Archives For green living

Rubbermaid Recycle bin

When I think about the upcoming Earth Day, I love that my family eats organic, healthy foods. I love that I have an awesome Farmer’s Market.

Then, I feel guilty.

I am lousy at recycling. When one of my children was in 3rd grade, she pointed out that we should recycle. A friend of hers even used a composter.

I smiled and worried about where we would put recyclables. Thanks, neighbor, for raising that bar! I brought that big old blue bin into a corner of my kitchen and tried that. It made me nuts. It was just so messy looking.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I gave up. With six kids and lots of garbage, I simply did not care. I threw everything out. Up until a month ago…even when my husband would leave milk jugs and such on the counter to recycle “later” I would toss those suckers into my trash. Seriously, when is later, anyway?? I think it really means when Mom decides to finish that job.

I did feel guilty. But apparently I can survive just fine with a certain level of guilt.

Enter The Hidden Recycler.

I love this thing. It is a bag that attaches inside my kitchen cabinet and holds recyclables until I am ready to dump them. It is easy to attach, made of recycled material, hides in my cabinet, holds a bunch and lifts out easily to dump when I have time.

I feel like a good person! And, my kitchen is clean. Sweet combination.

Some details about this thing:

  • Hinged lid attaches to cabinet door with over the door hooks or screws
  • Bag is made from 65% post-consumer resin
  • Bag is machine washable and is soft-sided allowing for flexibility inside any cabinet
  • Comfortable handle for transport
  • 5 gallon bag holds 36 uncrushed cans and is large enough to fit 1 gallon milk jugs

You can buy the Hidden Recycler online at and at Meijer.

Or, Win one here!

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wholly guacamole

You all know I love Wholly Guacamole! My favorite is the organic version, of course!

Overall, as a mom of teenagers, I feel I need to be able to pull out chips and dips to support the kids and their friends. Serving Wholly Guacamole and Garden of Eatin chips, makes me a cool mom…serving healthy snacks that the kids love.

Anyway, when I heard that Wholly Guacamole is participating in a “Get on the Shelf” promotion with Walmart, I thought,

“Well, it’s about time!! People trying to shop to save money should have healthy choices, too”!!

If you agree, go vote!! Hurry, voting ends April 4th

Vote in Get On The Shelf

Then…look for your favorite Wholly Guac and Salsa at Walmart, I hope. PS: new flavors are coming, too!

*I posted this to share and received no compensation. I am a proud Guac Squad Blogger.

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Are you trying to eat more healthy these days? I went gluten free this past June. Between eating whole foods and making that change, I feel great. I think real food tastes incredible!

When my sister went gluten free recently and she was worried about making changes and not being able to eat her favorite comfort snack foods of chips and salsa. I told her no worries! Take a look at all the options at Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa along with Garden of Eatin’ chips!

I think they are delicious and a super fast and perfect appetizer for company. I just found out you can even freeze their organic guacamole packs, so I can hide a couple in the freezer.

This past weekend, my in-laws flew in for a quick visit and really enjoyed the Wholly Guacamole, Wholly Salsa and Garden of Eatin’ Blue tortilla chips. I liked being able to share in the appetizers as everything was gf. So…my kids like it, I like …and my in-laws like it…and it is nutritious, with many gluten free and even some organic options. I especially like their little 100 calorie snack packs of guacamole–that saves us from wasting any and I can toss them in lunches.

My favorite? The Blue tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin’ paired with the Wholly Guacamole Pico de Gallo.  (My FIL thought that was homemade:)

Little healthy changes can add up and make a big difference and with snacks like these, you won’t be missing anything!

See Wholly Guacamole’s website:, for recipes, newsletter, coupons and more. Take a look at their FAQ page. This stuff is healthy for so many reasons. You can also “like” the Wholly Guacamole Facebook page at: (they often have contests and coupons!)

Love chips? Then you’ll adore gluten free, GMO free and organic chips. Visit Garden of Eatin’ website:, for recipes, newsletter and online store. The chips are so crunchy and tasty.

Are you into social media? You can even find your favorite snacks on twitter and Pinterest!

  • WG Twitter: @eatwholly
  • WG Pinterest: Wholly Guacamole

Get Some! Monday, February 27-March 2

Go to the Wholly Guacamole Facebook page and print an exclusive coupon for both!
Coupon offer: Buy one Wholly Guacamole® product and one Garden of Eatin’® product and get a dollar off both! ($2/2)

Win Some!

Win a Wholly Guacamole and Garden of Eatin’ Prize Pack right here. Includes:

  • Free and BOGO Wholly Guacamole product coupons
  • 2 Garden of Eatin’ product coupons
  • Wholly Guacamole chip clip and other fun goodies

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Have you ever used rice syrup? A few years ago, I had not. I was at Whole Foods, thinking about how to make my traditional pecan pie, when I realized I certainly shouldn’t use corn syrup.

I asked one of the employees what she would do. She immediately pointed out the rice syrup and told me you could use that instead of corn syrup.

So…I tried it. And my family loved the pie that year.

So what is brown rice syrup?

Well, it is an organic sweetener of distilled rice flour with a delicate flavor. It is sold in jars in the baking aisle in especially health food stores…or Tropical traditions can bring it to your doorstep.

This past Holiday season, I tried the Tropical Traditions brand, as I was very pleased with some of their other products. The price is very reasonable and they have quick and reliable shipping.

Some things about TT rice syrup:

  • Gluten Free
  • Certified Organic
  • Ideal sweetener for hypoallergenic diets
  • Easy to digest
  • Great source of sustainable energy
  • Non-distinct flavor
  • Complements a wide variety of foods

After getting my rice syrup, I used this recipe for Maple Pecan Pie. I did leave out the bourbon one time and I liked it better without.

It was fantastic! This is my husband’s new favorite pie. I think Easter will have to have a pecan pie now also:)

While using the rice syrup is perfect for a pecan pie, you can use rice syrup in many ways—pretty much whenever you need  sweetener.

Try it now, while it is on sale: Special Price! – Organic Brown Rice Syrup – 16 oz.

Check it out on Tropical Traditions. You can find lots of recipes on their blog

Find more information on the Tropical Traditions Facebook page on follow them on twitter.

Or, WIN one Jar~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. I have given my opinion.

Have you seen these new Phix Energy drink sticks?

I was super curious to try some of these natural energy drink mix sticks. I am perfectly happy with my big glass of water to drink…but I do also count on my morning coffee and afternoon tea. And, if something important is going down, I need more coffee!

I do use organic milk in the coffee, ok? Ha! Well, I know many people use things like coffee and diet drinks and such for pick me ups during the day. My own teens are asking for things like this as they get older and need more stamina for tests, and sports, for example.

Anyway, so the kids have brought home all kinds of energy type drinks. I often fuss at them about all the unpronounceable ingredients on the labels and beg them to find healthier choices.

When I saw Phix Energy, I wanted to try them. I want natural and organic ingredients. I know the kids want flavors. Phix drinks make us both happy. They offer cool flavors like CitronTropic, and Teaberry. And, the little single serving sticks can be used on the go. They even have vitamins and minerals.

Phix says, “Our powders are entirely natural, vegan, and gluten free. All our solutions are good for you and of course they’re completely safe. Just mix with water and drink to your health!”

So, when I got a trial, I immediately tried the organic, gluten free Teaberry.  I liked that one. When dissolved in a glass of water, it had a berry taste. It did have a teeny aftertaste to me. When I tried the Tropic the next day, I read the directions better and decided to use more water. For me, Using about 14 oz of water and letting the Tropic sit a minute worked. It was delicious. I like to use my blender bottle, but you do not have to.

My daughter liked the Tropic, too. In fact, my teenagers all liked them, so I put them into their stockings at Christmas! All in all, they are fun and colorful. I see now, you can even use the Phix as a hot drink in winter. I’ll have to try that.

While I did not give up my beloved coffee for Phix, I liked having an afternoon pick me up with these. I did not have a crash later. Honestly, I am most excited about the kids having a choice that is more natural if they want.

 “Phix does not just rely on caffeine to boost and maintain energy, it was designed by leading naturopathic physicians and licensed dietitians to utilize the body’s natural healing power,” said Brown, “So we can guarantee you’re Drinking In Health.”

Phix also has a calming drink, called Phix Sleep. I tried that Lemon Camomile. I did not like the camomile flavor. It was okay, but I don’t like camomile. I gave it to my husband to taste and he loved it and drank it all. Basically, if you like herbal tea flavors, you’d probably like this one. The 1/2 cup I drank made me sleepy!

Phix is coming out with more flavors, (like sugar-free grape) so keep an eye out for these! You can also get more information on them, like what exactly is in them, and how to order some on their website:

Phix Energy (Teaberry, Citron & Tropic) –
Phix Sleep (Lemon Chamomile) –

You can visit them online at follow them on Twitter: and watch videos on YouTube:

AND, you can win some here to try! Enter below using the Rafflecopter!
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Full of full size USDA organic items

Known for their award winning gift baskets, Gourmet Gift Baskets takes pride in creating specialty gifts. Their baskets are fun and whimsical and stocked with such high quality items. Just looking through the catalog made me so happy! I was delighted to see such attractive organic gift baskets and even gluten free gift baskets in the catalog.

When I received our Classic Organic Gift Basket, I was surprised to see all full size versions of USDA Organic treats. What a delicious and healthy variety of snacks! On top of being good for you, the selection had a bit of everything, fruit, crackers, sweets…

I was really impressed with the items, some of which I had not even seen yet, even though I love to browse specialty food stores!

Just look what was in here (from their site):

· Blue Star Farm Organic Crackers by Partner’s – 5 oz. – Light, crispy, and flavorful, these certified organic crackers are sure to put a smile on the face of your favorite organic enthusiast!
· Organic Creamy Peanut Butter by Koeze – 17 oz. – Try this peanut butter once, and you will never go back to grocery store brands!
· Organic Strawberry Jam by Colorado Mountain – 6 oz. – Perfect when paired with the Blue Star Farm Organic Crackers that we have included in these organic gifts, this jam is absolutely delicious!
· Organic Vanilla Bean with Green Tea Sandwich Cookies by Late July – 9 oz. – These incredibly delicious, flavorful sandwich cookies are a revelation in gourmet organic flavor!
· Organic Assorted Fruit Candy Drops by Yummy Earth – 3.3 oz. – This perfectly portable organic candy is incredibly edible and brings sweet organic candy flavor wherever it goes!
· Coconut Bar by Oskri Organics – 2.2 oz. – Let the taste of the tropics transport you to a sunny beach with one of these organic coconut bars!
· Baked Granny Smith Apples by Bare Fruit – 2.6 oz. – This convenient snack pack contains all the rich flavor of the Granny Smith Apple in a convenient and travel friendly bag.
· Organic Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers by Late July – 5 oz. – These peanut all-natural, organic peanut butter sandwich crackers are the perfect bite-sized peanut butter snack!
· 3 Pepper Tortilla Chips – 7.5 oz. – These organic blue corn three pepper tortilla chips are a flavorful fusion of red, black, and white pepper and infused with a touch of onion, garlic, and tomato.
· Mild Salsa by Brad’s Organic – 16 oz.- This certified organic salsa goes perfectly with the 3 pepper tortilla that we have included in these organic food gift baskets!

The Classic Organic Gift Basket retails for $79.99. If you are looking for a special someone, or that hard to choose for someone, do take a look at Gourmet Gift Baskets. There are so many beautiful gift baskets, with a wise range of themes and prices, and still time to get shipped for Christmas!

I received the Classic Organic Gift Basket for my review. I have given my honest opinion.

If you know me personally or have read this blog for awhile, you may know that I absolutely love salty snacks. Homemade warm, soft bread, artisan crackers and cheese, pretzels…those are what I crave, not really sweets. Ahhhh.

When I first heard I should go gluten free, I was shocked. How could I survive? Not only was I used to getting nourishment from things that included wheat, but baked goods were also exactly what I always wanted to eat!

As you can imagine the first week was hard. Rocky.

After about a week, I didn’t crave these things so much, so that made my lifestyle change easier. But, whenever I saw or smelled homemade bread, or had appetizers, I missed my comfort foods so much!

One Saturday, my husband felt so bad for me that he went looking for a snack for me. He came home with some Crunchmaster Crackers. I was in heaven with those and some cheese. (I may have eaten a few too many).

The Multi-Grain Roasted Vegetable ones are my fav!

After that, I kept my eyes out for these again and purchased them a couple of times. I began to feed them to the family as well.

Recently, though, through a wonderful green moms site, (, I got a chance to try out their brand new line of gluten free crackers, the Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers.

This line of crackers comes in Sea Salt, Cheese and Roasted Vegetable. I love these! These taste even better to me than the others. My family also really likes these…in fact, I had to hide two bags up in my closet to keep them from disappearing before the Holidays!

The crackers are really crunchy and as my son said “normal” Haha! While I think these are better than “normal” crackers because they are made so well and crisp and artisan looking, I’ll settle for normal if my kids are eating well!

All my family liked the Cheese best, then the Sea Salt, then the Roasted Vegetable. Although, I really liked the Roasted Vegetable type. This one is spicy and delicious, you really don’t need anything on it to make a tasty snack. The cheese was also yummy. I liked using the Sea Salt for appetizers.

So what’s in them? “a blend of pure, California brown rice, stone-ground corn, oat fiber, and a four seed blend.” They are oven-baked and are really a mix of East-West cooking, with Japanese rice baking techniques fused with American flavors.

Some facts:

  • Oven-baked, with a unique, crunchy texture
  • Wheat-free and certified gluten-free
  • 21g or more whole grains per serving
  • A good source of fiber
  • All natural
  • Free of saturated fat
  • Cholesterol-free
  • Delicious, with a great multi-grain taste

I brought these to a Holiday party because I got to eat them! Several people who were there and aren’t even gluten free also said they would be buying them as well.

I find these at my Martin’s (Giant) and I WISH my Costco carried them. They currently do not.

You can find these Crunchmaster Multi-Grain & Multi-Seed Crackers at major grocery stores nationwide including Safeway, Publix, Kroger, Shop Rite, Harris Teeter, Ralph’s, Giant, Stop & Shop, Wegman’s, and Meijer, as well as at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and select Costco stores (4.5 oz. for $2.50 to $3.99, 20 oz. for $7.48 to $7.59)

I do recommend these. A package of these and a block of cheese is a great bring along to any gathering.

I get to do a giveaway!!

Get this: A WHOLE Case (12 bags) of Crunchmaster White Cheddar Multi-Grain Crackers!!

To enter, see the rafflecopter!

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When I first began buying organic and going gluten-free I felt lost in the grocery store. I wanted to have a personal chef whip me up delicious, healthy breakfasts and dinners.

I was overwhelmed with all the information on what was good for me.

  • Was natural good? (not really)
  •  Should I go vegetarian? (not totally for me).
  • Should I buy only organic dairy? (YES).
  •  Should I buy only organic meat? (YES).
  • Should I buy only organic fruits and vegetables? (we decided yes, but you can also make change more slowly by going by the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list).

Little by little, I began to feel a bit more knowledgeable about what I should buy and prepare for my family. It also took a long time to mess with the food budget to afford organics for a family of seven.

Do I feel it was hard? (Actually, I do. But TOTALLY worthwhile, and I feel it is becoming easier and you can even find more coupons!)

Everytime I find something delicious, organic and sometimes even gluten free, I get excited. When I first found Nature’s Path Cereal at Costco, I was thrilled. Something delicious, organic and not too pricy. Whoo! Seriously. I get excited.

Anyway, I have used many Nature’s Path products in the past few years. I recently asked them for a little treat for my readers for my Holiday Gift Guide, and they were kind enough to send some products and a cookbook to try out.

And for you, they are offering a bundle of Nature’s Path goodies to one U.S. reader for the giveaway!!

Sweet…and healthy!!

In my goodie box, we had several types of their cereal to try out. I was familiar with all of them, but I had never thought to use them in cooking! The little cookbook they included had some genius ways to use the cereals in recipes, like muffins and such. I especially liked a sweet potato one using the Flax Plus® Pumpkin Raisin Crunch so I made that one. It was so good—the kids didn’t love that one as I think they expected hot sweet potato casserole and this was cold(ish) with pecans and pineapple. My husband and I adored it! I will definitely use these more in cooking. Fantastic idea.

Yes, I *almost* forgot to take a picture! This was easy and very good.

So, go check out the website and see what organic cereals and snacks you would enjoy. They have bars, cereals, waffles, all sorts of things. You can find nutrition facts and such there and also read the minifesto.

I may not have a chef, but now I eat like I have one:) An easy way to eat better!

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