Thursday, December 30, 2010

The first products I will be making... Let's start with our face!

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Hello All!

Hope you had a delightful Christmas, and your New Year is equally joyous. I am posting the ingredients/instructions for the first two products I will be making. I decided to start with these two because I needed them, and because they both seem simple! I was blessed to receive some jars for Christmas to house my new products, so I will be drawing from those. The containers were ordered HERE. I will be making these products on or before January 15th, and I ask that you join me, even if you just pick one, show yourself you can do it! I also want to emphasize that this is NOT JUST FOR FEMALES. These are basic products that any adult should be using daily. When you see how simple the ingredients/instructions are below, I hope you are tempted to tag along with me! Both of these recipes are taken straight out of Secrets of the Spas. Click links to see images of ingredients.

Recipe 1
Thyme and Fennel Seed Cleanser (For Normal Skin)

2 sprigs fresh thyme, crushed (or 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 cup boiling water
juice of half a lemon

Mix thyme and fennel seed in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Add lemon juice and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain infusion and store liquid in a jar. Keep in refrigerator 

*...Because this cleanser is so gentle, it can be used every morning. Simply dab it on face and neck with cotton ball.*

Recipe 2
Green Tea Tonic (Recommended for aging and tired skin)

2 teaspoons powdered green tea
1/2 cup boiling water

Steep green tea in boiling water for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Apply tonic to face with cotton or gauze. Use daily for best results.

Added Tip: Slice a ripe tomato and rub it all over your face. Let the juice soak in for about 5 minutes. The tomato's mild acid will bring dirt and other impurities to the surface of the skin. Rinse thoroughly with water. Page 67

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Post Before the New Year

I will be MIA from now until early January due to Holiday gatherings/traveling. If you haven't already, please scroll down through previous posts, or click the links to the right of post Title's that interest you! As always, feel free to comment/e-mail me at any thoughts!

Thanks Everyone for your support! Look forward to returning and starting the journey of homemade skincare products/house cleaners (on January 15th)!



Trees are much like human beings and enjoy each other's company. Only a few love to be alone. 
~Jens Jensen, Siftings, 1939

Have you heard of the Environmental Working Group?

Check them out, lots of good articles/information.

Will the New Food Safety Bill affect Organic Foods?

Read what THIS article has to say about it!

Need Gift Ideas for your "Green" friend?


Let's talk about Milk!

You can CLICK HERE to read an article on Organic Versus Non Organic Milk, but beyond that, I would like to encourage everyone to try a different kind of milk, Almond milk! My Husband and I have made the switch and we love it! For me, it helped with a lot of post-milk drinking nausea I used to get, but when you read about the benefits, it's hard to resist!

CLICK HERE to read more about Almond milk. If you can't drink a glass of Almond milk straight, I would recommend keeping some on hand to use with coffee/tea or baking (it lasts longer than traditional milk). I wouldn't suggest nixing organic Cow's milk completely out of your diet, but Almond milk can make a great addition!

Our favorite Organic Milk (in the KC area) you can even return the bottle for a discount on your next bottle!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A recipe for the person who "can't cook" or who has never cooked before!

This meal takes about 10 minutes and tatses like you ordered it straight off of a menu! Give it a shot!


Whole wheat pasta of your choice
3/4 cup milk (soy, almond, cows, you pick! we use almond milk)
2 whole Eggs (try Organic/Cage free/Grain Fed!)
1/2 cup-2 cups freshly shredded/grated Parmesan (depends how cheesy you like it!)
2 tablespoons butter
8 slices bacon (we use turkey bacon)

Optional Seasonings/Additions
-Garlic Salt
-Creole Seasoning
-Red Pepper flakes
-Fresh Basil/Oregano
-Italian Herb grinder
-Cooked Spinach
-Bok Choy
-Chopped Garlic

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
  2. Cook bacon in skillet (I think the crunchier the better, once cooked, drain grease and cut up or crumble)
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and yolks, parmesan cheese, and half of seasonings.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain it and quickly put it directly into the bowl with the egg mixture.  Toss to coat.  The hot pasta will cook the eggs.
  5. When the pasta is coated with the egg mixture, mix in the butter, bacon, and second half of seasonings.  Serve immediately.
*For Creamier Carbonara; add heavy cream, half and half, or more milk!*


Have you tried this recipe? Write how you made it, or your opinion of the recipe in the comments below, or e-mail me at

No Challenge to Push Yourself Here!

Don't be fooled by the creepy container, this stuff is actually really good! Give it a try!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hmmm... fluoride in water, what do you think?


and HERE to read "Are you Drinking the Wrong Water?"

Comment below, or e-mail me at with your thoughts!

Get your cook on!

CLICK HERE for "green" cookware!

Organic produce delivered to your door!


Great way to try new fruits/vegetables you normally wouldn't, because, hey, you already paid for it! Also, supports your local farmers, and how deliciously fresh!!


Know of another site/organization that offers the same service? Comment below or e-mail me at

Waste-free way to wrap gifts this year!


I thought of a couple more...
Save bags. Keep the bags/wrapping that you receive gifts in at your Holiday Parties, Christmas gift exchanges, and use them at your family Christmas or next year!

Paper grocery bags. These are great for wrapping! It's like pre-cut wrapping paper!

Save your boxes. Keep any shoe, jewelry, cosmetic, etc. boxes you receive throughout the year and use those to wrap, tie a pretty ribbon around them to jazz them up!

Use Defunct Christmas decorations. Every year when we pull out our decorations we find several ornaments that no longer have a hook, garland that somehow came detached from the rest of the strand, or a random poinsettia/bow that just doesn't go anywhere in the house. Use these to add a little flare to your wrapped gifts!

Have more ideas? Comment below or e-mail me at

Article about warming up your car in the winter...


It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever.
Jimmy Carter

The whole secret of the study of nature
lies in learning how to use one's eyes.
                   -George Sand

"We don't stop hiking because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop hiking." 
                                 -- Finis Mitchell,

"Maybe freedom really is nothing left to lose. You had it once in childhood, when it was okay to climb a tree, to paint a crazy picture and wipe out on your bike, to get hurt. The spirit of risk gradually takes its leave. It follows the wild cries of joy and pain down the wind, through the hedgerow, growing ever fainter. What was that sound? A dog barking far off? That was our life calling to us, the one that was vigorous and undefended and curious."
— Peter Heller

"How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!" 
Emily Dickinson

The importance of an active lifestyle/going outdoors

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When discussing health, what's most talked about is typically food (more specifically dieting... but we'll save that conversation for another time!). Exercise is normally thrown in there, but for many who have strayed a bit off track, they immediately picture hours of intense work at the gym daily until they ultimately burn out and remember why they hate the gym in the first place.

While I completely condone the gym, and do not think it should be taken out of the equation, I feel equally passionate about the importance of living an active life outside of the gym. Not only an active life, but an active life outdoors!

When I think of my favorite memories as a child I think of ACTIVITIES, mainly outdoor activities. Immediately I remember intense games of tag, hide and seek, make believe, family football games around the Holiday's... I am incredibly thankful for these memories because they are what give me my passion for the outdoors now. I am not suggesting that you hit up your neighbors for a weekly game of hide-and-seek, unless they're up for it :) but I am saying, "Don't forget about the outdoors!!" Get out there! Take a walk, make a snowman, ride a bike, start a garden, get your hands dirty! Walk to a store if there is one close enough, or pick the farthest parking spot from the entrance. While you're doing this, enjoy the scenery! Use the time to appreciate what's around you. If you don't feel you have enough time (it's been suggested to go out at least 15 min a day) limit your electronic intake. Cut back on TV, computer, phone, etc. and I bet you could free up at least 15 minutes a day!

When we started taking family walks everyday, they continued to lengthen because we got so much from them. The benefits are not only physical, but our relationship grows too! With a "no phone" policy we are able to spend the whole time talking and catching up, not to mention the stimulation our daughter receives from all the beautiful scenery. Everyone returns through the front door happier than we left. Now that the weather has dropped significantly, our walks have turned into increments of time playing in the backyard throughout the day. Most times I don't even bring any toys out back, my daughter's favorite activity is just listening to the sound her boots make on the ground as she walks around, and collecting sticks!

Here are some sites that have a little more information about the importance of getting outdoors!

Children Outdoors

Vitamin D

University Study

Article on active lifestyle

Do you have any information, research, or studies to share? Comment below or e-mail me at

Sunday, December 19, 2010

E-mail From a reader in response to "Find a Farmer Near you!"

The term "locavore" was coined by Jessica Prentice from the San
Francisco Bay Area for World Environment Day 2005 to describe and
promote the practice of eating a diet consisting of food harvested
from within an area most commonly bound by a 100 mile radius.

By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental
damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar
goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the
health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try
new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And it simply
tastes better!  We have found a great resource for food miles and
local eating at the Natural Resources Defense Council. They have every
state and every season easily accessible!

Another benefit of eating locally is helping the local economy.
Farmers on average receive only 20 cents of each food dollar spent,
says Ikerd, the rest going for transportation, processing, packaging,
refrigeration and marketing. Farmers who sell food to local customers
“receive the full retail value, a dollar for each food dollar spent,”
he says. Additionally, eating locally encourages the use of local
farmland for farming, thus keeping development in check while
preserving open space.

Check out this study by the University of GA regarding the economy of
buying locally.  According to a recent study by the University of
Georgia's Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, if the
Peach State's approximately 3.7 million households spent just $10 per
week on Georgia-grown produce (from any source, not just directly from
producers), more than $1.9 billion could be pumped back into the
state's economy.  There's more: for every 5 percent increase in local
produce purchases, Georgia would see 345 additional jobs, $43.7
million more in sales, and $13.6 million more in farmer income. To put
these numbers in perspective, direct farmer to consumer sales
currently contribute 132 jobs, $14.4 million in sales, and $4.5
million in labor income.

Thank you Norma for this information!! How motivating to buy locally!


"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."
-Earl Nightingale

A Challenge for the New Year...

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Ok, here is the challenge (that I will also be participating in!):

  • Set a goal for an amount of time that you will ONLY eat home cooked meals. I don't necessarily mean 100% from scratch meals, but any meal that you can make at home (excluding microwaveable, and boxed dinners). 
  • Set either an amount of days, or a meal a day that you will vow (for a set length of time) not to go out to eat, or buy dinner in any shape or form. This includes pre-made supermarket meals. I would recommend starting this AFTER the Holiday season when you have more control over what you eat. Ray and I did this for the month of November and made it for about three weeks (all the way up until our birthday week!) 

I will say, I think the benefits of doing this exercise or "challenge" manifest themselves in a few ways: Primarily, it makes you more aware of JUST how often you are going out to eat, or ordering in food. Also, it shows that with a little discipline the prospect of cooking all of your own meals is not as challenging as you had previously anticipated. Lastly, setting it for a select length of time allows you to meet a goal. For you, one day of not ordering/eating out may be an accomplishment. For others, a couple weeks, and for some a couple months! Set a goal for yourself that is a CHALLENGE, but achievable. Once you set the goal don't make it optional. If you do fail, learn from that. What happened to cause you to eat out or order food? For us, it was a special event we wanted to celebrate, who wants to cook on their birthdays :)? Also, I recommend giving yourself a type of food that is a freebie. For us it was sushi. For you it may be ice cream, or sweets. Just make sure your freebie isn't something you would consume daily :)

If you decide to take the challenge, comment below or e-mail me ( the dates you will be attempting the challenge! Once you begin, keep me posted on your progress!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

QUOTES OF THE DAY (To get you motivated!)

Thomas Edison and Light bulb

I have decided to concentrate specifically on the fear of failure for these motivational quotes. Some might say the most crippling emotion in the world is fear. It has the power to keep you from your opportunities, from your dreams, and most importantly from your success. These quotes can be applied to any part of your life that you are trying to move forward in. Learning to overcome fear (specifically of failure) is a lifelong journey, the task is not to learn how NOT to fail, but how to use those failures to the betterment of your goal. I am putting these quotes on the blog in an attempt to encourage you to live a more "natural life." Looking at the overall goal of living a life completely sufficient off of the Earth's natural resources is far too daunting for many to imagine, however, setting every day/week/month goals (i.e. making your own beauty products, cooking meals from scratch, etc.) is a HUGE part of changing your overall perspective of the task at hand. If you can succeed in being appreciative of your "failures" and all of the wisdom they have to offer in this one area of your life, you will hopefully begin to train your way of thinking in every aspect of your life! Enjoy...

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." Henry Ford 

"Failures are divided into two classes - those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought." John Charles Salak 

"Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Anonymous 

"In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail."Anonymous

"The only real failure in life is the failure to try."Anonymous

"Yesterday's failures are today's seeds 
That must be diligently planted to be able to abundantly harvest
Tomorrow's success."

It is not failure itself that holds you back;it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you. 
Brian Tracy 

I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  ~Thomas Edison

There is no failure except in no longer trying.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.  ~Henry Ford

Do you have a quote that encourages you? Share it! Post below in the comments, or e-mail me at

Top 5 reasons NOT to live more naturally (and their solutions!)

In no particular order...

1. It's too expensive. To this I can only say "start where you can." I always suggest starting with food, then adding in other products (i.e. makeup, clothing, etc.) as you are financially able to. More specifically, start with soft skinned produce and meats. For more information on that, read the post below titled "A Few Simple tips for eating Organically on a budget." Also, I would argue that prioritizing plays a big part in this, if you put food (and your health) at the top of your priorities list (with everything else coming after) you may be surprised at how much you really can afford. Michael Pollan talks about this in his book "In Defense of Food." Investing in what you eat, is just that, an investment! The amount of money you will spend later down the line NOT taking care of yourself and what you eat (i.e. prescriptions, medical bills etc.) will certainly cost far more than anything you invest now. If you quit viewing a healthier lifestyle as optional, but rather as a necessity, it becomes a much realer prospect.

2. I don't have access to organics. This is tougher, but not a roadblock, just an obstacle. First I would suggest doing your research. Use some of the sites in the posts below to research just how far organic growers/farmers are from you. If this is not an option, consider growing your most used herbs/vegetables (I will talk about this in later posting). Lastly, we have internet! Clothing, make-up, children's toys, etc. can all easily be found with one click of the mouse. Limited access is now becoming a dying phrase thanks to the web!

3. I can't cook/ I don't know any recipes. Again, use the internet! You can search for ANYTHING online (i.e. 5 ingredient recipes, crockpot recipes, vegan recipes, etc.) Also, use each recipe as a suggestion. Make necessary substitutions to cook a more "real" meal. Meaning, if it calls for a can of cream of mushroom, search for how to make homemade cream of mushroom (ha, can you tell I love cream of mushroom?!). For those who say that can't cook, I would say you must have quit trying. You only fail when you quit trying! Perservere! Learn from what you did last time and move forward. Also, start easy! Don't take on a 7 hour sauce that has to be reduced and calls for a list of exotic ingredients. Make simple changes in meals you already make. Take a meal of burgers and fries. Start simple, make the fries from scratch, or start with the ketchup! Try to take one element of each meal and make it from scratch, don't start with the whole meal! This way you don't become overwhelmed before you even begin, then congratulate yourself on your success! This is so important, regardless of the end result, you did it! If you take one taste and go running for your ketchup stash in the fridge, that's ok! Now you know to try a different recipe next time! Good for you for giving it a try, that's a huge accomplishment! I started by incorporating one new recipe a week. I saved it for a day I had more time, energy, and patience, in no time you'll have a whole stash of great recipes!

4. I don't have time. Again, this is a tough one. Not a dead end, but yet another obstacle. Time, and lack there of, is a very real dilemma. Let me encourage you by saying, "YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MORE TIME." To the normal person, this sounds like the exact opposite of encouragement, but let me tell you why it is: It is encouragement to get started NOW because you will never have more time, and realistically as your life, family, business, etc continues to grow, your amount of time will shrink. So get going now! Be creative now! Start the habit of making health your number 1 priority now, and your life will work itself out around that. Pick a day you have off and take that entire day to make and freeze meals for the week. Or pick one aspect of each meal to make (i.e. the sauce, the meat, etc.) and freeze for the week. Just this small step will make those 30 minutes you have to cook throughout the rest of the week much more fulfilled. MAKE EASY MEALS, I can't emphasize this enough, homemade does not have to mean hard-to-make. Again, pick what you can do and do it! If you only have energy to boil a pot of whole wheat noodles, toss in some butter and seasonings and call it a day, do that! Good for you, you've made a homemade meal! Most importantly, PLAN. Plan, plan, plan. Plan your meals, then plan the when, how, where, etc. When you are starving and exhausted after a long day of work/activities the last thing you want to do is take the time to try and plan then. Do yourself a favor and make it easy! Lastly, I come back to prioritizing. Whatever you do not make a priority in your life, will become a casualty.

5. But... This may be your toughest one yet. This represents every excuse you are going to come up with. "But... I don't have enough cookware... but... my kitchen is terrible... but... I can't do this by myself... but... I already have so much on my plate (pun intended!)... but...(I'm sure you can fill in this blank). This will probably the hardest thing for you to overcome. This is why I have listed some encouraging quotes on my next posting...

Have any ideas to help encourage others? Is there something you have overcome with living a more natural life that has paid off? Have you seen positive results since your lifestyle change? Comment below (if you can!) or e-mail me at

Friday, December 17, 2010

Find a farmer near you!

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Stumbled across THIS site today and was so happy I did! You can go HERE on their site to find local farmers/farmer's markets near you. There are several sites that offer this service, but I love sites like these where you can almost feel their passion through the monitor. They provide several ways to donate and gain access to more information. I can not express how important it is to buy everything you can locally. Besides the obvious benefits, there are also several (not as obvious) benefits. CLICK HERE to read some quick facts (from the same site!) about the importance/benefits of buying locally.
Again, buying locally comes back to planning. I am ridiculously guilty of not maintaining my stance of buying as much as possible locally. The only reason, failure to plan! Planning ahead is key here, and once you do it often enough, it becomes "the norm" and less of a task.

Good luck to all of you and your local search! Have any ideas or suggestions about how to get local produce through the winter? The above site has THIS to say about winter time (scroll to the bottom)... Have an experience you would like to share about buying locally? Share it! Comment below (if you can!) or e-mail me at


Problems Commenting on Blog

I have received a few e-mails that some people are having problems commenting on the blogs. I have looked into it but am not quite sure how to fix it? If anyone can offer any help or suggestions let me know! So sorry for the inconvenience! Until then, feel free to e-mail me at with any comments or concerns.


Try a new vegetable!

Try Bok Choy! CLICK HERE to read about the health benefits. This is a great vegetable for someone who doesn't like vegetables! Incredibly healthy, but incredibly mild tasting. I like to make it with noodles b/c it is a gentle accompaniment, when cooked holds the same texture as noodles, and doesn't overpower the flavor. It's a bit like an onion in that it's crunchy before being cooked, but soft after. This is a great one to puree! Toss it into a salad or sauce and no one will be the wiser! For those with little ones who are new eaters, this makes a great starter food (once pureed), serve it plain or mixed with steamed veggies, my daughter loved it!

Have you tried bok choy? What are you thoughts on it? Do you have a recipe with bok choy? Share in the comments below or e-mail me at