Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vintage thoughts

As I was unpacking I found things I had forgotten I even had. Years ago my dad brought home a box of old things. Mostly useless things, yet I kept some of it.   I still love these with all the tattered edges and torn pages.  The three Life magazines from 1961  show a different time at I wanted to share.

 "How sugar brings out the zing in green apple pie" in Life Magazine May 12, 1961.
 The advertisement  states that "Sugar helps dieters put the brakes on calories"  How? you might say, well apparently  the average adult needs 2800 calories a day and with only 18 calories it can satisfies appetite fast with less calories.  I guess my diet is alright then...:)
 Nothing like a break from home cooked meal to have a "TV dinner".  With a description of "Flavory beef" no wonder it was so popular.
Cars worth $2000

 And with all that competition after high school a good dictionary will get them on their way.  Was it really that easy?
"In the Stocks"
These kittens spend 23 hours in experiments
 but fortunately they have a box with their mother for the other hour they have off. 

"What kind of female animal are you?"
                                                       Nothing like sexy lingerie grrrrr

 This guy painting his house.  Don't think I haven't had this idea.  My question is, how is he going to use that ladder?
 Reference: Life magazine May 12, 1961 Vol 50 By Time, Inc.
"Jazzing up chorus line ...socialite of Beverly Hills businessman"

This article "Bevy of Beauties Blacking Out" is on mostly housewives doing a show for charity.  Not exactly politically correct...
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Three Mango Seeds

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Custom shirt

Here is a great way to customize a shirt for very little cost.  I went to Jo Ann Fabrics and got the 3 for $10 shirts and started to customize them.  With 4 children this is a great way to lower the costs of clothes. 
Bleach and  Q-Tips for writting. Poem or favorite quote.
Let is set for 15 minutes and wash in cold water.  Reasy to wear.  The great thing about htese shirts is they do not shrink like other custom store bought shirts do. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kale Quinoa Salad

Yes I have turned into that mom, the mom that hides things in foods so my kids get something with nutrients.  This morning I made steel cut oatmeal and added a spoon of pumpkin.  Both my boys looked at the orange color and pushed it away. I finally got them to try it and they did like it (or at least ate most of it).  Salads are a struggle, they eat iceberg lettuce with out any other add in's, smothered in ranch.   The iceberg salad is a good stand by, but I really am looking for more in a salad these days, especially as I am changing how my family eats.  We are trying to go gluten free and my daughter feeling we should eat less meat.  This brought on 3 vegetarian days a week.  When my boys only eat white foods i.e. chicken nuggets, fries, white bread, cheese, and pizza, not really the diet I am aiming for,it makes dinner planning a challenge.  Here's one that is gluten free and vegetarian.

This salad has kale which is great for boosting you immunity with a large amount of vitamin K, A, and C.  It does have a bitter flavor so I was not sure I would like this salad, but I was wrong.  My kids eat it too.  Because it is very dark green, it packs more nutrients.

Kale chopped small,
Quinoa 1/4cup +/-
Seeds, I like Pumpkin
Dried cherries, or  craisens.
hazelnuts or almonds.
Balsamic vinaigrette:
2oz Balsamic vinegar
4oz Olive oil
1tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder

Mix thoroughly and top with goat cheese and butternut squash. New seasons has squash frozen in cubes,it makes it easy to add to this salad.

Quinoa can be prepared just like rice.  I add it in my rice cooker 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.  I like to replace half the water with vegetable broth.

I am linked at http://tessadomesticdiva.blogspot.com/2012/03/allergy-free-wednesdays-7.html

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentines Tea Party

With our recent move I am still unpacking and pulled out a cute tea set. I was surprised
 that my boys were excited about playing tea party.
They set up the plates, cups, and started berry tea.
Making sure we had sugar in the bowl and even
 added milk.   I decided to plan a tea party with some of the
 new neighborhood kids coming up for Valentines day.

"If everyone got mad a me
I wouldn't care a bit
If I could only be dead sure
I was loved a little bit"

Using my old valentines cards my Grandparent saved all these years, I photo copied them and increased the size
by 200% for decorating and for the invitations.
Here is a free download of the valentine cards.

"I'm sending you a mottoed heart
All curved and gaily tinted
Please think of it as fond and true
And not one merely printed"

Both my boys are excited about the party and helped make each decoration.  They may  not care for the lace and hearts, but they do like making tea concoctions.  I especially enjoyed this, as with boys normally I make more monsters and goo. 

"I'd like to take you by the hand
and be your little beau,
For that I love you,
You'd then guess
If you don't already know."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grandpa's Ties

Grandpa's ties have a special place in my home.

 I finally have a place to showcase a wonderful memory of my grandfather.  He always wore such great ties.  I am sure at one time they were quite stylish, ;) they were always what caught my eye with him.  When he passed away several years ago I only asked for his ties. I was glad to get them and then I needed to find a way to display them. I created this door knob hanger out of a reclaimed piece of cedar and old door knobs headed for the dumpster. I love this piece whether it hold jackets, hats, or ties.  I also use the ties for curtain tie backs.  These are the ones I have up for Christmas and soon will exchange them out for spring.  My children love them and have hung up their own ties.  The small orange one is my newest son's.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cloth diapers or disposables

Today I set off to find cloth diapers.  With my fourth and last child at 3 months I have weighed my options and my opinions about diapering.  With all my other children I never considered cloth, with the extra laundry and inconvenience of cloth I just could not do it.  Even now the thought of more laundry is daunting.  However,with all the new green books, blogs, and stylish diapering options I have found new reason to try out reusable covers and cloth inserts. 

So off I went in search of cloth diapering.  New Seasons carries G Diapers as does Babies R Us and Posh Baby does not carry any brand.  I am surprised to find that this is the only brand I could find.  They run almost $20 a cover and then the inserts.  G Diapers does give the option for composting (only for wet) or cloth washable ones.  I really was looking for another brand that may be a bit less costly.  I have decided to order online through Craigslist or Ebay to find a used set.  This would offer me the lowest cost and get everything I need. It is also a great way to reduce and reuse.

For now I am using Earths Best diapers.  I chose those due to the wheat and natural absorbents used rather than the gel in conventional brands.  I am willing to pay a bit more (one or two dollars above Huggies) for these to have chlorine free and a natural absorbent.  After reading The Eco-nomical baby guide by Joy Hatch and Rebecca Kelley and their take on cloth verses disposable, I was finally convinced. With the thought that the materials in the gel absorbent called SAP (sodium polyacrylate) could be damaging to baby boys by raising the temperature of the scrotum.  This may cause infertility in boys.  (Hatch, Kelley, page 98,2010)

With the covers and having smaller inserts that are washable, the laundry may not be as much as I visualized.  I also have a high efficiency machine for low water usage.  I also am using my own home made detergent to save even more.  I will post my recipe for that soon.  One of the problems some of my friends have had with cloth is that most detergents have waxes in them that seals the cotton not to absorb.  With homemade detergent there are no fillers to do this and it is perfect for HE machines as it is low suds. 

Although I was not a success today on finding the right diapers for my baby boy, I will be posting about my experience on using cloth and my detergent recipes. 

Check out The Eco-nomical baby guide by Joy Hatch and Rebecca Kelly
Published by Stewart,Tabori, and Chang 2010
And their website www.greenbabyguide.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sweet Potato Recipe

New years resolutions are here and in my effort to keep to mine, eating healthy, I am always on the look out for tasty recipe's.  I found a similar recipe on Martha Stewart.com for this sweet potato and Brussels sprout dish.  I made my own adjustments from what I had in the pantry.  Here is what I used:
1 sweet potato
6 Brussels sprouts
8 sliced dried shittake mushrooms
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Unsalted butter to taste
raisins sparingly
spoon of pumpkin seeds

Costco has had great produce and I picked up the best looking Brussels sprouts I have seen.  They also carry dried shittake mushroom's and I like to use their sea salt and pepper grinders.
Place the sweet potato in the microwave for about 6 minutes.  Half the Brussels sprouts and soak in cold water and salt for 5 minutes with mushrooms.  Towel dry and place in skillet with oil to saute on medium low heat for 10 minutes.  Add in salt and pepper place in sweet potato, sprinkle on raisins and seeds.  

This is a great vegetarian and gluten free lunch.  Since I have chosen to go gluten free this year with my kids, I have to get creative. 

In the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld she gives descriptions and details on healthy foods.  Sweet potato's help regulate blood sugar levels, add fiber and they are good for skin, eyes, and are rich in beta carotene and antioxidants.  I have also heard sweet potatoes are a super food to fight against cancer.

Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld, Published by Collins 2007

Shittake mushrooms are also great for antioxidants, amino acids and omega 3+6.

I am linked at http://tessadomesticdiva.blogspot.com/2012/03/allergy-free-wednesdays-7.html

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pucker Up Lip gloss

Here is another recipe for making lip gloss.  It is a bit more complicated than the Bottle cap lip gloss.  Making your own body product gives you the chance to control what goes in and what best fits your needs.  You can flavor them or tint them as you want.   My boys love using them, especially when they get to help make them.

I purchased my Butters online Amazon has a good selection as well as other sites.  I have yet to find  any thing local.  I ordered enough for several projects. Coconut oil can be at any grocery store.  I also like Bramble Berry, she has great recipes and products.  Chocolate has great properties for your skin as well. 

Here is what you need:

6-8 Chocolate chips
1 tble beeswax
1/4 c Cocoa butter
3 drops vit e
1 Tble Coconut oil
12 containers or reuse candy tins

 I bought the containers at the beauty store and the beeswax at New Seasons grocery store.
 Here is the amount I used of both. It is hard to measure exactly with these products. Melt at medium heat. Add in Vit E last. Pour into containers with a spoon and let cool.
 I made two types of packaging one with the Homemade Lip Gloss label and one with the Pucker Up Pretty.  I thought they were fun and great for Valentines gifts.  I have a few more products to make for basket gifts I will be showing them soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Planting Succulents in a hurricane

I finally moved into a house with light and loving the idea of indoor plants.  Plants just make the home feel good.  I found these succulent plants at New Seasons while grocery shopping, for a great deal.  I just had to get some to plant.  I was heading for a terrarium and really was not ready for all that goes into that, so this is my compromise.  I love how they turned out.
This is what you need..
Succulents of various shapes and colors for contrast.
A glass jar, hurricane, or vase.
Potting solid and rocks for drainage.
I chose to go to the dollar store and found a bag of polished rocks.  It adds to the design.
Yes I do use an old spoon, it makes it easier to position the dirt around the plants.  Finish with some dried moss.

I did this last week and I am surprised how quickly they grow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Body Butter Bar

Here is another one of my favorite body products.  I have searched high and low to find the best body butters and bars. Often they are scented with strange things like Lemon grass, Red Clove or heavily with Lavender.  I like these scents but not so much on me.  I decided to come up with my own Body bar that is scented just right.  The cocoa butter is a great scent alone as well.

This works great for those handy man hands or gardener hands.  Using it after a shower is great for moisturizing and conditioning the skin.  I like to use it at night for my face.

Here is what you will need.

1/4 c Mango Butter
3/4 c Cocoa Butter
1 Tble Beeswax
6 drops grape seed oil or other carrier oil like Olive or Almond.
3-6 drops Aloe Vera
1 tsp vitamin e
essential oil of you choice scent to preference. light is 1/2 tsp heavy is 2tsp
1 tsp corn starch. to reduce oiliness

 I used these heart shaped tins just in time for Valentine gifts for teachers and for friends. This recipe made 4 bars. Make sure to oil the tins before hand with the carrier oil or any other. Cup cake tins will work just fine as well.  If they get stuck in the pans, just hover over a heated stove to lightly melt and tip out.
 Mix butters in a pan and melt slowly to avoid grittyness.  Once they are melted  add the corn starch.  This helps with the greasiness of the butters and will brown for added color. This can be skipped if preferred. Take of the heat and add the scent, oils, Aloe Vera, and Vit E.
 Let cool in the fridge or out on the counter. Once dried, tip out of tins and wrap.  I attached labels with glue dots.

See me at this link and check out other homemade body products I have made.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bottle Cap Lip Gloss

I love making Body products and love using them.  Here is my idea for a simple lip gloss and lip stain while reusing items you may have in you home.

Bottle Cap Lip Gloss

Here is what you need:

1 Tablespoon Vaseline, I like the cocoa butter Vaseline though plain will do just fine.
2 Chocolate chips
Oil candy coloring for lip stain. Wilton is what I used.
6 clean bottle caps
1 tin container
 I used a votive holder and placed the chocolate chips, Vaseline, and a small amout of lipstain.
I might call it a smidgen.
 I takes about 5 minutes microwaved, stiring a bit in between, to melt the vaseline.
 Using a small spoon pour into each bottle cap.  Either hot glue them into the tin or use glue dots, they hold them in place well.
 Small tins work great for one. Larger tins can hold several styles.  I used pink lip stain, chocolate, and plain.  Plain is great when using the cocoa butter Vaseline.
My kids loved these and want to take them everywhere we went. Have fun making yours.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Forcing bulbs

I love spring with all the flowers that come up, but January tends to be a bit dull.  To Brighten the house I wanted to try forcing bulbs.  I purchased some Hyacinth in blues and purples to start indoors. 

Make sure the bulbs are good quality and place them in the fridge for a few days to a week or more.  Start with placing beads, glass, or rocks in the bottom of the jar. The Dollar store often has a good selection of beads and rocks. Set the bulb in and fill to the bottom of the bulb.  Set in the light and watch how quickly you have flowers.  After the bulbs are are done flowering, cut the stems and dry them out.  Store them for next spring.

I placed them in a window in my stairway and love watching the roots start growing in the beads.
This is a great project for children to help with and it is so fun to see how the plant grows.


With the new year is a new challenge and how fun it is to share. I am a mother of four and enjoy crafting of all kinds.  I want to share my experiences with expressing creativity while considering the earth.  I have to admit that I am a closet Eco conscience gal, but it is in my heart and now for everyone to know.  Seeking Eco Chic is about finding beauty and usefulness in our everyday life.  Whether it is plants, body products, or how to reuse the gram cracker box, it can be fun and leave you feeling good about yourself.  Its about making smart decisions to reduce your budget, your landfill, and beautify your home.