Reusing pasta boxes

A new use for pasta boxes!
I pack snacks for my kids for trips home from our local YMCA. Popcorn is a favorite snack - why not reuse pasta boxes?

I'd love to hear how you are reusing, recycling, and reducing waste. Share in a comment.

Spotlight on Buying Local: Ronnybrook Farms

A staple purchase from my local farmer's market has always been milk from a local dairy farm called Ronnybrook Farms located in Ancramdale, NY, roughly 1.5 hours south of my home. An ad in my town newspaper delivered a mind-blowing revelation: they deliver. To your door. Hallelujah!
On Tuesday mornings, both my boys literally jump for joy when they see the big white truck with the black cow embossed on the sides. I can't help but get giddy, too. Everything is so delicious. Milk, butter, eggs, honey, and locally available items (such as jams and apple cider to fresh berries and apples) are delivered to my door by the friendliest delivery guy I've met, Jim. He's the guy who responds to all your on-line orders; I was astonished to learn that he was "that guy." (Normally, there is no name-to-face recognition these days. Not here!) My boys love the milk and all their products, and I love knowing that it's not only made and produced locally, but it's safe a…

Clothesline drying

Recently, I started hanging our clothes outside to dry. I'm not sure why I waited so long, given the weather in NY has begun its shift into autumn. I just love the smell, it saves money, and the environment.

What I want to know is: How much money does it really save? I found an article to help figure out that calculation: Keep in mind, your energy usage may differ based on the number of loads you do per week, and if your dryer is gas or electric.

While it clearly doesn't save a ton of cash (maybe ~$12/month), every little bit helps. It's helping the environment by not using fossil fuels such as natural gas (what we have) and showing my kids just one more way to lead a simple, green life.

Product Review: Light Mountain Natural Hair Color

As a Mamma to young children, I have a very limited amount of "me" time. It's a must that beauty regimes are easy and fast!

What is Light Mountain Natural Hair Color? It is a henna-based natural home hair color made without chemicals. 

While my kids were napping one afternoon, I dove in. What I didn't get was a bunch of squeeze tubes with easy applicators. What I did get was a packet of henna that resembled an over-sized bag of instant pudding mix with a green tint and a pair of disposable gloves. Yikes.

The instructions say to mix the packet of dye with water in a bowl (not a metal bowl, mind you) and let it sit before applying to your hair. After doing so, it turned into a yogurt-like consistency, but I was by no means tempted to eat it. It smelled like wet grass.

Staring into the bowl of goo, I wondered how I was supposed to get this onto my hair without making a huge mess. First, I slathered petroleum jelly on my skin around my hairline so I wouldn't inadvertentl…

Clean your microwave the natural way

1/2 cup water 1/2 cup vinegar
Cook in microwave for 10 min, wipe down with a microfiber cloth

Green clean kitchen floor

The floors in my house get dirty fast with two little boys, especially the kitchen. My boys are young, so they are flinging food everywhere at mealtime. "Mamma, I'm done (...fling plate on the floor)!" I tried various green cleaning solutions the floor and didn't have much success: a solution of Dr. Bronner's just seemed to wipe the surface clean and made it somewhat greasy; I mixed baking soda, super washing soda, and citric acid together to make a paste, and while it seemed to work well, it needed a lot of elbow grease. Then I tried the cleaner I use on my kitchen sink: Bon-Ami. (It received an A from the EWG's site, so I know it's safe for my kids. And it's only $1.19/can at my local market!) What a great job! My husband even remarked that it looked as though the light was shining on only the clean part of the floor. If he noticed, you can take it to the bank that this stuff really works.

Note: I have textured linoleum in my kitchen (clearly the bui…

Product Review: Diva Cup - Menstrual Solution!

For years, there has been one revolving question during that time of the month: "Is there any way I can reduce the waste generated from using all these pads/tampons?" If I could feel a little less chained to the bathroom, that would be even better.

Like millions of internet readers, I clicked onto Amazon's marketplace to see what lay hidden on their myriad of virtual shelves. My scrolling fingers led me to The Diva Cup; a silicone cup that sits in the vagina, collects menstrual blood for 10-12 hours at a time, and is reusable. Many, many reviews were positive, but there were a few that downright terrified me describing instances where it became stuck. I sought the advice of friends to get some real-to-me feedback. A girlfriend gave top-notch reviews of the cup, some never head of it, while others encouraged me to try it, taking my side in hoping it would be the great solution I was seeking. I added it to my virtual shopping cart, and it arrived a week or so later in an at…