucumber slices, orange slice & raspberries

More tuna, blueberry muffin & pretzel rod, watermelon & raspberries, carrots & cinnamon schoolhouse cookies
Other favorites include things like Greek spanikopita triangles which pack nicely, cold salmon with lemon wedge, goat cheese on baguette, and lately anything chocolate :)

Happy Lunching!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Return of the Garden in Real Estate

A few months ago, as I was analyzing & reflecting on my past year's real estate business, I saw a trend I hadn't identified earlier.  Perhaps it's been there for some time, or perhaps it's because I've been working with similarly-minded people, but the importance of a garden or the space for a garden was a common theme among my clients.

In our fast-paced (and let's face it, pesticide & gmo-filled) society, the home garden, le potager as the French call it, has been making a strong comeback.

This is a French friend's own potager in the Bretagne region of France.  It is so neatly organized I think he would faint at the sight of my overgrown garden! (Yes, those are hot air balloons in the background.)

It doesn't have to be the sprawling gardens of yesteryear, but the desire to grow our own food is strong, and for my clients it appeared to be a definite check in the pros columns when looking at homes.

Cheers to a greener world!

Monday, January 9, 2012

GREEN Deals

Thanks to having to pay a slew of new real estate fees (education & membership fees) right after the crunch of the holidays, I'm finding myself feeling very thrifty again.  (A lot of people don't realize how expensive it is to be in real estate - especially when you're advertising in the New York Times!)  I'm also keenly aware of how much it will cost for us to go on vacation this year and with next summer's big trip... well, let's just say I need to keep saving up :)  (Oh, and if my financial advisor is reading this, of course I meant to say that I'm going to put extra into my retirement account this year.  The first week of real estate for the year was slamming - yay! - and the 2nd week is starting out pretty amazingly as well!)

Thrifty me noticed that there's a nice deal on organic cotton sheets at Target this week!  


Thrifty me also took a moment to look up Free Parks Days at US National Parks.  They are:


  • January 14-16
    Martin Luther King Jr. weekend
  • April 21-29
    National Park Week
  • June 9
    Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12
    Veterans Day weekend


I've mentioned it before, but my kids loved it when we visited national parks.  We even got them the parks passports which they get to stamp at the ranger stations and they go nuts over it.  I figure this year we could use a few more stamps in those passports before they outgrow the novelty of it.  


I also searched my free museum options through the Bank of America "Museums on Us" program which offers free entry into the listed museums on the first full weekend of each month.  How are the museums GREEN, you ask?  Well, some of them are museums of natural history or science, anthropology or archaeology.  I file learning about nature as GREEN.  The kids loved the mineral & geology exhibit, the great mammal hall & the zoological galleries at the Harvard Museum of Natural History last weekend.  




On the plus side of all the new fees I'm paying, they relate to new business I've been working on and will be announcing shortly.  2012 is going to be an exciting year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

The holidays were such a flurry of activity that I feel like my head is still spinning, so Happy New Year a few days late!  With the 1st of the year dawning my phone was already ringing with real estate buyers, sellers, and renters.  I have no idea where some of them even got my name, but I am happy to jump into 2012 with both feet and very much grateful for such a busy start to the new year!

One of the first things I do at the beginning of every year is take inventory of what business supplies I'll need to stock.  While I'll all set with things like 100% recycled printer paper and environmentally-friendly writing supplies, I always seem to need postage this time of year.  Good timing too because I hear the price of stamps is increasing again later this month so it's a good idea to stock up on some forever stamps.  A quick visit to shopusps.com and I found some forever stamps that are PERFECT for me!
These get my "stamp of approval!"