|May 17, 2013||Filled under Food|
Yesterday I picked up my order from the local co-op. This co-op is only local food and not a lot of veggies and no fruit so far, so this is an all meat haul. If you have been reading for awhile you know I avoid factory farmed meat and try to only buy meat if I know how it was raised, this is easiest to do with local meat. Thankfully the local co-op has a lot to offer in this area! So this is what I got this time.
- 4 lbs of pastured chicken tenders
- 2 grass-fed filets
- 3 lbs of grass-fed beef
- 1 lb of grass-fed bison
If any of you are members of co-ops and post hauls or just want to tell me what kinds of things you get in the comments, I love to hear what people are buying and eating.
|May 9, 2013||Filled under Food|
Yesterday my mom and I went on our monthly grocery shopping trip in Norman (a town about an hour away from us). The weather was great, it even got a bit hot in the afternoon. I’m sure I will be wishing for cold weather soon but so far we haven’t had much spring weather. We have had record cold weather and it was great to finally have a warm day.
When we first got to Norman, we dropped off our glass recycling. And then we had a nice lunch with one of my best friends since childhood, at our favorite restaurant, Tres Cantina (formerly Pink Elephant). It was yummy as always. And we of course enjoyed chatting. After lunch we went to our first stop, the new Sprouts. We prefer locally owned stores so we just buy things at chains if they are cheaper or we can’t find them at one of the locally owned stores. We did get some good deals on produce this time. Though the parking lot was a bit crazy and we had a lot of trouble finding several things. Their selection of organic cheese was really lacking! When leaving we did find we were parked next to a Tesla. If you read my post about our new car you know that I really want a Tesla. This is only the second one I have seen in person, my mom and I had to take pictures.
After being the weird people taking pictures of someone else’s car, we headed to a regional chain, Homeland. They have a great selection of sustainable seafood and had some good sales on organic produce. We always have to laugh at our cart at Homeland because it’s always an odd selection of items, you will see in my haul at the end of the post, how weird it was this time.
After Homeland, we went to the locally owned natural food store we love, Dodson’s. After that was Natural Grocers, then a locally owned liquor store called Cellar, then a great little store called Forward Foods, they have the most amazing selection of cheese and some other hard to find items, and our last stop was International Pantry. Like their name suggests they have some International foods, we did try some malt balls from the U.K. They also have pretty much every kitchen gadget you can think of. We enjoyed just looking around without our husband’s looking totally bored. I found a nut chopper I really wanted, you can see it below. My mom however pointed out that I’m allergic to nuts so this is not something I need. But it’s so cute!!
When we got out of International Pantry we decided we needed to hurry and leave. There was a risk of severe weather and there were some storm clouds rolling in. It was great timing and we missed all of the storms.
For those that are interested in what I bought, below is my haul. I still have my coop order which comes in next week and we of course still had a lot of food on hand. I found, when looking through my freezer that, we have a lot of frozen fruit! Thankfully it’s smoothie weather so I’m sure I will make a dent in that this month.
- 2 Organic cream cheese
- Organic raw milk cheddar cheese
- Organic french fries
- Organic frozen pizza
- 2 Organic green beans
- Chocolate butter cookies
- 2 Organic mac & cheese
- Organic pineapple juice
- Potato chips
- 2 Uncured beef jerky sticks
- Organic mini watermelon
- 5 lbs organic russet potatoes
- Organic romaine hearts
- Organic strawberries
- 3 lbs organic fuji apples
- 8 organic lemons
- 3 gallons of white vinegar
- 2 hydrogen peroxide
- aluminum free baking powder
- Organic hot dogs
- Organic mayo
- 5 Organic Mozzarella
- Organic provolone
- 4 Organic raw milk cheddar
- Organic all purpose flour
- Biokleen Bac-out
- Organic bread and butter pickles
- Local ground bison
- Organic tortilla chips
- 2 Organic salsa
- 2 Organic cheddar crackers
- Organic cane sugar
- Organic chocolate milk (it was in glass, full-fat, grass-fed, and creamline so I couldn’t resist)
- Dr. Bronner’s castile soap
- Organic lime juice
- Organic lemon juice
- 2 Organic fruit and veggie blend juice
- Organic orange juice
- Uncured pepperoni
- 2 Organic dark brown sugar
- Organic vanilla extract
- Organic spelt tortilla
- 2 Organic chocolate chips
- Organic white bread
- Natural chocolate candies
- Organic dark chocolate bar
- Organic angel hair pasta
- Natural mints
- Organic unrefined coconut oil
- Organic refined coconut oil
- Uncured bacon
- Organic turkey lunch meat
- Uncured salami
- 2 organic honey wheat bread
- Marshmallow cereal
- Organic sunflower butter
- 4 baking soda
- Organic chicken broth
- Organic sliced muenster cheese
- 2 Organic string cheese
- Organic ricotta
- 3 Organic parmesan
- Organic pasture butter
- Chocolate coconut water
- Uncured apple and gouda sausage
- Organic beef jerky
- 2 Organic tomato paste
- 2 Breaded mozzarella sticks
- Coconut milk caramels
- Natural bath bomb
- 2 Suncups
- Natural grenadine
If you post hauls, either blogs or videos, post below or on my Facebook page, I would love to see them.
|May 6, 2013||Filled under Uncategorized|
The other day we got a new car. I’m sure most of you won’t be surprised to hear it’s a Prius. However, if you know my husband you may find this surprising. When we were dating he drove a 2002 Trans Am (sorry for the terrible photo below, my husband isn’t home and he has the good ones). He loves fast cars but he commutes around 30 miles (both ways) to work. He was tired of paying for gas on his Camry SE, which was sporty but had good gas mileage for that kind of car. He got around 30 MPG but with gas prices and a wife telling him all the time that they will only get worse, he decided it was time for a hybrid. Of course I’m quite happy.
We looked at a Ford Focus electric car but the range just wasn’t long enough with the number of charging stations in Oklahoma. We really want a Tesla but we can’t afford one. (Hey Tesla, if you read this, why not give me one to review or something? That would be really nice!)
So we choose to get a Prius. We looked at other hybrids but Prius is well reviewed, reliable, comfortable and most say one of the, or the, best hybrid. My parents have had a Prius for a long time now and love it. Their next car will be another Prius.
My husband misses the power but likes a lot of the gadgets and such. And really loves that he got 58.8 mpg on the way back from the town where we bought the Prius!
So any of you have a Prius or other hybrid or electric car? Do what do you think of it?
|April 24, 2013||Filled under Animals, Food|
This is a post I have wanted to write for a long time but kept putting it off because I knew it could cause some controversy. I happened to cause some controversy on my latest post on BlogHer so why not cause some more over here? I haven’t been one to shy away from controversy in the past, why start now?
If you have been a reader for very long you likely know my diet is almost all organic, either certified or from local farms that use organic or better standards. I LOVE organic, real food. I joined the local food coop a few months ago and love finding new local food to try. The other day I made some local purple asparagus, which is awesome by the way. So I love farmers and their farms. But there is one kind of farm I’m not a fan of and this is where we get controversial. I don’t like factory farms.
But what is a factory farm anyway? They are sometimes known as CAFO or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. In these farms, according to the EPA, animals are kept confined for more than 45 days during a growing season in an area that does not produce vegetation, and meets certain size thresholds.
According to the ASPCA, “over 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, which focus on profit and efficiency at the expense of the animals’ welfare.” They go on to talk about common conditions in a factory farm, with animals packed in spaces so tight they can hardly move and many don’t have access to the outdoors.
The ASPCA also talks about some other things that happen in many factory farms. Air is often unclean because of all of the animals being so close together, often indoors, animals often get medications for non-therapeutic reasons, female animals are often pregnant for most of their lives, some undergo painful mutilations like removing beaks, toes, horns, etc… without painkillers to make the animals more “manageable.”
Now meat eaters, I still eat meat, this isn’t a “go vegan” blog, though more power to the vegan readers. You can eat meat without supporting these kinds of things, it does take some work but it’s totally doable. There is one certification to look for that can help and that’s the Animal Welfare Approved certification. This certification is third-party verified and the standards include,
- requires animals to be raised on pasture or range
- prohibits dual production
- awards approval only to family farmers
- charges no fees to participating farmers
- incorporates the most comprehensive standards for high welfare farming
You can also talk to local farmers and ask to go to see their farm. Many small farms are happy to have you come out and show you around. And ask questions, I have yet to find a family farmer that didn’t want to talk about their farm. If you want to find out about factory farming in your state, check out Factory Farm Map, there is a ton of info. I learned there are a lot of factory hog farms in my area, I had no idea!
So if you eat meat, know where your meat is coming from and how it was raised. If we all start asking questions and shopping more ethically we can make a big difference.
I know this is a hot topic so please everyone be nice and respect each other in the comments.
Photo Credits- EPA website
|April 22, 2013||Filled under Uncategorized|
Growing up we had several great locally owned grocery stores around me. We had a Walmart but it wasn’t a “Super Center” but we ended up getting a “Super Center” and slowly our locally owned grocery stores closed. Now we are left with Walmart and two locally owned grocery stores. People have gotten so used to getting everything at one store and having endless choices that when people hear that I don’t shop at Walmart they are shocked.
And I have to say, I do have to go out of town once a month to go to some locally owned natural food stores. But if I wasn’t trying to eat organically I could shop here. You have to rethink how you shop and be willing to not have two rows of cereals to choose from, but really do we need that many choices? I’ve learned we don’t. Now I go to a big chain grocery store and feel overwhelmed with all the choices.
After people ask how I do it, they ask why. There are many reasons.
- I get stressed at Walmart. People are rushing and often rude, this can be stressful.
- It takes forever! Need a few items? It will still take forever because the store is huge and the lines are always long.
- You will end up find more things you “need” because of great product placement.
- The parking lot is a mess and if you don’t want harm to come to your car you have to park a mile away.
- When you shop chains very little of the money stays in your community.
- You have no idea where the food came from, try to ask and someone will give you an “are you crazy” look. (I get these often!)
That last one is a BIG one for me. I try to only use animal products if I know where they came from and how they were treated. Labels like “free range” and “cage-free eggs” mean little to nothing. But when I know who produced the food I can ask questions. The other day I found a local farm that sells bison through the coop I’m a member of, it didn’t had info on the treatment of the animals and didn’t say if they were always grass-fed, it’s common for grass-fed meat to be corn fed for a few months. No looks for asking these questions, the producer was thrilled to answer my questions. I can’t tell you how many farms and ranches will invite you to come check out the farm if you ask questions. Farmers and ranchers take pride in their products and want to show them off, unlike factory farms which work very hard to keep us from seeing what goes on.
It’s not just Walmart, that just happens to be what we have in my town. While I do still go to Target at times for non-food items, these trips are rare and small. I also try to give more of my money to the locally owned natural food stores and just use the chain natural food stores for sales and items I can’t find in other stores. Over the years I have even become friends with many store owners and employes. This has been very nice, I have often walked into a store to have someone tell me there is a new product they know I will love, or even Facebook me to tell me they got something in that I may want. A chain isn’t going to do that!
The advantages to shopping local are endless. And overall I just feel happier going to small locally owned stores where everyone loves their jobs. When I picked up my coop order this week we had a bit of trouble finding somethings and the ladies volunteering apologized, I told them it was find and “still quicker than Walmart.” And it was much more enjoyable. We always enjoy chatting about all the yummy food and other food related issues, not everyone in this area is passionate about local food so we always have lots to talk about.
So this Earth Day, I urge you do to do some research on local businesses in your area, not just grocery stores. Even if you already use some, see if you are missing out on some. Shopping locally is good for the environment, economy, and even the soul.
What’s your favorite thing about shopping local? Share in the comments below or join the converation on Facebook.
|April 20, 2013||Filled under Food|
Before getting to my coop haul for this month, I wanted to give a little update. I know I haven’t been on here much lately. I have been really busy with the site Green Oklahoma. This month the site has gotten a lot of new writers and editors and was even in The Oklahoman, one of the biggest (or the biggest?) newspapers in Oklahoma. You can see the article and a video online, click here. Both of these things are great but have kept me busy. So that’s where I have been. I’m hopefully a little less busy now and can get back to writing on here more.
So now for my haul, which you will see contains a lot of flowers, I went a little crazy with flowers.
- Purple Asparagus
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- Grass-fed Beef
- Coconut Brownies
- Blazin’ Cajun Cheddar
- Fresh Spaghetti
- Pink Butterfly Bush
- 2 kinds of Daylilies
- Indian Blankets
- 3 Irises
- Becky Shasta Daisy
- 2 Stokesia
- Bell Flower seeds
- Four O’Clock seeds
I also ordered eggs and organic coffee but there was an issue with both of those. I didn’t need a lot this month but pretty excited about what I got. Can’t wait to try the fresh pasta, I love pasta!
I’d love to see your coop or grocery haul, if you film or write them, share below!
|April 9, 2013||Filled under Food|
When my mom and I went to Tulsa to see Beth Terry, we decided to go ahead and do our grocery shopping instead of making another trip later. Neither of us had a huge list, I was under budget! I was trying to stay under $250 this trip to save money for my co-op order and I was under, even shopping at Whole Foods! Which doesn’t have as good of prices as the local natural food store where I normally shop.
So here is what I got this month from Whole Foods.
- Organic cane sugar
- Organic Ketchup
- Organic Wheat Waffle Cereal (it reminds me of Chex)
- Organic Graham Crackers
- 2 Organic Cheese Crackers
- 2 Organic Tropical Frozen Fruit
- Organic Mixed Frozen Fruit
- Organic Frozen Mangos
- 2 Organic BBQ Chips
- Organic Orzo pasta (I like to use this in place of rice because of the arsenic issue with rice)
- 2 Organic Mac & Cheese
- Organic Cappellini pasta
- Organic Flour
- Organic Pineapple Juice
- 2 Baking Soda
- Organic Tomato Paste
- Organic Salsa
- Organic and Local-ish Tortilla Chips (these are the best tortilla chips and they are made pretty close to me)
- Organic Ravioli
- Organic French Cut Green Beans
- 2 Organic Corn Tortillas
- 2 Organic Flour Tortillas
- Organic Cream Cheese
- Hugo Naturals Conditioner
- Organic Applegate Chicken Lunch Meat
- Organic Smoked Gouda Slices
- Organic Muenster Slices
- Organic Pepperjack
- Organic String Cheese (my husband is sure this is just SO much different than me cutting up cheese)
- 2 Organic Raw Milk Cheddar
- 2 Organic Mozzarella
- 3 Organic Sharp Cheddar
- Deli Calabrese Salami
- Organic Bread
- 5 Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Organic Romain Hearts
- Organic Yellow Onion
- Organic Fuji Apples
- Organic Navel Oranges
- Organic Strawberries
- Organic Bananas
We also went to Reasor’s a Tulsa area chain. Here is what I got there.
- Salt (for cleaning)
- White Vinegar (for cleaning)
- Organic & Local Coffee
- Organic Kiwis
I of course still had things on hand. You many noticed only a tiny bit of meat, we still had a fair amount of local meat in the freezer and I get most of that from the co-op and I place that order later this month.
|April 8, 2013||Filled under Beauty, Home|
You may be able to guess from the title of my blog that I love retro things. I enjoy the fashion, decor, and TV shows from the late 40′s-early 60′s. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that I love Mad Men. With Mad Men being so popular, vintage or vintage inspired items are becoming very popular again. This is one trend that is pretty easy to green. I thought I would share some of my favorite Mad Men inspired, eco-friendly items.
This beautiful dress is sold by Mod Cloth and is made by People Tree. People Tree is a fair trade and eco-friendly company in the UK. This dress is 100% organic cotton and reasonably priced for this style and for it’s ethical and eco-friendly qualities. There are several other great dresses by People Tree on Mod Cloth as well.
This beautiful ice bucket is made of stainless steel making it a safe option. It’s from Crate & Barrel and is currently on sale (as of 4/8/13).
Decanters are also becoming more popular. You do want to make sure you look for a lead-free decanter, like the one above. Be careful with vintage decanters and they are likely to contain lead.
Etsy is a great place to look for handmade and vintage items. You can find all kinds of great Mad Men inspired items on the site.
These shoes from Planet Shoes aren’t vegan and I really try to buy vegan clothing (or humane wool) but if you are okay with leather these are a better option, as some of the materials are recycled. Vintage shoes are great but vintage leather can contain a lot of heavy metals as be careful.
And of course looking at thrift stores is a great eco-friendly way to find Mad Men inspired items. Try and stick to cotton, linen, un-treated wood, stainless steel, and clear (non-crystal) glass without any painting on it. Many vintage items can contain a lot of lead so know what you are looking for and it’s likely best to avoid vintage for food items and be sure to stay away from painted vintage items unless you know how to properly refinish them without exposing yourself to lead.
If you have any good Mad Men inspired, eco-friendly finds, share in the comments.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer for more. Photos of the products are property of the stores.
|April 7, 2013||Filled under Favorites|
This is late because I’ve been quite busy lately. Going to Tulsa and getting ready for the trip, plus spring break, and getting caught up after spring break, has kept me busy.
If you are interested in seeing what I eat you can check out my March grocery haul and my March coop haul. We did eat some yummy food last month, including we tried some local longhorn grass-fed burgers that were quite good. Longhorn meat is very lean and I thought it was slightly sweeter than other beef, but that could just be whatever grasses they were eating.
We had a nice and quite Easter, since I was so busy that next week I didn’t end up doing a lot for Easter. My husband got me some of my favorite natural candy and I cooked Easter dinner for us and my in-laws. I made ribs, green bean casserole (which I make homemade alfredo sauce for instead of using soup), baked potatoes, and chocolate cake with homemade whipped cream.
One sad thing that happened was a friend moved out of state. There was a fun going away party for her but it of course ended in tears. She is a sweet girl that will be very missed around here.
So now on to my favorites for the month.
Reading- Books & Blogs
Still working on the Pretty Little Liars series. I haven’t had much time to read lately so haven’t made it very far this past month. I did also re-read most of my friend Beth Terry’s book “Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too“ to be prepared for a talk she invited me to be apart of.
I have been really enjoying reading a blog by another Okie, Sabine of Suburbia. Her posts are often quite funny and we have a lot in common so I find her blog very enjoyable. If you haven’t already go check it out.
Watching- TV and Movies
I’ve still been watching Little House on the Prairie, I’m on the last season. Kitchen Nightmares has been back on and I’ve been enjoying that. I really like Gordon Ramsey. I know he can be harsh but I think deep down he is a sweet guy. I enjoy his British shows the most because he is much nicer on those. I have a feeling the American producers tell him to be harsh, for whatever reason.
I don’t think I watched many movies this month. The only one I can think of is The Lorax, which I watched on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. I love that movie, if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must!
Still on a jazz kick lately, Duke Ellington has been my most played artist on my iPhone. I’ve also listened to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers and other bands from the early to mid 90′s. I was pretty young at the time but my big brother got me hooked on alt. rock at a young age. I had a short Brittany Spears and Spice Girl phase but I mostly listened to alt. rock. I had a Bush poster when I was like 9 or 10 years old.
We have been really into tacos using homemade style (from Whole Foods) corn tortillas. These aren’t the hard shells many people seem to eat, if you are in southern California you likely know what I mean. My family is from southern California and there is a place out there that makes the best fresh corn tortillas, my great aunt often will send us a big box full of them. The ones I have been getting at Whole Foods are the closest thing I can find around here. I have my husband hooked on this family favorite as well. We normally fill them with grass-fed bison or beef, cheese, and lettuce.
Other than the chocolate cake I made for Easter I didn’t do a lot of baking in March. I made chocolate chip cookies a few times but that’s about it. We did enjoy both of those though.
DIY and Crafting
I didn’t do much crafting unless you include helping put together a bar from Crate & Barrel and doing a fancy braid in my hair.
I’m linking up with What I’m Into at HopefulLeigh. Check out what the other bloggers have been enjoying and if you want to share your own favorites, link up as well. I’d also love to hear about your favorite things, post below or if you have a blog post share the link.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer for more. Photos of the products are property of the stores.
|April 4, 2013||Filled under Oklahoma|
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you likely know that I went to Tulsa earlier this week. My mom and I went to see my friend/fellow blogger, Beth Terry speak at an event, I spoke with her as well. The group Book Smart Tulsa along with the University of Tulsa asked Beth to come speak and have a book signing. If you haven’t read her book “Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too“, you need to, it’s great.
My mom and I had been talking about the Keystone XL on the way up and saw a sign for the Sac and Fox tribe, a tribe fighting the pipeline which goes on their land. We decided since we were making good time that we would try and find the Keystone XL. Hunting down an oil pipeline on a road trip is totally normal, right?
We found an address where they had an action and tried to find it. We didn’t find it as we decided getting stuck on a gravel road would have not been good. However, we did find something else pretty amazing, a winery/RV park. I’m so not even kidding. And turns out this town calls itself the “Oklahoma Winery Grape Capitol.”
After our little mini adventure we got back on the road. When we got to Tulsa we headed to Whole Foods and got some lunch, then headed to the hotel to change for the event. Soon after we headed to the University of Tulsa. When we walked in the room and Beth saw us she rushed over and gave me a huge hug. It was so good to finally see her in person after being friends online since 2008.
The talk was wonderful, everyone seemed to really enjoy it. One thing Beth shared that really hit people hard, was the fact that even though Tulsa accepts plastics #1-7 in the recycling bins, #3-7 are incinerated not recycled. This shocked and clearly upset a lot of people. It always sucks to know when you thought you were doing something right, only to find out it wasn’t so great. Though most of Beth’s talk focused on more positive things.
During the talk she asked me questions and had me share some different things, like how I became interested in the environment, about Glass Dharma (we “meet” because I introduced her to Glass Dharma), about helping get curbside recycling in my town (this is why I’m featured in her book), some of the things I do to reduce plastic waste, and my current project, cement plants.
Public speaking is not my favorite thing in the world but Beth was great and made it much easier. I couldn’t think of someone better to share a stage with and it was amazing for her to ask me to be apart of it. Back in 2008 when I started reading her blog I never would have dreamt I would be speaking with her.
It was great meeting other Oklahomans that are concerned about the environment, including a few I had talked to via email. I met one sweet lady that may even start writing for Green Oklahoma. Everyone seemed thrilled with the event. A few said when I talked about what the cement plant was doing in my town, I made them cry. I don’t like making people sad of course but I’m glad my message is reaching people.
After the event some of the people that hosted the event took us to dinner. It was a great dinner and we had a very enjoyable discussion about plastic, films, education, and other interesting topics. After that my mom, Beth and I headed to Beth’s hotel and sat in her room chatting until after 1 a.m. We chatted so much we forgot to ask someone to take a picture of us so we had to figure out how to take it ourselves with the timer on my camera. It took a few tries and I’m sure it would have been funny to watch but we got one that was pretty good, remember this was at 1 a.m. after a long day for all of us.
My mom and I are not really morning people so we slept in and didn’t leave the hotel until after 12. It was nice to not rush. We had lunch at a nice locally owned place in Tulsa, Polo Grill. And next door was a yarn store so we HAD to stop there. I’m proud of both of us for being able to have the willpower not to buy more yarn. It was hard to pass up some beautiful organic cotton/bamboo yarn.
We did our grocery shopping after that. First we stopped at Reasor’s, a regional chain. Beth had found out they carried milk from Missouri that came in returnable glass. We decided to check it out and see what the store was like. They had a good selection of organic food and we even found some locally roasted, organic coffee.
Whole Foods was next and our last stop in Tulsa. On the way home we didn’t go looking for any pipelines or anything terribly exciting. We did see another winery in the same town as the winery/RV park but it wasn’t as humorous so we didn’t get a picture. We did end up looking up the history of the town of Stroud (where we found the wineries), we learned that Stroud provided some inspiration for Pixar’s Cars, which was pretty cool. And that lead to looking up other towns on Wikipedia the whole way home. We decided we need to take several little “field trips” around the state to see some interesting things.
It was nice trip and so amazing to get to see Beth. We all agreed it must happen again soon. Be sure to read my mom’s blog about the trip as well. And if anyone reading this was at the event be sure to say hi!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer for more.