Sunday, January 31, 2010

Booze and Bovines- a delightful combination!

Last night The Father and I were at a loss as to what to eat for dinner.  We'd thawed a package of grass fed tri-tip steaks and wanted to do something new and super special for 3 very special steaks.

We searched high and we searched low but nothing seemed to jump out at us until I opened up the fridge and saw the very last bottle of Mothership Wit!  We decided to marinade our steaks for a while in its wheaty, organic-y goodness!

Let me tell ya, those steaks were heavenly!  We will most surely be using beer as a marinade from now on.  Just like cooking with wine, I'm fairly sure all the alcohol evaporated out so you don't have to worry about your blood alchol level if you decide to marinate and devour a whole boozed up cow!

We aren't big drinkers but occasionally we enjoy a few adult bevies.  To make it fun, we like to try new coctails and beers.  Very rarely will I buy the same brand twice.  This means the next time we have Brew Steak, it will taste completely different!  Oh the possibilities!

Brew Steak
3 grass fed tri-tip steaks
1 bottle of beer

Marinate the steaks in the beer for 4 or so hours.  
When it's time to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat up an oven safe grill pan until it is very hot.  Sear the steaks for 3 to three minutes on each side, then slide the pan with the steaks into the oven.  Cook for 15 minutes or until it is done to your liking.

 We aren't total carnivores so we enjoyed broccoli steamed just until it was a vibrant green color and still slightly crunchy.

I promise you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Nine O'clock on a Saturday...

and the regular crowd shuffles in.  There's an old man sittin' next to me, wonderin' when I'll put the laundry in!

Ok, The Father isn't old... and he doesn't exactly care when and how the laundry gets done.  I love Billy Joel so I needed to sing my version of Piano Man. 

I had a bit of a realization this afternoon while hanging LBG's diapers up to dry on the drying rack in the kitchen.  With out exactly trying, I've been adding some humidity to the kitchen area!

Just a random thought.  Now it's time for this Mama to go to bed!

A New House for LBG

I don't think I've mentioned it, but The Father and I are in the process of buying a new house for LBG.  We've put in an offer on one that is pretty amazing, but the process is taking a bit longer than expected.  Nonetheless, I've started giving some thought into how be can make our new house as energy effecient as possible.  Even if we don't end up in the house we hope to, these plans will work in just about any abode!

Our most exciting plan is for an energy audit!  We would really like to know what repairs or improvements we could make in order for our new abode to be as energy efficient as possible.  I haven't done much research on how to go about getting one or how much they will cost, but I will be looking into both topics very soon.  Not only will it be beneficial to us, it will be super fun to learn some new techniques for saving energy!

In our last house, I spent a great deal of time replacing all the light bulbs from regular incandescent bulbs to the ultra-nifty compact florescent lightbulbs (CFLs.)  Of course, when selling the house we replaced our ceiling fans that the new light fixtures took a special size bulb.  So, we packed up our regular sized CFLs and brought them with us!  We fully intend to use them again!  Maybe if we can find them for a great price, we might try a LED lightbulb or two.  I saw them on "Living with Ed" and thought they seemed like something fun to try out.

Another plan we have will be a bit on the hard side for me.  I love natural lighting.  I'm known for having the front door open with the storm door locked, raising up all the blinds (or even removing them,) and leaving all the lights off in the house.  While it is a great idea for saving the light bulbs, it isn't a great idea for cooling the house in the summer.  We will be making some heavy curtains to hang across all the South facing windows.  Those windows are great for warming the house in the winter, but they also warm the house in the summer and that's not very productive!  I know our air conditioner will thank us for this minor change.

If our new house doesn't have a digital thermostat, one will be installed pronto!  The Grandfather installed one at our former residence and it was a life changing event!  I fell in love with in 24 hours.  I was able regulate exactly what temperature the house was at certain times of the day.  There was no guess work needed and our house didn't get super warm or crazy cold when we weren't expecting it.  These little gadgets aren't expensive and are will worth the money!

We've decided to install a few rain barrels around the perimeter of the house.  These attach to the gutter drains and catch the rain water.  You can then use it for watering the plants, washing the car, putting out the camp fire, etc.  We could even shovel all  the snow into one and save it for the summer!  There aren't very expensive to purchase, but if you are super crafty, you can make your own!

In addition to the rain barrels, we have a few other minor plans for our backyard.  We will have a clothes line for sunning LBG's diapers and drying our clothing in the great outdoors.  We'll also be raising the blade on our lawn mower.  I've been reading that by doing this, the soil and roots are more shaded which results in needing to be watered less.  We aren't big fans of watering our lawn to begin with and only do it during the hottest summer months.  This technique should make our watering a bit more effective.

No, we won't be installing a gray water system or solar panels- right away anyways ;)  They are expensive and a bit out of our league.  If we knew that we'd spend the rest of our years in the same house, those are investments we might be willing to take.  Just like the sweet little boy in our lives, we will be taking baby steps!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fashionably Late... Go Figure!

Sorry for being slightly late to the party, but here is LBG's 3 month photo! 

Don't you just want to gobble him up?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yogurt... DIY Style!

Betcha didn't know you could make your own yogurt, didja?

It's so much fun and super yummy.  The best part... it's so easy because you use your crockpot! 

We make a batch or two a week and it usually lasts about 2 days before we eat it all!  I like my yogurts flavored and The Father enjoys just plain.  As a compromise, we rotate!

What's that?  You enjoy thick, creamy Greek Style yogurt better?  Just strain it through a cheese cloth over night in the fridge!  It's that simple.

With out much further ado, I give you...
Crock Pot Yogurt!

This is the recipe we started with.  Then we made a few variations for our flavored varieties.  I suggest you start with the recipe in the link before you try it flavored.  Just a few pointers and suggestions before you begin: Make sure the milk is not "Ultra Pasturized," your yo just won't gurt if you do.  Sorry.  Also, no need to buy a vat of plain yogurt.  A single serving container is just enough to get the job done.  After you make the first batch, you won't need store bought anymore. 

Here is our twist on the subject. 
We use organic whole milk.  *Kroger really needs to stop upping the price, seriously!*  For the starter, we used a single serving of Dannon plain flavored (is that a flavor?)

Follow the regular instructions until you get to the part about mixing in the starter.  In you small mixing bowl add a 1/2 of sugar and 2Tbsp of vanilla extract.  Add in your warm milk and the starter and mix up really.  Be quick so it doesn't cool off too much.  After you pour everything back into the crock pot, give it a super duper stir.  I use a wooden spoon. 

When your 8 hours are up, measure out a cup or so to use as your starter for the next batch.  The rest goes into a cheese cloth lined noodle strainer balanced over a bowl to catch the dripping.  Store over night in the fridge and the WA-LA!  You have Greek Style yogurt!  If you don't want to strain it, no one is going to make you, but I do suggest ladling off the liquid that is at the top. 

Ok, so you don't like vanilla yogurt, but you would like a flavor.  Hit up Google for recipes of compote.  You can have blueberry, strawberry, pineapple, broccoli flavored... the possibilities are endless!  Just stir it into your yogurt and off ya go!


Now I just need to learn how to make my beloved Kefir! 

The Downside of Freecycle

I'm going to complain for a moment...

Today I checked my email account that recieves offers and requests from Freecycle.  What I saw was absolutely appalling!  I supposed when you have people giving away things for free with no strings attached, the greedies of the world will emerge and abuse the system.  I know it's not just my local one that has people asking for insane requests because I've read some horror stories. 

You can imaging the shock on my face when when I read the first request.  Someone was asking for a piano!  A PIANO!  Those hunks of wood with 88 keys don't come cheap and are usually passed from generation to generation.  Asking for a free one is like asking someone else to buy a house for you.  If your child is taking music lessons that awesome!  I know they will need an instrument practice so why not ask your church or the child's school if they can use a piano for practicing.  Please don't ask someone to give you one for free...  If a charity or community center had asked for one, I'd have no issue.  That's what a donation is.

On top of this... the same person has asked for a treadmill!!!!!!  Again, a very expensive piece of equipment.  A very unnecessary piece of equipment at that.  Is it too hard to go for a walk or run outside?  Go out, enjoy nature while getting back into shape... don't ask for someone to provide you with something expensive so you can run while watching tv inside.  That's just silly!

People, please use your brain and stop being greedy!

Meatless Monday- The Inaugural Event...

Was slightly a bust.  Here is how the whole thing went down.

Sunday, I escaped ran out for a few minutes to buy this weeks groceries.  I had my handy-dandy list in tow along with with my reusable bags and my list of the Dirty Dozen.  At the advice of an anonymous reader, we were going to have squash with brown sugar.  I was super excited to try a new recipe. 

I got all my groceries, paid, then headed home.  Upon arriving home... dang it, I forgot to buy squash!!!!!  Moving on to plan B.  Broccoli with cheese sauce and baked potatoes.  I love broccoli so I was super excited.  I even found a recipe for cheese sauce with out the use of a can of chedder cheese and a slice of American product (I refuse to call it cheese!)

Monday rolls around and The Father calls to inform me that he has an event at work at 6pm.  I assume it will take 2 hours then he will have to drive an hour to get home.  9 pm is a bit late to be eating dinner, so I decided that we could just fend for ourselves and I'll cook the broccoli a different night.

For my dinner, I had a bagel with goat's milk cream cheese and for his, he ate the left over banana nut muffins.  We were both really proud of ourselves for going a whole day meatless.  I knew it wouldn't be hard, but The Father admitted it was much easier than he anticipated. 

Hopefully next week will go a little better.  I was really looking forward to cooking a new dish!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Dirty and The Clean

If I were a millionaire, we'd only be eating organic foods.  I'm not... so we don't.  Every trip to the grocery store is an inner battle.  Do I buy regular GMO (genetically-modified organisms)  and pesticide laden foods or go for the expensive organics?

A few months ago, I was introduced to the concept of the Dirty Dozen.  This list has helped me out greatly in the produce department.  No questions asked, if they are on the list, organics are bought.

So here is the list:


Bell Peppers

Did you know there is an opposite of the Dirty Dozen?  It's commonly referred to as the Clean 15!  You can skip the organic varieties of these.

I'll be sweet and list them for you:

Avocado (is this a fruit or veg?)
Shelling Peas
Sweet Corn

These two lists have helped me a ton during my grocery shopping outings.  If I could memorize them, it would be super awesome! 

If you'd like to watch a really awesome movie about Pesticides and GMOs, I highly recommend watching The Future of Food.  I believe you can watch it for free via  It's some scary stuff.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What to eat? What to eat?

Tomorrow will be the ever exciting weekly trip to the grocery market.  Anyone have any exciting recipes I should try? 

I'm looking for something to eat on Meatless Monday especially!

Please remember... no cans and no tomatoes, please!

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts!

They been mashed and squished and who knows what else they do to them to extract the oil. 

I have this mini obsession with coconut oil and I know you'd like to hear about it. 

During the sumer of '08, I was looking through a vitamin catalog when I came across a jar of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.  I was intrigued due to my love of everything coconut.  After a date night with Sir Google, I learned that coconut oil has some really awesome health benefits- more on that later.  I decided that I need to try this stuff.  Not only did I order a jar of oil but I also bought a bottle of it in pill form. 

When they arrived I started using the jar of oil for cooking and I took 2 pills twice a day!  I quickly realized using the oil in my skillet made super yummy scrambled eggs!  I started to notice after a month or so that my hairy was super shiney and my skin was soft!  Super exciting!!!

I'm sure you are wondering why I keep refering to oil living in a jar!  Coconut oil is a solid at temperatures below 76 degrees F.  Any temperature above that, it's a liquid!  Pretty neat, huh?!  It always makes for a fun surprise when I open the jar.  Will it be solid, liquid, or somewhere in between?

Of course, while I was pregnant with LBG, I didn't take my coconut oil pills.  I did however continue to cook with it and the uses didn't stop there!  The Green Living board on had topic about The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) that seemed like a fun challenge.  You can read about OCM here.  I gave it a shot with my coconut oil and have been going strong ever since!

Once I started using OCM, mind took off and now I just coconut oil in a whole host of ways!

Cradle cap?  Lube up le bebe's scalp and exfoliate with a brush... wash hair.
Itchy pregnant belly?  Coconut oil is super soothing!
Hair has dry ends?  Apply a small amount of coconut oil.
Ran out of eye makeup remover, cold cream, etc?  Coconut oil
Have a zit?  Windex!  (Name that movie!)

I need to stress that only Extra Virgin oil will do.  Any other kind is a little too processed and will have lost much of it's awesome super powers.

Speaking of super powers... I could type up a whole blurb on their magically powers, but it's much easier to give you a link since LBG is needing a diaper change and dinner needs to be cooked.  Check it out, yo!

... and with that I leave on a small recipe for my own little "lotion."
1/2 cup EV Coconut oil
1/4 tsp Jojoba oil
1/4 tsp Vitamin E oil

Combine and store in a recycled jar.  It's great for after the shower!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We're Down to a System!

Who would have thought that in just two weeks (one week for The Father,) we'd have our diaper routine down pat?!

First I should speak about our preferences.  I love, love, love prefolds.  Please don't ask me why, because I have no idea.  The Father likes pockets, AIOs, and fitteds.  I try to save the AIOs and pockets for use when we are out of the house.  When we are out and about for the whole day, disposables are used.  I don't have a wet bag nor do I have a diaper bag large enough to carry bottles, formula, a change of clothing or two, 2 pacifiers, a toy or two, my wallet and cell phone, etc... along with 5 fairly bulky diapers.  Ain't gunna happen!  We also use disposables at night because they last a bit longer and the last thing we want while bleary eyed at 2am is to change a diaper.

So here's how it works.  When LBG wakes up for the day, I strap a prefold on him with a snappi along with a cover.  When it's time to change, that prefold goes into our trusty Ace Hardware bucket and the cover is laid out to dry (usually they aren't wet at all!)  We then use a second cover and will continue to rotate covers for the entire day.  Lather, rinse, repeat!

When The Father returns from work and offers to do a diaper change, he usually goes for his favorites.  I have no issue with this because he is using cloth and that's all that matters! 

As bedtime rolls around, the disposable diaper goes on and the rest of the cloth diapers go to bed for the evening.  The two covers are placed in the pail so two fresh ones can be used for the next day.  Very rarely do we end up using three covers a day, but occassionally it happens. 

I do diaper laundry every other day.  I could probably go an extra day, but choose not to.  The process is super simple!  Everything is dumped into the washer and given a quick rinse with cold water.  Then I run a regular wash and rinse cycle *hot/cold* with my cloth diaper detergent- recipe below.  Finally, I add a 1/4 cup of vinegar as a softener and give everything one more quick rinse, just in case.

During the warm month, drying will be a bit more fun.  I'll be able to hang everything outside!  For now, prefolds, inserts, and liners go in the dryer for a little while to get the bulk of the water out.  All covers, pockets, and AIOs go straight to our little drying rack.  Once the dryer finishes, I add the mostly damp contents to the drying rack!

Morning rolls around and we start the cycle over again!  I find a few minutes to stuff the pockets and put away all the cloth.  I want to ensure that everything LBG fits is used so I have a system of stacks.  All the clean items go to the bottom.  That way everything gets used!

Ok, breathe!  Did you get all that?  Don't worry, neither does The Father.  It's ok, we have a mutual agreement that I'm the only one allowed to use our washing machine! 

So here is my cloth diaper detergent recipe!  I also use it for my towels!

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Oxyclean

Does this remind you of anything??  Hmmmm?  It's just like regular laundry detergent minus the soap!  Soap can cause build up and then I'd be stuck doing that grueling stripping process all over again!  I'm considering add some regular baking soda to the mix but I'm not sure.  I haven't had any stink issues as of yet, but if I do, I'm sure some baking soda will help!

Human Food?

The Father has a dream that one day humans will only eat one thing... Human Food.  It's kinda like dog kibble but for humans!  Personally, I don't like that idea.  I like some variety in my diet.  I'm sure LBG would enjoy a little more of a variety, too.  He doesn't know it yet, but there are so many yummy foods out there to enjoy.

Next month he will be 4 months old!  I can't believe my sweet little boy will 17 years and 8 months from adulthood! *Did I do my math correctly?*  How time flies! 

Ok, back to the subject.  Many people being feeding their wee ones purees right after they turn 4 months.  Many people wait until they are closer to six months.  The Father and I have no idea when LBG will be ready for human food.  I'd like to wait until he is sixish months old, but if his current barf situation continues, I foresee the doctor recommending we start earlier.

What to do?  What to do?

I fully intend to make all of his food myself so I've come up with a master plan!  Begining roughly February 1st, I'll start making and freezing foods for him.  That way, if we deem him ready/needing some solids in his belly, they will be ready and waiting for him.  If he isn't ready, they will be there waiting until he is.  Either way, it ensures that I'm not rushed to cook a million peas and carrots and broccoli, Oh my!  I can't wait for the Spring/Summer vegetables to be available through the CSA, which we will be joining as soon as their Spring enrollment begins.  I know there were be lots of yummy fresh fruits and veggies for LBG to try!

A blog I follow recently posted about feeding baby the 21 plant groups.  Check it out here!  I'm now very interested in the book Feeding Baby Green,which she sites.  I think it will be a fun challenge for both The Father and I.  I'm fairly picky when it comes to veggies and I don't want to have my sweet little boy be the same!

Here are the 21 plant groups!  I'd like to thank The Good Wife for typing them all out!


Woody trees

Cruciferous vegetables



Heath plants

black beans



sunflower seeds

sesame seeds


Rosy plants



white potatoes


swiss chard


True grasses
brown rice

sweet potato

I can't wait to take photos of a LBG covered in his yummy homemade food! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Please Allow Me to Introduce You To...

A whole family of Lentil Sprouts!  They will be joining us for dinner tomorrow night!

Please ignore the freshly baked beer bread next to the jar.

Next up: Alfalfa Sprouts!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meatless Monday

A few years ago, The Father suggested we become vegetarians.  I was all for it and knew it wouldn't be hard for me.  I also knew it would be a bit of a challenge for him.  He'd suggested it so we went with it.  Things were going really well for about a month!  I was super proud of him!

Then I found the tell-all receipt!  The Father had been eating Whoppers on the sly!!!!!!!!  When confronted he was super sweet and said he didn't have the  heart to tell me he needs meat in his diet.   We left the subject out in the cold and went on with our lives.  Until yesterday... dun dun dun!!!!

I've been reading about the concept of Meatless Monday.  As the name says, you go one day a week meat free.  I purposed this to The Father and he said he'd humor me and we'd call it a date.  Not only would we eat meat-free for an entire day, it would challenge us to try new recipes because pasta and salads will get old after a while. 

Tonight was our first night.  I have to admit, I went the safe route and made pasta.  I didn't have much forewarning that we be vegetarians for a whole day until we were on our way to the grocery market.  Next week will be much better because I'll have a whole week to plan meals!

Lunch Menu
Toasted seseme seed bagel
I topped mine with goat cream cheese and TF had peanut butter
Strawberry Kefir to drink

Tonight's Menu:
Navy beans baked in molasses and brown sugar
Gorgonzola filled ravioli with tomato sauce (from a jar bought last fall)
Chevre Cheese crumbled on to the pasta
Grape/pomegranate/blueberry juice to drink

I'm actually proud of myself and The Father enjoyed both meals.  I think this might just be a tradition that sticks!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We're Sproutin', Baby!

Anyone who knows me in the real world knows I love, love, love asian food!  When ordering Chinese, beef with bean sprouts is a must.  Of course you should also know, a sandwich just isn't complete with out alfalfa sprouts!  Sure, you can buy these at the grocery store; but it's sooooo much cooler to grow your own.

It's almost silly how easy it is to grow your own sprouts!  There are special jars you can buy but, we use a mason jar with ring sans the lid and some cheese cloth or a square of muslin.  Currently, we have lentils in our jar and some alfalfa seeds in the spice cabinet waiting their turn.  You can use just about any bean or seed.

The Process:
Add your seeds or beans to the jar.  Make sure to sort beans to make sure there are no stones.  I don't fill it more than 1/3 of the way up.

Finish filling the jar with water and then cover with the fabric and ring.

Drain out the water.  This is just to rinse the beans.

Refill with water and let sit for 12 hours.  Once again drain.

Every day for the next 4-5 days, fill with water swirl around and then drain.  Twice a day is best but not mandatory.  Keep your jar out of sunlight but the light from a room is fine.

Wahoooo!  You have sprouts!  Just give them a quick rinse before you eat them!  It's a bit hard to see the shoots in the jar right now, but I'll take some photos of the finished product!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Story Time

The Father and I love reading to LBG.  Green Eggs and Ham and Where the Wild Things Are are favorites, but I've realized sometime I want to read my own books, too.  By the end of the night I'm torn between crocheting and reading.  Lately crocheting has won because I can also watch TV while hooking.  Here is my solution:  read my books to LBG! 

What an awesome idea!  The past couple of days we've been learning about eating locally by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  I've found the book to be insanely inspirational!  How inspirational, you ask?  Lets just say I grew up on a farm with cows, goats, chickens, ducks, horses... you name it, we probably had it minus pigs.  Of course... peacocks roamed the pastures for a while!  I did everything I could to get away from the farm.  It wasn't who I was.  After reading the chapter about chickens, I actually asked The Father if we could get some!  Then I asked if we could have a goat!

Yeah... it's THAT inspirational!  So while LBG might now understand the concept of why we can't have strawberries in December, I'm hoping that he will at least enjoy hearing the rhythm of my reading.  Next up, we will be reading Justine by the Maquis de Sade!  Just kidding!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shame On You, Little Boy Green!

He seems have gotten himself a cute little case of Crabs!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Follow-up: Frogging yarn

Remember that post I wrote about recycling sweaters? Read it here.

Here are some photos of my efforts!

I started out with this...

And ended up with this! The teal ball is the back of a second sweater, and the rainbow ball was a scarf!

Rip it! Rip it! Rip it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Homemade Vanilla!

Once again, I live up to my mantra:
"Why buy what you can make?!"

Saturday, LBG and I made a quick field trip down the street to the grocery store in search of vanilla beans. We were going to do some homemaking!

The notion of making homemade vanilla extract was placed in my head a few weeks ago courtesy of Mr. Google helped me find a recipe that sounded easy enough. The hard part was deciding how I was going to make it.

Rum, vodka, brandy... so many choices! The idea is to soak a few split vanilla beans in the alcohol of your choice for 8 weeks then WA LA! you have vanilla extract.

Ok, back to my story! We left the house knowing we'd be making a few varieties. I wanted to try with vodka and brandy. I thought about rum but then decided Coconut Malibu probably isn't idea and that was all my liquor cabinet had to offer. I'd loaded three empty jam jars into the dishwasher so they'd nice and clean for our little project.

Once we arrived at the lovely establishment known as Kroger, my plans suddenly hit the floor and shattered into a million pieces. Vanilla beans are expensive! Not Saffron expensive, but still not on the cheap side. We bought a few extra groceries, paid, and left. $13.00 poorer and 4, yes, 4, vanilla beans richer. We'd be only using vodka for our alcohol.

So here's how it works...
PS: I was on the ball this time and actually have photo-documentation

Fill a jar with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes

Once the 10 minutes are up, pour out the water. I needed to let my jar cool a bit because my vodka is kept nice and frosty in the freezer. Split open 3 vanilla beans and put them in the jar.

Offer your beautiful beans a healthy swig of the good stuff. 1 cup to be exact. If you find this process too stressful, have a slurp or 5 yourself!

Lid up and there you have it, Ladies and Gents! In 8 short weeks you will be amazed-- or so I've been told! Just give it a quick shake every so often just woke make sure your beautiful beans are awake!

You are probably wondering what LBG was doing during this time. I can assure you he wasn't sampling the liquids! He was doing something we should all be doing more:

OH YEAH!! You are probably wondering what became of the fourth bean. I'm not cold hearted enough to leave it lonely in a jar. It is aiding in the making of vanilla sugar, of course!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hemp Milk is Yummy

You should drink it!
It's good for you!

The End

Friday, January 8, 2010

Can It!

One of the our goals for this year is to make our kitchen can-free.

Translation: No cans of soup. No cans of corn. No cans of sweetened condensed milk.

This is our reasoning. If we are trying our darnedest to make sure that LBG's toys, bottles, pacifiers are all BPA-free, why should we be sticking it in our own mouths? Yes, cans have BPA in them. It is part of the lining. Heck, it's in everything!

Here is the problem with BPA:
"... bisphenol-A is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to lower sperm count, early onset of puberty, breast cancer, and obesity. Ninety-five percent of American adults have detectable levels of BPA." (full article here)

For some reason beyond my current understanding, the FDA will not make a policy banning the usage of BPA. They don't even seem to have any intention to in the near future!

Ok, so here is the contents of our pantry's can shelf. We have 3 cans of corn, 2 cans of tomatos, a couple cans of pumpkin, and a can of soup. These were all purchased before January 1, 2010 and the Father said we can't donate them. We will eat them but we will no longer be buying more. We've stopped buying sodas- another blog entry coming soon- in cans and bottles as well.

There is a sad side to this story. No more chili or stew, corn cassarole or green beans. We will have to wait until they are all in season and can our own. No, I can't just go to the grocery store any buy some tomatoes to chop up either. Remember, they might be funding homegrown slavery.

Yay! The kitchen at LBG's house will be BPA-free, right? Wrong! We still have a few plastic cups (Do they make Mega Gulps in glass?) and plastic strange containers. Slowly but surely, we plan to replace our plastic containers with Pyrex and we are still looking for options for The Father's beloved HUGE cups.

Of course, if you aren't as crazy, I mean ambitious, there are a few ways you can avoid BPA. You can use stainless steel water bottles instead of those disposable plastic ones, don't heat up anything in plastic. And in July, don't open and drink that bottle of Poland Spring water that's been in your car for 2 weeks!

Oh yeah, and remember... you can't escape all BPAs they are everywhere!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The New Year 50

Here is my New Year 50!

I apologize for the black box. I can't make it go away because Blogger is a mean bully!

  1. Broken DVD player-recycled
  2. ^^Matching remote-recycled
  3. Purse-Goodwill
  4. Pair of shoes never worn- Shoes4Souls
  5. Pair of shoes Post-Pregnancy feet don't fit- Shoes4Souls
  6. 1 Pair of ouchy pumps- Goodwill
  7. Book, Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week- Donated to Library
  8. Book, Fat Needles Fast Knits-Donated to Library
  9. Hat- Goodwill
  10. Milk crate full of 1/2 used pillar candles- put in emergency Alien Attack box
  11. 2 Sample Cans of Enfamil-Shelter
  12. Down mattress topper-upcycled to be dog bed
  13. 2 Scarves- Salvation Army
  14. 1 Scarf- Frogged for yarn
  15. A basket of votive candles- melted down and attempted to make a pillar candle
  16. Travel jewelry box- Goodwill
  17. Headband/scarf combo-Goodwill
  18. 3 Canning jars with chipped rims-recycling bin
  19. Empty watch tin-recycled
  20. Bag of Baby Clothing- Once Upon a Child/store credit
  21. 1/2 used bottle of Dreft- Freecycle
  22. 1/4 bottle of Tide Coldwater-Freecycle
  23. 2 boxes of Bounce dryer sheets-Freecycle
  24. 1 mostly full bottle of bleach- Freecycle
  25. 1 shower cleaning wand- Freecycle
  26. 1 toilet wand- Freecycle
  27. Bottle of Shout-Freecycle
  28. 1 botte of furniture polish- Freecycle
  29. 2 1/2 used bottles of Windex-Freecycle
  30. 1 Bottle toilet cleaner- Freecyce
  31. 14 Bottles of nail polish-Freecycle
  32. Two unopened bottles of bodywash- Freecycle
  33. 1 Stack of magazines- recycled
  34. 1 box tampons-shelter
  35. 2 boxes pads-shelter
  36. Buddha decoration- Freecyle
  37. Last year's calendar- Recycled
  38. 10 Newborn size diapers-give to Coworker
  39. Box of crayons- donated to preschool
  40. Box of Markers- donated to preschool
  41. Insanely old jacket- Salvation Army
  42. 3 Microfiber cleaning cloths-upcycled to be diaper inserts
  43. 1 Pair of Flannel pants-cut into cleaning cloths
  44. 1 Skein Black wool~itchy- made into dryer ball
  45. 2 Bottles of vinegar combined into one
  46. 1 Empty bottle of vinegar -recycled
  47. 1 Cell phone- recycled
  48. 1 Cell phone battery- recycled
  49. Ugly glass vase- recycled
  50. 2 almost nonfunctional carboard moving boxes-recycled
I made it!!! Did you think I couldn't do it? I was actually doubting myself quite a bit. Yes, if add up the quantities, there are more than 50 items, but I thought listing 14 individual nail polishes would be cheating!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Loot!

Yes, my child will be wearing My Little Pony and Cheetah panties!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

...and you thought stripping was fun!

Today I met with a lady from Craigslist who was selling her cloth diapers. I won't get into all the crazy deets, but long story short:

I went thinking I'd spend $70 and walk away with 4 or so diapers and her Snappis. Yeah after a bit of haggling, I bought her ENTIRE... yes, you hear me right, ENTIRE stash of diapers. I have some Chinese prefolds, some Bum Genius All in Ones, a few Imse Vimse covers, a couple of Bumkins, Wonderoos, a million doublers, some adorable Work at Home Mom diapers, and 2 snappis. Included are 2 diapers with My Little Pony on them. We don't discriminate (we have a pink bottle, too) and the price was right! I think I walked away with 75 items!!!

::stops and catches breath::
All for the amazing $100! The Father and I'd estimated that we'd have to spend $800 on CDs to have enough to last LBGs entire diapering career. I think we may have enough to last us the entire time with our bare bones stash.

Yes, disposables will still be in the drawer for long outings during the day, nighttime, and road trips. They will also be the backups for those times that I just can't get the laundry done.

On to the "fun" project of stripping all the diapers. Stripping is a process in which you remove all the nasty buildup and stink from dingy diapers. You add boiling water to your hot water wash cycle with just a dab of Dawn. Then you do a rinse cycle. Another wash with something amazing called RLR (go buy some now... it's the bee's knees!) and then rinse and rinse and rinse until the water is clear.

Yeah, no. 24 rinse cycles later... the inserts, doublers, and prefolds are complete. Now I have to do all the covers, AIOs, Pockets, and WAHMs!!!! Let's hope this isn't the same number. I can see my water bill climbing by the rinse.

Rip it... Rip it good!

What can you get with $2.50, a little patience, and some time?

A ton of amazing yarn!

Here is what you do. You take a trip down to your favorite thrift store, find an awesome sweater that hasn't been serged at them seams and unravel the whole thing! This is a time honored technique affectionately known as "Frogging."

You could buy a wool sweater and felt it. Then you can cut it up and make something exciting out of it! Felting is super easy. You load your 100% wool item into a pillow case and wash it with a load of towels, jeans, whatever floats your boat with HOT water for a long wash cycle. Then dry it in the dryer. If you want to be extra special sure it's felted, Lather. Rinse, Repeat!

A frogging we will go... A frogging we will go!!!

Oh yeah, per usual, you have to be patient and you might see some photos!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pedaling the Freecycle

What? You don't know what a freecycle is? It's the really cool bicycle that only goes backwards and in a circle.Ok, maybe not, but that would a super nifty contraption and I'll be asking Santa for one next year.

Freecycle is like Craigslist only every HAS to be free. If you don't know what Craigslist is... well, you need to get with the modern times!

You list your FREE items on your local listing board and then wait for the emails to roll in. If you are in need of something, you can post a *Wanted* listing and maybe someone will be able to help you! There are stipulations such as you can't exchange any money, you can't ask for outlandish and unnecessary items like a brand new ipod or X brand of digital camera unused. It's a great way to get rid of unwanted items that would otherwise end up in the dump. It's also a great way to collect items for your charitable organization!

While I've known about Freecycle for a few years, I've never actually used it. Don't ask me why. I'll never know why I've put off utilizing just a beautiful tool for so long. I'm sure I'm deserving of a few lashing with a wet noodle- and I accept.

This morning I had an epiphany! Instead of taking my walking cast, which is part of my New Year 50 to the Goodwill-I don't know of a local free clinic- why not Freecycle it?! As many might say, the snowball effect was in motion. The next time I knew, I was listing a wrist brace (if you know me, you know my bones like to break on occasion,) a bin of various un-eco-friendly cleaning products, 14 bottles of nail polish, an two unopened bottles of bodywash that I'll never use! Good googly moogly! I hope the Freecycle mods appreciate my offers, since they had a posting asking more people to offer things because there were too many "wants."

Ok, now hurry up and wait! First, I have to wait for them to be approved and listed. Then, I have to wait for the emails to start rolling in, which I really hope will happen. I want to add these items to my 50.

I never thought this idea of the New Year 50 would be more than just getting a few extra things out of the house!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

More Fluff on the Way!

As I've previously mentioned, we are beginning to use cloth diapers. It will be quite a while before we are able to fully switch over, but I'm certain it will happen. LBG might be pushing a year old before we are able to accomplish our feat, but we are trying.

As I said in a previous post, we ordered 4 diapers to start off. We have 3 Thirsties Duo Diapers and 1 Kushies Ultrasomethingorother. We very much like the Thirsties and seriously dislike the Kushies.

The Thirsties are pockets that come with two inserts. One is microfiber and the other a hemp/cotton blend. The two inserts snap together if you'd like to use them that way. You can access the pocket from the front or the back which is cool! They should fit him until he roughly 9 months old!

The Kushies is an All in 2. The attached liner is long enough that you can fold it over if you want to concentrate the coverage. We bought a medium which in theory should fit LBG but in actuality, it goes all the way up to the poor guy's nips! It isn't very absorbent. He soaked through it in about an hour. That is only 15 minutes longer than it took him to soak the Gerber Prefolds!

We now have 4 Bum Genius 3.0s on the way. They are All in 1 so they should be pretty cool. I've seen lots of people recommend them. They should fit him for a good long while since they are fully adjustable! Tuesday, I'm meeting with a mom from Craigslist who's decided to discontinue cloth diapering. I'm sure I'll walk away with some awesome items.

Next on our list is a package of flushable inserts. The Father has requested them in order to attempt to avoid playing in the toilet when LBG decides to "make waste." Once we are in our new home in Nashville, we'll be installing a diaper sprayer as well.

Now, I'm off to stuff the Thirsties and then dream of Sugar Plums dancing in my head.

Good night, my friends!

The Verdict is In

I hate the smell of Tea Tree Oil.
Remember when I said I'd be adding some to my All-Purpose Cleaner? Well, I did and I hate it. It makes everything smell musty. I knew this would probably be the case because I've used it before in other applications and hated the smell. I guess I'd been hoping the almond scent from my Dr. Bronner's soap would mask it. Yeah, no.

While I knew I didn't care for the smell, today cemented it when I used the cleaner to not only wipe down my counters, but also my kitchen floor. I spent the day trying to escape the smell!

It now boils down to the question: do I continue to use it regardless of the smell? TTO, just like any other essential oil has some wonderful properties. It's been show to stall MRSA activity and it doesn't cause resistance, it's great for acne, and will even help with foot fungus.

The inner battle has begun.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Mix them together and what do you get?
A volcano of course.

WRONG!!! Ok yes, you do get a volcano when you are in third grade but as an adult, you get a highly effective drain cleaner!

No, it won't evict the hairy monster that has been living down there for 5 years, but it will clear out the average speed bump. As a little bonus, the silver part of the drain will be nice and shiny!

Here is how you perform the procedure:

1. Fill you tea kettle with water and set it to boil.
2. Pour a fair about of Baking Soda down the drain. Use a spoon if it will help. I like to pack in as much as I possibly can.
3. Pour some vinegar over the drain and plug said drain as soon as you can.
4.When you hear the whistle, it's time to unplug the drain and pour the boiling water down

Ta-Da! Your drain is as good as new. If your little chemistry project as failed, it's sure bet you need to evict a hairy animal. You can easily fashion a pipe snake out of an old wire coat hanger (The Grandfather taught me this!) Once you are critter free, perform the procedure again.

It never hurts to turn your drain into a volcano once a month or so as a preventative measure.

Now, the next time your city/county has a hazardous waste collection day, please feel free to fork over the Draino!

In the near future...

something really cool might happen! But, until them, please feel free to click on some of the ads to your right!

Please don't get your mamacloth in a twist... you will find out soon enough!