Monday, September 5, 2011

Sea Pearl Natural Sea Sponge Tampon Review

I've fianlly tried my first natural tampon and I am in love!
After finding out about the product, I waited nearly a year to try Sea Pearl's sea sponge tampons and I am so grateful I did!

Since the birth of my first that caused a very natural shift in my cycle I have struggled to find a system that works well and is comfortable. I chose the largest (and hardest to find) O.B. and never gave it a second thought for many years, even while "greenifiyin" my child care and learning about the benefits of living naturally. Honestly, it never crossed my mind until the home water birth (VBAC2)of my third child. Our Midwife, Michelle Foster Gawne of Heart to Heart Birth Center suggested I use a natural alternative and turned me on to the Sea Pearls.

I can remember the first time I wore a plastic pad. I cried. I was 12 years old and in a diaper, I thought, and EVERYONE around me knew I was bleeding. Thankfully, I went to stay with an Aunt that summer who loved to swim. The day she found out I thought I couldn't go swimming because I was on my period was the day I met tampons, and other than childbirth, I never looked back. I used over the counter, plastic wrapped, bleached tampons from the time I was 12 until now, I am 33.

I bought two of the premium size large sea sponges and they are so silky soft and easy to rinse out! The absorbancy really astonished me! After completing a cycle with them I have only had one whoops and I was at the beach and having too much fun to go to the bathroom. (Sound familiar to anyone?!) I loved the freedom of not having to take a bag with me everywhere, no hunting down my bag in social situations or running to the car in an emergency. The only thing I needed for a change was a bathroom stall and a sink! And, for you girls who perfer them, no more wrapping pads and leaving them in some one's trash can either! The whole experience with my cycle this time around was cleaner, easier and even less painfull than I can remeber in the past.

I know it may sound really intimidating to wash out your own tampons, but it has proved, so far, to be much more convieniant and sanitary. Washing them out also gave me a chance to get to know my body better.
The only draw back is, I would like to order more Sea Pearls to have on hand in different sizes and the yam butter lube. I ordered the silky smooth upgrade and with out ever having seen the alternative I know it was way worth the value!!!

I give this product two feathers up! If you decide to try Sea Pearls, or have any questions before you decide to order, I would love to hear from you!

I ordered my sponges from Jade and Pearl
Those of you who know me, know I am not the consuming type, but I think I would like two of everything from this local, Eco-Friendly, small business! Here is what they have to say about Sea Pearls.
"Sea Pearls are convenient - no more running to the store for emergency tampons. Compared to the cost of conventional single use tampons and pads, our reusable Sea Pearls save you money and you will never again need to worry about polluting the environment with used feminine hygiene products. Can you believe the average woman uses nearly 17,000 disposable pads and tampons throughout her lifetime? In North America alone, an estimated 20 billion bleached pads and tampons end up in our landfills and sewage systems each year!So for your reproductive health and comfort, for the planet, for a change. . . try Sea Pearls!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Natural Hair Care Solutions: Part II - How I survived hair care war!

I have to say that the hair care solution was a little bumpier of a
transition than I anticipated. In fact, it kinda felt like raging a war!

I had build up, knots; once I even stripped the color from my hair by using
baking soda for a shampoo rinse! It got a little hairy there for a minute
and I have to say that rather than freak out about putting shampoo out
of a plastic bottle, i.e. store bought, loaded with the SLS chemicals and
packaged in plastic bottles on my skin/head, I stopped washing my hair
but maybe once a week! It was like a hair care battle field man! Aren’t
you glad you have me at the front lines to test for you!?!
Onward Eco-Soldier!

The first natural shampoo I tried was African Black Soap and Oat Straw,
which is pretty much what my hair felt like when I was done!

Momma Green Bird Black Soap Review :
"And talk about the WOW factor! You can use this stuff for just about
ANYTHING on the whole family!"

Then I made a Castile shampoo and used a hot Sunflower oil treatment before shampooing.
Who says we have to condition AFTER we wash right?
My hair felt great…
after two days of rinsing to get the oil residue out!

The second Castile experiment added water and a drop or two of
Sunflower oil. I mixed it all up in my Honey Bear and went to squirtin. It
worked best out of all the homemade concoctions, but still left my hair
feeling brittle, unmanageable and a little sticky.

Well, I thought maybe there didn’t have to be a soap, maybe baking
soda will work as a rinse.
It took this dye job:
And STRIPPED it! Thank Goddess my dye is gentle!

My hair was beginning to get pretty upset at this point, so I went back
to what mainstream stuff I had here for a washing/conditioning or two(that’s 1-2 weeks).
NOTE: throwing all your “chemical” stuff down the drain to saturate the
Earth with said chemicals is NOT the recommen
ded method of disposal.
Gradually using up what you have
already purchased and reusing the containers for your homemade stuff
is the most Eco-Friendly method in most cases.

Out of sheer frustration and just needin to whine to someone I called
on the Highest and most Knowledgeable Source on Natural Living in my life.
My mother was born in 1932 to Tiny Fitzhough Cartwright. Granma Tiny
raised 8 other children through The Depression and Mother had so
many miraculous Reduce/Reuse and Natural remedies and ideas I
could hardly keep up! It was a necessary way of life for them! As an
aside, I asked her to write them down for me!

Mom gave me some great ideas and some of them I loved so much I
use on a regular basis! She reminded me of that plastic cup in the
bathroom no matter what house we were in. And that we didn't have
much, but it never seemed like we were in lack of anything. Because
we were VERY self sustainable. Country Folk can Survive, I guess!
...Dang, I outta write a song about that...

Natural Hair Care Solutions: Part I - Why Bother?

Greetings Fellow Green Goddesses! Can you believe my Little Bird has turned ONE already?!? Walkin, Talkin, Playing music and singing. Wow! Time flies when your havin fun I guess!

Anywho, that’s where I’ve been the past couple of weeks, and after a great celebration I am happy to be back with a new series for you. Natural Hair Care.

I have been asked many times by my Long Locked Goddess buddies what I use on my waist length hair. So, I thought I would put together a sort of guide for you, with recipes and ideas on natural shampoos and conditioners as well as product such as hair gel, wax and some frizzy hair pudding!

But, why bother with changing my mainstream hair care routine you ask?
For a number of different reasons, some of the largest being Health and Environmental positive impact and happy little side effects like Convenience, and Cost vs. Value. I.e. saving money!

Most mainstream soaps. I.e.Shampoo, Bubble bath, Dish soap, Laundry detergent contain a member of the Sodium Laureth Sulphate family.
"The substance may be toxic to skin. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."
Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many
human organs."

Check out some other blogs and websites on the topic:
You can find more solutions and information here, including a recipe made with staple ingredients!
Eco-Friendly Multipurpose Cleaner and SLS Info.

The Green List has information from The Journal of the American College of Toxicology report

The Case Against Sodium Laureth Sulfate
"Narelle Chenery, Director of Research and Development for ONE Group and formulator of the world's first certified organic skin and body care products, Miessence, and member of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists looks at the much maligned and often misunderstood chemical, sodium laureth sulfate." She claims, "Whilst SLES is often claimed to be natural because it can be derived from coconut oil, it is the manufacturing process that bears looking into."

And as far as Cost VS. Value and Convenience, when you purchase a product that has many uses around your house, in other words it works hard for you, then it is worth the "pay" or cost to purchase that item. Two such items are Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda. Those two items have uses in nearly every aspect of life here. Food, health, beauty, medicine.We call them "staples".
Not only are they cheap and come in sustainable/reusable packaging but they are also OF the Earth. There for Earth Friendly! Do the math in your situation. Need a little help? Shoot me an email
THIS is how we Go Green without Going Broke peeps!

*Stay Tuned for the second segment in Natural Hair Care Solutions "My Journey".

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homebirth on the Rise

I offered some information from my book in progress to this young lady. What a well written article! Way to perpetuate the energy Amanda! And thank you for the connection Facebook!

Lovin the Planet with Earth Momma and Baby friendly Bug Spray

Greetings Earthlings! It's been a little while since my last entry so I thought I would drop by with a quick recipe. Earth Momma and Baby Friendly Bug Spray.

As with most of my how to knowledge this one was born of necessity with Raven's first camping trip!
I made two batches, one that was FOOD GRADE and another with some patchouli for mom to share with the girls! Both were a hit and although you had to reapply often, it worked and smelled GREAT! In fact, strangers even commented on the pleasant scent!
I would like to take a moment to say, all life has value, even that tiny annoying bug. They have their place among the circle just like we do, I would just rather our place not be FOOD! The best course of action is to be on a certain level of connection with the bug. After all God/Goddess/Creator made you all. You’ll find that when you become more connected to this Earth energy, you will look more towards natural remedies that you can make easily from basic ingredients with little to no impact on the planet. When your perspective shifts from that of the Consumer i.e. “Where can I buy earth friendly products?” To the Doer “What can I use to make my own?” You will find small miracles happening. With your health, your attitude, and maybe even your checkbook. THIS is how my journey has become so green and a lot of the times less expensive. Sure, you can buy an Eco-Baby friendly bottle of spray or balm, but why consume a “one use only” product bottled in, chances are, resource depleting packaging that just so happens to be one more thing for the landfill or recycle bins. But why, when you can go purchase some reusable bottles (all of my E.O. bottles are glass and washable) with ingredients you can use all over your home? It's all about getting back into alignment with our Planet. Really connecting with her and connecting with her energies.
Ok, so on to the recipe!

Eco-baby Bug Spray

* food grade.
3 oz sprayer bottle. (you can get a plastic one for a dollar but I do not recommend it as the vodka eats the plastic seal. Look for glass reusable sprayers from your local health food stores.)
100 proof vodka (cheap stuff works great!)
5 drops grape seed oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
Funnel (optional)
Shake before each use.

Place the bottle on a sturdy surface and pour a small amount of the vodka into the bottle so the essential (E.O.) oil drops disperse nicely and do not stick to the bottle.
Add your E.O. and grape seed oil then fill with vodka and shake.
Taaaa-daaaa!! Easy, Safe, smell good bug spray!
Notes: you can always add more E.O. to your taste or what works for your area. Be careful around babies face and eyes as these oils are a little camphorous, but all items in this specific recipe are edible and safe for ingestion through the skin and mouth. To be honest my basic E.O. stash has lavender and rosemary and grape seed at all times because they are so versatile. From bug spray to food flavorings to aroma therapy! You also do not have to worry about applying this to broken skin as it may actually help to disinfect (vodka, lavender and rosemary) and heal (essential oils and grape seed oil) any boo boos or scratched bites!
The grape seed oil can be substituted for any other carrier oils like jojoba or olive even. Just remember that some oils have a small shelf life. Grape seed is my favorite because it is cheap, very good for the skin, does not lay heavy or leave fragrance and I can cook with it too! I highly recommend a good rub down with some coconut oil before leaving the house or tent as it will help the spray to “stick” and last a little longer.
Fragrance ideas:

Gone to the Hippies
Food grade recipe plus patchouli! YUMM!

Tree Hugger's Special

You are my Sunshine
citron vodka
citrus eucalyptus e.o.
citronella (not too much)
Lemon Grass or Lemon Verbena

The sky is the limit as to what you can do with this! Have fun and report back your favorite recipe!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Simple Sunscreen Solutions and why you need them.

Ahhh, it’s that time of year again! The Springs fill up before 9 am with hordes of families and their school aged children. The thermometer on the patio often reaches above 90 and the heat index can climb over 100! Good Ol’ Florida Sunshine weather! I don’t know about you, but I hear the nearest swimming hole callin my name!

Of course packin up is a bit more of a production these days, what with the addition of an infant to pack for and all, but the basics stay about the same. Towels, dry clothes, food, water, sunscreen…
Sunscreen. It was one of those things I hadn’t thought about “greenifyin” until we needed it this season. I KNEW there had to be something amiss here, I mean, even if you DO like the smell, you gotta know something just isn’t right about it. Not to mention it’s yet another source of consumerism that causes a strain on our resources.

Petroleum for instance, is a non-renewable resource; how much of it was used to create that fancy bottle and it’s tropical like ingredients?? I’ll give you an idea: Petroleum is a very good sunscreen and was more than likely used in making the bottle too. In response to the general population’s call for products and transportation to be more accessible or socially acceptable our Plant is being raped and our Brothers and Sisters murdered. The illusion of our dependence on petroleum fuel is a disgrace. We appear to be a tax on our own Planet and danger to our own. Citizens of the U.S., think one moment on the oil families in our country and what we have suffered under their rule! Citizens of the World, remember the recent damage in the Gulf and ask yourself, “Would they be drilling for it if we weren't BUYING it?”

How many sunscreen bottles do you think are setting in the landfill right now? No idea? Let’s play math for a second. The “official” number for the Florida 2010 Census is: 18,801,310.
Let’s just say that only HALF of those Floridians use only ONE bottle of sunscreen this year. That’s 9,400,655 bottles of chemical laden, resource depleting, potentially hazardous product stinkin up our landfills! Even if we assume that two thirds of these Sun Patrons bought an environmentally healthy alternative, that’s still 3,133,552 bottles or so and that’s assuming that each person only uses/purchases one bottle!
Here is the “official” Census 2010 site:

As you can see, the Sunscreen case is shaping up to be a big one and being the fine steward of my Planet and Humanity that I am I did a little more digging. I found some more interesting stuff for you and yep, there will be a pop quiz and solution at the end!

Science Class:
With a little help from my friends at Might Nest:
“Sunscreens themselves can seem like a mystery with all of their strange ingredients and acronyms and unfortunately, like all skincare products, are almost entirely unregulated by the U.S. government. One common sunscreen ingredient in particular to watch out for is the synthetic chemical oxybenzone. It is an endocrine disruptor which affects the nervous system, has been linked to cancer in some laboratory studies, and creates harmful free-radicals from sun exposure. Another area of potential concern that has arisen is that of nanomaterials. These are widely used in sunscreens to eliminate the chalky appearance of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Reports indicate that nanomaterials small size makes them more able to enter the lungs, pass through cell membranes, and possibly penetrate damaged or sun-burnt skin.”
Avoid sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone, DMDM Hydantoin, Triethanolamine, Parabens, Fragrance, and spray sunscreens (with nanoparticles)
• Look up your sunscreen in the Cosmetics Database, an extensive list run by a science non-profit that tracks what is healthy and what is not in skincare products.
We’ve done the homework for you by only offering sunscreens that are free of known toxins.”

Phew, did ya get all that?
READ YOUR LABELS! Be your own scientist! There are no real regulations on the words “green” and “natural” so our best defense is a good offense. Educate yourself on what NOT to buy and then go a hunting. Also keep in mind when you CONSUME a product that even though the content of that bottle may be a healthier solution, you are STILL consuming the packaging! And believe it or not there are home remedies one can implement as well.

I specifically noted the Mighty Nest information because anytime I hear “endocrine disruptor” red flags go up! Our endocrine system is directly linked to our Chakras! Let me catch you up to speed as to why that matters:
“The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk and refers to a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column.”

“Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Thus, each chakra can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that chakra.”

Talk about jackin up the airways people! I think this is one your local friendly neighborhood Nurse, Reiki Master and Acupuncturist could agree on. The endocrine system/Chakra bioenergetic system relationship is not only vital to both our emotional and Spiritual health, but to our physical health as well! My personal belief states that my intuition and connection to the Source or God is also directly linked to this bioenergetic system within this space ship I call a body. THE most important connection of my Being in all dimensions. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll take a chance on that one, thank you! And honestly, no matter what your belief system is, armed with information, ANYONE can clearly see that it might be worth a second glace when you go to buy that bottle of goop whose ingredients you can’t pronounce, with the assaulting, chances are fake fragrance! I have to admit, I do love the smell of some! It’s just so overpowering no one around you has a choice in the matter!

So, solutions you say?
As you wish!

Sunscreen Recipe:

Coconut oil:Reapply often. I rub this stuff into my skin right after every shower rather than pack it for the beach. I also drop in some E.O. and make an aromatherapy rub.
Downside: It is a bit costly, and can be unstable in hot conditions.

Shea Butter:Reapply often. I have some of this in house at all times for many different health and beauty recipes and to use on its own. Shea butter is a VERY healing substance. Again, may not be real stable in hot conditions.

Black Soap:can leave Coconut, Shea and Palm oils behind. Poof! You just added sunscreens to your skin when you bathed!
For more info on the black soap and shea butter see my friend and local merchant Jackie!

Food Choices I found this very interesting. You are what you eat!

Exposing myself to the Sun in small increasing increments so that I have a slight color to my skin has seemed to help a great deal when I find myself caught out without adequate skin protection.

I also have the sense God gave a goose and take refuge in the shade as often as possible and wear a wide brimmed hat when I’m out too!
Episencial Sunscreen Product Review
My youngest most assuredly inherited what I like to call my “Blue vein Irish” skin. Protection is a must for us both so I do buy a product that is made with the health of both the planet and our family in mind by Episencial, from a local vender.
The product is made with organic, natural ingredients that I can understand in a facility that runs on Solar power from renewable resources.
There are a lot of natural skin protectors and sunscreens in the recipe like Shea butter, Green tea, Comfrey, Aloe vera and beeswax along with Sunflower and Sesame seed oils.
It is water resistant SPF 35 and safe enough for the entire family with no added fragrance.
The residue is due to the lack of harmful nanomaterials, and use of Zinc Oxide(10%) so I do NOT recommend putting it on your face unless you want to impersonate a ghost!
It is made with Environmental responsibility and my family's health in mind.
The residue is due to the lack of harmful nanomaterials, and use of Zinc Oxide(10%) so I do NOT recommend putting it on your face unless you want to impersonate a ghost!
We use it VERY sparingly as it is expensive. I paid $10 for a 4 fl oz tube!
It will leave behind a residue that’s kinda hard to get off and looks like desitin.
It is also not very stable, meaning it will get very runny with heat but it’s in a tube so a little easier to use. Next camping trip I may just put it in the cooler where I keep my coconut oil!
"Packaged in recycled and sustainable materials, and manufactured using solar power, Episencial products are good for your babies, kids and the planet!"

Get to know the creator of Episencial:
"A second-generation skin care expert from the family that developed the world renowned Epicuren® anti-aging skin care products, she now combines her activism for health and environmentalism with expertise in clinical skin care and nutritional science to develop green, effective skin care for pregnant women and children."
So, there ya have it! Hopefully I have given you enough information for you to make an educated choice, if not, hit up Google or better yet, shoot me an email!

“Change, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can affect great progress in the long run!” ~A.J.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dread Heads, Shampoo Sorrows and Lab Rats!

Due to the SLS factor* and not being one who buys into specialty products that easily, I am finding myself in a bit of a quandary over my hair. It has ALWAYS been my crown and I want what’s healthiest for it! When I was little my grandmother brushed, washed and styled it. And then when I had children of my own they would vie for who got to brush mommy’s hair before bed. I cut it short a few times in my life, and didn’t really dig it any of them. I love my hair; it’s a lot like a security blanket.
Unfortunately, after 3 children and many years of being exposed to chemicals and free radicals, my hair is thin, dry and brittle. It even got a bit of a wave to it after being stick straight for most of my life! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going bald or anything. My hair is just totally different than it used to be and requires a lot more attention. For the last 13 years it’s been mandatory that I use some sort of conditioner and the clean rinsing shampoo recipes I have cause my hair to knot and tangle! I still haven’t found a natural conditioner that works as well as the stuff in the bottle does.
I have found a recipe for a Yucca and Mallow shampoo that sounds great. The chic on the video that gave the recipe said she uses it and her hair looked very healthy and thick. Most people even have these plants in their yard and don’t even know it!! I will most definitely give it a try sooner or later as I am still working on identifying the wild natives on the property. We will see, and I’ll keep you posted. Better yet, why doesn’t some one try it and get back to me?
So, after washing said head of hair with a clean rinsing shampoo I made from castile soap and utilizing a baking soda and honey rinse, I gotta tell ya, my hair was STRIPPED of any residue or gunk. Meaning, it knotted and locked and I had to rewash with icky stuff and use conditioner just to get a brush through it!! One way or the other, something has to change, cause me locks gotta get clean and I will NOT buy another plastic bottle filled with chemical laden poison that’s being poured into Mother Earth by the gallons DAILY, thanks to humans who are willing to put their vanity above Mother’s (and their very own) health! I just cant get down with washin in the same stuff they use on lab rats to cause sores so they can use another chemical to help heal said sores!! That’s just me though…Tree huggin, Dirt worshipper that I am.
... Wait a knotty lockin’ minute here!
Locking up?!
NO brushing?!?
Clean soap?!?!

Sounds like the perfect condition for Dreads to me!!
I have known a few people with dreads and I REALLY love the look. The whole dreadlock journey is calling to me too. The ability to let go of control for a while of SOMETHING sounds both exhilarating and tantalizingly scary. So far, just researching the subject has lead to emotional and personal healing as well as some really great education and Spiritual growth, and I haven’t even put the dreads in yet! Imagine what it will be like when I do!! Yeah, I said it. It’s most likely going to happen. I just gotta get over a few things like, putting knots in my hair on purpose (my grandmother would KILL me!) and finding some one knowledgeable to help (no way I'm dreadin this head alone, it would take days!. Not to mention Dreading your hair is a big commitment and other than my kids, I'm not real big on it and uh, commitment’s just another dirty word if you ask me!So, we will see where the journey leads and I will surely keep you posted.

Until then, what solutions have YOU found for natural hair care products free from harsh chemicals and not stored in resource depleting plastic bottles?

I would love to hear input on this one, whether you have had dreads for years or just started a set.
Even if you’re not a dread head, I bet you have an opinion about or input on Dread Heads,Shampoo Sorrow and Lab Rats!
Happenin Handmade Hippe Dreadwraps and more from my friends at Two Hills!
Love this Dread Head WAHMomma and her hand made Vegan, Earth friendly soaps!

*If you are not familiar with this dangerous and damaging chemical PLEASE read this blog for a detailed description and links with additional information including the MSDS sheet!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lavendar Fields

I’ve had Lavender on the brain folks, for the last month! Lavender oil, Lavender flowers, Lavender mead, Lavender propagation, Lavender Fields foreverrr!!!
So, in celebration of the great and profound things rolling around in my head, I have decided to post the Lavender Cookie Recipe for you!
What is your favorite use for Lavender?

Lavender Cookies
1 Egg
5oz. butter
1 ½ C flour
         ½ C white sugar
                2 T Lavender flowers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Beat the egg and add to the butter and sugar.
  4. Stir in flowers and flour. (I stir in small amounts at a time of the flour for even distribution.)
  5. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake 15-17 minutes.

Alteration: If you want a really delicate and flaky cookie, try handling it like my world famous pie crust! The secret is cold butter, the colder the better! Mix the flowers with the flour. Then place cold butter cubed into ¼’ pieces with some flour in a food processor and pulse until it looks like sand, adding the remaining flour little at a time. Small chunks of butter are cool and you don’t want to over process this! I always just use my hands or the egg beaters; they used to make tools just for this you could probably still find in a Thrift!

So, once the butter and flour are combined, turn this mixture out onto a floured surface. If you can pick up some of it and squish it together until it sticks, push the entire amount together and then wrap it and put it in the fridge. Roll it out after about an hr and make cutter cookies!

Too wet? Add flour.

Too dry? Add water.

Let me know how these turn out for you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nature's way of Dying Easter/Ostara Eggs

Had I thought about this one earlier I would have published it before the Spring Equinox (Ostara), but I thought of it now, so that’s when it will get published!
(I’m just grateful it decided to show up before Easter!;-)

Since my Eldest was little we have celebrated both the Pagan and Christian holidays. It made for a busy year full of crafts, fun, surprises, magic, discovery and honor. There was a time however, that I thought of dropping the Christian ways. But why? Santa is WAY cool! And who wouldn’t want to entice thoughts of a Rainbow colored bunny spreading joy to all the children in forms of sweets and treats?? They don’t have to be imprinted with any social injustice, reminded of any pain, all they want is Joy and Love.

So, with that said, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite things to do in honor of Ostara.
Easter Egg Coloring with Food Dyes.

The first year we did this I remember being astonished at the results! Mother Nature sure does provide some beautiful color! Not to mention It was easy to execute, the materials were all Earth Friendly(except for the Dixie Cups), and way cheap as we just incorporated the ingredients to our meals!
Here were some of my favorites!

Yellow onion skin-GORGEOUS deep orange/brown.
Don’t over think the prep on this, we throw the chopped off ends and scraps into a pot of water when peeling the onion.

Blueberries-they made a more delicious color than the grapes, you can do either or, or experiment and do both!

Kale-didn’t get as green as I wanted, but made a far out bright yellow!

Beets–Canned or jarred beets work well for this!
Anything from Pink, to Scarlet! Mix it with the grape and get purples!

All food items can be boiled,each separately in equal parts water for about 20 minutes.
Strain out the food matter and pour the dye into your desired container.
Add 2T white vinegar per 1 cup of dye.

1.If you would like to make blown eggs, it is better to color them THEN blow out the center. Ask me how I know! ;-)
2.Try drawing on your boiled egg with a white crayon then putting the egg in the dye!

*We have been using Dixie cups,but will be using reused salsa jars in the future.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Eco Friendly Multipurpose Cleaner

Onward and upward in the Green journey we go!

Picking up a cleaner at the market that isn't riddled with 25 letter ingredients, of which you are sure translates in to poison, was one of the most daunting tasks in the Green Journey for me. When I found and tested this recipe series I was elated! I knew most of these ingredients, my mom and grandmother used them in our home growing up!

But before we get on with the recipe, let’s play a game of hide and seek!
Take a trip around your home, read some labels and seek out where Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (also known as Sodium Laureth Sulphate and here on out referred to as SLS) may be hiding!

Hints: Shampoo, dish soap, laundry soap, household cleaners, toothpaste, bubble bath, cosmetic cleansers, you get the idea.
How many times did you find this creepy chemical hiding?

“A study at the University of Georgia Medical College, indicated that SLS penetrated into the eyes as well as brain, heart, liver, etc., and showed long-term retention in the tissues. The study also indicated that SLS penetrated young children's eyes and prevented them from developing properly and caused cataracts to develop in adults...”
..."Sodium lauryl sulfate is used throughout the world for clinical testing as a primary skin irritant. Laboratories use it to irritate skin on test animals and humans so that they may then test healing agents to see how effective they are on the irritated skin."

"In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, SLS also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.This denaturing of skin proteins may even be implicated in skin and other cancers."

MSDS Sheet on SLS:

My other SLS related blogs:
Dread Heads, Shampoo Sorrows and Lab Rats
Natural Hair Care Part I- Why Bother?

I was shocked and disgusted when I researched this one!
Next step, TAKE ACTION!
One of the best ways to get this harmful chemical OUT of our homes once and for all is this easy to make, easy to use, homemade, Eco friendly Triple-Action Multipurpose Cleaner! Again, please be sure to label all containers properly with an ingredients list and keep ALL cleaners out of reach from the curtain climbers!

Triple Action Multipurpose Cleaner
¼ c baking soda
½ c borax
½ c white vinegar
1 g warm water
1.5 g or larger container

Add the warm water to your bucket, add in all other ingredients and stir until dissolved. This solution can be diluted by halving the ingredients if desired.
THAT’S IT!! Now, your ready to clean any hard surface in your home including tile, grout, counter tops, floors, cabinets, this is GREAT for the fridge because it takes any residual smells with it. One could add essential oils to it for aroma therapy or to even boost the cleaning properties..the possibilities are endless! Note: the vinegar smell is a neutralizer, it will fade quickly and take any stink with it!


Friday, April 8, 2011

The icky sticky facts about paper.

The people asked and now they shall receive! Here is a snippet from my workshop on paper diapers and their harmful affects.

Let’s look at some facts and figures about the paper alternative.
-In 1988 nearly $300 million dollars was spent annually just to DISCARD disposable diapers. Cloth diapers can be used 50-200 times before being turned into rags!

-Disposable diapers generate 60x more solid waste and use 20x more raw materials such as crude oil and wood pulp.

-The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3x more water use than cloth.

-Over 300 lbs. of wood, 50 lbs. of petroleum feed stocks and 20 lbs of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR!

-Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up around 50% of the houses waste.

-In May 2000 archives of childhood disease published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers. Prolonged exposure will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal sperm generation.

-Disposable diapers take around 500 yrs to decompose. All the while leaching harmful chemicals back into our planet!

-These are the same chemicals that are so harmful to our little ones!

Such As:

Dioxin- this is used in the paper bleaching process. This is a KNOWN carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer linked chemicals, banned in most countries!
Most feminine products also contain this chemical.
If you are interested in an alternative please contact me for more info!

Tributyl-tin(TBT)- a toxic pollutant KNOWN to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals!

Sodium polyacrylate- is a type of SAP or super absorbent polymer, a similar substance was taken out of tampons in 1980 when it was linked to TSS.

Now Let’s take a look at Economics:
*These figures are based on averages out of San Francisco California a few years back.

-Each baby will use around 6,000 diapers in the first two years.

-This is around 60 diapers a week @ 23 cents per store brand diaper, 28 cents for name brand. This brings us to a 25.5 cent average.

-Based on these numbers we are looking at about $1600 to diaper for two years, or about $66 a month.

-Each family will more than likely need around 6 dozen diapers.

- This is 3 dozen each in two different sizes. This should last two children up to two years!

-This set up can be as low as $300 to as much as $1000 depending on what type of system you purchase, if you make your own, and what materials you use.

-The cheapest diaper I have made cost us about .10 cents. We upcycled some old T-shirts!

-So, you can save as much as 1/10 of the cost of disposables, even more if you use found objects like t-shirts or towels!

We take cloth campin! Are cloth diapers more of an inconvience than paper?

Well, the Tribe is off to festival and I thought I would share with you the rigors of cloth diapering in the wood.

To me, it is worth any slight inconvenience of travel when I out weigh the pros vs cons of cloth diapering. But that's just me, some moms may cloth diaper at home and be afraid to take it a step further, and for other moms who are new to the concept of cloth, maybe this can be a great educational tool for you too, either way, I wanted to share another leg on our journey with you!

So far it has been a blast picking out what part of my fluff stash goes along! AND as an added bonus, we get to show off all those adorable prints (made by none other than muah!)because we won't be needing a cover most of the time!
After packing the bag, I picked it up, tossed it around and sat it on the ground next to the rest of the gear to go in the truck and my bag is no more inconvenient or heavy than a plastic package of diapers large enough for the weekend. This bag contained all of his wipes, diapers, covers, longies and bibs and burp rags!
*Plus it's a pretty rad bag!

The only thing so far that I could see being an "extra" was the small Rubbermaid kitchen trash can with a latching lid we use as the diaper pail. No biggie.

SO, we are off to see the Wizard and I will keep you posted from the wood, and if I'm too busy having fun, well then I will just have to update you when we return to home sweet home!

For now,
Merry Part!


Well, that was easy. We spent the weekend primitive camping and there were only two major differences in the whole diapering routine:

1. We didn't wash the diapers. We were only there for two days, so we just threw them in the diaper pail.
2. I ASSUMED that we would be able to scrape any solid waste into the porta potty. We all know what happens when one assumes anything! I'll spare you the gory details and just say that the portable shower will definitely come in handy next time!

This is what we brought along as far as supplies:

Diaper bag. (duh)
Baby wash cloths for wipes.
Jelly jar with homemade wipes solution.
Diaper pail.

All in all a total thumbs up for cloth and camping!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quinoa- The Super Easy Super Food!

My journey to a greener healthier lifestyle has taken me down many avenues, sometimes it's a tofu super highway where I'm not really sure exactly what to think,sometimes it's a bottomless free fall down the rabbit hole and others it takes me down Easy Street, that's where I met Quinoa (keen-wa).

This ancient grain (which is actually a seed)originated in the Andes and has been around for centuries. It's nutty flavor and rice like texture make it a shoe in for endless possibilities!
Why is it Super you ask? Well, it is "unusually" high in protein, low in carbs and packed full of all 8 amino acids!
Complete nutrition in a tiny, easy to store, easy to use package!

This was the first recipe we used for Quinoa and LOVED it!


* 1/2 cup quinoa
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
(if your are strictly veggie water will work here. we use chicken stock to add flavor!)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
* 1/2 medium onion , chopped
* 1 cup chopped zucchini
* 1 tablespoon chopped basil
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 6 medium tomatoes
* 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Throw Quinoa in your sauce pan, toss in 1T olive oil to coat. Then add in salt,pepper,Italian seasonings,garlic and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 m ins.

2. Sautee onion and zucchini with the other 1T olive oil, paprika and cumin, throw in the fresh basil at the last minute just to wilt.
Tip: I hulled out my tomatoes while all of this was cooking.

3. Once Quinoa is done, combine the two mixtures.

4. Stuff the tomatoes generously, top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs and Parm cheese.

5. Cover and bake @ 350 for about 20 mins. Tomatoes should be warm not squishy.
Tip: After the tomatoes are cooked, I uncovered them and turned the broiler on for a few minutes to brown the top!

Nutritional Info:
164.1 calories
3.4g fat
0.7g saturated fat
5.9g protein
30.6g carbohydrate
1 mg cholesterol
4.2g fiber

After trying this, we decided that we wanted more crunch and less tomato so I made this alteration and THIS is my favorite so far!!

1. Prepare Quinoa just as above.
2. Prepare onion and zucchini just as above.
(yes, same spices)
3. After you have mixed the two together, tear up some raw baby spinach and stir into the mixture.
4. Spray a bread loaf pan with some non stick spray and transfer the Quinoa, onion, zucchini and spinach mixture to your bread pan.
5. Sprinkle Parmesan bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top, this is going to brown up into yummy, crunchy deliciousness!
6. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 mins, keeping an eye on the top. Once its all nice and warm, if the top is not as brown as you want it, then just turn on the broiler for a few minutes, but watch it carefully!

The possibilities are endless with this stuff!
Have fun and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flouride Free Toothpaste

Before we begin, let’s address the issue of fluoride.
This is a very popular debate with both sides having some very valid points.
It is my own personal belief that we are told we “need” way more of this chemical than we really do. And if you still think that you “need” fluoride, ask yourself if your water is fluorinated? If so, are you or your children running the risk of fluorosis by getting TOO much?

Do the research yourself; find out what works for your family…

Start here if you like

Here in this nest, we are done with prepackaged, chemical filled, artificially flavored and colored toothpaste.
So I made some ;-)

1/2 cup Baking soda –whitens and cleans teeth.
1/4 cup Hydrogen peroxide- disinfects the gums.


I know, this make it yourself stuff is hard isn't it??


When we took this for a dry run (literally) we found out very quickly that capping it is a good idea because it will dry out very quickly!

It looks way runny when you first make it, but by the second day it looks more like paste, so just let it set.

If you want to add some flavor or minty freshness use some Stevia, this stuff is WAY healthier than sugar and a drop or two of your favorite oil will help spice it up a bit.


It feels like brushing with the Sahara but I find that the "so fresh and so clean, clean" feeling lasts a lot longer than regular toothpaste!
And it's a bit of a perk that I can scrub my sink and it's fixtures with the same mixture! Good bye white toothpaste scum FOREVERRRRR!


I have been using a little different of a formula recently.
I took out the peroxide and added coconut oil and bentonite clay. Its really hard on my sink, LOL, BUT I like it WAY better! I also add a little bit of stevia so my son will like it.
Side note:
Women past their 1st trimester and nursing women should stay away from peppermint oil. It will actually dry up your milk, and it’s a blood thinner.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Black Soap Review

Some of you may have heard of this stuff, but it's new suds to me!
I ran across it at a local market and just had to try it, I mean after all, my people deserve it, right? It had nothing to do with the fact that I was looking to overhaul my own Goddess routine, no , not a bit...

Traditional African Black Soap is a hand made product from (you guessed it) Africa. Now, this stuff that I am using and recommending here is made in WEST Africa and according to my research the recipes can vary depending on tribal culture and location. One tribe may have a better source for Plantain where as the other has more Shea Tree bark etc.

The basic concept of creation here is the tribal ladies put all the plant matter/tree bark into a cauldron or other fire proof container large enough to do the job and set it all a flame!
(Yes dear Becky, I thought of you!)
After it has burned down to ash, water is added and the mixture is brought to a boil where the stirring process begins. In a separate pot the oils are heated and then slowly added to the ash mixture. Once all the ingredients are living the happy family life, they are then turned out to cure.

Talk about Au Natural !

And talk about the WOW factor! You can use this stuff for just about ANYTHING on the whole family! Those of you who know me personally will understand the weight this stuff carries with me when I tell you that not only do I use it on my youngest son, but its the only thing I will wash his face with other than our homemade wipes solution or pure water!

And there's MORE!

Not only do I feel nice and clean after a black soap scrub-a-dub-dub, but it has actually IMPROVED the health of my skin! I get the tight, tingly "I know my face is clean" feeling with out ANY dryness! And just in case you haven't read my Sweet N Soulful Sugar Scrub review (shame shame!), I am a "blue vein" Irish whose skin shrivels at the THOUGHT of soap!

So far we have used black soap with wondrous results on:
dry feet
baby rash
sun parched skin

You can also put a little bit into a shampoo bottle, add water and shake shake shake your way to a liquid soap which my supplier says is a more cost effective way to use it!

And just as an aside here, it's soft so you can pull off a chunk and shape it into cool works of art if you want! I took a heart shaped piece to a friend to try.

So, hit up my supplier at and try it out!
For those of you local, shoot me an email and I can tell you where her store front is!

If you decide to go with a different supplier please be sure your soap is fair trade and these ladies are being justly compensated for their work!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Money and Earth saving laundry soap

Money and Earth saving laundry soap

Credit be to Angie from for this Earth saving, penny pinching laundry soap!

Did you know that the enzymes and fabric brighteners in your mainstream soap STAY in your clothes and washer? YEP! The military won't even allow detergents with fabric brighteners because it can be picked up via infrared cameras!

We have been using a "clean rinsing" detergent since the birth of my youngest son and I have used them in the past for cloth diapering as well, as the oils, enzymes and other "ickies" in your mainstream stuff tend to break baby out. (and remember, the dryer sheets are made with petroleum as well, they are a HUGE no no for cloth diaper care!)
This has been by far the easiest most "user friendly" recipe I've found, so I thought I'd share it with my faithful viewers! (yeah, YOU!)

Items needed:
5 gallon bucket
washing SODA (yellow arm n hammer box)
bar soap
stirrin stick
pot (ummm, the kind ya cook in man)


1 bar soap
ivory is 99%pure, chances are the 1% is the fragrance but not sure.
Dr. Bronners is also a personal favorite
(think lavender, or peppermint ;-)
1/2c. borax
1/2c. washing soda ( a must for us Fl folk!)
3g water

1.Grate bar in a bowl
tip: lightly oil grater to aid in clean up
2.Fill a 5 g bucket with 3 g water
mark the bucket at the 3 g line so you wont have to measure it out again.
(know some one who has horses? use their feed bucket! Think reuse!)
3.Take out a pot dipper of the water to warm on the stove.
4.add grated soap and stir to dissolve. no need to cook.
5.combine the borax and washing powder and stir into the bucket until dissolved.
6.combine melted bar soap to bucket and stir well.
7.let stand 24 hrs. mixture will congeal. sometimes there is a bit in the bottom still "loose" but thats cool!

top loader :1/2c per load
He front:1/4c per load

Cost per top load is .1 cent >;)
Earth Friendly, Skin Friendly.
Angie made a really good point during her demo on this product:
It's completely customizable!
Some of us may not like scents at all
Some of us might
This little piggy had roast beef....
oh, sorry, got distracted.....

YOU control what and how much for the needs of your family.

Hints and tips:
- Before using your first load of a clean rinsing detergent, strip the washer and
your clothes of the residue from non-clean rinsing formulas.
To strip just use the hottest water allowable for the load and ivory.
-CLEARLY MARK ALL CONTAINERS! it's highly recommended
(and quiet genius I thought) to put the recipe ON the bucket!

what can I say? whiter whites, cleaner clean, better for the Earth, better for our health and it's sinfully CHEAP! yeah, way thumbs up on this one momma!!
A new staple in this nest!
Posted by Alice aka Momma Greenbird at 5:44 AM 0 comments
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Labels:alice,green,mommagreenbird eco friendly, green detergent, laundry, laundry soap
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet N' Soulful Coffee Scrub

Sweet N' Soulful Coffee Scrub

The first gift of the Earth to cross my skin that I would like to share is coconut oil.

The way I came across this was happenstance really.
(Although, I don’t buy into the coincidence train. It all happens for a reason my friends!)
I was retrieving my youngest son from a fellow Goddess who had watched him so I could get a message and we traded some Shea butter for coconut oil. I knew that this stuff was like gold,but wasn’t too clear on the hows and whys so I decided to do some research.

The easiest recipe I found was for a sugar scrub that included one of the most miraculous substances on the face of the planet…COFFEE!
Well, now, coffee+sugar+coconut oil..Yes I think so!!

I immediately concocted the following recipe in my VERY scientific lab otherwise known as the kitchen; in a little less than 10 minutes.
Below the recipe you will find my review, health benefits, suggestions and other musing thoughts I know you are waiting for with baited breath!
Sweet N’ Soulful Coffee scrub
2 TBS White Sugar
2 TBS Ground Coffee
1 TBS Coconut Oil
2 TBS Plain Yogurt

1. Combine all dry ingredients.
P.s. you can use coffee grounds you have already used in the coffee maker! Talk about recycling!!!
2. Add oil and yogurt
I only use the yogurt once in a while, so I don’t add it to my mix. I also found that really smashing the oil into the sugar and grounds helps. Good way to get out that stored anger!

That’s it! Really!
Now onto storing, using and all that other jazz you might what to know:
If you want, you can keep it in the fridge, especially if you’ve opted for the yogurt.
As I stated before, I don’t mix the yogurt in, so I have been keeping it in an unsealed container in the bathroom.
The only problem with this is the oil tends to melt when it gets warm and will separate from the mix a little. No biggie. I just mix it up in my hand.

I would also recommend taking what portion you are going to use out before your Goddess routine begins and putting the rest back as wet hands might compromise the mixture.

The only con to this scrub is the way it smells and tastes! I can’t seem to keep my fingers out of it when I’m in the shower! Figured that one out when I used some on my lips, YUMMMMMMIE!

Me and my blue vein Irish self have VERY sensitive skin and if something cleans well, it dries me out and if it doesn’t dry me out it breaks me out. And forget trying to exfoliate without looking like I just spent a day in the sun after a chemical peel!
Not with this stuff! I come out of the shower with silky soft, non greasy, deliciously clean skin!

Not to mention that the cost to making this is next to nothing and the smell…DIVINE

And the best part, its 100% safe for Mother Earth!

Ingredients list info:

Ready for science 101?

Brown Sugar:
Contains molasses which is a source of vitamin B, an antioxidant that can prevent/reverse signs of photo aging.

Is chock full of alpha-hydroxy which is essential for glowing skin.

Moisturizes and balances combination skin.
(and it really works!!)
The natural glycolic acid in sugar not only helps condition and moisturize skin, but protects it from toxins.
Sugar has anti-bacterial properties to aid in cleansing the skin.

White Sugar:
Contains most of the same properties as the brown sugar and its course texture adds to the exfoliating properties.

Ground Coffee:
Mother Nature’s great antioxidant!
The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic which goes to work dehydrating fatty cells! The over all effect = a smoother look and feel to the surface of the skin! And what Goddess doesn’t want to be smooth?!

Coconut Oil:
Is super moisturizing and absorbs very easily into the skin without leaving an oily feeling.
Helps to keep connective tissues strong and supple so that the skin doesn't sag and wrinkle, this also helps limit the damage excessive sun exposure can cause.
Helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.
Prevents destructive free-radical formation and provides protection against them.

Can help to keep the skin from developing liver spots, and other blemishes caused by aging and over exposure to sunlight.

Plain Yogurt:
Has anti fungal and antibacterial qualities, so it is useful for cleansing the skin and unblocking clogged pores.

Contains lactic acid which softens the skin, reduces wrinkles and hydrates dry areas.

Adds elasticity to the cells of the skin as it soaks in.
The natural probiotic properties of yogurt work on the cells of the skin to rejuvenate and peel away years of sun damage and other damage to the skin.

Wrappin it up:

So, there ya have it. A full body scrub gentle enough to be used on your lips that fights the signs of aging and damage due to sun exposure ( a must have for us Florida Goddesses), smells good and tastes GREAT!

Wow, is it just me, or did that sound like a food commercial?? LOL
Not to mention, this product is GREEN! No more consuming plastic packaged chemical laden body products that feed the consumerism bug. This is an all in one product that doesn’t require you buy 10 more for it to work at its best!

Footnote: There is a possible global drawback here. Please make sure your coffee is free trade. Our brothers and sisters deserve to be justly compensated for their efforts!