Sunday, December 30, 2012

We're all in it together.

Sandy Hook. 

Hurricane Sandy. 

Fiscal Cliff. 

With each disturbing event of 2012, it feels like we've been hit with the same reminder:

We're all in it together.

Everything we do touches someone. Sometimes it's close to home. Other times, it reaches across the globe.

My 2013 wish is that we, myself included, remember that just like in nature, we're interconnected.

Photos by me and edited with Instagram and PicMonkey.

Friday, December 21, 2012

60+ Vegan and Vegetarian Cookbooks

Do you want to eat a little more like a vegetarian, or vegan in 2013? Or do you already eat that way, but have fallen into a cooking, or non-cooking rut? Or are you looking for a last minute gift for a vegetarian, or vegan friend?

I figure some of you answered yes to at least one of those questions, so I thought I'd share a big ole list of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks with you. Over at the VegCookbook Club, we've been swapping ideas for vegetarian and vegan cookbooks that we'd like to cook from together in 2013.

In 2012, we cooked from:
And here's the list of VegCookbooks that folks have said they would like to cook from in 2013.  
  1. 30-Day Vegan Challenge
  2. 30-Minute Vegan
  3. 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe
  4. 500 Vegan Recipes (2 mentions)
  5. American Vegan Kitchen
  6. Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen
  7. Artful Vegan 
  8. Artisan Vegan Cheese
  9. Asian Vegan Kitchen
  10. Betty Goes Vegan
  11. Big Vegan (2 mentions)
  12. Color Me Vegan
  13. Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitution
  14. Cookin’ Crunk 
  15. Crazy Sexy Kitchen
  16. Eat Raw, Eat Well
  17. Eat, Drink and Be Vegan
  18. Everyday Vegan
  19. Fresh at Home
  20. Fresh from the Vegan Slow-Cooker
  21. Happy Herbivore Cookbook
  22. Happy Herbivore Abroad
  23. Heart Healthy Pizza
  24. Indian Vegan Kitchen 
  25. Joy of Vegan Baking
  26. Kansha
  27. La Dolce Vegan
  28. Love Soup
  29. Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food
  30. Quick Fix Vegan
  31. RAWvolution
  32. Ripe
  33. Sticky Fingers’ Sweet
  34. Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook
  35. Vegan Brunch
  36. Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
  37. Vegan Diner
  38. Vegan Eat World
  39. Vegan Feasts
  40. Vegan for the Holidays
  41. Vean Fusion World Cuisine
  42. Vegan Lunch Box
  43. Vegan on the Cheap
  44. Vegan Planet
  45. Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day
  46. Vegan Soul Kitchen
  47. Vegan with a Vengeance
  48. Vegetarian with a Vengeance
  49. Vive le Vegan
  50. World Vegan Feast
  51. Yellow Rose Recipes
Yes, I realize that we have enough to last us for 4 years (:  If you have more suggestions, please leave a comment here, or better yet, over on VegCookbook Club. We've love for you to join us in 2013!

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Winter 2013 Juicy Blogging E-Course + Gift Certificates

    Hello Have Fun, Do Gooders!

    Just wanted to let you know that the Winter 2013 Juicy Blogging E-Course will be happening January 11-February 1, 2013.  You can learn more about the class on my website,, and read 13 blogging success stories from past students in the September 2012 issue of the Juicy Blogging News.

    If you want to give the e-course as a gift, just purchase the class for yourself, and then email me at britt AT brittbravo DOT com with:

    • Your gift recipient's first and last name
    • Your gift recipient's email  
    • The date I can contact the gift recipient with more information about the class ( I don't want to ruin the surprise!)

    I'll email the gift certificate to you as a PDF so you can mail, or email it to them. It will look similar to last year's gift certificate (pictured above). Gift certificates for one-on-one blog coaching and creative career consulting are available too.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012

    Water Wednesday: Lots of Blogs About the Ocean!

    I just put up a BIG list of blogs about the ocean on the Upwell blog:

    Big Blue Blogs: 88 Ocean Conservation Blogs

    Give 'em a look. 

    Spread the word to your ocean-loving pals. 

    And please let me know what ocean-y blogs I missed in the comments, or email me at britt AT upwell DOT us. 


    Flickr photo credit: Ocean Trigger Fish by Greg Grimes
    Full disclosure: Upwell is a client.

    Monday, December 03, 2012

    Living Plastic-Free with Beth Terry (Big Vision Podcast)

     Beth Terry is the author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. She writes the popular blog, My Plastic-Free Life, and is a founding member of the Plastic Pollution Coalition

    Beth gives presentations on living plastic-free, and why our personal changes *do* make a difference. She spearheaded the successful Take Back the Filter Brita recycling campaign in 2008, and her life and work have been profiled in Susan Freinkel's book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, in Captain Charles Moore's book, Plastic Ocean, and in the award-winning film, Bag It

    When she's not out fighting plastic pollution, she spends her time with her husband, and two rascally kitties in Oakland, CA. You can follow her on Twitter at @PlasticfreeBeth.

    You can listen and subscribe to the Big Vision Podcast via iTunes, or on the player above.  If you have suggestions for people I should interview, or a do-good organization that would like to sponsor the show, please email me at britt AT brittbravo DOT com.

    Below are links to some of the things Beth mentioned during our chat:

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    Done: 30 Posts in 30 Days (NaBloPoMo)

    cupcakes by lamantin

    A big thanks for sticking with me during the 30 days of National Blog Post Month. It was a super fun process that I totally recommend. Committing to creating something every day for 30 days is a wonderful practice.

    Here's a list of my 30 posts in reverse chronological order. You can also scroll through them on the blog.

    I think this calls for celebratory cupcake!
    1. Done: 30 Posts in 30 Days (NaBloPoMo)
    2. What's one little thing you appreciate today?
    3. Water Wednesday: No Shell Blues (Cartoon)
    4. Looking for Staten Island Sandy Relief Recommendations
    5. Cook from Vegan Holiday Kitchen with the VegCookbook Club in December
    6. Sunday Quote: Leo Buscaglia
    7. Have You Used IndieBound for Your Book Wish List?
    8. Photo Friday: If dance be the food of happiness . . .
    9. "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy . . .
    10. Water Wednesday: Australia is an Ocean Protection Rockstar
    11. Richard Branson: "Have fun, do good, and the money will come."
    12. Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas
    13. Sunday Quotes: The Power of Stories
    14. Twenty "Fearless" Changemakers
    15. Photo Friday: Have Fun Do Good Flower
    16. Link Love: Gratitude Challenge, Finding Your Calling, NY Oysters, and Kale Salad
    17. Water Wednesday: Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?
    18. Would You Share Your Medical Data To Help Others?
    19. Garden Ideas Needed: Low Water, Low Maintenance and Low Cost
    20. Sunday Quote: Anne Frank + Photos
    21. TED Talks Give Meaning to House Cleaning
    22. 3 Ideas for How to Help Congress Work Together
    23. Link Love: Food, Do-Gooding, Tech, Politics and Big Vision
    24. Water Wednesday: Cute Baby Walrus
    25. I Voted for President Barack Obama
    26. Express Yourself: Image + Text = Internet Gold
    27. Super Soul Sunday
    28. Cooking from Forks Over Knives in November
    29. How to Help After Hurricane Sandy
    30. Leaping Into NaBloPoMo. Would Love Your Support
    Flickr photo credit: Cupcakes by lamantin

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    What's one little thing you appreciate today?

    It's a cold, gray, glumpy (gloomy + grumpy) day.

    Sometimes all you can do is appreciate the little things. Like this pretty little cup of tea.

    The teacup was given to me by friends who noticed my admiring it at their house.  The tea is "Paris Tea" from a cute little teashop called Crown and Crumpet. The hubs and I visited it while pretending to be tourists in San Francisco on our anniversary years ago.

    What's one little thing you appreciate today?

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Water Wednesday: No Shell Blues (Cartoon)

     As I mentioned in my June 21st post, Comic and Video: Ocean Acidfication, before I started to work with Upwell, I'd never heard of ocean acidification. You may not know about it either considering that a study found that the Kardashians Get 40 Times More News Coverage Than Ocean Acidification.

    For a quick, cute explanation of ocean acidification, watch this 1:40 video, No Shell Blues.

    The good news is, there are signs that people are starting to take ocean acidification more seriously. According to Upwell's Tide Report, Governor Christine Gregoire (D-WA) recently announced Washington state’s response to the recommendations from her Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. Their recommendations include:

    • comprehensively reducing CO2 emissions in Washington and nationally
    • coordinating ocean acidification action across state agencies and organizations
    • enhancing the resilience of Washington’s shellfish industry through adaptation efforts
    • increasing ocean acidification literacy through public awareness efforts

     Had you heard of ocean acidification before? If so, how long have you known about it?

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Looking for Staten Island Sandy Relief Recommendations

    Today is Giving Tuesday, the "opening day" for philanthropic holiday giving, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are to holiday shopping.  I want to donate to an organization that supports Sandy relief in the Staten Island area, and am looking for suggestions.

    Here's what I've found so far:

    • Jon Stewart mentioned Staten Island Strong, a project of the Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund, in his November 12th episode.

    • The Wall Street Journal reported on November 2nd that a Relief Fund was created for Staten Island and New Jersey through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

    • has a link on its home page for people to donate to the Project Hospitality Staten Island Hurricane Relief Fund.

    Do you have any recommendations, or know anything about the organizations I've listed?

    Flickr photo credit: Staten Island Ferry by Robert Paul Young

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Cook from Vegan Holiday Kitchen with the VegCookbook Club in December

    As some of you know, I have a second blog, VegCookbook Club, where we cook from a vegetarian or vegan cookbook each month, and swap stories about the recipes we've tried.

    In December, we're cooking from Nava Atlas's Vegan Holiday Kitchen.  I thought some of you might want to join us.

    It has six chapters:

    1. Thanksgiving
    2. Christmas and the holiday season
    3. Jewish holidays: Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah
    4. Easter
    5. Independence Day and summer entertaining
    6. Brunches, appetizers, and potluck dishes

    I included photos of some of the recipes I've tried in the post,  Meatless Monday: 2 Soups, 1 Salad, 2 Casseroles + Cosmos Apple Pie. You can learn more about Nava at, and follow her on Twitter at @Veg_Kitchen and at @navaatlas2.

    Come VegCook with us! 

    Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Vegan Holiday Kitchen.

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Sunday Quote: Leo Buscaglia

    A little inspiration as you make your plans for the week ahead.

    "Too often we underestimate 
    the power of 
    a touch,
    a smile,
    a kind word, 
    a listening ear,
    an honest compliment, 
    or the smallest act
    of caring,
    all of which have
    the potential
    to turn a life around." 

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    Have You Used IndieBound for Your Book Wish List?

    While doing some bookstore browsing yesterday, the hubs and I wondered if there was a way to create a book wish list to encourage friends and family to buy books at a local bookstore.

    When we got home, I did a little research and discovered that you can create a wish list on IndieBound, so I made one

    The pros:
    • You can sort the order of books on your wish list.
    • You can indicate favorite independent bookstores. If one of them sells the book online, the wish list links to it.
    • Your list has an rss feed, that you can add to your blog, or website.
    The cons:
    • There isn't a way for the gift buyer to indicate that they've purchased the book, so that no one else buys it.
    • IndieBound doesn't seem to list e-book versions. You can only indicate if you want a hardcover, paperback, or sometimes an audio version of the book.
    •  The only way to indicate if you would like an e-book, is to go to your local bookstore's website, see if they sell e-books, and if they do, go back and write a note on your wish list that says you would like the e-book version.
    Need to learn more:
    • Looks like independent bookstores are using an e-book service called Kobo.

     Have you used IndieBound for your book wish list and/or Kobo as your e-book reader?

    If you have, I'd love to hear about your experience, or any other alternative wish list ideas.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy . . ."

    "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
     they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
     - Marcel Proust

    Photo by Nu Photography. All right reserved.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Water Wednesday: Australia is an Ocean Protection Rockstar

    Good news! The Australian government has created the world’s largest system of marine parks.

    According to Upwell's Tide Report:
    "Australia has created the world's largest network of marine national parks, protecting an area of ocean the size of Western Europe....The crown jewel of the network is arguably the newly-designated Coral Sea Marine Reserve, which includes a highly protected area of almost 200,000 square miles, the Coral Sea Marine National Park. That makes it the second-largest highly-protected marine sanctuary in the world, and the largest inside any country’s Exclusive Economic Zone."
    How cool is that? You can see an interactive map of Australia's network of Commonwealth marine reserves on, and learn more about it on

    Image credit: Photo of Australia by satellite from Wikimedia Commons
    Full disclosure: Upwell is a client.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Richard Branson: "Have fun, do good, and the money will come."

    Like any good blogger, I follow the results of my Google Alert and Twitter Search for the phrase "have fun do good," to see who else is writing about it. I was receiving a couple search results each month (if that), until The Economist published, Richard Branson: Ricky's schemes: How to have fun, do good, and make money, last year about his book, Screw Business As Usual.

    The landing page for the book on features this quote:
    “In a nutshell, I mean that by doing good – doing the right thing – businesses will prosper. Doing the right thing can be profitable, as will be made clear by some of the stories about people and organisations that are already doing it. It’s the core message of this book. I often say, ‘Have fun and the money will come.’ I still believe that, but now I am saying, ‘Do good, have fun and the money will come.'"
    In October 2012, his blog post on, Have fun, do good, success will come made the rounds, and a couple weeks ago, his piece, What’s the best measurement for success? Happiness, showed up on LinkedIn. In it he writes:
    "Money is a by-product of bigger, more meaningful goals such as passion, fun and wisdom. As I’ve said before, have fun, do good, and the money will come."
    What do you think?

     If you have fun and do good, will the money follow?

    Screenshot is from Virgin Unite - Screw Business As Usual

    Full disclosure: The link to Screw Business As Usual is attached to my Amazon Associates account. If you make a purchase after clicking on the link, I get a small percentage of the sale, which I'll probably use to buy more books!

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

    I shared my Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas Pinterest Board with you last year, so I thought I'd share the updated version. Each photo links to a recipe on a blog, or website. 

    Some of the recipes from the board that I've tried, and liked are:
    What are some of your favorite vegetarian, or vegan Thanksgiving recipes?

    Full disclosure: The cookbook links are attached to my Amazon Associates account. If you make a purchase after clicking on the link, I get a small percentage of the sale, which I'll probably use to buy more books!

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    Sunday Quotes: The Power of Stories

     A little inspiration as you make your plans for the week ahead.

    "I make my living telling other people's stories, and understand that it is only through story that you build connection. You have to tell the story, so that people feel something. They only want to do something after they feel something." 
     ~ Oprah Winfrey, interviewing Daniel Pink,

    "One thing I've learned from the life I've lived: The world can only be saved by one man or woman putting a seed in the ground or a story in someone's head or a book in someone's hands."
     ~ from  A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez

    "'Media can create the opportunity for masses of people to look at things in different ways; to change policy and behaviors on a massive scale,' explains Berk of the company’s long standing philosophy. 'You do that through storytelling.'"
     ~ Participant Media CEO, Jim Berk,  

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Twenty "Fearless" Changemakers

    As part of its Be Fearless initiative, the Case Foundation has chosen the 20 winners of Finding Fearless —a nationwide campaign to recognize, reward and inspire fearless changemakers.

    In addition to winning grants and prizes, the winners will compete for additional awards, which will be decided in a “Fan Favorite” public vote, so vote away!

    You can check out the work of the winners (in alphabetical order) below.  Are there any who you'd like to hear interviewed on the Big Vision Podcast? 

    1. Aashika Damodar | Breaking Heels | Washington, DC
    Breaking Heels ™ is a social enterprise transforming the collective power of consumers into a force against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. (Twitter: @BreakingHeels)

    2. Darius Graham | Social Innovation Project | Washington, DC
    The Social Innovation Project tackles pressing social issues by providing seed funding and resources to help transform ideas into sustainable programs. (Twitter: @dcsocialinnov)

    3. Erin Healy | Youth L.E.A.D. | Miami, FL
    Youth L.E.A.D. provides a 12-week afterschool program and 4-month paid apprenticeship wellness program for low-income high school students. (Twitter: @youthleadmiami)

    4. Gary Oppenheimer | | Newfoundland, NJ, moves information instead of food to diminish hunger, and to educate, encourage and empower growers to share their excess food. (Twitter: @AmpleHarvest)

    5. Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara | WE DO Campaign: Stage 4 | Asheville, NC
    The WE DO Campaign mobilizes LGBT couples requesting – and being denied – marriage licenses in their hometowns across the Southern United States. (Twitter: @CSElive)

    6. Jen Fu Cheng | Peak Potential Climbing | Fairfield, NJ
    Peak Potential is an organization running a 12-week introduction to rock climbing for children with physical disabilities. (Twitter: @PeakClimb)

    7. Jessica Ladd | So They Can Know | Baltimore, MD
    So They Can Know aims to get more partners notified of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). (Twitter: @JessicaHLadd)

    8. Jordyn Schara | WI P2D2 (Wisconsin Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal) |
    Reedsburg, WI
    Wisconsin Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal (WI P2D2) has collected over 900,000 pounds of un-used prescription drugs curtailing over-the-counter (OTC) drug abuse.

    9. Karen Knudsen | Taking the Bull by the Horns | Missoula, MT
    Through their 2,300-acre cattle ranch, complete with 300 cows, Taking the Bull by the Horns tests first-hand how ranches can fix degraded creeks and preserve stream water. (Twitter: @clarkfork)

    10. Leslie Neal | ArtSpring | Arts for Incarcerated Women | Homestead, FL
    ArtSpring uses educational arts programming for developing self-growth and effective life skills for incarcerated women, men and youth.

    11. Lori Markowitz | Introduction to Teaching (Youth Ambassadors) | Seattle, WA
    The “Introduction to Teaching” course provides a problem-based learning experience for high school students to introduce them to the profession of teaching. (Twitter: @youthambassador)

    12. Madhura Bhat | Health for America | Washington, DC
    Health for America uses America’s entrepreneurship to combat health challenges through sustainable health solutions. (@health4america)

    13. Marquis Landon Cabrera | Foster Skills | Boston, MA
    Foster Skills provides emotional development and practical, transferable life skills programs for children and youth in foster care. (@MarquisCabrera)

    14. Michael Bitz | Youth Music Exchange | Forest Hills, NY
    Youth Music Exchange launches record labels inside schools, organized and managed by youth, enabling students to write, record, and distribute original music.

    15. Meghana Rao | Portland Junior Scientists | Portland, OR
    Portland Junior Scientists unites high school students with underprivileged elementary school students to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. (Twitter: @PDXJrScientists)

    16. Mike Rocco | City Hall Fellows | San Francisco, CA
    City Hall Fellows creates the next generation of enlightened leaders for local government empowering them to be effective change agents. (Twitter: @cityhallfellows)

    17. Rachel Durchslag | Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation | Chicago IL
    CAASE works with high school age men to help them understand the harms of the sex trade, and what they can do to be part of the solution to end human trafficking. (Twitter: @thecaase)

    18. Rajesh Karmani | Zero Percent | Urbana, IL
    Zero Percent provides first-of-its-kind cloud and mobile services to help businesses move surplus food via donations through last-minute deals. (Twitter: @ZeroChampaign)

    19. Sayu Bhojwani | The New American Leaders Project | New York, NY
    The New American Leaders Project prepares immigrants for civic leadership using a curriculum to train new community leaders seeking appointed office. (Twitter: @americasvoice)

    20. Thach Nguyen | Swipes for the Homeless | San Francisco, CA
    "Swipes for the Homeless" is a grassroots, student-run movement where students work with universities to collect leftover meal swipes for homeless communities. (Twitter: @SwipesHQ)

    Full disclosure: Much of the text of this post comes from a press release I received from the Case Foundation.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Link Love: Gratitude Challenge, Finding Your Calling, NY Oysters, and Kale Salad

    A round-up of articles and posts that caught my eye recently:




    Communication and Technology

    Big Visioning    

    Full disclosure: I'm connected personally, or professionally to many of the individuals and organizations highlighted in this post.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Water Wednesday: Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

    I'm always astonished when I hear about a child who was raised in the city, and thinks that carrots come from the store (rather than a farm), but honestly, if you asked me, "Where does your water comes from?" my minimal knowledge makes me only a step away from answering, "the faucet."

    While researching the answer, I found the Nature Conservancy's online map that tells you where your water comes from.  I learned that Oakland's drinking water originates from six places:
    • San Pablo Reservoir on San Pablo Creek
    • Briones Reservoir on Bear Creek
    • Lafayette Reservoir
    • Upper San Leandro Reservoir
    • Lake Chabot on San Leandro Creek
    • Pardee and Camanche Reservoirs on the Mokelumne River
    I had absolutely no idea that my water came from so many sources.

    I'm guessing that unless things change quickly, it will become increasingly important for people to know, and care about their drinking water source(s).  According to the UN, "with the existing climate change scenario, almost half the world's population will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030."

    I found the map to be a bit hard to navigate, so be patient as you play with it. If you'd like to get an idea of how much water you use, give National Geographics' Water Footprint Calculator a spin.

    Where does your water come from?

    Image credit: Cat in Sink by zestycarl

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Would You Share Your Medical Data To Help Others?

    While working my way through the TED Talks, another one really resonated with me: John Wilbanks's talk, Let's pool our medical data.

    Wilbanks runs the Consent to Research Project. They're trying to create a "massive pool of openly available, user-contributed data about health and disease" that can be used for health research. I can see some drawbacks, like big corporations using the data to create products we don't need, but other than that, I think it's an amazing idea.

    What do you think? Would you share your medical data to help others?

    Read about John Wilbanks' experience sharing his genotype on a public wiki. Fascinating stuff.

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Garden Ideas Needed: Low Water, Low Maintenance and Low Cost

    My yard is a disaster. It's gotten to the point where we're wondering if the neighbors will complain. I love gardens, flowers and lovely outdoor spaces, but at this time in my life I don't have the time, or resources to have an extensive garden, or well-manicured yard.

    I've started a low maintenance yard/garden Pinterest board for inspiration, and would love to hear your ideas for how to create a low water, low maintenance, and low cost yard/garden. It would be nice if it was pretty too (:

    A few things to keep in mind:

    • The Bay Area always seem to be in a drought, or on the edge of one, so low-water plants are key.
    • The front yard is partly sunny and partly shady. The soil is acidic from a cedar tree pouring its needles all over it.
    • The backyard is totally shady. 
    • I'm a terrible plant water-er. You don't want to see my house plants . . .

    Thanks for your help!

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Sunday Quote: Anne Frank + Photos

     A little inspiration as you make your plans for the week ahead.
    "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God."

     ~ Anne Frank

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    TED Talks Give Meaning to House Cleaning

    Today was a cleaning day (until the sink started leaking, but that's another story). To make it more fun, I downloaded a bunch of TED Talks onto my iPad, and carried it from room to room.  (You can listen to TED Talks on the TED website, or download them from iTunes with video, or  with just audio).

    One of the most interesting, was Amy Cuddy's: Your body language shapes who you are. She's found that how you hold your body can affect how you feel. For example, if you pose with your hands on your hips (the "Wonder Woman" pose) for just a couple minutes, you'll feel more powerful. You can watch her talk on YouTube, or on the player below.

    What are some of your favorite TED Talks?

    Friday, November 09, 2012

    3 Ideas for How to Help Congress Work Together

    "If you think of the definition of public service, it's to solve problems."
    ~ Senator Olympia Snowe Senator (R-ME), 60 Minutes

    "Thanks to all who participated in elections by voting. Let's hold our elected officials accountable and insist they work together 4 us"
    ~ Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) Twitter, November 7, 2012

    "We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America."
    ~President Barack Obama, 2012 acceptance speech

    The Sunday before the election, the hubs and I watched a segment on 60 Minutes, Is the U.S. Senate Broken? It was pretty depressing, but I feel like there are small signs that change is on the horizon.

    I think people are starting to realize that Congress's inability to compromise, collaborate, and come to a consensus is no longer just annoying, it's a serious problem. Take a peek at this search on Twitter for the words, "work together."

    Below are three ideas that have been kicking around for me. They're not plans for something like campaign finance reform, but I think they could make an impact:

    1. Create a mandatory, ongoing professional development program for Congress about how to collaborate, build consensus, and compromise.

    2. Organize a letter-writing and phone-calling campaign to ask Congress to commit to working together, and to sign something like the Charter for Compassion.

    3. Design "peacemaking" programs across the country where Democrats and Republicans (elected officials and citizens) meet, like Seeds of Peace does with young people from regions of conflict.

    Do you know if programs, or campaigns like these exist?

    Photo by me (:

    Thursday, November 08, 2012

    Link Love: Food, Do-Gooding, Tech, Politics and Big Vision

    A round-up of articles, events, videos and products that caught my eye recently:



    Communication and Technology

    • Marianne Williamson presents Sister Giant (November 10-11, 2012)
    • Obama thanks everyone who helped to build his campaign (Watch till at least minute 3:30) 


    Big Vision  

    Full disclosure: I'm connected personally, or professionally to many of the  individuals and organizations highlighted in this post.

    Wednesday, November 07, 2012

    Water Wednesday: Cute Baby Walrus

    Woo hoo! Water Wednesdays are back.

    Today's photo is a cuteness infusion from Upwell's Tide Report: Mitik the baby walrus!

    Mitik is a walrus orphan who was flown from the Alaska SeaLife Center to a new home at the New York Aquarium. Mitik is safe and sound, but the New York Aquarium needs help to repair the damage it suffered in the storm

    Upwell created a timeline of Mitik’s story that you can view and share:

    Amplify this: Share Mitik’s Story on Facebook or on Twitter: Meet Mitik. He’s a moustached New York baby who made it through #sandy. He needs your help.

    You can also learn more about this cutie-patchootie here:

    Full disclosure: Upwell is a client.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012

    I Voted for President Barack Obama

    I voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, and I voted for him again in 2012. 

    I voted for President Barack Obama because even though I know he isn't perfect, I believe he is doing the best that he can during a very difficult time.

    I voted for President Barack Obama because I believe that he will work for women's economic and health rights.

    I voted for President Barack Obama because I believe that he will work for a better environmental future.

    I voted for President Barack Obama because I believe that he will work for the economic welfare of the most people.

    I voted for President Barack Obama because I trust and like him.

    I really hope he wins, but if he doesn't, what he said still holds true:

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. "

    Image source: Wikimedia Commons