Category Archives: Green

Breakfast Smoothie: Tropical Berry

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My breakfast this morning is a yummy Tropical Berry Smoothie. I love making smoothies and whole juices. They give me all the nutrients, antioxidants, and other yummy healthy benefits in one glass. As a mom, it is nice to have your meal in one glass, because usually when you sit down to eat breakfast, a poopie diaper or a melt down is sure to happen.

Also, it is better to make your own at home. This way you can control everything that goes into it and you know there isn’t chemicals or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in it. You also know the freshness of the ingredients used and rather or not they are organic. I try my best to buy all organic.

The last thing you are doing by making them at home is voting with your money. Did you know that a lot of those premade-bottled smoothies are owned by parent companies that actually for Monsanto to not have to label their GMOs and for Monsanto to not be held accountable for the damages their crops are doing to the Earth and us? It is kind of scary to think that you think you are trying to buy healthy and you are still funding the big companies. The only true way around this is to shop farmer’s markets and get to know the farmers. Or to grow your own food. But I will get into those in another post.

Now the part I am sure you all really wanted, the recipe:

– 1 Young Thai Coconut’s meat and water
– 1/4 of a pineapple, pealed and cored
– 2 handfuls of blackberries
– 2 handfuls of blueberries
– 9 medium strawberries
– 2 bananas

Blend in the Vita Mix going up to high until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

I hope you have a wonderful day. I am going to enjoy the rest of my smoothie while the Squish naps on my chest.

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Natural Drain Cleaning: Not for the Weak of Stomach!

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Things are slowly settling in our new home. I am extremely excited to tell you about all the things that I have done thus far, but that would be a 6 mile long post. I have decided to share with you one of my favorite natural cleaning/home improvement solutions. Now, I really must warn you that the photos are not very appealing.

We have all played with Baking Soda and Vinegar. My first experience with it was as a child. As a “science experiment” one summer, my mother helped me put some baking soda into a balloon and some vinegar in a bottle. We then carefully put the balloon’s end around the bottle’s mouth. After attached, she would let me lift the balloon to empty the baking soda into the bottle. This would cause a chemical reaction that produced a gas that would fill the balloon. Here is a video of that experiment!

If only I would have known then that those two ingredients and that chemical reaction would become my favorite natural cleaning solution! I have to admit one reason why this is my favorite is because I am still highly amused by this chemical reaction. From day one of moving in, our master bathroom sink drained really, really slowly. The speed of the water from the faucet was way faster than the water leaving down the drain. I needed to do something, so I looked up recipes for unclogging drains. I did a search on the internet or had already seen a recipe in my readings. I can’t remember for sure and I can’t find the exact page I found the recipe on, but this page has lots of good recipes, including the one I used.

Drain Cleaning Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Baking Soda
  • A pot of boiling water

Pour the baking soda down the drain. Pour the vinegar down the drain and allow to bubble. Wait 15 minutes and flush with boiling water.

The Modifications I had to make:

  • Our drain plug doesn’t remove, so I had to pack the baking soda down by hand
  • Due to the wet nature of the drain, the baking soda doesn’t fall into the drain and packs pretty tightly at the top. To adjust for this I used a medicine syringe to squirt the vinegar down through it.
  • Also, squirted vinegar down the emergency drain to deliver it to the bottom of the packed baking soda.
  • I had to use way more than 1/2 cup of vinegar to dissolve all of the baking soda.
  • I had to do this three times for our sink. I think that waiting longer than 15 minutes would have helped.
  • When flushing with boiling water, start by pouring slowly directly or as directly as possible into the drain and about 1/4 –1/2 way through the pot dump the rest of the water without splashing it on you.
  • One more that I will discuss below.

Tonight, I had to do this again for our bath tub. I followed all of my modifications and got it completely unplugged the first time.

The last modification that no one warns you about is that the bubbling of the chemical reaction can cause the clog be pushed back to the top of the drain. So, I had to use tweezers to pull all this hair and gunk out of the drain. Luckily, we have a pair of old tweezers that we used for cleaning hair and animal fur out of the drains at our apartment. The gunk and hair I had to pull out is not pretty. The sink was not as bad as the tub. The tub was so bad that I decided to play the girl card and have my big, strong husband deal with the nastiness of picking it up in a bag to take to the garbage can. Luckily, the garbage is picked up in the morning, because that pile of hair was starting to remind me of a horror movie… LOL!

Here are the pictures:

Gunk from the Sink                                                        Tub with Horror Movie Hair
Gunk from the Sink                                                                       Tub with Horror Movie Hair

Well, I hope my adventure will help you with your clogged sinks. Tune in soon for more cleaning recipes I’ve been using and maybe a sneak peak at our kitchen. I might even include some other recipes I’ve been cooking up like homemade dog treats, granola bars, and body wash just to name a few. Have a wonderful day and don’t be afraid to leave some comments or questions!

Geocaching, A Good Friend, and A Problem

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GeocachingWhew! I’ve been busy lately. Getting ready for this move is a lot of work, but I got the opportunity to take the day off on Thursday to go to the park with my husband for a command picnic. It was a beautiful day! While at the park, I got to participate in one of my new found addictions: Geocaching!

“What is Geocaching?” you may be asking. Well, “Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.” You can find more information at their website. Hubby and Ally on Geocaching Adventure

I love Geocaching so much. My husband and I started Geocaching on January 1, 2012. I/We have found 10 geocaches thus far. I haven’t gotten to do as many as I would like due to having surgery on both of my big toes and being on limited activity for about a month. Why do I love Geocaching? Well, I get to be outside, I get to use my brain to solve a problem, and who doesn’t love feeling like a secret agent finding a box of treasures and trying to not get caught by “muggles” retrieving the treasure box. The best part is the majority of the time I get to do it with my husband and the pup usually comes along, too. It is a family adventure! I am looking forward to having children and experiencing Geocaching with them!

**Side Note: A Muggle or Muggles are terms used in the Geocache community to refer to a person/people who do not play Geocaching or know what Geocaching is. We must be secretive about retrieving and replacing a geocache, because some muggles will take the whole geocache or steal things out of the geocache. While others are really cool and leave it alone or decide to join the Geocaching community. And yes, this term is borrowed from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.

*Be sure to hover over the pictures to see the captions*

As I’ve said before I am trying to make wiser decisions in our home. One of which is switching from plastic food storage containers to glass. I’m trying to move all my plastic storage containers to craft supplies instead of food, because I don’t want to waste the money I spent on the plastic containers I’ve already bought by throwing them away or donating them. I feel like I have a lot of good sturdy plastic containers that can help me organize my life outside of the kitchen. I also I am collecting all types of plastic bags to make plarn and I will crochet or knit the plarn into reusable bags for shopping.

But anyways, kind of back on topic, switching my food storage to glass. I’ve been trying to find good bulk glass containers, but all the ones I was finding had to ordered online from Europe (talk about a lot of energy to get it here) or Amazon (they ship using plastic). Please Note: I love Amazon, but in this instance I couldn’t bring myself to purchase and risk more plastic being brought into my home when I am trying to reduce it. I have also found that the Container Store carries all kinds of glass containers, but the nearest one is in Charlotte, NC. Luckily, Hubby and I are planning a trip up there in March to get a new couch and a few more pieces of furniture from Ikea to organize our new home, so I may be able to pick up a few glass containers then.

My Pretty New JarBut here I rambled on and didn’t get to my point. I was at my friend Deb’s home for dinner. I was helping her put things away when I saw this beautiful glass jar sitting empty in her pantry. I asked where she got it. She said she’s had it forever. I told her I was looking for jars like that to store my bulk pantry items and I haven’t been having any luck locating them locally. And guess what! She told me I could have it. I squealed a little! She said it’s been sitting empty for so long that if I could use it, then take it. I was so happy. I have just a little problem; I can’t make up my mind which bulk product to put in it. Packing Boxes

I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I are moving into a new home this week. I’m really, really excited, but I keep having this moral dilemma. I got a bunch of priority mail boxes from a navy wife that was pranked. She didn’t have any use for them, so I am sort of recycling them. My problem is I am using plastic tape to close them. Granted, I had 4-5 rolls of plastic tape before we even decided to move and chose to go down the green path. I’m not about to throw it out/donate it and go buy paper tape. It’s a waste of money and in this economy, we can’t afford to throw money out the window. To lessen the dilemma, I am trying to use as little tape as possible to seal the boxes. I am also thinking about trying to make plarn out of the tape when we are all unpacked. Does anyone else have any ideas of what I can do to reuse or repurpose the plastic tape when we are done, so that I’m not just throwing it away? Is plastic tape recyclable?

Well, I am glad I was able to find some time to write this blog! These ideas have been floating in my head since at least Thursday. I hope you have some good ideas for me. Stay tuned — for my next blog will feature some Roller Derby action!

Hello, Green World!

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This is my blog to log my adventures of going Green. You will have a little mix of Roller Derby and Navy Life.

Beginning

My life as an ecofriendly person started with two different events, but I give a little more credit to the most recent because it’s the one the really spring boarded me into committing to a change.

The first is switching to Organic Milk. I started drinking Organic Milk shortly after seeing Food Inc. and taking some culinary classes. It was also during a time were I was overly focused on losing weight. I started drinking Organic Milk and started to feel better. I wasn’t as sluggish after drinking a glass of milk or eating a bowl of cereal. I also noticed a change in my body (I am sure I will give you more history about my struggle with my weight and food another time). Now that I think about it, maybe it was three events.

The second event put an even stronger hold on my interest. I was taking a healthy baking class. One of the weeks was raw week. We made all kinds of yummy foods. We had a guest chef, who is an owner of local raw food company, come speak to us and show us some recipes. He was very inspiring and left me with a saying that I can’t say without a smile: “It’s an experience that you have to experience to experience”. I felt the best I had felt in a long time after those two days of class. Between the food and the chef, I was hooked. Granted, my husband and I don’t eat a raw or vegan or vegetarian diet. I need a few special tools to make raw food like I want to. Also, my husband and I like our animal products sparingly. We try to alternate between a meatless meal and chicken/seafood meal. Our meals usually last us about 2 days, 2 lunches and 2 dinners. We hardly ever have red meat, though we do still have it when we get a craving for it. I try to base a lot of our meals from a vegan book I got for Christmas and occasionally will add meat to the recipe or will use organic cheese instead of a vegan cheese sauce or organic butter instead of vegan margarine.

The third and springboard event was when a navy wife, that I would like to consider a friend now, posted on her Facebook page about being a hippie and taking care of her child in natural ways. Calling herself a hippie really sparked my interests, so I private messaged her asking her to clarify what she meant by calling herself a hippie. I had also seen other posts from her about other natural and healthy things, so I asked a few more questions in that message. And she replied with all kinds of answers that got my brain moving. I guess it was a little more than three… It was a whole series of events. In conjunction to this, a high school classmate posted a link to Offbeat Home. I started reading posts on there and found one about reducing plastic and it got me thinking even more and really set me on my path to doing research and finding blogs.

What is next? The Plan!

During this time, my husband and I have decided to move out of our 3bedroom/2bath apartment into a 3bedroom/2bath, 200sqft bigger house. Our current living environment is very stressful for both him and me. Just to name one: Our kitchen isn’t laid out very well, so we can’t be in there together without having to crawl over each other. I’m surprise one of us hasn’t been burnt or stabbed or cut. We get our keys to our new home on the first and so on 1-Feb-12 start a whole new chapter for my husband and I. I have a lot of plans:

  • Take as little hazardous/harsh chemicals to the new house
  • De-clutter our home through better organizing and getting rid of things we don’t use
  • Make my own cleaning supplies
  • Make my own beauty products
  • Start worm composting
  • Start growing my own herbs
  • Maybe start a garden
  • Make time for my crafts and reuse a lot of our waste
  • Watch less TV (We are canceling our Cable subscription and only watching certain shows online or Netflix)
  • Make a plan for each day and structure my days
  • Now that I’m healed (long story) get back to working out and back to skating at least twice a week.
  • Try to be more focused and more proactive in my Thirty-One business
  • Be outside more or at least have the windows open
  • Plan my trips out better – to reduce driving my car as much
  • Get use to recycling again – I am really excited about this!
  • Make our home a calm relaxing place for both of us to de-stress!

That’s just the beginning of the plan, check back soon to see how things are going.