Saturday, July 30, 2011

Phthalates: What are they? Why do I care?

1. Phthalates

Phthalates are endocrine ( your thyroid, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pineal body, reproductive glands and pancreas) disrupting chemicals used to make PVC or vinyl flexible, plastic #3 if you are looking at recycle numbers.
 They are most toxic when the plastic is heated or worn out with time.
Looking around your home for phthalates you are most likely to find them in products labeled "fragrance", PVC water piping, plastic microwave containers, vinyl flooring, shower curtains, personal care products(shampoo, soap), toys, lubricants, nail polish, hoses, raincoats and detergents.
What does a disrupted endocrine system look like? Lowered sperm counts in males, early puberty in girls, hypo and hyperthyroidism, immune system increased sensitivity, decreased fertility, testicular atrophy, structural anomalies in male anatomy, and so much more! But isn't that enough!

We are doing everything we can in our own home to avoid phthalates, here is a simple list: I only store food in glass or metal containers, I have a fabric shower curtain, no vinyl flooring, make my own personal care products (see link here for making your own lotion), I never microwave in plastic, and we don't drink out of our hoses. If you are in the marked for a new home please check into what the water piping is made of. Most new homes have the flexible PVC water piping which leaches Phthlates when heated and worn down with time.
Resources: (Don't take it from me, check it out for yourself!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Great Deal on Organic Coconut Oil

The month of July has been keeping me busy! The sun has finally arrived in our state after so much rain and so many clouds! Olivia and I have been soaking it up. I was going through my pantry writing a list of staples to replenish and noticed I was nearing the end of my coconut oil. I usually buy through if it is on sale. So I went online to double check...and it is! Great deal don't pass this up. Right now you can get TWO 54 ounce Extra Virgin Coconut Oil by Nutiva tubs for $36.04 by using the subscribe and save option!  Subscribe and save is my favorite option on amazon because the price is always cheaper and you get free shipping, plus you can cancel at any time! Don't miss this deal.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Organic Produce/Food Deals

Organic Red or Yellow Onions 79 cents per pound.
Organic Red, Green or Romaine Lettuce $1.99 each
Organic white Mushrooms 2 eight ounce packages for 5 dollars
Coupon for Horizon Organic Milk in their weekly paper $2.49 for half gallon

Organic Exra Large Nectarines $1.99 per pound
Organic Tomatoes on the vine $1.99 per pound
Alaskan Fresh whole sockeye Salmon $6.99 per pound

Top Foods:
Wild Alaskan Cod fillets $4.99 per pound (previously frozen)
Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt 3/$5 dollars

Fred Meyer:
Organic Grape Tomatoes 2 for $4
Organic Mangos 5 for $5

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our very first EGG!

I was so excited to find this this afternoon, I just had to post pictures. Our very first, of hopefully MANY eggs to come!

Classic Potato Salad

First off for any successful dish to be made at our house, occupy Olivia. Today she was occupied with a nice long nap! She fell asleep while playing so I left her where she lay, literally!A great summer party always has a potato salad. I had a fourth of July party at my house and an over-abundance of potato's so I decided it was the perfect venue for a potato salad. Here is my favourite recipe. Modified from one I originally found somewhere on the web. 
 Ingredients: (all are organic unless otherwise mentioned)

  • A large colander full of cooked, quartered and peeled potatoes. I used a variety of types including russet, red, and fingerling's.
  • 9 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped small
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, more if you like a creamier salad (I did not have any organic on hand, had to borrow some from the neighbours!)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 six ounce jar of sweet organic relish
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of organic dijon mustard (use to your taste)

Cook the potatoes in boiling water
 Place your nine uncooked eggs in shallow water just barely covering them, bring to a boil then turn off the burner and let sit for 12 minutes. You now have hard boiled eggs.
 Chop your celery to bite size pieces
 Dice your fresh onions (mine were from my small non-exsistant garden)

 Cut up your eggs very small
 Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Adjust seasoning to your taste buds. Some people like to add a tablespoon of white balsamic or rice vinegar.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

June in Our Home

The month of June flew by so quick! Finally summer has arrived. After a VERY rainy spring, June 21 rolled around and with it the sun. Yeah. Olivia is getting to enjoy the laundry line this year. She loves hiding behind the towels and sheets blowing in the wind. I am 5 months along in my pregnancy. Wow. Time flies!

We have enjoyed a couple of bonfires with friends and family. I love having a big backyard, with room for parties, chickens and play!

Little Olive is growing up so fast! She talks a mile a minute (most of which I'm not sure what she is saying). Before we know it her little brother will be here...

The coop and run are complete (except for a little more paint). The chickens are enjoying their large run, and I am enjoying having my backyard back! I let them out every evening to free range the whole yard.

We are down to one rooster. Gave the other two away. One is a much more reasonable amount of roosters! The accountant wanted to keep the big black australorp until he started to prove to aggressive, so in the name of child safety, away we gave him on craigslist.

Our neighbors planted their dahlias again! I can hardly wait for them to all grow up and bloom they are so gorgeous!

This is one of the two chicks the accountant picked up at the co-op when he went to get food. I swear every time I send him he brings home more chicks! These are what he calls "commercial" layers. The ones you see in the pictures of caged white chickens.

 Redecorated my downstairs with new free sofa's and rugs from my mom. I adore second hand furniture! Everything in my house has either been given to me or purchased second hand. No off gassing in my house!

This is Gertrude...she is my friendliest chicken. I can't keep her out of my house! I need a baby gate just for her.

Olivia's imagination has kicked in...she begs to play dress up, pushes around her shopping cart and goes shopping in my pantry.

Nana and Papa are Olive's favorite playmates!

Dancing is her pastime
. The carefree days of summer are here. Let's enjoy them to their fullest with lots of sun, water, fresh produce and fruit, friends, family and play!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Sherbet (vegan)

There is nothing better than fresh strawberries, especially fresh strawberries turned into sherbet! I think I will be eating this all summer long!
1 cup of rapadura (raw cane sugar)..this amount can be cut in half if you desire
1 cup of filtered water
1 quart of organic strawberries, quartered
4 Tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup

Directions: Bring the rapadura and water to a boil in a saucepan.
Reduce heat and let simmer until the rapadura is completely desolved. DO NOT stir.
Remove from heat.
 In a food processor. Place the quartered strawberries and lemon juice. Process until the strawberries are completley pureed.
For a finer sherbet, you may strain the strawberries at this time. I chose not to.

 Combine the strawberry puree with the sugar syrup. Place in fridge and chill for 1 hour.
 After it is chilled place in ice cream maker and follow manufactures directions.
I let mine stir for 30 minutes then placed in a container in the freezer for one hour. Below is the finished product. It was delicious! I kept the leftovers in the freezer for about a week, it tasted great every time we ate it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vegan Raw Kale Pesto

So I recently had an epiphany. You can make a pesto out of ANY green. Wow, did that open up my horizons for what to do with the loads of various greens I get delivered in my organic CSA boxes during the summer. You can do so much with a pesto. It makes a great pizza sauce, pasta sauce, appetizer dip, baked potato topping. So much I can do with it. The downside of pesto is it does not can well, but it does freeze well. So today I made this raw kale pesto to save for a dark winter day (not that our Washington summer has been particularly bright weather wise.) I omitted the parmesean cheese, which can be added later if you don't want a vegan version. Just add a half a cup of the cheese and re blend with the pesto when you remove it from your freezer to use.


  • 1 bunch of Kale stems removed (optional: if you don't want the strong taste of raw kale quickly blanch it in hot boiling water before blending it)
  • 1/2 cup of the nuts of your choice ( I use whatever I have on hand which today was almonds. Walnuts of course always taste wonderful in a pesto)
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup of organic extra virgin olive oil

First place nuts in food processor and blend til chopped well. Then add Kale, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until Pesto is desired consistency. (You should add salt and pepper to taste at this point.)

Place in container for freezing to be used on a later date. Make sure to date the container. Will store well if frozen for up to 6 months. Why pay 5-10 dollars a bottle for store bought pesto when it is so simple to make and freeze your own?


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