Saturday, December 25, 2010


It's been a great morning here. Diva and Little Man have been good children according to Santa and the elves :-) In comparison to last year's un-green bounty, this year Santa has brought an array of envioronmentally sound toys and gifts. Organic clothing, Wooden toys, paint made with flower petals and essences. We have made a great start. I can't wait to see what next Christmas brings!

PS. Here's a little tidbit on weather our Christmas Tree tradition is eco-friendly.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dribs and Drabs

I received a wonderful magazine on how Santa Fe, New Mexico is going green. An author of the magazine is also known for using 10 gallons of water a day. WOW! that would be an interesting concept. i believe washing the dishes in the sink in this house alone takes about 2.5 gallons! My goal for January is to find ways to use less water. I`ll be researching, applying, and sharing ways to conserve water in this busy household in dribs and drabs here and there.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Greens on the Block

Last week's grocery list included an upgrade on my cleaning pals. After a week, i'd like to report that i LOVE the ECOS laundry detergent, and after spending an obscene amount of time perusing the isle for liquid dishwasher fluid; i found a powder by Seventh Generation. I have been using the dishwasher less; having cut down from 2x a day to 1x every other day. The dish washer soap works very well, no spots - squeaky clean.

I'm also happy to report that the EcoTowels have held up well, as you can see in the photo, after their first time in the laundry cycle :-) The fibers feel a little tighter, and there was a little crud on one that didn't get totally washed out, but still absorbing and wiping down surfaces well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well, Hello There!

One of eight tiny garlic bulbs under the withered post-harvested sprouts. The utter glee which overtook me when i saw this little guy took me quite by surprise! Is it so cute, or what? I've fallen very deeply in love with my medicinal herb plants. So far, all that was needed to get to this point has been a sprouted garlic bulb from Whole Foods, a planter, encouragement, a kitchen windowsill, soil, water, "conversations", sunlight, harvested sprouts, and a little apprehension (see pic of the week)..... And now....GLEE!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Paper Towel Saga Continues...

I ventured away from Whole Foods grocery shopping to attempt to save gasoline and went to a local supermarket that carries a limited selection of organic and green products and found these towels! I have made a switch to buying 100% recycled paper towels, but i feel i could still do better. Made from bamboo and corn viscose, i thought i'd try these as an alternative to the paper towels. They are wonderful. I used and reused them, and they have retained their integrity. I have yet to toss them into the laundry. The best part is that they are biodegradable ! I can toss them into my future compost bin :-) I will see how long my first two towels, shown above, will last; i will keep you posted. I took the liberty of looking up whether viscose was safe. I will try to find a Litrax paper towel alternative as from my preliminary research it looks like the processing used for Litrax bamboo linens seems to be 100% natural .

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Dream "Scape"s

Well well well...let's catch up, shall we?

Garlic is NOT doing well. in fact...check out pic of the week. yeah. that's a wrap.

I'm hopeful, however!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Down for the Count Today

Why is it that every Thanksgiving I fall ill? High time i tried that Fire Cider recipe i've meaning to make.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Movin' and a Shakin'

Not bad for a photo taken by my phone! I emailed it to myself and then downloaded it. Alright!
The kids helped me take some sage, chive, and oregano cuttings from the yard. I'm going to try and grow these indoors. Will keep you all posted. interesting...I love the process of getting back to basics, yet i'm a technology geek at heart. Can the two co-exist? We shall see.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Life in the Fast Lane

WOAH! These grew at least half an inch since i planted them some days ago. This is definately a motivation booster for the green life...and so easy...and so elegently economic :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Green Muffins?

Pumpkin and Corn have teamed up in a brilliant display of cleverness: the adorable Mini-Muffin. This clever costume has my vote for 1st place. Made from all organic ingredients, in under 25 minutes, not so bad for you (my own puree and maple syrup substituted) and deliciously freezable; my kids have enjoyed taking their veggies and i have enjoyed the $$$ savings. Organically Green Muffins on the Cheap for all!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Allium Allies

My little garlic babies....these bulbs were "forced" in my fridge. Bought from Whole Foods, they are organic and i'm hoping...of great quality. I had them in a covered glass container with a little sprinkle of water for about a month. They are sprouting nicely! It was time to move them to their new home. I will keep them here through the winter and if they all turn out well, i will move some out into the garden and keep some in the kitchen. Not sure if i will keep the outdoor plants in a pot or plant them in the yard....
Garlic is part of the allium family. Allium has been studied for medicinal benefits in humans and has proven not only effective in boosting our immune systems, but also as an antibiotic. A great stepping stone for a medicinal herb garden, indoors and out, i say!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Going Down Down Down

Happy to annouce that my electricity bill has gone down $12 since last month, and my phone bill has gone down $11. WOW! it may seem a drop in the bucket...but it is great motivation. I'm playing with the idea of putting these savings toward purchasing solar panels. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kindred Spirits 2 for 2!

Two friends alerted me on two different occasions to this magazine. It is available online, as well! LOVE IT! I'm going to take 2 ideas from this magazine and apply them 2 day! Friends, let's share this with at least 2 people 2day!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chez Eve's Basement Finds

Found some beautiful things at Chez Eve's Basement to use as materials for our homemade Halloween costumes. These are going to be Ariel's "seashells". Green ribbon will help make some fins.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Getting back in gear on the recycling front. Our bins were overflowing. It is so hard to keep track of all the boxes, plastic, paper, etc. that one uses in a busy household. Would we be better off if we found a way not to buy so much of those pre-packaged items? It's almost like...we are creating extra work. I've heard that recycling plants use up a good amount of resources in order to run. What if we rethought how we lived so that we didn't need them anymore?

Check out my December article on Reducing Waste on the Urban Times.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nutrigrain Bars - Homemade...Easy

Wooh! two posts in one day. i'm on fire...experimenting with a recipe for making my own, organic, healthier version of our favorite cereal bars. Pulling all the ingredients together took me 4 minutes. It took about 8 minutes to mix, put in pan, prepare, and put in oven. 25 min to bake. cooled, packed them in parchment paper. some are in the freezer, the rest are in the fridge. I like easy. I'm going to tweak these so that next time i make my own strawberry preserves, substitute the sugar for another healthier sweetener (juice, agave nectar, etc) and if i can find a healthier substitute for some of the butter called for in the recipe, i will. These will be going into my anti-McDonalds cooler, for sure!!!!! If you decide to try this recipe let me know how it goes for you :-)

Halloween from Scratch!

I'm going to go "shopping" around my house to find materials for this year's costumes. Little Man is going to be Mickey and Diva's going to be Ariel. Stay tuned for pictures of the process this week under the Project of the Day feature.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The "M" Factor

There must be a better way. Busy days have led me into the arms of the red clown twice this month. Going to try and stock up a cooler with healthy foods and keep it in the car. A little more planning, but worth it. Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Power Up! Solar Energy....for me?

Firstly, forgive the didactic nature of this post - I'm in the throws of completing my requirments for upkeep of my licensure as a mental health clinician so i'm in that "mode". Part of this work is reading and being tested on updated research in the field. I read something on sleep improvement that dovetailed so nicely with saving energy and maximining energy that it blew my mind. I had never heard of the circadian rythm and how 30-45 minutes of natural morning daylight regulates your night time sleep cycle. Amazing. I also learned that you should avoid "blue" light that comes from TV and computers at night. That you should do the best you can to not use artificial lights once night falls and engage in quiet activities like reading so that your body can achieve regulation of chemicals that induce a good night's rest. Everyone knows that a good night's rest = more energy. SO! if i am spending more time outdoors in the morning soaking up the sun's energy and charging my own battery, thus spending less energy on electricity at home, as well as less at night to light up my home, then i will save energy, money and actually BOOST my own energy by giving myself a better chance at better quality sleep. What a great motivation to get out the candles and read a good book with the family after dinner. Goodness all around.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dr. Mommy

Today my feisty diva is ambling around with hand cautiously cupped to her left ear demanding air for her ear. Oh! Preschool, you are truly a nemesis to the garden variety germophobe. It is Sunday, which impedes a trip to the MD. Wait a minute...hold on to your hats folks...the caffeine is kicking in....i wonder...are we too dependent on a trip to our overburdened doctors for reassurance? I believe in doctors. I do. It is a noble profession filled with so many good hearts, and the good ones know what they're talking about. I wonder, however, if there is a link between the loss of connection to our bodies and the overburdened medical profession. I'm going to try incorporating more natural remedies to help our bodies fight off run of the mill infections, colds, etc. I have Thieves Oil in the house and i'm going to try it. Today is an opportunity to explore the confidence i have in my ability to tune in to what is going on with my daughter. Who knows, maybe in teaching my children how to tune in, they will be better caretakers of their bodies, which would be a win win situation for everyone. Dr. Mommy is in!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Painting with Lemons

I painted with Lemons today. There is an abundance of child-made mess everywhere i look here at home....i was inspired to make a mess of my own. I took some lemons, cut them into halves and squeezed them and twisted them around all the cabinet and appliance knobs in my kitchen. I took halves and "scrubbed" handles and countertops. Squeezing, twisting, swooshing. was a blast...a carnival of aromoatic natural sanitizing! Upside: it was fun, and the kitchen felt and smelled great. Downside: the pulp that was left over was no fun to clean up. I will squeeze out the juice next time and use a scrub brush for my next avant-garde lemony adventure!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The X-Plants: Revolution...

*click images for care instructions* GERBERA - $6.99
(Reduces benzene, a known carcinogen)
Add Image PEACE LILY $6.99
(Reduces Trichloroethylene, a proven carcinogen linked to Liver Cancer)
**careful, this one is poisonous to little kids and animals if ingested

(Reduces Formaldehyde)

Chrysanthemum (seen in middle - those other red orchids are my silk flowers) - $2.49
(Reduces Formaldehyde)

Friday, September 17, 2010

For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth. ~Sanskrit Proverb

Add Image

Amazing Discovery on my quest for indoor plants!!! Harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and Benzene are significantly reduced in the air by indoor plants. An introduction to the heroes: Peace Lily, Chinese Evergreen, Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Gerbera Daisy, Janet Craig, Marginata, mass ane/Corn plant, Mother in Law's Tounge, Pot Mum,Warneckii. My favorites for plants that go with any type of home decor are the Peace Lily, Gerbera Daisy, and Warneckii.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fabulicious French Country Fabric!

My tablecloth is coming along. I'm handsewing because i don't trust sewing machines. I couldn't wait till it was finished so i put it on the kitchen table last night and it looked so beautiful i had to share. We were going to repaint our kitchen walls but the fabric does such a nice job pulling the whole kitchen together that it's not even necessary anymore. Some money on paint, paint supplies saved, not to mention time saved as well. Sewing is a good thing :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Work is Mental, Too

I want to have all of my goals met TODAY. Yes, I am unearthing (no pun intended!) my natural tendencies toward simpler living and shedding the old skin little by little which is an important part of this 365 day challenge but I'M GETTING IMPATIENT. What are the odds that i could build a compost bin this weekend with two little ones, housework, cooking, and hubs' crazy work schedule? HA! Any thoughts, ideas, encouraging words, are SOOO welcome.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Learning the Ropes

Rich in vitamin C. Great for an immune boosting tea for the flu season. And it's in my backyard! I have used the following rosehip tea recipe to effectively reduce the duration of a cold.  It works!

Rose Hip Tea:
  • Bring 2 teaspoons of cut hips with 3/4 cup of water to boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain.
  • Sweeten with agave or stevia.
  • Infuse with fresh peppermint and dried lavendar flower.
  • Serve

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I fell off the wagon. I love the taste of coffee, but it really does me in after a while. As 90's comeback-Janet so eloquently delcared in her poignant lyric: Like a moth to a flame, burnt by the fire. Hey, any lady who can figure out how to get a man's hands to act as a bra is okay in my book. Let us not judge.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's All We've Got

Spent many days on vacation contemplating the grandeur and simultaneously relative smallness of "us". The blue planet. glowing blue in a sea of so many other unsustainable planets...perhaps planets that once were blue like ours, but not anymore. questions flowed in and out about the existence of a creator, other intelligent life, etc. Star gazing at night at the edge of the vast ocean. what if....what if this is all we've got and that's that? what if...THIS. THIS is the "heaven". THIS is the gift. THIS - a temporary holding ground for our relatively short existence? Well, then. I'm sold that my job here is to feel, be, live, and generate it's magic, weather it be energy that can be quantified, or cosmic energy that is unexplainable. My job is to give, create, and sustain - this lovely blue living jewel that gave, created, and sustained me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Basket

I woke up this morning with an urge to purge, emotionally. I have set out to and have made some accomplishments in making our lives healthier and more responsible little by little, yet this is quite a large task. I have a "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" in me - One the one hand, i have goals that are wonderful and i take them on, head on. On the other hand, as i realize the long term committment, i become anxious, and i cut corners because i become too overwhelmed. This is not foreign to me. It is how i was raised. Without getting into boring detail, let it suffice to say that just as there are babies who start off with caregivers who have a basket of "goodies" to share (life skills, prosocial values, uncomplicated love), there are babies who start off with caregivers who are children themselves in many ways. So, here i am, having woven my own basket with bits and pieces of knowledge i've acquired along the way, much like a bird builds it's nest. I have twigs, random pieces of thread, a shiny ribbon, some other cool, disjointed stuff. Here i am, trying to fill this eclectic, sometimes uber-strong, sometimes so whispy, basket - with values and pro-social behaviors that were always preached but not necessarily practiced by adults i was exposed to as a child. My hope is to have a sturdy and full basket to let my little ones hold, enjoy, partake from, and eventually have.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Accomplishment X3...and more!

This is the perfect activity to get all my goals met in one sitting....baking bread. Organic, Whole Grain, Cheap, Green. Not to mention it serves as a great sensory as well as scientific activity for the kids ("wow Mommy, it's growing!") great family time, encompassing all my love. A truly spiritual activity that will serve to ground me throughout this 365 day adventure.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Thing of Beauty to Some

I took this picture from a website i was looking at this morning while researching the ABC's of composting. I love this bin. I think it's pretty. I never would have thought,as a NYC native, having lived in a few cities in my short life, that i would feel a box full of dirt was charming....but it is. This is the one i want to build. The best place to put one is near a water source, in a place that has half-day's sunlight, away from the house. Hmm...another challenge...nevermind the one that comes with trying to convince the Hubs that this will be satisfying work!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

86 The JAVA

8/3/10 - 8:45am Tuesday:

Green Tea has been sustaining me since i stopped drinking coffee 3 weeks ago. Yesterday was the first day that i didn't have any caffeine until about 2:00pm. Only half a cup of green tea and i didn't want anymore. That's amazing. I haven't had a cup of green tea yet, or breakfast for that matter - it's 8:50am. I had 9 hours sleep last night - i've got some good energy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jaguar's on the Path Beside me

I know that the path to better more responsible living is lit up and i can see pretty clearly where to step. Convenience - this crazy running jaguar that just keeps running. Hard to resist hitching a ride on this wonderful and dangerous creature. I have finally run out of those paper towels and i will be using old washcloths, the kids' old hospital blankets, and some cut up t-shirts to nurse my house back to health today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


We have plastic plates and cups left from our last BJs run last month and i was like "break out the plates i ain't cookin'!" We ordered pizza and i used the plastic plates. The waves of Green Guilt came over me. I took the plates out of the trash can and washed them. I'll be doing the same for the cups. They do make lovely planters as you've seen from the Basil Bliss Adventure.

The Big Day

Today we go blueberry picking at a local farm and we are making blueberry pie from scratch from all organic ingredients afterward. Pie is such a wonderful thing. Oh! how i love the light in my daughter's face and the chuckle in my son's heart when they hear that soft, loving, wholesome word: Pie.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Think I Can

So, i haven't thrown out the paper towels or the ziploc bags. I have, however, been doing a lot of mental prep for what is to come on August 1. I'm scared of losing the comforts of how i live now. Everytime i use a papertowel i think of the trees. I read somewhere that scientists have found a W-wave in trees - a frequency in which trees communicate with and respond to one another as far off as the next field when they are in danger. There is a balance to be met somewhere, i'm sure of it. The trees sustaining me and me sustaining the trees.