Friday, May 27, 2011

Sunscreen City

Where’s the beach?

I've been chanting this phrase for weeks now in anticipation for the Memorial Day Weekend and it looks like it is going to be amazing weather!

Unfortunately, with my super fair skin, sunscreen is a must unless I want to look like a cooked lobster.  Not a good look for me.

So as we head off to the pools, lakes and oceans this weekend and summer, remember to bring along your sunscreen!

But be careful which sunscreen you choose to bring along.  Sunscreens contain many toxic chemicals that are not only bad for the ocean and the environment, but for you as well!

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great website which sheds the truth on sunscreens and also has some recommendations for better choices for you and your family.

My personal favorite is Smart Girls Who Surf products.  They're an eco-conscious company based out of Laguna Beach.  Their products are non-toxic and safe for marine life.  I used their sunscreen for the first time in the Bahamas a couple months ago and it worked well.

They also have a men's line called Surf-Vival!

So slather on that lotion and go catch some waves this weekend! 

And most importantly...have fun!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Burial at Sea

Ever since the end of the world on Saturday (oh wait...I'm still here), I've been thinking a little more about death.

I always figured that when I go, I would not only get to see my mom again, but I would get answers to all the questions I ever wanted to know, like "Who shot JFK?" or "Who wins on the next season of Survivor (since I won't be one)?"

The one thing I know now is what I want to become of my remains.

I want to be cremated and I want my ashes to be put into a man-made coral reef.

No...I'm not crazy.  This is a real thing.

See...I'm not a big fan of the creepy crawlies that live in the ground plus I'm claustraphobic, so traditional burial is out.  Not to mention all the formaldehyde and toxic substances from the coffin that leak into our ground and eventually end up in our water supply.

I'm much more of an ocean fan so I found a company that has constructed a coral reef out of, well, human ashes.

In a nutshell, The Neptune Society, takes your ashes and pours them into non-toxic molds which have been assembled into an eco-friendly man-made reef.  Your place in the reef is also marked by a bronze plaque with your name on it. 

So to all my friends out there, wouldn't it be nicer to visit me during a nice scuba dive in Miami?

Destination funeral anyone?

I have the peace of mind of knowing that I will spend eternity helping marine organisms thrive.

Maybe you could consider ending up in a coral reef.  Trust me -- it's not the end of the world.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Surfing for Change

I read about this surfer, Kyle Thiermann.  He created a short film about how to solve the plastic problem in 4 minutes.  I'll bet you can do it in 1!

As an added bonus...Jack Johnson (musician and surfer extrordinaire) has a cameo and sings at the end!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Bird Is The Word

Pretend today is Saturday (ahhh...wouldn't that be nice!).

May 14th was International Migratory Bird Day!  But hey...I'm willing to extend the salute for the rest of the month for the little birdies.

Here are some bird-lovin’ tips…

1)  Look for “Bird Friendly” marked packages of your favorite coffee. This simply means the coffee grew under trees used by migratory birds.  If your coffee is growing under that big yellow star in the sky (the sun), it’s exposed to more pests which means more bad chemicals in your morning cup of Joe.

2)  Ever wonder what “Cage-Free” and “Free Range” mean on your chicken products? Cage-free means that mama hen wasn’t in a cage.  However, it does not mean she was allowed to sing like Julie Andrews in the open green pasture. If you see the label “Free Range”, you can now start singing Freebird.  A company can only use this label if their farm has met the USDA’s free range poultry practice.

What chipper chicken choice will you make this week?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Night Cookbook Club

When I lived in LA, I had a little part-time job at The Grove, selling jewelry at one of the kiosks.  It was a fun job.  I got to meet all kinds of people and it became quite the social spot.  I quickly became friends with the other retailers and security guards.

One night as I was closing down, one of the guards approached me in a stealthy sort of way.

"Be here tomorrow morning. 6AM," he said. "Someone big is going to be giving a concert right over there," he said, as he pointed to a tiny alcove.

"Who?" I asked.

But he had already walked away.

I went home and told John.  We lived half a block from The Grove so we figured we'd be crazy not to check it out.  But then 6AM came very quickly and we rolled over, asking ourselves if it was worth it.

And then I jumped up and said "What?  Are we 80?  Let's go!"

We threw some clothes on and headed over to the tiny alcove.

Even at 6:15 AM, there were some people there.  I quickly grabbed my spot right in front of the stage.  We waited for almost an hour going through every rock star we could think of.  Rumors ran rampant.

And then finally, the rock star emerged.  It was better than we could've imagined.

It was Sheryl Crow.

I was already a huge Sheryl Crow fan, having sped down Santa Monica Boulevard numerous times blasting "All I Wanna Do" and I had closed every one of my Universal Studio Tours with "Soak Up The Sun."

But her music isn't the only reason I adore her.  She's also a big fan of the environment.

Her tours are eco-friendly, sporting bio diesel buses, recycling bins, energy-saving lightbulbs and biodegradable dinnerware.  She also is a recipient of last year's National Resources Defense Council's Forces for Nature award.

I was bursting at the seams with excitement.  She went on to give the most amazing concert to about 100 people who had been lucky enough to be "in the know."

She made comments how it was too early for a rock star to be giving a concert but that she was thrilled to be there.  I was so close that I could practically reach out and strum her guitar.  Although I was too close to catch her guitar picks as she threw them out into the crowd after the show.

I saw my security guard friend in the corner who gave me a wink which I returned with a big fat hug.

I had not seen Sheryl since that concert (though John saw her when she performed in Central Park a couple of years ago) when another opportunity arose last week.

She recently co-wrote a cookbook with her personal chef, Chuck White.  It's called If It Makes You Healthy.  She appeared at Williams Sonoma for a signing and John and I made sure we were there.

We skimmed through the book, eager to try the recipes.

And then she appeared looking as healthy as ever.  She gave a brief interview for some unknown camera crew.  She talked about her sons and a chocolate mousse made with avocado!

We posed for a picture -- me, Sheryl, Chuck and John.  Sheryl looked at John, then turned to me and asked if I knew him.  I laughed and said I did.  Then she smiled.

I didn't get a guitar pick but I got my book signed - and a chance to briefly talk with one of my idols of music and the environment.

And I'll be sure to blast "If It Makes You Happy" while I get healthy!