Friday, March 26, 2010

Natural things

Here are some photos of what Ive been up to lately...





Playing outside... The weather is gorgeous!

Dinos in the garden! So thats who dug up all my potatoes!

Picking Dandies and drying them for later use.


Making Kelp Cold cream. I seriously love this recipe and love how it makes my skin feel.
Making more tonight.

Hope everyone had a good week!
The weekend is here!
-Gretchen

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Life!

My seeds are sprouting! Yay!

I planted these seeds about a week ago. They are almost ready to go in the ground. I started them indoors to give them a chance to grow strong before I put them outside.

Sprouting: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, peas, sunflowers and tomatoes. I also have basil, chives and rosemary in these fiber pots, but they arent sprouting yet.

Today looks like rain. Im going to prepare the soil for the beds today and hopefully it will get a good drink before I put the seedlings in a few days from now.

The rest of the day will be spent indoors. Im working on some all natural beauty and household cleaning products. After all of my reading, I realized that practically everything we use, from shampoo to laundry soap, has nasty chemicals in them and I dont want to use them anymore. Just last night, I looked at the back of my foaming anti-bacterial hand soap... it contains Triclosan! Yup.... not good at all.

I have made some Laundry soap and it works great, not to mention being soooo much cheaper than regular laundry detergent. It seems to me that most people think that "green" products dont work as well as natural... But Im finding just the opposite! My hemp body wash leaves my skin (and Layla's) feeling smooth and soft and it smells great. Not to mention the obvious lack of harsh chemicals and all that bad stuff.

Ive started a new Etsy shop to share my formulations with anyone who wants them. Have a look! Its good for you! Clearwater Naturals

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!
-Gretchen

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Setting up the Raised Garden Beds

Monday, I layed the groundwork for my garden.
Im having trouble with my card reader so Ive adding stock pictures until I can fix it.. or find my camera cord... sorry!

I started by going to Lowes to get the boards to make a raised bed. As I was wandering around the garden center, I stumbled on some raised bed "kits". They consist of 4 planks the set into each other to make a 4'x4' frame for the beds. One 4x4 section can be broken down into 16 one foot sections, so I bought 2 of the bed kits. They cost $69 each. A little on the pricey side but you could always just buy the boards and build them yourself. Being that I have no man to do the hard work for me at the moment.. I chose the easy way out.

Wait did I say easy?? Not all of it. Good thing I took the truck to Lowes because I ended up getting 8 bags of Organic Compost and 6 bags of Organic Soil. These are not light! After digging out the ground (my backyard is very slanted) to set the bed frames.. it was all I could muster to get the compost bags out of the truck, one by one, and into the beds.

Oh how I wish Bryan was here to do the heavy lifting! But, hey, maybe I'll lose some weight doing this. Heavy lifting, walking with the weight, digging in the dirt... fresh air...

Its been a little chilly here lately so I am waiting for a sunny day to add the soil to the beds and test the soil. More on that later.

I'm also starting my seeds inside to make sure they are strong before I put them in the ground. I've seen conflicting opinions on whether I should have started them earlier or not, but this is a "live and learn" experience for me. More on that later as well.

Also more on my trip to the shamefully lacking farmers market here in town and oiur surprising stocked Wal-mart trip.... later. I am learning alot very quickly so I need to spread things out to give you something to read!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Project... for a Good Reason!

I've been at the point in my life where I just knew something big was about to happen. I didnt know what it was, but I knew it was coming.

I've always known that most of the foods we eat are just terrible for our health. I've known that the meat is unclean, the fruits and veggies are tainted with pesticides and harmful chemicals. But it wasn't until a few days ago that I made the decision to do something about it for my family. I watched the documentary, Food Inc., and it really opened my eyes. Knowing the food is bad is not as real as seeing and seeing the way you need to go from there.

I havent bought meat in a long time as it is. With the exception when Bryan was home on leave. I just dont like meat. Every once in a while I want a good steak, but other than that, it doesnt appetize me at all. Trust me. I am in no way one of those people who are all about animal rights and what-not. I believe that God put certain animals on this Earth the provide food for His children. But His children have ruined that source for the most part, and until I can find wholesome, clean meat... We just wont use it. Period. No chicken nuggets, no burgers, no sloppy joes... its just not worth putting the chemicals into our bodies!

The things that we do eat, I will be buying as much Organic as I possibly can. For certain; milk, eggs, bread, cheese, fruits and veggies. I know that this will be quite a change from our normal, junk food life. But it is neccesary! This is a commitment to the health of my familiy, mostly Layla as she is the most vulnerable to the garbage in what she eats.

This blog is changing its direction. It will serve as a journal to track my progress on all things organic and green. I will also do my best to help you do the same with fun, easy ways to make your life more healthy. Anything new that I learn, I will share here. Certainly, my blgo will be flooded with information that I find!!

Im Excited!!! Are you? Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. I would be happy to help you find the answer, and learn for myself along the way. I will still be posting family life things and happenings at Prettylittlepearl, so stick around for that too.

Here are some links to the books Ive been reading to help you see what I now see...

Do One Green Thing - A great book with easy , clean instructions on what to buy and what not to buy when it comes to green living. I carry this book in my purse!

The Omnivore's Dilemma - In depth research on where our food comes from.

I'm sure there will be more books... but these are what Im working on at the moment.

Thanks for sticking around. I hope this blog will help us all live greener, healthier lives. If not for ourselves, for our children!

-Gretchen