Monday, February 21, 2011


Yes I'm alive. I've been taking some time off to spend more time with my husband and daughters. Last week someone broke into my husbands work and stole his laptop. Unfortunately there were many of our family photo's and personal info on it. Because of that we have been backing up my laptop which is why I have not posted anything lately. I'm using my phone to write this. It's a Pain in my butt! As soon as the laptop is done (going on 3 days now) I will be back up and running.
See you soon!
I have starts going in my garden & will be putting up my pea's tee pee soon!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

$50 a week

Today was just a wonderful day for me. Traffic wasn't bad and I had my shopping partner who happens to be the cutest daughter ever. Hi Hailey! Love you!

New Seasons

$9.71 Beef bones (ask the deli counter for them). I asked a few days ago and they told me when they would come in.  These will be used for making beef broth. After i'm done with them I give them to my dog for a treat.

$4.99 Gallon of Organic Milk

$6.82 Garlic Pork Sausage Links. Bought 8 links which I can get 4 meals from.  On sale for $2.99 per pound. What a deal!  Excited to try the garlic kind.

$3.98 2 packs of fresh pasta marked down to half price. Scored only 2 this time but I still have some left over from a few weeks ago so were good.

$2.04 A dozen vegetarian fed free range eggs. I actually bought brown eggs but for some reason they charged me for white. They saved me about 40 cents. I'll take it! White are 17 cents each and brown are 20 cents each. Brown eggs are cheaper when bought by the single egg. They give you cartons to get them home.

$2.29 Bulk Dried Currents. My girls use this with their oatmeal in the mornings. $4.49 per lb.

$1.70 One bunch of celery.

$1,72 One bunch of bock choy

$1.50 One bunch of rainbow chard. (sale)

$2.16 Organic banana's

Bag refund -10 cents



$1.49 Half n half

$3.00 Three pound bag of pears (local to me)

FREE Orange. Each kid can get a Whole Foods Kids Card which allows your children to take one treat home for free each visit. Hailey chose a orange.

FREE Loaf of bread (just did a review of this company). On their Facebook they had a day where if you emailed the company they would send you a coupon for a free loaf of their bread. I quickly emailed them without realizing it was from a month ago. One of my more stupid moments. Well 1 day later I received a envelope in the mail with a free coupon. SWEET!!!

FREE 4 Soaps you see pictured are made by Primal. Handmade soap is usually sold by the ounce. We were smelling them when my friend Beth (who works for WF) and she gave them to me because they were the ends and not in the best shape. SWEET!!! I will of course review these. They smell so yummy!

10 cent bag credit was donated to a local good cause.



While we were at Whole Foods my daughter signed up for a contest where one lucky person will win free cooking lessons of their choice. Hailey wrote down homemade pasta. An hour later I received a phone call GUESS WHO WON?? You bet! Hailey won! She get's to invite 2 friends. She will learn how to make several fresh pasta's and sauce to go along with them.  Of course I will take lots of pictures. Exciting!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Green Review Franz Good Earth Baking

It's been a while since I have done a review.  Partly because no one has sent me anything to review but party because of sheer laziness. Recently I have really been craving good bread. I love yummy bread with lots of seeds which I for some reason cannot make myself. I found this lovely little loaf of bread in a local store and thought I would try it out. Oh my am I addicted to it now. Its not only yummy but its just a great company too.

 Here are some little facts about this company.

-Franz  building has been on the corner of NE 11th and Flanders for the past 100 years.

-Many schools have field trips to get tour this amazing company. Yes I was one of those kids back in the 80's who visited and I still have the smell of that place permanently imprinted in my brain.

-Franz has been making bread for 105 years and running.

-After removing a window, Franz was able to make the longest hot dog bun ever.  It was one hundred and four feet nine inches long to be exact.

And now there is a new line of products called Good Earth Baking.  I'm not sure if they make it in the same old building or one of their new ones but in any case its made locally in Oregon.

What makes this company so awesome? 

-Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
-USDA Organic
-Only use pure, natural, fresh and natural products.
-They put water back just the way they found it. Pure.
-Provides full time work only to insure all workers get healthcare.
-Retirement contributions for all full time employees.
-Don't employ part time to avoid benefits like a lot of companies do.


They operate a water filtration system that purifies all water before they bake with it. This system uses activated carbon and catalytic reduction to restore water to its natural pristine state. They feel very strongly that you should put things back the way you found them, and this is especially true for water. They put it back fresh and clean.  They operate an air and water closed-loop cooling system to eliminate water discharge. Seventy-five percent of their toilets are equipped with an automatic flush system. They added 30% more automatic hand wash sinks to reduce water usage. When you add them up, there are a lot of little things that can make a very big difference.


Each year, 10% of their transport trucks are updated with more fuel-efficient equipment. This gives their trucks an additional two miles per gallon. Each truck also is equipped with an automatic idle shut off after 12 minutes, saving an additional 5% in fuel efficiency.  They have installed an oxidizer on the roof of their Portland, Oregon bakery. This oxidizer works by pushing exhaust through 600-degree ceramic tiles that vaporize ethanol into water and carbon dioxide. This process reduces 33% of overall emissions, and an estimated 95% of all ethanol emissions.  They have 27 route trucks that run on propane. Propane is a much cleaner and environmentally friendly fuel than gasoline or diesel. It is considered a “clean fuel” by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is particularly recommended by the EPA for fleet vehicles. One word-AWESOMENESS


Wind Credits-They are proud to say that Green Earth Baking products are made on a bread line that is carbon neutral. As part of this practice, they purchase wind credits to help offset our carbon emissions. These credits equal the annual equivalent of: 316,909 lbs of CO2 avoided , 352,082 miles not driven, and 28 cars off the road.

High-Efficiency Light Bulbs- Ninety-six percent of their bakery uses high efficiency light bulbs. Conventional incandescent light bulbs produce light merely as a by-product of the heat they generate. This makes them inherently inefficient, since all of the heat energy is wasted. High-efficiency bulbs such as compact fluorescents are several times more efficient and therefore conserve energy and money.

Maintenance-They check for leaks and energy inefficiencies weekly, if not daily. It may seem surprising, but this kind of simple dedication makes a big difference. A dripping faucet can cause gallons of water loss every day. Regular maintenance keeps that water from getting away. 


Organic-By now it’s widely recognized that organic ingredients taste better, in large part because they don’t spend their lives bathed in unnatural chemicals. What’s more, these chemicals inevitably find their way into other unwelcome places like rivers, streams and the water table. Put simply, organic means good.

Fair Trade-If organic means environmentally sustainable, then Fair Trade means socially sustainable. Fair Trade is a worldwide commitment to create market access and equity for small and too-often marginalized purveyors. In other words, it levels the playing field for the little guy.


Garbage is strictly a human invention, and it’s one that they are trying to un-invent. They do everything they can to make waste a thing of the past.
They partner with local businesses and non-profit organizations to make sure that they don’t let their products and ingredients go to waste. Ninety-nine percent of their bakery offices are furnished with recycling bins, and they re-use 100% of our transport trays and racks when delivering bread. They are  not perfect, but they try to seize every opportunity to reuse instead of contributing to the world’s landfills.

PACKAGING-One hundred percent of their bags are made with eco-friendly biodegradable material. The bags are treated with TDPA, which turns conventional plastics like polyethylene and polystyrene into degradable and biodegradable materials when disposed of properly. 
During regular use, a bag treated with TDPA is indistinguishable from an ordinary plastic bag, and it can be re-used and recycled. When triggered by the right pre-determined conditions, such as heat, UV light or mechanical stress, the bags begin to break down. These bags—each and every one of them—will disintegrate harmlessly in the soil, instead of sitting indefinitely in a landfill somewhere. After all, the idea is to keep the earth green.

RECYCLING-They recycle over 98% of production waste. They are very proud of this number, and  constantly work to improve it. It takes a lot of commitment and foresight to acknowledge and minimize production waste. They also use 100% post-consumer recycled paper for operations and presentations and 100% reclaimed wood for display fixtures. By now, the importance of recycling is no surprise to anyone, and They are dedicated to recycle in as many new ways as possible.

RE-USE-As bakers—and as food lovers in general—They love to make food, but they really don’t like to waste it. To that end, they offer 100% of our overages to nonprofit organizations, especially food banks. They also eliminate waste of another kind by re-using 99% of our excess cardboard.

I am in love with this bread and now this company. I make my own bread daily but anytime I want a good loaf of bread that I won't have to cook, this is the bread company for me. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter. And you can find their products in any of these stores.

  • Albertsons
  • Safeway
  • Haggens
  • Whole Foods
  • Fred Meyer
  • Winco
  • Rosauers
  • Roths
  • New Seasons
  • QFC
  • Thriftway
  • Yokes

Monday, February 7, 2011

$50 a week

Good afternoon everyone!
Had a great day today. I think I did pretty good this week and even have a little wiggle room for things later in the week.

New Seasons

$1.25 Corn Tortilla's
$2.40 (20 cents each) a dozen brown beautiful egg's
$4.99 Gallon Organic Whole Milk
$6.13 8 bratwurst sausage links. hormone free. 8 total which I can make 4 meals out of.
$3.00 Organic Romain Lettuce (2 total). On sale for $1.50 each.

Total minus 5 cent bag refund=$17.72
I wasn't lucky enough to snag marked down fresh pasta this time which isn't a big deal because I still have some in my freezer from last week.

Whole Foods

$1.49 Rice Cakes ( had coupon for $1 off which is why they were so cheap) these will be eaten for breakfast.
$2.99 Organic sweet pickles
$2.99 bag of cat food -great quality food at a cheap price because its Whole Foods brand.
$1.62 one pound of bulk yellow split pea
$1.49 Hormone free Sunshine Dairy half n half
$3.75 one pound of cheddar cheese my husband begged me to get. (working on getting our dependency for cheese down)
$5.99 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
$1.59  Baking cups (compostable recycled paper made)
$3.58 two can's of organic crushed tomato with basil
$1.38 fresh mushrooms .Actually they over charged me. Mushrooms were on sale for $3.99 per lb but she charged me for organic garlic which is $5.99 per pound. Annoys the hell out of me but I wont waste my time going in for a handful of change.

Total with 10 cent bag donation to charity=26.87


Apple and banana in picture are free from Whole Foods. Kids under 12 can get a membership card and get a treat each time they come with me to shop.  My kids picked out fruit but sometimes there are fruit leathers there too. That's a pound of fruit free each time I visit. Sometimes they have coloring pictures and stickers too. Kids just love that stuff.

For those wondering about the sausage links. I use about 2 links of sausage per meal because they are rather large and very flavorful.  Usually we use sausage with rice and egg's but sometimes I will just saute vegetables and add the sausage in for flavor.  I love cooking with sausage because it really had tons of flavor and you need very little of it. I simply cut open the link and saute the crumbled meat. Pretty easy huh?

I bought thirty pounds of apples last week so there is no need to buy any fruit this week.  I will be peeling, cutting and dehydrating more tomorrow because my girls have already gone through my first batch of dried apple slices.  I will make another batch of apple sauce too.

This week will consist of using up bulk noodles I bought in the beginning of January. We have eaten so much rice lately that I am just burned out from it.  Also will be using up the 15 pounds of potatoes I bought too.  I need to use up some zucchini I shredded and froze last year.  And also lots of pumpkin I pureed and froze last year as well. Need to use things up so I can get the containers free for when my garden get's going. I might head on out to my grandma's place and try to open up all those beautiful jars full of food. Maybe I can use them this year and save myself some money.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where time stands still

This is my grandmother's home. It's about 135 years old and on its last leg literally.  I'm starting to realize that I am very much like my grandmother. Things that I never noticed as a child are starting to really make sense to me now. If you look closely at the two large post in front of the house on either side of the arbor, you will notice that they are two very large metal pipes. I'm assuming they were salvaged and they put them to use. There are several of them on her property. Fenced in area on either side of the sidewalk were made from chicken wire, metal poles and gates from other fences.  Bird cages were used to cover plants for decoration. They now are at my home now.

On the left side of the arbor by the tree is a dolly made from wood, wheel chair wheels and lawn mower parts. My grandparents were truly creative.

If something was broken then you used it for something else.

These old metal tubes were re-purposed into planters. She had several of these around her property.

Old gates from another fence were used for fenced in area.  This gate has some stories to tell.

Left over wood was used to make a boardwalk and benches. She could sit and enjoy the weather or listen to the birds.

This boardwalk was used for many many years.  Now the cats use this area for shelter. A black cat and orange cat call this place home.

Now I know this plant doesn't grow on tree's. Only thing I can think of is that grandma put them up there. Very creative and pretty. I took this plant to my home where it grows like crazy now.

This thing has never ran as far as I know. It's always been parked on the side of the house. I think its just beautiful. Inside is shag carpet and fishing equipment. It's like time stood still. For now its used for storage for her things. My grandmother never drove a day in her life. Grandpa would drive her to town.

These metal frames used to have beautiful grapes growing up them. We would pick them all the time and she would get so angry with us. In recent years she used these to hang dry her clothes. The sidewalk I remember running up and down when I was little. You can barely see it now.

This is grandma's garden area. Fenced in so the animals wouldn't eat her beautiful produce.  Every summer we would go out to her house and help with her garden.  Planting, weeding, harvesting, and canning. Grandpa Grey would be out with his hoe searching for weeds for hours. Until one day he passed away in the garden from a heart attack. I still know exactly where he was in the garden when he passed. RIP grandpa I miss you and love you forever.  So much produce grew and came out of here.

I was speechless when I found this place. Never knew this outdoor pantry even existed.  I have no idea why she didn't eat any of them. All those summers of gardening were gone to waste. Look at the hundreds of jars.  Look at the beautiful sizes and shapes of them. I think surviving the depression changed her. She was always gathering and storing food in and outside her home.

This building was built strong. Very thick walls with straw in them. Dirt floor had galvanized buckets half way dug in to the dirt. I think she kept her root vegetables in there.  I found a beautiful green glass bowl in there that I now have in my home and use.  No words to even say about this place. Its like time stood still.

Never knew this liquid blue came in glass jars. I use this stuff instead of bleach. Amazing stuff.  It's now in my laundry room for decoration. Love it.

Coffee in a glass jar? Wow. I would of taken this home but I couldn't get the lid off. Maybe I will go back and get it later. Its just a very cool jar. Completely full of coffee from who knows when too.
Update: Mama went back to find this. Its now living in her kitchen.

Grandma would use anything she could to store things. Large pickle jars were her favorite. This one now lives in my home. I love it.

This was grandma's chicken coop.  Made from left over wood n such. I loved watching the chickens when I was little.  I still think they are so beautiful.

I just love old buildings being taken over by nature.  This is a storage shed that holds all kinds of random things.  This was also made from anything they had at the time.

This is the side of my grandma's house. I love the look of old wood and paint chipping off. Years of weather has taken its toll on her home.

Grandma's driveway is long and always open to anyone to stop by.

And her door was always open to anyone.  Anything you needed Grandma would help with. RIP grandma Mary. I love you and miss you. You and grandpa will always be loved and not forgotten. I will tell my children all about you and teach them everything you taught me.  You live on in each one of us. It still feels like your at the house.  It's like your in town running errands and soon to be home.  Again time standing still.

Update: House and property was sold to the neighbors. They will use this property for their animals. House will never be lived in again. Still looks like her house and feels like you could still drive up to visit her.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentines is near

Oh how I love Valentines Day! I remember how excited it was to go to school and see who put their valentines in your pretty valentines box you worked so hard on creating. I would count how many I had and eat all the candy hearts till my tummy would hurt. My new favorite thing for valentines is all the lovely cards my children make for me. I just love the cute little rustic hearts my twins draw.

Over the years we have done our share of buying boxed cards and candy. Honestly it was kind of a let down buying those. First of all some of them have a plastic coating on them so you cannot recycle them. Then you almost always give out the same ones other people give out. No originality at all. And then there's the money aspect. I have to buy for four children and it really does add up. About three years ago we decided to make our own cards. One year we did simple square sheets of paper with a stamp that said Happy Valentines Day. Another year we glued seeds onto the paper and told people they could plant their valentine. And another year we melted down crayons into hearts and gave those with our handmade cards. There really are endless idea's when it comes to showing how much you really love someone.

So what are your plans this year? Stumped? Here are a few things to chew on!

Learn how to make your own melted crayon hearts.

Make your own grocery bag cards. Think we will be doing these this year. Love these!

Learn how to make your own  and try to use paper from your recycling bin. This will cut cost all together.

Get tons of Valentines Day craft idea's at Craftbits. Way too many for me to show you. Love this!

And last but not least my favorite green craft site ever! Head on over to crafting a green world to find more exciting craft projects like the ones above. I would suggest signing up for their rss feed and becoming a fan of theirs.

And as always SHARE your idea's with me! Submit your pictures on my Facebook too!