Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dirt and Noise Book Review

Just posted a review of a couple of Barefoot Books!

Check it out at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

30% Off Barefoot Books 'till November 3rd

Living Barefoot 30% Off Button U.S.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Under the Same Sun Presents: Persons with Albinism in Tanzania

Yesterday, I read some of the most disturbing stories of discrimination I have ever read. Albinism is a rare genetic condition, in Tanzania it is 5 times more likely to occur. Which Makes the story below even more horrific.

Persons with albinism in Tanzania face several major challenges:

1. The horror of a rapidly growing industry in the sale of albino body parts.
This unimaginable evil is driven by the belief (in some areas of the country) that the body parts of people with albinism have magical powers capable of bringing riches if used in potions produced by local witchdoctors. In the last year official reports indicate that 26 persons with albinism have been brutally murdered and their body parts hacked off and sold to witchdoctors. Though the official count is 28 leaders in the albino community believe the number to be over 60. Some recent reports indicate that body parts are also being exported outside Tanzania. In one instance a Tanzanian trader was caught with the head of an albino baby on his way to The Democratic Republic of Congo. He told police a businessman was going to pay him for the head by its weight.

To read the more please go to

Under the Same Sun is collecting signatures to ensure that those that engage in the sale of albino body parts are prosecuted and education is available to the communities to stop this horrific practice.

Under The Same Sun intends to invest significantly in resources within Tanzania to improve the life of persons with albinism by:

  • Providing resources to the Tanzanian Albino Society
  • Researching the possibility of establishing a resource center for persons with albinism where they might receive education and medical support
  • Planning an outreach mission to Tanzania in October 2008 to meet with government, educational, and other leaders to highlight these macabre killings and create political pressure to have those involved stopped

Under The Same Sun is proud to be partnering with Positive Exposure

Under The Same Sun Fund
Suite 400 - 15225, 104 Ave.
Surrey, BC Canada V3R 6Y8


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Green Mom Finds Barefoot Giveaway

Whole World Gift Set Giveaway!

2295-07_21_08-large_cover.jpgWe love Barefoot Books. Their children’s titles are beautifully illustrated, unique and educational. Even more, we love giving away their children’s books to our wonderful readers! If you want a chance to win THREE of their eco children’s books, then you’re in luck because we are giving away…

To Enter: Go to Green Moms Finds

Green Mom Finds

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Review: Arthur of Albion Will Knock Your Chainmail Socks Off

By Matt Blum Email

Arthur_3 It's a rare storybook that blows you away with the beauty of its art. Rarer still are such books where the stories are captivating as well. Arthur of Albion, a new book of King Arthur stories, is one of those. It's the sort of book you might buy for your kids—say, as a way of getting them interested in the Arthur stories—and then find yourself sitting on the couch reading it and staring at the art after your kids are in bed.

The stories in the book will be familiar to anyone who knows the Arthur legends: The story of the Questing Beast, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the quest for the Grail, etc. But each story is written in a simple, yet richly detailed, style, with the occasional old-style wording (e.g., "he knew not"), and you will find yourself drawn in by them even if you know the plot by heart. Some of the stories are written with morals, but none too heavy-handed, and all true to previous versions. The stories are separated by short two-page spreads on subjects related to the following story, providing quick glimpses into the characters and settings. The book is very faithful to the history of Arthurian legend, written as it is by John Matthews, a noted expert on the subject (he was even the historical advisor for the 2003 movie King Arthur).

Read the rest of this fantastic review

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Treehouse in the Glen

Since our move my wonderful husband has been working pretty much non-stop. In hopes that our children will remember what he looks like Dave took us out to lunch. After lunch we decided to check out a cute little toy shop we had driven by on our way to lunch. Treehouse in the Glen is a fairytale come true. We had so much fun looking around this cute Waldorf Inspired shop!

We each picked out something fun to bring home and play with!

Theo picked out this cool airplane kit and a bag of marbles. We have yet to try out our airplane making skills but hope to get a little help from Dave with them. (I can't fold an airplane to save my life, lol) The marbles were choosen to replace the lost marbles from our marble run... lets see how long it takes us to loose these also.

Gabbie choose a package of wooden beads and string. We are planning a necklace and bracelet set. We also grabed a couple Matchbook Garden seed packets. We are intending to add them to our porch garden...I will let you all know how it goes.

It has been a long time since I have done any needle felting. With Halloween quickly approaching I just had to get some roving to make pumpkins.

The fruit of our labor :)

Treehouse in the Glen
1275 Lincoln Ave, Suite 2 [ map ]
San Jose

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Smarty Pants

I never thought of balloon folding as art until I met Smarty Pants. Smarty and his wife and partner The Lovely Miss Dena were set up next to my booth at a local street fair over the summer. It was mesmerizing to watch Smarty turn balloons into gorgeous pieces of art! Here are a few of my favorite creations from the fair.

Smart has one of the best Yelp reviews I have ever read :)

You can check Smart and the Lovely Miss Dena on their website

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens. According to Mollie Orshansky who developed the poverty measurements used by the U.S. government, "to be poor is to be deprived of those goods and services and pleasures which others around us take for granted."[1] Ongoing debates over causes, effects and best ways to measure poverty, directly influence the design and implementation of poverty-reduction programs and are therefore relevant to the fields of public administration and international development.

Effects of poverty

The effects of poverty may also be causes, as listed above, thus creating a "poverty cycle" operating across multiple levels, individual, local, national and global.

Those living in poverty and lacking access to essential health services, suffering hunger or even starvation,[84] experience mental and physical health problems which make it harder for them to improve their situation.[85] One third of deaths - some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day - are due to poverty-related causes: in total 270 million people, most of them women and children, have died as a result of poverty since 1990.[86] Those living in poverty suffer lower life expectancy. Every year nearly 11 million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday. Those living in poverty often suffer from hunger.[87] 800 million people go to bed hungry every night.[88] Poverty increases the risk of homelessness.[89] There are over 100 million street children worldwide.[90] Increased risk of drug abuse may also be associated with poverty.[91]

Diseases of poverty reflect the dynamic relationship between poverty and poor health; while such infectious diseases result directly from poverty, they also perpetuate and deepen impoverishment by sapping personal and national health and financial resources. For example, malaria decreases GDP growth by up to 1.3% in some developing nations, and by killing tens of millions in sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS alone threatens “the economies, social structures, and political stability of entire societies”.[92][93]

Those living in poverty in the developed world may suffer social isolation. Rates of suicide may increase in conditions of poverty. Death of a breadwinner may decrease a household's resilience to poverty conditions and cause a dramatic worsening in their situation. Low income levels and poor employment opportunities for adults in turn create the conditions where households can depend on the income of child members. An estimated 218 million children aged 5 to 17 are in child labor worldwide, excluding child domestic labor.[94] Lacking viable employment opportunities those living in poverty may also engage in the informal economy, or in criminal activity, both of which may on a larger scale discourage investment in the economy, further perpetuating conditions of poverty.

Low income and wealth levels undermine the ability of governments to levy taxes for public service provision, adding to the 'vicious circle' connecting the causes and effects of poverty. Lack of essential infrastructure, poor education and health services, and poor sanitation contribute to the perpetuation of poverty.[95] Poor access to affordable public education can lead to low levels of literacy, further entrenching poverty. Weak public service provision and high levels of poverty can increase states' vulnerability to natural disasters and make states more vulnerable to shocks in the international economy, such as those associated with rising fuel prices, or declining commodity prices.[96][97]

Areas strongly affected by poverty tend to be more violent. In one survey, 67% of children from disadvantaged inner cities said they had witnessed a serious assault, and 33% reported witnessing a homicide.[98] 51% of fifth graders from New Orleans (median income for a household: $27,133) have been found to be victims of violence, compared to 32% in Washington, DC (mean income for a household: $40,127).[99]

The capacity of the state is further undermined by the problem that people living in poverty may be more vulnerable to extremist political persuasion, and may feel less loyalty to a state unable to deliver basic services. For these reasons conditions of poverty may increase the risk of political violence, terrorism, war and genocide, and may make those living in poverty vulnerable to human trafficking, internal displacement and exile as refugees. Countries suffering widespread poverty may experience loss of population, particularly in high-skilled professions, through emigration, which may further undermine their ability to improve their situation.

How can we make a difference?

Buy Fair Trade

I love the little girl dresses made by Global Mamas!
Over the summer I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Global Mamas at a street festival.


Equal Exchange's Organic Breakfast Blend ($8/12 oz.;; 781-830-0303)

Caffe Ibis's Organic Espresso Roast Blend ($9.49/12 oz.;; 888-740-4777)

Grounds for Change Sumatra Roast ($8.95/12 oz.;; 800-796-6820)

Millstone Coffee ($7.99/10-12 oz.;

Cafe Canopy's triple certified French Roast ($10.50/12 oz.;; 888-299-1147)


La Siembra Group's Cocoa Camino (; 613-235-6122) hot chocolate, chocolate bars. Buy at, and

Green & Black's and Maya Gold Chocolate $3.50-$4 for a 100-gram bar (

Equal Exchange (see above) hot-cocoa mix ($6 for a 12-oz. can)

See Coffee and Chocolate product reports at

Become a Kiva Sponsor!

How Kiva Works

Choose an Entrepreneur, Lend, Get Repaid

The below diagram shows briefly how money gets from you to a developing-world entrepreneur, and back.

1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.

2) Kiva's microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur's chances of success.

3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.

4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

To learn more about Kiva head on over to their website at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Talk to Your Parents About John McCain

Pediatricians Recommend Doubling Vitamin D for Kids

This is an article from the The Wall Street Journal as it relates to children's health I am reposting it here with a link to the original article.

pill_kid_CV_20081013143504.jpgGetty Images

The case for plenty of vitamin D continues to grow. The American Academy of Pediatrics is now doubling its recommendation of the amount of the vitamin that kids should get.

The new recommendation comes amid a steady stream of reports about the benefits of Vitamin D. There’s been discussion of its ability to help prevent heart disease, cancer and mortality risk. For instance, research has suggested that women with low levels of vitamin D when they’re diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than those who have higher levels.

The pediatrics academy said its recommendations also come because vitamin D helps prevent rickets, a bone-softening disease that continues to crop up in kids, and because enough vitamin D throughout childhood may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

double vitamin dThe revised guidelines “are based on evidence from new clinical trials and the historical precedence of safely giving 400 IU of vitamin D per day in the pediatric and adolescent population,” the academy wrote in a statement. (Click on the PDF icon at right to read the recommendations and the rationale, published here with the permission of the AAP.)

The academy is now recommending 400 daily units of vitamin D for children from their first days of life through adolescence. That means some teens and kids, including breast-feeding infants, may need daily supplements, the Associated Press reports. Infant formula contains vitamin D, the AP explains, while breast milk is sometimes deficient.

Photo: iStockphoto

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Shopping With Dad

Shopping with Dad by Matt Harvey has become one of my favorite books to read to both of my children. Full of silly rhyming and a sweet message that accidence happen and no one is to blame, Shopping with Dad is the perfect anytime book.

We were in the grocery store today and my little cutie Gabbie asked "Mommie can we get some DangerJam?" I was laughing so hard that I got a couple funny looks from the other shoppers.

Honestly, lately with all of the stress of moving across the country I could use some Strong Anti-Grump Pills!

I love the bright playful illustrations.

Theo says "I think Shopping with Dad is interesting. It reminds me of myself even though I am not a girl. I often go shopping with my dad which is special because I have alone time with my dad."