Heres to another great year!

New Years is upon us. What not a better time to create some ridiculous goals that can probably never be achieved to full completion. Here I go.

Things I want to achieve for 2010-

Stick to a Budget

Keep my receipts and do something with them (see 1st goal)

Pay my bills on time (read: NO late fees!)

Do not eat out more than once a month

Start cooking and following nourishing traditions more closely

Cut refined sugar out of the diet

Successfully make mozzarella cheese

Finish recovering greenhouse

Start a new compost pile

Recycle more

Make a conscious effort to use less plastic packaging

I could go on for days and days, but these are the big things. I would really like to start here and see where it goes. I know some will be broken right away and some will last longer. These are mainly for me to just check back in with and get grounded to what I am really trying to achieve in 2010: Self-Sustainability.

2009 was a wonderful year for me. Fairly uneventful and full of wonderful surprises all at the same time. I am happy that another year has come to an end and I am even happier to start yet another decade. I wish everyone peace and happiness for the new year and hope that everyone’s dreams come true.


Houshold Notebook Update

I added a To Do list to my notebook.
A weekly schedule of sorts.

I made a list of things I need to do every day i.e. cook dinner, clean out sink/do dishes, and things I need to do a few times a week i.e. work for the business, vacuum/sweep, clean bathroom, and things I need to do once a week i.e. meal plan, grocery shop, go to library/bank/post office.

There were 26 different items on my list. I labeled them A, B, C, D, ... all the way down. Then I decided which day I would do them on. Now I have different letters of things that need to be done all week long. It was put into effect almost a month ago and I am happy to report that it is working splendidly. It has really helped me focus on what needs to get done. Also then I know when I am going to do what ever is on my list. I know now that on Sundays I am going grocery shopping and I am cleaning out my cars on Saturday. It is nice to finally have it laid out.

I have been using a little $5 white board from office depot that I got on sale with a gift card. I am using it to create shopping lists, meal plans and to write down my to do's for the day. Then once they are done they are super easy to erase and start over for the next day.

Also I have given myself incentives. If I do everything on my list everyday for the whole month then I get to go buy something I have been wanting. ($10 or less) I am super motivated to make this work because there is actually something in it for me. Not just a present for myself but peace of mind that I have gotten everything done that needed to be done and nothing was forgotten.

I am happy that the work put into the notebook is paying off. My life is smoother already!

5 minute Deodorant

Lately I have been trying new things when it comes to health and food. Today I decided I would try to make deodorant. The nice thing about homemade is that is does not come with any type of aluminum in it. I have noticed that when I go for a period of time without wearing deodorant (gross, I know) that I smell like aluminum. I have always wondered if I am sweating it out or what.

This recipe uses simple items that you have at home.
You will need
Coconut oil or Shea Butter
Corn Starch
Baking Soda
Essential Oil (I used Lavender)
An old empty Deodorant tube

In a large bowl combine these things:
1/4 cup Corn Starch
1/4 cup Baking Soda
2-3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
10 drops Essential Oil

Mix this all together. I used my hands. When it is combined it will be crumbly but when compressed it will stay in a ball.

Take your old deodorant container and turn the dial so that it is all the way down. Start pressing the deodorant into the tube making sure to pack it well. Once it is all in there you are done.

One note is that this is not an antiperspirant. It will not make you stop sweating, it will just help with the pit stains and the smell. Thankfully I do not sweat all that much so it works for me.

I know it seems silly when we can be getting deodorant for pennies at Walgreens or other places but like I said I am trying to do things that are better for my body. Also, I was a little bored and had all the ingredients on hand.

This was shared to me through instructables by scoochmaroo. You can access it here.

Homemade Yogurt

I have been making yogurt for quite a while now. I have made it from powdered milk, 2% milk, and whole milk. I almost always use a lowfat/nonfat plain yogurt from the store. My yogurt always comes out a bit tangy.

My favorite yogurt of all times is Greek yogurt. I love how thick and creamy it is. I love to add honey and mix them together. It is better than ice cream or cake in my eyes. It is delicious. Well, I was at the co-op and found a full fat plain greek yogurt that I had never tried. I decided to use it as my starter for my new yogurt since my old one was bad.

I took whole milk and slowly brought it up to 110 degrees. I tempered my yogurt and then added it to the batch. I mixed for a minute and then poured it into my yogurt maker. I let it sit for about 10 hours and then checked on it. To my surprise there it was, the most beautiful delicious yogurt of all. Not only did it set nicely, it was thick. It is super smooth and tastes divine.

After gallons of yogurt making here I have finally hit on my perfect recipe. Hooray!

Super Steal at Safeway

Last night I went to Safeway to grab some stuff. I have been out of town, so needless to say there is no food in the house. My plan was to load up on produce and add a couple things that we also needed. As I was wondering the store I noticed a kraft $5 deal when you buy 5 items. I looked closer at the deal and then shrugged it off because I could not justify anything listed.

I continued on shopping. I grabbed some yogurt and turned to the cheese section. I noticed kraft cream cheese was .99 each when you buy 5. Too good to be true I decided to look at the promo one more time. Cream cheese was OK!!!! Sweet. I got 5 cream cheeses and made .05 on the deal. Amazing!

Dirty Dozen vs. Clean Fifteen

There are many articles out there about the benefits of eating organically. I have been reading them wanting to go more organic for my family. I try to go less processed anyways so organic is just another baby step, I hope.
Well there is lots and lots of advice about organics, one thing I saw many times is the most important things to get organic vs the least important things.
These lists have been titled the dirty dozen (the items you want organic) and the clean fifteen (items that do not soak up the pesticides when grown non organically)

The Dirty Dozen (after more research the list expanded, but is still referred to as dozen)
Sweet Bell Peppers
Leafy Greens

The Clean Fifteen (many of these items made the list because you do not actually eat the outside layer where most of the pesticides are found)
Sweet Corn
Sweet Peas
Sweet Potato