are we ready?

Posted on July 30th, 2010

I read recently on some efficiency blog that teachers at Montesorri schools (which push a self-directed style of learning) do this thing where they ask the class, “Are you ready?” Apparently it’s a technique geared at getting kids to focus and prepare themselves for learning.

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I love it. Are we ready?

Before I run out the door in the morning, with 298347 to-dos on my mind, I ask, Are we ready to do the day well? Before I return a call to Mum, after running around frazzled all day, I pause and ask, Are we ready to give the conversation the care and attention it needs? Before I sit down to write this blog, Are we ready to do it with heart?

It’s like a little full-stop at the end of one activity. And a nice considered launch pad for the next. It’s a breather.

Are we ready? If not, then abort. Back away for a bit. Come back later. That’s cool. Read more

stuff I’m not paid to endorse: 7 nice peeps you should know about

Posted on July 29th, 2010

Really, this week it’s just a plug for bits and pieces of goodness I’ve come across in the past week. You know, little inventions and consumerables that make a difference, people sharing good stuff. That kind of thing. I’m in Canberra at Mum and Dad’s place, being treated to an open fire, daphne posies in my bedroom and runs with Dad (we’re training for City2Surf)…while I write my book. So, I’m off to focus. Over and out! x

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1. TOM tampons.

2010-07-27_1700 I love the story behind these little wads of indispensability. Aimee Marks is 23. She’d had jack of tampons being ethically, environmentally and healthily low-grade. Tampons on the market today are either synthetic or cotton (cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops on the planet). So she created her range of organic TOM tampons (Time of Month) . The pack is also smart…designed so that the little white pluggers don’t fall out in your bag. Did I mention she’s 23??? You can buy them at Pulse Pharmacies.

Read more

how to detox your beauty cupboard

Posted on July 28th, 2010

I predict that in the next year or so the big issue we’ll be getting outraged about it is the amount of toxicity we ingest. On Sunday I’ll be posting my Sunday Life column about how I got building biologist Nicole Bijlsma to do a toxicity reading on my apartment. But the crap we ingest via cosmetics and beauty products is deserving of a separate mention.

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I’ve posted work by The Story of Stuff chick Annie Leonard before. This week she released The Story of Cosmetics, an 8-minute expose of what we’re doing to ourselves when we apply mascara, shampoo, etc. You REALLY need to watch it (below). It coincides with the introduction this week of the US federal Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 — the first attempt in more than 70 years to overhaul cosmetics regulations to eliminate the use of cancer-causing chemicals and other harmful ingredients.

A few things to chew on:

* Those“pink-ribbon” brands? Dozens of them rank an 8 or higher on the Skin Deep database’s toxicity scale

(10 is the worst)—including products that contain carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to increased cancer risk. Read more