May 30th



Stop Junkmail

Shopping online opens a catalog floodgate! Sadly, I know first hand. My mailbox, literally, overflows some days. And, 90% of the time I don't even read them.

Up until my new found organicness I never gave throwing them directly in the trash a 2nd thought. In fact, I wouldn't even bring them in the house, they went directly into the trash!

But, I may have found a better way! Why not stop them from coming in the first place? It is a small act that will save me some time & aggravation, and also save a bazillion trees at the same time. Win win.

I got the website from 2 reliable sources, one of which is the Sierra Club which has been around since 1892.

All you do is make an account with your name, email, and address. Then, as the catalogs come in, you enter them in and they remove you from the mailing lists. SIMPLE!

Check it out!

Catalog Choice - Eliminate unwanted catalogs you receive in the mail

Pet Psychic

Many months ago, Mr. K's boss lost her very ill pooch. Slightly before that she enlisted the help of a psychic to set her mind at ease about different things, mainly the dog's painful condition. When Mr. K relayed the story to me it was merely a point of interest story.

Many months later I found myself at my wit's end with Timmy. He is the cat pictured here. Basically, he would randomly pee on piles of laundry. We couldn't really nail down any triggers for the behavior, and the vet had ruled out any health problems. We were at a loss. What was especially baffling was how he would do it everyday for a week and them suddenly stop for like 6 months. And then start up again. So inconsistent.

Then I remembered the pet psychic.

I asked Mr. K to get the name from his boss, but she couldn't remember it. So, we did an old-fashioned internet search. I read several websites, but ultimately chose the most professional looking site I cam across...plus she was pretty reasonably priced. All good signs as far as I was concerned.

So I emailed her a lengthy dissertation on our problem and a photo of the apple of my eye. She emailed me back a few questions and explained how she worked, then I sent her payment via PayPal and we set up a time.

Essentially she communicated with Timmy one on one and then called me to give me the scoop. She felt with problems it was best to work this way so that he didn't clam up because I was around. She was the expert, so I agreed.

It felt like forever for her to call me, but when she finally did she had lots to say...or rather Timmy did. Apparently MY indecisiveness stresses him out so much he pees.

Excuse me? I am NOT indecisive. Am I?

When I protested she gave me some very real and personal examples of my indecision. She didn't just point out the problem...she also gave us instructions on how to fix it. She, also, explained the randomness of his actions..."next time it happens, think about what's going on in YOUR life not his". Interesting.

After we got through that part of the reading, she went through his relationships with the other family members...me and Mr. K, 2 dogs, and his biological mom. Again, some very strong details came up here that really convinced me she was legit. I want to reiterate she was only given his name, photo, and problem to go on.

Finally, she just did some general things about him. Like he wanted his own blue blanket for his chair...and he was glad we finally took the Christmas tree down so he could lay in the front window again.

Did I mention this was late January? Mr. K had been travelling after the holidays and we left our tree up WAY longer than normal. And, how many cats have their own chair...not a chair they like, but their own. She could not have known those things. PERIOD.

I followed her instructions and guess what? Our problem has remained at bay.

When I told Kristi about it, she wanted to get a reading for her cat too. She waited a while, but a few days ago she finally had her reading. She felt the same way I did about the level of detail. It wasn't just a blanket reading that could apply to anyone.

If you want to get your own pet read, check out her website here.

Another Use For Baking Soda

The litter box.

Add a cup or so to help absorb odors. The base of the baking soda counters the acid of the urine and neutralizes that ammonia smell!

The Shot Heard 'Round LV

I have plantar fasciitis and a heel spur on my right side. So, I have been hobbling around the house like a little old lady, and I am midway through week 2 of not working. It is most painful when I get out of bed in the morning or when I am on it too much in a day.

It all started with my breast surgery last November. I was out for 2 weeks and completely incapacitated. When you have that kind of surgery it really puts lifting, and arm movement of any kind, into perspective for you. Anyway, the day I returned to work (I think it was December 19th)...my heel started hurting.

While Mr. K is the king of NOT going to the doctor, I am probably the duchess. He doesn't go at all, I go only when it gets bad.

My heel got bad.

When I first went to the podiatrist in mid January he recommended ice packs every 4+ hours, stretching exercises, and as much rest as possible. He also prescribed an anti-inflammatory and took a bunch of x-rays.

My next appointment was the middle of February (about a month before the wedding), and I totally spaced it.

March was the wedding, and April was the wedding recovery.

That brings us to appointment #3 in the beginning of May. Since little had improved, he brought up the shots. Cortisone shots that is. I had heard of the shots before, mostly from my grandmother who gets them in her knees.

I was afraid. I was very afraid.

I know I am in nursing school, but to be honest, that makes it worse. When I know what's going on it freaks me out...unless its happening to someone else, then I'm fine.

Anyway, I avoided the shots. I felt like I needed more time to prepare. He gave me an oral prescription for Prednizone, which I never took. Lots of nasty side effects. But, that was when he gave me the note to be out of work AND REST (my heel). You might not think so, but retail is surprisingly physical. I like how webMD describes the average patient as "middle aged or someone who is on their feet a lot like an athlete or a soldier". That is what I'm going to call myself from now on a retail soldier!

Plantar Fasciitis-Topic Overview

This brings us to appointment #4, which was yesterday. The shot day. Naturally, Mr. K was out of town, as he usually is when I feel I need him.

My grandmother had this to say about the shots: "They are excruciating, but after a few days you'll feel better."

My boss had this to say: "I had to get them in my shoulder and I thought I was going to die. They took this really long and really thick needle and they go all the way to the bone and squirt medicine. Then come out inch by inch squirting the medicine until its out."

I still can't figure out if either of them were trying to be helpful or not.

What actually happened was he felt up my heel for the best place to go in and the target areas based upon my pain. Then he cleaned my foot with alcohol and sprayed something I never caught the name of for 15 seconds to "freeze" the point of entry. It was COLD! So cold it felt burny. Then the "long, thick needle".

I was laying flat on my back staring at the fluorescent lights, and taking deep breaths. It was by no means pleasant, but it was bearable. It took a minute or two from start to finish. The shots have a mixture of cortisone and lidacaine, so it gets a little easier as you go. The worst part was when he moved to a new location within my heel. Both the good Dr, and my grandmother said "it isn't the needle that hurts, it's the medicine going in". I am not sure what to say about that, or what exactly that means, but there it is.

I was happy to walk out of the office myself without the assistance of a wheelchair, and tonight my heel does seem to feel better, even though the lidacaine should be long gone by now.

The shots allegedly alleviates 50% or more of the pain, set to start after the initial 3 days or so, and last around a month.

So, there you go!


Read more here and here.

Mrs. K's Vegetable Lasagna

I am not becoming a vegetarian, but I am trying to eat less meat. I made a veggie version of my lasagna the other night and it was actually pretty yummy.

Here is the recipe:

A box of organic lasagna noodles

A pint of organic low fat ricotta cheese

2 bags of organic shredded cheese (any kind), one bag for layering and one for topping

3 medium organic red peppers, sliced into strips

A bag of organic raw spinach

2 large organic zucchinis, sliced thin

1 jar of organic tomato sauce (any kind)


1. Coat the bottom of the pan thinly with a little of the sauce.
2. Put a layer of noodles over the sauce across the bottom
3. Spread a layer of ricotta over the noodles.
4. Add a generous layer of spinach over the ricotta.
5. Add a layer (1 and 1/2 of each) of the red peppers and zucchini.
6. Top the veggie layer with about a 1/2 cup each of tomato sauce and shredded cheese.
7. Repeat steps 2-6 two more times.
8. Add a final layer of noodles, top with remaining sauce, the remaining ricotta cheese, and the 2nd bag of shredded cheese.
9. Add a 1/4 cup of tap water to the jar of sauce and shake well. This will get the left over sauce. Pour the water down the sides and corners of the dish to help cook it.
10. Cook at 350 degrees for an hour uncovered.

Locks of Love

I decided it was time to cut my hair again. I grew it out so I could wear it up for the wedding, but now I hate it again.
I was looking at it today and I was surprised how long it is. Just slightly passed my shoulders.
I have absolutely no idea why this popped into my head, but I think I am going to wait a little longer and then donate it to that children's charity that makes wigs for kids with cancer. I just thought it was the right thing to do. The minimum length they accept is 10"...and I'm almost there!

Here is there website if you want to read more: Locks of Love

P.S. That is NOT the back of my head.


A Quote To Ponder

"Man, Despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication
and many accomplishments, owes the fact of his existence
to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."

Something For The Pets

I got an email from my cousin Lori yesterday and it occurred to me...all the really cool people I know have a pet, myself included.

There are tons of great things you can do for your furry babies, and adopting from shelters instead of buying from pet stores is just the beginning. There are 3 to 4 million dogs and cats euthanized in the US every year.

As a pet owner there are lots of times when I buy a toy for one of the kids without even thing about it. But, since striving for organicness...now I think about it. What are the toys made out of? Are they safe to eat? Etc etc.

Here are some sites that have organic, pet friendly and earth friendly products.

If your going to be healthier, why not take a wet-nosed friend on the journey with you?!

Organic Restaurants

Check out this website to see if there is an organic restaurant that is local to you.

Organic Restaurants - LocalHarvest

The information might be a little dated, so call first.

I think this is the way for Mr. K to go...don't you? Open his own organic restaurant? Hmm...

Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

This website helps you figure out how your lifestyle impacts the planet by asking you a bunch of questions and then giving you a score. Sometimes if you understand the consequences of your actions, it makes it easier to consider them in the first place.

Basically, the score is for your household. My score was 663 and 37 tons of carbon output, which contributes to global warming. Mr. K sort of killed with all the air travel. Another reason to love his company (feel the sarcasm)!

The scores range from 150 to 900 and lower is better on this test! The average in the US is 325.

How did you do?

Read The Label

I am trying really hard to get Mr. K on board with all this, although today he admitted feeling better overall. Anyway, one way I have set out to do this is showing him that it isn't necessarily always pricier to go organic.

I ran out of baby oil, which I religiously use in the bath water, especially in the summer. I have tried lots of moisturizing products, but it really does work the best.

Anyway, today I was in Walmart and a bottle of baby oil cost $3.79. So I turned the bottle over and read the ingredients - only 2. Mineral oil and fragrance. So, I went all around the pharmacy area looking for just mineral oil and no fragrance. I found it in the antacid section because mineral oil is technically sold as a "intestinal lubricant", but I digress. It was $1.47 and I am going to try it in my bath tomorrow.

The point is by just reading the label, I found a WAY cheaper alternative.

As far as the fragrance part, I sliced up some lemons real thin and put them into the bottle because the smell of lemons is energizing and uplifting.

Aromatherapy. Another use for lemons!


The Most Bang For Your Buck

First of all, thank you so much for all of your positive feedback about the blog. I am happy to know people are actually reading it and trying things out!

Secondly, a few of you brought up some good points that I want to share with everyone else. Mainly getting the most bang for your buck.

Take the lemons for example. They are economical for a few reasons...
1.) They are cheaper than bottles of cleaners
2.) They are all natural - good for you and the environment
3.) They have lots of different uses - health, cleaning, etc

While these are all great reason to incorporate lemons into your routine, there is a fourth reason. You can use them until the bitter end!

Let me explain.

OK...you take a lemon out of the fridge and juice it to make cleaners of various sorts. Then you take the lemon half and dip it in salt to clean your pots. Then you take half and use it in the garbage disposal. The other half gets jammed into the top rack of the dishwasher (to run through the next cycle). Then you throw it away.

So, squeeze every penny out of the lemons.

My New Favorite Thing

Pomegranate Sorbet


Baking Soda vs. Washing Soda

I thought baking soda and washing soda were the same thing. And while they kinda are, they kinda aren't. Remember acids and bases from chemistry class? Well, both soda varieties are bases, but the washing soda is more basic than baking soda. So, don't mix them up if you are cooking!

From everything I have read you can pretty much use the baking soda in your laundry and for cleaning around the house...it will even put out a small fire! And, since you would also use it for cooking, it seems the more versatile or economical choice. The washing soda comes into play for the tougher jobs. So, where you would use baking soda for regular everyday loads of laundry...washing soda might be needed for a holiday tablecloth with major stains...if the baking soda isn't working.

Keep in mind, like acids, bases can be harmful! You need to wear glaves and such if you use washing soda.

Bottom line...I am going to use baking soda for my laundry. I will let you know how it comes out.



Did you know that vinegar has been around for 10,000 years?!?! Neither did I.

Vinegar comes from a French word that means "sour wine" and, like lemons, it has tons of household uses.

Check out this website to learn more. The Vinegar Institute

Reading Organic Labels

All products labeled as "organic" must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. Understanding organic labeling may be a bit confusing at first.

Here's a quick reference:

100% Organic
1. Product must contain only organically produced material, excluding water and salt.
2. The name of the certifying agent must appear on packages. Use of the USDA "organic" seal is optional.

1. Product must be at least 95% organically produced ingredients.
2. Remainder must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the USDA's National List of non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form.
3. The label may also state the percentage of organic ingredients.
4. The name of the certifying agent must appear on packages. Use of the USDA "organic" seal is optional.

Made with Organic Ingredients
1. Product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.
2. Remainder can consist of conventionally grown agricultural ingredients or approved nonagricultural substances from the USDA's National List.
3. Product may display the term "Made With Organic..." and then list up to three of the product's organic ingredients or types of food. (For example: "Made with organic dates, raisins and apricots" or "Made with organic grains, nuts and berries.") The label may also state the percentage of organic ingredients.
4. The name of the certifying agent must appear on packages. Use of the USDA "organic" seal is prohibited.

Other Labeling Provisions
1. Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients may make no claim other than designating specific organic ingredients in the ingredients list.
2. No restrictions are made upon the use of truthful labeling claims, such as "pesticide free," "no drugs or growth hormones used," or "sustainably harvested."
3. "Transitional" products are those grown in accordance with the Organic Rule regulations on farms that are in transition from conventional to organic. A certified three year transitional period must be completed before these products can use the word "organic" on their label.


I went grocery shopping today. Normally not a big deal, but it was my first trip since I became organic.

First I went to Costco and then I went to Whole Foods. I rarely go to Costco and I only recently switched from Albertson's to Whole Foods. We spent about $150. between the two, but I would estimate we only really shop on a monthly basis.

The main reason I went to Costco was for my new natural cleaning supplies. This is the old me rearing her ugly head, but atleast I waited unitl I used up the other bad chemically ones.

Here is what I got:
  • 5 lbs. bag of lemons ($9.00)

  • 2 gallons of white vinegar ($3.00)

  • 4 giant bottles of rubbing alcohol ($5.00)

  • 2 10lbs bags of baking soda ($10.00)

Grad total: $27.00. If all goes to plan, that is ALL of our cleaning products for the month, and I cannot tell you how much cheaper! I use Fabreeze (used to) like crazy and its about $5.00 a bottle! I did buy some other regular groceries, and I was really surprised at how many choices there were for organics...butter, milk, veggies, soup, PB, etc. Good for them!

Here are the cleaning recipes I found and don't forget to go back and read about the lemons.

Toilet bowl cleaner: Mix ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into toilet, let set for 5 minutes, then scrub with brush.

All-purpose cleaner: Place 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water and shake well.

Oven Cleaner: Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt, and add 1/2 cup hot water. Make a gritty paste, apply to the oven, heat slightly, cool and then wipe away with a damp rag.

Kitchen Cabinets: 1/4 cup of lemon juice mixed with 1 quart of hot water. Lemon juice helps to remove grease from wood and metal.

Glass Cleaner: 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. To remove oily fingerprints and hairspray from the mirror, dab on a little rubbing alcohol and wipe with a linen rag.

Laundry Detergent for Dark Clothes: use 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of salt. Salt helps restore faded colors, and to remove dirt and grime.

Laundry Detergent for White Clothes: use 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) in place of bleach. Bleach is one of the most toxic substances for the environment. Washing soda costs only a few pennies per wash load, and it is far less expensive than bleach. Along with the washing soda, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.

Read more here.


Certified Organic

Part of my new organic quest has been defining what it really means.

What makes one thing organic, but another thing Certified organic?

Turns out it is a big deal difference! Companies have strict guidelines to adhere to and it takes years to get that certification! And, they have to forego government subsidies and PAY THE GOVERNMENT to inspect them annually to make sure they are sticking to the strict giudelines.

Doesn't sound right does it?

You can read more on the certification process at the links below.

Organic certification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...And Speaking of Gifts

I mentioned gift giving in the previous post about organic wines. Well, here is another one for you!

Organic bouquets. That's right flowers grown without pesticides or chemicals.

Do we breath that stuff in when we smell flowers?

So, if you are going to send someone flowers anyway,why not make them organic flowers? Remember, the whole point of this website is to incorporate little things that MAKE IT EASY. Do the same things you normally would...in a new and better way.

Change your life....NOT your lifestyle.

The other super cool thing about this company is they have a collection you can choose from where some of the profits go to your favorite non-profit charity!
For example, a PETA bouquet. Your friend gets flowers and you've made a small charitable contribution. What a great gift for an animal lover's birthday! You're not only a hero for giving flowers, but you look extra thoughtful for including something that's near and dear to them.!


The have all sorts of charities, too, so there is bound to be one for you. Breast Cancer, Wildlife Conservation, World Hunger, etc etc.

Keep it simple. Check it out.

Organic Parenting

This one is for Vikki. Feel free to pass it on to all the mother's you know. Its loaded with organic baby products and green baby ideas.


P.S. Did I tell you about my psychic reading? NOT COOL!

Organic Wine

As promised, here is the link to the organic wine site. I haven't tried this for myself, yet. If any of you try it be sure to give us a review. Keep it in mind when you need to give a gift.

For an environmentally friendly option, check out this article:

Quick Tip For The Summer...

I found this on AOL and I was so excited.

See...Mr. K is a cooking genious as we all know. I am cooking retarded. I frustrate him sometimes, but this is why we compliment each other so well! He is strong where I am weak and vice versa.

Anyway, whatever can make cooking easier, is awesome in my book. And, when you can break it down to put meat over fire, I'm good. I love the summer.

Here is the tip.

Test for steak doneness by pressing a finger into the meat.

Rare feels like your chin.

Medium feels like the tip of your nose.

Well done feels like your forehead.

Pretty cool, huh? Try it!

When Life Hands You Lemons...

You Can Do A Whole Bunch Of Stuff!

Turns out there are like a bazillion ways to use lemons and their juice. Who knew! They can clean, deodorize, and heal what ails you! Some of the more interesting ones are below, but check out the links at the bottom for more ideas.

Don't forget to buy organic if you can, and stock up, they last in the fridge for about a month!

1.)Add a few drop to your steam iron to freshen fabrics as you iron and clean the iron at the same time!

2.)Cut a lemon in half and dip it into salt for a natural scouring pad for pots, sinks, or any grubby metal surface.

3.)Make a refreshing foot scrub by making a paste of brown sugar and lemon juice or mix papaya pulp and lemon juice to cure athlete's foot.

4.) Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to a cup of water and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Then wipe the inside to clean and deodorize the microwave.

5.) A common skin cure...rub a lemon on your poison ivy, sunburn, or bug bites to relieve itching and promote healing...and cheaper than all the creams at the store!

Amazing Household Uses for Lemons & Lemon Juice - Associated Content

Green Uses for Lemons and Lemon Peels

Lemons are Not Just for Lemonade: 31 Uses for Lemons and Lemon Juice

28 creative uses for lemons SenseList

Natural uses for lemon

Fools Rush In

As I stated before, I am easing into my new organic lifestyle in the hopes that a slower, smoother transition is more likely to stick. Baby steps!

Here are a few things I have done so far...

1.) SAVE OLD GROCERY BAGS. I have one little drawer in the kitchen for extra little bags, and they can come in handy for a variety of uses. I use them for cleaning out the litter box, liners for the bathroom trash bins, gloves picking up icky things, cleaning out the car, etc etc.

If you want to go the extra mile, bring the old ones back next time you shop, and reuse them...just put all them inside one as you are putting the groceries away, then throw them in your trunk. Don't forget this new lifestyle is going to be CONVENIENT.

To be greener still, buy 10 of the canvas-y bags and use them over and over. They are the best choice for the environment and only .99 at Office Depot.

2.) SILK. OK, I know the idea of drinking soy milk grosses you out. It grossed me out, too! I literally forced myself to spend the $1.50 in the grocery store. I had to tell myself it was only $1.50 and to "be brave". When I finally got it home, I think it was another 2 days before I actually got up the courage to try it. And, you know what? It didn't suck. Now, let me say two things...I bought the vanilla flavor and I really only use milk on my cereal. Because I don't use a lot of milk in general, I love that Silk doesn't expire as fast a regular milk. It doesn't have the smell of regular milk that grosses me out. And, it is creamier than skim milk, but WAY better for you. I'm the 2nd pickiest eater on the planet (my grandmother is #1), and I promise you it isn't gross. If you try it, and you throw up or gag, I will send you $1.50!

3.) USE CITRUS OIL to clean and polish your wood furniture. Citrus oil is organic, and it smells awesome. There are no harmful chemicals to you or the environment, like in regular cleaners. And its WAY cheaper than other cleaners! You can get a gallon at Home Depot for like $5, and dilute it down. Check it out!

Again, my hopes for this blog are that you can find something simple that you can use. I am not looking to convert you to a scary new way of thinking that takes up a ton of time and money and is more trouble than its worth. If you are like me (read: lazy), you would make changes and better choices if it wasn't a big hassle. And, don't forget to pass on the link to your friends.

The Decision

So...I decided to become organic.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: Honey, I want us to be organic.
Mr. K: Why?
Me: I want us to be healthier.
Mr. K: But...why?
Me: I just told you. It's good for us.
Mr. K: But, why? What made you decide we have to be organic?
Me: (silence)
Mr. K: (laughter) Well, what does being organic entail?
Me: ...I haven't worked out all the details yet.
Mr. K: (more laughter)

Those of you that really know me, know how I get when I get a bright idea. Especially when the bright idea involves a life changing fiasco. I get a little obsessed, I can admit that.

But, this time is going to be different. Because this time I am not being my typical, obsessed, self. The old me would have made this decision to become organic and emptied out the refrigerator, the cabinets, etc of all contents and replaced them with new organic contents. Note, that I have not done that!

The new and improved me is taking baby steps. I bought a vegetarian cookbook on clearance at Borders.

Anyway, I was originally going to email everyone I knew with a monthly "Going Organic" newsletter. (You can thank me for choosing a blog instead later). My theory and purpose is this...I think a lot more people would make organic and green decisions if it was easier.

So, since I love to research things, and this blog will help me stick to me decision...the blog is born. But wait, there's more..I need your help. If you are already doing organic-y things let me know so I can post them for everyone. If not, subscribe to this blog and we will learn together.

The Big O

Here is the definition of ORGANIC from the dictionary.

(2): of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides

See for yourself:
organic - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary