Tag Archives: green mommy

Finally, That Fall Feeling!

I’m finally getting fall fever!

Fall always used to be my favorite season. But, for the past few years (since I started my long commute) winter is just so dang scary that I spend most of fall worrying about it, and last year, I pretty much missed fall altogether because of the all-encompassing arrival of my little man. :)

But today, I decided that I needed a neck pumpkin for a recipe, so we headed down to THE place in our area for pumpkins, gourds, and all things autumnal: Bailey’s Market in Selinsgrove. I remember when this place was just tiny!

So I closed up the laptop, left the cell at home, gathered up my boys and immersed myself in that “crunchy orange leaf” feeling. I did bring my camera, though. ;)

And you know what? It was the best day I’ve had in a really long time. It’s official: I’m totally loving fall again. (Isn’t it just incredible how having a tiny, new perspective along puts the wonder back into everything?)

….and my personal favorites, the Fairy Tale pumpkin!

Oh, and about that neck pumpkin…we got one, and the recipe turned out great!

Next post, I promise!

Any guesses?

3 Comments

Filed under Green Living, Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Easy Millet Porridge

I know. I’m a fickle pickle.

Sure, I go on and on about how much I love oats, but I’ve got a new love on the side…

It’s MILLET!

Yes, millet is often found in bird seed. Tweet tweet! Technically, it is a seed, but it’s classified as a grain in culinary circles. It’s also a really yummy source of phosphorous and magnesium that provides lots of fiber… and it’s gluten-free!

I’ll admit, I used to be afraid  of a lot of grains, mostly because I didn’t know how to cook them. But now I know better. See…millet is just little and not very scary at all…

There are probably lots of more sophisticated millet recipes out there, but when I need breakfast, I need it real quick fast in a hurry on the double. So this is a simple method of making sure I have a good, healthy, hearty breakfast a few days in a row, with very little effort. (Just a little extra liquid when reheating results in a lovely, porridgy consistency.) Sometimes, I even toss the extra in with some Overnight Oats. The best of both worlds!

Like most grains and beans, millet should be rinsed clean and picked through before you prepare it to be eaten. Some folks will tell you to soak your millet, some will tell you not to. I do not soak. I heard something somewhere about increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients of millet by soaking, but honestly, I don’t know much about it. (Dietitian foodie friends: Chime in now!)

I recommend toasting millet before cooking. It lends the grain a richer, nuttier flavor, plus it’s just fun to watch the little guys dance in the pan. Just take a dry pan, add the millet, and cook over low to medium heat until the little grains start to jump around and pop. Shake pan frequently to ensure even browning, and watch carefully so it doesn’t burn! 8O

Once toasted, add the millet to a small saucepan with the liquid of your choice. (I use 1/4 cup millet to 1 cup liquid.) Use water, milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, orange juice, apple cider, or whatever suits your fancy. I like to use plain water if I’m making enough for a few days just in case the next morning brings a craving for a different flavor combination.

Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer over low heat (watching closely) for approx. 30 minutes or until water is absorbed and millet is tender. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes, then fluff with fork.

Once your millet is cooked, just add your favorite mix-ins! Today’s were cinnamon and cardamom, sliced banana, a drizzle of maple syrup and some crumbled Artisana coconut butter.  Oh, and one big, hefty Medjool date!

The smushed up version…

Tomorrow, I’m thinking banana with honey and almond butter!

A few add-in suggestions:

  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla
  • chia seeds
  • nut butters (almond, cashew, soy nut)
  • fruit butters (apple, pear, pumpkin)
  • dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots, prunes, dates)
  • fresh fruit (bananas, berries, sauteed apples, stewed pears)
  • citrus zest
  • coconut
  • pumpkin puree
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • agave nectar

The possibilities are endless! :D

_____________________________________

Have you ever eaten millet? Do you like it?

Have you ever been intimidated by an ingredient because you didn’t know what to do with it?

9 Comments

Filed under Recipes & Food

Why CSN is even cooler than I thought…

A few months ago, I was introduced to CSN Stores through some of my foodie blog friends, and I spent a little time browsing through their 200+ online shops, looking at everything from ice cream makers and bedding to wardrobes and cool baby gear. I was intrigued by the huge selection available through CSN, and I promised myself I’d visit again soon…

Well, little man’s birthday is creeping up on me fast, and it’s time to do some shopping! So, I headed back to CSN to find some toys and other fun stuff.  I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but I had a few things in mind and I was hoping to get enough of my gifts there to meet the $69 requirement for free shipping (not hard to do, considering you can buy just about anything at CSN.)

I headed over to CSN Baby and clicked on the “Go Green” option (just look for the little leaf at the top of the page.) This is an AWESOME feature, because it enables you to put a “green” filter on your entire search. Priceless, especially if you’re also trying to make lunch while chasing a baby who has recently learned how to run…. 8O

Imagine my surprise when I found TONS of toys! :D I could do every bit of my birthday shopping here, and my holiday shopping too! I was thrilled to find Plan Toys, Green Toys, Wonderworld, and so many others. I promise you this goes way beyond any blogger/sponsor partnership. Anyone who has spent time searching stores for better play alternatives knows that this is a goldmine!

There were cute organic stuffed animals, sleek modern toys, old fashioned wooden classics…and I didn’t have to worry about screening them for yicky plastic and toxic paints, because CSN already did that for me. So what should I get?

This cool Svan Scooter?

This creativity-inspiring  Bilibo Play Shell?

This Wonderworld Rapping Kangaroo Push Toy?

I made a preliminary list of about 20 favorites. This coming from the mother who says things like, “I don’t think babies need a ton of toys.”

Oh dear. I think I’m in trouble.

Ready to shop? Head over to Crave to Save where you can enter to win a $35 CSN gift certificate! Ends Oct 23!

or, visit Psychic Mama, Indigo Child and enter to win a $75 gift certificate! Ends Oct 17!

_________________________________________________

I love shopping online! Do you shop online? Do you do it because you prefer it, or do you do it out of necessity?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday

Product Review: Quinoa Gold

Uh oh. The Hydration Project is rearing its thirsty head again…

This time, in the form of a tall, cold glass of quinoa

Wait… what?! Quinoa? 

Yup. Quinoa. I love quinoa. It is a nutrient-packed supergrain, after all, and an easy way to add texture and nutty flavor to tons of dishes. I love it plain, with veggies, in place of rice, in breakfast porridges, and now, I love to drink it, too!

I tried Quinoa Gold on a whim when I found it in a local grocery store. I had never seen it before, and it was in my cart before you could say, “Mother of all Grains!”

I was afraid I’d be weirded out by the texture, but it wasn’t an issue at all. I can’t say it was comparable to anything I’d ever had before, but the bits of quinoa in the mix weren’t offputting. My husband compared it to some of the SOBE drinks. I thought it was completely unique, and maybe a little…slick? Definitely one you want to drink very, very cold.

What I love about Quinoa Gold:

  • 100% organic
  • contains complete proteins
  • low glycemic index
  • sweetened with organic agave nectar
  • provides sustained, caffeine-free energy!
  • I’ve even heard that quinoa increases a nursing moms milk supply! (Not sure how true that is…further investigation is in order…)

As a busy, breastfeeding mommy, I look at Quinoa Gold as a way to check hydration and organic nutrition off my list with ease, and I can drink it on the go. (And, for my vegan and gluten-free friends out there, it fits your needs, too!)

Learn more about the history and benefits of quinoa and Quinoa Gold here. Try Quinoa Gold in Dark Berry, Mango Passion and Pina Colada (Great flavors make great nutrition even better!)

 

*I received no compensation or product from Quinoa Gold. This review is my own opinion.

___________________________________________

Have you tried quinoa? What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

Would you try Quinoa Gold?

3 Comments

Filed under Product & Service Reviews

A Birthday Wish, and Looking Ahead Together…

First order of business for the day: 

A Big Fat HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husbo! 

Yup, it’s my man’s big day! Unfortunately, we’ve had some expenses recently (perhaps you heard me mention on FB or Twitter that my ceiling began to cave in during our recent monsoon?), and we’re looking to buy a new house in the coming year, so finances are a bit strained at the moment. Big ‘spensive gifts are not in the cards this year, but a few hours for him to play in the woods on his own, a bottle of wine and all the sushi we can eat should make for a pretty happy day! (In recent years, birthdays for us really have become more about the events of the day and less about gifts, really.) 

It’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that I met my husband 20 years ago. He was my first real boyfriend, my first real love. He knew me when I permed my hair and wore blue eyeshadow! 8O When he dumped me (Yes, HE dumped ME. <<gasp!>> Can you imagine? ;) ) I thought my world would end. Oh, the drama and devastation my teenage self went through! I now know that it was the best thing that ever could have happened, because we both had the chance to learn and grow into ourselves, but I sure didn’t know that at the time. And I never would have believed that we would reunite so many years later…

During the 20 years that we were apart, we didn’t speak, didn’t even cross paths through friends. So imagine how floored I was to find out, once we did meet again, that we had grown to be so similar. We share so many priorities, and fundamental ideals. Sure, we are different in many ways, but he understands who I am, and puts up with my whirlwind self, and he just “gets” me like no one else ever has. He’s smart, and funny, and perceptive, and the best father. Sure, he may not be the best housekeeper, and he watches horrible television sometimes, but I really couldn’t ask for more. 

As we look ahead, the goals we’ve set forth seem a little daunting. I’m a good one for setting goals so high that they wig me out and overwhelm me, but that’s why my husband is so important in my life: he’s the calming force, the great balancer. He’s laid back and calm, and I am glad to see a little of that chill factor developing in my son. 

As I mentioned, one of our biggest goals (besides building our family) is moving into a new house. Our house now is inefficient, in need of lots of repair, and very small. It was also his when we met. Buying a new home together feels like a great opportunity for a fresh new start in a home that will house our children as they grow. It also feels like a huge chance to incorporate our goals of being healthier and more eco-friendly in our everyday living, and teach our kid(s?) as we go.

I was leafing through a copy of Natural Home magazine today, and came upon an article about people living in tiny little houses. It seems that our goal isn’t so unique…it’s actually quite trendy. People are going to extremes, paring down to houses of 1000 sq feet or less. It’s an interesting concept to me, and I’ve seen it in several publications lately. Many are getting hip to the concept of simple and efficient living, and it seems like the right way to go (maybe not quite so small, but we’re headed in that general direction.)

We love the thought that moving forward doesn’t have to mean “bigger” and “more.” Having less and doing without things can be a choice, not an indication that you haven’t succeeded. And it’s the kind of future we want, but the problem is that it seems so beyond us because it’s all so far away…on TV or in a documentary about other people. It’s always somewhere other than here.  Where do you start in looking for a ‘greener’ house? Do you buy an older one and make all the renovations needed to upgrade it? Do you build it that way? Where do you find a green builder? With all the new green technology developing at such a rapid rate, is it even possible to keep up, or is a new home behind the times before it’s even finished? We sure don’t want to get all finished only to find that there was a better way.

Solar, wind, geo-thermal, water collection systems, non-toxic, sustainable materials…how do you know what, why, how and where to get started? And how EXPENSIVE is all this? Is this stuff just for the elite who can afford it, or can the average folks, like us, join the green party, too?

But is all this new “Green Technology” even this answer? Sometimes I feel like those of us who feel the need to be more eco-aware are just being duped into thinking we need to add things to make our houses greener, when we really need to be taking things away. Am I being greenwashed by all the shows on Planet Green and the piles of green living magazines my husband buys? Magazine articles and TV shows on Green Home Makeovers might be fun to watch, but with all this talk of “simple living” shouldn’t it be easier, not more confusing, to structure your home to fit your ideals? 

I don’t really know the answer, but I’m glad I have someone to help me figure it all out, and do it all with me. 

Happy birthday, love!

5 Comments

Filed under Green Living