Make Recycled Wine Cork Pendants

Make a cute recycled craft without having to drink a whole case of wine!

Easy Yogurt Parfaits

Make tasty and healthy yogurt parfaits for a snack or breakfast.

How to Make Fresh Pickles

Fresh pickles are easy to make with fresh cucumbers from your garden or the store.

Farm Girl Apron Tutorial

Turn old jeans into a cute gardening apron with this tutorial.

Stamped Garden Rocks

Accent your garden with cute stamped art rocks.

Monday, October 27, 2014

GMO Labeling is an Equal Rights Issue


As Oregon and Colorado close in on election day, voters in these states are deciding whether to label GMOs in their food supplies by voting for ballot initiatives 92 and 105 (respectively).

Pro-labeling citizens say that they have a right to know if they are purchasing food containing GMOs for a myriad of reasons. Some cite health concerns associated with eating GMOs. Some are concerned with the increased exposure to pesticides that comes hand in hand with many GMO crops. Some simply believe that more transparency is better.

See Dr. Ray Seidler (former EPA senior scientist) talk about just one of the many pesticide resistant GMO crops here:


The opponents of labeling, on the other hand - namely Dana Bieber, a paid spokesperson from Washington state (read: neither an Oregonian nor a Coloradan) - like to say that if consumers are looking for GMO free foods, they are already available. Those consumers, they say, should purchase only USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project certified foods.


So what's the problem?

Stated simply: To insist that only those families able to afford an all-organic diet should have access to information about whether or not their food contains GMOs is elitism at its worst.

According to their logic, here is a short list of just some of the people who labeling opponents say don't deserve the right to know if their food contains GMOs:

  • Moms on WIC (WIC vouchers explicitly prevent purchase of most organic foods including formula)
  • Students
  • Working class families
  • Families living on income from minimum wage jobs
  • Middle class families where one parent stays home
  • Single mothers
  • Middle class families with multiple children
  • Families working hard to pay down student loan debt.

If you belong to one of these groups of people, you apparently don't deserve to be informed about the kinds of foods you buy to feed your family.

The truth is that thousands of food products that do not contain GMOs are neither labeled as organic nor Non-GMO Project certified. Each of these labeling programs is costly to food producers and that results in these foods being sold at a premium price. Consumers currently have no way to know which non-organic products are GMO free because labeling the presence of GMOs isn't required.

Independent groups such as Consumer Reports have looked at this measure and determined that it will not raise the price of food despite fear mongering ads claiming cost increases in the triple digits.

Because costs will not increase, there is simply no good reason not to label GMOs.

Fellow Oregonians, please join me in voting YES on 92 - because everyone should have the right to know what's in their food.

Not sure what a GMO is? See my crash course on GMOs: Everything You Wanted to Know About GMOs but Were Afraid to Ask.

About the Author: 
Carissa is an Oregon mom to two energetic boys. She passionately believes every Oregonian has the right to be informed about the food they are purchasing - not just those wealthy enough to afford an all-organic diet. 

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Easy Last Minute Halloween Costume: Glowing Stick Man


Are you scrambling to come up with a Halloween costume that won't break the bank? I cranked out this Halloween costume in 10 minutes flat and only spent $2 to make it happen! If you need a fun, clever or dirt cheap costume, this is the one for you!


Supplies

  • Black hoodie
  • Black pants
  • 4 pack of 22" glow necklaces (buy 2 packages for child, 3 or more for an adult)
  • Clear packing tape
Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Make a Jack o Lantern Trick-or-Treat Bag


Plastic pumpkins are so not my thing. It makes me wonder how many plastic pumpkins end up in landfills each year - because you know that most people are not saving those once Halloween is gone. This easy to make Jack-o-lantern tote bag will get extra mileage since you can use it all month long to haul lunches, library books and more. Plus it rolls up nice and small to save for next year!


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 


Directions

Find the directions online in my tutorial on Pentel's Blog: Create an Easy Jack o' Lantern Bag


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Whole 30: What I Ate Week 2


Have you been following along with my Whole 30 journey? If you are, I shared what I ate for week 1 here: Whole 30: What I Ate Week 1

If you're interested in doing Whole 30 with me? Get started here.

Each week I'm be posting about what we ate. Hopefully it will give you an idea of what the program is like and maybe even inspire you with your own food ideas, too!


Day 8

Breakfast: Overeasy eggs over sweet potato hashbrowns.

Lunch: Turkey avocado roll ups (based on this recipe but I added garlic herb mayo and lettuce)

Dinner: Aidell's Chicken sausage and heirloom tomato salad.


Day 9

Breakfast: Veggie scramble with peppers, mushrooms and guacamole

Lunch: Egg salad served in celery sticks

Dinner: Asian chicken (without the honey), broccolini sauteed in coconut oil, coconut milk over frozen berries



Day 10

Breakfast: Pan roasted new potatoes, overeasy eggs

Lunch: Smoothie (banana, coconut milk, frozen peaches) - smoothies aren't supposed to make up a lot of your Whole 30 experience and this is the first one I had.

Dinner: Meatballs in marinara sauce, salad



Day 11

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, apple slices

Lunch: Hardboiled eggs, Aidells chicken sausage, banana, fruit leather

Dinner: Taco salad (ground beef with my homemade taco seasoning over lettuce with pico de gallo and guacamole).


Day 12

Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, Aidells chicken sausage, apple slices

Lunch: Chipotle - I ordered a carnitas salad with pico de gallo and guacamole with no salad dressing.

Dinner: Meatballs in marinara, sweet potato fries



Day 13

Breakfast: Sweet potato hashbrowns, over easy eggs, apple slices

Lunch: Aidell's chicken sausage and salad

Dinner: Tacos (leftover taco meat from day 11 served in romaine leaves with pico de gallo and guacamole)



Day 14

I forgot to write down what I ate for day 14 (sorry!)



Notes about Shopping:

After spending about $350 on groceries for week 1, I was happy that I didn't need to buy much for week 2: just some more produce, some Aidell's chicken sausages and Costco, more eggs and some condiments like guacamole. 


Need more ideas?

Follow my Whole 30 board on Pinterest for more Whole 30 recipes and ideas:


See all of my Whole 30 posts and Whole 30 recipes here



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Make Easy Stenciled Mustache Baby Onesies


Are you tired of the mustache trend yet? I'm not! Especially when it comes to adorable baby accessories! These mustaches are upgraded with a little bit of black glitter to give them something extra while still being manly.


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Whole 30: What I Ate Week 1


If you're coming late to the party, I started Whole 30 last month and I'm in good company! I have several friends who are Whole 30ing along with me. If you're interested in doing it, too, get started here.

Each week I'll be posting about what we ate. Hopefully it will give you an idea of what the program is like and maybe even inspire you with your own food ideas, too!

Day 1

Breakfast: Sweet potato hashbrowns, over easy eggs, an apple, trail mix (we made our own with approved nuts, unsweetened dry fruit and coconut chips)

Lunch: Big salad - lettuce, raddishes, carrots, olives and grilled chicken. Made our own Garlicky Italian Vinaigrette dressing

Dinner: Tuna salad (tuna, Whole 30 mayo, chopped celery, chopped onion) served in celery sticks, heirloom tomato salad (heirloom tomatoes, EVOO, balsamic vinager, salt, pepper)

Snacks*: Larabar, trail mix


Day 2

Breakfast: Egg scramble with bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and guacamole. Frozen peaches with coconut milk.

Lunch: Small salad with tuna salad leftover from dinner on day 1. Banana.

Dinner: Banana, strawberry, raspberry, coconut milk, cashew smoothie, raw almonds

Snacks: Larabar


Day 3

Breakfast: Scramble with 4 eggs, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, guacamole. Pan roasted herbed potatoes with garlic herb mayo.

Lunch: Tuna salad with celery and carrot sticks

Dinner: Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (Coleman Natural brand), sauteed bell peppers and onions

Snacks: Banana, cashews


Day 4
Breakfast: Hashbrowns, over easy eggs, apple

Lunch: Big salad - lettuce, raddishes, carrots, olives, avocado and grilled chicken.

Dinner: Taco meat over salad with fresh pico de gallo and guacamole.

Snacks: Chicken Sausage (Coleman Natural brand), frozen fruit with coconut milk, cashews


Day 5

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, garlic herb mayo, apple

Lunch: Mashed cauliflower, Italian chicken sausage (Coleman Naturals brand), sauteed bell peppers

Dinner: Fruit and Coconut Milk (I wasn't very hungry)



Day 6

Breakfast: Apple, cashews, larabar

Lunch: Egg salad (chopped eggs, Whole 30 mayo, died celery, onion, basil), scooped and eaten with celery sticks

Dinner: Grilled steak, grilled zucchini, heirloom tomato salad (heirloom tomatoes, EVOO, balsamic vinager, salt, pepper)



Day 7

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, avacado, pan roasted baby potatoes, garlic herb mayo.

Lunch: Egg salad (chopped eggs, Whole 30 mayo, died celery, onion, basil), scooped and eaten with celery and carrot sticks.

Dinner: Asian chicken thighs (except no honey), steamed broccoli

*A note about snacks: Snacks are not generally part of the Whole 30 experience. However, because I am breastfeeding I'm making sure to eat when I'm hungry and drink lots of water and tea to avoid compromising my milk supply


Notes about Shopping:

For week one, we stopped at Cash and Carry first to pick up some giant bags of onions, mushrooms and ginger. Most of the rest of our food was purchased at Natural Grocers. Some things that Natural Grocers did not have were picked up at New Seasons or Winco.

We spent a full day shopping and prepping food like crazy people. While I hated that it took up my whole day, it did make meal prep throughout the week go much faster because everything was pre-chopped or pre-marinated for me. We did not stick to the one HUGE prep day at the beginning of the week pattern after this but I am SO GLAD we did for the first week.


Need more ideas?

Follow my Whole 30 board on Pinterest for more Whole 30 recipes and ideas:


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Friday, October 3, 2014

{Recipe} Garlic Herb Mayo


As we started making some significant food changes for Whole 30, we realized that having good condiments was essential! We started with the mayo recipe from the official Whole 30 website. They weren't kidding: mayo really is the new cake batter! The recipe makes the most amazingly decadent mayonnaise. Adding garlic and fresh herbs ups the ante and makes it perfect for making chicken salad or as a dip for sweet potato fries. Of course if you aren't doing Whole 30, this would also make a delightful spread for sandwiches.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup Whole 30 mayo*
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil*
  • 3 fresh chive stalks*
*Creative Green Living recommends sourcing these ingredients as organic to avoid GMOs, persistent pesticides and to support farmers who use sustainable growing practices.


Directions

  1. Make Whole 30 mayo following instruction here.
  2. Mix 1 cup of prepared Whole 30 mayo with garlic. Once combined, snip basil and chives over mayo and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.



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Friday, September 26, 2014

Creative Green Living Does Whole 30



Halfway through September, I started an interesting journey / lifestyle experiment toward better health. I'm about halfway through but I think this program has the potential to be really powerful for you, too so I wanted you to know about it and ask: Will you join me?


What are you selling?

Nothing! This isn't sponsored by any company. There are no products I'm selling (although if you buy the It Starts With Food book by clicking on a link from my site, Amazon will give me about $.50 - at no extra cost to you). I'm on a personal journey toward health and wanted to invite you along.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Mommy Peace of Mind with Snuza Trio Plus! {and GIVEAWAY}

This post is brought to you by Snuza.


We're three months into life with Baby A (read his birth story here) and let me tell you: adjusting to life with two kids can be an adventure! I am so blessed that my four year old love his baby brother - but that can sometimes be a challenge, too. In fact, that may be one of the biggest challenges as a mom to two - he loves his brother so much he just won't leave that poor kid alone!


This, of course, presents a unique obstacle when thinking about moving the two kids into the same room - which is the eventual plan. I could easily see K wanting to do any of the following if the baby starts crying:
  • Climb into the baby's crib with him - and inadvertently squish or smother him
  • Try to tuck him in with a blanket - and not be careful about his airway
  • Try to share his pillow pet with him - by putting it on top of the baby 
  • Try to share his teddy bear with him - by putting it on top of the baby
It's enough to make me want to co-sleep until he's big enough to defend himself. But let me tell you, my husband is not a fan of this idea! (please note: I know lots of families do extended co-sleeping and I think that's great - it's just not the right fit for my family.)

Make a Washi Tape Canning Lid Wreath


Have you been canning this summer? I usually put up several gallons of tomatoes, sauce, broth and beans each year. Every time I have to buy a new case of canning jars, I end up with 12 extra rings. This means I have a lot of extra rings. I just cleared a bunch out of my pantry and I think I'll use them to make this adorable project from Crafty Blog Stalker.


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 


Directions

Find the directions online at Crafty Blog Stalker: Fall Canning Lid Wreath


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Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Make Carved Heart Stone Jewelry

This post is brought to you by Dremel.


Have you ever used a Dremel rotary tool in your crafting? I'll admit that I've been coveting one for a while and was so thrilled to be sent one to play with! I'm actually glad I didn't get one sooner so that I could have the new Dremel Micro 8050. 

The Micro 8050 is the most “brilliantly powerful” and precise cordless rotary tool that Dremel has ever produced. The Micro 8050 can cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean and polish—just like a traditional Dremel rotary tool but it's got an easy to hold grip that's similar to holding a pencil AND it has a small light that lights up the spot you're drilling. Awesome!

Why have I always wanted a Dremel rotary tool you ask? To drill holes in sea glass and rocks! So, of course, that's what I did - and I made this cute drilled heart necklace. It's actually super easy to make - it just takes a bit of time to drill a hole all the way through a rock. 


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links.