Sunday, January 31, 2010
A few things you need to know about this company.
-They are the leader in natural organic sweeteners
-Made traditionally, minimally processed
-Partnered with AIB Certified organic sugar producer in the world to bring you a full line of organic sweeteners.
-Fair Trade Certified
-Appropriate for Kosher, vegetarian, began, halal and gluten-free diets.
-Made without the use of animal by-product
Fair Trade-What does this mean? Well a fair price is paid directly to farmers for their crops so that they can keep their land, send their kids to school and build thriving communities.
Organic Certified-To be certified organic they need to be the following. Grown and processed without exposure to synthetic chemicals, additives or GMO's.
Honey and agave-Made from green-cut cane and hand-harvested agave and honey;the remnants from production are recycled as fuel for the villages, wax is reused to help build the next seasons bee hives.
They sent me so many products but I will review my favorites.
Organic Raw Honey-Multi-floral honeys collected by Mayan beekeepers in the tradition of their ancestors. Raw Honey is thick creamy honey with a butterscotch essence; perfect in salad dressings, or with yogurt and hard cheeses.
I used this honey in our tea. My family has been sick the last few weeks so this honey was put to good use. I made hot chamomile tea with a spoonful of this thick wonderful honey. All of my children loved this honey because of its creamy sweet taste. Whenever they were coughing a lot, they would run to me and ask if they can have a teaspoon of this honey. They then would let it slowly dissolve away. IT really did help calm their coughs. I recommend this honey highly!
Organic Sugar-Free flowing organic sugar. Organic sugar holds just a hint of sugar cane's inherent molasses, which gives it a lovely pale blond color and mellow flavor. The perfect one-for-one replacement for conventionally refined white sugar. From Paraguay. I love the slightly sweet flavor of this sugar. Its wonderful in your morning coffee and even wonderful for all your baking needs. Ive used this so many times to make cookies for my children.
You bet I recommend this sugar. You simply cannot go wrong with this one.
For more information about where to find this brand or want to check out their many different sweetener products, check their website out.
You may find these products in the NW at many stores including Whole Foods, New Seasons, and Fred Meyers.
Note:Wholesome Sweeteners did not pay me for this review. I received these items for free of charge and tried them in my own time. This review is my own personal experience. Try them out for yourself, you wont regret it.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Over the years we (I mean me) made more and more good green decisions in our life. From planning our wedding, buying our new home, to planning our lives. We decided on a small wedding which meant that I would have to get a part time job at a craft store so I could get a discount and make most of our wedding decorations. We bought our home within biking distance and also near a park so we could walk the kids there to play. And now we own 4 duplex's which we will sell later so we can put money aside for the kids college funds.
I would not say its a battle but sometimes I think he thinks i'm a whack job. I get the strangest faces from him when he walks in on me and my newest challenges. When he came home and I dug up our backyard to make a garden, he didn't say anything. Although he hated our fence system I had in place because it was ugly. I agree but it was the only way to keep our dog from eating our vegetables. He also didnt like the plastic pool that I cut the center out and planted my cucumbers in. Hey, it had a hole in it and it kept my cucumbers from traveling all over the garden. When he came home from work and saw the drying racks in the back yard with all our clothes on them, he did not like how it looked but said nothing because our neighbors could not see it. But it bothered him. The one thing that didn't bother him was our energy bill that went down that month because of me putting them outside to dry.
My husband is a good man and does many things to make our impact on this earth a little lighter. It was his idea to buy our VW Jetta which gets 45+ miles per gallon. His idea to buy our house where we live now so he can ride his bike to work. His idea find a house with a fireplace so we could save on our energy bill. His idea to buy our dinning set on Craigs list and sell our old one. He also his idea to take the head chairs from our old set and make them match our new set. Lots and lots of sanding and painting. Also his idea to replace our old fence that has fallen down and reclaim all the wood to use in our fireplace. I am proud of him for trying. Proud of him for supporting my ethics. Proud of him period.
One amazing move we made together was buying this home. Our last home was almost new, twice the size of our first home, had an amazing kitchen, huge tub, huge rooms, and everything that comes with a home. But we were miserable. We lived 45 minutes away from civilization. My husband would have to travel there everyday to work costing us over $300 a month in gas. We never really felt at home. My children did not like the schools, we didn't like the school system. Yes from the outside our home looked amazing and we looked happy. But really we were not. So at the worst time (late 2008 when houses weren't selling) we decided to make a huge move. We sold our house and lost about $20,000 from it. We threw in about $6,000 in updates to make this house shine above the rest. There were several houses for sale on our street. For 2 months we kept that house spotless! And the couple who looked our home was a builder. When he saw that we replaced the door hinges along with all the door hardware, he was sold. He knew we went the extra mile for this home. he was happy to get a good home, we were happy to be the only home sold on the block and to get out of that town.
My husband found a house within biking distance to his work that was expensive but really old. This home had good bones but was in need of updating. It was also half the size of our newly build home but larger than our first home. We checked out the neighbors, schools, and zoning papers. This house had everything we wanted. Huge back yard check, future garden area check, play structure check, big garage check, on a cult-a-sack check, and lots of room for much much more. The moment we walked in we knew we were home.
You see two people can be very different but be the same. I am very out going and granola at heart. He is very private and handy in many ways. Its really true, opposites really do attract. One thing we do have in common is the way we live our life. We talk about every decision made. We think about how it will impact our footsteps here on earth. You see its not all about the money we save. Yes it's a nice bonus but not the key figure in this. Sometimes he thinks I go too far, and usually I don't think I go far enough. But over the years we have become one mind. We agree to disagree and it goes both ways. This is what makes us so good together.
So if your reading this and you have a significant other who just will not budge, there is hope. But you have to remember to think about their side of the story too. Its all about compromise. Okay you can hang your clothes to dry but you have to allow me to do such and such. Its all about sacrifice and passion. Making these two things work will help you along the way. Don't give up hope and always remember to have our next generation in sight with any decisions you make. As long as you both have this one thing in common, everything will be fine.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
1 cup of almonds
3 1/2 cups of water
Fabric Jam bag -found in the canning aisle. Look for one with drawstring
Glass container( I use a mason jar)
Large bowl or large glass measuring cup(one that holds 3 1/2 cups of water)
1. Start by soaking your almonds in water overnight.
2. Next morning drain out water and set aside.
3. Add 3 1/2 cups of water to blender
4. Blend the snot out of it. I would say maybe 2-3 minutes on high.
5. While blending get your bowl
6. Set strainer inside bowl
7. Put fabric jam bag inside strainer
8. Once blending is done pour all the mixture into fabric jam bag slowly.
9. Pull drawstrings shut and wring out all the milk.
10. Remove strainer and pour milk into your mason jar
11. Refrigerate-keeps good for up to 1 week.
Now that my daughter cannot have cow's milk, I substitute all milk in my recipes with this almond milk and it taste exactly the same as milk. If its too creamy for you, just add 4 cups of water instead of 3 1/2. Like vanilla almond milk? Add 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 tbsp of honey.
BONUS-Keep the almond meal left over from making your milk. It can freeze for up to 3 months. I use the almond meal when I make my own bread and its super yummy when you use it with flour and pan fry fish. Mmmmm. Just don't throw it away, get creative with it. Almond has lots of protein and has tons of flavor!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What a fun idea for the kids! I found this idea on a paper insert from my favorite tea we buy for the kids, Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Fred Meyers has navel oranges 3 pounds for only a buck. Holy cow thats cheap! So I completely sold them out and started looking around for mark downs and thinking of creative ways I can use them. Here's what I picked up and how I am using each item.
10 lbs of FM unbleached flour $3.35
6 1/2 gallons of milk marked at clearance for .89 cents each
3 FM butter on sale 3/$5
1 cream cheese $1.25
3 Dairy Gold Sour Creams on clearance for .79 cents each
19 lbs of Navel Oranges $3.65
2 green bell peppers .59 cents each
Total for the day $27.19
Flour was not the best deal but would of cost me more in gas just to hit Winco for flour. So its was 35 cents per lb and thats still a good deal. (Winco usually 25 cents per lb) This will be used to make bread.
Milk-Usually I buy a whole gallon but they were $1.99. I buy 2 1/2 gallons (equal to 1 gallon) for $1.78. Saves me .21 cents per gallon. Cannot drink milk fast? 1/2 gallons are perfect to freeze. They thaw out really quickly and way easier than a whole gallon. Milk can last up to 3 months in the freezer. What a tip!
Butter-I do a ton of baking so when butter is on sale, I stock pile. These are usually $2.50 each and thats the store brand. Big name brands are usually $3 each. These will be in the freezer too for later use.
Cream Cheese-I had a coupon for $1 off 3 Philly Cheese. They were $1.75 each. With the coupon they would of cost me $1.41 each. FM brand was only $1.29. No brainer. Just because you have a coupon, does not make it a good deal. My oldest daughter will not eat cereal so she eats crackers with cream cheese. Weird but as long as she is eating, im ok with it.
Sour Cream-Usually these are $1.59 or more each. These were marked down to .79 cents each. Sour cream can be put in the freezer too. These will be used for when we have company and I need to trow together a dip super quick.
Bell Peppers-I already bought some red peppers for .59 cents each at Winco and refused to pay $1 each for green peppers. Good thing cause FM has them for only 59 cents each. Now I will cut all the peppers and some onions, put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then pull them out of the freezer and into a container to put back into the freezer. This saves me time later when we cook. Peppers are amazing because you only need a tiny bit to add so much flavor to any meal. We use them all the time. Plus it saves me money by cutting them myself. One 12 oz bag of peppers is about $1.50. Doing the work yourself saves you so much money. Plus no plastic packaging to recycle.
Navel Oranges-So so cheap! 33 cents per lb is the cheapest I have found. We can make orange juice, eat them as is or my favorite is to make marmalade. My girls love that jelly and when I make it, its cheaper. Plus I control how much sugar goes into it. Also another added perk is that your whole house smells so yummy!
Whats the lesson im trying to tell? Even though you do not need the particular item at that particular time, if its an amazing deal grab it up. Also get creative. Think about how you can use this item, can I freeze it, and try cutting things up yourself to save money.
Fred Meyer navel oranges are on sale till Saturday January 30th.
Once again I found an amazing mug at a local Goodwill. This time I paid $1.99. I believe whoever made this mug was still learning. You can see their marks all over it. They have an amazing eye for color and must have been testing out different dipping techniques. I love how the rustic naked clay on the bottom was left as is. Love love love it. It does have a signature but I cannot tell you what it says. I wish there was a year mark on it. Don't you just love the naked clay on the bottom?
Monday, January 25, 2010
If you can get over the taste of apple cider vinegar, you will find it one of the most important natural remedies in healing the body. As a wonderful side effect of drinking apple cider vinegar every day, doctors have discovered that it brings a healthy, rosy glow to one's complexion! This is great news if you suffer from a pale countenance.
When were sick we take 2 tbsp of ACV a day. One in the morning and one in the evening.
Cayenne PepperCayenne Pepper is an herb made from the dried pods of chili peppers. Besides being a very popular spice in cooking, cayenne has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. High in Vitamins A, C, B complex, calcium and potassium, cayenne is a wonderful healing aid for the digestive system since it acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other foods and herbs when used with them. It is also very healing for the heart and circulatory system. Studies have shown that Cayenne can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and the peristaltic action in the intestines.
Cayenne is traditionally used by herbalists to cure stomach aches, cramping, gas, varicose veins, allergies, and constipation. One of the most amazing healing properties of cayenne is that it has been used successfully time and time again to relieve heart attacks.
When we are sick I try using the cayenne pepper and make spicy meals. Especially with stuffy nose's, this spice does the trick.
I could go on and on about things in your home to help ailments. One amazing site I recommend is http://www.earthclinic.com/. You name it, its there. This is my go to site anytime we have any problems. Readers have the ability to leave suggestions or warn against suggestions. Yea or No letting you know what worked or doesn't work. Bookmark this site and try it out next time you need a cure for any ailment you might have.
Note:I am not a doctor and if you medical advise call your doctor. These are just things that I have tried and we make a personal choice to live our life this way. Each persons body is different so call your doctor and talk to them about any natural method or plan you are planning to try.
Credits-Oregonian, wikipedia, and www.earthclinic.com
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Oats are the little grain that could. Its always in the pantry waiting patiently for you to use it up. Usually just for cookies but never for regular food. Until now! I thought you could get a little more acquainted with oats.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A new map designed around sustainable travel in the central Cascades of Oregon and Washington will be unveiled Tuesday by project partners National Geographic and Travel Oregon.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
NPTL North Portland Tool Library
2) A resident of North Portland
3) Review the NPTL Borrowing Rules
4) Fill out and sign the Borrowers agreement
To register, simply come on down to the North Portland Tool Library when we are open to sign up. Documents needed to register:
1) Oregon ID
2) Utility Bill
3) 2nd piece of mail to verify address.
I recently read about this place in the Oregonian Newspaper and had to write about it. As a homeowner myself, its gets pretty expensive to do any home improvements. First you need to find out what you need, then go to the store and buy the items and then 50% of the time you need another tool you don't have. And this is why it gets so expensive. If you were to go rent one from a tool store, its 1/3 of the price of the tool brand new. Luckily my husband had tools when we met, he has lots of friends who have tools and my father in law is stocked up with them too. But there are times when we just cannot find a certain tool and we have to buy it. This place would of came in handy and could of saved us a bundle. Unfortunately I do not live in North Portland. You have to live in North Portland to rent them.
What a great idea this is. Now if we could get more cities on board, this would be a great asset to any community. Just think about how much money you would save, they would save and how this would bring your community together.
So if your in Portland and need a tool, check their site out and see if they have it. Lets join each other and support our community.
Or if your in the neighborhood, come on by and check them
2209 N.Schofield , Portland Oregon 97217
Dont forget to check Surviving and thriving on pennies on Facebook!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
The Green Man is a design studio of two people- Amir and Orianne Shavit, they live in the north of Israel with their three children.
They started out in graphic design and illustration and for the last six years design and make costumes, props and stage set-ups for a very unique theater group called "balbalu street theater company".
Both of them are very active in many fields of creation, Amir is also doing carpentry, some blacksithing, building, Orianne is basically a painter who taught her self to sew, make pottery,write and just can't seem to hold still.
They both work at home, home schooling and enjoying very much and feeling thankful for being able to work together in every field of life.
GreenManShop represents a new passion of theirs - designing toys, dolls, accessory and much more for children and for adults who appreciate hand made art.
They make for the sake of making and love, so If you love the shop but can't afford it,feel free to talk to us and we'll try to make it easier.
The mysterious figure of the green man symbolizes the forces and natural ways of creation,the green man dies every winter and is resurrected again every spring, just as creation itself its ever changing,flowering and withering and constantly flowing.
To their our work in design for theater theater look at their photo album - http://www.balbalu.com/photoalbum/
Or head on over to www.etsy.com and look for GreenManShop.
I also purchased wooden people that I hand painted that fit perfectly into my girls vintage Fisher Price homes. I threw out my nasty sponges and bought hand knit ones from 2 different sellers. This way I can throw them in the wash and never worry about germs again. Anytime I need something, I go to Etsy.
What are you doing? Head on over and take a peek at Etsy!