Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wrapping Up Summer with a Fabulous Upcycled Jewelry Giveaway!



The Wrapping Up Summer Giveaway Hop is hosted by MamatheFox.com

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received products and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review.

I admit it -- I love jewelry. And there are a few things that make me love certain jewelry more than others:
  • Jewelry that's gifted to me. There's just something special about jewelry that has been carefully selected just for me.
  • Jewelry with a history. Before my mom died, she gave me the platinum eternity band she always wore. It was given to her by my dad's mom, but it wasn't her ring. We suspect it was my grandfather's late wife's wedding ring. She died in childbirth (as did the child) and he later married my grandmother. My mom wore the ring for so many years that it reshaped into an oval instead of a circle. I treasure this ring. I also have a 3-diamond ring that was my aunt Helen's. She received it on her 16th birthday in 1933 and gave it to me when I was in my 20s. There are other family heirlooms that I cherish.
  • Fair trade jewelry that, when purchased, helps someone provide for their family. What can be better than that? I love buying my fair trade jewelry at The Shepherd's Door in Bellevue, PA, right down the street from where I now work.
  • Upcycled jewelry, crafted from recycled materials. 
It's the latter I want to tell you about today. I discovered some amazing jewelry and accessories designed by Laura ZABO and I'm so excited to introduce you to them. 

The Gator Gray Bicycle Tire Belt
Laura creates beautiful items from used tires. I received a sturdy belt from her. It was made from a bicycle tire. Not taking my weight loss into account, I ordered a belt that was simply too big for me. But altering it was fairly easy. My husband just used scissors to clip a couple of inches off the end and a drill of some kind to poke an extra hole or two. It was a bit more difficult that using an ice pick on leather, but it worked and I love my belt.

Okay, so that's the belt. Let's get back to the jewelry. Laura sent me a pair of earrings that I absolutely adore! Strips from upcycled black inner tubes strung onto hoop earrings adorned with tiny beads. Oh yeah.

Upcycled Inner Tube Earrings

You know you want some of these, right? They're flirty and fringed and fabulous. I love the way they feel brushing against my collarbone. And to be honest, they make me forget I'm 60! Almost.


Laura ZABO is a London-based eco-designer who creates environmentally-friendly, vegan fashion accessories made entirely out of scrap bicycle tires and inner tubes rescued from a future in the landfill.

"Drawing on my own life experiences and lifestyle choices I have created an innovative and diverse range of belts, jewelry, handbags, clothing, sandals, guitar straps, home decor, and dog accessories," explains Laura. "The collection is constantly growing. As we use more and more bicycles every day, in turn we are using more and more tires every day, creating an increasing amount of waste to pollute our planet with. My collection offers a great solution to this problem, transforming this "waste" into something useful and sustainable."

You can see for yourself how unique and stunning her collection truly is by visiting her website.

Now here's the part you're really going to get excited about -- Laura is offering a set of upcycled jewelry valued at $81 USD to someone in the GG community! How cool is that?! Just enter below on the Rafflecopter and a winner will be chosen via Random.org on September 1st. How's that for a great way to celebrate the new school year? Keep it for yourself or share it with your teenager, who is sure to make an impression wearing these! 

Curlywurly Upcycled Inner Tube Necklace, Earrings, and Bracelet Set

Giveaway is open to 18+ Worldwide! Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway 


MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Road Less Traveled -- Taking the time to get to know each other, despite our differences

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the battle that goes on between people just because they are different. I'm heartsick over the events in Charlottesville this past weekend. I can't even wrap my head around the mentality and the evil demonstrated there.

This past June, I was on the faculty for St. David's Christian Writers Conference at Grove City College. While there, I met a lovely young woman who wrote the following essay about being "different." Sierra graciously agreed to let me share it here on the blog.




The Road Less Traveled

We all have differences. Mine comes with four wheels and a sunroof. But it’s not a MINI Cooper or a Mercedes Benz. It’s a power wheelchair.

During my high school years, I learned that there were two possible roads people could take when dealing with this obvious difference. I was either a target of bullying or I was someone worth getting to know.

The second road was the road less traveled. Why? Because it took more effort. It was easier for my peers to single me out and attempt to make me feel bad about myself, than it was for them to deal with the discomfort they felt when confronted with an evident difference. It required more time and thought to hold a conversation with me than it did to call me names or kick the wheels of my chair.

I’m not the only person with a visible difference and I wasn’t the first, nor was I the last to be a victim of bullying. A short while ago, I read a news story about an 11-year-old girl who hung herself because of bullying.

But adults are not immune to bullying either. If the road less traveled were taken more often, we’d realize that we have more in common than not, and the world would be a much better place. However, in order for this road to become more traveled, we must set an example. So you’ll find me and my difference rolling down the road less traveled.

* * *


Sierra is a freelance editor, writer, and blogger. Her personal writing tends to be informed by her Christian faith and living life with Cerebral Palsy. She has a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and an M.A. in Communication concentrating in professional writing. When she's not editing, writing or blogging, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching Pittsburgh Steelers football, and reading. You can find her at www.sierrashipton.com and www.facebook.com/writingonwheels

Friday, August 4, 2017

TGIVF! Another set of vinegar tips

It's Vinegar Friday once again. How did that happen. It really seems like just two weeks ago I was writing about vinegar and the beach. Wow the months go quickly! To think I used to have the time to write this feature weekly! That seems like a lifetime ago.

But enough about my perception of time. You're here for a vinegar tip or two, right?

So here are some my favorites from my book:


  • I realize that not everyone can afford to buy organic sheets for their family. That's why this tip is so important! Chances are good that your sheets are coated in chemicals, such as formaldehyde to keep the sheets from wrinkling. Make sure you toss all new linens in a rinse cycle (at the very least) with a cup of DWV (distilled white vinegar). This will help eliminate the chemical residue. To be safe, rinse and repeat! Maybe a few times. Then, make sure you don't toss the clean laundry into the dryer with some toxic dryer sheets! Yikes!!
  • With the election behind us (and that's all I'll say about it), it might be time to remove those candidate support bumper stickers. Even if you didn't put any on your car, imagine the embarrassment of buying a used car that touts support of a candidate you weren't/aren't particularly fond of. Am I putting that too mildly? Don't despair! Just grab your DWV and drench a cloth in it. Cover the sticker for a couple of hours. It should peel right off.
  • Do you suffer from acid reflux? I took Nexium for an ulcer for years until I learned this trick. But wait. I hear your protests. You're not going to suggest taking something acidy like apple cider vinegar when your stomach is already burning up? Why yes, yes I am. The unfortunate fact is hydrochloric acid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach and the traditional approach to dealing with this condition is to take acid reducing drugs. That's especially bad news for pregnant woman. However, I found that taking a tablespoon of organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with 8 - 10 oz. of water worked for me. This is a safe alternative to taking prescription or OTC meds for many. While we assume that it's an excess of stomach acid that causes acid reflux, the reality is it is a lack of acid in the stomach, which results in a fermentation of undigested foods. By adding some ACV, you help to cleanse your system and prevent the heartburn and pain. Please note, I am not a medical professional. The upswing of that is that there are no insurance companies dictating what I say or do and no pharmaceutical companies padding my pockets. 
  • Ever have a sprain or strained muscle? Soak a cloth in some warm ACV, wring it out, and wrap it around the injured area. Leave it on for 3 - 5 minutes and repeat as needed. Adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the vinegar will bump up the relief a notch or two. NOTE: Do not do this to broken skin!! OUCH!!
Those are my tips for the month. I hope you found you found something useful that will help you live a more toxin-free life.

Keeping it green and healthy with vinegar,


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Serving Up Elder Care with a Side of Kindness





Watching our parents age is rough. And there always seems to be decisions that have to be made. As their physical and/or cognitive abilities start to fail, the questions arise: 


Should we sell the house? 
Should they go to a nursing home? 
Is assisted living the best option? 
Should they move in with us?

The questions swirl in your mind throughout the day and rob you of sleep at night. After all, Mom's taken care of you all of your life. Dad taught you how to drive. Grandpap told you stories. Grandma held you on her lap and made you feel safe. What happens when they need you? Who will make them feel safe?

Sometimes, the answers are clear. There simply isn't another option other than placing your loved one into a facility where they'll receive proper care. But for many, this is only one option, not the only one. Multi-generational living is common in many other countries, more so than in the United States, but it is gaining ground here. The "sandwich generation" is raising children and caring for their parents or grandparents under one roof. But, while the rewards are countless, it's still not easy. Sometimes you need a break. A bit of respite. Perhaps a date night with your spouse once a week. But what do you do with Grandma?


Often, our parents have trouble letting go of their homes. They've spent 50+ years there and they swear they're going to die there. That's their wish. And you don't want to break their hearts. At the same time, moving back home is not an option and you're fearful of something happening when they're all alone in an empty house. Burners are left on. Falls happen and no one knows. There's a mix-up with medications. These things happen. All.the.time.


Did you know there are non-medical in-home care companies that exist just for these reasons? In Pittsburgh, there is a company called Dignity Home Care Professionals. Their tagline is "Where kindness matters" because that's at the heart of the company. Treating their clients with kindness and dignity as they face this final chapter in their lives is what it's all about. 

Whether you need regular full-time or part-time care for your loved one or you need an occasional break or a night out, the fully trained caregivers at Dignity Home Care Professionals can make all the difference. Really. They can. 

What better gift can you give to those who gave you the gift of life than to offer them loving care through a company that strives to serve this greatest generation in a manner it deserves -- compassion, loyalty, understanding, patience, dignity, and kindness. And what better gift can you give yourself than the peace of mind it will bring?

Caring for you and the seniors in your life,


Groupon Coupons?! Yes, please

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this post.




I love a good mystery. I also love saving money.
So when I discovered Groupon's MYSTERY DEAL at JCPenney, I was all about it! I clicked the Groupon coupon link and discovered 5 mystery deals. How could I pass up 50% off $40? I jumped on it and found out I could save a whopping 65% if I spent $100 or more. Now I wasn't planning on spending $100, but for $35? Hmmmm. This Groupon Coupon site might be addictive! And the best part is, unlike with the other type of Groupons, there is no money needed upfront. In other words, you don't pay for these coupons. They're free for the taking!

The thing is, I gave you a link to just one of the retailers offering Groupon Coupons. There are over 100 more!! Here are just a few: 

  • Home Depot
  • VistaPrint (that's the company I rely on for business printing needs -- many a Green Grandma logo has appeared around town and beyond, thanks to VistaPrint!) 
  • Ancestry.com
  • Macy's
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Hotels.com
  • Rosatto Stone
  • Zip Car
  • Tractor Supply
  • Hello Fresh (I've not ordered from them yet, but with the great Groupon Coupons, I just might. Anyone have an opinion about them? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the company.)

See! There's something for everyone. Even Amazon has Groupon Coupons. You really need to check out this site. And then enjoy your savings. I know I am!

Happy shopping (and saving!),




Friday, July 7, 2017

Heading to the beach? Don't forget the vinegar!

TGIVF (Thank God it's Vinegar Friday... for those of you who are new to this page)!

This month we're talking beach vacations. Who's heading out to the beach this summer? If you are, don't forget to take a jug (or bottle) of vinegar. Why? Keep reading.


4 Reasons Why Vinegar is Summer's 
MUST-HAVE Accessory!

1. Swimmer's Ear

No one wants to spend their summer vacation up all night with a crying baby or toddler. But that's just what you might be looking at if your kiddo ends up with swimmer's ear from too many dunks in the oceanside swimming pool. Moisture gets trapped in the ear canal, along with bacteria, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. Make sure you have an eyedropper in your cosmetic bag, just in case. Here's where you'll need some apple cider vinegar. The acidity in the ACV will work at preventing growth of the bacteria and will relieve some of the pain. Just apply it, undiluted. If you forgot the eyedropper, simply soak a cotton ball in the ACV and put a small piece directly into the ear.

Better yet -- prevent the problem altogether by gently dabbing a mixture of distilled white vinegar and rubbing alcohol (1:1 ratio) into the ears before the family hits the water.

2. Jellyfish sting

Okay, we all hope this doesn't happen. But the truth is, it does. And when it does, it's painful. Whether it happens to you or to someone else in your family, you'll be grateful you followed my advice to have a jug of DWV on hand. And I do mean on hand, not back at the room. Why? Because timing is everything here and you don't want to waste any.

When those nasty jellyfish tentacles slap or brush into an unsuspecting leg or torso, you want to work quickly to stop the venom from releasing anymore toxins under the skin. Grab the jug of vinegar and POUR it over the affected area. This will not only stop the spread of toxins, but will also relieve some of the itching, burning, and throbbing caused by the sting.



3. Skin irritants

Let's face it. Sand and sand bugs can cause some serious skin irritations. Ease the itch with diluted vinegar (DWV or ACV). The acidic liquid neutralizes the irritant and calms the itch. Ahhh.





4. Sunburn

Sure. We all like to think we're too smart to get a sunburn. But despite our best efforts, it still happens at times. If, as the sunsets and the sky darkens, you find out a family member's skin is darkening too (or should I say "brightening" as in bright red?!), everyone will be happy you remembered to bring the vinegar. Fill the tub with cool-to-lukewarm water and add 2 cups of either ACV or DWV and settle in for a soak, covering as much of the sunburned skin as possible for 15 minutes or so. 

You can also soak some washcloths (or towels, depending on how much skin you have to cover!) with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water) and apply them to the watermelon red skin. 

According to Dr. Jacqueline Schaffer, author of Irresistible You, when a sunburn occurs, "blood vessels in the skin dilate, triggering an inflammatory reaction. That damage causes pain and blistering." Vinegar's antiseptic properties address both the pain and the inflammation, soothing and healing the burn.

Again, prevention is the best course of action. But make sure the sunscreen you use is safe and effective. Click here for a list of the Environmental Working Groups' 19 best sunscreens for babies and kids.


There you have it. Four reasons why vinegar is your best summer accessory for the beach. Of course, you can read more of my vinegar tips in my book, Vinegar Fridays, now on sale for just $6.99. Click here to order.

Keeping it green with vinegar,












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