Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moving to Wordpress.... mostly

I migrated my professional blog worthy stuff to a new Wordpress blog at on Friday. I will be maintaining this for purely personal stuff. Any posts that are on the new site will eventually be removed from this site and vice versa.

The migration to Wordpress was surprisingly easy. So now I just have some housecleaning to do.

Please follow my new stuff at but be sure to keep an eye on this one for occasional stuff about our personal lives.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Amazing program/app - Evernote

I have a list a mile long of things I want to blog about. And I get more ideas all the time. But I had to scratch all that and talk about an app that I really just fully understood - Evernote.

I downloaded the app on my EVO shortly after I got it last June but never really took the time to figure it out. But tonight, Teresa at shared this link about Evernote on Facebook that caught my eye. I knew I had the app on my phone and wanted to like it so it piqued my interest.

Let's just say I was super impressed. I immediately downloaded the program and the Google Chrome and Firefox extensions so I could clip webpages (yes, I use different browsers for different things) to my different Evernote notebooks (folders). I have a bad habit of emailing myself links, videos, etc. and crowding up my inbox with reminders of things I want to read or do. This could totally help ixnay that bad habit! And I can organize them however I want. So I have one for my blog, for me, the twins, etc.

Currently, I keep most things in Dropbox so I can access them at home, at work, and on my phone - recipes,  blog ideas, resume, etc, but they have to be a document. With Evernote, you can save webpages, pictures, and notes to yourself! I see this totally replacing my Dropbox. Except for maybe sharing? I use DropBox to share docs with my sister and other special people and I don't see that as an option in Evernote.

 Can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Au Natural Deodorant

I've been reading about homemade deodorant for awhile. But like so many other things, I tuck it away in the back of mind for some day down the road when I have a little more spare time than I do right now. I was interested out of curiosity to see if it really worked.

I'm not a heavy sweater so when using conventional deodorant, I can apply every other day after my shower. A couple deodorant containers ago, I started using Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal. I decided to switch to Naturally Fresh because it was paraben and fragrance free and it only had six ingredients. Plus, I was happy with how it scored on the cosmetic database. I think it's unrealistic to avoid every chemical that's bad for you. The only difference that I noticed when switching from my Degree to the Naturally Fresh was that I had to apply it everyday. I can handle that.

I also tried Kiss My Face Active Enzyme deodorant and it did not work for me. I was bummed because I did the like the scent.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a Nourishing Connections meeting (our local chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation). After the initial presentation, someone talked about green cleaning products, the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Safety Database and homemade deodorant! The best part? She had samples in small baby food bottles for $2! I was thrilled to be able to buy a small sample to see what I thought before buying the ingredients and mixing it up myself!

6-8 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
Mix together in a blender or food processor. I also think you could add a drop or two of the essential oil of your choice.

Does it work? Yes. Just like the other, I have to apply it everyday but I have no noticeable body odor. It has a barely noticeable hint of coconut smell which is nice. I just use my finger to rub it in but I have read about people who take the time to put it in an old deodorant container for ease of application.

I have not worn it with any delicate fabrics yet but I have worn it with several of my black shirts and have not noticed any oil stains. Also, it hasn't gotten very hot out. DH did wear it one day to work and was pleased with it in this cool weather. I want to have him test it out when it gets HOT (he's Hungarian and a gardener). I've never met anyone who sweats as much as he does!

Would I recommend it? I won't be harassing family members to ditch their deodorant for this fabulous concoction, but I would definitely suggest it for people who are trying to save money or lessen their exposure to chemicals.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - April 4, 2011

I’m linking up with Laura at for Menu Planning Monday.
  • Salads and baked salmon – we got more corn salad in our Happy Box so we’re excited for more salads.
  • Zesty Italian Sausage Pasta - Sean had some of this sausage and wanted to make a dish with it. We’re using spinach instead of broccoli and adding peppers (orange or red)
  • Vegetable calzones with alfredo sauce – we have a bunch of leftover veggies from a vegetable lasagna we made a couple weeks ago that we froze for later use. We bought some French bread crust and are going to experiment with the veggies and sauce making a calzone of sorts. Sean is adding chicken to his.
  • Shredded chicken with kale and lentils (April Everyday Food p. 60) and baked sweet potatoes
  • Vegetable Jalfrezi – this is an awesome Jamie Oliver recipe. It makes a LOT and that’s one of the many reasons we love it. We can have it as leftovers later in the week. And we like to add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top.
  • Lentil carrot burgers – I want to make these for the babies. We’ll see if I get around to it.
  • Coleslaw – we have some cabbage that arrived in our Happy Box that I forgot to incorporate into our meals so we’ll be making some coleslaw for Sean to have for lunch and maybe for the babies to eat. 

Thoughts about last week’s menu
  • Red Lentil Dal and Saag with brown rice – I like my Indian food spicier and hotter, this was too cardamom-y? I dunno. I added a lot of Sriracha.
  • Butternut Squash Soup and turkey burgers – this has been my favorite butternut squash soup so far! The turkey burgers were fab too. We made a little of our chipotle peppers in adobo sauce mayo for them. Perfect!
  • Layered Lasagna casserole (family recipe) and salads
  • Split Pea Soup and salads – the soup was really good. We’ll definitely make it again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Halfway through shampoo detox

I got a haircut last week and they used shampoo (it was stinky Aveda stuff - am I the only person who doesn't like the way Aveda products smell?). What could I do? Pull out my baking soda/water solution and ask them to use that? They'd think I was crazy! Besides, I was secretly jonesin' for a shampoo. The only way I can describe how my hair feels during this transition is how your hair feels when you've had an updo done and they used a LOT of product and you've taken your hair down but still haven't washed it. It doesn't look greasy but it doesn't feel like I'm used to it feeling, that's for sure!

So using shampoo basically put me back in square one and yesterday was my second one-week mark. I did do a quick internet search to see if maybe I should use a little more baking soda. But I think what I'm experiencing is normal. I did find this site that has a LOT of information.

I've still only gotten a comment from one person that my hair looks flatter than normal. It was funny because I was actually in the middle of explaining to him that I think it was my scarves making my hair look fuller when another coworker came by and commented about how great my hair looked! Ha, take that!

I'm hoping that my hair is feeling halfway normal by Saturday.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Whole Foods Rocks

I was in Columbus today and didn't have to be back to Dayton right away. What else wa there to do besides go to Whole Foods, right? Part of me just wanted to get home because there's plenty that needs done there, but I decided that I don't often get the opportunity to go to Whole Foods.

The parking lot was insane but what can you expect for a Saturday afternoon at the best grocery store on earth (next to Jungle Jim's)? But I don't let crazy people stand in my way!

I don't even think I can pick a favorite thing about Whole Foods. I love it all! I was blown away by the local products they have (one being my favorite Fabulous Ferments and even tea from Athens!). I can't get enough Fab Ferments' lacto-fermented sauerkraut. I got Sean the hot kimchi. I looked all over hoping they had their Kombucha too but no luck.

I didn't get too crazy but managed to leave with this:

  • Fab Ferments Hot Kimchi
  • Pepperjack cheese cubes
  • Artichoke Spinach Hummus
  • CoCo multigrain popcakes
  • Smoked salmon
  • A Quotable Cards magnet
And this is what my magnet says:

finish each day and be done with it. you have done what you could. some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. tomorrow is a new day. you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - March 28, 2011

I’m linking up with Laura at for Menu Planning Monday. We have never made Indian but we like it. So I’m excited to be trying some Indian recipes this week. These were inspired by a KERF post.

Salad ingredients

  • Corn salad (new green from our Happy Box)/spinach/lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Red, yellow or orange pepper
  • Carrot
  • Green onion
  • Beets

Recap from a few of last week’s menu items
Azuki Bean Casserole - I ended up making this by myself. This isn’t really a big deal but I HATE chopping things and I was home by myself w/the babies. This is a real challenge right now b/c Mr. Emery is obsessed with climbing on the chairs and STANDING and doing all sorts of dangerous things. We did not buy the dried mushrooms and tomatoes and I realized as I was making this that she chose them so that you can make a broth of sorts from soaking them in water.
I made a few other changes out of necessity (for the pumpkin I had defrosted in the microwave) but was BLOWN AWAY by how good this was. I made some red quinoa as a side. It was fabulous and the babies can eat this. It made enough that I was able to freeze some for later. WINNING!

Roasted Cabbage - This was the second time we made this and this time we used more lemon. It would’ve been perfect but Chef Sean took them out of the oven a bit early. They were still yummy.

Greek Salad Sandwich from the March 2011 Everyday Food (p. 95) – this sandwich was FABULOUS! It was super easy and tasty.

I would also like to take a minute to rave about how much I love Everyday Food. We used to get Cooking Light. And while I like it, we’d been through the rotation after two consecutive years subscribing, and some of the recipes are pretty in depth or call for obscure ingredients. I bought Everyday Food on a whim from a friend’s son’s school fundraiser and what a FIND! I love it. I tell everyone about it. They have easy recipes made out of normal ingredients that don’t take forever to make – perfect for school nights!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Organized

The disorganization of our abode has been bothering me for awhile. But I’m easily overwhelmed. To illustrate this fact, about nine months ago I started going through my clothes. The goal was to pack away maternity clothes and get rid of things I was just never going to fit into EVER AGAIN and the things I just didn’t like. Now, being a mother of very young twins (if I had to guess they would’ve been  7 months old) who works full-time, I can’t say I have a ton of extra time. This project did NOT get finished in the time allowed. And so for the past NINE MONTHS, piles of clothes and half-filled trash bags were everywhere in our already tiny room. And this mess has been driving me crazy ever since.

A month ago, DH went out of town and I decided I was going to finish this once and for all.  And it was such a great feeling to finally go through everything and get those bags out of the house! It felt so good I wanted to tackle other areas. Then I stumbled upon this fabulous blog about organizing – She has this fabulous concept about tackling one problem area a week – 52 Weeks of Organizing! I know it’s not rocket science but it was just what I needed to break down my own personal barriers to getting organized.

Weekends are really the only time I can devote to things like this and we were out of town last weekend but I printed out the list and almost have a full column of problem areas. I’ll be able to do some items a few at a time but others may take more than one weekend. But I don’t even know if I had 25 so it shouldn’t even take us a half a year!

Our bedroom and the nursery were first. I’ve done half of the laundry/pantry area but need another weekend to finish it. A big problem for us is space. I’m not exaggerating when I say our house is tiny. I’ve lived in apartments bigger than our house – it’s around 800 sq ft! Add to that the fact that our twins are into EVERYTHING and can climb up on chairs, this further limits us as far as real estate for things like laptops, papers, etc. So finding a system that works us is a challenge.

Paper is an issue for us and I found this great post via orgjunkie about filing paper.

And I’m a huge fan of lists so I loved these free list printables. I actually use scrap paper but I love seeing the ideas for how to organize my lists!

What are your organizational challenges?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I’m linking up with Laura at for Menu Planning Monday. This is the first time I’ve done this so I’m a little nervous (weird, I know). Our Happy Box started up a couple weeks ago so we try to use all our fresh produce at the beginning of the week. I plan 4-5 meals per week that are fairly flexible. So if we have any scheduling changes, we can flip flop meals. I also try to plan one meal that can be postponed if need be. We’ve learned this the hard way over time. No one wants to throw away (or compost) produce unnecessarily.

  • Salad with baked salmon
  • Omelets – Sean’s dying to try the new trick from OrgJunkie. 
  • Azuki Bean casserole (Lisa's Kitchen) this is a new dish for us
  • Roasted cabbage (Kalyn's Kitchen) and chicken breasts with sautéed mushrooms and green peppers, Swiss, jalapeno salsa and pineapple (this is a dish DH's boss created)
  • Greek Salad Sandwich from Everyday Food (p. 95) with frozen barley and vegetable soup – I called my sister to get the name of this recipe and she had the same one bookmarked on her Nook! Spooky

We started planning our meals shortly after we got married. I couldn't handle DH calling me at lunch time and wanting to discuss what's for dinner. I have trouble coming up with meal ideas on the spot. This is one area where I'm NOT spontaneous!

No Shampoo - Day 2

I hadn’t planned on blogging about this so early in the process but I really want to share my thoughts thus far. We went away over the weekend and I something planned tonight so I wanted to wash my hair last night so I wouldn’t have to deal with it after getting home late tonight. When I remembered I was out of shampoo and conditioner, I suddenly regretted my decision to ditch the shampoo. I was feeling particularly lazy after a bad night’s sleep with two 17 month old toddlers in a hotel room and a 3 hour drive home. I didn’t want to take the time to mix up my baking soda/water and apple cider vinegar/water. I realize just how lazy this is because let’s face it, how hard is it to mix up a few things?

But it wasn’t just laziness I was struggling with. I was also dealing with the fear, however small, of what my hair was going to feel like and behave. My hair is very fine but I have a LOT of it and it’s down to the bottom of my shoulder blades. I kept envisioning me trying to detangle my mop instead of doing other important things. In the end, it was the first blog post I wrote that kept me from digging through the closet to find some shampoo/conditioner. I had already committed to doing this…in writing. I had to follow through. I also want to prove a few people wrong. I want to show them you don’t NEED shampoo and conditioner to have clean, healthy, manageable hair.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the whole process. As I knew it would be, it was easy to mix everything up. I used the bottles from my beloved Herbal Essences for my new mixtures. And while my hair wasn’t as easy to detangle as it is with my conditioner, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. And for some reason, I kept expecting it to tangle up as it dried but it continued to stay nice and smooth as it dried. I was happy with how it was today too. We’ll see how it is tomorrow on day 2.

Barring any catastrophes, I plan to stick with this for a minimum of six weeks to see how it goes. I mentioned it to a coworker and asked him if my hair looked any different. He said yes. When probed about what was different, he said it was flatter than usual. While this may be valid, he’s a guy. Can they really be trusted to be a good gauge of anything related to hair?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ditching shampoo and conditioner

I’ve been wanting to write this post before I went through with this crazy idea. I knew I only had till the last bit of my shampoo and conditioner was gone but I kept putting it off. Maybe I'm subconsciously stalling? I wanted to get my thoughts down and then come back with my thoughts as I’m going through my detox.

I first read about going “no ‘poo” sometime last year. I thought it made sense but quickly decided I couldn’t give up one of my last good-smelling things – my shampoo. I’ve used Herbal Essences as my main shampoo since college. I’ve flirted with others. I’ve even tried some good stuff (my sister has a friend who used to work at L’Oreal). Even over Shu Eumera, Kerastase and MANY other high end shampoos, I prefer my Herbal Essences. I use the formula for extra body and it’s just perfect for my hair. And I love the scent!
I subscribe to several green living blogs so I kept coming across this whole idea of ditching my shampoo AND conditioner. Here is a good post explaining the process. But basically you use a combination of baking soda and water to wash your hair and apple cider vinegar to condition. And no, your hair will not smell like vinegar. We use white vinegar in lieu of fabric softener and you can’t smell it at all. Honest.

From what I’ve read, there will be an adjustment period while my hair gets used to not having its natural oils stripped every day. I already wash every other day, use minimal conditioner, don’t use anything else on my hair, and let it air dry 99% of the time. So I’m hoping my adjustment period won’t be too awful.

When I told my mom my plans to ditch shampoo she said, “Where did you come from?” I told her she couldn’t give me a hippie name and not expect this to happen! Her real question was, “Why would you want to do that?” I gave her the briefest explanation I could muster, “the chemicals they put in these products are not good for us.” All you have to do is Google Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and you’ll see what I mean. Eliminating a few chemicals from the many products I use on a daily basis is just the tip of the iceberg for me. But I think this is a good place to start. Plus, it’s much better for the environment AND my body.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blogging for real

Anyone who’s known me for any length of time, knows I blog (and if you’re reading this, you DEFINITELY know) AND that I’ve considered being a little more serious about. I often go through phases and interests come and go. But blogging has remained. And the thoughts about doing it seriously remain. So what to do?

There is an endless supply of great blogs out there. In my quest for more information about nutrition, green living, cloth diapering, you name it – I’ve come across some really awesome blogs. I mean so good I add them to my Google Reader so I can get updated about new posts. And not only do I add them to my Reader subscription list, but I READ THEM! So yes, I love blogs. I love all things wellness, green living, cloth diapering, and, and, and the list goes on and on. But what do I know enough about to blog about? What would people want to read about?

I’m still thinking about this. My sister came up with some good ideas recently and I’ve been mulling them over. I do know one thing for sure though….you all should be using Google Reader!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cloth Diaper Giveaway

Check it out and help me win a Flip package! We just got 2 covers and 6 inserts yesterday and we need more so we can travel with these quit disposables altogether!The Cloth Diaper Whisperer