Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Push" for Carbon Limits

The EPA has proposed a new act that will put limits on carbon emissions at power plants nation-wide. Finally! So much more could and should be done, but this is a start! If you'd like to tell the President that you support this act, just go here to Push-Button-Save-Planet and sign the petition showing your support! Then you can click to share on Facebook, Twitter, or by email if you like.

Carbon emissions are the main contributor to climate change. Power plants are producing 40% of the country's carbon pollution! This act will force them to take responsibility and take action. Head on over to sign the petition now at and then...

If you liked this post and others on Mama Making Changes, please click here to go to Circle of Moms and vote for me as one of the top eco-friendly mom blogs. Just click here, then click the thumb to vote. You can come back to vote every 24 hours. Thanks for the support!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ShoeBox Recycling

My daughter decided that she wanted to collect shoes as a summer project and send them to children and adults that may not otherwise be able to get shoes. She even suggested that she top off the project by asking everyone who comes to her birthday party in August to bring shoes to donate.

I thought this was such a wonderful idea, but I had no idea how to go about getting these shoes to the people who need them. So off to the internet I went. After looking at several possible options, I began talking to Lisa at ShoeBox Recycling. After getting a ton of info from the very friendly Lisa, I have decided that this is a really great program. I shared with my daughter and she is ready to start!

ShoeBox Recycling is a company that collects shoes for distribution at very affordable prices to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. This keeps the shoes that still have life in them out of landfills. But there's more. They will pay you for the shoes and even provide the boxes for you to collect the shoes in. In some cases, they will even pay the postage for you to ship the shoes to them. Another great part is that if you put a note in the shoes you donate, you can look on their website later to see the path your shoes took and hopefully even who got your shoes. They call that person your SoleMate!

Some more interesting facts provided to me by ShoeBox Recycling:

  • Each year over 200,000 million shoes are sewnt to landfills. 
  • It takes over 200 years before a sneaker even starts to break down in a landfill.
  • Recycled shoes create jobs in developing countries.

They offer fundraisers and long-term partners cash incentives for each box over 40 pounds that is collected. My daughter is thinking of going this route to raise money for the building fund at our church! Needless to say I am a very proud mama and ready to help her get started!

For more info on Shoebox Recycling, you can visit their Facebook page at

If you like this post, please head over to this link to vote for Mama Making Changes as a top eco-friendly mom blog. You can vote once every 24 hours by coming back here to click this link to the Circle of Moms contest, or by clicking the Circle of Moms button at the top right of my page. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whole Foods Mama

Today I had my first experience with Whole Foods Market. We don't have one here in Florence, or anywhere nearby for that matter. I had the pleasure of spending today with my son in Greenville and he took me to the grocery store because he knew I'd love this place. He knows his Mama!

In general, I am not a fan of large supermarkets or any other large chain. I prefer frequenting locally owned and operated stores whenever possible and growing what I can at home. Sometimes, though, the world being what it is and my family still in the process of becoming greener, the supermarket is just where we end up, even if it's only to buy staples. And if I have to end up in a supermarket, I sure wish it could always be Whole Foods Market.

The selection of organic items was amazing and they had so many local items, too. The produce department was beautiful, with less variety but more quality than what I'm used to seeing in grocery stores. There was a large quantity of meat substitutes and other vegetarian and vegan options. Walking down the aisles, I may as well have been in Wonderland. I was ogling the boxes and bags and bins of whole grains and nuts and more. The cheese varieties seemed endless and the bakery had a giant selection of gorgeous cakes and tarts and more, including many gluten free options. There was even a healthy and beauty department with tons of eco-friendly options.

Their were restaurants within the store, too. The hot bar was like being at a gourmet buffet and you could eat in or take out. The pizza parlor smelled delicious. And the ice cream bar featured fresh lemon sorbet with curls of real lemon on top and several flavors of gelato.

After I snapped out of my dreamlike state of wonder, we made a few purchases and re-entered the real world of asphalt parking lots full of cars. I wish we had an oasis of these proportions in my town! I see so many more options at my local grocer than I used to see, but Whole Foods Market really was a green mom's supermarket paradise!

If you like this post, please vote for Mama Making Changes as a top eco-friendly mom blog on Circle of Moms by clicking here and then clicking the thumb. Thanks for your support!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Super Yummy Sunday Recipe on Monday

Oops! I'm a day late! My husband was admitted to the hospital Saturday night and we just got home this morning so I wasn't able to post yesterday. I look forward to posting a recipe on Sunday, though, so I still want to share one with you. Hey, better late than never, right?

I have a love of old books and a bit of a collection. I love old cookbooks, too, and not just to display on a bookcase, but to read and learn. If you love recipes that use simple ingredients, these old cookbooks are the way to go because many people only had access to what they grew or canned.

Often, it's easier and less expensive to find recently published cookbooks of old recipes. The recipe I have for you today is from one such book, Confederate Era Recipes: A Collection of the Old South's Favorite Recipes by Pearlie B. Scott. This book was published in 2004, but Miss Scott took the time to collect recipes that had been handed down through the generations and compile them in this book. There are so many great recipes and I highly recommend this book.

I wanted to tell you where you could buy it, but I had trouble locating it for sale, except on ebay. Click here to see the ebay listing I found, which had 6 copies available for $3.25 each. I got mine at the local War Between the States Museum. I'm not sure if they ship, but they might. Their number is 843-669-1266 and they are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays only from 9 to 5 EST.

I chose this chicken stew recipe because I thought the ingredients would be easy to get fresh and local. And on a cool spring evening a pot of soup makes a great one dish meal. I have quoted the following exactly because I think it makes the recipe more interesting. If you do not raise your own chickens, you will laugh at the first few sentences of the directions because they are telling you to choose and clean your chicken! Anything in parentheses is my little word or two thrown in. Enjoy!

Southern Chicken Stew

1 1/2 LB. TOMATOES, 4 MED.
2 1/4 TSP. SALT

Choose chicken for stewing. Singe. Clean and wash. Dredge with flour and 1 tsp salt mixed. Brown slowly in hot fat (this is your butter) in a large heavy skillet or dutch oven (I recommend cast iron if you have it). Add 3 cups water, cover and reduce heat. Simmer gently for 1 hour. Add peeled, sliced tomatoes, sliced, peeled onions and remaining salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until chicken is nearly tender enough to serve. Twenty minutes before chicken is to be served, add trimmed, sliced okra pods on top of stew and cook uncovered for remaining time. Add flour to the 1/4 cup cold water and blend until smooth; stirring gently into stew, stirring constantly and cook until stew thickens slightly(I love this part because this is how my Granny taught me to thicken soups!). Serve at once. 6 servings.

(I recommend serving over brown rice or quinoa.)

If you love this post, please click here to vote for Mama Making Changes in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Eco-Friendly Mom Blogs contest. Just click the thumb to vote when you get there. You can come back to vote every 24 hours by clicking the button at the top right of my page. Thanks!

Grab this Great Deal!

I love shopping at because they really take the guess work out of buying eco-friendly products. You can skip the research because they've done it for you! Buy everything from organic baby food or snacks to reusable storage containers, skin care to art supplies, lunch boxes to bassinets. They have not paid me to say they're wonderful..they just are!
If you want to give them a try, check out the link at the end of this post to get a special deal from Plum just $20 for a $40 voucher for You can use the voucher any time before July 31, 2012. And if you buy this deal today, you can use the code MEMORIAL20 to get an additional 20% off on this deal. That  means it's only $16 for $40 worth of products at!

It gets better, folks. Ecomom offers free shipping on all orders of $50 or more every day, so if you use the deal and then spend $10 more dollars when you redeem the voucher, you won't pay for shipping. That means $50 worth of products for only $26 and free shipping! Click here to grab this hot deal before it's gone! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Friendliest Window Coverings

Window coverings are an important part of greening your home. The right window coverings can save you lots of money on that nasty power bill, but saving energy is better for the environment as well as your wallet. Window coverings don't only control the amount of light and privacy in your home. They keep heat in during the winter and keep heat out during the summer, which means your home requires less heating and air conditioning. I did a little research to see what the best eco-friendly options are.

Their seems to be a consensus on the most energy-efficient window treatment: cellular blinds. Cellular blinds, also called honeycomb blinds or honeycomb shades, have a unique design. They come in single cell thickness to allow some light through and double cell thickness if you need blackout blinds. The double cell would be great in a bedroom, especially for someone who works nights and sleeps days, but otherwise choose blinds that allow some light in order to reduce the amount of power used to light your home artificially. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and can be found made from various fabrics, too.

Another worry whenever we bring new items into our homes is what effect the product might have on the air quality in our home. How does this apply to window treatments? Well, mainly it has to do with chemical emissions from plastics or other materials used. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are present in many common household materials and the EPA says that the fumes from VOCs can cause indoor air quality to be up to a thousand times worse than outdoor air quality. One non-profit organization is trying to help consumers make informed choices by applying their logo to products that have been tested and deemed acceptable by Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI). Look for their logo when you shop for new blinds or other window coverings.

Of course, fabric should always be a consideration. Do you want a fabric that will allow more light to filter through? Or do you want a lined fabric that will be better at insulating your home? These are a personal choice, but try to choose fabrics that are made from organic materials. Because organic materials are grown without fertilizer or pesticides, you can reduce water and air pollution by choosing the right fabric for your windows! Try blinds made from recycled paper or bamboo. Bamboo is easy to grow so it doesn't require chemicals and it grows quickly, making it more sustainable than wood.

Last, but not least, reuse or repurpose whatever you can to prevent buying new at all. While these tips will help you make better choices when you need to buy new products, you can often do without. With some simple sewing, you can turn old sheets or blankets into great curtains. Try visiting salvage shops to find vintage wooden shutters or blinds. Check thrift stores, too, for used and vintage curtains and blinds, or anything that could be easily converted to a window treatment, like bedding or long ruffly skirts.

Have more helpful hints? Have you used some creative solutions for window coverings at home? Share your ideas below!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Did You Know?

I realized that I really wanted to share more about homeopathic remedies. This is a subject I've studied some over the years, but I am definitely no expert. If I write about these natural medicinals, I will have to do my homework before each post, but I will enjoy sharing what I know and learning more as I go!

For starters...Did you know that the leaves of strawberry plants are extremely useful in a number of ways? This does not apply to a specific variety, but rather all common varieties of strawberries. The leaves can be broken and boiled to make a tea that is great for many ailments, or they can be eaten without cooking. Taken as a tea or eaten (try them broken up in a fruit salad), the strawberry leaves are good for eczema, and the tea can also be applied to eczema directly as a wash. Do you suffer from night sweats? Strawberry leaf tea purportedly helps with that, too! Boil the tea down to a concentrated infusion and take one or two tablespoons to stop diarrhea in children or adults.

(This information is from Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, a wonderful book that has seen many years of use in  my home. If you are interested in trying more homeopathic remedies, this is a must-have for your bookcase! The Kloss family have been treating patients with herbal medicinals for several generations and are a leading authority.)

I have strawberries growing in my garden so this is an easy to find remedy and I am personally planning to use it more often. The growing season for the berries is fairly short, but the plants stay green much longer and even come back the following year here in the south. That makes these plants a great addition to any garden!

Who's the Best? You Decide!

Mama Making Changes has entered a contest hosted by Circle of Moms that seeks votes for the top Mommy Bloggers. Mama Making Changes has been nominated in the Eco-Friendly Mom Blog category. If you enjoy reading articles on my blog, please head on over to vote by clicking here or on the button below.

As of the time of this post, Mama Making Changes is listed under the "pending" tab, waiting approval by the powers that be at Circle of Moms. Blogs that are pending approval can still receive votes! Hopefully it will not be long before you will be able to find it under the "top blogs" tab.

If this is your first visit, please look around and be sure you like what you see. Then head over to vote. Remember, it's easy. Just click on the Circle of Moms "vote for me" button below to get to the voting page.

You can also come back to vote once every twenty-four hours until 4pm PST on June 13,2012. There is a "Vote for Me" button on the top right side of my page that you can click to go straight to the voting page without having to come back to this post.

Thanks for the support!

Cake Conundrum

Last year my sister-in-law made my daughter's birthday cake from scratch. It was super delicious and moist and it looked oh so designer!

Well, that was the last birthday cake in our home and now I have my husband's birthday, my younger son's birthday, mine, and then my daughter's again, all coming up this summer. My sister-in-law and I don't really talk much anymore (that's a story best saved for another day) and I am not much of a baker. Anyone have any super simple cake recipes or decorating ideas that I can use this summer?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge: Ooh I Wanna Play!

Going Green with the Grizls

I strive to have at least one post every day on Mama Making Changes. One article. Shouldn't be so hard, right? But there are some nights when I think and think and have been thinking all day about what article to write and a good topic just doesn't come! Sometimes it's really difficult! 

So, you see, those evenings when you read my post, squinch up your nose, and think to yourself "that's all?"....I wasn't being lazy, I was just fresh out of ideas!

That's one reason I am super excited about the Summer Blog Challenge! From June 1 to August 31, a group of bloggers will be given a single question each day. This question is to be the topic of a post on each participating blog that day. Every participant is required to answer every question. Neat, huh? 
That should take care of my writer's block, at least for the summer! Stress-free fun in the sun, here I come!

Don't worry. These won't be the only things I'll write about this summer. You'll still see lots of my opinionated, aften irritated, raves and rants about this, that, and the other. I won't let you down!

To find out more about Summer Blog Challenge or to add your blog to the list of participants, just click the button above or below. The same button can also be found on the right side of the page. During the challenge, you can click on the button to access a list of links to participating blogs, allowing you to see the various answers to the question of the day. Again I say...neat, huh?

Hope you will come back daily this summer to see what interesting questions I get stuck answering. You may learn more about me than I ever planned to share! 

Going Green with the Grizls

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Our Day In Pictures (Sorta)

Did that "sorta" get your attention? Well today's post isn't completely wordless. I felt some of the pictures begged a little explanation in order to express how truly wonderful our day really was.

All of our weekdays start out with schoolwork. Today we knew that we had a lot to do away from home, so we gathered everything we needed, including the lesson planner, and took it all with us. One of the many wonderful advantages of home schooling is the flexibility!

First stop...Weight Watcher's Meeting #3. I lost 2 more pounds in the last week! Yay me!

Next, my daughter had a doctor's appointment, closely followed by dentist appointments for both of us.

Look ma, no cavities!

Of course, in between each stop and in each waiting room we worked on today's lessons. 

Next stop...History field trip! We have been studying archaeology, so where better to see actual archaeological finds than a museum? This local museum is really great and most of the artifacts are local. The  thousands of artifacts in the museum are accompanied by photos, letters, models, manequins and more. 

We bought a South Carolina state flag in the gift shop on the way out and with it received a lesson from one of the curators on what each element of the flag was intended to portray. Even I learned something new! Then the proud owner of the flag took some time to have a bounce on the jostling board that sits on the museum's front porch. I even joined her for a few bounces!

Nope it didn't end there! We headed off to the organic farmer's market that is held each Wednesday downtown. The first stop is always the booth with the homemade whole wheat organic cookies. She never minds spending her own money on these! Today, my daughter also bought a basil plant to put outside beside her lemon balm and sunflowers.

Of course, I had to stop to grab a few tomatoes. The ones in our garden are mostly green still. And we went by to see our CSA farmers who had squash, kale, russian kale, arugula, and mustard greens for us this week.

The market even had live entertainment this week! The duo seen on the left here was the most amazing of the ones we heard. They were really good and so entertaining!

After the market, we needed to eat dinner in a hurry because it was almost time for my women's group from church to meet. We headed over to a locally owned restaurant where everything is made from scratch and tastes just like it came from your own kitchen. How do you like the name?

My daughter babysits all of the little ones while the ladies meet on Wednesday nights. 
Tonight was extra special because we had a new addition. 
Baby Jaxson, only 1 week old,  was watched over closely by his big sister Kailyn!

We wrapped up our day with a relaxing game of cards when we got home. I won! Yay me again!

If only everyday could be so much fun! 

How was your Wednesday?

Circle of Moms: Vote for Me

Circle of Moms is currently taking votes for the Top 25 Foodie bloggers. Mama Making Changes got nominated a few days ago! Yay! Thanks to whoever nominated me!

The bad news? There are only 8 days left to vote! Uh oh! That means I need my readers to get on over there and vote! You can vote once per day. In the past few days, Mama Making Changes has moved up from #238 on the list to being #173 on 5/22. That's pretty fast!

Just click the button below to go over and vote. You can come back each day and click the same button or the one on the right side of my page to vote again. Thanks so much to my awesome fans! Love ya'll too!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Short, Fat, and Proud to be an American

Did you know that in 2010, America was the world's fattest country? Our people are ranked 9th in the world in height. So we are all getting to be short and fat. Great. 

I watched the United Stats of America tonight on the History Channel. (I happen to love this show. I rarely turn on a TV, and when I do there are only a few shows that I will sit and watch. This is one of them.) Tonight's numbers really hit home hard. Tonight's episode focused on obesity in America, which I have blogged about previously. Not only am I personally working to change the fact that I fit into the obese category, but more than 30% of Americans are right there with me.

In the United States, unhealthy food is easier to get and often less expensive that healthy food. The government subsidizes major factories that produce processed foods and corn growers who sell to major factories for over-processing. It isn't natural! 

The most popoular food in America is french fries! And the average American eats more than 4 pounds of potato chips per year! Many Americans don't even know how to cook a potato at home! Fast food burgers often contain enough calories meet a persons caloric needs for an entire day! A wide variety of foods eaten in their basic form made early Americans the tallest and healthiest people in the world. A diet of fast food and overly processed food has made modern Americans the fattest people in the world!

The average male waist was 33" in the early 1900s, but today it's 39.7"! But we changed the way we eat starting in the 1950s with the advent of fast food restaurants. Also,  people started working less actively. Technology has reduced the number of farmers to 2% of the American population and 80% of Americans now work in offices. In 1790, more than 90% of Americans were farmers! They ate healthy food and got tons of exercise. 

America has adapted, though. Instead of calling attention to the problem, since the 1980s furniture has gotten wider, movie theater seats have gotten wider, dinner plates have gotten bigger, and even standard coffin size is now wider!

I am learning to eat fresh, made from scratch, and homemade. When I do all of this, I eat healthier! And guess what? I've started losing weight! I have a long way to go, but I am finally learning that when I make healthier choices I can eat more food without gaining more weight. When I get more exercise, I work up more of an appetite. But I can eat more because I burned more calories. 

Sounds simple but it's harder than you think to put into practice. Why? Because unhealthy food is easier to get and less expensive! You can't get steamed spinach at a drive-thru. But you can get potatoes dipped in sugar then deep fried in oil and tossed with salt for only $1.19. No wonder our nation is short and fat.

If you liked this post and others on Mama Making Changes, please clickhere to go to Circle of Moms and vote for me as one of the top eco-friendly mom blogs. Just click here, then click the thumb to vote. You can come back to vote every 24 hours. Thanks for the support!

Designer Yarn Sale Giveaway

Great news for those do-it-yourself green moms out there! I just found out about a great giveaway! is giving away $25 in yarn to each of 6 winners! has yarn starting at less than a dollar per skein.

Some of the yarn is very interestingly different and many come with a free pattern. They offer low flat rate shipping for all orders in the United States, too. There are 6 ways to enter the giveaway and one winner will be chosen from each of the 6 different types of entries. Friday, May 25th is the last day to enter so don't wait! Head over to this link to enter now:

Monday, May 21, 2012

When Free is Really Free

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Right? Usually any offer that says "free" is just a gimmick. It isn't really free. You jump through a bunch of hoops only to find out that the registration was free and now you only need to pay $xx.xx to complete the deal. Sound familiar?

I recently learned about one way to actually get free stuff! Real deal, no jokes, no hidden fees, free stuff! Intrigued yet? is a grassroots, members only, movement that is divided into local groups where a few members are charged with monitoring and maintaining the local lists. There are more than 5000 groups and 9 million members who list items they no longer need but want to keep out of landfills. If you have an item that would be too much trouble to sell (or you just want to be generous), you can list it in your local Freecycle group and others can contact you via email if they want what you have. On the other hand, if you want or need an item that others are likely to have laying around the house, you can place a wanted ad and people who have that item can email you.

On, free really means free! You have to be a member to participate, but membership is free. The rules are simple: the item or items offered must be local, available immediately, and free.

Ready to get started? I was! Just click on over to and type in your city and state in the box at the top of the page. It will look like the picture below. Once I got signed up and clicked the link to go to my local group's listings, I found browsing somewhat confusing. Then I noticed a link that said "advanced" search. Being an avid fan of eBay, I clicked immediately and suddenly browsing these listings was going to be much easier! I found ads for everything from kittens to televisions, all free! And the best part? All of it was right here in my hometown!

The only downside I discovered to Freecycle is that there seem to be far more want ads than offer ads. I decided maybe all that was needed to change that was a few more members like me... people who hate to throw away anything that somebody could use for something! So why don't you join me on Freecycle and lets clean up and clean out without sending the stuff to to the landfill? Share this idea with friends and you may end up seeing each other's posts and swapping junk! After all, one man's trash is another man's treasure, right?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Super Yummy Sunday Recipe

My garden is practically bursting with tomatoes right now! If they all turned ripe at the same time, I don't know what I would do with all of them! I take that back. My family loves tomatoes, which is precisely why I have so many of them in the garden!

In my house, tomatoes are a staple in the summer time. They make great snacks with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, super sandwich toppers, easy salad toppings, perfect pasta ingredients, and more. One of my husband's favorite ways to eat tomatoes, though, is in the type of salad I am going to share with you tonight. Many of these ingredients can be switched in and out with other ingredients, depending on what's in the kitchen. But if you prefer a straightforward recipe instead of experimentation, just make it exactly like this and it will be a huge success. 

Easy Tomato Salad


  • 1 can of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 very red ripe medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed) or finely chopped lemon balm
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • a few tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Toss the beans and tomatoes in a medium sized bowl. Stir together the remaining ingredients in a small jar or bowl, then pour over tomatoes and beans. Mix gently and let sit for five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve this tomato salad with crackers or bread or use it to top a green salad. Add some grilled chicken or fish to make it a meal. The easiest substitution in this recipe is to put chopped cucumbers in place of the beans and use less salt. Want it spicier? Stir in a teaspoon of finely chopped jalapeno pepper instead of using black pepper. try a little chopped green onion instead of basil to change the flavor more. The possibilities are endless!

Come up with your own substitutions to make it your own. Happy garden fresh eating!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

And the Winner Is....


Hehehe. Just wanted to have a little fun with that! Janelle, I sent you an email and will send out your Yellow Brick Road earrings as soon as I have your address! Thanks to everyone who entered. Look for more of Marion Berry's handmade jewelry in future giveaways. He's already promised! [the crowd cheers again]

Friday, May 18, 2012

Natural Hair Color Ideas

When I was younger, I used to dye my hair a nice auburn color. I loved the way the auburn looked with my complexion and my hair tends to get auburn highlights in the summer anyway. Lately I've been thinking about going back to auburn hair. Now I'm older and smarter and greener, though. I don't want to use major brand hair colors because of all of the chemical ingredients. I began exploring other options.
Of course, the first option that came to mind was henna. Lush sells 4 different vegan varieties of henna hair color, each offering up a different color, from bright red to dark indigo. Their Caca Marron is supposed to create an auburn color, which is exactly what I'm looking for. However, I'm not sure I want to spend $24.95 plus shipping on a product I've never used before. I don't know anyone that's ever used it either, and I hear it's not a good idea to use henna without help.
I did some research online for other options. On I found some great ideas for DIY hair products. They offer home made recipes for shampoos, deep conditioners, and hair colors. Following is an excerpt from their site:

Chamomile: This will lighten fair hair. To make a rinse, pour 2 cups boiling water over 1/4 cup chamomile flowers. Cool; strain before using.
Rhubarb: This also will lighten hair. Use 1/4 cup chopped, fresh rhubarb to 2 cups boiling water. Cool; strain before using.
Sage, lavender and cinnamon: These will darken hair. Use 1/4 cup sage or lavender (or 3 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces) to 2 cups boiling water. Cool; strain before using.
Hibiscus flowers: These will give red highlights to light or dark hair. Use dry flowers or herbal tea containing hibiscus flowers. Steep the flowers in boiling water to the shade you desire. Cool; strain before using. Remember you can always go darker, so start out with a weak mixture.

Read more:

Now, I just have one question. Where in the world do I find hibiscus flowers? Maybe I will try the cinnamon sticks first. They should be a little easier to get my hands on. I'll let you know how it turns out!

I love an ingredient list like this!

From Naked green machine:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Little Help from My Friends

I had my first guest post published today! Head on over to to check it out! While you're there, have a look at the rest of her blog and leave a comment or share some of her posts that you find interesting. She's an excellent blogger and I read her posts regularly. But check out my guest post first! Haha. Let me make it easy for you: just click here!

Alternative Housing Ideas Gain Popularity

Lately I've been seeing more and more ideas for alternative housing. People want greener spaces that take up less space and blend into nature more readily. This desire to go green has induced designers to come up with some very interesting ideas for homes that are far from traditional, but are still quite desirable.
One interesting idea is the earth sheltered house. In short, this is a house that is surrounded by earth on all sides but one, including the roof. Think Little House on the Prairie. Remember the little sod house they lived in? These homes are super insulated for starters and often are built with upcycled materials like used tires. They typically have a modern look, but I have also seen some that look like more traditional. I've even seen some that made me think of a hobbit hole in the Lord of the Rings! Here are some examples:

Another interesting new idea is the tiny house. A tiny house is exactly what the name implies. It makes better of use of space than traditional homes so that fewer building materials and less land are used. Many of these are also easily moveable, so if you move you can take your house with you! Of course, they are easier to heat and cool also. Here are a few pictures of tiny houses:

Yet another idea is the pod home. A person buys a central pod that is great for one or two people. Then as the family grows, additional pods can be added to the central pod. When the kids are grown and ready to move out on their own, they can take one of the add-on pods off of the central pod and let the son or daughter take it with them! How neat is that? 

What about the tree house idea? We can't leave that one out because it's by far my favorite! I would absolutely love to live in one of these! Check out these amazing tree houses for families!

I think these tree houses are like dream homes! 

All of these ideas are new and different but quite appealing. What's your favorite? Have you seen some new ideas for housing that I've missed?