Green Tip #11: Add tea to your floors

This week, not for the first time, but for the first time intentionally – I upended a beverage all over my floor. My consistent penchant for knocking over all sorts of beverages – infused water, tea, carbonated water, what have you – has left my 30 year old wood floors looking rather, ahem, aged. So when I saw a random old calendar tip for cleaning your floors with tea? I thought, hey, I’ve already DONE this! Continue reading

Food for Thought Recap: Health Values

I don’t know what it is about mid-August, but it has me in the recap mood. Maybe it’s because I want to hold on to the last few weeks of traditional summer, even though fall doesn’t start here in Chiba until Halloween. Maybe it’s because I prefer to spend my weekends lounging around reading historical fiction or children’s fantasy books, my usual summer tradition going back to when I was 8 or so. At least now I’m old enough to drive myself to the library when I run out of books.

This is also, apparently, the summer of desserts…

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Uncool Fudge

Last Sunday, when I made 12 sweet potato truffles and ate all 12 in the space of six hours, also in the middle of writing Tuesday’s giveaway post, I fully intended to post the truffle recipe today. On Monday, being on an unusual dessert kick, I unintentionally developed an avocado fudge recipe – well actually I saw the Avocado Fudge on La Fuji Mama’s site a few days before, and that was lurking in the back of my brain. But haphazard blender experiment turned into a full-blown diva, blowing my innocent little truffles out of the water. I mean, it kicked them in the pants, poor little gals. Sweet potatoes, passed over? Blasphemy! Or a testament to how much I love this fudge. I became a woman obsessed – fudge for breakfast, fudge as a snack, fudge for dinner. Well part of dinner anyway. Salad + fudge became a balanced meal, for dinner but also for breakfast…I know it is unconventional, but that’s the point!

July Shop with a Cause Recap + Coconut Oil Giveaway!

* This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who left comments and participated. You are amazing and I appreciate each one of you. I’ll announce the winner Tuesday!*

I’ve talked about how I love shopping with a cause because it is a win-win situation. I get to support local, eco-friendly stores, find useful products to help my sustainable lifestyle, buy reused goods to avoid contributing to land fill and mindless consumerism, and since I am shopping I still get something in return!

Just Act Natural at the hub of the Appleton Saturday Farmer’s Market

When I shop for food, I always go local first. I buy meat & eggs from local farms or farmer’s markets – places where I can see how animals are raised and interact and talk with the people who raise them. I love chatting with vendors at the farmer’s market! You get to meet great people and talk about food, one of my favorite past times. When you buy local produce, you can confirm that the producer doesn’t use pesticides or harmful chemicals. Sometimes organic certification is too expensive for small farmers, and I’m suspicious of the big brands and companies taking the organic label and using it as a selling point rather than a real commitment to sustainable agriculture. Plus when you buy local, you support good people like your vendors and you reduce the environmental impact of shipping costs. Organic apples are great, but when they come all the way from Chile? Buying local means you’ll also get to discover seasonal produce and eat the freshest, most delicious produce for that time of year. Usually those Chilean apples don’t taste as good as an orchard-fresh one in the fall. Continue reading

Food for Thought: My Food Philosophy

Well it has been a little bit, but I’m just going to jump right in. Last time I wrote a Sunday post, I told you about how I believe that EVERYONE, no matter what their dietary or life choices, would benefit from eating a whole foods diet. My example of one of the perfect whole foods was sweet potatoes, and I’ll be writing more on using this nutritionally dense superfood to curb sweet tooths. I used to have a terrible “sweet tooth”, but really it should be called something like “guilt tooth”. I was addicted to sugar. I would eat sugary things, crave more, feel bad about myself for eating sweet things and having no “self-control” or “willpower” in order to stop eating them. I lived in a world of “guilty pleasures”, a seemingly innocent phrase that was actually covering up habits of self-harm, depression, and mental beat-downs. I haven’t quite found the word to describe what I was doing to myself mentally, only that it was negative, harming, and getting in the way of my being healthy, because I had no self-love and I wasn’t focusing on holistic health.

guilt-free treats – fudgey sweet potato bites

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Guys. GUYS. We have a huge winner. A rousing success. A simple, delicious, throw together summer dessert that leaves families fighting over the cake pan as soon as it’s cool enough to touch. I knew from the minute I saw this cake on Shutterbean that I had to recreate it. It took three tries, but each one was even better than the last, and from the beginning this cake has flown out of the pan, inhaled by my family. Team Johnson could not get enough. The latest version, paired with a sumptuous vanilla ice cream recipe from Simply Bites, is the best yet. It screams summer dessert – easy, bursting with fresh berries, and perfect with a scoop of ice cream on a warm summer night.

Shop With a Cause: 5 Favorite Eco Things

Added bonus – my five favorite things are available at a local business too!

Just Act Natural at the hub of the Appleton Saturday Farmer’s Market

This is my favorite store, period. It’s called Just Act Natural and it is located in lovely downtown Appleton, WI. The owners, J.C. and Dianne, are my inspiration for easy, green living. I love going in and checking out the fun new products, chatting with the staff, and spending money! But I can shop guilt-free, because I know I’ll get a great product, help out an eco-friendly company, and support a local business that truly cares about it’s community.

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