Category: websites

Bold and Positive Girl Shirts!

By , September 19, 2013 10:58 am

My 13 year old  daughter is not a “girly-girl.”  She does not like pink.  She does not like purple.  She does not like sparkles.  She even complains that the little cap sleeves on “girls’ shirts” are not as comfy as the “normal” sleeves on boys’ clothes.  My daughter reads a lot, runs cross-country, and is determined to get her private pilot’s license on her 17th birthday.  She is the perfect customer for Girls Will Be, a store for “girl clothes without the girly.”

Here you can find unique shirts in sizes 4 through 12 with positive messages.  No “Princess” or “Spoiled Brat.”  No images of boy pop bands, Angry Birds, or teenage TV “role model” actresses.  There is also a noticeable lack of glitter, sparkle, ruffles, and spandex.

My daughter chose an airplane shirt (the plane image is actually a flock of birds) and a bold but cute dog shirt. We have a “Bold Daring Fearless Adventurous” tee on pre-order!

If you visit, be sure to read the “About” page.  The store was recently founded by two sister moms (of “non-girly” girls) and their artistic brother who designs the shirts himself.  They write:  “We hope Girls Will Be helps empower young girls to be themselves and never feel like they need to conform to the increasingly narrow definition of “girl” reflected in far too many of the clothes (and other products) marketed to them.”

I also like that this cool family maintains a blog where they showcase clothing and accessories from other stores that meet their non-girly standards.

Fortunately for the Girls Will Be team, demand is high for their products (which are all made in the United States) and you might have to pre-order and wait a bit to get the shirt you want.  The wait is worth it though since the quality and comfort-level are excellent and, most importantly, my daughter loves her unique shirts and wears them often.

There is nothing wrong with being feminine, but it is important that girls have a clothing choice.  My daughter and I wish the Girls Will Be team lots of success in their very worthy enterprise!

 

Albatross Studies

By , January 30, 2009 8:38 pm

Perhaps my favorite place in the whole world is the South Island of New Zealand.  If you live there, I SO envy you!  What a beautiful place filled with nice people…I can’t say enough wonderful things about it.  The only drawback is that, for most of us in the world, it is a little out of the way.  No, make that VERY MUCH out of the way!  Upon further thought however, perhaps that is what keeps it so lovely and friendly?

Anyhow, I was once fortunate enough to be able to visit New Zealand’s South Island.  I believe it was in May and the leaves were turning color.  There was a fall chill in the air…strange, since we had just left tree buds exploding with flowers and greenery emerging from the sun’s warmth – a promise of lazy summer days was near.

We had many remarkable adventures in southern New Zealand as we explored the glacial and fjord-laden, yet lush, west coast; viewed spectacular snowy mountainscapes of the central region; and enjoyed sheep (many, many, MANY sheep) grazing on peaceful green hills in the eastern portion.

One of the most interesting places that we visited was the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin. Before the visit, I really new very little about these amazing birds, except that according to old sailing lore, it was considered bad luck to see one. Wasn’t an albatross involved in Edgar Allan Poe‘s novel,  The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym?

  • WEBCAM – I was quite excited to discover a live webcam from Dunedin’s Royal Albatross Center.  I found this quite some time ago and have been meaning to write about it.  At the moment, it seems to be showing just a general view of the colony since eggs are still incubating.  However when there are chicks, it is a nest cam!  Remember, that since it is live, you might find it is dark when you go to check it out due to the time difference.  Keep going back, it is worth it.
  • TRACKING – There are quite a few sites out there that show tracking results for albatross that have been fitted with satellite trackers:

Seaturtle.org (2004 data)

2008 Black-Footed Albatross “race”: Check out these amazing results for “the 2008 winner” named Oski.  In the 64 days (s)he was tracked, (s)he traveled a curved path totaling 19,571 km (a straight line distance of 4,943 km) at an average rate of 305 km/day!

The Hawaii Study:  Has a good teaching/classroom component.

  • ADOPTION – If your family or class has the means (or wants to do a few fundraisers), you can even adopt your own albatross.  The cost ($2,500 in 2008) covers the tracking tag and three months of data.  You can choose the name of your bird and follow him/her in real time through online maps.  Cool!  The non-profit sponsor, Oikonos, will also send you a framed photo of your actual bird as well as a map of the completed three month journey.
  • TEACHING – Good classroom tools here.

Oikonos also offers free, downloadable classroom tools about the effects of trash and debris on marine birds.

The Albatross Project

If you do nothing else, watch (and show your kids) this gorgeous video of albatrosses soaring over the ocean, and “playing” in the wind. It is such a beautiful sight that it actually made me cry! Please watch it!

OK, now that you have been moved to tears by these beautiful birds, how about trying to save them? Here are some organizations that would like some help (fundraiser anyone?):

  • GIVING – Organizations that aim to protect the albatross from long-line fishing and ocean trash:

Oikonos

Save the Albatross

Birds Australia

I don’t homeschool, but if I did, I would somehow work in an albatross unit despite the fact that I live in Arizona!  I hope that these resources will inspire somebody somewhere.

++++++++++

PHOTO CREDITS:  Thank you Wikimedia Commons!  For photo credits and licensing information, click on these links:  Squabbling Albatrosses and Soaring Albatross.

++++++++++

Unplugged Toystore $50 Giveaway and Discount – Bright October!

By , October 25, 2008 8:07 am

I was very excited to receive an email the other day from Courtney at Bright October asking if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway.

Well, yes!!  Bright October is one of my favorite Unplugged Toystores so I knew that whatever Courtney wanted to give away to a reader would be wonderful.

At mom-run Bright October, there are no mass market, licensed character toys.  All the toys they offer are excellent quality, safe, open-ended, and simply beautiful.

In addition to popular, high-quality brands such as Haba, Selecta, and Kathe Kruse, you’ll also discover some that are less well-known (here in the U.S. anyway): Blabla (Peru), Sevi (Italy), and Vilac (France) for example.  I personally love the totally cute organic stuffed animals!

Courtney is very generously offering a $50 Bright October gift certificate to a randomly selected Unplug Your Kids reader, as well as a 10% discount for ALL Unplug Your Kids readers.

To enter, all you have to do is:

1)  Visit Bright October to pick what you might want to buy with your gift certificate (this is hypothetical, if you win you can still change your mind and pick something else).

2)  Leave a comment here on this post saying what you picked.  To enter, leave your comment here at Unplug Your Kids (not at Bright October).

3)  That’s it!

I’ll leave comments open until next Saturday, November 1st at 8PM Pacific Time.  After all comments are in, I’ll pick a random winner and announce it here on Sunday morning, November 2nd.  (I wish I could enter too, but I guess that wouldn’t be very fair!)

Even if you don’t win, you can still take advantage of the 10% off coupon.  Just enter unplug at checkout to get your discount.  The code will be valid until the end of the year, December 31st, 2008 so you can do a little Christmas shopping with it.

Thank you Courtney and good luck to all!

Fighting Unethical Children’s Advertising

By , October 22, 2008 3:17 pm

Do you ever get upset about the excess of marketing targeted at your children?  How about the sexualization of children’s toys and ads?  Even without TV, it is hard to miss the barrage of ads, “licensed characters” and sleazy or violent toys.  We see it everywhere: in children’s magazines, in the grocery stores, and even (or so I have been told) in the public schools.

Some people don’t seem to mind, and that is OK.  But if you are a parent who feels manipulated, angry and frustrated by every trip to the supermarket, toy store, or even book store, then head on over to Parents For Ethical Marketing and meet Lisa Ray, a mom who is not just complaining, but is actually trying to DO something about it!

Lisa started her website and blog in 2007.  Via her blog that began as a simple creative outlet, Lisa discovered her true passion: fighting corporate marketing targeted at children.

Now a year later, she is taking her website one step farther.  Lisa is creating a non-profit organization to help her take real action to curb unethical children’s marketing.  Her plans include educating the public via free workshops for parent groups, newsletters and her blog, Corporate Babysitter.  She also hopes to influence legislation and encourage parents to write to corporations about marketing policies that displease them.

Lisa’s goal is to raise $10,000 by Thanksgiving.  Read more here.  If you like what you read, then you can make a donation to her cause via the Parents for Ethical Marketing page at change.org.

It is so easy to sit back and complain about what displeases us, but very few people have the energy or drive to actually try and do something about it.  Thank you for taking this cause and running with it Lisa.  I applaud you!

(Thanks to morguefile.com and photographer Anita Patterson Peppers for this lovely photo.)

Opt Out of Your Phone Books

By , June 20, 2008 9:51 am

You probably already knew that you could opt out of catalogs, but did you know that you can also opt out of receiving phone books?

Thanks so much to Hettie of Celtic Mommy for emailing me this link:

YellowPagesGoesGreen.org

I am an active CatalogChoice participant, but the phone book thing is going to be harder for me to adopt. I am old-fashioned I guess, and for some reason I like having my local phone numbers all there in a book in my desk drawer.

However I do live in a small area and my single phonebook (white and yellow pages combined) is only about an inch thick! If I was in New York City, or LA where my phone books weighed more than my oldest child, I would be ever so eager to rid myself of them forever!

But do we really need to have numerous phone books dumped at our door several times per year? I would prefer to call and ask for a book every year or two…or better yet, get used to finding my information paperlessly, online.

Of course phone books are a great source of advertising revenue for phone companies and other private companies that compile directories, so they won’t easily cease distribution. That is why if this cause is important to you, then help spread the word that such an option is available.

Here are some facts (according to YellowPagesGoesGreen):

To produce 500 million books:

  • 19 million trees need to be harvested
  • 1.6 billion pounds of paper are wasted
  • 7.2 million barrels of oil are misspent in their processing (not including the wasted gas used for their delivery to your doorstep)
  • 268,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up
  • 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are squandered

Be sure to check out the YellowPagesGoesGreen links page too.

I am off to sign up now to opt out of my little phone book and begin changing my habits to a paper-free phone life!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Panorama Theme by Themocracy