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Green and Crunchy Goals for 2011


I realize this is about 10 days late, but that’s okay. I still have 355 more days to achieve these. Besides, I think I need to adopt as a personal motto the saying “Better late than never.”

Goal Number 1: Stop using crazy chemicals on my hair.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I have naturally curly crazy hair. I have a love/hate relationship with my hair and it is the last bastion of chemical laced products that I use in my hygiene routine. By the end of the year, I’d like to  only be using natural products on my curly hair to try to control it.  The products also need to be affordable and I’d really like it if I could make them myself. We’ll see….

This is what I use right now.

Here's the first thing I am going to try. (When I get brave enough....)

Goal Number 2:  Stop using condensed soups.

Stop using condensed soups. I love casseroles and a lot of my recipes call for either condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup. However, there is MSG in the condensed soups, which is one of the ingredients I try to stay away from.  Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship did a blog post about how to make your own condensed  soups that I am going to try. By the end of the year, I would like to be able to stop buying condensed soup and only use a homemade (and MSG free!) soup.

Goal Number 3:  Plant some herbs.

Plant some herbs. I love cooking with fresh herbs and they are expensive to buy. (If I can even get them here.) I’d like to grow rosemary, basil, a massive amount of cilantro, dill, and parsley. Not only is it frugal, I can grow them without chemicals and I just think it would be fun to go snip some herbs off my plants right before I throw them in whatever I am making for supper.

Yummy! Fresh Herbs!

Goal Number 4:  Plant a little garden.

This one is contingent on whether we move this year or not. Obviously if we plan on moving this summer, it wouldn’t do much good for me to plant a garden. If we don’t move, though, I’d like to start out small and just plant a few things–some tomatoes, some swiss chard, perhaps some broccoli, some peppers. It’ll save money and hopefully I can get the kids involved too and teach them about where their food comes from. I’d also like to use heirloom seeds instead of seeds that have been genetically modified.  (I need to mention that Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog is one of the most gorgeous catalogs I have ever seen. It makes me want to eat massive amounts of vegetables and then frame some of the pictures from the catalog. It’s that pretty.)

My poor photography skills do not do this Beauty justice.

Tomatoes! My favorite!

So, there they are for all the world to see. I’ll keep you updated as to how I am progressing.

Do any of you have any green and/or crunchy changes you’d like to institute this year?

  1. grace permalink
    01/10/2011 3:42 pm

    love this kate! keep it up! you are doing a GREAT job. i recommend the homemade ‘cream of…’ soups…they really work, and are so much healthier! confession: i still always have one in my cupboards for the ‘crazy days’ cooking! :)

  2. Laura permalink
    01/11/2011 8:04 am

    1) You and Brannan look great in that picture.
    2) Baker Creek is an awesome seed catalog. They have a great variety of stuff. You should also check out Pinetree Garden Seeds. I like that one because they sell really small quantities of seeds, which is great because I never end up using all of the seeds in a packet, so it saves a little money.
    3) My goal is to switch to organic/free range meats without increasing our food budget. I’m hoping to find more recipes that make use of other proteins, i.e. beans and lentils. Oh, and to make some homemade yogurt!

    • Kate permalink*
      01/11/2011 8:58 am

      Hi Laura!
      1. Thanks! That was from a date night we had before we left Scotland. I really like that picture too.
      2. I will definitely check out Pinetree Garden. I’m sure I’ll also be contacting you about organic gardening and any tips you have. (Perhaps you could do a guest post on here!)
      3. We have switched to organic/free range meat, but that is because we are mostly eating venison and fish. Brannan got one deer and my FIL got the rest. My MIL and FIL also have a boat and they go fishing on the Gulf all the time, so we have tons of fish available. (All I have to do is clean them!) We do eat chicken once or twice a month which is not organic/free range, but I am seriously considering getting some chickens if we don’t move this summer. If not for the meat, then at least for the eggs.

  3. Nana Phyllis permalink
    01/11/2011 10:10 am

    Love reading about what you are doing in the new year. I love my herb garden. I don’t have much but Rosemary just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Have to keep giving it hair cuts to keep it in check. I also have basil in pots which seem to grow better for me than in the ground. I have tarragon and thyme. I’ve done dill and chives. Love being able to go out and snip what I need. Need some children pictures on the blog!!

  4. Pamela permalink
    01/11/2011 4:48 pm

    Hi, Kate!! Long time, no see! Love your blog! We too have switched to more of a whole foods diet and natural lifestyle — cloth diapers, real food, etc…. Regarding hair — do you know about WEN? I’m not sure if it would be considered healthy and natural or not. It doesn’t lather or foam, yet it still gets my hair really clean. It’s rather expensive though. Anyway…..I bought it because I like using only ONE thing on my hair, not multiple products, so it works for me. Good luck finding something!!

    • Kate permalink*
      01/12/2011 12:16 pm

      Hi Pam! I just looked at WEN and it looks really good! Especially the shampoo. I think it would definitely be considered natural. I’ve found a line that Target carries that’s a bit cheaper that I’m going to try first, but I’m going to keep trying stuff until it works, so I’ll put that on my list.
      P.S. Your email doesn’t show up on the site, but I can see it “behind the scenes.” :) Good to hear from you!

  5. Pamela permalink
    01/11/2011 4:50 pm

    Oops — I see my email doesn’t get published when I comment. I’m Pam (Andrew’s wife) from WSC. :)

  6. 01/14/2011 4:16 pm

    I have a friend with super curly hair that uses aloe vera gel in place of gel or mousse. I am interested in how you like Dr. Bronner’s hair stuff.

    • Kate permalink*
      01/14/2011 4:54 pm

      Sarah — I’ve heard of that, but it seems like it would be kind of sticky. I have a bottle of organic aloe in my fridge, though, so I might as well try it.

  7. Becky B permalink
    01/22/2011 9:45 pm

    The numbering system comments seems to work, I’ll give it a shot ;)

    1) Aloe was sticky when I tried it. I bet there is a mix of aloe and some other oils that would work in combination… but that’s just a guess, and since I don’t have curly hair I’ll pass on trying it. How did it work out for you?

    2) I get my seeds from “Seeds of Change” because they are all organic. When I am impatient (to often) I will impulse by a pack at Whole Foods. :) Otherwise, when I take the time to plan, I’ve bought from the “Territorial Seeds catalog.” I really like their catalog, varieties + information.

    3) I would love to stop by and work in your garden with you! Oh wouldn’t it be lovely to have a Bots3 street so we could garden and book club with each other? Haha, just got me dreaming a bit. But really, I will be in Atlanta April 1-3, if I have extra time before and after, I’ll be in touch for another visit. At that point I’m sure to have a number of extra seedlings I could donate as well. I usually have extra when I start them indoors, but I’ll have to see if my green thumb works as well down south – hmmm….

    4) I made lavendar deodorant this week using your recipe! (But haven’t found beeswax yet to make the price right for home made lotion.)

    5) I found my castile soap and took it out of storage! What ratio do you use for your dr.bronner’s body soap foaming mix? I have Desert Essence brand, but it looks like the same thing really. (Tea Tree Oil variety – should help with acne)

    PS) Due to a post I “over heard” on FB, I’m really self-conscious of the fact that I have used a double space between every sentence during this comment ;)

  8. Alyx permalink
    03/30/2011 8:20 pm

    For the past 2 months, I have been washing my hair with baking soda, honey and apple cider vinegar. I mix 1 Tbsp baking soda, 1 tsp honey (for shine) with 1 cup hot water. Stir with a spoon and take to the shower. Massage it into your scalp to wash away the oil. Shampoos strip away dirt and the good and bad oil in your hair (which is why hair gets greasy after a couple days…your body over compensates from all the good natural oils being stripped out). The baking soda method removes all the the bad stuff and leaves the good stuff! Next, I keep a small bottle of apple cider vinegar in my shower and buy the bigger jugs for refills. After rinsing out the baking soda mixture from my hair, I mix 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1-2 cups of water. I swish my hair in the cup and then slowly pour and massage into my hair all over.

    When I get out of the shower, I have no problems running a comb through my long, curly (not as curly as yours though) hair. I have not used shampoo or conditioner for 2 months now. I had about a 2 week transition period with my hair and it was hard to not go back, but I am glad I haven’t. My hair is softer, shinier, and is still manageable. Hope this helps you. It is so much cheaper and healthier! My hair has a very subtle smell of the ACV but after it dries, the scent is gone. You can dab some essential oil to take of that though.


    • Kate permalink*
      03/31/2011 1:07 pm

      Hi Alyx!
      I’ve heard and read a lot about the “no poo” method (as I think its usually called) but I hadn’t heard the idea about the honey. I like it! However, I’m still to scared to try that with my hair. Not so much the baking soda part, just the apple cider vinegar. My hairy is so curly and unruly, I really don’t see how it would work. You said it works well with your curly hair, though, so maybe I’d be surprised.
      I stopped using shampoo a few months ago and use conditioner to clean it. It actually works really well! However, the kind of conditioner I need (sulfate free, among other things) is a bit pricey.
      Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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