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Great Smoky Mountains Recovering from Historic Wildfires

It was an unusual drive into the nation’s most-visited national park in January.  Light green, winter rye grass was growing along the edges of the parkway entrances, as if hastily sown by the developer of a budget-priced subdivision.  Instead, this grass was holding together the frail edges where, in some steeper places where deeply-rooted trees […]

Continue Reading By on February 11, 2017 in biodiversity, East Tennessee, mountains, outdoors, outing, Smoky Mountains
mildewed squash leaf and tomatoes

The Day I Stopped Composting

Welcome! Saturdays in the Garden: The Day I Stopped Composting All of you green gardening friends out there know how important composting is.  You’ve probably heard me wax nostalgic about proudly saving my family’s vegetable peelings year around so I can build a backyard compost pile to use later in the garden.  I often mention […]

Continue Reading By on July 25, 2015 in agriculture, garden, gardening, organic

Getting Ready for Baby

Are you planning for a first baby in 2015 or beyond? Congratulations!  As you might have anticipated, your world will be turning into a wonderfully different, more brightly colored version of what you’ve experienced so far. Here are a few ideas for preparing for a baby to rock your world: Managing Your Fertility: As you […]

Continue Reading By on January 5, 2015 in breastfeeding, family, motherhood, parenting

Knoxville Natural Parenting Expo Educates & Encourages Families

Let’s face it:  fairs, festivals and expos are a dime a dozen these days. Enough businesses are eager to sell something, anything, that you could stock booths with flashy displays, put a cotton candy machine in the corner, inflate a bouncy house and call it an expo. Not feeling like just any festival is exactly […]

Continue Reading By on April 29, 2014 in baby, breastfeeding, parenting, safer chemicals

Love What’s Inside & Talk Personal Care Products with #CleanCouponing

*The following is a sponsored post for Honey Dew Naturals. You’re invited to a Valentine’s Week Twitter party hosted by and, with special guest panelist Dr. Yolanda Whyte, MD who’ll answer some of your questions about personal care products for children.  Our theme is “Love What’s Inside,” and we’ll be chatting about ingredients […]

Continue Reading By on February 12, 2014 in baby, family, health, natural, safer chemicals

Food: KISS

Our homes and lives have become so busy and sophisticated…we can’t even understand what we’re eating anymore.  Really, have you tried reading the labels?  Maybe we just need to go back to the KISS method:  keep it simple, stupid.  No, we’re not stupid; we’re just uninformed.  How can we keep food simple enough as to […]

Continue Reading By on January 27, 2014 in education, food, fruit, garden, organic

Homemade Skincare Indulgence

When’s the last time you indulged in something sensual like a body scrub with only the best ingredients?  Maybe you used something simple, like sugar from the pantry?  Who says mixing things up in the kitchen is just for mealtime? It only takes four ingredients to create a beautiful, naturally scented, skin-pampering scrub. Of course, […]

Continue Reading By on September 25, 2012 in skin care

Honey-Inspired Beauty Recipes

You might have the ingredients in your kitchen right now to whip up a luxurious, honey-infused spa treatment.  Olive oil, green tea and cornmeal are three of the common pantry items included in a collection of beauty recipes I’ve been trying.  Canned pumpkin and fresh pineapple are also on the ingredient list. Beekeeping educator Virginia Webb sent me […]

Continue Reading By on June 10, 2011 in conscious consumerism, honey, skin care