Green Living: Eating Clean On a Budget

Eating clean – it’s the best and most clear cut way to describe what it means to limit your intake of pesticides. There seems to be an ongoing debate in mainstream media whether eating organic food actually makes a difference. A highly referenced 2012 Stanford study claims that there are no obvious health benefits to eating produce labelled organic. Can that really be so? Has history not taught us that ingesting insecticides, among other chemicals, causes increased risk of cancer, birth defects, and other health issues?

hunter hills csa beets

Beautiful beets grown on a friend’s “beyond organic” farm in rural Pennsylvania.

If you’re anything like me you too are skeptical of recent headlines counterclaiming the benefits of eating organic. If you’re also like me, you know that choosing the big O also means paying significantly more for your fresh greens and fruits. So what’s a budget conscious health savvy vegetarian to do?!

Let me introduce you to the saving grace of shopping organic: The dirty dozen and clean fifteen. If you’re anything beyond a green living novice, these two lists are probably already part of your shopping arsenal. But if they’re not – be ready to take screenshots of the graphic below.

So what are these lists? Each year the EWG, aka Environmental Working Group, puts out a list of the 12 crops that have tested highest on the pesticide scale, as well as the 15 that are lowest. Continue reading

Finds: Warm & Toasty

Pierogi Picnic: Warm & Cozy Handmade Winter Finds

With half of the nation in a deep freeze this week – I thought it appropriate to bring you a collection of goodies that will having you feeling warm and toasty in no time!

These beautifully crafted items were all hand-selected by me to help you think cozy thoughts in these blistering winter temps. So stop what you’re doing, grab a warm beverage, and explore the sites of these talented artisans. I guarantee that you’ll like what you find!

p.s. If you’re already gift-hunting for Valentine’s Day – this collection should give you some great ideas!

      1. Handmade Boots by Rita J Felt
      2. Warm Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub by Blackberry Ranch
      3. Couples Hand-Holding Mitten by With Love From Emma
      4. Knitted Ear Warmers by Yes Jess
      5. Organic Fair Trade Drinking Chocolate by Flying Bird Botanicals
      6. Goat’s Milk, Cocoa Butter, Oatmeal Bath Bombs by Kissmibella
      7. Winter Scenery Art Print by Malobi
      8. Heart Knit Boot Cuffs by Senur Sasa
      9. Whipped Shea, Mango and Cocoa Butter by Fatty’s Soap Company
      10. Knit Hand Muff by Ovinity
      11. Spicy Chocolate Truffles by Epic Edibles
      12. Minimalist Winter Wall Decor by Raceytay
      13. Rose Vanilla Cuticle Cream by Swamp Angel
      14. Knitted Cosby Skirt by Pierogi Picnic
      15. Scalloped Fingerless Gloves by Cookieletta
      16. Pocket Hand Warmers by Worme Wool

DIY: Homemade Cheek & Lip Stain

There are many secrets cosmetic companies intentionally keep from consumers. Thousands of toxic chemicals abound in lipsticks, fragrances, shampoos, and eye shadows being sold in the United States and beyond. Take one look at the Cosmetic Safety Database and you’ll see for yourself that we’re literally killing ourselves for the sake of beauty.

For this reason I made a pledge at the start of the year to dump all of my artificial makeup and skin care products and start over with natural cosmetics. I’ll admit that January was a difficult month. I went shopping and had a very very difficult time finding products that fit my high caliber expectations. Continue reading