Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Congrats Monsanto.

They won Worst Company of 2011 by Natural Society for "threatening both human health and the environment."

Why can't we be friends?  They are big on pesticides and I. am. not.  They want GMO to become part of our vernacular and I. do. not.  And about 1,000 other differences.

However, I don't tend to focus on the negative.  I'm not a doom and gloom kinda person.  I believe in HOPE.  I believe in education.  I believe in change.  How do I put my hope into practice?  By aligning myself with local farmers that are growing food differently.  By educating myself and my family.  By buying certified organic food items (they don't do GMO either!) whenever possible.  I celebrate victories, like all the European countries, Japan, China, India & Australia that at least require GMO labeling.  Even better?  Peru just signed a 10-year ban. Yay!  And I read.  A lot.  

As I was reading last night, I ran across a blog that increased my HOPE even more.  I emailed her to thank her for all the work she is doing!  We had a great exchange and talked about even more ways to increase HOPE.
Their story is amazing and their 108 degree farm that was birthed from their journey is even cooler.  Enjoy...  Mason's Story

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fig Balsamic Dressing

Here's a dressing I've been playing around with.  I first made it with actual figs but the texture is not perfected, and requires the BlendTec, so I'm posting an easier version.

3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil*
1/2 c. fig balsamic vinegar
5 T. pure maple syrup
dash brown mustard
1 clove garlic
dash sea salt

Mix in a glass jar and shake.  Enjoy.

As a side note, oils that are cold-pressed, unrefined, quality oils will solidify when cold.  Take it out of the fridge a few minutes before dressing your salad to allow the oil to warm.  You can also place the jar in warm water if you are in a hurry. (that's never me, I just thought you could use the tip)

*one of my favorite olive oils is Bariani.  Although it goes against my organic grain, they are a family company and take great pride in making raw, unfiltered, olive oil.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No, we did not dye our celery.  As if.  These are the stalks from our red chard.  We grind the leaves into our green smoothie.  Because of their slight peppery taste, the stalks are a better compliment to your favorite veggie dip or nut spread.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade Deodorant

Yes, you read the title correctly.  I've been slowly changing our household, cleaning and personal products over to organic ones for the past few years.  I use EWG's Skin Deep as my guide, its a great resource!

My next step was to take a few of these items and make my own.  Because I have extra time on my hands.  Because even a lot of organic products contain ingredients that aren't 100% pure.  I started with all of our cleaning products (a post coming soon on that!) and I love them so much I thought I would give homemade deodorant a go.

Most deodorants contain aluminum which is toxic when it enters the body.  There are organic options out there but they are pricey and honestly, they don't work well.  So, 2 weeks ago, the girls and I decided to try our hand at making it ourselves.  (I had to wait a couple weeks to post this to make sure it really worked!)

Here's what we did:

Add 4 T. coconut oil to a small bowl

Add 1/8 cup corn starch

Add 1/8 cup of baking soda and mix these 3 ingredients very well until you have a nice paste....similar to the consistency of deodorant (sorry, that was a bit obvious, yes?)

Once you have the consistency you are looking for, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.  I chose to add 2-3 drops of both lavender and tea tree oil but I think I would just do tea tree for the men-folk.

Scoop it into an old deodorant container.  It rolls up great and is easy to apply.  And it really works!  I've used it for a variety of occasions now (think: chasing after a toddler) and I love it!  And, I think the cost is around $1 per container.  Not too shabby.

I am working on toothpaste now.  The first batch tasted like wet cardboard so I will keep experimenting and keep you posted.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Super Easy Green Smoothie

When we are in a huuuuuuuuge hurry, we dump these ingredients in the BlendTec with 3 cups of filtered water and hit Go! (cut the outer layer of skin off your lemon)

We grind once and then add more greens, pushing them deep down so we can get a full pound in.  Also, add an ice cube or 2 to reduce the foam that an apple tends to contribute.

I only purchase the bins for "emergency" mornings because they are very pricey.  I can get a pound of organic loose greens (that I wash myself) for about $3 and the bin is $6.99!  The one pictured above is from Costco for $4.50.....much better!

We go through about 10+ pounds of greens per week so saving a few dollars here and there shaves $100 from the monthly grocery bill.  Which is a tremendous help since Momma always needs new shoes.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's a Keeper.

Abby gathered all 6 of us over the weekend and presented us with the following letter:

Thank you.
Thank you for being
A good family to me
Thank you for always
sticking up for me and helping me
when I'm in need.

I love you guys,
I love you soooooooooo much.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Boys

I can't believe this was taken just a couple weeks ago.....when they still had hair.  Sigh.