Tag Archives: Free

How can you make the world around you dance?

This 9-year-old boy, known online through his Kid President videos, is a hero in so many ways by encouraging adults and kids alike.  Here’s the back-story about this amazing kid, his family, and why his focus is on playing and having fun:


The question he asks is “What will you create today to make the world more awesome?”

The Freecycle Network: Get rid of stuff you don’t want…pick up stuff you DO want

something you might find on freecycleWhen we were kids we lived in a rural area where my dad used to take regular dump runs to throw out our trash. We kids sometimes would go along for the ride and help dad toss stuff from the back of the truck into the heaping pile of steaming garbage, and occasionally drag new junk home in it’s place (much to mom’s disapproval).  Well, the Freecycle Network is a present day version of dump recycling – except it’s much cleaner and you dig through a computer site instead of a junk pile.  The Freecycle Network is a world-wide phenomenon where people give away stuff – stuff they don’t need/want/use, or they otherwise might throw away – and other people who want it come pick it up.  This recycling allows less Continue reading

Water-producing billboard

The city of Lima Peru doesn’t get much rainfall, but they can get humidity as high as 98%.  The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) has partnered with advertising agency Mayo-Draft FCB to create a novel way for residents to not only get unpolluted drinking water (their local wells are often polluted), but also to show prospective students that they could make the world a better place by becoming an engineer. The billboard catches humidity in the air and turns it into filtered drinking water, and is capable of producing 96 liters (over 25 gallons) of water every day for the locals or travelers needing a drink.  This video outlines the project:

Thanks to Gizmag for this story.

Kindness creates kindness

RedprimroseToday was a beautiful Spring Day. Cleared out the front veggie bed and planted peas. A lot of people were out walking and visiting. A neighbor named Maria who I’ve never met asked me about my Bloody Dock, so I rattled off about it. She said “I think it’s so pretty – I had one and someone stole it!” So I offered her a healthy one of mine (they self-seed). She said she was going shopping and would pick it up on the way home. When she stopped by she had a red Primrose plant she gave me in trade! How nice was that? I put the plant in my garden and gave her the pot back so she could take her new Bloody Dock plant home with her. I think I have a new friend:)

Free personality test and other tools for dream building

Went to a meet-up for intuitive-based-personalities this past Thursday, and it was GREAT! The talk was on practical tools for dream building using intellectual and spiritual platforms.  We also listened to a pre-recorded talk by Dr. Joe Dispenza discussing the science behind ones thoughts creating ones life.

The meet-up organizers Michael and Jennifer suggested a free personality test at Human Metrics that is similar to the Meyers-Briggs test. I’m an INFJ. If you’ve never taken this little quiz, it might help answer some questions for you, pinpoint your strengths, as well as help you not beat yourself up about what you perceive as your weaknesses.

Pruning service and free wood chips for your yard!

Tree pruningWe needed a tree-size camellia bush pruned so called Jim Meyers of Hedgehog Tree Care. We had a specific goal:  to give the fruit trees on either side of the overgrown Camellia bush room to grow…while keeping the bush’s screening capabilities of the massive apartment behind us. To the left you can see him making some major pruning of our HUGE bush.

Driveway full of woodchipsJim loves his job and did great work, plus dumped a load of wood chips in our driveway.  After 2 days of shoveling and hauling we and our chickens are no longer walking in backyard mud.   Instead, we’ve recycled a waste woodchip product into an eco-friendly ground cover that will slowly decompose. Landscaping companies have to drive and pay for disposal of their Continue reading

80’s sweater dress re-visited

80's knitdressI wanted a warm sweater dress, but it seemed the only ones I could find were either hundreds of dollars, or so flimsy and skintight I’d look like a sausage.  So when I found an authentic 1980’s shoulder padded classic long sleeve black sweater knit dress at a free swap, I snapped it up.  It was a size XL, so I removed the shoulder pads, removed the sleeves, cut down the sleeve width, cut down the dress width, and cut down the shoulder width.  I also thinned the full bib of white beads across the front to form more of Continue reading

If you’re feeling deprived, give something away

Occasionally I feel deprived.  Maybe I don’t have the money to buy that new dress or I can’t have a piece of cake.  One of my best cures for feeling deprived is to take inventory of what I’ve got, and to give away what I no longer need, i.e. share some of my ‘unused’ abundance.

For example, if you’ve got 4 coats (your trench, down parka, and running jacket that you actually wear…plus the fur coat your mother-in-law gave you that you’ve never worn and doesn’t even fit) then GIVE away the fur coat to someone who will appreciate it.  You can freecycle it, sell it at a consignment shop, or bring it to a Free Swap.  Selling it might make you a little money, but giving it away is uplifting and empowering spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

When you find and give something away that you no longer need, you realize how much ABUNDANCE you have.  Something as simple as Continue reading

How grandparents can grow to relate to teen grandchildren

crazyclownGrandparents love grandkids.  They carry around photos of grandbabies for bragging rights.  But what happens when those grandchildren grow up to be teenagers?  How to keep the relationship fresh between grandparents and grandkids? Continue reading

Drowning in household clutter

I enjoy a serene living space.  But sometimes I’ve found myself in a cluttered living space not knowing how I got there, or how to get out.    Several years ago when I was a young mom I discovered a website called Flylady.  It was a ‘how to clean out your clutter’ site, and was based on the simple premise of starting out by keeping your kitchen sink clean.  Which sounds simple enough, but when you’re self-employed at home and you’ve got small children, there didn’t seem to be time to eat, clean up, do voice work, enjoy your kids AND keep the sink clean. Ours was the house that looked like it had blown up inside, with couch cushions on the floor as forts, snacks (on little plates if I was lucky) on the floor between Lego projects and Thomas train tracks in various configurations.

The kids had a GREAT childhood.  Good food was eaten by all (eventually).  Clients were overjoyed with our fast turn-around and professional voice work.  But clutter?  Yeah, that’s where things got backed up.

Back to Flylady.  It said that if you start with Continue reading

Nordstrom: socially responsible customer service, wrapped up in fashion

NordstromWhere can you get your make-up done for free, have a personal shopper scour the store for just the items you want, eat a healthy meal, and find clothes that fit (or have them altered so they do)?  For a pampering experience in fashion, I think of Nordstrom.  Nordstrom is a regionally owned socially responsible company that caters to what the Northwest views as upscale casual.  Their products are a good price for quality.  But the real treat comes in the customer service extras they offer.

Personal shoppers will take your size and tastes and find you things to try on.  So if you’re in a rush, or if you hate shopping, they’ll basically do the legwork for you.  In the lingerie department Continue reading

A dad’s gift lives on in his son

Tony Tolbert’s dad gave others a hand up – Tony always remembers someone in the guest bedroom who needed a place to stay.  So when Tony became a man and saw families struggling with homelessness, he called up a homeless shelter and asked if there was a homeless family who’d like to live in his fully furnished home, rent free, for a year.

The mother of 5 who was chosen was in tears.  She’d been able to bring her smaller children with her into the shelter, but not her teen son.  So not only were they homeless, but they were separated as a family.  Tony Tolbert’s Continue reading

Taking a nap: an answer to many problems (and it just feels nice)

NapsSometimes you just need a nap.  Or a good book and then a nap.  Or being with a good friend on a sunny day outside with a good book then a nap. Naps are relaxing.  You know you feel comfortable with a friend when you can take a nap together.

Also, when the rest of the world seems to be going crazy is a good time for a nap.  Sometimes a person can get so tired/frustrated that they aren’t able to think straight or make good decisions – a nap would be appropriate during these times as well.  Adults need naps.  College students need naps.  Why are naps only seen as a necessity for young children? (Maybe the kids should stay up and play and the parent(s) should take the nap?)

Tapping into better health: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

I recently discovered a simple, free, do-it-yourself way to help relieve stress.  It’s called Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT and I learned about it in a book and then searched for more information online.  EFT is a powerful self-help method based on research showing that emotional trauma contributes greatly to disease. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories, fear, and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, the body can often rebalance itself, and accelerate physical healing. EFT uses elements of Cognitive Therapy and Exposure Therapy, and combines them with Acupressure, in the form of fingertip tapping on acupuncture points. Over 20 clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical and psychology journals have demonstrated that EFT is effective for phobias, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and Continue reading

Bare Bones Budget: budgeting time, money, and more when under stress

We are gainfully self-employed now, but when my husband and I both lost our full time jobs back in the 1990‘s we were rather stressed.  So we revamped the way we looked at our work/business/home life.  One of the things we did was come up with what we call our Bare Bones Budget.  This isn’t just about budgeting money, but also budgeting/balancing time and the enjoyment of life.  So for those who are looking for a different approach when under stress (besides doom and panic), here’s what helped us – and we continue to follow today.

The Bare Bones Budget Mantra Continue reading

Finding your unique personal fashion “style”

How do you find your personal style? What happens if you HATE shopping, or crowds just aren’t your thing?  Cindy Joseph, fashion model and founder of Boom! Natural make-up, gives a folksy 8 minute video about finding your personal style here http://www.boombycindyjoseph.com/blog/?p=492.   I like Cindy’s natural approach, and that she’s sharing a template we can personalize, not a one-size-fits-all, flash-in-the-pan trendy approach.  (Too may hyphens…)

David Cohen – Small Business Big Ideas

David Cohen is an enthusiastic guy who supports small business.  And he puts his money where his mouth is, through his Small Business Big Ideas family of services, including free resources and support on his website, a free newsletter, providing business coaching, consulting, training, and more.   Plus, David has a radio show where he interviews small business owners.

For the Small Business Big Ideas radio show, David can interview in studio or Continue reading

Free pet snails are low maintenance

If you’re looking for free and easy pets, check the yard.  A few years ago my daughter found these large and colorful snails in our garden.  We had a glass fish bowl laying around, which my daughter cleaned every week, putting in fresh grass, leaves, and sticks from outside.

These photos were taken without the cheesecloth cover rubber-banded on top.  You’ll need to have a breathable covering on top so your pets don’t crawl out and become escargo for other animals in Continue reading

“Farm My Yard” connects home-owners with urban farmers

Maybe you’re a homeowner with a brown thumb and no interest in doing anything with your yard.  Or maybe you want a garden, but just don’t have the time/skills/energy/patience.  Or maybe you’re elderly, a busy executive, disabled, or a parent of small children who wants access to fresh organic garden food but the expense or effort is just too much.  Wouldn’t it be great if some green thumb gardener would come, do all the work of putting in a garden or edible food forest in your yard…and then you could have some of it for free?  Well, that’s the premise behind Albert Kaufman’s idea, Farm My Yard.

Maybe you’ve got a green thumb and want a garden, but it seems the few community garden plots available are always in use, or too expensive, or too far away from where you live.  Maybe you live in an apartment, or your own yard is too shady for the heirloom tomatoes you want Continue reading

What does a free swap look like?

Here’s  three TV shows and videos that feature Free Swapping, how it helps the environment, is fun, and is making a positive difference:

The first video is a segment from KATU TV’s Go Green Series,  where you can see women enjoying a Free Clothing Swap and get an idea how they work. This was filmed and produced by Bryon Garvin.

The second video shows the fun of a  free December Holiday Gift and Toy Swap .  You’ll notice Continue reading