Thursday, March 31, 2011

Organic Eating

Official seal of the National Organic ProgramImage via Wikipedia

I found these 2 articles on organic eating from the Huffington Post very interesting and wanted to share.

The first is what you should buy organic and the second is what is not worth it.
There are so many chemicals and toxins in our environment but going 100% organic can be very expensive. There are certain items that your money is better spent on.
Some items on the list really surprised me. Popcorn? I love popcorn and usually do just make it in the bag. This is a habit that I will definitely be ending. Sometimes convenience is not worth the risks to our health.
There are also so items on this list that surprised me. I don't often buy organic eggs, but when they are on sale I splurge, now I will not waste my money.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What to do while trapped inside?

Toddler Dance PartyImage by WoogyChuck via Flickr

Even though the calender says spring in my area we are having a very long winter with unseasonably cold weather.
Usually I try to bundle us up and enjoy the outside as much as I can, but being pregnant and starting to show my nice warm winter coat will not zip up so I do not want to be in the cold.
Being stuck inside is hard, especially if its for several days so I try to break it up as much as possible. Playdates once a week, the library, grocery shopping, may visit a family friend, church. These simple activities help us not get bad cabin fever.
But while in the home I try to keep t.v. as a last resort. These are some of the simple activities I do with my 19 month old Liv.
Baking bread-she loves trying to knead the dough, helping me mix and then eating our finished product.
Action rhymes and songs- Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, The Hokey Pokey, Ring Around the Rosey
Dancing-We just put on the radio and rock out
Music-Liv got a music kit for Christmas that has maracas, a tambourine, jingle bells and some other odd instruments. We will march around the house with them or just sit and make music together
Puzzles-this is a quiet relaxing activity
Finger plays-counting rhymes and other songs keep us entertained
Play dough
cleaning-yes cleaning. Today Liv had a blast scrubbing the cabinets with a sponge and soapy water mix. I wiped them dry after she was done. I have to say she loved it and my cabinets really needed it.
Bubbles-we go in the basement to not make a mess on the floors.
Young toddlers can get bored easily and often won't sit for long periods of time doing one activity. This makes many rainy day activities hard for them to do, but with some patients and creativity you can fill up the day till you are able to get outdoors again.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Hyacinth plantImage via Wikipedia

I made a promise to myself to keep my home seasonal and fresh with natural scents, not candles or air fresheners.
Last week my local florist brought out potted hyacinths and daffodils. The hyacinths have not quite bloomed yet, but I can't wait till they do. They are one of my favorite smelling flowers and I have looked forward to them each spring since I was a young child. What is great about these plants is when the flowers die I can replant the bulbs in the yard for next year.
I also got a bouquet of tulips for our dinner table.
I love seeing my home getting ready for spring and brining a little nature indoors.
Once the flowers bloom more my home will have a wonderful, natural smell. All with out the use of chemical air fresheners and candles filled with artificial scents that can actually contribute to indoor air pollution, a rising cause of asthma in young children.
It is also nice to make some memories for Liv of the seasons. I remember very vividly as a child, these bulbed flowers being brought into our home before Easter. It was a wonderful reminded that the long winter is over, Easter is coming and so is the wonder spring weather.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Composting the Easy and Cheap Way

CompostingImage via Wikipedia

This spring I plan to start a garden. With the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables on the rise I am hoping this will help keep our growing grocery budget down. It will also be a fun project for me to do with Liv. It amazes me how many children know nothing of where there food comes from and what is in season.
I have been reading a ton on gardening. Right now I checked out Martha Stewart's Gardening Month by Month. Since my home is in the same zone that Martha lives in I am finding this book to be very helpful.

My first step to preparing my garden is to start composting. It can take 4-6 weeks for compost to be usable so today we decided to make a simple garbage can compose bin.

It was so easy to do. I have seen on t.v. shows people use garbage can composters. I decided to do this method since I do not have the money to buy a nice expensive one and have read many places that they are not necessary.

I searched garbage can compost bin and came across a great video that showed my what to do.
I also found another video on youtube.

Using these 2 video my compost bin in now outside my home and being put to use. Can't wait to see the wonder compost that will be natural and safe for our home garden.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Organic Junk

Official seal of the National Organic ProgramImage via Wikipedia

This pregnancy has so far been much harder then my first. The nausea is worse and cooking for my family has become difficult.
Last pregnancy I was working so I could afford some good quality take out, this time I can not.
I trolled the supermarket for quick, easy, healthy meals. I was shocked at all the "healthy" organic food that is horrible for you. There is so much junk food that is labeled organic. A cookie, or chip that has been fried is still not very healthy if its labeled organic. The worst I have found was the food for my toddler. Before my pregnancy almost everything she ate was homemade from scratch, but since most food makes me want to puke I've had to resort to store bought for many of her snacks.
I am so glad that I have taken the time to read the labels. Organic "fruit" snacks, only really had organic cane sugar and some fruit juice. This is horrible for a toddler, for anyone really. Just pure sugar and junk, even though its organic.
Instead of pre-made meals and other junk I have just resorted to lots of simple meals. Yes my husband is sick of eating pasta and salad, grilled chicken with rice and veggies and other simple meals, but its much better then the packaged meals filled with sodium and other products horrible for him and my daughter.
For snacks we are mostly eating fresh or canned fruit (in its own juice) and of course some carbs since they help my stomach. Pretzels, peanut butter crackers and fresh bread.
My warning here is just simple but just because it says organic doesn't mean its good for you. Whole foods in their raw form are usually best, but if you do by packaged goods take time time to read the ingredients, you may be surprised at what is in something labeled organic, natural or healthy.
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