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Thrifty & Green



BEST Affordable

Beach Vacations

Learn the Dangers of Lead Paint Protect your family by getting the latest information on lead poisoning. It is the illness that most affects children today.

Goji Berry Shakes Find out what all the fuss is about goji berries from chef and cookbook author Dreena Burton.

Page 32

Ditch the Lawn mower and get a Reel one. Page 44

JUN / JUL 2012

10% off Energy


June / July 2012

Star Appliances


June / July 2012


june / july

RECIPES 21 GOJI Berry Shake 26 3-Bean Vegan Salad 28 Easy Strawberry Lemonade 30 Jam Dot Cookies 31 Grilled Salmon w/ Rosemary






What’s in your Deodorant? A list of toxins found in something you use daily.


5 Thrifty & Green Apps We take a look at five mobile apps to help you save money and the earth. If your Gonna Juice... Learn about how to get the best nutrients + cleansing from your juicing regimine. Green Cleaning Party Host a green cleaning workshop. Have fun while educating those around you about toxins in common house cleaners. The Dangers of Lead Paint Get the latest reports on one of the largest illnesses affecting kids today. 4


June / July 2012

If your Gonna Juice... Chef and Nutritionist Marni Wasserman shares the importance of juicing with organic produce. She also discusses the pros and cons of juice cleanse diets and the different results that can be achieved.


june / july 36

Lovers Diary 42 Dirt June in the garden and natural remedies for pests, pests, pests with expert Ken Druse.

Dangers of Lead Paint How lead paint affects buyers, sellers and homeowners. Especially those with children. Lead poisoning is the leading disease affecting kids today.

Ditch the Lawn mow-

44 er and get a Reel One Check out how they used to mow lawns. Better for you body and the earth.



7 Best Affordable Beach Vacations Our team shares our best frugal finds with green in mind. We have urban, we got camping, we got cabins and more. Find out some of the best affordable spots to spend time waterside, and be sure to share yours too.

FAMILY 7 Best Affordable Beach Vacations Have fun and stay on budget with a beach vacation at one of these breathtaking spots. SAVING MONEY Redecorate your Living Room on a Budget Frugal ideas to get your main family room in summer style without spending a lot.


Budget Summer Makeover Frugal and fun ideas to create beautiful spaces in your family or living room without spending beyond your means.

Ways to get Home 57 5Finances in Check

Simple points to insure your on budget, and saving for the future. 5


June / July 2012


editor’s letter

elcome to our First Anniversary and the Early Summer issue of Thrifty & Green!

My family and I, and everyone here at T&G are so very proud to present the 6th edition of Thrifty & Green digital magazine! Our first year has brought overwhelming response from all of you and we truly appreciate your support and feedback. We are committed to helping all of you and ourselves be more self reliant and live a higher quality of life on less money. In this issue, we take an important look at toxins in Whats in your Deodorant by Kim Daly on page 10. On page 13 we take a look at five mobile apps to help you save money and the earth. Then chef and nutritionist Marni Wasserman discusses how to best benefit from fresh juicing in If your Gonna juice... on page 18. In Food, Dreena Burton author and chef talks about the benefits of Goji Berries on page 21. At Home and in the Garden we look at how to deal with pesets in the garden with renowned author Ken Druse on page 42. Our cover feature, 7 Best Affordable Beach Vacations on page 47 was a team effort we hope affords you some fun and sun while not breaking the bank. Finally we learn how to do a Budget Summer Family Room Makeover on page 53. We also show you how to stay on point with home finances with 5 Ways to get your Home finances in Check on page 56. We truly hope you enjoy reading, as much as we did creating our little magazine. Again we appreciate your support and hopefully the information and ideas we provide help you and your family enjoy life, have greater security, health and a more abundant life on less.

Till next time,

Chris McGrath - Founder and Editor-in-Chief 6

June / July 2012

Thrifty & Green Founder & Editor

Chris McGrath

Art Director Design Lead

Beth McGrath Chris McGrath

SAVING MONEY Saving Money Writer

Natalia Tudge

Personal Finance Writer Personal Finance Writer

Dario Piana Dave Ramsey


Our publication is free in keeping with Thrifty standards, and digital only in an effort to adhere to our Green sustainable values and preserve trees. We publish 6 issues a year. Subscribe free at: CUSTOMER SERVICE

Online: LIFESTYLE Lifestyle Writer Lifestyle Writer

Lori Winter Lynn Colwell

FASHION & BEAUTY Fashion & Beauty Writers

Kimberly Daly

HOME & GARDEN Home & Garden Writer Home & Garden Writer

Pamela Pinto-Session Bobby Bushman

FOOD Food & Health Writer Food & Health Writer Food & Health Writer Food & Health Writer FAMILY Family Editor Family Writer

Marni Wasserman Lori Winter Dreena Burton Darren Haynes

Tovah Paglaro Scarlet Paolicci


For advertising solutions that reach a Thrifty & Green minded audience contact us today. Our web site and digital magazine as well as other upcoming projects, such as video webisodes and more feature many opportunities for you to build long-lasting relationships. See digital magazine rates on page 63.

Founder & CEO Chris McGrath e:

PARTNERS Ogden Publications Mother Earth Fairs Green Festivals

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT Chris McGrath Director Technology Technology Consultant Thomas P. Scola PHOTOGRAPHY Cover Photo


Syndication Partner Event Partner Event Partner

June / July 2012

Susan Burks



June / July 2012


June / July 2012

natural beauty

What’s in your Deodorant?


s far as modernday society has come with scientific developments, many bath and beauty products in the U.S. are still decades behind. This includes antiperspirants and deodorants. They were developed to prevent

stink, but the irony is that many common ingredients in these products – some of which you cannot pronounce – are just plain toxic. They can contribute to serious health consequences, especially when used over time.

And let’s face it, deodorants and antiperspirants are products that we use every day, often on skin that has been freshly shaved, making it more susceptible to the absorption of chemicals. Antiperspirants are especially dangerous. According to The National Cancer Institute, aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be



June / July 2012

absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects (3). Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (3).” I have other concerns too. Your skin is your largest organ. Would you voluntarily coat your heart or your liver with toxic chemicals? I don’t think so. Then why your skin, especially that under your arm pits which is incredibly close to your lymph nodes? These small, oval-shaped organs concentrated near your

armpits play a major role in the functioning of your immune system. Unfortunately, deodorants, antiperspirants and other bath and beauty products are just not regulated. The Valley Advocate reports, “Contrary to commonly held assumptions, the FDA is not the principal agency in charge of reviewing cosmetic ingredients in the U.S. Rather, an industryfunded panel, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, regulates the safety of cosmetics.” In addition, “American standards and regulations are lax compared to those instituted by the E.U.: a mere 10 ingredients are banned from cosmetics in the U.S., compared to over 1,100 known or suspected carcinogens, endocrinedisrupters and mutagens outlawed on the other side of the Atlantic.” National Skincare Authority has compiled what they believe are the Top 10 most common toxins in deodorants: 1. ALCOHOL DENATURED Known or suspected teratogen (Birth defects). 2. EUGENOL Immune toxicant. 3. BHT Immune toxicant.


4. TRIETHANOLAMINE Possible human carcinogen. 5. PARABENS Reproductive system toxicity. 6. ETHANOLAMINE Known human carcinogen. 7. PROPYLENE GLYCOL Immune toxicant. 8. LACTIC ACID Immune toxicant. 9. FRAGRANCE Immune toxicant. 10. DISODIUM EDTA Penetration enhancer. So what can can you do? For starters, avoid products with the above ingredients. The best non-biased source of information that I have found is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Safety Database, an online guide for over 69,000 cosmetics and personal care products. According to EWG, they launched Skin Deep in 2004 to “help people find safer products, with fewer ingredients that are hazardous or that haven’t been thoroughly tested.” This easy-to-navigate database provides each product a safety rating of 0-10; the lower the number, the safer the product. Spend just a few minutes

June / July 2012

what’s in your deodorant? and search for your current antiperspirant or deodorant to discover how safe it really is. If necessary, search out an alternative. Ultimately, opt for a product rated 0-2 (with color code green). Traditional brands like Secret, Dove, and Degree range from 2-6. Natural name brands like Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees, range from 0-4. I was surprised that some so-called “natural” brands reach as high as 5 and 6, illustrating just how important it is to research before you buy (green-washing, anyone?).

Kim Daly, a.k.a. SoulMomma, lives and blogs in the Denver area. When not enjoying the outdoors with her husband, two dogs and one sassy red-head, she encourages others to eat real food and live a greener, healthier lifestyle. Nourish your body, your soul, and the planet. For more of her work visit her blog The Soulicious Life.

For instance, I was shocked that the Crystal Brand RollOn I bought (chamomile and green tea) ranked a 3. Believe it or not, the scent makes a big difference; had I chosen the pomegranate version, I would have gotten a 0! You can also opt for brands that are pure mineral salts. These come in a hard stick form that you simply wet before running over your pits. They work just fine for me until I work up a serious sweat, but let’s face it, you’re supposed to stink a little after a good workout!


June / July 2012

5 Mobile Apps to help You be more Thrifty and Green get a bigger picture of the amounts of energy you are using your personal data can be compared to global averages.

3. Carticipate

Photo courtesy of:

1. Good Guide

We are all well versed in fair-trade and most of us can spot a Divine chocolate bar from a hundred paces. But how can we be sure that the other products we purchase are ethical? Scan the barcodes of 120,000 products with this app and you will be able to analyse a product in terms of your own eco criteria such as energy efficiency, climate change, nutritional information, social responsibility and much more.

2. Zero Carbon

Our carbon footprint can seem like a bit of an existential concept, we know it’s out there, we know it’s getting bigger, but it can feel impossible to do anything about it. This handy app analyses your day to day comings and goings before letting you know how much you generate in carbon emissions each day. It also gives advice on how you can change your habits to reduce your carbon footprint. To

Reduce your fuel consumption and carbon emissions in one foul swoop with this app. Carticipate opens up a social network where you can find other users who are taking similar journey. It also allows you to offer ride shares and car-pooling by uploading your destination and sharing this information with local users.

4. Green Metre

Another handy vehicle app, Green Metre measures your driving style, fuel consumption and mileage over a set period of time. The app also lets you know if you are using the throttle too much and enables you to maintain constant speeds, so that you aren’t constantly filling up your petrol tank with expensive fuel.


June / July 2012

living green

5. Green Genie

You’ve installed solar panels in your home and done everything in your power to ensure your lifestyle is as sustainable as possible – so what’s next? This app is the next natural step and gives you handy hints on a multitude of ways to decrease your impact on the environment. Users can also submit their own eco-friendly ideas and the app comes with a recommended reading list for sustainability – perfect for the ecoconscious warrior. Andrea Simm is a writer for the Energy Helpline, an energy price comparison website. You can use to compare energy prices and explore switching to a greener energy provider; saving the planet and your wallet in one - thrifty and green.

Marth Stewart Pets Pique Sleeveless Crab Polo


June / July 2012



June / July 2012

Books for

Summer Beautiful and Abundant, Building the World we Want Bryan Welch (Author) List Price: $22.05 (paperback) | $9.99 (Amazon Kindle) This groundbreaking book cuts through the pessimism and denial that pervade today’s discussions of sustainability and invites readers to visualize a verdant and prosperous future for humanity and all the living things that share our planet. As a practical guide, it offers a process for making our current lifestyles more sustainable and inspires us to look beyond the immediate obstacles to nurture the “destination fixation” that stimulates all humanity’s greatest achievements.

The Urban Homestead Kelly Koyne + Eric Knutzen (Authors) List Price:

$12.21 (paperback) | $7.21 (Amazon Kindle)

This celebrated, essential handbook shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started homesteading immediately. The Urban Homestead is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self sufficiency topics.


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books for summer Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations Ken Druse (Author) List Price: $26.40 (hardcover) | $16.99 (Amazon Kindle) In Natural Companions, acclaimed garden writer and T&G Blogger, Ken Druse, presents recipes for perfect plant pairings using diverse species that look great together and bloom at the same time. Organized by theme within seasons, topics include color, fragrance, foliage, grasses, edible flowers and much more, all presented in photographs of gardens that show planted combinations from a wide variety of climates and conditions. Natural Companions also features more than one hundred special botanical images of amazing depth and color created in collaboration with artist Ellen Hoverkamp using modern digital technology.

The Art of Tent Camping Russ Steffy (Author) List Price:

$19.95 (paperback) | $6.95 (Amazon Kindle)

Featuring 375 color photos and 80 full-color detailed maps—more than any other park guidebook—this is the most comprehensive, up-to-the-minute book of its kind on the market today. A perennial favorite with more than a million copies sold in previous editions, it reflects National Geographic’s century-long association with America’s national parks system and its peerless reputation for travel expertise and cartographic excellence.


June / July 2012

If D

food & health

your gonna


rink this up first thing in the morning or midday for a refreshing boost of energy! Make it organic! Or else you may as well not drink juice at all.

When you juice conventional vegetables you are likely absorbing all the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or genetically modified organism (GMO) stored in them. Because juices are so concentrated your body will soak up those chemicals immediately. Especially if you are doing a cleanse, this is crucial! I know you may be thinking, isn’t just drinking juice in general better than no juice at all? Well, there is something to be said about that, as it’s better than most people are drinking daily (soda, sugared coffees and pasteurized juice). However if you are making the effort to enhance your health, then you may as well go the full length and do it right!

out the day. Juicing allows you to obtain all of the beneficial nutrients in a quick and timely fashion. •

Juicing helps to broaden your intake of various fruits and vegetables. It is easy to stick to the same fruits and vegetables day in and day out. But it is important to rotate your intake of various foods to get the full spectrum of nutrients

It helps to improve your health and sustain a nutritious raw lifestyle. Eating a high percentage of raw fruits and vegetables contributes to high energy levels and faster recovery from illness…as well as a slower aging process

If you’re not sold on juicing yet, here are some of the main benefits… It helps your body absorb the nutrients from the vegetables/fruits. Many individuals have difficulty digesting certain foods. As a result, the body doesn’t absorb all of the nutrients that the food provides. Juicing helps to “pre digest” the food for you, making it easier for your body to receive and absorb all of the nutrients. •

Juicing helps you increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Many individuals do not get enough fruits and vegetables throughWRITER MARNI WASSERMAN


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Vegan Chef, Nutritionist, and Author Marni Wasserman 19

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food & health •

You are able to obtain all of the beneficial enzymes found in the produce, which is important for metabolism.

The body receives a sufficient amount of phytochemicals, which help it to fight disease.

Juicing provides the body with a high concentration of antioxidants, which help to combat free radicals.

They are rich in vitamins and minerals and help to hydrate the body

Juicing is a live liquid supplementation. Greater benefits than taking synthetic supplementation.

There are lots of options when it comes to juice, play with different combinations!

To learn how and what to juice, join me at my Raw Essentials workshop or my Liquid Nutrition class this summer. Problems with buying store bought juices: •

Juice in bottles is often pasteurized. This means it is heated to at least 145*F/62*C to make it shelf stable, thus deactivating the beneficial enzymes;

Plastic packaging contains “leachables” or some sort of chemical component that ends up in the juice;

Plastic is harmful to the environment as it contributes to pollution, affects wildlife, and ultimately ends up in the food chain;

Juice Delivery Cleanses

In terms of juice delivery services, you need to ask yourself a few questions. How fresh is the juice? Are these companies adding in any preservatives to make the juice last longer? Are they using completely organic ingredients? Storing the juice in plastic bottles? It is hard to know. That is why it is best to juice your own fruits and vegetables. If you can’t get 20

organic produce, wash thoroughly with a vegetable wash, peel and avoid anything that is known to be heavily sprayed (strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers , etc.) or cannot be peeled (like berries). Depending on your budget there is a wide range of juicers to choose from. However, one company in Toronto in particular is just quite a few steps above the rest and that’s Belmonte Raw. The owner, and my friend, Carol Belmont, strictly adheres to healthy, organic and environmentally friendly principles. I will be doing her 5 day juice cleanse next week. So if anyone wants to join me and share their experience on Facebook or Twitter (@marniwasserman), or if you’ve already done one, please share your experience! Marni Wasserman is a Culinary Nutrtionist and Chef providing well rounded “delicious knowledge” to all those in need of healthy food information. Marni’s focus is stemmed around whole foods, and she is dedicated to providing individuals with a balanced lifestyle through natural plant based foods. Marni hosts cooking classes, workshops, demonstrations, and private consultations for people who believe eating consciously is one of the many great things in life. For more information, visit

June / July 2012

Goji Berry Shake

healthy breakfast

Photo credit:

INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla almond milk (I really like almond milk and/or hemp milk in this smoothie, but you can use another nondairy milk if preferred) 1/2 cup water (or more non-dairy milk) 1 1/2 cups frozen sliced banana (fairly ripe/ overripe is best) 1 cup frozen strawberries (or fresh) 1/4 cup goji berries 2 tbsp whole flax seed 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional) 21

DIRECTIONS Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and puree for a few minutes to ensure the goji berries and flax seeds are pulverized and well incorporated. Makes 2 medium-large smoothies.

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What’s the big deal about



few years ago, goji berries were pretty ‘fringe’. Now, A few years ago, goji berries were pretty ‘fringe’. Now, we are seeing them in recipes and food products, as they truly are a very nutrient-dense “super food”! How are they so special? To start, gogi berries are very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are measured by a scale called the ORACtest. The ORAC value for gogi berries is usually over 20,000 (depending on variety) – compared to 2,400 for blueberries (which are well known for their high antioxidant level)! Next, these little berries are protein-rich. They offer 18 amino acids, including the 8 essential amino acids that make up a complete protein. Yup, folks, gojis will ‘pump you up’! Goji berries are also quite rich in Vitamin A (which, among other things, is good for fighting viral infections). In fact, just 1 ounce of these berries

(that’s about 2 1/2 – 3 tbsp) will give you 140% of the RDA for Vitamin A! And, if that wasn’t enough to convince you of goji’s star power, they are also a better source of vitamin C than oranges, and deliver trace minerals including iron and zinc. These berries resemble raisins in size, but with a flattened shape and dusty pink-red color. Their texture is chewy and slightly soft (though some brands may be softer and fresher than others). Goji berries may be somewhat of an acquired taste for some – they were for me. They aren’t as sweet as other dried fruit like raisins, or other dried berries like blueberries. At first, I was underwhelmed with their flavor, and wasn’t sure if I would use them much. I

still don’t always eat them straight up, but do enjoy working them into snacks and recipes. Here are some ideas to include goji berries in your daily diet, starting with… •

blend into smoothies, especially delicious in my Strawberry Goji Smoothie (seen on previous page)

Add to cold and hot cereals mix into non-dairy yogurt

• •

sprinkle in green salads (in place of dried cranberries)

add to homemade jams and also chutneys

use in place of raisins and dried cranberries in sweet recipes like muffins, scones, quick


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breads, granola bars, and cookies and in savory dishes like pilafs, and rice, grain, and bean salads (try substituting just partially at first) •

add to your favorite trail mix (or buy trail mixes including goji berries)

use in your granola recipe in place of raisins or other dried fruit (add right at end of baking, else they will burn).

Dreena Burton is a mom of three and author of bestselling vegan cookbooks including “eat, drink & be vegan”. Visit Dreena’s new blog at

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June / July 2012

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June / July 2012

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living green

Host a Green Cleaning Party Are your household cleaners hiding something?


eal change happens at the local level. Why wait for it to come to you? Take initiative and make a difference in your community by organizing a clothing swap, block party, e-waste drive or my favourite — a green cleaning workshop!

Here’s How

Plan your event as part of an evening with friends, baby shower or a lunch n’ learn at the office. Invite your family, neighbours, friends, coworkers, the parents at your kids’ school, or the book club. Make these three green cleaning recipes which you can find by searching our website. 1. Borax-free liquid laundry soap 2. All-purpose cleaner spray 3. All-purpose cleaner scour Download a copy of my green cleaning recipes

for each participant.

Supplies • • • •

Stainless steel bowls Spatulas Measuring cups and spoons Ask each guest to bring three empty containers to reuse (glass pickle jars or plastic yogurt containers); have extras on hand

Ingredients •

Baking soda (buy in bulk)

• • • • •

Salt (buy in bulk) A box of borax (check your laundry aisle) 1 – 2 L of liquid castile soap (scented or unscented) White vinegar Warm tap water

Divide people into groups of three or four to make a big batch of each recipe they can split up to take home. Or, each individual can mix a small amount directly into a reusable jar. (For example, to make the


June / July 2012

laundry soap, add one scoop of salt and two scoops of baking soda to a 500 ml jar ¾ full of warm water, then stir. Once the solution is dissolved, top it up with liquid castile soap and voila!) Lindsay Coulter, is David Suzuki’s Queen of Green, and she is all about green living made easy, for more of Lindsay’s work visit her blog.


Vegan 3-Bean Salad Recipe + Photo By: Dreena Burton

Does this recipe sound familiar? I remember a version of it that my mom served for potlucks and “cold-plate” dinners. Variations of this salad are also sometimes found at deli counters for take-out. What is fairly constant among the adaptations is the combination of chickpeas and kidney beans in a vinegar-prominent dressing. My version uses green onions in place of raw red or white onions, a touch of natural sweetener instead of white sugar, very little (or no) oil, and the addition of raw apple to lighten up the flavors. Serves 6 as a side dish.

3 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

4 cups combination of chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans (rinse and drain first if using canned)

½ cup apple, chopped (cored first, peeling optional), and tossed in ½ tsp lemon juice

½ - ¾ cup green or red bell pepper, chopped (or combination of both) ¼ cup celery, finely chopped ½ cup green onions (mostly green portion, not as much white), sliced 26

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (keeps salad moist but is totally optional – omit for oil-free version) ½ -1 tbsp pure maple syrup ½ tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp + 1/8 tsp sea salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste

couple pinches ground cloves In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (no need to mix the vinaigrette separately), tossing well to fully mix. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper if desired.beans have absorbed some of the marinade. Be sure to toss again to redistribute any dressing lingering at the bottom of your container.

June / July 2012

Time to Bake

Le Creuset Tart Dish Durable stoneware will not wear out and is the choice of chefs the world over. shop collection

Bakeware | Cookware | Cooking Tools | Cutlery | Dinnerware | Storage | Small Appliances


June / July 2012


Strawberry Lemonade easy + healthy

Recipe + Photo By: Lori Winter


f you’ve visited the pick-your-own strawberry farms in the past few weeks, you’ve probably put away at least a few dozen quarts in the freezer. When I went, I ate at least half my weight in strawberries straight from the field. I then promptly decided I would never bother buying strawberries from the store again. They just have no flavor compared to these beauties! As far as being easy, you’ll see how ridiculously simple it is to make in a moment. And as far as being healthy, let’s take a gander at the ingredients: Lemons – Chock full of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Also helps to alkalize your body and promote better digestion. Strawberries – Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, magnesium, and fiber. They are also a low sugar fruit that even has some antiviral properties. Stevia – A no-calorie, alternative to sugar that is all-natural and a sweetener that won’t spike your


blood sugar levels. I like SweetLeaf brand for stevia powder, but the liquid stevia is generally the best way to go to avoid added ingredients.

Strawberry Lemonade INGREDIENTS 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice 6-7 frozen strawberries 3 packets stevia powder (or liquid stevia drops, to taste) 3 c. filtered water DIRECTIONS 1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!

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Photo By: Marni Wasserman


June / July 2012


Jam Dot Cookies

Recipe + Photo By: Marni Wasserman



1 cup almonds, ground to fine meal

Preheat oven to 350, line 2 baking sheets with Parchment paper.

1 cup spelt flour 1 cup rolled oats, ground to a fine meal or oat flour ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ cup melted pure coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt Strawberry or raspberry jam (fruit sweetened or no sugar added)

In separate bowl, blend oil, maple syrup, and sea salt. Add to nut mixture and stir to combine. Roll into walnut sized balls. Place on baking sheet and press down with thumb.

½ cup maple syrup


In medium bowl, combine almonds, flour, oats and cinnamon. Mix well to combine.

Fill indentation with jam and bake for 15-20 minutes.

June / July 2012


Grilled Salmon with

Rosemary Recipe by: Lynn Vea

Its hard to imagine a better summer meal than salmon on the grill. Add rosemary, even better. Of course use local and organic ingredients whenever possible.

DIRECTIONS Combine the garlic and lemon juice with the olive oil and brush generously on the fillets. Season to taste with a fresh grinding of pepper.

Grilled Salmon with Rosemary

Lay the rosemary sprigs on a hot grill and place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on top of the rosemary. Cover the grill and cook the fillets for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the salmon is done through. The rosemary will brown and lightly smoke the salmon, infusing it with a delightful herb flavor.

INGREDIENTS 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 4 6-ounce wild Alaskan salmon fillets, skin on

Remove the skin from the fish and discard it and the rosemary. Garnish salmon with fresh lemon wedges.

Freshly ground pepper 4 to 6 whole sprigs of rosemary, soaked in water for 1/2 hour 4 fresh lemon wedges 31

Do you have a favorite salmon recipe you’re willing to share? Connect with us on facebook and post your favorites, they may wind up a feature in a future issue!

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June / July 2012

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June / July 2012

home feature

Dangers of Lead Paint How Lead Paint In Homes Impacts Buyers, Sellers, and Homeowner by Trish Holder, with James Kozachek

among contractors to say the least.

For the sake of this article, I am pretending to be a 28-year-old woman expecting my first child, and shopping for a home with my husband where we plan to raise a family.

However, I’m more interested in how this new law impacts homeowners like me, especially the “pregnant” me I am pretending to be in the following conversation with James A. Kozachek, a construction law and litigation partner/owner at Bisgaier Hoff, LLC, a law firm in the greater NYC area.

It’s really not such a stretch. I have, in fact, been all of these things at one time or another, which perhaps makes me a bit more sensitive to a very controversial topic: Lead paint in homes. We all know lead is toxic – especially to small children — and that it was banned in household paint a long time ago (1978 to be exact). But what most people (at least most homeowners don’t know) is that Federal law now requires home renovation firms to be certified and trained in the use of lead-safe work practices before engaging in a project that entails the disturbance of lead painted surfaces – a high likelihood in renovations to just about any home built before 1978.

I asked James to join me in a little game of She Asked/He Said about lead paint and how this new rule impacts homeowners and home sellers. Remember, in this scenario, I’m pregnant, so I apologize in advance if my hormones get the best of me. I’m in full-on-mommy-mode, which makes me about as irritable and protective as a grizzly bear with cubs. Here goes…. Trish: James, my husband and I have found the cut-

The intention of this law is to protect occupants and the workers from the potentially harmful ingestion of lead paint particles or dust that are disturbed during the renovation process. As you might guess, some contractors are less than thrilled with this new requirement. The certification and training costs them money and the prescribed procedures create more labor and expense. It’s a controversial topic photo courtesy of:


June / July 2012

est little 3-bedroom Craftsman bungalow, circa 1972. There’s room for us, our soon-to-be-born son (I’m expecting in June!), and perhaps another little one in a couple of years or so. It’s perfect in every way – except my mother-in-law insists we shouldn’t buy an older home because it may have lead paint in it. I usually ignore her, but in this case, I am concerned. Should I be? James: Yes. One should always be concerned about the environment in which they plan to live. Any number of negative environmental conditions could exist in a home and wisdom dictates performing an adequate due diligence prior to taking title. Trish: Due diligence, huh? Geez. You are a lawyer. Translation, “Yes, this stuff could present a danger to my family, but it is up to me to investigate the dangers and determine what I want to do about it.” Sound about right?

ignore them. Trish: How do I know for sure if this house even has lead paint? What do I ask my realtor or seller? And what are they obligated to tell me before I make an offer? James: You should ask both the realtor and the seller. While the disclosure laws vary from state to state, they are generally required to tell you what they know. Often an adequate notice could be “the house was built before 1978 and as a result we are placing you on notice that it could contain lead paint.” In many jurisdictions this would be enough to satisfy the disclosure obligation and it would then be the Buyer’s burden to proceed at their own risk or perform a due diligence by testing samples to determine levels of lead. If the test results are positive for lead, agreements of sale generally enable the Buyer to declare the agreement null and void.

James: Yes. It is up to each of us to investigate and learn about a product before we buy it. Many of us read labels on groceries in the store before we buy them. While a home is a very different product than a box of pasta, it is nevertheless extremely important for us to be aware of the ingredients in both. At the same time, it is the obligation of the sellers of those products to make required disclosures (nutrition labels on groceries and disclosure statements with respect to homes). As a buyer we can choose to read those disclosures or to


June / July 2012

home & garden Trish: Is the current owner required to have the home tested for lead before putting it on the market? And if it has lead, is he or she required to remove it or remediate it before anyone moves in?

gence obligation is placed on the Buyer and the cost of investigating the home can often be reduced by requiring the Seller to provide any and all documentation and disclosures about the house prior to the Buyer’s inspections. Standard residential real estate James: No. The seller has no such obligation for resi- agreements contain due diligence or inspection dences. If, however, a prior purchaser performs such clauses that require the Seller to make the home a test and cancels the agreement based on those available for the Buyer to inspect. It is the Buyer’s results, then the Seller generally has an obligation to choice whether or not to take advantage of those disclose those test results to the next potential puropportunities. An inspection can be facilitated when chaser. Buyers should make sure they ask probing and if the Seller provides the Buyer with copies of questions of the Seller, such as whether they have all relevant documents regarding the house includpreviously tried to sell and if a prior sale fell through, ing, without limitation, surveys, permit approvals for and the reason. The Buyers should request copies of renovations, past testing and inspection reports, no all reports generated with respect to the condition of further action and clearance letters for any environthe premises, as well as any performed on the site for mental remediation (including for mold, asbestos, any potentially hazardous material (e.g. lead, mold, lead, chemical or petroleum product spills). chemicals, asbestos). Trish: What if the homeowner is cheap and just Trish: What else is the seller legally bound to diswants to get out of the house with as little expense close to me about lead in the home before I puras possible. How do I know the job was done corchase it? Do I have the right to see any test results? rectly – or if it was even done at all? James: Sellers’ lead paint disclosure obligations vary from state to state, but generally the Seller has an obligation to disclose anything that could negatively impact the Buyer’s use and enjoyment of the home. The Buyer certainly has the right to request copies of any test results. If the Seller fails to provide the results then that would generally be more than adequate grounds to terminate the agreement of sale. If the Seller suggests that there are no such test results, when there really were, then that would likely result in a fraud claim against the Seller which could result in a claim for damages and rescission of the agreement of sale.

James: A Buyer cannot be certain that the information provided by the Seller is complete. This is why the Buyer must do her own due diligence. The Buyer is, however, generally entitled to rely upon representations made by the Seller and the Realtor. If they turn out to be false, then those false representations are generally actionable.

Trish: What if I want to the owner to test the home before I bid, but he or she refuses? James: This would generally be part of a negotiation. If the Buyer wants the Seller to bear the cost of such testing as a condition precedent to entering into an agreement of sale, then they can certainly make such a demand. I doubt any Seller would be willing to do that, though. Generally the due diliphoto credit: LPD Lab Services


June / July 2012

Trish: Does any of this vary by state? James: Yes. For example, each state has its own disclosure obligations with respect to the condition of a home. Moreover, each state has different obligations with respect to the documentation that confirms that an environmental condition at a home has been satisfactorily resolved. Trish: What if the owner does nothing, we buy the house and have it tested and find out it has high levels of lead. Do we have any recourse with the owner? What are our options then? James: It depends. One important concern is the identity of the Seller. The Seller could be someone who lived in the house for decades and can be expected to know all its secrets or it can be someone or some business that never occupied the house. A bank-owned property, for instance, is in a very different situation than an owner or someone who is selling a house as an agent of an owner (especially if the owner is now an estate and the decedent is no longer available to provide information). The bank can often raise an innocent purchaser defense to a claim from a Buyer about the condition of the home. Moreover, houses can be sold “as is” which is generally an enforceable contract clause designed to shift almost all the burden to the Buyer to investigate the home. If a Buyer


finds a condition in the home that is a problem, they can try and seek relief from those involved in the transaction (e.g. the Seller, the realtor(s) and inspectors hired to inspect the home). The Buyers’ rights are based on the applicable laws (statutory and common-law) and the terms and conditions of their contract and related documents that memorialize the deal between the Buyer and the Seller. A Buyer should never underestimate the importance of the agreements they enter into with respect to a home purchase (e.g. agreement of Sale with the Seller, agreements with home inspectors, agreements with contractors and consultants). It will often shape the Buyer’s rights to seek relief if a problem is discovered at the home. It is generally far cheaper to have an attorney work with you to ensure you’ve good contracts than it is to hire an attorney to represent you in a lawsuit against a Seller, inspector, contractor or consultant. Trish: James, I talked to one contractor about all this [lead paint in homes] already – just trying to do a little research on my own. He told me not to worry. He said a kid would have to chew through a lead paint window to be adversely affected. Based on what experts really know about the health affects of lead paint, how accurate is his statement? James: This question touches on a lot of disciplines, including medical doctors trained and experienced with lead poisoning. If your contractor’s response was supposed to take all lead conditions into account, then it clearly is inadequate, because it is not just lead paint that is the issue. Sanding and scrapping lead-based painted surfaces can release lead into the air that could present a problem. Contaminated soil from an exterior renovation project could present a problem. Lead pipes could present a problem. If a contractor is performing a significant renovation project on an older home, then worrying about only paint would seem insufficient. That said, older homes with lead based paint do not need to be completely shunned. I live in a 17th/18th

June / July 2012

home & garden century home myself. The trick is to ensure that any remaining lead-based paint in the home is locked behind barriers so that it cannot be released into the living environment, whether in the form of dust, debris, chips, vapor or another contaminated medium like water or soil.

contain their work areas, minimize dust and clean up thoroughly. As the EPA recommends, a homeowner should expect their contractor to: •

Provide a copy of his or her EPA or state lead training certificate;

Obviously the best course would be to eliminate any lead all together, but the risk in that process may be significantly higher than locking it away with the proper paints and barriers, like a very good heavyduty elastomeric paint.

Tell you what lead-safe methods he or she will use to perform the job;

Be able to inform you of the lead laws that apply to your project and their certification and leadsafe work practices;

Ask you to share the results of any previously conducted lead tests;

Be ready, willing and able to provide you with references from at least three recent jobs involving homes built before 1978;

Have records to demonstrate that he or she and all their workers have been trained in lead-safe work practices and that they follow lead-safe work practices on the job.

Trish: So you can “seal” lead paint behind another non-lead based paint? James: That is certainly an option in many situations. This is a tried and true method for resolving many different environmental conditions. The goal is to ensure that the occupants do not ingest or breath-in any lead contaminated material. Renovation projects can often create a lot of dust and debris. If this dust and debris come, at least in part, from lead-based paint, you are facing a contamination issue. If you want to remove all the lead paint in a home, you can certainly do so, but to scrape it or sand it all off creates an incredible amount of contaminated dust and debris that could be a serious danger. Removing loose material and then covering the rest with an appropriate paint can often be the safer and more certain method of resolving the problem.

Similarly, lead abatement contractors must have an EPA or State Certification. The lead abatement contractor must be able to perform the following tasks: •

The removal of lead-based paint and leadcontaminated dust, the permanent enclosure or encapsulation of lead-based paint, the replacement of lead-painted surfaces or fixtures, and the removal or covering of lead contaminated soil;

All preparation, cleanup, disposal, and postabatement clearance testing activities associated with such measures;

Lead abatement does not include renovation, remodeling, landscaping or other activities, when such activities are not designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards, but, instead, are designed to repair, restore, or remodel a given structure or dwelling, even though these

Trish: What sort of credentials do I need to look for from a contractor before letting him do any work in a home that may contain lead paint? James: The credentials vary depending on the work the contractor is performing. Renovation contractors working on pre-1978 homes should be certified by the EPA and must be using certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. They must, at a minimum,


June / July 2012

James: I think this question touches on the larger issue of whether older homes or newer homes are preferred.

activities may incidentally result in a reduction or elimination of lead-based paint hazards. Furthermore, abatement does not include interim controls, operations and maintenance activities, or other measures and activities designed to temporarily, but not permanently, reduce leadbased paint hazards. It is also important for the homeowner to retain fully insured contractors. Trish: What if we buy the house and then decide we want to sell the home in a few years. What would our obligations as sellers be with regard to the lead paint or any work we remediation work we have had done? And what would our liabilities be? James: If you have had lead abatement work performed you will want to ensure that you retain the post abatement clearance letter from the contractor. A Buyer should request and a Seller would want to provide this clearance letter. As long as all is disclosed and the Seller has fully informed the Buyer of the work they had done, there should be no liability associated with the lead abatement and renovation work. Liability generally attaches to a Seller where no disclosures are made and where a Buyer claims that the Seller defrauded them by hiding the condition. Trish: Okay, now I’m wondering if the mere mention of lead or lead abatement is going to keep me from ever finding a buyer for this house should we decide to sell one day…. 41

An older home generally comes with the following advantages: (a) often better “old world” construction; (b) often larger yards; (c) often considered to have more “character” or “charm”; (d) often far more mature trees and vegetation surrounding the home; (e) often a more established neighborhood; and (f ) they have already completed any settling that a newer home has yet to do. At the same time, older homes generally require more maintenance and can be far more expensive to maintain than a new home. They also might require significant HVAC equipment and electrical updates. And – as we have been discussing – older homes are more likely to have environmental issues such as asbestos and lead. New Homes, on the other hand, generally are far more energy efficient, do not have the same risk of problem materials, like lead and asbestos, are cheaper to maintain, have more modern conveniences and generally have a statistically preferable “new” look to them. Newer homes also generally come with a new home warranty. Indeed, one could easily argue that having completed a lead remediation and being able to hand the Buyer a clearance letter should make the home even more saleable because unlike most older homes (which many people prefer) this home would have already had the lead issue addressed. That should be a big plus for most buyers. James A. Kozachek, Esq.’s comments here are made for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These comments are not intended to provide any form of legal advice or to form the basis of an attorney-client relationship. Statements made herein are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Bisgaier Hoff, LLC. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. This information is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes, but only to heighten awareness of certain issues that can arise in connection with improvements to real property.

June / July 2012

home & garden

Dirt Lovers’ Diary with Ken Druse

Get Ready for Summer in the Garden

Insects, Insects Everywhere Keep an eye out for insects on everything. Not all insects are bad; of course, and always choose the least toxic solution to any problem. I often get aphids on roses, and I have to admit that I usually squish them with my fingers. Next, I use a strong spray from the garden hose to dislodge the pests. Then, if I need to, I’ll use a few drops of dish detergent in a spray bottle with a pint to a quart of water. If all else fails, I move on to hot pepper wax spray or insecticidal soap. In all cases, I read and follow the directions. All garden chemicals have labels that tell you how safe the chemicals are. Here is a tip. The words “caution, warning”

and “danger” tell you, in that order, the level of toxicity of a preparation. I steer clear of all but caution. If your garden waste isn’t turning to compost fast enough, there may not be enough air in the pile. Be sure to add some twigs along with

the vegetable waste to make air pockets. Other problems can be caused by not having enough nitrogen or leafy material. Add grass clippings if the grass has not been treated with pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Try keeping a garden journal. These are invalu-


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able, but it can take a bit of diligence to keep up with the task. Try leaving a small camera in the garden shed or tool area. A camera, especially one with a date stamp for the pictures, will be an unbelievable tool. You can decide what you want to do in one area

Dirt Lover’s Diary the following year and keep track of that photographically. Extra seeds for annuals and vegetables can be stored in a clean, dry and cool place. The refrigerator is perfect. Carefully close packets, seal them with tape and put them in a closed glass jar. It’s time to set your sundial. On the first day of summer, the shadow should fall across the 12 at noon. Do not add diseased plants or weeds with ripe seed heads to the compost pile. Although in theory, the compost will heat up enough to kill most pathogens and weed seeds, it is not always the case. Better safe than sorry. Ken Druse may be the best-known garden writer in America. He’s written seventeen garden books, and two have won best book of the year awards from the American Horticultural Society. Ken has also written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles on gardening and been a popular television guest on programs such as Martha Stewart and the Liberty Garden as well as hosting hist weekly podcast Real Dirt. 43

photo credit: Sharon Santoni

Be sure to visit Ken at his blog for more great articles.

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June / July 2012

How To

home & garden

Ditch the Lawnmower And get a Reel One Article + Photos by: Lori Winter


ope, that’s not a typo. You may not be familiar with the term reel mower, but it’s the correct name for a self-propelled mower without a motor (gas, electric, or otherwise).

And no, this isn’t anything like the mowers your father and grandfather have told you horror stories about. I know you’ve heard the anecdotes of lugging around that horrid self-propelled mower in the heat of the summer, heaving and ho-ing like a cave man before the marvels of modern technological advances. Don’t believe it people. Reel mowers today are nothing like the days of old (though I’m sure those stories were at embellished and exaggerated at least a bit. I mean, come on, walking to school in the snow uphill both ways?)

But I knew that once he got the idea in his head, nothing else would satisfy him. So off I went to do some research. I have to say — I was blown away with what I found. Reel mowers, as they are called, are still made today and they are fantastic for your lawn! Now that we have one of our own, I will never go back. And here’s why:


me, your checkbook will be thanking you for this one when gas prices start to spike over the summer. Reducing your dependance of cheap, foreign oil is always a good thing. When an economy is based on cheap oil, what happens when it becomes expensive? Don’t waste your money cutting your grass. Find better things to do with that cash.

When my husband and I moved into our first house (as opposed to an apartment), we took on yard maintenance for the first time. The hubby had talked about wanting a self-propelled push mower for the past year. I was a bit skeptical at first, thinking we would have to dig one up at an antique shop or something and hope it wasn’t rusted beyond repair.


Reel mowers require no gasoline Trust

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No maintenance to speak of Reel


Doesn’t bother the neighbors at 6am. Let’s say the high for the day is 103 and


Scissor-like cutting action is Better for the Grass. The blades on a reel

home & garden

mowers are very mechanically simple and don’t require any maintenance to speak of. No priming the engine, no cord to pull, no spark plugs to clean, no batteries to replace. The blades on our Scotts Classic are self-sharpening, but even if you need to sharpen your mower’s blades occasionally, you can Name Your Link” purchase a kit for less than $25.

you want to mow the lawn before the sun really heats up. With an engine on your mower, you’ll quickly become the most hated person in the neighborhood when you fire it up at 6am on a Saturday morning. Mow the lawn in the middle of the night if you want with a reel mower! Not that you would, of course. (Oh, this reminds me of the movie Fun with Dick & Jane when they steal the neighbor’s grass in the middle of the night. Funny movie!)

mower rotate vertically (north to south), as opposed to the rotary blades of gas and electric mowers that spin horizontally (east to west – like a helicopter). That rotary motion rips up and tears the grass. Grass cut with the blades of a reel mower will heal faster, be less likely to suffer from disease or attack from insects, and will be able to develop deep, drought-resistant

roots. You’ll probably notice (like I have) more actual grass and fewer weeds on your lawn.


It’s NOT difficult to Push at All. I was


No pollution. You might balk at this. Surely

delightfully surprised when I pushed our mower for the first time. Even my father in law said ‘Wow!’ when he first tried it out. It is absolutely not difficult to push. Granted, if the grass in your lawn gets extra tall, it will be difficult to cut with a reel mower. But once you’ve got it under control, you won’t have any trouble.

a little gas mower doesn’t pollute that much, right? While it is a small engine, running a lawnmower for an hour can put out as much or more pollution as driving around in a typical sedan for 200 miles! Yikes. Lori Winter, is a T&G writer in Nashville, TN. interested in healthy eating, natural remedies, recycled materials, and bargain shopping. Each week she brings you new recipes, reviews of sustainable restaurants, and products great advice for simple healthy living. Visit her blog for more great articles.


June / July 2012


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10 Best Affordable




June / July 2012

photo credit: Tovah Paglaro

Family fun and still on budget? Done. 1. Santa Monica Pier, California

If you are looking for a fun and affordable destination in Los Angeles, Santa Monica beach is definitely one to consider. With breathtaking mountain views and gorgeous seaside homes and palm trees, it is the epitome of Southern California. The Santa Monica Pier boasts fun amusement park rides, restaurants and souvenirs galore. You can walk above on the pier or venture down below to walk on the sand or take a dip in the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean. Not far from the Pier you will find the Promenade which is lined with more shops, restaurants and a movie theater. You will also often be entertained by the various street performers while you stroll as well. Santa Monica is a definitely a great mixture of sand and sights and you can choose to spend as much or as little as you like. Santa Monica is often my go-to staycation when I want to “get away”!

photo credit: Wikipedia

2. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks of North Carolina’s coasts are among the few places in the world where wild horses roam. This combination of rare equestrian and aquatic beauty make for a unique destination that won’t soon be forgotten. The 9-mile long Shackleford Island is home to the famous Banker Ponies, descendents of the mustangs of Hispaniola and Spain. Further north, the beaches of Corolla and Carova are home to the Corolla Wild Horses, a herd of about 100 small wild horses. Although the illustrious horses are never far off, you can’t predict if they will delight with raucous play in your driveway, or stay hidden grazing behind a sand dune. The beach has it’s own appeal, however if you want to be sure to catch a glimpse of the horses, especially in the Corolla area where four wheel drive is often required to find the herd - guided tours are available from companies, like Wild Horse Safari, who offer an interesting eco-adventure tour that will bring you eye-toeye with Corolla’s wildlife. 48

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3. The Pacific Rim, British Columbia

In British Columbia, Canada, the beaches don’t get more breathtaking than the infamous Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park. Along the Pacific coast from the small village of Ucluelet to the bustling tourist town of Tofino, you’ll find endless stretches of pristine sand and lush coastal rainforest. The area is rich in natural wonders, from the smallest creatures inhabiting the many tide pools to the pods of whales that frequent the temperate waters. This gem of a vacation is pricier than some, so get creative. Consider vacationing with another family and sharing accommodations. Vacation Rentals Properties are plentiful, but look for an independent rental like Frog’s Hollow Tofino (, to avoid the hefty hotel tax charged by some. The less tourist centric town of Ucluelet is another good option. Further from the surf and sand, it’s considerably cheaper and boasts all the same amenities; kayaking, whale watching, fishing and ice cream, at a more accessible rate. The newly opened Ucluelet Aquarium is one of kind and not to be missed if traveling with kids. Regardless of whether you hunker down in Tofino, Ucluelet or one of the many campgrounds in between, save a few dollars by dining in and treat yourself to an abundance of seafood sustainably caught by local fishers, like Jeff Mikus (, and buy right off the docks at a fraction of retail.


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photo credit: Tovah Paglaro

4. Frye Island, ME

If you’ve never heard of Frye Island Maine, you’re not alone, but that’s probably going to change soon! This summer community on Sabago Lake became Maine’s newest town just over a decade ago and is gaining traction as an appealing, somewhat removed, vacation spot that’s relatively easy to access and relatively affordable to visit. The small island boasts an abundance of private homes available for rent and with 10 beaches around the lake, no property is far from the water front. A ferry services the island twice a day, accommodating any size vehicle for a very reasonable $30 round trip fee, and a general store ensures all vacationers basic needs are met with Maine’s renown hospitality. Island life is decidedly laid back, heralding a cottage culture from decades past. This is the beach vacation for a family looking to spend relaxed quality time together.

photo credit: Thomas P. Scola Jr.

5. Okanagan, British Columbia

photo credit: Tovah Paglaro


If your ideal vacation combines acres of orchards, rolling vineyards and inviting lakeshores, the Okanagan region is your paradise. While Kelowna and the Shushap are both popular choices with fun beaches and an abundance of water sport, consider Osoyoos for a slightly quieter vacation. Unlike much of the region, Osoyoos still has a somewhat eclectic off-the-beatentrack small town sort of feel. It’s unique combination of arid desert and fertile valley has created a culture unlike any other. Accommodation in town is often basic, affordable and all you need - the focus being on enjoying the beach and the surrounding area. If luxury is more your style, consider frequenting one of the many orchard or vineyard B&B’s, many of which boast spectacular views, organic food and acres of serenity. Families will find endless pleasure playing on the quiet beaches, trying a variety of fruit in the u-pick orchards, taking in wine tours and exploring the incredible desert terrain.

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6. Cannon Beach Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon, is the ultimate family beach vacation. The town boasts coastal charm to the utmost, the beach is expansive and inviting, and the price is right! Located 8 miles south of the Quaint village of Seaside, the area has all the amenities a family needs for a week-long stint of sandy fun and offers so many beaches, hikes and attractions that every day is sure to be different. Wrights for Camping ( is the preferred destination at Cannon beach at $30/night for a beautiful site with clean hot showers, laundry facilities and a decidedly family friendly atmosphere. In early June, sandcastle enthusiasts from across the country descend on 7 miles of beach to sculpt incredible creations for the annual Sandcastle Competition ( The weekend is packed with family friendly fun for competitors and spectators alike, and the town is abuzz with festive energy. The area is also abundant in wildlife, the highlights being the Tufted Puffin who can be spotted burrowing in Haystack Rock (pictured) throughout the summer months, and the Gray Whale, who migrate 2-8 miles off shore in early spring and mid-winter.

photo credit: Tovah Paglaro

3 in




Robot Kit

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7. Pt. Betsey Lighthouse - Michigan

The Point Betsie Lifesaving Station, was built in 1876. It began operation on April 23, 1877, and was manned and maintained by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. On July 1, 1939 the lighthouse service was merged with the U.S. Coast Guard. The lighthouse, manned for over 106 years was automated in April 1983. Point Betsie is said to be one of America’s most photographed lighthouses, and the most-visited attraction in Benzie County. The area is in norther Michigan just an hour South of Traverse City which is the nearest airport, and also a wonderful Summer destination — a quaint city offering several sustainable dining options, and a wonderful food co-op. Nearby the lighthouse there are vacation rentals as well as inexpensive hotels. There is also plenty of camping options if you seek more thrifty, rustic style accommodations. photo credit: Susan Burks

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home & garden

Redecorate your Living Room with Natural Materials on a Budget


he family room, also know as the living room, is the place where you and your other family members spend most of their time in. This is also where almost all your entertainment electronics are located– the television set, DVD player, game consoles, stereo and more. The family room holds most of your home’s furniture and most families also entertain their guests in the family room. Since you and your guest spend a lot of time in this room, it just makes sense that you renovate it, right? Maybe you are bored with how your family room looks or you just wish to enhance the look of your family room. Regardless of what reason you have for renovation, it is always best to take budget into consideration. In fact, a lot of families don’t think about room renovation because they think they do not have the money to finance such changes. Many people think that they need to hire a contractor or an interior designer in order to have a great looking family room. However, family room renovation does not mean spending humongous amounts of money. In fact, little

PHOTO CREDIT: Ashley Rohe via Pinterest

alterations can create big changes, a lot bigger than you can ever imagine.

Choose a Theme for Your Living Room In order to get this renovation started, the first thing you need to think of is the theme you want for your family room.

Since it is a family entertainment center, it would be best if you take into consideration the interest of the whole family. Have your family members give suggestions about what theme they want your entertainment center to have. Some themes you can choose from include victorian style, modern style, beach style, colorful theme and many more. If you cannot choose which sug-


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gestion to use, have the family members vote for what they want. Pulling the family room together with a cohesive theme can do wonders for it’s appearance.

Change the Family Room Lighting Ligihting is actually one of the most important things to consider when renovating a room. Natural lights are best used

during the morning and the afternoon so think about how you can open your room up to natural lighting and arrange the furniture to let the light in. Changing light fixtures also has a tremendous affect on your decor. Sometimes little details like a beautiful light fixture really gives a room a special look.

You can choose from bright colors, dark colors and shades of black and gray. Choose a curtain depending on the theme of the room. A beautiful curtain bar and drapes can really dress up a room!

Family Room Drapes and Curtains

A paint job will create the biggest difference in your living room. The paint color that you will choose should match well with the color and theme of your room. Take a look at your sofa set and determine which color scheme will work well with it. You may even want to try painting an accent wall to add color!

Choosing a new set of curtains can definitely change the whole look of your family room. If you used to have an all-white room, adding a splash of color by using drapes and curtains can make a big difference.

Paint Your Family Room

Flooring Changing the flooring in your living room will also produce big results. Flooring can be costly so don’t change it if you can work with it. However, a good flooring change can also add to the value of your home so you can keep that in mind if you need to replace your existing floor. There are many options to choose from but keep in mind how it will tie in your your other choices and your other rooms. Some cheap options are a great throw rug from a thrift store or do it yourself laminate flooring.

is a paint job, new living room accessories and you’re all set! You will be amazed with how much of a difference these small changes can create. Have fun in your newly decorated entertainment center! Joyce Smith, is a home improvement and travel blogger and a mother of two.

Little alterations in your family room will go a long way. All you need

Save on Energy Bills and reduce your Carbon Footprint with Solar Landscape lighting.


June / July 2012

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saving money

Ways to get Household Finances in Order

f your family has been spending more than it should lately, it is time for you to get your household affairs into order. Consider some of these important money management tips for making sure that your household finances reflect sustainability.


Ideally, credit is for convenience instead of being a way for you to fill in the gaps. If you use credit cards, make sure that you find the best credit offers available, ones that offer low APR as well as healthy rewards programs.

1. Use Credit Wisely

2. Eat Out Less to Save Big

There are definitely places where you should be using credit and places where you should not be.

One of the biggest places where people lose money is at the restaurant. Not only is most of the food


June / July 2012

at the restaurants more expensive than what you would get for the same amount of cash at the grocery store, it also tends to be less good for you. Head to the grocery store, and if necessary, pick up instant food if you want something convenient.

3. Carpool to Save Money + the Earth Gas is another big expense for most people, and unless you live in a place with a good public transportation system, you may feel quite stuck. This is where carpooling can come in. Talk to your friends and neighbors and see if you are ever going to the same place. Even a small amount of carpooling means that you can save a fair amount of cash if you do it right.

4. Start a Budget and Stick to It Start making a budget by writing down all your expenses and then by listing all of the money that you


have coming in. Make sure that you have enough money to cover your expenses. If you don’t, cut expenses until you do. While this can be a painful and frustrating procedure, it is far better than constantly finding yourself running over in terms of expenses every month. Make sure that you keep the money earmarked for expenses where they should be. If possible, start putting a bit aside for a rainy day.

5. Go to a Professional If you are having trouble getting your household affairs into order, think about consulting with a financial counsellor. There are many people who simply lack a key bit of knowledge to get their accounts looking good again. A financial counsellor can make a huge difference to the way your household runs. Another option is going to the library and reading what a professional has written on the subject of saving money and follow their detailed steps to cre-

June / July 2012

saving money ating your own financial plan. It is possible to straighten out your household debts, so consider where you can go from here! Rick James, is a self-proclaimed finance whiz. He can be found paging through the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Rick takes part in many rewards programs and is constantly crawling the web for the best credit offers. Rick has been able to use research, reading, and self-saving to find financial harmony.

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Thrifty & Green - Issue 6 | First Anniversary - Jun / Jul 2012  

In this issue we offer our 7 Best Affordable Beach vacations suggestions. You will also find some very interesting info on toxins in things...

Thrifty & Green - Issue 6 | First Anniversary - Jun / Jul 2012  

In this issue we offer our 7 Best Affordable Beach vacations suggestions. You will also find some very interesting info on toxins in things...