My Experience with the Forward on Climate Rally in DC

by Tiffany in Political Action

My son and I – Photo Credit: Bryan Saums

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the largest climate change rally in the history of the US. Some are saying it ended up being one of the largest environmental rallies in history as well. It was a humbling experience to march on Washington and stand united with others who share my concern for the environment and my frustration that progress on climate change has been virtually nonexistent. It was a doubly wonderful experience because I was able to take my 12 year old son with me and share the experience and the activism with him.

When I heard about the Forward on Climate Rally that was taking place in DC I knew wanted to attend. It works very well with my New Year’s goals for this year to be more involved with philanthropic activities and personal activism. I have a tendency to use my words more than my actual voice. I blog about important issues to help educate others, I encourage letter writing and petition signing, and I encourage voting with our wallets. What I don’t typically do is use my actual voice to get the message out. Trying to impact change with my blog is great but I also want my kids to see me going out and taking action as well. This year I want to step away from the computer and do more in person, for myself, but also for my kids who really cannot see what I am doing behind the screen.

I want to set an example for my children and show them that we must do more than gripe and complain about the issues and problems we see, that we have to take action. I took my 12 year old with me, so he could experience the rally and learn from those that attended it. We had many great conversations and I think he learned something valuable that he couldn’t get from just hearing mom talk or seeing a news story. I hope that it sets the stage for his own activism and that as a group we also made it clear to our political leaders that support for cleaner, greener action and legislation is in fact there. Attending this rally accomplished that and so much more.

Me (left) and some other Ohio moms, including Jenny Linn Confer of MCAF – Photo Credit: Bryan Saums

My son enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip/rally, except perhaps the biting cold, but who did like that? He got to hear Rosario Dawson speak and she makes an appearance in a few of his favorite movies. I think that had to make an impression on him. Also amazing was the energy and enthusiasm of the 40,000+ people there. We met many great people, including the amazing folks we carpooled with and roomed with. They made the experience so much more and I look forward to teaming up with them again on other issues. Big sloppy kisses to the Sierra Club and Moms Clean Air Force who made this experience possible.

climate rally jenny

Another aspect of the rally that really stayed with me is just how diverse the people and interests were at this rally but how united everyone was. They all had different reasons for being there and different “hot” issues that they cared about… Tar sands, Keystone KL, coal, fracking, clean water, clean food, clean air, species protection, toxic environments for children, etc. There were also people there from a variety of states showing how the issues impact them personally. The large Ohio group for instance was very concerned about fracking. It is big issue for us here in the Buckeye state.

climate rally 9

The energy was contagious. If we want to impress upon young kids that these are important issues and causes then we have to find a way to reach them. There were people of all ages there and getting to know them and learn about why they care so much ensures that you cannot help but care too. It was a great experience for my son and has spurred many deep questions about issues and politics. It was important for him to hear it from other people instead of just me. Sometimes I believe he thinks I am being overly dramatic. Now he knows just how many other people are concerned and that he should be too.


A Zip Lining Adventure in Ohio

by Tiffany in Enjoying Nature

TGIF! The kids and I are off to enjoy some last minute fun before school starts AND celebrate a 12th birthday. But I would be remiss if I didn’t share what I did last weekend…which was one of those rare kid-free weekends.

Hubby and I went to ZipZone Tours a new place for columbus zip lining. I had no idea that we could even go zip lining in the heart of the city. Not that it would have mattered though. If you asked me two weeks ago if I would ever consider zip lining a fun weekend activity I would have laughed…and then changed the subject. I am afraid of heights and things that go fast. Roller coasters and I do not mix. I absolutely hate that butterfly, stomach dropping to your toes feeling. HATE it.

So how did I end up zipping through the tree tops on a steel cable? Well, another local blogger was kind enough to ask if I wanted to participate in a free tour for digital influencers. I quickly decided that if someone was going to hand the opportunity to me on a sliver platter I should at least try it. My husband was also excited to give it a whirl. Okay…GULP.

The day of the tour we arrived a bit early to sign a long waiver (gulp again) and along with four others in our tour group we got all our gear on. It was a lengthy process to put all that gear on and get if fitted just right. After we were geared up and ready to go we took a short hike into the woods and then climbed some stairs and sky canopies to get to the first zipping platform. On the way we learned about the history of the company, the owners, and the land hosting the zip lines. It was also interesting to hear about how green something like this is. You are well above the forest so you are not disturbing the land during your travels and only two trees had to be cut down to make room for the lines. This was all carefully planned and designed to have minimal impact on the environment. Zip liners want a beautiful place to zip right? It only makes sense that they want the area around the lines to stay pristine and beautiful. Once you get over the initial terror you DO want to look at the views. Trees, waterfalls, creeks…love.

Before my first zip I was shaking quite badly. I wanted to turn around and go right back down actually but I made myself give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. You don’t feel as though you are in a free fall or something. It feels more like you are on a fast ski lift. The views were also gorgeous. I wish I could say that I was a cool cucumber by the 5th zip but that is just not me. I cannot go backwards down the line, hang off the edge of the platform, or let go of the handlebars (like my husband) and feel safe but I did enjoy the experience quite a bit. I really want to go again and take my 12 year old. I know he would love it.

Many thanks to ZipZone tours for hosting us for the afternoon and to Alaina for the invite. It was a blast and I will remember it always. I would say I checked this off my bucket list but zip lining never made it to the list. What a nice surprise!


The Center of Science and Industry for Summer Fun

by Tiffany in Children

As I mentioned previously we checked an item off our summer fun checklist last week. We went to COSI, which in my mind is a science themed children’s museum. It has stuff that the whole family will enjoy but it caters to kids for sure. My husband, 6 year old, and I were invited as part of a local blogger event that introduced us to the early learning program they offer there. We attended the early learning class first off and then spent the afternoon wandering around the museum. We feel fortunate to live so close to COSI, which most years is awarded the honor of being the best science museum in the country. If you are local check out the bottom is this post for a giveaway…

The class itself was a lot of fun. It had singing, story time, and work stations with various fun things to do. My son was all about the bug station which had hissing cockroaches, banana slugs, and worms in compost. That is the definition of heaven for that boy.

My kiddo isn’t looking much like a preschooler anymore, that is for sure!

While we were there we saw the latest travelling exhibit which is all about water…how we use it, how we waste it, what the planetary impact is, etc. It was very informative.

No visit to COSi is complete without going inside the mini submarine they have in the Ocean exhibit.

We were also pleased to see that they had a bunch of heavy machinery outside for the kids to play on and pretend “drive”. My kiddo was not interested but hubby was. :) I guess the love of big trucks wasn’t passed on to my youngest.

If you are local I have 4 COSI admittance passes to give away! Just leave a comment telling me you would like to win them. Enjoy!


TGIF – Magnesium, Gardening, and Diva Cup Cleaning

by Tiffany in Tidbits

TGIF! I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

I updated facebook fans recently about my progress with magnesium supplementation. This update came roughly one month after I wrote the original post about my deficiency. I woke up one morning to find that my monthly visitor had arrived with nary a symptom. No PMS at all. No backaches, minimal bloating, no fatigue whatsoever, and no chocolate cravings. My skin also gets a bit oily and I may get a tiny pimple or two this time of month. I had none of that this time. In fact last month I told the kids I was sick and spent two days in bed, dog tired. This month I could literally do cartwheels in the backyard. I am totally sold on magnesium at this point.

What did I do exactly? I started taking a 500mg pill every single day and eating more magnesium rich foods. I sprayed myself with magensium oil almost daily about 20 minutes before my shower because it is more easily absorbed via the skin. After strenuous CrossFit workouts I would soak in magnesium flakes and also drink dark chocolate coconut water or Natural Vitality energy drink products. It was pretty effortless to make these small changes but the benefit has been amazing!

Also, since I mentioned CrossFit I have to share how amazing that as been lately too. In the past few weeks I have gotten bloody knuckles flipping 200 pound tractor tires, I have done handstands like when I was a kid, and just yesterday I did my personal best for pushups… 46! Every day that I go, I learn something new about what my body can do and the experience has just been out of this world. I actually feel a little bit like and athlete and I haven’t felt that way since my school days. It reminds me of this movie quote too:

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. – Legally Blonde

Not that my husband has anything to be afraid of but exercise really, really, really does make you happy. It is unfortunate I spent most of my adult life not understanding that fact.

Books I am Reading: 

Small Space Gardening – We definitely have a small space to work with at our house. Really it is just one raised bed and whatever can go in pots on our deck. This book though is full of ideas on where you can plant, in what, and how you can get the most bang for your buck (or space rather). I like all the advice and tips for vertical gardening, because that is really the direction many people have to go, up rather than out.

Seed Saving & Starting – Another timely book as we are pretty much exclusively using heirloom seeds and I want to harvest from what we grow rather than keep buying seeds each year. It also has ideas on cross-breeding and making hybrids but that really doesn’t interest me as much as savings our seeds each year. The info on transplanting, thinning, and hardening off though is very helpful.

Other Links: 

I wrote an article on another blog that I barely ever write on anymore about how to make a decent living as a blogger if that is something interests you.

I like this article from The Greatist about 45 Healthy Foods to Make and Never Buy Again. Very interesting to see the price breakdowns like that.

This article on Get Rich Slowly about Budget Travel In Your Own Town is wonderful. Not only can you save money by being a tourist in your own place of residence it is also really green too!

I am not a big tea drinker and only ever drink hot tea but if you like all kinds of tea you may appreciate Anna’s article about Honest Tea and why they are an ethical choice for tea drinkers.

Also helpful is Deanna’s article about how to keep your Diva Cup looking clean and sparkly. Truthfully mine is looking pretty dang dingy so I need to try some of these tips!

Enjoy your weekend all!!

Live a Little – Finding Small Joys Wherever You Can

by Tiffany in Tidbits

This morning I got a great reminder from a green blogger I admire, and that I got to meet in person a couple months ago. The lovely Shane at Environmental Booty is asking others to share what they do to to find fulfillment and make the most of each day. It is so important to be able to find your happiness and joy in little things, each and every day and yet it is so hard to do for many of us. This is an important topic for me because I tend to be one of those “someday” people. I have big dreams. I have concrete ideas of what I want my life to be and what I want to do with it. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big of course but folks like me forget to live in the moment and seek out happiness right this very second. If I am not careful I find myself drifting aimlessly and starting to get depressed that someday is still so far off.

Last year though I made a resolution to spend greater time on self care and finding happiness NOW. It worked so well that my resolution this year was to have more fun. I would like to think I am getting pretty good at making the most of every day now. It is not uncommon to find myself thinking that if this, right now, was all my life would ever come to be, then I am pretty darn lucky. When you seek joy every day, you don’t have to worry so much about someday anymore.

So what do I do to find my happiness? These days I make time for myself and I seek happiness by going to the gym several times a week. It gets the day started right and I feel good when I do. I make time to visit the library usually once a week and just meander up and down the isles looking at books. Books=happiness. I take a class or go to a workshop on the weekend, for fun and to better myself. I visit thrift stores to find good deals. I go the movies by myself. I saw John Carter yesterday and fell in love.

Sometimes I tell my husband that we simply MUST go out for ice cream (while the kids are in school) and we go to Jeni’s ice Cream together. We did this just last week in fact. It is artisan ice cream with unique and amazing flavors. They also use local grass fed cream! Does this not scream happiness?!?!

Magnolia Mochi, Mango Kiwi, Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake, and Tres Leches w/Here and There Cherries

Mmmm, I think we need to go again this week. ;)

TODAY I have found my happiness in…

Getting up early so I could throw dinner in the slow cooker AND watch a few episodes of Friday Night Lights in peace and quiet.
Cooking yummy Garlic Ginger Chicken for me and two of my men folk, for lunch.
Buying myself some flowers and putting them on my desk to enjoy all day long.

The flowers teased me at the grocery all week long and I resisted their urges until today when I read Shane’s post. Then when I went out to get butter for the aforementioned chicken, I HAD to get them. I am so happy that I did. Someone at the store sprinkled them with glitter and it just gives them a magical feel. Every time I look at them I have to smile in contentment. Finding your happiness doesn’t only have to be about the big moments in life, it can be about all the small ones too.

What do you do to make every moment count and find happiness in the small stuff? Link up below: