Sustainable Options

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fluffy whole grain pancakes!

Here is my recipe for fluffy whole grain pancakes.  Well they are a mixture of flours and grains.  I have been searching for a healthy yummy pancake recipe for a few years now and until recently my pancakes were never very fluffy. Luckily my family ate them anyway.  These ones though, they devour.  Enjoy!

4 servings: about 3-4 silver dollar size pancakes for each person.

1 cup milk

2 tbsp vinegar

1/2 cup whole wheat flower

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flower

1/2 cup oats (optional)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2-4 tbsp sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp butter melted or very soft

1 tsp vanilla

First add vinegar to milk stir and let sit for 5 minutes while you get other ingredients ready.  Season skillet/griddle by rubbing oil on it with a small towel, then heat to medium/medium-high. In large bowl mix dry ingredients.  Add beaten eggs, butter and vanilla to milk mixture.  Mix with dry ingredients and stir just enough to mix batter. 

At this point I like to put the pancake batter into a large measuring cup to make pouring onto the skillet easier and less messy.  Next pour about 1/4 cup on to the skillet and flip after bubbles appear and pop on the surface.  Cook the second side then plop on a plate, hand them out to the family and enjoy with your favorite toppings!  Our favorite is maple syrup of course!

Freeze the leftovers: Now it is rare that we have leftovers (unless I make a double batch) but they freeze well.  Freeze them in a container and then just reheat in the microwave for a quick breakfast or snack!  We no longer buy Frozen waffles in our house which saves money and I don’t have to worry about what's in them!

Note about flours: I buy my favorite wheat flour at the Davis farmers market.  Of course that means it is local but also that means it tastes great and does not add as much density to baked goods as typical wheat flours.   For unbleached all purpose flour I buy King Arthur, Bob Mills or what ever is in the bulk bin at the Davis Food Co-op. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Activities

We have been busy with our sustainable holiday projects. Here are a few...

Christmas Eve the kids woke up to receive these elf gifts. Silk scarves (in the buckets), fishing game and Christmas sensory bin. I wanted to give them these gifts separate from Christmas so they wouldn’t have to compete with some of the more typical Christmas gifts they will receive later and tomorrow from Santa. Also I like to spread things out so they don’t get overwhelmed with to many gifts at once.

For breakfast we ate Snowman pancakes of course. My own healthy take on it was bananas, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds for decorating. My favorite new pancake recipe using 1/2 whole wheat flower and vinegar for super fluffy results.






There Christmas sensory bin using all things from around the house. Its a great way to use those ornaments, and decorations that don’t get out up. We also used, art supplies and extra gift wrapping stuff.

Then Rorie made some art projects that she is going to give as gifts to her family. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Update: Gone Fishing!

Felt fishing set that I decided to attempt in the final days before Xmas.
It was my attempt at copying this one at
Counting Coconuts. It took two days to complete. I made the fish one day and added magnets, fishing poles and the lake the next day. So about 3-4 hours all together. Once I got going though the fish were easier and easier to make. Because I am not a good hand sewer I did it all on the machine. I went to Michaels and bought super magnets for the fishing lure and the poles. Then at Joanne fabrics (yes it took two stores to complete this project) I found magnetic purse snaps (for making a purse) that were on sale and perfect for the fish eyes (there is one inside the starfish).
My daughter has been asking for a fishing set for almost a year now. This summer I bought her a cheap set she saw at the store to go in her blow up pool outside. Well the pole promptly broke about 5 minutes after we got it home (it was a defective design). I had been looking for another more sturdy set when I saw this one at
Counting Coconuts, I also had just learned how to sew felt food so it was time to try something new!
It will be under the tree for Christmas so if you see my kids before then, don't tell them about it!

abc button

Update 1/11/11: Additional things I thought would be fun and educational.  Using letter magnets or other fridge magnets to change the fishing theme.  Also instead of fishing in a felt lake you could use rubber or plastic magnets and try fishing in the bathtub.  If sewing isn’t your thing you could make fish out of thick paper and laminate or tape them with the magnet inside. 

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

EIO Kids Cup Review!

About 2 weeks ago we received an EIO kid's cup to review. Its actually not a cup but parts of a cup to be put on an 8oz canning jar (or you can buy it with the jar included). Let me explain. This new company (basically parents that weren’t happy with the sippy cup options out there) decided to design their own cup.

The EIO cup: The cup consists of a top that screws onto an 8oz glass canning jar and a silicone sleeve for the jar. The cup has a small opening for drinking so kids learn to drink properly from a cup. It has no valves, spouts or other typical sippy cup parts that are hard to clean, break and get lost often.

Things we LOVE about this cup:

  • Its BPA free
  • It promotes proper cup drinking skills
  • It promotes good speech development.
  • It doesn’t break!
  • Its reusable (we use canning jars for everything at our house).

I found this cup as I was searching online one day for plastic free dishes for my kids. My son is well known for his food, dish and cup throwing skills. One of his favorites is to pour “wawa” (water) on the carpet. So I thought we were stuck using sippy cups.

Then I came across the EIO cup. I contacted the company and they sent one out right away for me and Leo to review.

I washed and put it together easily and handed it off to Leo. He quickly figured out where the hole is to drink from and was able to easily drink from it. He now requests it when he sees it on the counter.

So check it out for yourselves. I know we will be purchasing a few more so we can get rid of those plastic sippy cups! image

I work in Special Education and I have heard many speech therapists recommend no sippy cups after age 2 for proper speech development! The EIO cup can fill the gap between the sippy cup and a regular cup!

*Leo and I received a free cup to review for this blog post but no other compensation.

Sensory Bins: Recycled Kids Activity

I have been admiring the sensory bins that many blogger mom’s do with their kids. They are popular among home schooling mom’s, preschools, crafting mom’s and Montessori education. What has kept me from making them with my kids is that I have been working on not buying cheap dollar store (or other) toys, crafts and stuff just to occupie my kids time. Well since the weather does not allow them to play outside as much anymore I have been creatively coming up with more craft activities. Also my daughter attends a Waldorf preschool. We like her school and I think the activities that she does there are great, she misses the typical school crafts and activities she did last year in preschool.

So then I thought about it and decided I could come up with sensory bins that used stuff we already have around the house.

Our first bins are:

The Happy Birthday 4 Bin. This is for my daughter who will be 4 next week. She is so excited for her birthday so we decided to start celebrating a little early. It contains typical birthday stuff, candles, bows, birthday cards, napkins, etc and there is 4 of everything (except the tissue paper filler). All the stuff in the bin I had saved from past parties, gifts and activities so we are reusing everything. This was a great way to use up ripped tissue paper, recycled greeting cards, squished bows, etc.

To go along with this bin we are going to read: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. Also we will work on a P is for Party letter to go with our alphabet letters that we are decorating our playroom with.

I decided Leo needed a bin to. Although I don’t see him leaving the stuff in the bin, so I know a mess is ahead. So I made him a construction bin full of trucks, rocks, scoops and frogs. I just used toys form theie toy bins but I had to buy a few small bags of rocks to fill the bin (we didn’t have any in our yard). We will reuse the rocks in other projects, our garden or future outside play.

I am excited to do a Christmas bin, recycle bin, baking bin and winter bin in the next couple of weeks or months. I will continue to reuse and recycle as many items for the bins as possible.

Update: 12-5-10: The kids played with their bins today. Rorie really liked it and did all the counting, art projects, made up her own games, etc. Leo played with his for about 5 minutes. Then he dumped it out on the ground and rolled around in the rocks! Maybe he is too young for sensory bins.

This is how Leo decided to have his Sensory experience!

and here’s Rorie’s (about 2hrs after she started playing with it)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

felt food

Still working on the felt food. This is carrots, strawberries and eggs. I like using the sewing machine to make the body of the food but closing it up and adding stems is very tedious. I am hoping to have the breakfast basket done in less than 2 weeks though so I will keep at it. Any tips are appreciated.

When I am making them I figure they don't have to be perfect because my kids are used to funny looking fruits and veggies since we have a garden, CSA box and shop at farmers market for our produce. So all the pieces are different and I don't worry about them all being the same size, shape or color.

Oh and it helps that Stacy and I are going to work on the baskets together. So I am making extra eggs and trading her for muffins, etc.

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Friday, November 26, 2010


This my first felt egg. I am working on a breakfast basket for my daughter's birthday.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

fresh pesto tomato pizza

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This is the super yummy pizza I made last night for dinner! So we were planting the rest of our winter garden and we took out the rest of our basil plants (from our summer garden), we were going to dry it but when I looked up drying directions I saw pesto making directions. Pesto sounded good so I quickly threw the pizza dough ingredients in the bread machine and started making my first Pesto. The finished Pesto was quite yummy even my kids liked it (who are not normally fond of eating green things).
The pesto Pizza however was AWESOME! Just pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and sausage (for my husband who has to has meat at all meals). I am off from work this week and hoping to catch up on some blog posts about what we've been up to. Especially our garden that we nearly killed! Also I am going to have a review up for this new kids cup, I am so excited for Leo to try out!
Check it out:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

English muffins ummmm

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Honey Wheat Bread

This is my favorite bread recipe; we make it at least once a week. I modified the recipe from the Zojirushi bread maker cookbook to just use the dough setting and cook it in the oven, but its still super easy and yummy. Baking in the oven leads to a much softer crust and better bread.

1 3/8 cups water

4 1/4 cups bread flour (co op bulk or King Arthur)

1/2 cup cracked wheat (co op bulk section)

3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp active dry yeast

Put ingredients in the bread machine's recommended order. Set for the dough cycle. When complete I shape into 2 loaf pans or 1 loaf and rolls. Let rise about 20 minutes then bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. It makes great sandwiches, toast, rolls, etc.

I am trying out an English muffin bread recipe tonight so I will let you know how it goes. image

Also I picked up a home made bread bag at Apple Hill a few weeks ago. It is lined with plastic but until I get a bread box it is great for keeping the bread fresh longer.

Please send me yummy whole grain or wheat recipes, I am looking for some that my family will like!

We have bought very little bread in the last 2 months which saves a lot of money on groceries. Also the few loaves we have bought taste cardboard-ish (even the good Rudy’s Organic). It is amazing the taste of home made bread!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We've been busy and sustainable

What have we been up to lately at Sustainable family???

Garden: Well we planted our winter garden and it is doing well so far. Our summer garden is still around and has given us some November (today) tomatoes, strawberries, basil and peppers! Today I needed a bell pepper to make chili and I didn't find any in the fridge. Then I thought oh ya the garden. It is so nice to walk out to our backyard market!

Cooking: I have committed to making our own bread and have bought very few loaves since buying my bread machine about 2 months ago. I prefer to make the dough in the machine and then make rolls or loaves and bake in the oven. Oh and the pizza dough makes amazing pizzas with lots of variety! Also this weekend we made our strawberry jam with berries from farmer's market! It is so good and reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents made jam every year. We have been eating lots of home made soup, stew and chili given the fall season.

Leo and Aurora had some friends over to make their own pizza's. They had fun shaping the dough and adding their own toppings.

Food Storage: I have been saving all of my jars (apple sauce, jam, peanut butter, etc.) and have started to use these for food storage. They are great because they are free and clean up better than plastic. Also I have been storing dry goods (crackers, flower, sugar, etc.) in large glass storage containers and mason jars. This saved them from a recent ant attack, looks good and helps remind me to shop in the bulk section at the co op.

I am looking for stainless steel divided plates, cups and bowls for the kids. Let me know if anyone knows where to get them.
What sustainable changes has your family made?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple blackberry breakfast bars.

These look like dessert but they are supposed to be breakfast bars! Here is the recipe I modeled mine after.

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shelled sun flour seeds (could substitute walnuts, almonds, etc.)
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple sauce

Fruit Layer
2 cups frozen blackberries
3 cups peeled, chopped apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients and spread evenly on first layer.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
Mix with hands (it will be crumbly) and spread on top of fruit layer.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9" x 13" pan. Mix Crust and press into 9 x13 or 9x9 & 9 x3. Spread Fruit Layer on top then crumble the topping over the fruit layer. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, reduce heat to 350 and bake for 20 more minutes (more for 9 x 13 pan). Cut or scoop and enjoy with yogurt for breakfast or Ice cream for dessert! Refrigerate leftovers or freeze in individual servings.

Okay after making and of course eating these I decided they are dessert not a breakfast bar. Even after reducing the butter and sugar they are too sweet for dessert. Yummy I am going to continue searching for a breakfast bar.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Okay, have you ever found a vitamin that your kids beg for that isn’t full of junk! Smartypants is the answer. They are the best. I love them too by the way.

image Breakdown of some of the good stuff….

  • Taste Great!
  • Low in sugar, no high fructose corn syrup
  • They contain Omega Oils with no fishy taste or after taste!
  • Made in California
  • They donate to Vitamin Angels


  • You have to take 4 a day but they taimageste so good it's not a big deal!

The cost…

If you are already buying vitamins at the health food store, co-op, etc. The price will not shock you. It costs more to get good quality products from sustainable resources. Also if you consider the cost of a Multivitamin, Vitamin D and DHA it is actually less. I currently spend about $15 a month on a high quality children's DHA supplement alone. Save 15% on your first order at with the code SBBL562 (through Oct. 31).

The Conclusion…

These are great vitamins and my family will keep taking them because they are a cost effective, yummy way to stay healthy.

The Giveaway…

Comment here that you liked Smartypants on FB or follow on Twitter and I will add you to my Ecomom $15 gift certificate giveaway.

For more entries see this post:

The fine print…I was given a one month supply of Smartypants to review on this post. However, I was not compensated in anyway for writing this review. I just enjoy the product!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Ecomom is a great online store for affordable, sustainable, healthy products for your baby, kids and family. Some of my favorite products are cloth diapers, lunch boxes, cleaning products, toys and art supplies.

A gift to you from!

Use the code SBBL562 for 15% off through October 31st!

Try the new EcoPass. Purchase a $99 annual membership and receive 15% off every order as well as free shipping (no minimum)! The Ecopass can pay for its self in as few as 4 orders for just $8.25 per month!

Oh and that giveaway you were waiting for! Ecomom is giving away a $15.00 gift certificate!

Here’s the rules:

Post one comment for each entry.

Entry 1: Follow Sustainable Family and comment on one post.

Other ways to enter (must complete Entry 1 first).

  • Like Ecomom and Sustainable Family on Facebook
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or twitter.
  • Join ecomom newsletter
  • Follow EcoMomCEO on twitter

Winners will be chosen at Don’t forget to comment on this post for each entry! Winner will be announced on October 11th please be sure I have an email address to notify you. Read my post on Smartypants vitamins for more ways to enter!

Giveaway extended to Oct. 11th!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I made bagels!

I can't wait to see how they taste.

10-3-2010: The bagles were great! My husband says they are his favorite bread so far oh and easy to freeze.

Here's the rcipe:

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Busy Weekend!

What did you do this weekend? Was it sustainable?

Things we did:

My husband put in a Raised Bed to plant our winter garden. Oh and we found our tomatoes 112_0609like their new home with a bit of shade; they are looking better. Also we learned that gardening is expensive when you are just starting out. The price for the raised bed is going to be well over $200 when it is done for wood, dirt, seeds, etc. But next year we will only have to pay for seeds so I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

Rorie learned to ride a two-wheel bike. I am so proud of her and she loves it. She used a balance bike for the last 9 months (a bike with no pedals) and this weekend we traded it with a friend for a “tip over pedal bike” (this is what Rorie calls it). She did great and is riding (with no training wheels) at the age of 3.5. I would highly suggest the balance bike to parents of toddlers, it is a great way to learn!

112_0651Rorie with her new bike in front of the dirt that is going in our new Raised Bed garden!

What did I do that was sustainable? Well I finally started to bring not just grocery bags to the store but also produce bags. I am storing a few produce bags in my reusable grocery bags so I remember to bring them back to the store and reuse them. Oh and it was pizza night at our house for dinner. Yummy, homemade dough and we all had different pizzas with lots of leftovers for tomorrow night!

I had Caramelized Onion Prosciutto Pizza:

112_0615 Rorie got to make her own!

Check back later this week for a give away with and a review of Smartypants vitamins!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alternative Medicine????

I wanted to write a quick post about Leo’s visits to the Chiropractor/Cranial Sacral therapist (she does both).  DSC02088

Ear Infections: In the middle of July after many days of swimming, several plane rides and contracting the flu. Little Leo had a fever for about 4 days so I took him to the doctor and she said he had a double ear infection and needed antibiotics.  I protested but the doctor won after explaining possible consequences of not medicating.  Also I had to consider myself lucky that this was our first round of the dreaded pink stuff (amoxicillin) for Leo who is 18 months and Rorie has never had it. 

So we did a 10 day round of amoxicillin which I can not say that Leo consumed the right amount of everyday but I can say that we tried our best (he truly hated the stuff).  He got better and we were all sleeping good again.  Until a week later when we went swimming again.  He presumably (as we never went back to the doctor) got a second ear infection and was up all night literally screaming or nursing. 

I wanted nothing to do with another round of antibiotics so I decided to try the alternative rout and found Dr. Lynn a Chiropractor/Cranial Sacral therapist where we live that specializes in babies and children.  We began seeing her in early August and where as it was not an immediate fix I can say that Leo has beat the reoccurring ear infections and that he is healthier than he has been most of his childhood now 1.5 months later!   DSC01973

He loves seeing Dr. Lynn she is great with him and he completely calms when she is working on him and signs “more” after she is finished.  Leo has been congested most of his life and after seeing Dr. Lynn he no longer has a constant snotty nose!  We are going to continue to see her for healthy maintance every few months or as needed. 

You can find Dr. Lynn and read more about her work  with babies and children at

I am writing this just to share our experience with chiropractic care we have not been compensated in anyway. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trail Mix

I am always looking for healthy easy kids snacks and I forgot about making my own trail mix. 

This weeks Trail Mix:

Cereal, raisins, sun flower seeds and dried apples. 

Apparently I have been on a cereal, nuts and raisins kick, because I also made these yummy One Cup cookies, that are border line healthy but seriously taste so good!  112_0626 Cookies waiting to go in the oven.

I substituted muesli for raisin bran because that is what I had on hand.  I think these are my new favorite cookies!  Oh and easily mixed by hand since I don’t have a fancy mixer! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pizza Pizza


Ummm yummy yummy pizza.  So I am getting this bread maker stuff down.  I have made a few good loves and a few that didn’t rise but I am figuring it out.  But tonight we had the best pizza.

Made the dough using the basic bread maker recipe.  Then added tomato sauce,  mozzarella and other cheeses, bell pepper, Garlic (for Sean’s half) and sausage (made at Nugget market, its the best),.  It was super good.  Sean says one of the best pizzas ever.  112_0614

I also like that I can pinch off a bit of dough and let Rorie make her own.  She made a heart, added sauce, cheese, bell peppers (I don’t think she knew what the red stuff was but she put it on and ate it) and sausage!  She loves making it and I think she eats more because its her own creation.  112_0617

Tomorrow Sean says he will make French Toast with homemade bread so I gotta go program the machine.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

recycle, reduce and REUSE

I try to buy in bulk, we get a CSA box, shop at farmers market and I am learning to make bread, etc.  All of these things help reduce the amount of wasted packaging that we bring home.  However we still get a considerable amount of empty bottles, plastic containers and cardboard boxes.  So I started a new bag of stuff that can be washed and reused, here are some of the things we have reused so far.

Medicine bottle: Small soap container for camping or milk container for kids kitchen

Plastic fruit container: storage container, snack container, kids craft:

Cardboard box: Kids toy, packing box, storage

Water bottles: Lady bug carrier (to bring lady bugs home from camping to our garden). 

Egg Carton: Kids craft or seed starter

Many containers also make great sand, dirt or water play toys.

Some containers waiting to be 112_0613REUSED.

This blog post was inspired on this weekends camping trip.  We went car camping with friends in the Sierra Nevada's.  It was tons of fun and the kids had a blast.  We camped by a creek but it was not at a campsite with amenities, so we had to bring all our water and pack out our garbage.  So we brought reusable plates, water bottles, etc.  Our friends (who are great people just not so good at the 3 R’s) brought a huge thing of plastic water bottles, paper plates, etc. and completely did not understand why we would spend a few minutes washing the plates in the creek rather than throwing paper ones away.  So at the end of a two day trip we had 2 bags of garbage, which we had to pack out in our cars.  I don’t like to be wasteful at home, but when I am camping and enjoying nature with my family I feel even more guilty.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Chariot.

The kids in our new bike trailer after a morning at the park.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freezer French Toast Sticks

So I am always looking for New Easy Healthy breakfast, lunch and snack ideas for the kids.  Also we are trying to use all the food in our fridge and not throw anything away.  Well I found a few bags of bread that was no longer great for sandwiches but was still totally edible.  So I searched around and found ideas for day old bread online.  I decided to make French Toast Sticks which the kids devoured, however I still made way to many so I found you could freeze them.


3 eggs

1/2 milk

1/4 Orange Juice

1 tbsp vanilla

Several Pieces of Day old bread cut into 1” strips

Mix eggs, milk, OJ and vanilla.  Pore over day old bread.  Heat skillet to Med High with a bit of oil or butter.  Brown on both sides.

Serve with dippers: We used apple sauce and maple syrup today.  I think yogurt would have been a good dipper as well. 

Freezer: So my kids loved them but I made way to many.  I froze them (just throw them in a freezable container) and reheat in the microwave or toaster oven (great for a quick before school breakfast).  That reminds me I have to go retrieve the one I attempted to reheat in the regular toaster and it got stuck! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reusable Snack Bags

In an effort to reduce waste and plastic of course our family has started to use reusable bags.  They are great for lunches, sandwiches, crackers, fruit and other snacks.  Anytime you would use a Ziploc you can use a reusable bag instead.   Be sure to add these to your back to school shopping list!


Check them out here:

Would you like to try them for free? 

Yes its finally giveaway time! 

The winner will get to pick a reusable bag set from reusezone!  That is one sandwich and one snack bag in the pattern of your choice!  reusablebag2

A big thanks to Jess at reusezone for sponsoring this contest!

See my FB page for giveaway directions! 

Blackberry Picking and Jam!

On Sunday we went see Grandma and Grandpa who live on a farm outside of Placerville CA. The kids love going to see their grandparents and they have so much fun there. 112_0567This weekend we spent about three hours picking blackberries. They have tons of wild blackberry bushes growing on their property and Grandma Eileen used the neighbor's tractor to clear paths so we could pick berries. After three hours we had two large buckets of very ripe blackberries.

What's a person to do with all those blackberries? Make Jam of course. (on a side note Sean and I had 112_0577never canned anything before). So we drove home put the kids to bed, I ran to the store for canning supplies and we made Jam until midnight! We were tired but it was lots of fun and so nice to eat your creation the next day for breakfast.

112_0592 We finished with 8 pint sized Jars!

Sustainable Notes: The whole process of picking, making it into Jam and canning was fun. It was great to do it together as a family. The cost of the Jam was minimal for Sugar, pectin and jars (which we will reuse). We will now be able to enjoy blackberries out of season and I may be able to talk Sean into giving some as gifts. Canning our own Jam also had minimal energy, packaging and pollution!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fun Fruity Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Rorie helped me mix up some chicken salad today. It was a great recipe for her to help with because she could add all the ingredients to the bowl and do the mixing. I thought she would be more willing to eat it after helping but she only had one bite and could not decide if she liked it or not. 112_0559

Basic Recipe:

Equal amounts: About 1/4-1/2 cup.

Raisins, Cooked shredded chicken, Diced apples, Diced celery, Walnuts, Grapes (I was out of grapes today so I skipped them)

1 small container plain whole milk yogurt

Curry (to taste)

Mix in a bowl and serve on lettuce, bread, crackers, tortillas or in a pita. Keeps for a few days.

I like this because I don’t like mayonnaise and it is a great way to use cooked chicken without having the day old poultry taste. Also you can vary the ingredients to what you have on hand. Orange Juice, Pineapple and/or mango’s (although not local) are also great additions.

Eating Local: Chicken, apples and yogurt were all local and bought at the food co op. The celery came in my CSA box (local). The walnuts and raisins were not local however I can purchase them local in the future.

Planting Carrots


Today we are starting our fall garden. Maybe a little behind schedule but we just started our summer garden a few weeks ago so better late than never (we were out of the country until the middle of July).

We used egg cartons to plant 36 carrot seeds. Hopefully a lot of them take. Our summer garden is having its ups and downs. We planted it at the end of July with maturing plants from the local nursery. We have had some trouble with aphids and spider mites on our112_0550 tomatoes but our latest pest is the biggest of all Leo! I found 4 green tomatoes that he pulled off today alone! ahhhh So if anyone has any ideas for easy organic toddler pest control let me know.

Currently we are container gardening (do to time constraints for our summer garden). However we plan on putting a raised bed in for our fall/winter garden.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Library Time

Today we took a trip the library to participate in Story Time and of course get more books. After a trip gone bad with two cranky kids to the bookstore a few months ago (think screaming child and baby eating books), I decided the library was the place for us. Where else can a kid go and pick out whatever they want to bring home with almost no limitations. Then if we bring home a few books that aren’t very good, its okay because we’re not stuck with them. I also like the lesson the kids are learning, that we can borrow books and we don’t have to buy everything and still get to enjoy it.

Don’t forget you can use the library websites just like ordering from a bookstore, except you have to go pick it up.

Now if only I had a bike seat for Leo we could ride there too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Free Toys!

This one is pretty basic, when something comes in a box, I give the box to the kids for a while to play with (until they destroy it or we need it for something else).  We also have turned empty containers and bottles into “toy food” for the kids kitchen (think ketchup, mustard, yogurt and raisin containers).  Egg cartons and strawberry containers can be turned leoinaboxinto lots of different kids crafts too. 

I like to do this because the kids get a new “toy” it is free and gives them a few minutes or hours of entertainment.  Then once it is destroyed or forgotten by them I use it for something else or recycle it. 


Monday, August 16, 2010

Dryer balls anyone????

These are my new favorite laundry thing. Ever since I started cloth diapering my daughter over 3 years ago I started using eco laundry detergent and rubber dryer balls. This was to help get the diapers clean and well rinsed so they wouldn’t stink. Well one thing I missed was fragrant smelling clothes. My clothes came out clean but with no scent.

SCENTED Wool Dryer Ball - Many available Scents to Choose

In comes wool dryer balls. These things are awesome, come in any scent you want, reusable and plastic free! Only drawback so far is you have to get your kids to stop playing with them and put them back in the dryer!

I ordered my Dryer Balls on Etsy of course, from Bare Bebe:

She got back to me quickly with a custom order and my Dryer Balls shipped out quickly. Oh and did I mention I love how they make my clothes smell!

I did not receive anything for writing this post, I just love my wool dryer balls and think more people should try them!