Looking for Sustainability ideas

I thought I find a way to keep costs down while still trying to stay eco-friendly. Trying to keep striving for sustainability. This a record of that journey.

Sometimes blunt and straight forward then sometimes sarcastic

This frugal crunchy hipster single momma is doing what she can to save Mother Earth while not breaking the bank!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Weather outside is frightful

  We got it! We got snow. I had the last 2 days off so I got to hibernate.......

With the rock salt in hand; the sidewalks are salted and clear.

I thought what a great time to blog about the great things one can use regular table salt for!

Because you can truly in a pinch use it on your sidewalks outside to clear the ice.
Helps remove greasy film from pans.  Sprinkle with salt  let sit. Use your dish washcloth with warm soapy water  to clean.  The salt acts like an abrasive plus soaks up the grease.
Clean greasy spills. Sprinkle on salt and let sit.  Wipe up.  Sometimes it takes more than one time to get a bigger spill cleaned up.  Grease is a pain to clean.
Clean drains.  Remove odors with 1/2 cup salt to a quart of hot water.  Pour down the drain.
Clean your discolored coffee pot.  Add salt and  ice then swirl.
Clean your iron by ironing a damp cloth that you rub salt on.
For sore throats.  Add salt to warm water and gargle
Add to the water of your greens (like spinach) to help remove the dirt.
Remove a wine stain. Pour salt on to the stain and let sit. Rinse with cool water.
Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.

I have heard but never tried: that adding a sprinkle of salt  to your hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate or cocoa makes it taste better but really don't think the drinks need any help. I like the taste they have!!  But if you want you can try it!

I am not sure about this tip.  I just heard it and need to give it a try!  :
Keep the inside of your windshield clear of frost .   2 teaspoons of salt to every  gallon of hot water.  Rub on windshield,  wipe dry.... I need that help!

ivy

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thinking of a green Yule tree idea for next year

With all the articles and even some blog posts about the eco-friendly holiday tree; I am thinking of trying something different next year. I have been told that next year I will have a empty nest. Well I have been told that for years now, but Miss Animal Rights is in her twenty's and is talking marriage to the  The Tech... Who is talking moving in together.
Many green sites have had the debate of a real tree VS a fake tree.  Real trees are a pain with all the needles falling off and this year because of the crawling little one, no way.  Many of the fake trees or artificial trees are made from PVC. PVC (polyvinyl chloride)—know as vinyl, as well as “a poison plastic" can cause problems with breathing and may even cause cancer. Because they break down and are know to release  mercury, dioxins, and phthalates.  This can cause many problems with our bodies. One thing being infertility problems and Miss Animal Rights wants babies.  Smiley has one but might want more; too soon to tell he is only 8 months old.    I do have a artificial tree and have to tell you that I find that very scary. 

So few of the green sites; would direct you to trees that are not made with PVC. They cost more money then I can spare.  Which isn't much. Many half of what  I make in a week. DO they sell them at Goodwill? That is where I got many of my gifts this year, partly because it is green but mostly because I was short on income. There was fake trees that where more eco-friendly made with safe plastics.   The ornament tree was almost like a mug tree and you would hang your ornaments on the end of the sticks.  Ok.  Then I saw the beer bottle tree, ladder (ok, maybe do-able...)  and the neon tree.  These are the trees that are usually sent in a email, sorry I can't find the sites,but this is Curbly with just a few.
Oh I can't forget the blow up tree........... ok yea I can. Too many animals and I couldn't look at it with a straight face. A blow up tree.
   Suggestions to real trees that you rent or replant outside after the season. Of course they caution you that this isn't in all areas that the colder regions might not be able to do this for the tree will die. I live in Ohio... Can't plant a tree in January with snow on the ground most of the time.  Rosemary bushes look like mini holiday trees. Ok if I could find one I might do that....... but with all the animals in the house the Rosemary will become a chew toy.; Psycho cat has destroyed more than a couple plants...She loves to chew on them... . where the others have used them for the little box and dumped it over to kill the roots.... Snapped roots don't make it back to live.

    I can't find it now; maybe it was a crazy dream after surfing the web late the other night, I find a kinda cool easy to do and very green idea for a holiday tree.  I swear it was from one of the blogs here that I follow but I can't find it again. The blogger borrowed the tree from a neighbor that made a sculpture from fallen branches and wood. Just add your ornaments and tinsel. But I like the pearls from the ladder, I do have a string kinda like what that I use on my death tree now. So I have 50 some weeks to fiqure it out............ I have looked for that site for 2 days now but I think I will just go with my own memory.

ivy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Hands are bleeding


I not sure if it is the weather or that I might have gotten something harsh on my hands at work.  The gloves we use at work to handle food where wet, not thinking  I put a pair on, it wasn't easy but I did it.  Now I do have sensitivities to many cleaning products, bleach being the worse.  So when my hands looked like I had sunburned them and they started to burn and HURT...... I knew I had to do something.

I made some

Non-Petroleum Jelly 

4 tablespoons of Almond oil
2 tablespoons of Vitamin E Oil
2 teaspoons of bees wax
2 teaspoons of Shea butter

Warm up the oils in a glass container (I used a baby food jar)  in the microwave for about a minute.
Add the bees wax and shea butter.  Stir until melted.  Some recipes will tell you to mix with hand mixer' this will make it creamer.  But I just stir with a wooden Popsicle stick till melted.  It will harden when cooling, I also stir more then.  If it is too hard you can ad more warmed oil.

Some hand creams - most hand creams - have fragrance and  really hurt them more.  I won't use petroleum products.so petroleum jelly is out.  It really is made from petroleum by-products.
But I have had this fun when I was little, my knuckles would bleed from the cold.  My grandmother would put straight vitamin E oil on my hands. yea she would take a pin and poke a hole in the vitamin and squeeze it on to my hands.  It smelled  horrible.....  So now I get it once in a while.
 
So when looking for a picture of a red hand I find a health site and it had a picture that could be a picture of my hands. The second picture.  They are talking about  Raynaud's disease.  That my hands blood vessels are more sensitive to the cold and my hands don't have to get cold to turn red.  Just a change in temperature.
Great one more sensitivity to ad to my list..........
So I am rubbing the  Non-Petroleum Jelly  on my hands whenever I can.  I will sleep with cotton gloves (the type you wear in the Spring) with a thick coating on my hands.  Truth is I am typing right now with gloves on!!! My hands really hurt..........

ivy

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The EPA, My City and My Water Bill

So the EPA has sued Akron and now everyone in the Akron area will be paying 35% more on their water bill next year. The city council meeting was met with angry customers.  With the unemployment rate in this city higher than the national average most middle class households will be hurting next year. WE will have trouble paying  the water bill.  Land lords will be the hardest hit, for the city ordinance that the owner is regulated the bill is paid by owner of building.  But that will of course mean that many peoples rent will go up........  

So how can I save water........ without going broke.
Low flow Shower head ..... Check
Duel flush toilet ...........       Check  (had to replace toilet  last year went with duel flush)
Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily............ Check
Run full loads  only............
           Landry.................. Check
           Dish washer............ I WISH, hand wash only here.....    Get dishwasher...
       that would make my daughter happy but no where to put it, BUT  don't have the money 
Repair dripping faucets..........Check
Shower rather than take a bath....... half a check......
cure daughter's cramps for 2 baths per month......... add to the To DO list. (sarcasm is fun!) 
Insulate your water pipes....Check
Insulate your hot water heater....Check.
Don't let water run   when brushing teeth, washing face or to let it warm up .......... Half a check we are getting better at this. BUT dang the water can be VERY cold int he morning.....
Installing an instant water heater... Plus pay to have it installed... extra electric work especially in the bathroom...   runs anywhere from a  hundred to couple thousand... Whole house (more expensive)   or 2 point of use.. one for the bathroom, one for the kitchen......... Don't have the money.....
 A greywater system...... I WISH!  we are talking thousands and then added to have them installed.
Place aerators with flow restriction to faucets.   Ok I have seen them for as low as $16...  Add to my TO DO list.........  wait the bathroom can't have one added not threads for the aertor to be placed on the faucet,  need new faucet........... Ok one for kitchen...

Great I am going to have to play the lottery and hope for the best........


ivy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Animal fat in Fabric Softner........... Eeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww

So reading tonight I find out that Dryer sheets have toxic chemicals including Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, camphor, Chloroform and Linalool. Plus they are made with tallow. Miss Animal Right Girl will flip when she finds out that her dryer sheets are made with tallow! Animal fat all over her clothes. I know dryers are not the greenest thing to use for your clothes but I do live in Northeastern Ohio. Hanging clothes in the snow may not work to well and the basement is cold. I do however have a economy sitting and we finish drying our clothes on hangers.

They say to ad a 1/2 a cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle. Which I do......... I also have dryer balls. I like what the dryer balls do for the towels and blankets. But Miss Animal Rights says it does NOT get her clothes soft like it does with the dryer sheets (and she likes the smell!) and get that look, and then she tells me: if you want me to use the dryer less. Give me the dryer sheets so my clothes are not stiff as boards. Ok compromising works well with my daughter..... then again she has learn to turn around on me!!!
So off to find frugal dryer sheets. For the vegan dryer sheets run $5 for 32 sheets. Then I saw 100% wool dryer balls... hummm but with both off us having allergies to wool I think we will pass......... . Ad a few drops of fragrant essential oil to small cloth, she like the smell but not sure she would be happy with how soft the clothes are........... Same with the herb dryer sachet bags. Just put some herbs in a bag. Tie closed and dry with clothes.

So then I find a recipe....
Make your own fabric softener: 6 c. water; 3 c. vinegar; 2 cups hair conditioner (eco friendly that you like smell of); Mix; put teaspoonful amount on WET washrag (or same size cloth) & put in with clothes to be dried; 1 bottle should last you a year!

Or this idea with eco- friendly liquid fabric softener: pour the softener onto a washrags/squares & let it dry. Use same as the throwaways........... yea sounds like her type of project......... easy and quick plus she gets her great smell with softening..........


Plus I found a product called the Static Eliminator that is on sale at the health food stores around here that is suppose to get rid of static and is reusable for 100's of uses.. the softness and static removal is in the weave of the cloth. No chemicals used ......... well I have to learn more about it or if it is ever on sale for a good price.....

Semi green with a happy daughter and a happy mother, not bad for a nights work.......... Thank-you Yahoo................ my search is complete!!!

ivy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh this would be nice!


Tic-Tac-Dough is having a  Price Pfister giveawayPfister is a company that has  their  faucets are WaterSense certified. By the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program*
Green Yes! Save me money Yes! It would be so nice to win this for my little green soul plus my faucets seam is kinda breaking down.  It doesn't leak when turned off but does have water on the neck part of the faucet when the water comes out.  And with little income to spare I can't afford to.  Plus if
converting any of your existing  faucets with an Eco-Pfriendly ™ Aerator, your household can save even more water -- over 2,200 gallons each year!   Hey I can handle that!


ivy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eco Friendly wrapping

Furoshiki ("f'-ROHSH-kee".) is a Japanese folding technique. Furoshiki means "bath spread". It was first used in the public bathhouses in which the bathers tied up thier clothes to keep them together, so nothing can get lost. Here is a site that shows you many different wrapping techniques.  Much like the Korean bojagi or bo for short.  How fun is that? Material for someone who enjoys making crafts. A scarf for the fasionista on your list.

Baby blankets for the babies gift.  The parents will love it.  You can never have too many blankets.

The old stand by of the Sunday Morning comics for kids. They are colorful.


ivy

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cinnamon Ornaments

1 part applesauce to 1 part cinnamon (more or less) a cup of each
Sprinkle of each:
ground cloves
ground allspice
nutmeg (one year I was out of one of these and added pumpkin spice!)
A tablespoon of school glue (I eye ball that measurement)

Mix it all together. It will from a ball. If it is too soft add more cinnamon or spices, too dry more applesauce.
Roll out on a board dusted with cinnamon to about a 1-4 inch thick. Cut with the cookie cutters of choice. Poke a hole with a pencil, straw or chop stick. Dry in warm place for 4 days or more depending on humidity and temperature. Turn then over every day. Hang with ribbon, yarn or string. I have dried them in my gas oven on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. I didn't turn on the oven just let the pilot light dry them out.

         We are going to make these for the little gifts for the people at Church.  With some sites buzzing about what is your favorite family tradition my daughter said this was her favorite one... So we decided that this would be a nice little gift! Plus cute package decorations...

ivy

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holidays Ideas

So I have been busy trying to come up with ideas for the Holidays that doesn't include a lot of money. I am not in a good spot financially right now.  One idea that really looked good is the paint and decorate dishes idea from Care2. But I can't seem to find the paints . I looked on line and many places are out of stock. ; I looked at the sites for the craft stores around here and they basically said to go to the store to buy and I didn't find anything like that in the store... Grr. But then more research online is that they are not recommended for use where food or utensils will be in direct contact with painted area; OK. So I have come up painting the bottom of glass plates. I hope I didn't just jinx myself there!! I will have to look for glass plates at Goodwill and places like those. Then again I still can't find those paints. More research..... I find that DecoArt has a paint (oh Walmart didn't... off to the craft store) DecoArt Ultra Gloss Acrylic Enamels that is the same thing. PLUS I know Pat Catans; a area discount craft store, carries  DecoArt, just hope they carry this type. Plus they can be baked and are recommended for glass painting.

So tomorrow is my day off, off to Pat Catans and Good Will.
And to think of more ideas to make presents.............

Any one making presents for someone on their list this year?
What are you planing on making?


ivy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reuse Reuse reuse


Eco-friendly gift containers? I found this site where you can download a template for your Folgers Coffee container. They have some that you could let the kids color also. I know it is very hard to get the smell of coffee out of the plastic but it would be great for a coffee drinker.... humm maybe some coffee spoons.

Coffee spoons
Recycled Spoons (Wendy's are very strong)
Chocolate chips
Candy canes (crushed)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Try not to boil chocolate this makes it very tough to work with.
Drip spoons in melted chocolate
Drip into crushed candy cane.

I have also seen them at the fancy coffee places with just chocolate but white chocolate was drizzled over top. Carmel sauce too............

Use to stir (favor)  your coffee

Animals Rights Girl used to do this for her teachers, and more than one LOVED them. So when she got older she would do it for the people at Church and her boss (the ones that liked coffee)

ivy

More about Black Friday (a warning!!)

I did work Black Friday and it was a day!! The area police where called and lucky they were only down the street to break up a fist fight in the Toys R us store.  But some customers noticed 3 people walking around the parking lot checking doors and back seats.   They would walk up to the car look in the back seat and if they saw something they try the door.  A couple times they broke the window to get inside.

The one police officer commented that this has happened all day and to tell everyone to put the gifts or packages in the truck!  Out of sight........ Plus he was impressed that a customers (more than one reported it!!)  from the parking lot called ... we knew nothing about it, we where too busy inside and NO this wasn't the 5 AM rush this was in the middle of the afternoon.

Seems with the economic problems comes crime, for more people are desperate looking for easy ways to have presents under the tree..... Sad.

But hide your gifts and bags!!! This time of year is stressful enough without a broken window and lost presents (and the feeling of being violated  you are left with because of  the act!!).... Be safe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday is Here!

So many people are running out to the stores at early early hours to try to get bargains on their Christmas list.  While thousands of people are out today buying gifts, many people are telling you that this day should be called Buy Nothing day. Buy nothing day is an international day of protest against consumerism. A day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption and waste in this society.

My thoughts are I don't go shopping on Black Friday.  I have to work. Yea most of the store is scheduled to work today it is a busy day.  BUT the busiest day is usually is not one day but 2 or 3 days:  the week-end before Christmas. 

Today is the day Jdimytai Damour, a Wal-Mart associate that  died  in Valley Stream, NY.  The day that the shoppers didn't even notice that they broke down the doors minutes before it opened and had stomped a man to death.  I just glad the same didn't repeat itself this year!

So please remember that most store employees know the pressures of the holiday and the craziness. We don't decide the prices, how many will be in the store or what we carry. But we are just like you working to pay for a nice holiday whatever religion you or they follow. Play nice or I will have put people in corners!!


PS more on eco-friendly gift ideas coming up I have to get ready for work!!

ivy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hoilday Mail for our Heros

Ok it not really green but it will brighten our heroes holiday.
The Big Cutie, my grand-baby; Is missing his Daddy in Iraq.



I was so happy to hear at work that they are taking up a holiday card collection for the soldiers. So I thought what does someone who doesn't work for my company do? I found this site! Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes

Holiday cards will be collected through a unique P.O. Box address from Monday, November 2 through Monday, December 7*.

First, cards from across the nation must be sent to this address:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

So no glitter or letters, sign with your first name NO last names or your address. Cards should say “Dear Service Member, Family or Veteran”. Limit is 15, no need to put each card in a envelope, Place all your cards in a single large envelope and send to above address. Don't place anything inside the cards for they will be thrown away by the Red Cross when they screen the cards.

So spread the holiday cheer to those who as risking their lives for our country......
ivy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ecostore USA Reveiw and $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway


Ecostore USA is a company that has taken the nasty chemicals out of household products using plant- and mineral-based ingredients. There are no toxic petrochemicals, no synthetic enzymes, no optical whiteners, no sodium lauryl sulphate, no phosphates, no chlorine, no ammonia, no Triethanolamine, Diethanolamine or Monoethanolamine, no parabens, no propylene glycol and no synthetic perfumes or dyes. Many of these things are know to cause cancer, mess with hormones and kill wild live. We put these poisons on our skin and bodies daily! Many of these items also can cause contact dermatitis, which this blogger is very sensitive to getting from a number of things. My friends tease me I am allergic to everything... I almost am!

So when I received my Laundry Liquid I had to try this. When I read the bottle and it said 3 to 5 Tablespoons of Laundry Liquid I thought no way! But the suds told me yep it was true. Ecostore found a way to make things super concentrated. They took out the filers. You use smaller amount and it last longer and works great. I have been using this for about 2 weeks and my clothes are so soft and I still have most of the bottle left!! It smells great, no strong smell, as a concentrated soap this was a surprise. This is things I notice being the sensitive skin person that is thinking I hope I don't rash out when trying new products. It works great without tearing up my skin. A winner in my book!!

I also got the Vanilla Shampoo. I have tired so many different shampoos it isn't funny. I started to use health food store shampoos after learning about the nasty chemicals and there effects years ago. I have baby fine hair; my hair feels thicker with these type of shampoos. But after trying the Vanilla Shampoo I was blown away. I use a pea size amount and my hair is so soft. It stays soft also. The soft feeling lasts without the slick feeling some shampoos can give you. I wear a hair claw clip to keep my hair up at work and many shampoos and conditioners can leave it slick soft that the claw slips down. But Vanilla Shampoo keep the strength and the softness!! This product is the one that isn't almost fill but that is 2 people are using it!! But we do have about half left and that good for the thick hair daughter to not use a hand full each time. Plus she doesn't really like the smell of most vanilla products. But this vanilla is mild and smells great. She even thinks so! It smells clean!


Last but not least I got the pet leave-in conditioner. With 2 cats that are long haired I wanted a detangle product. This worked great for Miss Fluffy girl who had some big snarls. I put it on her snarls and let it sit for a half a hour then combed threw. The bottle says 5 minutes but she wasn't really going to make it easy for me, she hates to be combed or fussed over. But I had a present side effect with this wonderful stuff. Psycho kitty; who is allergic to many things just like her owner, was rashed out from fleas and her flea meds. I started to put some on her to see if this would break her out, she began to rub on my hands on the side of her head. That is a miracle in itself. She will run and hide when anything medicine based is opened. She didn't have snarls but she did have a rash there from the flea spot treatment. I thought why not it can't hurt. What it did; was help! Her rash was looking better the next day, and she was in good spirits. Princess also had a rash on the back of her neck from fleas and the hot spot meds didn't help but this conditioner did... Those are the 2 cats that are not long hair. The dog he is a good boy he didn't mind getting the conditioner on after his bath. He is soft too!! These conditioner is a keeper for my animals.
Ecostore USA has FREE Shipping for ALL Orders of $25 Plus I am told that a holiday sale is coming up!! YEA!!

now available exclusively at Meijer stores throughout the Midwest


Win a $25 gift certificate



ways to win:
First go to the Ecostore site and look around. Leave a comment on what product or product line you would like to try.
Follow this blog (or remind me that you are a follower)


Winner will be picked by Random.org On November 30th 12:00 AM...... or around there!!

Good luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Today is America Recycles Day.


Thanks Mommy is Green . She blogged about today is America Recycles Day. Which is interesting because my city does have city wide recycling and tonight is trash and recycling night!! But no invents in my area. Oh well. I didn't get online til late due to the internet being down. I might not be able to go anywhere anyway.

We used to recycle and get paid per pound. Truth is that we still take our aluminum cans for pizza money. Many times on Eath Day they will give you a great deal.

Glass is the easiest to recycle. If you ever have seen a glass blower; the glass can easily be reheated and blown to many different shapes. Sad thing is that at work recycle plastic and paper but not glass. Glass jars can easily be reused and no worries about BPA.

Paper is another easily recycled item. Many young groups collect paper if your city doesn't have city wide recycling. Little things can make a big difference. Just recycling your Sunday Paper will save one tree!! Using recycled paper will also reduce air pollution 95%.

We started to recycle when Miss Animal Rights was little and her grandparents gave her a subscription to Ranger Rick. I read to her about recycling and how it would save the animals home. She cried we hav eto save the animals homes!! So we started tor recycle. She got her grandparent to recycle. They too used the money for pizza or ice cream parties for her. That was years ago!

Let not forget to recycle things like our cell phones, inkjet cartridges and many other things. We drop off our dead cell phones at Petsmart store to help animals. But there is a site online that you can donate your dead cell phone to help people in need (many times victims of domestic violence) called Secure the Call . Just download and print this label and send them your phone or inkjet cartridges.

TerraCycle is another place to send your recyclables to and they will make something new! Drink pouch backpacks and tote bags are many things you will find there. Find out how to send them your empty glue sticks, glue bottles, drink pouches, chip bags and more!

ivy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Tea and Green Tea


I have been trying to cut down on my pop drinking. I used to drink 2 or 3 cans a day. Plus I really don't drink very much water. I don't like the taste of water. I know water isn't suppose to have a taste and I do live in the city. So I have been drinking more tea. I mix green and black tea.

We have heard that green tea is a anti-oxidant that is good to drink for our health but the same is said about black tea! Fact is that green tea is just slightly higher in anti-oxidants! Green tea fights bacterial infections and black tea fight viruses. Cover all the bases for things that way. It is cough and cold season.

Benefits I learn about both black and green teas:

caffeine isn't overstimulating to the heart
increases concentration
raises the HDL cholesterol levels (that the good kind)
relieve diarrhea
Fights tooth decay
Helps open airways for asthmatics
Raises your metabolism rates to aid in weigh loss
Reduces Stress

Plus they believe and are doing studies on the affects of both teas on cancer cells. They are believed to help blood clots from forming to cause strokes and heart attacks. Help suppresses the Cox-2 gene that triggers inflammation, says research at Rutgers. This they believe will help arthritis.
Not too shabby, for a cup of tea.
ivy

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vampires in my home!!

Shriek!! There are vampires in our homes! Yes it true, Most home have more than one! Spooky vampires waiting to .... ..... .... drink your ..... energy! 30% of all energy use is for the vampires in our home. In the United States alone that is lost is around 4 billion dollars a year to these monsters. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Stand By power table shows the biggest offenders. It's called vampire energy loss.
So wooden stakes and holly water will not work on these vampires. But surge protectors, unplugging the item and the energy star will!! Unplug that TV in the spare bedroom, the DVD player if you don't use it very often, and unplug the cell phone, camcorder, or camera chargers; for they are still using energy even after being turned off.

Plasma TV a big Count Dracula vampire will cost if it was in stand-by mode only $160 a year. Computers $34. VCR $10 might not seems like much but it will start adding up!

Ok granted something does eat some energy when turned off but can cause problems when you plug it back in, so that is the time (when replacing them) you look for a Energy Star Product. The computer might not be a good item to unplug but the monitor and speaker system are the bigger robber of energy on stand-by. So these items can be on one surge protector to turn off after use.

If you have some young ones that would like to help with the hunt of the vampires check out Energy Hogs.Org site they have a great check list to help you hunt out the vampires lurking around..... and help to keep them from sucking you dry!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Halloween everyone................


ivy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cereals and Ads killing our kids?

Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity just released a report that states “The worst cereals are being marketed very heavily to children.” Your preschool children can see on average 642 cereal commercials in one year! Now if you look at the boxes there are saying like Now made with whole grains and healthier! But look on the back and see that they could be as high as 50% sugar by weight. Healthy? With 50% Sugar? That equals the nutritional equivalent of a glazed doughnut. For many of these cereals have 12 or more grams of sugar per serving

The Food and Drug Administration is planing to have standard to labeling. Truth in labeling. That a cereal high is sugar can not be labeled as healthily. Sad thing is the commercials and the little ones wanting the sugar filled cereal will not end. Marking it with a big check mark and labeling in healthier is just another marketing ploy. Yes it is true that the cereals are healthier than before because the sugar dropped 3½ to 3 teaspoons a serving on average. Healthier but not healthy. But it also fact that kids that eat these cereals also eat 2 bowls. That's like eating 2 glazed donuts! Those cereals that we add sugar to will equal less sugar then the cereals with sugar and they still eat less. Win win situation!

Web MD posted the following as the best cereals. They add that served with milk and a piece of fruit you have a balanced breakfast,

  • Cheerios (General Mills), with just 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 190 milligrams of sodium.
  • Kix (General Mills), with 3 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 210 milligrams of sodium.
  • Life (Quaker Oats), with 6 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 160 milligrams of sodium.
  • Honey Nut Cheerios (General Mills), with 9 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 190 milligrams of sodium.
You know keeping kids from sugar sweet stuff is the hardest thing to do, but some of the cereals that Web MD found as good are:
  • General Mills: Cookie Crisp, Golden Grahams Honey Graham, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Reese’s Puffs.
  • Kellogg: Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size, Frosted Flakes Gold, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Krispies, and Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar.
  • Post: Fruity Pebbles, Honey-Comb, Cocoa Pebbles.
I was lucky my daughter doesn't like really sweet sugary cereals. She likes Cheerios dry, Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size, and Apha Bits dry. Two out of three isn't to bad.


ivy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I got a Bamboo Cutting Board!

My dad found me a bamboo cutting board at Marc's Discount store. Bamboo the is eco-friendly stuff that many green gurus have been telling us about. Bamboo really isn't a tree it is a grass. It has sustainably because it grows quickly and is stronger than most woods making it last longer. Very little water is absorbed by bamboo keeping it from shirking and warping, Some species can grow as fast as a foot a day. Go Bamboo!

So then I think wow I have t get on line do a search on how to care for my new cutting board. Ok not the first thing, that was to get rid of the nasty old one. Sad thing is that I have thrown it away many times but the kids get it out soak it and tell me "it's ok now I soaked it" But it still gives me the ebee gebees.. Use the glass one! The glass one now is the meat cutting board. They thought that it is too big, so I had to find a small cutting board...... Dad was witness to his daughter's out cry plus his granddaughters rolling eye balls and found a nice one for the peace offering to the ladies of this house. He does love all the ladies in this house.... We Love him... Poor man caught in between a rock and a hard place as he would say!! Plus the board was $1.99.

What I learned:

Hand wash with mild detergent
Once a month and before first use wipe with food-grade mineral oil.
Use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to sanitize
Bee wax to keep nice looking


Hand washing the board with your dish-washing liquid is your best bet. Use a gentle rubbing motion. Do NOT soak or use dishwasher.
When applying the food grade mineral oil heat on low heat or microwave for 30 seconds. Apply generously as more is better than not enough. What the board needs it will soak in. Let sit for about 25 minutes. Wipe with clean cloth to remove extra. Now I read that Martha Steward uses organic olive oil on hers. BUT I didn't find anything on her site. I really don't want to use mineral oil because it is a petroleum by-product ... I have read beeswax, walnut, almond or coconut oil will work. So beeswax might win for my new board. This was the biggest search for a sub for mineral oil.

3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Kept in a spray bottle to sanitize the board fast. After sanitizing, rinse with hot water. Dry your board and dry upright. Keep dry between uses. Bacteria grows with moisture.

Getting Ready for Halloween



I love Halloween! The costumes, the candy, and the parties that make Halloween my favorite holiday of all. But how can a green momma make this eco-friendly? I have thought and fought this for many years.

The costume is the most fun thing for a small child. It also can be the biggest fight. See rows and rows of plastic I want that costumes at the big stores is my biggest fight. I hated those things when I was a kid. The mask would get all gross from me breathing in to the mask. The plastic would feel weird and shift making it hard to walk. So not because I was green it was because I had girls that hated the feel of labels in their clothes let alone the seams on the socks. I would make costumes from old clothes and adding some wonderful accessories.

We had princesses with fancy dress that they didn't like to wear to school because they were too puffy. Add some necklaces and a crown that we made from a headband or got from the dollar store. Now being jeans and t-shirt people, we had hippies with this outfit very easily. One daughter loved ballet so she was a ballerina. She wore her Tu-Tu, tights and leotard and became a ballerina. Cowgirls was easy too. A flannel shirt from Dad and jeans with a cowboy hat. They got to carry a rope and a play gun. A black cat was a favorite costume. I made ears from black fuzzy material. Very easy to do. Cut triangles from the back and pink for the inside. Sew together leaving the bottom open. Stuff with fiberfill. Sew bottoms to a heavy plastic hair headband the type with a open end. Sew the bottom of this tight to the hair band.......... She get to wear black sweat pants and a black sweatshirt. Ta Da. She was also a dog one year with long ears but that was something her grandparent found for her at the store....

I have my favorite too. I fall back on being a gypsy! I wear a flowing top with a big skirt add a shawl. Add a bunch of necklaces and I become a gypsy. I really like the bohemian look to this day. So it isn't to hard for me to pull this off. I can't wear a shirt or a head-cover. So I am going to wear a pair of black pants and flowing shirt I got from Good Will.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month



Breast cancer has snacked this family with more than one punch. We lost my daughters great-grandmother when she was two. (Her fathers grandmother.) My mother had a radical modified mastectomy, chemo and the whole nine yards. She went into remediation for 5 years and it returned to the same breast and the other. My daughter was very little and all she remembers of her grandmother is with cancer. She lost her when she was only 8 years old. Her father's mother found a lump and had a lumpectomy and chemo. She is doing ok and it has been many years. So when we see shows with breast cancer news we like to watch.

Here is what we have learn:

lower your body mass index (BMI)
30 minutes a day of exercise (my mom would walk with my dad everyday)
Eat more fruits and veggies
Spicy foods help keep blood strong
Drink green tea at least 3 cups
2 aspirin or 2 acetaminophen a week
Vitamin D
Don't smoke
Limit alcohol
Watch the hormones, even from soy


I know many of you have seen the email that says that anti-perspiration. Spend some time on the Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database many of the cosmetics have known cancer causing ingredients, developmental problems, (and these are found in children products!!) brain and nervous system effects, and irritation
Plus many items can cause problems with your reproductive, endocrine system and or kidney or renal system effects. Not only for the human body but many ingredients are known to be a wildlife or environmental toxin! And we use them on our bodies and our children.... Scary!

So my daughter really loves the pink ribbon stuff, the pens, the coffee, and whatever that has a pink ribbon on it. I start my holiday shopping in October for my daughter....... I really was hoped that there would be a cure before the girls got boobs... but it didn't happen



ivy

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Awards!!


I'm blushing I just got another reward! This one is the Over the top award.
From Tanya over at The Grab Bag
The rules are to pick 5 blogs that are new and that I am happy I found.
My five are:
A Faded Rose
A Sparkly Messy Life
Butterfly Wishes
My Life's Journey as a Young Mom
Shhh...don't tell the kids I'm here...


HERE ARE THE BEST BLOG AWARD RULES:

1. To accept this award, copy and save the award then post it in your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award to you and of course with his/her blog link. Please do leave a comment.
2. Pass the award to other 15 bloggers of your choice. Remember to contact the blogger to notify them that they have been chosen for this award.

So here are my top blog picks:
Two Peas in a Pie
Theta Mom
8 Muddy Boots
Web Savy Mom
A Frugal Housewife in-training
Be Blessed!
Beautiful Moments
Critical Mass
Frugal Green Girl
Homemade Mamas

ivy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where's my sexy eco-friendly guy?



So I guess this would be better titled green eye candy! I keep seeing all these sexy guys that are pushing for the green way and think hum wheres my green guy? Most guys at first think it is cute then think Oh s**t her she goes again.. Styrofoam once in a while wouldn't kill you. Well it does take 1000 of years to decompose. Guess I am looking in all the wrong places!!

We all have heard of Brad Pitt helping build green housing in the areas of New Orleans that Katrina destroyed. Would that be so great! Building house right next to Brad Pitt...... drool drool. Guess I would have a hard time getting things done, for I spend most of my time looking over at him!!

So imagine my surprise when I read that Johnny Deep lives in a eco-friendly house with a grid-independent solar hydrogen system. Wow. He also has purchased a 35-acre Caribbean Island he named "F*ck Off Island." Ok my kind of man. He will understand my need to hate Styrofoam!! Plus Johnny Depp I have loved him since 21 Jump Street. yea I am showing my age............

So for all the younger followers hers is Leo... You younger ladies can fight over him, yea he is hot but a little too young for me... humm Leo do you have a older brother? A Uncle? That picture really does make him look good....


ivy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Recipe for Candy

I found a great recipe that I don't want to lose! Making candy corn from Homemade Desserts.




Homemade Candy Corn Recipe
This Halloween treat recipe is adapted from a recipe that's been based on the original and has been widely published.

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup (2-1/2 oz) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Red and yellow food coloring

In a large saucepan combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly, then reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and add vanilla extract.

Combine the icing sugar, powdered milk, and salt in a separate bowl and add to the mixture in the saucepan, mixing thoroughly. Allow the dough mixture to sit until it's cool enough to handle.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and place each part in a small mixing bowl. Add orange food coloring to one part (a combination of yellow and red) and yellow food coloring to another part, leaving the remaining part uncolored or white.

Knead the dough in each bowl until smooth and stiff enough to hold its shape, and the colors are even. Wearing plastic gloves can help prevent your hands from being stained by the food coloring.

Still using your hands, roll each part into a long, thin rope, making each rope of equal length. You may need to use a long countertop or tabletop covered with a strip of waxed paper for this. You'll also need to be careful when rolling as the ropes can easily break if you form them too thin.

When you're done, lay the three ropes of dough along side each other with the orange dough in the middle and carefully press them together to make a long, narrow rectangle. A gentle, light rolling with a rolling pin along the length of the rectangle helps to press the rope edges together, but be careful not to flatten the dough so the rectangle stays as narrow as possible, plus you'll also want the kernels plump looking and not flat.

Finally, cut the dough into triangles or "kernels" using a sharp knife and gently shape the kernels with your fingers, if needed. Allow the kernels to sit for a while and become firm.

You'll end up with over a pound of homemade candy corn, some with yellow tips and some with the traditional white tips. There's no getting around it, kneading the dough and forming the ropes IS time-consuming, hard work, but the results are worth it.

Traditionally, each piece of Halloween Candy Corn is about the size of a kernel of dried corn, but yours made with this homemade candy corn recipe will be about the size of today's giant candy corn.

Holiday Candy Corn Colors
Halloween Candy Corn is traditionally colored with a white tip, orange center, and yellow base. However, over the years, different colors were added for different holidays:

* Indian Corn for Fall and Thanksgiving is colored with a white tip, orange center, and brown base, with chocolate flavoring added to the brown.

* Reindeer Corn for Christmas is colored with a white tip, green center, and red base.

* Cupid Corn for Valentines Day is colored with a white tip, pink center, and red base.

* Bunny Corn for Easter is colored with a white tip and pastel shades of pink, purple, yellow, or green for the center and base.

You can even make candy that you can shape into different decorations like pumpkins...


ivy

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