Happy Haulidays! Books and Charity

Last year I made a list of books that I would love to win as part of Chronicle Books Happy Haulidays giveaway. This year they are holding the contest again but have improved it! They will award one blogger, one commenter, and the charity chosen by the blogger with all the books on the list. Last year my family read my list and received a few books… I included them on this years list because now I REALLY know they are great!

I love Chronicle Books they are an innovative book publisher that really gives a voice to some really creative and environmentally conscious people. You probably have seen some of their fabulous books at Antropolgie. They are probably my favorite publisher.

The charity I chose if I win is St. Philips Academy in Newark, NJ. Their mission is to educate children grades 5-8 to create a love of learning, an intellectual curiosity, and a sense of duty to the community that will enable them to make thoughtful and morally informed decisions throughout their lives. They have a fantastic EcoSPACES program including a rooftop garden and innovative school lunch approach. Their library would benefit from $500 worth of books. If you just want to donate to this great school click here.

Green and Health Interest:

Fed Up with Lunch $22.95 When an anonymous teacher ate the actual school lunch at her school one day she launched a blog that inspired the country and this book.

Penny Saving Household Helper $12.95 In this economy we can all use tips on how to save money. Many of the tips in this book also help you live a “greener” life so the book has two great purposes!

1,001 Ways to Save the Earth $9.95 Do I even need to say anything.

Farm Together Now $27.50 More and more people are thinking about the food they buy and what they can grow themselves this book looks at this issue in detail. It is described as “Part oral history and part treatise on food politics, this fascinating project is an introduction to the many individuals who are producing sustainable food, challenging public policy, and developing community organizing efforts.”

A Force for Nature $24.95 Memoir by John H. Adams, founder of  Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). I have a ton of respect the work of NRDC and this book will tell the interesting story of how they because the organization that they have become today.

Coffee Table Book:

Creature $60.00 This is a visually beautiful book that would look great on anyones coffee table. Photographer Andrew Zuckerman’s takes amazing pictures of animals from around the world. There are 175 wild creatures including two of my favorites baby leopards and bears. Photography buffs and animal lovers will love this book.


Chicken and Egg $24.95 I am fascinated by homesteading. I have written yet not published yet a bunch of blog posts about it. This book tells you how to do it from beginning to the recipes for the dinner table!

Fast, Fresh & Green $24.95 I am not a vegetarian as I state in my “about” and people email me about all the time… but we all need to eat more vegetables both for the environment and our health this book will help us do that. There are more than 100 recipes for appetizers, snacks, entrees, and side dishes, many of them vegan, make Fast, Fresh & Green an excellent resource for vegetarians and omnivores.

The Commonsense Kitchen $35.00 This book is hard to explain but awesome… I will let Chronicle Books description say it all: The Commonsense Kitchen… comes from an unusual source: one of the toughest colleges to get into in the United States, Deep Springs is an organic farm, school, and working cattle ranch in the high desert of the Sierra Nevada. This general cookbook has more than 500 recipes for delicious, honest staples and sassy regional specialties… this book features amazing food as well as lessons in life skills, from the proper way to wash dishes to how to make homemade soap. Ideal for anyone regardless of where they live.

From Seed to Skillet $30.00 This book combines how to plan and grow a garden with recipes. With this essential garden manual, home gardeners can learn how easy it is to plan a garden, design and construct growing beds, tend the crop without using harmful chemicals, harvest gorgeous vegetables, and cook a delicious feast using Jimmy’s favorite family recipes.

Love in Spoonfuls $19.95 I made my daughters baby food and will start making my newborn sons baby food in a few months so this book will help add to my collection of recipes. This is one of many books I could recommend to a new parent or someone who just wants to start making homemade food for their children. I am convinced that making your own baby food helps make good eaters and healthy children… a perfect gift for a new parent.

Simply Organic $24.95 I wrote a post about how much I love this book. Not to sounds like a movie trailers but “if you only buy one cookbook this holiday season make it this one!” I received this book as a gift last year after writing the post and I LOVE it!


NRDC: Simple Steps Deck $14.95 I LOVE deck of cards with tips of things to do. Great gifts for people who want to make a change in their life, these beginner steps can help the person along.


Handmade Weddings $24.95 With the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s who is not thinking about weddings. For those of us without the Queens money this book helps us make personal weddings that are handmade. There are pictures and step by step directions.

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas $24.95 The holiday season is filled with waste… Thankfully there is a book that can give us some ideas of we can do to make the season less wasteful, and more meaningful and healthy.

The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping $18.95 I wish I could have a personal shopper go out with me and teach me how to “do” vintage shopping but this book is the affordable way for me to learn!


Twist it Up: $19.99 Written by a 12 year old chef who watched the Food Network while he battled Leukemia. Inspiring story and a great cookbook that even the kids will enjoy.

Create Your Own Planet $14.95 Create a world unlike any other with this one-of-a-kind jumbo coloring book. Best-selling illustrator and author Todd Parr takes kids on a quirky, inspiring journey through a planet they create. With the help of stickers and wacky drawings, kids will design out-of-this-world houses, bicycles, animals, pizzas, birthday cakes, and even underwear! Guaranteed to keep kids occupied for hours!

Heroes of the environmentt $16.95 If I win the contest I am going to give this book to a local school to help inspire a new generation of kids. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

Simple Steps Toward a Healthier Earth $12.99 This one-of-a-kind activity book encourages kids to reduce waste and make their homes, schools, and neighborhoods more environmentally friendly. It’s packed with plenty of in-book and out-of-book activities and 2 pages of stickers. Kids will have a blast while they develop an understanding of local and worldwide environmental challenges.

Architecture and Design:

Sustainable Design $24.95 Written for students and practitioners in the fields of architecture and interior design, this book gives a concise overview of all the techniques available for reducing the energy footprint of structures and spaces. With clear, simple language and a practical “can do” approach. It is fascinating what architects and designers can do to make a long-lasting change in our environment.


All My Friends Are Dead $9.95 This book is a humors look at everyday situations or things you simply never really thought about from a humorous but real perspective.

Honorable Mention: Terra Incognita Limited Edition beautiful pictures of our wonderful world. I could not include it in the list because it cost $400 but is worth every penny.

So leave a comment below for your chance to win this list (you have until December 2nd to enter). You can say whatever you want, what book you most want from the list, if you liked the charity I chose….etc. I must have your email address (but it will not show in your post). 

If you just cannot wait to win and want to order these books or any other great Chronicle Books get 35% off and free shipping when you use the code: Friends


Children’s Book Recommendation: The Lorax

‎”UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – The Lorax

I think it is common knowledge that The Lorax by Dr. Suess is a great book to teach your kids about the environment but have you read it? To be honest I recently purchased it for my 2-year-old daughter having not read it in so I long it did not know if it was going to go over her head, mostly because I did not remember what it said at all. While the book is appropriate for all ages it is a book a young child can understand on its simplest terms. It is also amazing as an adult to read it and see wisdom Dr. Suess had long before the environment was a huge topic.

The book was originally written in 1971. It could easily describe our world today perfectly. The Truffla Tree provides the material needed for Sneed, “something everyone needs.” The Lorax comes to the business man in the book and tells him he speaks for the trees and no one needs a Sneed. But of course the consumers in the book want Sneeds as fast as he can make them and he kills all the Truffla Trees and eventually forces the birds, bears, and fish to leave from the pollution his production has caused. My daughter seems to pay the most attention to when the last Truffla Tree is chopped down, probably because it is pink (her declared favorite color).

The book goes beyond the message of excess and pollution. It also shows that no matter what only YOU can change it. At the end of he book when the business man gives the last seed of Truffla Tree out he hopes that things can go back to the way they were. I think it is a great lesson to show kids that they have the power to change things. As a parent of a 2-year-old though I cannot wait for her to help fix it, I have to do my part now.

“Plant a new Truffla. Give it clean water. Give it fresh air. Grow a forest and protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and his friends may come back.”

the lorax Pictures, Images and Photos

The Lorax can be found everywhere but you can buy it from Amazon by clicking The Lorax (Classic Seuss). I highly recommend this book be in every kids library.

Also for older kids you can to The Lorax Project website which educates kids about the environment and gives them interactive tools to learn more.

Holiday Gift Wish List: 2010 Edition

There are lots of gift guides out there but there are three holiday wish/ recommendation lists out today that you have to check out Cupcakes and Cutlery, Hank and Hunt, and of course this one.

Our lists are different they blog about how to have awesome parties and fun crafts. This list will give you some green gift ideas… some are for the beginner greenie and other are for those who have been on the green path for a long time, some are things I have while other items are things I want… really want!

The perfect gift for kids: A modern and green Dollhouse. I want to get this dollhouse for my daughter mostly because I love it. This is the Brinca Dada Bennett townhouse. First it is not plastic, that is always great but this is like a LEED certified type of dollhouse The townhouse features a two-story living room, elevator, roof top pool and glass rail balconies in both the master bedroom and children’s bedroom. Solar-powered LED lights make for play by sun or moon. And Bennett House is made of CARB-certified woods and non-toxic, lead-free paints and stains, so it is easy on the environment.

For cooks: the best gift is a gift pack of grass feed beef from LaCense beef and some great barbecue tools. I love LaCense beef, it tastes great and more natural than anything you have ever had before… A true foodie would appreciate it. If you really want to turn up the green meter for a gift for a cook get them a solar oven! I have told my husband that I really want to get one and he laughs at me EVERY time. But think about it in the heat of the summer the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on in your house.

energy-wise landscape design
For the Gardener or New Homeowner: the book Energywise Landscape by Sue Reed is perfect for the experienced gardener and the beginner. It is amazing how many things you can do to make your landscape energy efficient. The book is laid out in a way that explains how things work. The book also offers you many different options to achieve the same thing.
Complimentary gifts: gardening tools, gift certificate to the local nursery, rain barrel (so they can collect the rain water to water their new landscape), or even better some of your time in the early Spring to help them do the work!

For EVERYONE: an iPad. I wrote an entire post on how green the iPad is and I stand by it. Oprah just gave them to everyone too. I have used signficantly less paper by canceling my newspaper subscription, renewing my magazine subscriptions as digital subscriptions, and purchasing my books through the countless e-reader apps you can download including Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple’s iBook (still not sure which one I like the best).
Complementary gifts: an iTunes gift card for apps, a cover (everyone makes them you can find them anywhere but I prefer the Apple cover for mine)

And for my final WISH LIST item… the Chevy Volt!

Really I mean what want to be environmentalist would not want this car. It is cooler looking than the Prius for one and it is the Motor Trend Car of the year (ok, that is not really a reason for me but….) and it completely electric. To be honest I have no idea how I would plug it in, my 120 plus year old house hardly has enough plugs for my computer, blackberry and iPad forget about a CAR but I want one… I really do. They start at $41,000 so I think I will have to be a really good girl for Santa, my husband and everyone I ever met for them to chip in to buy this for me. I wish I had a million readers and Chevy gave me one to drive and blog about my experince. Anyone out there at Chevy reading this contact me.  Complimentary gifts: extension cord and cool bumper stickers.

Bonus: I also created a whole list of awesome Chronicle Book, check out the list and leave a comment for a chance to win every book on the list as part of the Happy Haulidays giveaway.

Hope everyone has a great holiday and that shopping for your gifts are fun… try not to wrap your gifts, put your gifts in a canvas bag your family and friends can re-use… The Volt won’t fit in a bag though?! Hmmm?

Want to follow some cool people on Twitter and Facebook… here are the details on my fellow bloggers:

Cupcakes and Cutlery: @cupcakescutlery and facebook like Cupcakes and Cutlery

Hank and Hunt: @hankandhunt

Green4u: @greenforu and Facebook like me Green4u

Photo credits: Town House from Brinca Dada, Energy Wise Landscaping from Sue Reed, iPad from Apple, Chevy Volt from keesta.com and Chevy