Tuesday, June 7, 2011


This is a cool site...ActBolder.com.  You complete a challenge, and you get a reward.  It really is as simple as that.  Now some of the rewards are a discount, others are a free item or a coupon.  Other challenges pick the top action(s) for the highest reward.  My favorite right now is the Keen Go For A Hike challenge.  The favorite 10 top actions get a free pair of Keen shoes!!  Another is Share Your Favorite Organic Moment for a $1.50 off Stonyfield Yogurt coupon.  We go through half a yogurt container on a single Saturday morning.  Simply share a moment and get the coupon.

This is not an affiliate program so nothing but savings straight to you.  It's a great way to challenge yourself and get ideas from others.

Monday, May 30, 2011

BPA free receipts

You have probably heard of BPA (bisphenol A) and the dangers of it being a likely endocrine disruptor.  It has been removed from the majority of baby bottles and many other plastic products.  It is banned in Canada and some European countries.  Recently, there was a lot of attention brought by the media to the BPA contained in cash register receipts.  The concern is/was that you are handling these without washing your hands right away and potentially absorbing it directly through your skin.  Lots and lots of companies are switching to BPA-free receipts, and the cool thing is that you can tell right away if the receipt is BPA free.  The company that makes most receipt paper in America has put small red fibers in the BPA receipts.  At first, I was really excited about this but I couldn't resist researching it a little further. 

Apparently, these BPA free receipts contain bisphenol S, which is also a potential endocrine disruptor but even less is known about it than BPA.

Here are some tips from the EWG to reduce your exposure to BPA and potentially bisphenol S and other chemicals in receipt paper:
  • Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at gas pumps, ATMs and other machines when possible.
  • Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse.
  • Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
  • After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food (a universally recommended practice even for those who have not handled receipts).
  • Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin's BPA absorption (Biedermann 2010).
  • Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records.
  • Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
  • If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Do you know about Pangea Free Fridays?  Every Friday Pangea gives away a free product.  Last Friday they gave away a year's supply of Pangea products.  I couldn't get it posted in time but check back this Friday to see what's next.  You do have to enter the contest through Facebook but prizes range from a free product to many free products to lots of free samples to share with your friends.  If you haven't heard of Pangea but are looking for a great organic skincare company, check them out!



organic & fair trade



petroleum-based ingredients

sulfates or detergents

synthetic preservatives

artificial colors or fragrances


Pangea Organics has received 50 awards for everything from Best Product Performance (29 awards), to Environmental & Social Responsibility (10 awards), to Innovation in Packaging & Design (7 awards).  Most of their products are packaged in plantable packaging that contains flower or plant seeds.  Very cool!

Monday, May 23, 2011

We have tomatoes!!

One of my dreams/goals is to have a food garden.  Well, I'd love a rose and flower garden, too, but I really want to grown my own fruit and vegetables.  We started to plan it out this spring but decided to wait until the fall and give ourselves enough time to plan.  I decided to go ahead and start little by little so we started with tomatoes.  Kai helped me plant them, and his job is to remind Daddy to water the "matos" while I am out of town this week.

I am so excited about feeding my family and growing whole food!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Homemade chicken nuggets

My kids are pretty good eaters. They go through phases but other times they out eat me. Lee often prefers quantity of food over quality so when he compliments one of my meals I know it is good. Recently, all three of them have raved over a new recipe I tried…chicken nuggets.

This is a breeze. I have a few chicken recipes that Lee has liked (and he does not really like chicken) but he prefers this hands down. He gives me a hard time if I fix it on a night he is not there to enjoy it. My kids clean their plates!

Cut up 2-3 chicken breasts into bite size pieces (2 should be plenty but I feel like I feed an army and need 3 to have any leftovers. I use a pair of kitchen sheers to speed it up).

Melt 1 TBS butter for every chicken breast you use

Coat the chicken pieces with the melted butter

Mix 1 cup of bread crumbs, 1 cup of parmesan cheese, and 1 tsp garlic salt

Coat the chicken with the bread/cheese mixture

Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet (they can be pretty close together)

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min

*I like 409 brand bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. The cheese has no fillers or binders (ala Kraft) and the bread crumbs were the least processed that I could find at my chain grocery store.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bacteria on surfaces: Steering wheel

Ok, you probably think I went off the deep end or have become a germaphobe.  I assure you that my home is neither spotless nor my floors mopped in a very improper amount of time.  I made this discovery by accident.  I accidently got something sticky on my hand while I was driving and then touched my steering wheel.  When I got home I grabbed a wet wipe and wiped everything off...much to my horror...the wipe was almost black.  I am very strict about washing my hands when I get home from work [the hospital], but I realized I don't always wash my hands after driving home from Target, or the local growers group, or the grocery store.  Sometimes I do...but not always.

Here's your challenge:  wipe your steering wheel.  It doesn't matter if it's a clorox wipe, wet wipe, or baby wipe...I bet you're going to be surprised.

Here is my second attempt just a couple of weeks later...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bacteria on surfaces: Shopping Bags

I love, love, love my reusable Environsax shopping bags.  I see lots of people with reusable shopping bags now!  It is so much easier to carry in 4-5 large bags vs. 12 small bags with 1-2 items.  I have a pretty good systems of taking my bags to the laundry room as soon as I am done with them and then back out to my car the next morning.

It wasn't until I did my last post on bacteria on purses that I started thinking about my shopping bags.  They go from the floorboard of my passenger side in the car to the shopping cart to the grocery store belt to the shopping cart to the back of the car to the floor of my kitchen.  On the inside is unwashed produce, bags of meat, wrappers, boxes...and then all of that goes to shelves of my refrigerator, pantry, cupboards, or counters.

If you want to reduce bacteria in your home and reduce your exposure to infection, make sure that you aren't setting your shopping bags on your counter...and make sure that you wash them regularly.  Another great feature of Environsax is that they are extemely easy to wash and clean!