Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year Coming Soon

Almost a new year, wow, this year has went by so fast.

The Green Bride Giveaway was a success, I hope the winners enjoy their prize packs.

The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an elegant, affordable, earth-friendly wedding (Everything Series) is now on sale in book stores everywhere including Amazon and tons of others.

You know- I still have not been to a book store to actually see it for sale though. Isn't that crazy?I've been so busy with the holidays I have not been to the local Borders or Barnes and Noble. The day it came out my husband went to several book stores just to see it. He is my biggest fan, I love it.

I'll get there soon, maybe this weekend. I don't know, I have a list of work ten miles long. I am hoping 2009 brings more book deals. I have several proposals I am working on (three green ones), including another green wedding title only this one is more a DIY style. Keep your fingers crossed that 2009 will be a great year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Article Reprints Available

Would you like to publish any of my articles on your websites?

I have many reprints available for purchase at Constant Content for very reasonable prices.

I am also available for freelance work if you are in need of original content for your website, newsletters, or print publications.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stops on the Virtual Blog Tour

Well, most everyone made their blog posts along the virtual book tour trail, today's are not up yet but I'll give people some time.

I did come across a few posts I didn't know about, you can check them out at these great sites:

http://blog.momentville.com/tag/green/

http://budgetsavvybride.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/the-everything-green-wedding-book/

Thanks for posting everyone.

Now that the book is in stores I've had requests for interviews and one for a book signing. I am so not used to being the center of attention. I am more of the old fashioned reclusive writer stereotype. I suppose to be successful I need to get over all that.

Anyway we'll see how it goes.

If anyone would like to do an interview with me or feature me or the book on your site or blog feel free to contact me directly at everythinggreenweddings at yahoo dot com

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Everything Green Wedding Book is Now On Sale in Stores

Today is the day everyone. You can find The Everything Green Wedding Book in stores.

My son said his friend seen it in a store in Lansing last week but I don't know. My husband checked today and found it in two out of three stores. Today was the official release date so woo hoo!

What am I doing to celebrate? Actually I am at the library using high speed internet access and working on a Christmas photo book. Dial up takes forever to use when uploading photos. But hey I am celebrating inside. Maybe I'll hit a few book stores tomorrow and see for myself. That'll make it more real.

My husband, Robert is so sweet, he bought me a congratulations type of card. You know they don't make a "congratulations on your book card" at least not ones they sell at the grocery store. LOL.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Winners of the Green Bride Giveaway

Today is the day ladies. I have read and reread entries, I've agonized, I finally narrowed it down and stuck the finalists in a bowl then randomly choose the winners.

It was so hard to narrow the entries down to finalists.

I am so thrilled by all the couples that are going green in their lives and for their weddings. Thank you to all the brides to be that entered the Green Bride Giveaway. You are all winners, I just wish I could give prize packs to all of you.

Sooo.....drum roll please....here are the winners of The Green Bride Giveaway!

Renee M of Breckenridge, CO is the first place winner of the Grand Prize Green Bride Giveaway package.

Marcy C of Columbus, Ohio is the second place winner.

Rachel N is of Louisville, KY is the third place winner.

Congrats Ladies.

Emails are being sent out now to inform you of your winning status.


I also want to give a BIG THANKS to all the sponsors of the Green Bride Giveaway for providing the wonderful prizes listed below. Without all of you I wouldn't have had much of a giveaway. Thank you for your support.

Thanks to my sponsors here are what the winners are receiving-

The Grand Prize Package consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, other prizes include a $200 Gift Certificate from Encore Bridal as well as an organic cotton bridal tank top and a $25 gift certificate for eco-friendly gown preservation, $100 Gift Certificate from designer Rene Geneva redeemable at EcoChicClothing.com, $100 Gift Certificate from My Good Greetings, and a $100 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair invitations, coasters and a reusable shopping bag from Eco-Artware, a 2009 calendar, plantable journal and plantable cards from Botanical Paperworks, 150 wedding favor seed packets from the Tender Seed Company, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, natural blush and a brush from Alima Cosmetics, milk paints from The Real Milk Paint Company, sexy eco-lingerie from Enamore, a complete line of earth friendly cleaning products from EcoDiscoveries, eco-confetti from EcoParti, a $50 gift certificate from Global Handcrafters, a sample kit of organic body products from Terressentials, an organic cotton t-shirt from GenGreenLife, a $50 gift certificate to the The Bamboo Fabric Store, a premium wedding website from MomentVille, a premium wedding photo sharing package from The Wedding Lens , a copy of the book How to Get Married in Green by Suzan St Maur, EcoSMART organic pesticide, $100 Gift Certificate from Pear and Peony, a free 1 year subscription to The Brides Best Friend e-magazine, and the Hain-Celestial product pack that consists of -Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.

The Second Place Prize Package Consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, a $100 gift certificate from eco-chic wedding gown designer Tara Lynn, $100 gift certificate from Oblation Papers who create eco-friendly letterpress invitations, a plantable journal and plantable cards from Botanical Paperworks, a sample kit of organic body products from Terressentials, milk paints from The Real Milk Paint Company, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, a $50 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair, a $50 Gift Certificate from Pear and Peony, a 1 year subscription to The Brides Best Friend Magazine, a free premium wedding website from MomentVille and the Hain-Celestial product pack which consists of- Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.

The Third Place Prize Package Consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, $100 Gift Certificate from Smock -eco-friendly letterpress invitations, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, a free premium wedding website from MomentVille, a $25 Gift Certificate from Pear and Peony, a free 1 year subscription to The Brides Best Friend e Magazine, and the Hain Celestial product pack that consists of -Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.

Today Starts the Blog Tour

The Everything Green Wedding Blog tour starts today. The first stop is at www.twistedlimb.blogspot.com please drop by if you get a chance.

Winners are coming up soon for the Green Bride Giveaway as well. I will be announcing them within the hour.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Virtual Book Tour Stops for The Everything Green Wedding Book

Since The Everything Green Wedding Book is all about being green, there will not be a physical book tour, but there will be a virtual/blog tour.

Starting Monday December 15 several blogs will be hosting info about me and The Everything Green Wedding Book.

Please drop by, show your support and leave some comments if you can. Thanks!

On Monday December 15th Twisted Limb is the first stop on the virtual tour.

Tuesday December 16 please stop by the Celebrate Green blog and visit with the authors of Celebrate Green and learn more about The Everything Green Wedding Book.

On Wednesday December 17 (release day for The Everything Green Wedding Book) there are two stops on the virtual tour, Green Photographer Corey McNabb's blog and the blog for New Jersey Bride.

On Thursday December 18th we also have two stops: the blog for EthicalWeddings.com and the blog for another green photographer, Kristina Carter of Vrai Photography.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

1 Week Until The Everything Green Wedding Book hits stores

1 week to go everyone until The Everything Green Wedding Book hits the stores.

Of course you don't have to wait you can pre-order your copy today. Just click the link to the right and go to Amazon to order your copy.

Happy Reading!

Pin Up Balms-Bachelorette Party Treats and Stocking Stuffer Fun


Hey ladies, are you looking for a great treat to use as favors or prizes for a bridal shower/bachelorette party?

Or maybe you are looking for a fun stocking stuffer. Well look no further than Pin Up Balms.

Pin Up Balms combine sexy, retro flair with an eco-friendly product for good green fun.

"Pin Up Balms are a sensational treat for the lips and a feast for the eyes.

With over forty fabulous flavors to choose from, there is one to match every mood, from the come-hither appeal of The Boys Love Coconut to Peppermint Twist. " Personally I think I am going to love Voluptuous Vanilla and Raspberry Rapture. I also spied a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake flavor. YUM!!


Delicious and eco-friendly, wow.

The ingredients used in making Pin-up lip balms are:

certified organic

fair trade

unrefined

cruelty free


Used in a natural state are avocado oil (an organic UV protectant), beeswax (a natural emollient), apricot kernel oil (good for hydration) and Vitamin E (a natural antioxidant), All natural goodies so you won’t have to worry about those nasty, health-hazard parabens.

Pin Up Balms come in over 40 flavors including a trio of new holiday flavors.

So whether you are looking for fun bridal shower favors, eco-friendly bachelorette party gifts or sexy stocking stuffers you are sure to find a flavor for everyone on your list.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sarah Pinto's Eco-Friendly Weekly Planners




Hey Brides, are you looking for an eco-friendly way to keep track of all your appointments and things to do?

Sarah Pinto's 2009 Weekly Planners are a simple, functional and fun organizational solution.

These durable planners measure 5” by 7” and are made with high-quality recycled paper, soy-based ink and they are printed and bound in San Francisco, California. With five unique cover designs, Sarah Pinto’s 2009 Weekly Planners are a stylish, eco-friendly answer to your busy everyday schedule.

Final Week of The Green Bride Giveaway

This is the final week for the Green Bride Giveaway.

Remember to enter the contest brides-to-be need to send an email to greenbridegiveaway@yahoo.com, in the email include their name, address, and email address, fiancés name and date of wedding and a paragraph or two about why they want to go green for their wedding and what steps they have already taken or would like to take to have an eco-friendly wedding. Please place “Green Bride” in the subject line.

The contest closes Friday and I'll be sorting through the entries all weekend.

I will announce the lucky winners on Monday the 15th.

The Daughter in Law Rules


Here's a great book no bride to be should be without.


The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law!
Publisher: Outskirts Press, 2008
Value: $14.95
Availability: Amazon.com


Description:


In her fun new book, The Daughter-in-Law Rules author Sally Shields lays out 101 simple and
witty strategies to aid wives of all ages in mastering every element of MIL relations-from the decorum of housekeeping to the delicate world of child rearing.Whether you're at the beginning of your marriage or you've spent years trying to make peace with your mother-in-law, The Daughter-in-Law Rules provides a revolutionary set of strategies, making copasetic coexistence possible at last!


This visually appealing 5x8” gift book includes 25 endorsements from relationship advice experts and success coaches, as well as 15% discount from 1-800-Flowers.com with a unique promotional code created specifically for this book. The Daughter-in-Law Rules is an attractive, fun, unique gift item offering "funny and compassionate advice that works!"


15% of the proceeds of this book will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Think Pink!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

VerdePaperie

VerdePaperie is an eco-friendly stationery site.

Kimberly Daniels started Verdeinitially as a retail site to market high end, U.S based designs with an emphasis on the environment and it grew to include beautiful, eco-friendly wedding invitations.

At VerdePaperie, all products are made and manufactured in North America and use a minimum of 30% PCW recycled paper. Most use 100% PCW recycled paper, and all use water or vegetable-based inks.

Kimberly does not accept any packaging from vendors unless it is 100% biodegradable.

She wraps "boxed" notes with twine and then places them in 100% biodegradable sleeves.

Also at VerdePaperie there are coasters, notepads, journals and sketchbooks all made with the environment in mind.

The wedding collection on the site is made with 100% recycled paper, or 100% recycled cotton rag paper, and letterpressed with soy-based inks.

At VerdePaperie they try to empasize the use of postcards which uses less paper than traditional mailings.

Sounds like Kimberly has a great green company. Check out VerdePaperie to see what they have to offer.

It's Official I Am An Author

It's official. I am an author. I knew it, but it was like "Ok, yeah, I have a book coming out, blah, blah, blah."

Now it's woo hoo, I have a BOOK with MY NAME on the COVER. :-)

I am doing the snoopy happy dance.

For any authors out there I am sure you can relate. You can see your name on the computer screen a million times and it never, ever feels the same as when you hold that book in your hands. Wow. What a great feeling.

It's like holding your newborn baby for the first time. You knew you were pregnant and that a baby was coming but that did not prepare you for how it would feel to hold that little baby in your arms.

OK, the book, a lot less painful than a baby, maybe...but it took longer and it's not as much of an emotional reaction but still...

I have a book! A book that I wrote, in my hands.

And in exactly two weeks, The Everything Green Wedding Book will be on sale everywhere. Wow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sustainable Travel in Las Vegas

Carbon Footprints in the Sand
Las Vegas Outfitter is a shining example of sustainable travel.
Escape Adventures has been rated “Best Outfitter on Earth,” by National Geographic, and they have received the highest rating ever granted by Sustainable Travel International, (a third party auditor which measures a company’s greenness).

With hundreds of tour companies claiming to be environmentally responsible, this will undeniably raise the bar for outfitters.

A world leader in multi-sport mountain biking and road cycling tours spanning the globe, EA’s mission is to keep their carbon footprints to a minimum (or even negative), while offering first class eco-friendly vacations.

Are you buying in to the world wide marketing ploy? Many times, companies claim to be green, when essentially they are only paying to pollute, by purchasing energy credits instead of working to reduce their bad energy consumption.

Conscious consumers are hungry for a better way to decipher real green from, light green companies who use “green” as nothing more than a marketing scheme. The future of outfitting will require actual business reform substantiated by third party audits, not just a quick fix of carbon credit purchases.

Jared and Heather Fisher of Escape Adventures have worked many years to acquire this outstanding honor. Since they started their outdoor adventure business in 1992, their mission statement has always been the same: to Promote human power and the natural environment.

The Fishers have raised the bar on many levels.

• Jared personally collects & recycles used kitchen vegetable oil from local restaurants to fuel tour vans; UNLV recently donated entire campus’ eco-waste to EA

• They grow their own organic garden & they feed its fare to guests on tour

• The Fishers recycle 90% of waste; tires, bottles, paper, plastic, glass- on tour & at shops

• They have public recycling bins at shops and even other businesses

• The Fishers compost all vegetarian food scrapes not only on tour but at work and home as well

• They have installed solar panels at both their Moab and Las Vegas locations, resulting in a negative power bill

• Awarded, “Certificate of Environmental Stewardship,” by Rocky Mountain Power, for purchasing 30,000 kilowatt hours of renewable wind energy (this in addition to producing more than enough of their own solar energy)

• Offer all employees $5/day to ride to work rather than drive

• Use recycled products and buy merchandise with little or no packaging,

• No plastic bags


Third party auditing by organizations like Sustainable Travel International, which has over 1200 companies adhering to their strict guidelines worldwide, holds the key to knowing whether a touring company, or any company for that matter, is truly green.

For more information on Sustainable Travel International, please visit http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.org.

For more information about Escape Adventures and Las Vegas Cyclery please visit www.escapeadventures.com or call toll free 800.596.2953

The Quest for the Perfect Diet Part 1

The Quest for the Perfect Diet Part 1

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, November 14, 2008

Updates on The Green Bride Giveaway

Here is an updated version of The Green Bride Giveaway Prize Packages:

The Grand Prize Package consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, other prizes include a $200 Gift Certificate from Encore Bridal as well as an organic cotton bridal tank top and a $25 gift certificate for eco-friendly gown preservation, $100 Gift Certificate from designer Rene Geneva redeemable at EcoChicClothing.com, $100 Gift Certificate from My Good Greetings, and a $100 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair invitations, coasters and a reusable shopping bag from Eco-Artware, a 2009 calendar, plantable journal and plantable cards from Botanical Paperworks, 150 wedding favor seed packets from the Tender Seed Company, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, natural blush and a brush from Alima Cosmetics, milk paints from The Real Milk Paint Company, sexy eco-lingerie from Enamore, a complete line of earth friendly cleaning products from EcoDiscoveries, eco-confetti from EcoParti, a $50 gift certificate from Global Handcrafters, a sample kit of organic body products from Terressentials, an organic cotton t-shirt from GenGreenLife, a $50 gift certificate to the The Bamboo Fabric Store, a premium wedding website from MomentVille, a premium wedding photo sharing package from The Wedding Lens , a copy of the book How to Get Married in Green by Suzan St Maur, EcoSMART organic pesticide, $100 Gift Certificate from Pear and Peony, a free 1 year subscription to The Brides Best Friend e-magazine, and the Hain-Celestial product pack that consists of -Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.

The Second Place Prize Package Consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, a $100 gift certificate from eco-chic wedding gown designer Tara Lynn, $100 gift certificate from Oblation Papers who create eco-friendly letterpress invitations, a plantable journal and plantable cards from Botanical Paperworks, a sample kit of organic body products from Terressentials, milk paints from The Real Milk Paint Company, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, a $50 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair, a $50 Gift Certificate from Pear and Peony, a 1 year subscription to The Brides Best Friend Magazine, a free premium wedding website from MomentVille and the Hain-Celestial product pack which consists of- Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.


The Third Place Prize Package Consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, $100 Gift Certificate from Smock -eco-friendly letterpress invitations, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, a free premium wedding website from MomentVille, a $25 Gift Certificate from Pear and Peony, a free 1 year subscription to The Brides Best Friend e Magazine, and the Hain Celestial product pack that consists of -Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.

Remember to enter the contest brides-to-be need to send an email to greenbridegiveaway@yahoo.com, in the email include their name, address, and email address, fiancés name and date of wedding and a paragraph or two about why they want to go green for their wedding and what steps they have already taken or would like to take to have an eco-friendly wedding. Please place “Green Bride” in the subject line.

Contest open to US brides only.

Creating a Blog Tour

I am putting together a blog tour to promote The Everything Green Wedding Book because the countdown is on.

Just a little over a month and the book will be on sale everywhere. Woo Hoo !!!

Anyone interested in participating in the blog tour? The tour will start Monday December 15.

To participate all you would have to do is add a quick post about The Everything Green Wedding Book to your blog or website and link to this site www.everythinggreenweddings.blogspot.com

If you have affiliate accounts with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other book stores you can link my book to your affiliate accounts.

I can send along green wedding planning articles, book excerpts, and promotional material about the book if you would be interested in participating in the tour.

The tour will start Monday Dec 15th and it will run for at least 2 weeks. If you could pick a day that you would like to post about The Everything Green Wedding Book that would be fabulous.

I'll include a schedule here on the site that links to all the sites and blogs participating in the tour.

Please email me at everythinggreenwedding at yahoo dot com to receive material for the blog tour.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Products for Green Bride Giveaway from Hain-Celestial

I just received a box from Hain-Celestial, they have a lot of natural and organic brands, including several lines of health and beauty products. Well, they donated a bunch of stuff for The Green Bride Giveaway.

The brands included in the box are JASON, Alba, Avalon and Zia.

The box included three of everything so all prize packages will include these products: Alba pineapple enzyme facial cleanser, JASON enzyme brightening power smile tooth brightening system, Alba Botanicals bronzing body lotion, Avalon Organics lavender body lotion, Zia fresh papaya enzyme mask, Zia citrus night-time reversal cream, and Avalon Organics vitamin C sun-aging defense cream.

That's a pretty good addition to the Green Bride prize packs.

Thank you, Hain-Celestial.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Etsy Store: The Wild Rose Garden

I have a new shop on Etsy, The Wild Rose Garden. This is where my handcrafted wedding items will be displayed. Right now my mother's beaded jewelry has been added to the shop. Slowly but surely I'm getting everything in there. :-)

Please drop by and take a look. My mom's jewelry sets are really beautiful, the photos don't do them justice.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pear and Peony Added to the Prize Pack

I just received confirmation that Pear and Peony will be donating three gift certificates: $100 for the Grand Prize Pack, $50 for the second place package and $25 for the third.

For those who don't know Pear and Peony is a fabulous company with a high dedication to craftsmanship. Their products are all produced and assembled by hand and all of their tea, salt and sugar products are organic.

They have a beautiful and unique selection of wedding favors available. Drop by Pear and Peony today to check out their beautiful assortment.

Miscommunication About Sponsorship

In yesterday's Green Bride Giveaway Prize package breakdown post I mentioned a special prize for a green bride in Arizona, a $2000 Full Service Wedding Planning Package from The Wedding Hub.

I got it wrong, sorry.

It is actually a Full Service Wedding Package valued at $6000 but they are offering it for $2000. That's a big discount of $4000.

Anyway, just to clear things up The Wedding Hub prize is not free, it is $2000.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green Bride Giveaway Prize Packs

The Green Bride Giveaway Prize Packages- here's a breakdown of what the prize packages currently consist of.

The Grand Prize Package consists of:

A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, other prizes include a $200 Gift Certificate from Encore Bridal as well as an organic cotton bridal tank top and a $25 gift certificate for eco-friendly gown preservation, $100 Gift Certificate from designer Rene Geneva redeemable at EcoChicClothing.com, $100 Gift Certificate from My Good Greetings, and a $100 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair invitations, coasters and a reusable shopping bag from Eco-Artware, a 2009 calendar, plantable journal and plantable cards from Botanical Paperworks, 150 wedding favor seed packets from the Tender Seed Company, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, natural blush and a brush from Alima Cosmetics, milk paints from The Real Milk Paint Company, sexy eco-lingerie from Enamore, a complete line of earth friendly cleaning products from EcoDiscoveries, eco-confetti from EcoParti, a $50 gift certificate from Global Handcrafters, a sample kit of organic body products from Terressentials, an organic cotton t-shirt from GenGreenLife, a $50 gift certificate to the The Bamboo Fabric Store, a premium wedding website from MomentVille, a premium wedding photo sharing package from The Wedding Lens , a copy of the book How to Get Married in Green by Suzan St Maur and EcoSMART bug spray.


The Second Place Prize Package Consists of:


A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, a $100 gift certificate from eco-chic wedding gown designer Tara Lynn, $100 gift certificate from Oblation Papers who create eco-friendly letterpress invitations, a plantable journal and plantable cards from Botanical Paperworks, a sample kit of organic body products from Terressentials, milk paints from The Real Milk Paint Company, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, a $50 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair and a free premium wedding website from MomentVille.


The Third Place Prize Package Consists of:


A signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, $100 Gift Certificate from Smock -eco-friendly letterpress invitations, a recycled book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous, and a free premium wedding website from MomentVille.


There are other donations from sponsors that I am awaiting confirmation on as well as some other prizes that may be added throughout the contest. I will post everything as it is confirmed.

Remember to enter the contest brides-to-be need to send an email to greenbridegiveaway@yahoo.com, in the email include their name, address, and email address, fiancés name and date of wedding and a paragraph or two about why they want to go green for their wedding and what steps they have already taken or would like to take to have an eco-friendly wedding. Please place “Green Bride” in the subject line.


Contest open to US brides only.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Creative Odds and Ends

Today The Green Bride Giveaway is featured on a pretty cool wedding blog, Creative Odds and Ends.

While not a green wedding blog, it does focus on all aspects of the wedding including being green. It's pretty nice all your brides to be out there should drop by and chekc it out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Green Bride Giveaway Has Started

Today's the day ladies, the green bride giveaway is now open for entries.

I've received a couple new sponsors and more keep showing interest. The Bamboo Fabric Store and Pear and Peony have added prizes to the list as well as Smock Stationery.

To enter the contest brides-to-be need to send an email to greenbridegiveaway@yahoo.com, in the email include name, address, and email address, fiancés name and date of wedding and a paragraph or two about why you want to go green for their wedding and what steps you have already taken or would like to take to have an eco-friendly wedding. Please place “Green Bride” in the subject line.

Contest open to US brides only.

Sponsors are still being accepted, if you would like to donate a product or service for The Green Bride Giveaway please contact me at everythinggreenweddings@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Green Bride Giveaway

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Everything Green Wedding Book, I am launching a contest: The Green Bride Giveaway.

The Green Bride Giveaway is a contest for brides to be that are considering going green for their weddings.

In addition to giving away three signed copies of The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth Friendly Wedding, prizes include a $200 Gift Certificate from Encore Bridal, $100 Gift Certificate from designer Rene Geneva redeemable at EcoChicClothing.com, $100 Gift Certificate from My Good Greetings, and a $100 Gift Certificate from Earthly Affair. Other contest sponsors include: Eco-Artware, Botanical Paperworks, Tender Seed Company, Ex Libris Anonymous, Oblation Papers, Alima Cosmetics, The Real Milk Paint Company, Enamore, EcoDiscoveries, EcoParti, Global Handcrafters, Terressentials, designer Tara Lynn, GenGreenLife and The Wedding Lens.

Three lucky brides-to-be that enter the contest will receive green prize packages. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package currently worth around $1000 with everything she needs to help her start planning her great green wedding, including: a signed copy of The Everything Green Wedding Book, gift certificates to go towards a gown from Encore Bridal, invitations from Oblation Papers and Earthly Affair, and announcements or bridal shower invitations from My Good Greetings, wedding accessories from EcoParti, favors from the Tender Seed Company, plantable calendars, journals and cards from Botanical paperworks, online photo albums and storage from The Wedding Lens, plus green living items like a whole line of cleaning products from EcoDiscoveries, and natural VOC free paint from The Real Milk Paint Company.

To enter the contest brides-to-be need to send an email to greenbridegiveaway@yahoo.com, in the email include their name, address, and email address, fiancés name and date of wedding and a paragraph or two about why they want to go green for their wedding and what steps they have already taken or would like to take to have an eco-friendly wedding. Please place “Green Bride” in the subject line.

Contest open to US brides only.

The contest starts Friday October 17th 2008 and will go through Friday December 12, 2008. The winners will be announced Monday December 15th, 2008 on Everything Green Weddings and More, http://www.everythinggreenweddings.blogspot.com/, the companion blog for the book. This will help kick off the release of The Everything Green Wedding Book on December 17th, 2008. Plus it will be an early Christmas present for a couple lucky brides.

Sponsors are still being accepted, if you would like to donate a product or service for The Green Bride Giveaway please contact me at everythinggreenweddings@yahoo.com or for a complete list of prizes, more information about the Green Bride Giveaway or The Everything Green Wedding Book please contact me at the above email address

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Wedding Lens Contest Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered The Wedding Lens contest for a free premium album.

After reviewing all the entries, bride to be Jessica is the winner.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, I hope you enjoy The Wedding Lens premium album.

I will have a much larger contest starting soon for green brides to be, full of fabulous green prizes. I might be announcing it as soon as the end of this week, I just have to put a few finishing touches on everything.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You've Got To Check Out My Eco-Couture Article on Getmarried.com

I have a new article up, this time at the fabulous GetMarried.com a Lifetime Television site, make sure to drop by and check out
Eco-Couture for the Environmentally Conscious Bride

If you go to the homepage about halfway down you'll see a box that has smaller boxes at the bottom, click the third that says eco-expert and it'll show you my article and byline.

Totally cool.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Celebrate Green the Book























Celebrate Green: Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family is a fabulous new book by mother and daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell.

The idea for the book came into being when they were talking one day. Daughter Corey wanted to make Halloween a healthier and more earth freindly celebration and the idea of GreenHalloween.org was created. Mother Lynn said why stop with Halloween? Let's create something to help make all holidays and celebrations more eco-friendly, and just then Celebrate Green was born.

It's been a journey, after they landed the book deal and worked so hard on the book...the publisher went out of business seven weeks before the book was due to go to print. After contacting other publishers who offered to print the book but not until 2009, they decided to publish it themselves. And now it's here.

In Celebrate Green you'll find advice to green all your holidays and celebrations: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Birthdays, and Weddings.

Read what people have to say about Celebrate Green:

"Creating annual holiday traditions, while being respectful of our impact on the world, gives our children a gift that is worthy of being handed down for generations. Celebrate Green! is filled with creative eco-friendly ideas and resources you can use to celebrate holidays and make lasting memories with your family."
~Alan Greene, MD, FAAP, author Raising Baby Green and From First Kicks to First Steps, founder, DrGreene.com

"This is more than about green. It's about our lives, our choices, how we behave, who we are, how we showlove, how we live, what we identify love with and what we call success. It's about saving our planet, saving our finances, and saving our souls...and having fun doing it. It's about giving our children a completely different world without having to hide them from the truth. Instead, it's opening their eyes to a great new way of thinking. It's so easy, it's brilliant."I can't wait to give this to my daughter, friends and family. So much of what we do happens without oureven thinking about it. This is an easy, straightforward, not-preachy, informative, intelligent, fact-fi lled, reference guide...and so much more." ~Marylee Martin, writer and actress


"Corey and Lynn make creating eco-savvy celebrations a cinch. Packed with powerful information and practical strategies, Celebrate Green! maps out simple and straightforward ways to honor what's good for people, the planet, and communities throughout the year. I love how the authors balance fascinating statistics and the "why" behind going green with some of the most creative and "doable" ideas I've ever seen. They have proven that making memories and making a difference can blissfully coexist in our holidays and traditions. Celebrate Green! is an ideal guidebook to help you live-and celebrate-with intention.

~Deanna Davis, PhD, author of Living With Intention

"For those of us who sit at parties and worry about all those paper plates and excess gift wrapping, this book is an amazing resource! To have a beautiful celebration, one need not sacrifice anything -- especially the planet." ~Cambria Gordon, co-author of The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming

"For years I thought there had to be something more to eco-friendly parties than newspaper gift wrappingand brown recycled napkins. Corey and Lynn found it and created a green gold mine full of stylish and creative ideas. Celebrate Green! doesn't just give you a way to celebrate. It gives you a reason to celebrate."
~Hannah Keeley, author of Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family and Life


"For every occasion, you can find great ideas for green gifts, decoration tips and even recipes for organic andhealthy snacks and drinks. Everything is very well organized, simple, and practical. Pick up a copy of this book to be assured you have a fabulous resource guide to celebrate green through the whole year."
~Christopher Gavigan, executive director and author of Healthy Child Healthy World


"The green movement can feel overwhelming. We all know we need to make some changes, but where tostart? Leave it to two moms to find simple solutions to empower the entire family, young and old, starting with making holidays more about green and less about sugar and overconsumption. I am green with envy that I didn't think of that! Brilliant!" Stacey ~Kannenberg, author and publisher of Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let's Get Ready For First Grade!


"Wow, wow, WOW! The book Corey and Lynn have created is itself a glorious celebration-of imagination,innovation, and most important of all, beauty. With their savvy guidance we discover how to celebrate in loving ways that nourish our souls and enrich our relationships, while also tending to the health of our global future. What a wonderful way for a new generation to learn to celebrate "with small footprints" on our shared mother, planet Earth!" ~Marcy Axness, Ph.D., author of Raising Generation PAX

"I had no idea there were so many ways to entertain, have fun and give back to the planet all at the same time. Lynn and Corey have so many clever ways to "keep it green" and help the reader do the same with minimal effort involved."

"I thought Celebrate Green! was just going to be about green entertaining but it's so much more than that.I loved the recipes, all the tips about basic lifestyle changes anyone can make, mindful traveling, and evenways to recycle that simply never occurred to me."

"It's not only a great read but a great reference book to have on hand all year round. I really can't recommend it enough." ~Theresa McKeown, author of The ABC's of Being Me

"This book is an essential antidote for those of us who are overwhelmed by the excesses of American holidays, but are not quite sure what to do about it. The authors' wise advice will help anyone realize healthier, environmentally sound holiday celebrations while continuing their own valued family traditions – and quite possibly starting some new ones. Filled with useful and creative recommendations, meticulously researched and up-to-date, Celebrate Green! is an invaluable and comprehensive resource not just for the holidays, but for the entire year." ~Simeon Hutner, filmmaker

"Because sustainability begins with respecting life, and a huge part of life is celebrating, mother and daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell's easy-access and idea-filled Celebrate Green! offers a refreshing, varied perspective on honoring special occasions in a way that respects all life on our planet, all year long." ~Kimberly Danek Pinkson, EcoMom founder


Download a Sample Chapter of Celebrate Green for Free.

Watch Lynn and Corey on YouTube

Corey and Lynn love talking to their fans so feel free to contact them.

Make sure you drop by their blog

Buy the Book on Amazon:

Celebrate Green

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eco-Friendly Product Reviews

I have a whole list of eco-friendly product reviews up at Associated Content and Eco Child's Play with more to come soon. Many are geared towards eco-mamas.

I have or will be reviewing cleaning products, organic food for kids, organic (and adorable) sock monkeys, organic cotton kids clothing, and stainless steel reusable water bottles designed for and by kids. Soon I'll also be posting info on the book Celebrate Green.

To check out some of my reviews, click on the links.

New Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: EcoDiscoveries

Review of Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

Books to Help You Plan Your Green Wedding

Plum Organics for Kids

Maggie's Organics Adorable Sock Monkeys

Drop by often or subscribe to the blog so you know when new info and links are added.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Want to Win a $40,000 Green Wedding Package?

Caly Hill Farm is giving away a green wedding package worth around $40,000 to one lucky couple.

Clay Hill Farm’s Green Wedding Giveaway is a contest of commitment.

"The contest challenges couples on the verge of a major life commitment to explore the parallel of a commitment to each other and a commitment to the earth. This is not a contest measuring green. Not at all. This is a creative challenge of exploration and awakening.

Marriage is about commitment and compromise, so is green. How can these two concepts be explored in conjunction? Is there a place for green at your table? Tell us your story in a play, a video, a painting, a poem, a song, an essay or whatever suits your fancy. Be creative, be poignant, be green (or not). Pick your shade and shout it to the world. Do this and you could win a green wedding prize package with contest prizes valued at over $40,000."

The contest is open to everyone who is engaged and will not be married as of June 21, 2009.

So what do you have to do?

Fill out the online form and tell them your story with a play, a poem, a song, a painting or whatever creative expression suits your fancy, along with a two-minute video or a photo and 200-word essay.

Click here for the official rules.

"This is a contest encouraging couples to explore the true spirit of green and celebrate all shades. So get started and enter today." Click here for the online entry form.

Challenge others. Challenge yourself.

Do this, and you could win a complete Green Wedding Ceremony & Reception at Clay Hill Farm on the Summer Solstice June 21st 2009 for up to 100 guests . (11 am-4:30 pm) This grand prize package is valued at over $40,000. Rehearsal dinner, ceremony, catered reception, Hand-painted watercolor invitations, flowers, photography, DJ services, live cocktail music, cake, hybrid bridal transportation, spa services, organic beverages, tuxedo rentals, wedding-night suite and honeymoon week…are all part of the Grand Prize package.

Calming Kitty Post at Prevention

Want to learn how I keep my kitties calm before, during and after flea bath time?

Check out Calming Kitty at the Prevention blogs.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Win a Free Premium Photo Album from The Wedding Lens

There's a new photo sharing site, The Wedding Lens, and they are offering the chance for one lucky couple to receive a free premium album.

The Wedding Lens is a photo sharing site specifically designed for weddings. They are relatively new and they are trying to help couples make their weddings a bit greener while collecting more photo memories.

They are a replacement for the plastic disposable wedding cameras that many people use at weddings to get guests to take photos. Disposable cameras are not very "green", even the ones that are recyclable or reusable need plastic to be made, they take up a lot of cost and resources. Plus the photos that are taken all need to be printed, many of which are not photos the couple generally want. That all adds up to a lot of waste.

The Wedding Lens works this way:
  • The bride and groom can customize a FREE or premium ($49.95) album with their relevant details
  • Then they upload the email addresses of their guests.
  • About a week before the wedding, The Wedding Lens sends their guests an email encouraging them to bring a digital camera to the wedding to take plenty of photos.
  • The day after the wedding The Wedding Lens sends out another email reminding the guests to upload all of the cool photos they took of the bride and groom to their album. Average albums get about 500 to 600 photos and some get as many as 1200.

    Get more details and check out the features here.

The Wedding Lens is offering a free premium album to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do is email me right away at everythinggreenweddings@yahoo.com and give me some details about what efforts you are taking to green your wedding, either a little or a lot it doesn't matter, just send me an email before Friday, October 10th and I'll pick a winner from the entries and announce the winner on Monday October 13.

The free album must be redeemed by January 1st, 2009 so this is perfect for any green brides out there getting married this fall and early winter.

Again to enter just send me an email at everythinggreenweddings@yahoo.com with "The Wedding Lens Contest" in the subject line.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How to Get Married in Green by Suzan St Maur


UK brides you now have a wonderful resource to help you plan your green wedding. How to Get Married in Green: Have an Eco-Friendly Wedding Without Compromising on Style is a fabulous green wedding planning book by Suzan St Maur.

You might think it strange that I'm promoting another green wedding planning book when my own comes out in December but every writer, while still offering some of the same basic green information, has their own voice and their own take on green weddings. You'll find something different in every book. So far I've read every book on green wedding planning (except The Green Bride Guide which isn't out yet) in addition to writing my own. Each one has wonderful and unique advice. Some offer how-to advice, DIY sections, recipes and more.

Suzan's book is geared toward British brides, full of British resources, companies and websites that are not in my book, since my book was written from an American point of view with mostly American websites and resources though I do include the UK site Ethical Weddings and several UK retailers as well as some Canadian ones like Botanical Paperworks. (Which by the way, since I live in Michigan, Canada is my closest neighbor, it takes me 30 minutes to get to Canada but over an hour to get to the nearest neighboring US State, so to me Canada is more a nice neighbor than another country).

In Suzan's book you'll find great green advice on: jewelry (jewellery to you UK brides to be), pre wedding parties, the location of your wedding and reception, stationery, clothing, cosmetics, gifts, flowers, decorations, the ceremony, the reception, the food, drinks (even recipes for organic cocktails), photography, transportation and the honeymoon. Everything you need to help you plan a green wedding in the UK but most of the information is can be used to help you plan a green wedding anywhere.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Botanical Paperworks for Your Eco-Friendly Wedding Needs

Looking for something beyond recycled paper or tree free paper choices for your wedding? How about paper that blooms into beautiful flowers?

Botanical Paperworks has a beautiful selection of handmade seeded, plantable invitations, plantable favors, guest books, and beautiful quill pens and dipping ink to go along with your unique guest book.

Botanical Paperworks also has a DIY section full of craft projects and articles for the bride (or groom) to be.

Drop by Botanical Paperworks today and see for yourself how your wedding stationary needs can be blooming with love.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Drop by Creatively Green

Hello everyone. Make sure you drop by my new blog, Creatively Green, for all kinds of posts about my green life including product reviews, advice, and all kinds of links to green stuff, plus posts that consist of my miscelaneous ramblings. :-)

There you will also find links to all my Prevention Buzz Blog Posts and my Green Options Media Posts.

So far on the Green Options Media family of sites I have posted: Biogas is Coming to Flint, Flint's Green Future, Green Weddings in Galinburg Part 1, Boy's Life Features Green DIY Pojects, and Check Out the Free Kids DIY Projects at Lowes and Home Depot.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Searching for Green Brides

Hello past and present green brides and brides to be. I am looking to chat with some brides that have had a green wedding or are planning a green wedding in the future.



And when I say green, I mean even if you are just implementing one or two eco-friendly things into your wedding or if you went all out and had an eco-extravagant event from gown to honeymoon.



I'd love to hear your story.



Please email me at everythinggreenweddings@yahoo.com

Article Featured on the Ethical Weddings Blog

My Totally Vintageous article was featured on the Ethical Weddings blog yesterday (Friday September 5th). I forgot to post a link to it. It has been hectic around here lately. Kids back in school, trying to get use to schedules, etc, etc... Anyway, if you get a chance to drop by and check it out, it is all about vintage wedding gowns being a very green option. It includes links on where to find them and tips for what to look for when shopping for a vintage gown.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is Going Green

"GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – August 26, 2008 – Aiming to preserve its pristine beaches and natural eco-systems such as the Everglades and mangrove preserves, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) recently established Plan.It.Green, an innovative program created to help offset the carbon footprint from meetings and conventions held within the destination each year.

A partnership with the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, Plan.It.Green will reestablish native trees and green buffers in Markham Park, located in Sunrise."Tourism is such a significant part of who we are, it now also helps us with who we will be," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We are honored to be the first CVB to partner with our meetings industry in this very important green initiative."The GFLCVB has identified three ways to contribute to this program:

Regroup. Recharge. Replant. Meeting planners have the opportunity to be "meeting planters" by stopping by the GFLCVB booth at any tradeshow, a donation will be made on their behalf to help plant a tree in Broward County parks. In addition, planners will receive handmade, biodegradable paper embedded with wildflower seeds that they can take home and grow. Ads in both Meeting Professional International's and the American Society of Association Executives' publications, inform attendees that, by simply visiting the GFLCVB's booth, they will be doing their part to preserve the planet.

As part of the bid process for large meetings, the GFLCVB will provide a donation on behalf of the organization's meeting to Broward Parks for the Plan.It.Green program. The GFLCVB will also extend the same incentive for meeting planners that submit an RFP to the bureau.

The GFLCVB can arrange a volunteer planting day at Markham Park for organizations holding meetings in Greater Fort Lauderdale or groups can make donations directly to Broward Parks for Plan.It.Green. Either way the organizations can contribute to the greening of the destination one tree at a time.

Broward Country certified Florida Green Lodgings are also contributing to Plan.It.Green by making a donation for reforestation in Broward Parks. Florida Green Lodgings are hotels that have been recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for being environmentally conscientious as a result of their conservation practices or building design.

Currently almost 25 hotels in Greater Fort Lauderdale are awaiting certification inspection, while 14 have already received accreditation. These include: Bahia Mar; Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Lauderdale; Comfort Suites Airport & Cruise Port, Fort Lauderdale; Comfort Suites, Tamarac; Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort & Spa; Embassy Suites Hotel Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club; Hampton Inn, Hallandale Beach – Aventura; Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort; Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa, Weston; Hyatt Regency Pier 66; Mainstay Suites, Tamarac; Sheraton Suites Cypress Creek, Fort Lauderdale; Sleep Inn & Suites, Dania Beach.

Kiosk and interpretive signage in Markham Park will recognize the donors of the Plan.It.Green campaign.

The new Greater Fort Lauderdale is a vibrant, year-round destination offering more than 33,000 hotel rooms at a variety of hotels, resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings, plus new five-star resorts and more to come. More than ten million annual visitors enjoy Greater Fort Lauderdale's 23 miles of Blue Wave Beaches, 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal to the Everglades, 4,000 restaurants, top shopping, and a thriving arts and culture scene. For more information, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blogging Around the Web

Well, I've been busy lately blogging all over the web. I have two regular gigs where you'll be finding me quite a bit at the Prevention buzz blogger community and over at Green Options Media.

Read my newest post about my glowing skin secrets at Prevention and drop by Green Options to check out their family of sites. I don't have anything up yet but I will soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Blog: Creatively Green

I have started a new blog for all my non-wedding musings. The new blog is Creatively Green. The main focus will be on green living, gardening, crafting, nature and my ramblings about anything and everything.

I had quite a few musings, essays and things that I thought about writing for blog posts that just didn't fit in with my green wedding focus here or on my Prevention buzz blog health related posts. And since I find blogger to be the most user friendly of blog sites I created a new blog here. I have MySpace and FaceBook and livejournal accounts but I find they are not as user friendly and they take much longer to load and don't have all the easy to use tools (gadgets).

I have a few posts up already and I'm adding links and gadgets randomly. So if you get a chance, stop by and check it out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prevention.com

You may have noticed that I write for Prevention.com as one of their community bloggers now. I love it, it's great to focus on getting fit and being healthy. They have a fabulous group of bloggers in the community that write about everything from getting fit to being a mom and helping kids make healthy choices. I have a sidebar here on this blog with an RSS feed showing the newest posts in the Prevention community. Make sure you drop by and check it out.

In addition to the blogs, the Prevention site is fabulous. There is so much on the site I still haven't had time to get to all of it. There are loads of information, articles and tools to help you lose weight including free videos. There's even a weight loss simulator that you can use to show you how you would look after losing weight. There is also a health tracker that can help you keep track of your goals and help you accomplish them.

Drop by Prevention.com and see what they have to offer. It's a fabulous site that can help get you healthy and on track.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Green Photography On the Rise

I've written several articles and posts about green photography and green photographers. I love that photographers and technology are really getting into the "green" scheme of things.



I recently received information about another photographer that is going green and hopes to help others go green as well.


"Green photographer Patrick Williams recently launched an environmentally-focused photography blog, http://www.ecophotogblog.com/. The blog was created to offer tips and insights for green or aspiring green photographers."


A few other green photographers blog on the site including one I've had a chance to chat with online a couple of times, (Kris)Tina Carter of VRAI Photography.

"Patrick is the founder and operator of PWP Studio, based in Atlanta , where he specializes in wedding, portraiture and freelance photography. Over the past few years, Patrick started a green initiative at his studio and in everything he does. Some of his 'green' practices include: reusing all boxes and shipping materials and recycling whenever possible, using print paper and photo albums created from 100% recycled materials, he has replaced paper address and logo stickers with reusable polymer stamps with soy-based inks, and he has implemented the use of carbon neutral transportation to provide deliverable items to his clients.

Patrick is also in the process of starting a green photography association-- which would be the first of its kind-- to encourage other photographers to implement environmentally friendly practices into their studios. He would like to encourage others to eliminate the impact of studio operations whenever possible and to modify their photography processes by using supporting renewable and sustainable resources. In addition, he will soon open an online store that will provide consumers and future association members with eco-friendly photography supplies and equipment. "


Sounds like Patrick is really dedicated to going green and helping others be more eco-friendly as well in both their lives and their work.

"Patrick hopes to drive awareness and support for the association and store through his Eco Photog Blog at http://www.ecophotogblog.com/. Already, two other green photographers, Tina Carter (based in Chicago ) and Jacklyn Greenberg ( New Haven , Conn. ) have joined Patrick’s cause and contribute as writers on the Eco Photog Blog.

So, whether you are a professional photographer, enjoy photography as a hobby, or simply enjoy reading the thoughts of other passionate environmental stewards, this blog is a great read."

Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg



If you are planning a vacation in Gatlinburg you really have to stay in a cabin to get the best experience and the most bang for your buck. It’s not much more expensive than staying in a decent hotel and if you have a large family or a lot of people staying with you a cabin is the best deal.



There are several cabin rental companies throughout Gatlinburg. We went through Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg. They sent a big magazine with all the details of all the cabins they rent out. Everything looked so wonderful. (They have several honeymoon cabins, a couple even have indoor pools.) After going through the magazine and checking stuff out online (you can do a 360 tour) we found the cabin that seemed to suit us the best and that was available the week we were planning to be gone, Appalachian Splendor.



Unfortunately it didn’t have internet access which I thought would be okay but a week with very limited access…not okay for an internet junkie like me. Plus with all my writing stuff I need to have access to my email a lot. I almost missed out on a writing deal because I didn’t check my email for days. The cabin rental office has free wifi and I found one location in a mall that had internet access (didn’t have my laptop with me) other than that no internet access except at the hotels, which we obviously were not at. None of the Burger Kings or McDonalds had wifi that we stopped at. Seriously I thought I was going to die. I was having withdrawals.



Other than the lack of internet access our cabin was beautiful though it did have some issues. I have a two year old and the cabin was not toddler friendly. The front door he could open right up and walk out so they installed a chain lock on it for us. I thought that was wonderful of them. Most of the other problems we solved ourselves by moving furniture and just not letting him go outside. He fell down the front porch the first day and stuck his head through the slats on the back deck. Not cool we are literally way up in the mountains and he could fall right off the edge. The cabin was also two stories. Luckily the stairs were thickly carpeted and he could scoot down them. The loft was nice and had a high wall he couldn’t climb over, thank goodness.



The other major issue I had with the cabin was the drive to get to it. Twisting, turning, narrow, creepy mountain roads that seemed very treacherous, and then there was our driveway…heartattackville. It’s a sharp turn, a steep incline then a quick stop. If you make a wrong move you’re off the mountain…really….boom, bang, crash, and pray a tree stops you from going all the way down. I wouldn’t drive it. I couldn’t. There is no way. I panic driving between two semis. Driving through the mountains would kill me. So I couldn’t go anywhere without my husband which kind of sucked because there were things I wanted to do without the kids in tow. I really wish on the brochure or the Web site or something they would warn you about the area of your cabin and the roads to reach it. I would have been just as happy and a lot less stressed with one of the cute cabins at the bottom of the mountain.



Then the free stuff Mountain Rentals gives you…crap. Okay, the seventh night free when you book six nights is cool but the little bag and pen both sucked…the pen stuck and the bag ripped…and the coupons are no better or different than what you can pick up everywhere. Then the four free horseback riding tickets they gave us we couldn’t even use because we have a two year old. This guy doesn’t allow children under 5 or 6 and no double riders so that left one of us adults staying at the cabin with the little guy. My husband took the oldest kids then the jerk told him he couldn’t ride because he was a couple pounds over the weight limit. So he had to take the kids and pay for horseback riding somewhere else. All of the other stables allow small children to double with a parent and don’t have weight limits. Some even give out free cowboy hats and pictures when you ride. One of the reasons I booked with Mountain Rentals was for the free horseback riding. I figured that would be one less thing we had to pay for, and then we had to pay over $60 for it anyway.



Oh, I forgot to mention Saturday morning we woke up with no water and had to go to my husband’s family reunion in Maryville about an hour from Gatlinburg. It’s freaking hotter than hell in Tennessee in August. You don’t want to go anywhere without showering. So we got creative, we all dunked ourselves in the hot tub to at least rinse off and wet our hair so we didn’t walk around with bedhead all day. Thankfully when we arrived back at the cabin that evening we had water again. Let me tell you something though, that morning I was ticked…and that’s putting it nicely. We’re not really sure what happened something about a water pump going out on the mountain and several cabins were affected. They didn’t offer any kind of compensation for any of our problems.



Now that I’m done ranting let me tell you about the good stuff. We had three bedrooms, one upstairs with a huge king size bed obviously me, the hubby and toddler took that room, another bedroom in the loft area that I think was a regular double bed and super cute that ended up being my daughter’s room, then a nice queen size bed downstairs that was my teenagers room. He liked that he was alone and far away from the rest of us. If we had more people the sofa turned into a bed, too.



The view was spectacular. From our front porch that had a swing and rocking chairs we could look out and see nothing but mountains and trees. On the back deck we had a picnic table, benches, hot tub and a grill. Very nice. Except for a few railing slats that were not built to code and my little guy could stick his head and shoulders right through them. We put the benches in front of those to keep him away from that area.



The cabin had two bathrooms, one with a standard tub/shower and the second with a huge Jacuzzi bathtub. Again, very nice.



We had a full kitchen that was equipped with dishes, silverware, pots and pans and most of everything we needed. All we had to do was supply the food which saved us a fortune on eating out costs. We usually had breakfast at the cabin, maybe lunch or a snack out while we were enjoying the sights then came back to the cabin and had dinner.



Another great feature was the cabin had a washer and drier that we could use (no extra costs either, they weren’t coin operated). I think I did six loads of laundry while we were there. I know most people want to avoid all that on vacation but with three kids you like travelling and still having all the conveniences of home. Kids get dirty, bathing suits and towels get fishy smelling from the rivers and you might have a toddler that decides to get sick, like mine did. Yeah, immediate washer and drier access in the cabin…priceless.



So all in all the cabin was fantastic, sure it had some issues but I suppose everything does. I’ve never been anywhere that gave me 100% satisfaction, at least not when I travel with my kids. I’m a lot pickier when my children are with me because many vacation destinations just are not kid friendly even though many of the sites and attractions are geared towards children you think the accommodations would be more kid friendly.



If Mountain Rentals would fix some of their issues like offering childproof cabins and partnering with a more family friendly stable they might get many more families making return trips. They also should give warning of the drive and the steep incline of some of the cabins (really what if our vehicle couldn’t have made the drive? We didn’t drive our SUV we borrowed a minivan that luckily made it up the mountain). Oh, and if they offered internet access in all the cabins…it would have been heaven…heaven with bears.



I forgot to mention…black bears are plentiful in the Smoky Mountains. You have to be careful and be aware that they are out there and they are wild animals…not cute, little, cuddly bears. Don’t leave food in your vehicle and don’t leave garbage out that will attract them. Smart people have garbage cans or huge dumpsters that get locked up tight at night.

My Smoky Mountain Vacation

My family hasn’t taken a real family vacation in years, something that involved all of us for more than just a day. So when my husband received an invitation for his family reunion back in January we decided that we were going to go to the reunion in Maryville, Tennessee and make a vacation out of it by visiting Gatlinburg and all of the other towns that are clustered together in the Smokies; Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Townsend, Tennessee and Cherokee, North Carolina. So we started planning a week of fun in the Smokies.

This was one of my most well planned vacations ever also one that we actually had money saved up for. So it was wonderful to go on vacation and not worry about not having money for the things we really wanted to do.

The location is stunning. Ever since my husband brought me to Tennessee several years ago I have been in love with the mountains. The beauty of the Smoky Mountains is indescribable, really something you just have to experience firsthand.

Driving through the mountains is another story. That’s dangerous.

Our cabin was in Gatlinburg up in the mountains not down in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the main strip. Last time we stayed in Pigeon Forge which is also pretty crazy this time of year.

I enjoyed our vacation but it was exhausting and hectic. I think my favorite parts were the ones that didn’t involve a lot of crowds, noise, or money.

I think the best day was our trip to Cades Cove, which is a historical community inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is camp ground, picnic area, and the 11 mile scenic loop full of historical buildings and sites including three churches with very old cemeteries. My husband’s maternal family is from that area of Tennessee (they are even mentioned as being one of the first families in Cades Cove on one Cade’s Cove Web site) and there are old LeQuire tombstones in the cemeteries. There is also a barn in Cade’s Cove that his grandfather claimed was his when he was a child and a wall that his grandfather helped build. It was a wonderful way for my children to get a taste of their genealogic roots.

Members of my husband’s family joined us on our Cade’s Cove trip; his brother, sister, and their children and two of his cousins. My husband, his brother and sister and all of the cousins used to make the trip almost every year when they were children. This time it was a second generation that got to explore where they came from.

We picnicked in the park, played in the river and hiked through the trails in the woods then we drove the scenic loop through Cade’s Cove stopping and checking out the historical locations. The whole day was free (minus the cost of gas) and it was the best part of our vacation.

The rest of our vacation was spent checking out the attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Wonder Works, and some of the little go cart places and arcades that are extremely plentiful in the area. Parts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are like a big amusement park, except an amusement park would be cheaper. Everything is separate here. For my family of 5 to get into the aquarium it cost over $85 same for WonderWorks. Both places were noisy, crowded and crazy. Not a good combination for me and obviously not for my two year old either because he screamed and cried through most of it making us all miserable.

We also did some shopping. I found my favorite store of all time in the mall in downtown Gatlinburg, Chillin Turtles. Nothing but turtle stuff; turtle garden décor, turtle home décor, turtle clothing, turtle jewelry, turtles, turtles everywhere. I love turtles. Someday I will have a turtle pond or habitat, maybe a whole turtle preserve. Right now I don’t have any because I think sticking them in a little glass aquarium is cruel. Anyway, I contained myself and exhibited remarkable self control and only purchased one thing, a beautiful turtle wind chime made from copper wire.

There is so much to do it is unbelievable. One day my daughter went to Splash Country inside Dollywood with her aunt while my husband and teenage son went to the NASCAR Speed Park go cart track and went through Ripley’s Haunted Adventure while I relaxed at the cabin with my little guy because he was sick. Another day my husband also took the older kids horseback riding and tubing down the river. My little guy is only two so a bit too small for any of that, and I got to do something I’ve wanted to do…sit in a log cabin in the woods and relax. While the little guy napped I sat in the Jacuzzi tub and read a book. I can’t do that at home and nobody bothered me.

A Smoky Mountain vacation is just so exquisite. There is something for everyone; you have nature, history, adventure and lots of fun for all ages. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is full of beautiful scenery, hiking trails, rivers and waterfalls and if you go to Cade’s Cove it’s like stepping back in time. And it’s free unless you rent a bike or go horseback riding but to just go to the park and hike around, free.

Other mountain adventures include renting ATV’s, taking a ride in a Hummer or seeing the sights by helicopter or you can go white water rafting or fishing. For the less adventurous (though I think braving the crowds, noise and tons of kids takes a lot of guts) you can visit one of the many family friendly attractions. There are a couple underground caverns open for touring. Being underground is so cool, literally…it’s always around 58 degrees underground; a great way to beat the heat in the middle of the summer. If going underground isn’t enough jump in one of the many rivers. That’ll cool you off. Mountain streams and rivers are pretty cold.

We did a lot. It was nice being able to find things the whole family could do since there is such a big age difference in the kids; 16, 9 and 2. We tried to make sure to do things as a family and make sure everyone got to do the things they really wanted to do. It was a fun family vacation, thank goodness though we won’t be repeating it anytime soon though because I am exhausted. We did so much walking and hiking and it was HOT. I’m a Michigan girl, relentless days of 98 degree and up weather doesn’t sit well with me. One day it was over 100. We hit the pool after a day spent in the heat in Pigeon Forge.

I was thankful to go home to Michigan and 70 degree weather. Plus I really needed a vacation from my vacation.