One of my favorite areas to decorate for Halloween is our front porch. It’s the perfect spot to share your Halloween decorations with visitors and neighbors! These painted glass lanterns are one of my favorite projects to pull out of storage every year. They are just so delightful!
1. Spray the glass containers inside and outside.
2. Once dry, paint on the design or face that you would like.
3. Place a rechargeable or solar powered tea light inside.
4. Watch the delight on the faces of your neighbors as they walk by.
I love oatmeal on cool, crisp fall mornings! Am I the only one? You can make your own organic instant oatmeal packed with flavor in a few simple steps taking your regular oatmeal from ho-hum to yum-yum. Read on to learn how you can make organic instant oatmeal and wake up to a better tomorrow.
Step 1: Bake It! Preheat the oven to 350°, spread 4 cups of organic old-fashioned rolled oats on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2: Pulse It! Pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Step 3: Mix It! Mix in a cup of your favorite oatmeal add-ins such as; almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and coconut.
Step 4: Store It! Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Step 5: Boil It! Stir boiling water into a cup of your organic instant oatmeal until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 6: Enjoy It! Oatmeal is my favorite on a cool, crisp fall morning – top with honey too!
Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s back to school for children, teens, and young adults across the country. For parents, that means it’s time to handle getting lunches packed, balanced breakfasts on the table, and sleepyheads out of bed!
I always get a wonderful nostalgic feeling from the end of summer, back-to-school time. It always reinvigorates me and makes me excited to try new things and make changes in my life, even though my own schooldays are long past. I think part of this has definitely been from raising Eben!
Watching him go through the process of starting a new grade each year has been so rewarding and inspiring (and now, he’s applying to Graduate School, can you believe it!) I always want to support him and his efforts at school, and part of that means making sure he’s well fed and properly fueled so his brain can do all that learning each day (at least until he leaves us!)
One of the things I like to try and do each year is come up with new types of healthy snacks. Kids always seem drawn to any kind of single-serving snacks and fun foods—just think about those awful packaged varieties that your kids have probably begged you to buy while shopping. Packing the same things all the time gets boring and doesn’t offer much variety in terms of vitamins and minerals, which only eating a broad diet can do.
If you’re stumped for new ideas when packing lunches, here are some of our favorites, which I’m sure your kids will love, too:
Fruit Skewers: Use whatever fruits you have on hand (melons, apples, clementines, grapes, etc.) and stick bite-sized chunks onto wooden skewers or reusable plastic or metal skewers if you want to be extra eco-conscious. These colorful snacks are fun to eat and easy to share with friends at school!
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter & Pretzels: This fun, dippable snacks make eating healthy nut butter a breeze. Eben loves these so much he had already gone through the package of them before school started! Like a healthier version of Nutella, these snacks feel like an indulgence, but they’re made from high-quality, all-natural ingredients with a focus on sustainability. Definitely a winner!
Fruit and Vegetable Chips: Whether you choose to make these in the oven, dehydrator, or buy them from your local health food store (such a variety is available these days!), fruit or vegetable chips are a great way of making healthy eating fun and delicious for kids. The possibilities are endless: apples, sweet potatoes, kale, zucchini, eggplant, all with any combination of flavored salts, herbs, and spices.
Stonyfield Organics YoKids Squeezers: This squeezable yogurt is both healthy and tasty. Eben loves the Cherry and Berry flavor pack, and they never come home uneaten when I pack them in his lunch! As with all of the Stonyfield products, they are organic certified by the USDA and made with pasture-raised milk.
Nuts and Seeds: I buy organic nuts and seeds in bulk at Costco and pack them in Eben’s lunch every day. They are the perfect snack to grab right before a big test or for an after-lunch pick-me-up!
Homemade Granola Bars: Unlike their store-bought counterparts, when you make granola bars at home, you don’t need to add any processed sugars and can control exactly what goes into them. There are endless healthy granola bar recipes online, and I guarantee at least one of them can be made with whatever you have in your cupboards right now!
What about you? Do you have any favorite back-to-school snack ideas that your kids devour? Or any packing secrets or life-changing products you can’t do without? I’d love to hear about them—the more inspiration, the better!
Hello, Friends! I am pretty excited, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different this year. Most gatherings will be super small or social distanced.
Either way, it will still be a ton of fun and work! To get you started, there are many eco-friendly ways to green your Thanksgiving dinner – all of which are easier to implement if you plan ahead. Many of these ideas will save you money and time while cutting down on the amount of waste that can accumulate from a big family dinner. Read on to learn my 5 favorite eco-friendly ways to plan your Thanksgiving dinner and start planning today!
1. Decorating 101 You don’t have to spend any money when decorating for Thanksgiving, instead use items that you already have or consider bringing natural items indoors. We always have a handful of pumpkins leftover from Halloween that we use as Thanksgiving decorations. And Eben and I like to take a nature walk to collect natural elements (pine-cones, acorns, branches, and leaves) to display as our Thanksgiving table centerpiece.
2. How Much is Enough? It is really easy to go overboard when planning the Thanksgiving menu. Consider the dishes that you will be serving and ask yourself if you are making more than is necessary. Choose a few dishes that you are sure your guests will love and skip the rest. Also, consider which parts of Thanksgiving dinner you want to or can afford to purchase organic and whenever possible, avoid pre-packaged items.
3. Consider the Table Do you have enough dinnerware for everyone at your dinner party? If not, consider borrowing place settings from close friends or family members instead of purchasing new. If you aren’t a china and tablecloth kind of family and choose to go with disposable place settings, choose a great compostable version that is made from 100% recycled materials.
4. Think Seasonal When choosing fruits and vegetables for your Thanksgiving menu, think seasonal. You want to avoid purchasing produce that is imported from far away. You may consider joining a local CSA for the holiday season – not only will you have delicious, local foods to serve this Thanksgiving, but you will be supporting a local farm too.
5. Plan for Leftovers What do you plan to do with the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers? If you are planning on sending goodies home with your guests, have glass reusable storage containers ready to go. If you made more than your family can consume, you could donate some of the leftovers to a local food bank, freeze them for later or have a menu plan for the days after Thanksgiving so all of the leftovers will be used.
How do you green your Thanksgiving dinner? I would love to hear – please share your thoughts in the comments!
Many people want to know about natural home remedies that work for alleviating ailments and illnesses. For instance, kombucha, a natural fermented drink, can help kill harmful bacteria. There are other natural home remedies that work for alleviating pain and discomfort. Here are the top five to look into.
People in the U.S. get about one billion colds each year, and many people look for over-the-counter medicines to relieve their symptoms. However, they may already have a natural remedy in their kitchen cabinet. Research shows that honey is more effective at relieving cold symptoms such as a sore throat and a cough.
If you’re one of the 1 in 25 working-age adults in the United States who face work limitations attributed to arthritis, an ingredient in your spice rack may be able to help. Turmeric is a versatile spice from India that has been used to treat certain ailments for centuries, including arthritis. Research shows that turmeric can reduce rheumatoid arthritis inflammation. However, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider before adding a turmeric supplement to your treatment routine.
Ginger has been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting, and also ease stomach cramps and bloating. It’s especially helpful for women experiencing pregnancy-related nausea. Before taking any, it’s best to contact your doctor to ask about adding ginger into your daily routine.
58 million people go to a gym or health club each year, which means millions of people may be dealing with sore muscles. After a particularly tough workout, reach for cherry juice. Cherry juice has been shown to help with sore muscles, as well as reducing pain and inflammation. It’s filled with rich antioxidants that relieve pain, the most effective one being anthocyanins. Ask your doctor about incorporating raw cherry juice into your diet if your muscles are frequently sore.
Peppermint can bring relief for many illnesses and ailments. It can help manage the pain of headaches and migraines, clear clogged sinuses, and ease upset stomachs. It can also freshen your breath and help you sleep better. Many people drink peppermint tea because it can help alleviate these symptoms.
There are a number of natural home remedies that can alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. While it may be tempting to automatically start using these remedies in your normal routine, you should talk to your doctor about using these remedies, especially if you’re on certain medications. They’ll tell you if they’re safe to use.