The Skinny on Saving Electricity This Holiday

It’s only a week away…yes, Thanksgiving Day. One word that comes to mind when I think of Thanksgiving – CONSUMPTION.

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Here are tips to cut back on your electricity consumption while still savoring all the food, fun and festiveness of the day:

  • Use your crock pot or microwave for side dishes where you can.
  • If your heat is turned on, turn the thermostat back to 68 degrees or lower and enjoy the warmth of your kitchen.
  • Switch the blades of your ceiling fans upwards to draw heat down into the rooms you’re using.
  • Use an ice chest or cooler for drinks if you’re hosting a large group to cut down on wasting electricity when the refrigerator door is open.
  • Use LED lighting if you’re decorating with holiday lights already. It’s more energy efficient.
  • Leave off lights and ceiling fans in rooms you’re not using during your holiday gathering.

I am giving a lucky reader a Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Use Monitor. Comment below what you look forward to consuming on Thanksgiving and what you will be cutting back on this holiday season. The giveaway will end November 24.

After School Special: Conserve

Have you been avoiding opening that electricity bill after these past few record-breaking heat waves? Now is a good time to begin good after school (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) habits any time of year.

A  few good ideas include:

  • Set the DVR before your kiddos get home from school to record their favorite shows –  so they can watch them after 7 p.m.
  • Do homework first instead of playing on the PS3 or gaming stations until after 7 p.m.
  • If homework or other household activities require PCs and the Internet, use the battery power of your laptop versus having it plugged into the wall until 7 p.m.
  • If your kids come home sweaty after playtime, athletics or other outdoor activities, hold off on showering or bathing until 7 if you can because your AC has to push the steam from the shower out of your home.
  •  The same goes with the heat and humidity of stove-top cooking…in terms of dinner, think about something cold like sandwiches – or use your microwave or grill out to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding humidity that will make your A/C continue cycling to cool back down.

Click here for an energy audit kit for kids to help them understand more about conservation.

Lessons I Learned By Watching My Kids

1. It’s more fun to color outside the lines.
2. Ask why until you understand.
3. Hang on tight.
4. Make up the rules as you go along.
5. It doesn’t matter who started it.
6. Ask for sprinkles.
7. If the horse you’re drawing looks more like a dog, make it a dog.
8. Save a place in line for your friends.
9. Just keep banging until someone opens the door.
10. Making your bed is a waste of time.
11. There is no good reason why clothes have to match.
12. You can’t ask to start over just because you’re losing the game.

Mommie Series Comes to Dallas

On Wednesday, September 7, you don’t want to miss a quarterly series coming to Dallas called The Mommie Series! It will be held at Gallery Interiors from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is an educational event about family, health, finance and fashion! It is about helping all moms in every which way possible but I think most of all it is about us, women, helping our self to be better women for our family and most of all our self. This event is NOT only for mothers. What woman is not curious to learn more how to take better care of your finance and personal growth? At this inaugural gathering, Patty Miller, Holly Pellham Davis, Shannon Harris and Misti Pace-Krahl, founder of The Mommie Series and owner of Misti Style, will be enlightening the crowd.

Pace-Krahl’s goal is to create a place where women can swap information and listen to speakers address subjects ranging from family, health and finance to – what else in Dallas? – fashion. This is going to be a great event because you will learn how to handle all the things in life that comes at you and look fabulous while doing it. Also, the swag bags is pretty awesome.

Register here to attend! Click here to find our more information on The Mommie Series – Dallas.

I hope to see you there!

Love is Louder

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Honestly, this is so far off the mark. Personally, I’d rather have broken bones. It will immediately hurt, but eventually, the bruises would go away and the bones will heal, but words are not the same. They resonate in your brain longer, and sometimes for a lifetime.

Intimidation, harassment, threats, abuse. Bullying among children has reached epidemic proportions, and it’s taking a heavy toll on our kids. Unfortunately bullying is prevalent in all spheres of life even as adults.With the advent of the Internet, the anonymity offered by blog comments, chat rooms and message boards, it’s easier than ever to not only disagree with someone, but hound them endlessly and unfairly about it.

It’s crazy and unnecessary, and it’s got to stop. We need to stand up for each other and appreciate our differences. It starts at home. As parents, we need to be encouraging our kids to be themselves. We should not live vicariously through them or pressure them to do things that we have done. There is enough stress on children in the “outside world” that we must provide a safe haven at home. As adults, we should also be “slow to speak and slow to anger.” Think before your tweet…and update your status or comment on someone’s blog.

Started by Brittany Snow, The Jed Foundation and MTV, Love is Louder is a social media movement in response to teenage suicides that strives to encourage love and empowerment to anyone who has felt mistreated or misunderstood. Watch this video by Cameron Ernst and listen to the powerful lyrics!

Remember that LOVE is louder and covers a multitude of sins!

Be a Conservationist

“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.” Theodore Roosevelt

As Texas and many other states are experiencing a severe drought and rolling brown outs, energy companies are warning us to conserve our electricity use.  But, why conserve only now? Shouldn’t we conserve energy at all times? Here are some practical tips that you as an individual can do, and hopefully spread out to the community and then our nation on doing our part to appreciate our natural resources instead of wasting them.

  1. Routinely replace or clean your air conditioner filter. According to the Department of Energy, keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%.
  2. Set the thermostat at 78-degrees or higher, especially when you are not home.
  3. Clean your lint filter before every load. A full lint compartment hampers the performance of your dryer, taking longer to fully dry the load.
  4. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use approximately 70% less energy than an incandescent bulb and last up to 7x longer.
  5. Weather-strip and caulk around windows and doors to prevent drafts. A gap of just 1/4-inch can let in as much air as a softball-size hole.
  6. Insert special foam insulation for your outlets. Electric outlets can let hot air into the house.
  7. Use the energy-saver function on your computer. Have it go into “sleep mode” after 20 minutes. You may also consider purchasing a energy saving smart surge protector like this:
  8. Use the no-heat dry option on your dishwasher. This will allow your dishes to air-dry instead of using energy. 
  9. Use ceiling fans during the summer. They’ll help keep your home a comfortable temperature, while maintaining the air conditioner at a higher thermostat setting. The fan direction should be DOWN for summer and UP for winter. Fans should be turned off when you are away from home.
  10. Keep blinds or drapes closed on sunny days to help keep the heat out.
Now through September 6, 2011, go to Brighten Online Energy Store ( and use credit voucher code: MOMPOWER to save $10 off your purchase of $50 or more for energy-efficient items.

Are You A Xenophile?

Here is a guest post that I wrote over six months ago on GenPink, but since many of you are traveling for summer vacation, I thought this post would be applicable 🙂
“What do you just call me?!” Have any of your “educated” friends ever called you a word, and you had no idea what they meant? Here is a word that I’ve been called, and my mom would be proud because I went to the dictionary, yes that big book on your shelf collecting dust or maybe even being used as a door stop, and looked it up.
Xenophile [zen-uh-fahyl, zee-nuh-] noun. A person attracted to that which is foreign, especially to foreign peoples, manners or cultures. Having traveled the world and lived in Europe, I love watching people and listen to them interact with others, especially when they look and sound different than me.  Here are ten signs you might also be a xenophile…
10. You love learning different languages like Spanish, French, Pig-Latin, etc.
9. Your favorite clothing are kimono, sari and dashiki. (BTW, you know what these items are without googling them.)
8. You are attracted to people that look and speak differently than you.
7. Your favorite restaurants are ethnic, and you order off the menu in their language.
6. You rack up more frequent flyer miles than Richard Branson.
5. You DVR Rick Steves’ Europe and fantasize that one day you will do his job.
4. You prefer BBC over CNN.
3. Your Netflix queue has more foreign films than American films.
2. Along with the Fourth of July, you also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, and you know why they are a holiday.
And the number one sign you might be a xenophile: Your iPod is full of music in other languages!

Splash into Summer Safely

School is out & the pools are open! As I’m at our neighborhood pool playing with the kids, I’m reminded of some important tips for keeping your family cool and safe this summer.

Supervision is a must! Make sure to follow the 10/20 rule while your kids are swimming. The supervising adult should be positioned to be able to scan the water every 10 seconds and reach it within 20 seconds. It’s also important to have proper flotation devices & a phone nearby. If your dropping your kids off to swim, investigate the pools rules & policies. Find out if there is a CERTIFIED life guard on duty or a pool attendent. A pool attendant is NOT certified to save lives.

If your child goes missing ALWAYS check the pool or lake FIRST. Child drowning is often silent. Many drowning accidents happen when the child has been missing less than five minutes.

Baby pools can be dangerous, too. ALWAYS drain wading pools after children are done playing. Infants can drown in just a few inches of water. It’s also important to remove all toys when you leave the baby pool because toys, balls and floats can attract children to unattended water.

May you dive into summer safely!

Almost Sleepover Party

Beside Christmas and Easter, birthdays are my favorite time to have fun dreaming up great celebrations. Since my oldest’s last birthday, she has been begging for a sleepover birthday party, so we decided to host an “Almost Sleepover.” Here’s the wording on the invitation:

You are invited to an
Almost Sleepover Party
to celebrate
 Posh Girl’s 
6th Birthday
Posh Date
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Posh Place

We started out with having everyone decorate white pillowcases with fabric markers.
While the pizza and mac-n-cheese baked, the girls made their own door handles. Then, we sang “Happy Birthday” and enjoyed cupcakes. After grabbing a fashionable ring pop, all the girls watched a movie, ate popcorn and had their nails painted. They giggled and screeched to their little hearts’ content. The guests were all picked up at 9:15 p.m. 

It was a fun party!

Equipment DOES Matter

I stumbled upon this amazing time lapse video of Milky Way. Terje Sorgjerd captures the Milky Way over El Teide, Spain’s highest mountain. There is no way you could capture these images with your smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera. This was filmed between April 4 and April 11, 2011. The individual frames were shot using a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 17mm TSE, Canon 16-35mm II, Canon 24/1.4II and Sigma 12-24mm.

Now, sit back and enjoy! It’s simply stunning and justifies why investing in quality pays off. 🙂

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.