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I recently spent a few day s in NYC with my niece, Sylvie. She is eating very simply- mostly vegetarian, candida-conscious, gluten-free. Big city- but how to find the right food? Here’s the app we needed. For NYC, LA and Austin. Free download. Why not?

 

Hat Tip: greatist.com

Don’t watch this if you are easily grossed out- this is a video of a mosquito laying eggs and then the larvae hatching. OMG! Know what mosquito larvae look like so you can do something about it if you see this in or near your home.

The Oldest Known Fossil Mosquito was found entombed in amber, approximate age of 100-90 million years. Pesky mosquitos affect humans more than any other insect. There are 2500 species of mosquitos in the world. 150 species occur in the US. Each species has a particular way of laying their eggs but all require water – be it a stagnant pond, a vase of standing water, snow melted in a bird feeder, water pooling on a puddle. Males don’t bite and feed on flower nectar. Most of the females (who are the egg layers) need to feed on blood to be able to create and lay their eggs. They can lay up to 200 or 300 eggs at a time and they hatch within 48 hours- sometimes faster depending on the temperature. the larvae need to swim around for a few days to mature. I’m not going to write any more about this because it makes me itchy to think about. BUT, knowing how to prevent unwanted swarms of skeeters is important. eHow has some good suggestions, also here is an article about using household products to kill larvae, and one more from eHow using garlic juice and apple cider vinegar in places where there is standing water. Great, I have loads of leftover garlic from last year’s harvest.

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Jeff Meshel consistently chooses powerful performers and songs for his blog. Many of his selections take my breath away. This one is at the top of my list. He writes: “But the discovery that’s been haunting me for days is this one, a spontaneous, honest homeboy and girl moment.  Aretha Franklin (b. 1942) Smokey (b. 1940) grew up in the same Detroit ‘hood, knew each other since forever. Here she’s the featured guest on a TV show called Soul Train, and Smokey’s a guest of the guest. Watch the banter, the comfort and immense mutual admiration. Watch the emcee challenge Aretha live on camera to come up with a Smokey song.”

Watch this!

Look how young they are. And Aretha is such an amazing pianist on top of her great voice. It’s a gem of a moment.

 

The Revolver wind turbine by  Frog Design set up is a snap and produces up to 35 W so you can charge up your portable electronic devices while camping or in other remote locations.

 

Read more.

Via:  Rahul Gupta at Ecofriend.com

Fantastic. Who knew? Watch this:

 

 

Hap Tip: Jonah

Mama’s Calendula Skin Food

February 14, 2012

Here is the recipe I created for “Mama’s Calendula Skin Food 2011”:

Wonderful for cuts, scrapes, chapped skin, lip balm, burns, cuticles, rough skin on heels and more.

¼ c Calendula infused grapeseed oil

.5 oz beeswax

1/8 t unfiltered honey

½ t cocoa butter

½ t sea buckthorn oil

20 drops peppermint, lavender or Thieves essential oil

Slowly melt beeswax in double boiler. (I used a pyrex measuring cup in a pan of water)

stir in honey, cocoa butter, and oils. Do not boil, just warm until melted.

When all liquid, turn off heat, add drops of essential oil and stir, pour into little containers and allow to cool.

Make your own toothpaste

February 13, 2012

I’ve been on a break from posting. But these recipes caught my attention. Making your own toothpaste is so ridiculously easy, and cheap, I’m not sure I’ll ever buy another tube! You can adjust to your perfect intensity and flavor without the questionable use of flouride and preservatives.

We’ve been told since childhood the important benefits of brushing our teeth regularly which include avoidance of tooth decay, gingivitis and halitosis. Brushing removes plaque, food remnants and tartar (which forms plaque). Brushing too hard can cause problems with gums, so it’s about gently cleaning your teeth. We also know that flossing and regular visits to the dental hygienist greatly improve dental health.

Here is Vivian Goldschmidt’s  version. She is one of my favorite strong bone bloggers and authors.  www.saveourbones.com

Save Your Smile Toothpaste

Ingredients

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil. I recommend: Extra Virgin Certified Organic Coconut Oil – 54 fl oz

3 tablespoons baking soda
.

1/2 small (individual) packet of stevia. I recommend: Truvia Natural Sweetener — 140 Packets

20-25 drops of peppermint oil – you can adjust this to taste. I recommend: Vitacost 100% Pure Peppermint Oil – 4 fl oz

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in a tightly sealed container.

 

LuSa’s recipe is a bit more complex:

LuSa Organics Homemade Toothpaste

2 tsp Natural Liquid Soap (try unscented Dr. Bronner’s or similar. We’ve used our bar soap grated into water but it makes too thick of a toothpaste for my squeeze bottle.)

4 Tb Coconut Oil

1 Tb Water

2 Tb Xylitol (optional)

1/2 tsp Stevia powder

10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

5-10 drops Spearmint or Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Boil a small pan of water. Measure out 1 Tb and stir into it Xylitol (optional). Stir to dissolve. Melt coconut oil and add to water mixture. Measure in soap and stevia and blend (a stick blender works well if you have one. Otherwise use your regular blender or whisk by hand like mad).  Blend while the formula cools enough to stay combined. Add essential oils and transfer to a clean squeeze or pump bottle. Cool completely, shake well.

Then smile at your self-sufficiency with those squeaky-clean teeth.

 

 

This is a wonderful chart from 1bog.org (One block Off the Grid)

 

Really have you ever thought about how much land you would need to meet all your family’s calorie needs for a year. This is a great chart.

 

1bog.org is an inventive group that can help you find the most cost-effective way to have solar power. One Block Off the Grid makes it easier and more affordable for homeowners to go solar by organizing group discounts, vetting solar installers, and providing you with objective information and advice along the way. Our solar advisors don’t work on commission. Their salary is the same whether you end up going solar or not, so the information you receive from One Block Off the Grid is always 100 percent unbiased.

Hat Tip: William Spear

 

 

 

 

 

Freezing Snow Peas

August 5, 2011

It’s the first week of August and I thought the season was over but it turns out that all my snow peas really needed was more water. There have been some huge rainstorms in the past 10 days and there are many new pea shoots, flowers and more snow peas. Yahoo. Here is how I am preserving some for the winter.

Wash and string (peel down the stringy seams on both sides by snapping the top and gently pulling down)

Place in boiling water for 2 minutes

 

Cool in iced water 2 minutes

Pat dry and freeze in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers.

Your Ecological Footprint

August 4, 2011

 

 

Do you know how large your ecological footprint is? Are you interested in lowering your footprint?

Look no further. The Center For Sustainable Ecology has put together a good quiz with wonderful information about all aspects of our lifestyles and possible changes we can make.

I took the quiz and found out that if everyone lived as my family does (which I thought was very frugally and consciously) we would still require more than one earth to sustain the lifestyle. It isn’t fair to the rest of the world to take such a large share of things.

The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the amount of land and ocean area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual basis. After answering 27 easy questions you’ll be able to compare your Ecological Footprint to others’ and learn how to reduce your impact on the Earth.