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:: about ::
name:mod*mom
occupation:full-time mom + wife
interests:mod, modern, futuristic + space-age design, technology, music, books, blogs + adventures
resides:sixties vintage prefab in silicon valley between yahoo + google since summer 2005, but we lived in a tiny apartment in oakland,ca before that
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:: archives ::
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5.31.2008

mod*tot's birthday party at the palo alto junior zoo was FUN! she invited her 36 nursery school classmates, many friends, neighbors, + their families. we had a big bubble blast + played games on the grass. it was 85 degrees, but several fabulous orange umbrellas from room&board kept us shaded + cool. mod*tot had 3 cakes from whole foods: 2 strawberry whipped cream +1 vegan chocolate. mod*tot said she wants to have her party again.

i tried to make her birthday party eco-friendly with reusable items like her jeweled crown from whole foods + reusable decorations, like a felt "happy birthday" banner,
table cloths, plus biodegradable crepe paper streamers from target. we sent electronic invitations to some party guests + delivered the rest. we went "less is more" + kept the balloons to a minimum. i was going to give strawberry plants as a party favor, but i chickened out + i had the pinata all ready + even brought it to the party thinking somehow at the last minute, i'd think of nutritious eco-friendly pinata stuffing, but i couldn't figure it out. i didn't want to put in sugary candy + flimsy plastic toys, but i also didn't want to put in raisins or nuts (serious allergies). mod*tot said they could have "imaginary candy" inside. sweet, but the other children might not agree. any suggestions for nutritious eco-friendly pinata stuffers?

by ~mod*mom~ at 31.5.08 © 17 comments


5.29.2008






mod*mom giveaway :: futuristic plasma cars

plasma car can be ridden by moms, dads or tots. it handles up to 220 lbs. just swivel the steering wheel to propel yourself on a smooth surface inside or outside, forward or backward. here's an interesting little demo video from the discovery channel about the physics behind the plasma car (it's from canada). they come in orange, red, blue, purple, green + hot pink. our whole family loves the plasma car + we're so excited target is sharing them with lucky mod*mom readers! target.com has over 260 ride on toys!

click here to watch people riding plasma cars. they're very durable too.

to enter to win a plasmacar in purple, red, blue, green, orange or hot pink,
please leave me a comment telling me your favorite ride-on toys at target.
include your email address + url, before midnight, monday june 23

*use the little envelope icon below this post to share this with your friends
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.
if you have a blog, please share this giveaway with your readers.

by ~mod*mom~ at 29.5.08 © 312 comments


5.25.2008





dwell magazine's 3rd annual dwell on design conference + expo is a 4-day event in los angeles from June 5-8, 2008 + includes modern home tours

dwell on design is a chance to meet 1-on-1 with the most innovative minds in design, hear the movers + shakers of the industry, chat with dwell editors, experience over 200 exhibits in 55,000 square feet of ideas, visit a full-scale pre-fab sustainable neighborhood completely landscaped + furnished by dwell, + get inspired to be at home in the modern world!

dwell is offering mod*mom readers FREE exhibition admission june 7-8
if you
register online with code: BDODEC ($50 at door)

+ $50 off conference admission if you
register online with code: GRP22SP


by ~mod*mom~ at 25.5.08 © 8 comments


5.23.2008


remember to enter my fabulous giveaways worth $1000+



target :: digital camera + ipod $350

mozzee :: mod minimalist high/low chair $545

whole foods :: organic eco-spa gift baskets $150

green depot :: green get started kit $150

spread the word about my giveaways with the little envelope icon below.
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.
if you have a blog or website, please link to mod*mom

by ~mod*mom~ at 23.5.08 ©


5.22.2008

fine living network has a new show called all-girl getaways. the show follows a different group of women each week: friends, family, coworkers, etc., as they plan their ultimate getaway vacation + then take a trip.

i'm excited to share with you my ecotravel interview with all-girl getaways hostess, editor of travelgirl magazine + mother, stephanie oswald:

hi stephanie! i'm a full-time mother + wife, who's never gotten away or even used a babysitter, except at the gym for an hour at a time. a "girl's getaway" is a foreign concept to me, but i'm interested to see how women/mom's do it. i nursed my daughter for 2 1/2 years on demand (attachment parenting style with co-sleeping), then i was diagnosed with aggressive locally advanced breast cancer, so i've been going through treatment + recovery for the last 2 years. no "escaping" for me yet, unless it's into the internet, but i'm looking forward to getting away.

do you have any advice on earth friendly getaways (with + without children) in the US? for example: transportation options, destinations, accommodations (not camping/hostels), organic food/restaurants. any tips for reducing the carbon footprint of a getaway? airplanes/vehicles use so much gas + emit so much pollution, are trains a better option? should people "get away" closer to home, rather than add extra pollution to the planet from the pollution their unnecessary travel produces (such as flying to hawaii for the weekend or long-distance driving vacations)? any other advice or opinions on the topic?

Hi Kristen! "Going Green" is such a hot topic right now, my first piece of advice to anyone planning an "earth-friendly" getaway tied into a resort or specific hotel is to make sure that the place touting themselves as "earth-friendly" really has some eco-friendly policies in place, and is not simply jumping on the "go green" bandwagon to attract environmentally conscious travelers. Before you book, ask them what they are doing to help the environment -- Do they have a recycling program for guests? Do they re-use sheets and towels per guests' discretion? Do they have solar power?

A few websites where you can research appropriate accommodations are: The Green Hotels Association (www.greenhotels.com), the International Ecotourism Society (www.ecotourism.org) and Sustainable Travel International (www.sustainabletravel.com). You'll find lists of legitimate eco-friendly destinations around the world.

I'm glad you brought up ecotourism, because it's something dear to my heart, and a key topic we address in every issue of
travelgirl magazine. It's also a hot topic for All-Girl Getaways, because one one of our episodes profiles a group of scientists who have a real passion for the Earth -- and they are determined to bring that feeling along on their holiday... So, they stay at a truly eco-friendly resort (Kona Village Resort on the Big Island) where they are able to spend some time working on clearing out a natural pond, and they also do some work on a taro farm! Of course, they also go to the beach, take a submarine tour and learn how to luau -- but they successfully "make a difference" for the Earth on their all-girl getaway. The Hawaii episode is one of my favorites because I think it's a great example of how it's possible to take a break from everyday responsibilities while still following your passions, with your gal pals!
When it comes to reducing our "carbon footprint" I believe that it's our individual responsibility as travelers to do what's best for the Earth, no matter what type of travel we're participating in. From adventure travel to business trips, to girlfriend getaways, everyone CAN make a difference. As far as children are concerned, they learn what's right from watching mom and dad -- so if you're recycling and not being wasteful, your kids will do the same. Any child can be taught not to litter, to be sure to turn off excess lights, and not to touch the coral reefs while snorkeling. Other things we can do as travelers: Pack a travel mug on every trip. Rent a hybrid car whenever possible. Create your own "Please don't wash my sheets or towels yet" card to bring with you, for hotels that don't provide one. Bring your own shampoo/conditioner/lotion, rather than using the small bottles provided by the hotel. Adjust the A/C and turn off the lights/TV/appliances when leaving your room for the day.
There are also ways you can officially offset your impact. Websites such as carbonfund.org have "carbon calculators" that will help you determine what your carbon footprint is -- based on frequent flier miles and other travel-related actions. Then, you can contribute funding to offset that impact. Money goes toward projects such as tree plantings or installing solar panels.
An upcoming issue of travelgirl magazine features an interview with Margaret Lydecker, the head of the "Green Drinks" networking organization. She tells contributing editor Lynn Parramore why this social movement is so important, and you can find out more at greendrinks.org. There's such a strong tie-in between travel and the environment, I love to hear about organizations like this where people are getting together and exchanging ideas that will make a difference.
I would not say trains are a "better" option in the big picture of travel, mainly because the system in the USA is limited compared to what's available in Europe or other parts of the world. However, when it comes to saving money -- and saving the Earth -- if you're talking about a "big city" getaway, taking the subway is certainly a great option. One of the top budget tips I give to girlfriends planning an all-girl getaway is to choose a destination where they won't need to rent a car. Cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. all have great public transportation. It's also a smart move to meet your travel partners at the airport and then rent one vehicle --- or, stay at a place that offers free shuttles from and to the airport. It's those little extras that add up! From my perspective, you can be an eco-friendly traveler in your own hometown or half-way around the world. It's about being aware of HOW you travel, respecting the environment and not being wasteful.

One more note on destinations: Costa Rica used to be the "poster child" for "green" vacations. A lot has changed there in recent years, but there are still some fabulous eco-friendly resorts. Travelers who are looking for the next "hot" eco-destination might look to Nicaragua, Uruguay and Ecuador. These are all destinations that have strong ties to the natural environment and are welcoming the traveler who wants to cherish the Earth.

--Stephanie

that's wonderful information
stephanie! about saving jet fuel, i read that a 2-minute jet take off causes pollution equal to setting a gas station on fire + air travel is responsible for 2% of green house gases now, but by 2050 the percentage will be 15-20%. do you know of the "greenest" cities in the continental us? is going to natural places, good for them or better if we stay in the cities?

Hi again Kristen,
As far as the "greenest" cities in the continental US, I would say Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; (and nearby Boulder,CO); Sedona, AZ; and Austin, TX come to mind. These are destination cities where the local community has an overwhelming commitment to taking care of the Earth, preserving green spaces and generally keeping its impact on the environment in check. In turn, that feeling is spread to tourism -- so when you travel to these places, you find hotels, resorts, spas and tourism boards with legitimate "go green" programs; you see tour operators that function with minimal impact to the environment; and you find chefs/restaurant owners committed to recycling, organic farming and staying loyal to local produce.
The question "to go or not to go" when it comes to impact has been around since the first travel agent sold a ticket -- and it's a hard one to answer. My personal feeling is that the key to success is "responsible travel" -- meaning following the rules when it comes to respecting the environment. For example: not picking up shells from a protected beach, not touching the coral when you're scuba diving or snorkeling, not treading in a turtle or bird nesting area (even if it's the best part of the beach and you're only there for one week!). Realizing that if you choose to travel during peak season you must plan ahead -- places like the Galapagos only allow a certain number of travelers at a time and that quota must be respected.
There are places in the USA such as Smoky Mountains National Park or the Grand Canyon where the numbers of travelers are over-the-top in certain parts of the park, but extremely low in others. For the physically fit traveler who can manage getting off the "beaten path," I strongly encourage them to do so -- for themselves, and for the Earth. At the current time, I hold that it's more beneficial to educate ourselves and explore the green spaces with minimal impact, rather than restricting our travels to cities.

Stephani Oswald
Editor-in-Chief Co-founder
travelgirl magazine
Host, All-Girl Getaways
fineliving.com/allgirlgetaway

official website:
fineliving.com/fine/all_girl_getaways
some preview videos of the show here:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=J4-fG31UKb8 (behind-the-scenes)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=h7SMZ8OYJVE (promo clip)

“Mommies Only” getaway episode is July 2

by ~mod*mom~ at 22.5.08 © 6 comments


5.21.2008

time again to check yourself or someone you love for signs of breast cancer

i'm late with my reminder + update, because my right arm was tightly bandaged 24/7 for a 2-week lymphedema decongesting treatment. i had to go to the hospital monday through friday for lymph massage, a shower + bandaging. they removed 1" of lymph fluid from the circumference of my upper right arm. gross, i know, but i am sooo happy to have that done + see my arm look + feel close to what it looked like before my mastectomy + lymph node surgery. i learned how to bandage my arm + hands to the fingers in intricate compression wrap using 4 bandages. i have to daily lymphatic massage , wear a compression sleeve + glove during the day, + bandages at night, unless i'm swimming, because water exerts pressure.

mod*tot's birthday party + her nursery school carnival were this weekend + they were both awesome + she had a fantastic time. we are so lucky to have such wonderful friends + neighbors! i'm sorting through pics to post.

now i'm going to catch up on my blog giveaways, but i'm also on the 3rd week of an 8-week workshop to learn to destress with meditation, plus i have physical therapy almost every day, so bare with me please :)

get breast cancer information at breastcancer.org

illustration: bo lundberg

by ~mod*mom~ at 21.5.08 © 11 comments


5.20.2008



2008 international contemporary furniture fair

editors awards were bestowed on best-of-show products in 16 categories, during the 20th annual international contemporary furniture fair (icff) nyc.

this year's icff editors awards committee: anniina koivu of Abitare, catherine osborne of Azure, stefano casciani of Domus, sam grawe of dwell, julie lasky of I.D., karen d. singh of Interior Design, gilda bojardi of Interni, chantal hamaide of Intramuros, susan s. szenasy of Metropolis, arlene hirst of Metropolitan Home, benjamin kempton of Wallpaper*

winners circle:

Body of Work Herman Miller Inc.'s The Lifework Portfolio

New Designer Todd Bracher

Craftsmanship Mabeo Furniture

Furniture Yves Behar for HBF

Seating Magis spa

Carpet and Flooring Amy Helfand

Lighting PABLO

Outdoor Furniture Samoa

Materials Greg Lynn for Panelite

Wall Coverings Trove

Accessories Czech Center of New York's Krehky

Textiles Carnegie's Xorel Collection

Kitchen and Bath Valcucine

Multiple Production Plank's Myto chair by Konstantin Grcic

Design School Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Best Booth School of Visual Arts (SVA)

by ~mod*mom~ at 20.5.08 © 7 comments


5.19.2008
mod*tot stepped into a reusable bag, grabbed the handles + hopped away

aha! i envisioned eco-friendly toddler sack races for her birthday party!
we tried to make her party this weekend as "green" as possible, with a birthday cake from whole foods market bakery + a beautiful reusable silver fabric crown with jewels from whole foods whole body section (only $10).
we had the party at the palo alto junior zoo, which is a 1968 modern design. (i'll post some pictures soon)

image: h&bltb

by ~mod*mom~ at 19.5.08 © 7 comments


5.16.2008


please enter my mother's month giveaways!


green depot :: green get started kit (new!)

target :: digital camera + ipod $350

mozzee :: mod minimalist high/low chair $545

whole foods :: organic eco-spa gift baskets $150


spread the word about my giveaways with the little envelope icon below.
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.

by ~mod*mom~ at 16.5.08 ©


5.14.2008

happy birthday my dearest little sweetheart mod*tot!

you're going to have an organic fruit popsicle party at nursery school!
this weekend we'll have a big eco-friendly party at the zoo :)
pic lala

by ~mod*mom~ at 14.5.08 © 12 comments


5.12.2008




mod*mom giveaway :: green depot get started kit

green depot is an environmentally friendly alternative to big box stores. green depot is committed to educating communities, helping consumers make the best choices, + training the next generation of green workers.

here are answers from sarah beatty, ceo + mom, founder of green depot.

1) what would you like most to tell mod*mom readers about greendepot?

green depot's mission is to make "green" building products easy. green depot is a 1-stop shop for people who want to build + maintain healthy, energy efficient, sustainable living environments.

I am a mom of 2 young children, ages 2 + 4. I founded
green depot in 2005, after a personal "wake up call". When I was pregnant with my 1st child I discovered mold contamination in my newly renovated home. A week before my delivery date, I was told my home may not be a safe living environment. I was shocked (and hormonal!). I had always considered myself an informed consumer. The concept that a health issue could have been the result of new construction I instigated was something I never expected. My interest has always been to create a safe + nurturing home environment for my children. At the time, there were not many resources out there. It was very difficult not only to obtain clear information but also to get the non-toxic "green"products/materials in my area. That lead me to create green depot. My hope is that green depot can be a resource for people (like me) who want to feel empowered to make the best, intelligent decisions for themselves and their families.

I want green depot to set the quality standard for green building products & services. We strive to be an authentic, trusted leader with great service from a passionate, knowledgeable, staff + high quality green products.

We currently have 4 locations that serve as informal showroom/resource centers for consumers + building professionals. We will be opening a
another resource center
this summer. We plan to open our 1st "retail" storefront in downtown New York City this fall. If we can do it "right", we will expand.

2) i'm interested in all the green depot products, but here are items i personally need for my home. would you like to talk about these?

toxic detection test kits

They can be very helpful in determining if there is a pre-existing issue. The good news is that there are new, more sophisticated kits coming soon that will offer a more detailed account of indoor air quality contaminants beyond "yes" and "no". I think they will be out in fall of 2008.

air + water filters

As far as air filters go, pay attention to the amount of space you expect the air filter to cover, so that you don't purchase a 200 sf filter to cover a 1000 sf area.

I had a water filter installed in my kitchen sink. Now I feel good knowing that my tap water is filtered, clean for particulates + carbon + that I am not wasting money on bottles or contributing to landfill! Flow reduction water filters are also a simple solution for conserving water.

solar attic fan

This is key. In order to keep healthy airflow in your home, provide ventilation in the right areas to keep the air flowing. Stagnant air leads to an unhealthy indoor living environment. In the summer, a solar attic fan will keep your house cooler. In the winter, it will help manage the air flow + heat loss.

eco-friendly pest control

Toxic pesticides are linked to so many health risks--why bring them into your living space? Even if they are in your garage or basement (or lawn), if you wear shoes inside your home, you can easily track the residue of those pesticides right into your living room. .

So, one of the best things one can do to improve the "health print" of your home is to leave your shoes at the door!


insulation

One of Green Depot's most popular items is Bonded Logic---insulation that is made out of pre-consumer denim "offcuts". It is an amazing "high performance" insulation--completely non-toxic, fire rated, good for sound attenuation, + environmentally a great solution for re-cycling denim "offcuts" that otherwise would have been sent to landfill. The key thing: stay away from the "pink" insulation--which contains Formaldehyde--a known carcinogen.

Some other thoughts:

When preparing a child's room use non toxic "NO VOC" paints + don't paint the week before the child will be in the room--give the room time to air out.
Use water based, low volatile oil compound caulks, adhesives + sealants.

If you install a wall-to-wall carpet, make sure the adhesive used is non toxic. Wall to wall carpet is a trap for dust mites, allergens + stuff tracked in.

When it comes to wood, avoid particle board that contains formaldehyde type glues. Many wood products (ie kitchen cabinet boxes) can use this wood + it off gasses into your indoor environment. Also, if you are going to finish a floor or cabinets, use non-toxic, water based finishes/sealants.

to enter to win a green depot home cleaning kit please leave me a comment telling me your favorite earth friendly products + services at green depot.
include your email address + url, before midnight, monday may 31


by ~mod*mom~ at 12.5.08 © 224 comments


5.11.2008

please enter my mother's month giveaways!



target
:: digital camera + ipod $350 (new!)

mozzee :: mod minimalist high/low chair $545

whole foods :: organic eco-spa gift baskets $150

collins :: earth-friendly lifestyle books $170 (ends tonight)

spread the word about my giveaways with the little envelope icon below.
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.

by ~mod*mom~ at 11.5.08 © 5 comments


5.08.2008









mod*mom mother's day giveaway :: digital camera + ipod $350

i'm crazy for target's electronics department + their online electronics selection is even more fabulous! plasma tvs, laptop computers, kids tech toys, cell phones, gps units, home security, car stereos... + more, plus batteries, printer paper + ink. i'm so excited they're having a sale on their kodak digital cameras in groovy colors for $149 + ipod nano $199 + they're offering a set to a lucky mod*mom reader!!!

to enter to win a kodak 8.1 megapixel digital camera + ipod nano, please leave me a comment telling me your favorite electronic products at target.
include your email address + url, before midnight, monday may 31

*use the little envelope icon below this post to share this with your friends
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.


by ~mod*mom~ at 8.5.08 © 978 comments


5.06.2008







planet green network launches june 4, with home-makeover show wa$ted!

wa$ted! audits a spectrum of environmentally unfriendly households, giving them 3 weeks to reduce their general consumption + earn cash based on their planetary savings in reducing their waste, energy, water + transportation consumption. each episode unearths dozens of eco-horrors that are killing both the environment + the homeowner's bank account.

wa$ted! is my kind of show! home makeovers + earth friendly lessons!

via
prairiemod + ecorazzi

by ~mod*mom~ at 6.5.08 © 5 comments




i could use a robot helper

1961 illustration by jerry smath from the collection of glen mullaly

by ~mod*mom~ at 6.5.08 © 6 comments


5.02.2008



please enter my mother's day giveaways!


whole foods ::
organic eco-spa gift baskets (new!)

method :: green baby care + home detox sets

mozzee :: mod minimalist high/low chair

collins :: earth-friendly lifestyle books

spread the word about my giveaways with the little envelope icon below.
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.

by ~mod*mom~ at 2.5.08 ©



mod*mom "earth day" giveaway winners

i'm picking + notifying the winners, so please stay tuned...
(i also have to take my daughter to a birthday party today.
update 5/5: she did a parade saturday, followed by a carnival, then gogogo. organizing birthday party, kindergarten testing + paperwork, now we're off to my 1st day of a 2-week process to decongest my lymphatic arm, then a parent education class, so i'll be back tonight while i watch the bachelor)

dyson :: vacuum
1
FLOR :: ecofriendly carpet tiles
1
honest :: organic beverages
1 ashley
2 ms.mamma
3 dee
4 kanga
5 victoria
whole foods :: spring fever gift baskets
1
2
3
kukunest :: modern bedding set
1
spread the word about my giveaways with the little envelope icon below.
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.

by ~mod*mom~ at 2.5.08 © 8 comments


5.01.2008






mod*mom mother's day giveaway :: 3 organic eco-spa gift baskets $150

whole foods market has the best earth friendly self-nurturing products for creating an eco-spa for you to revive yourself naturally on mother's day.
whole foods market wants mod*mom readers to listen to their new podcast How to Build the Perfect Spa Basket on their Be Good To Your Whole Body podcast blog + they'd love to give 3 lucky moms organic spa products.

to enter to win a rejuvanating, relaxing, stress relieving organic spa basket,
listen to + comment on the How to Build the Perfect Spa Basket podcast on the whole foods market Be Good To Your Whole Body Podcast Blog + include modmom.blogspot.com in the "website" field before midnight, may 31

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illustration bo lundberg


by ~mod*mom~ at 1.5.08 © 45 comments