Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Redbook Magazine and Me

I have a couple little reader comments in the September 2009 issue of Redbook Magazine on pages 166 and 168.

While googling Wenona Napolitano + Redbook I also found out I had a reader comment in the December 2008 issue of Redbook on page 142, good thing I still have that copy.

I guess I just never looked through it-holiday season left me busy and lost plus my book came out this past December and I was busy doing some promo work too so that's another reason I could have missed it.

Oh well, just glad I have the copy so I can add it to my "clips".

(The digital zinio page numbers are not the same as the actual print page numbers of the magazines since they don't match up.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to Organize A “Green” Wedding Guest Post By Emily Jacobson

From Wedding Ring to Honeymoon: How to Organize A “Green” Wedding
By Emily Jacobson

A green wedding is not difficult to organize. It can also cost less, depending on how green you go, and there are many green service providers to work with. You can go all-out green or just a little green. Here are some ways to create an eco-friendly wedding.

Invitations and Gifts

Use recycled paper and calligraphy for your invitations or, even greener, send invitations by e-mail. Create a wedding blog for information and updates. Substitute digital proofs for wedding photos and post them on your wedding blog.

Ask guests to donate to an environmental cause instead of bringing gifts you don't need. Or register with an eco-conscious retailer so gifts will be environmentally friendly products you do need.

Rings & Clothing

Substitute family heirlooms, recycled rings or antiques for "blood diamonds" that endanger miners, disturb ecosystems and contribute to war. Or buy alternative gemstones or rings set with minerals like turquoise instead of diamond wedding rings.

Consider a vintage or second-hand wedding dress and tuxedo, and have them refitted. After the wedding, pass them along or sell them on consignment. You can also choose a wedding dress you will still be able to wear after the wedding. Let your bridal party select their own outfits (in your color scheme) in styles they can also wear for other occasions.

Food, Flowers & Reception

Hire a catering service that provides china, crystal, silver and cloth instead of paper and plastic. Cater locally produced, organically grown and organically prepared foods, beverages and cake. Donate any leftovers to a shelter.

Buy local and organically grown flowers and use the same flowers at the ceremony and reception. After the wedding, pass them along to guests or to a hospital. Use potted flowers instead of cut, and let guests take plants home afterward.

Hold the reception in a scenic outdoor spot to reduce the use of air conditioning, lighting, heating and to minimize the need for decorations. Schedule the wedding and reception during the day to save electricity. Use candlelight rather than electricity. Have the reception at a non-profit organization so the rental fee will benefit others.


Schedule the wedding and reception at the same location, convenient for the greatest number of guests, to reduce travel costs. Ask guests who live in proximity to carpool to and from the wedding. Make your reception getaway on skates, bicycles, or skateboards.


Plan a honeymoon close to home in a setting you've never visited. Activities like camping, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing are all ecologically friendly, especially if you include camping.

Consider a service honeymoon by "wwoofing." World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) connects volunteers with farms where visitors learn "sustainable ways of living." The farms are located world wide and provide food and board in exchange for volunteering. To have time off too, choose a farm near a vacation spot and do both.

Travel agencies offer ecotourism vacations at many hotels and resorts with earth-friendly accommodations, while eco-vacations feature adventure honeymoons like Himalayan mountaineering or hang-gliding.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Want to Win a Camera or Plasma TV


Each Time Members Upload Photos or Videos Illustrating Four
Weekly Summer Themes, They Are Entered to Win
a LUMIX GH1 Camera or VIERA G10 Plasma TV

SECAUCUS, NJ (August 10, 2009) – To inspire existing community members and engage new ones on its growing social networking site,, Panasonic announced today the End of Summer Celebration, a month-long weekly giveaway, ending Labor Day, marking memorable summer moments through online photo and video sharing. First-time users are automatically entered into the sweepstakes by visiting, joining the community, and submitting their favorite summer photos or videos that meet the weekly theme. Entrants can also include a caption that provides viewers with helpful information about the content’s subject. The photos and videos uploaded to the site will spark ideas for summer weddings, vacations and foods, while giving members the chance to win their choice of either the critically acclaimed LUMIX DMC-GH1 digital camera or a 50-inch VIERA G10 Series Plasma TV.

Each photo or video submission will help build an engaging and interactive community resource for ideas and conversations about four common summer themes:

(Week 1) Weddings: Between the creative cakes, colorful flowers, beautiful dresses, and exotic venues, weddings can be a work of art. Submit your favorite photos or videos from your own big day or someone else’s to inspire brides and grooms to be. Don’t forget to include an informational caption so other couples can benefit from your experience.

(Week 2) Great American Roadtrip: With wallets feeling tight all around, many people traded flights to far off-places for an old-fashioned Route-66 road trip this summer. Share favorite U.S. landscape shots you took while on the road and tell us where to go for that picture-perfect view. Also during this week, look for a Webinar on ideas for capturing great landscape photos.

(Week 3) Vacations for Two: From a quiet beach to a cabana hideaway, we want to know the coziest places you’ve vacationed this summer – just the two of you. Share a photo or video to fill us in on some insider secrets or travel tips so others can enjoy a getaway of their own.

(Week 4) Food Creations: There’s nothing better than a delicious barbecue or afternoon picnic under the summer sun. Show us the gourmet treats you’ve been enjoying that will make us want to light up the grill or get back into the kitchen! If you’d like to share family secrets, include your recipe as a blog post or cite your favorite cookbook in the caption of the photo or video so we can taste your creations. is a social networking site designed to demystify High Definition and “unconfuse” the consumer. Members share insights, opinions and advice with others interested and enthusiastic about the world of HD. The site also helps people find creative inspiration on how to use their HD products in exciting ways, as well as interact with technical experts, view a wide range of useful member-created How-To Videos about products and projects, and participate in in-depth communal conversations about experiences, ideas and creative discoveries.

The Panasonic LUMIX GH1 digital camera is the newest member of the company’s revolutionary LUMIX G Micro System offering professional-level still photos and HD Video performance while still consumer friendly enough for entry level DSLR consumers. This 12.1-megapixel camera has been awarded the 2008 Camera of Year by Popular Photography & Image magazine and offers groundbreaking technology as the world’s first entry into the Micro Four Thirds Standard system camera segment for advanced imaging capabilities. The Panasonic LUMIX GH1 camera is valued at $1499.95.

Panasonic’s VIERA G10 Series Plasmas are THX® Certified and deliver a 40,000:1 Native Contrast Ratio for deep, real black reproduction and 1080 lines of Moving Picture Resolution for the ultimate in picture quality with no motion artifacts to distract the viewer – ideal when watching fast action content such as sports and action movies or when playing video games.
The G10 Series models also feature Panasonic’s proprietary VIERA CAST® technology giving consumers access to a growing range of targeted web sites including Amazon Video On Demand, You Tube™, Picasa Photo Album™, Bloomberg News and a weather channel. The Panasonic VIERA G10 46-inch Plasma TV is valued at $1499.95.

More information about the sweepstakes, including complete rules and requirements, can be found online at

In addition to the product giveaway, Panasonic is now accepting applications for additional Living in HD Family program participants. Eligible participants for the program can be a family, couple, single person, group of friends, co-workers – anyone who is enthusiastic about becoming a part of this special HD community. Interested individuals and groups can apply online at

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Save 20% At Brittanie's Thyme

Throughout the month of August you can save 20% on all Brittanie's Thyme products.

"Because of the rampant “green washing” that has taken place throughout the personal care industry, Brittanie’s Thyme LLC decided it was imperative to become USDA Certified Organic. It is the only means of proving to users that a product is what it claims in terms of organic."

"The company has realized its goal and is now USDA NOP certified. Its manufacturing facility and 85% of its products are now certified at 95% or higher."

You can get facial cleansers, scrubs, serums and more at Brittanie's Thyme.

High quality products with an intimate home made feel that are easy on your budget. Their high qaulity organic products don't cost the high doallr amount that so many organic beauty products do.

Drop by and check them out and save 20% during the month of August.

Greening up baby showers

First comes love, then comes marriage then comes...the green baby shower.

From Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family offer advice to help green the baby shower.

No one deserves more to be celebrated in an earth-friendly way than moms-to-be and their babies. After all, everyone wants the best for their children and the best, as we now realize, is to make healthier choices for people and the planet.

Throwing a "green" baby shower doesn't take extra work, just planning.

Start by thinking about the various aspects of a shower and how you can apply the 3Rs--reduce, reuse, recycle.

For instance:

Reduce the amount of decor you buy, the amount of food you purchase, the amount of disposables, whether for wrapping, plates or table covering.

Reuse by repurposing items for decor. For instance, if you're giving the mom cloth diapers, hang them on a clothes line strung along one wall. Intersperse with colorful pieces of cloth, cute dresses or tops or pre-used ribbons. After the party, she takes everything home (including the clothes line).

Recycle everything from the event. Pass on decor items, compost what leftovers cannot be sent home with guests.

Most showers involve food and maybe some games. But almost inevitably, the focus is on opening gifts. While everyone loves giving and receiving, especially when it comes to adorable baby items, how about a little more emphasis on mom and a little less on "stuff?"

Showering mom (and dad, if he's present), with loving, thoughtful gifts from the heart costs almost nothing and will help her (and him), feel amazing.

Some ideas (note that these are alternatives--not every parent or group of guests will be interested in every one):

Create an calming atmosphere by dimming the lights, perhaps lighting some beeswax candles, settling mom into a comfy chair, offering her socks or slippers if she'd like.

Ask someone to create a CD of mom's favorite relaxing music to be played during the event, then gifted to her.

Offer mom a rosewater footbath or a massage for hands, feet or neck. If the guests are comfortable with this (as well as mom), each one can take a turn offering mom a "touching" gift.

Prepare a selection of drinks--made from fresh organic fruit in summer or organic tea in cooler weather.

Have everyone bring a bead. Guests sit in a circle and string the beads one at a time explaining their choice as they do. Perhaps the color reminds them of the mom's eyes, or a place she loves. Maybe the bead came from a broken necklace inherited from a beloved grandmother. Guests also can write their explanations on a piece of paper that mom can keep with the bracelet or necklace.

Encourage mom to wear the item or keep it nearby when she gives birth, or if she's adopting, when she receives the baby, as a reminder of the love that surrounds her.

Make mom a special plate of food. Each item can represent something about being a mother. (Remember to choose local and organic when possible, and of course, respect mom's tastes and/or allergies.) Some ideas include: a carrot representing family "roots," a mushroom representing "shelter," a cluster of grapes respresenting "closeness," blue cheese or another "smelly" one representing some of the distatesful things moms have to do etc. The items can be brought out on a plate, an example of what one represents offtered, then guests can toss out their own ideas.

Ask everyone to bring a stone from where they live. They can write a wish for the mom or baby or write their names in permanent ink. Add the stones to a pot in which a small live tree has been planted. If appropriate, parents can plant the tree with the stones around it as a lasting memory of the event.

Be sure to make laughter a part of the event. Maybe guests will recount cute things their kids have said or the silliest thing they ever did as a parent, or the time they "lost it."

Ask the mom and/or dad-to-be, to bring a piece of clothing, baby book or photo from when they were babies and talk about their childhood memories, how they perceived their parents, and/or the most important things they want to do for and with this baby.

If the parent-to-be's mom or dad is at the shower, encourage them to share memories or humorous anecdotes about the expectant parents as kids.

Eco-tips for choosing green baby shower gifts

Select clothing items without chemicals (which are readily absorbed by a newborn's thin skin). Look for organic cotton, hemp, wool or silk.

The safest toys are made from natural, pesticide-free materials such as untreated wood or the fabrics listed above. Seek out products made locally, and/or that are handmade and that will last.

Give a gift of yourself such as preparing meals for the family, driving or doing errands weekly for the first months after the baby is at home, offering to rent a movie and preparing a "parents night in," along with babysitting, or doing a year's worth of car washes.

Choose to wrap your gifts in items that keep giving--baby blankets, crib sheets, towels, scarves or other reusables.

Here's a freebie that would be wonderful to include with any gift.

It's a pdf of a brochure, Simple Steps for a Happy Baby, a Healthy Home and a Better World. Download, print out one copy (on recycled paper of course.)

Eco-picks for green baby shower gifts

Gift certificates for baby massage classes or "mommy and me" yoga

Items that encourage bonding like slings made from organic fabric

Diaper bag made from recycled plastic bottles

Books on parenting like The Green Parent by Jenn Savedge

~Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Creative Wedding Planning for the Budget Bride

In case you haven't noticed I have a new blog dedicated to all things creative and budget friendly for weddings- green and even not so green. It's all about planning a fun, creative wedding on a budget. I hope to start posting DIY projects and more on there as I really get into it.

The blog is called Creative Wedding Planning for the Budget Bride. And while I don't have a lot of links or banners on the site what I do have is many posts filled with wedding planning advice. I also have photos of some of my wedding crafts and creations.

I hope you'll drop by and check it out. Add it to your link love lists and please become a follower. It's new and I haven't done much advertising for it yet so it isn't getting much traffic. Please help spread the word.

I am also looking for anyone who would like to guest blog at Creative Wedding Planning, submit DIY wedding projects, or send wedding planning books for review.

Thanks so much for your support.