The weather sure has been unique this past year and still seems to be.that way. Some people are having a lot of this! I am so thankful that we have not had to deal with snow like this. Here in Tennessee the buttercups have been blooming all over the place BUT they say that some snow is on the way! I don’t think they are predicting that it will be much though. I am sure glad of that. By this time next week it is suppose to be in the sixties. When March gets here I am just so ready for Spring to arrive. I am ready for the wonderful flowers and sweet fragrances that come with Spring. Like the oh so fragrant honeysuckle. And the amazing smelling hyacinth! I am ready to be thinking about getting the gardens planted and grilling and the warmer weather but I thinking I am rushing it a bit don’t you? What kind of weather have you been having? Winter or Spring like? Here at Eco Natural we are gearing up for Spring. We have already had quite a few requests for the Don’t Bug Me line of all natural chemical free insect repellent.We have customers in Florida and Texas that are already needing these products!! You can check out all of our all natural organic skincare products here
One of the many things I liked about us living in California was that they are so into reusing and recycling the “old towns” Instead of demolishing the towns that were built in the 1800 hundreds they have restored them and such cute unique shops and antique malls reside there now. This is Fair Oaks California. Right past this truck is a four way stop. If you take a right at that stop sign you go just a few feet up the road and you are at one of the busiest roads in the area.There is shopping everywhere including a huge mall! It is like going back in time shopping at these adorable towns. This cute shop is in Napa Valley. It is called St. Helena Olive Oil Company. I thought this was a great idea. They used bales of straw laid an old door on top and used it as a table. I think this would look so cool at an outside gathering. They also used a huge slab of rock on top of another rock for a display table.They also use old farm wooden flat bed trailers for displays as well. I love that they incorporated old mining and farming implements in the decor. This cute store in old town Jackson California used old antique signs,wagons and crates for display. They even had an old antique patio set for display. Check out how they used one of the chairs. They put it on the top of the table and then used it to display items as well. This shop used old windows, shutters and doors to display a lot of their floral displays. This is Old Town Sacramento. The locals refer to it as “Old Sac” It is such an awesome example of recycling an area! The whole town is full of fun shops and restaurants.It is a huge success and stays busy all of the time. Goes to show that you can recycle instead of building new and it be a money maker. Old Sacramento has such a history to it. This dining area is one of only a few places at the original level. You see when they built the town everything was at this level. It kept being flooded so they built it up higher. It took 15 years to finish this. What is really unique is that the old town is still there!! As of a few years ago they will let you tour the underground city. If you would like to read about it you can go here. Old Sacrament Underground Do you know of any old towns that have been “recycled”? Don’t forget to check out all of our all natural organic chemical free products at Eco Natural including the awesome new mineral eye shadows colors for Spring!
This time of year always gets us to thinking about Spring and outside projects.I learned how to swim when I was five years old and have loved swimming ever since. So I was totally thrilled when we moved to California and our home had a pool.Talk about an outside project! This is what it looked like when we first saw it If you click on the picture you can see how there was overgrown trees and bushes everywhere! The water had a green tint to it from the algae that has started to grow on the walls of the pool! Alan and our son worked really hard on this project. Our son pulled up lots of trees with very large roots. Can you see what they found under all of that brush? It’s a fountain!! The side of the pool had so many overgrown bushes also. Alan cleared all of that out and planted me an herb garden. There is Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Parsley, Mint and Lavender. We planted lots of colorful flowers and made a rock lined path that went around the pool so that it was easy access to the flowers and herbs. The fountain was such a great feature and we so enjoyed our pool the whole time we lived there. Even though it was a hard project it was so worth it! Our move back to Tennessee has really made us miss our California pool!! Do you have any outside projects planned for the Spring?
Don’t forget to check out some of our new products at Eco Natural Remember all of our products are all natural organic and chemical free.
Also my friend Loretta Fontaine is having an awesome giveaway. It includes one of her gorgeous necklaces plus some amazing looking chocolates!! check it out here
We really like banana bread and I wanted to make a healthier version. We had some bananas that were getter pretty ripe so I decided that it was a good time to try and see if I could come up with a tasty better for us version.
1/3 cup sugar ( I use evaporated cane juice sugar )
1/4 cup butter softened ( I used Earth Balance Spread )
1 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup water
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour ( I use organic)
1/3 cup flax meal
1/3 cup chia meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of aluminum free baking powder
1/2 cups of walnuts optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl beat the sugar and butter until smooth.Beat in eggs, water and bananas with the sugar mixture until it is well blended.Mix in flour, flax and chia meals along with the baking soda baking powder and salt just til moistened.
Pour in prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees. If you use a regular loaf pan you will need to check it after about 45 to 50 minutes. I used mini loaf pans and they were done in about 20 to 25 minutes. Just insert a toothpick or knife and if it comes out clean they are ready. This banana bread turned out so moist and delicious and I feel that it is so much more healthy with these ingredients
Do you ever “tweak” recipes to make them more healthy?. My sweet friend Jessica at Kitchen Belleicious has found out recently that she will be having to eat gluten free. She is such a wonderfully blessed cook and she has an awesome attitude about these changes she is making. She is “tweaking” a lot of her recipes to be gluten free. If you or someone you know is dealing with this you will want to check her recipes out. Also I came across a new blog recently Julie’s Kitchenette and she has some really good looking gluten free recipes too. Like vegan pumpkin nog muffins. If you have to deal with dry lips then check out our all natural organic chemical free lip balm at Eco Natural
My husband has a friend that sends him such cool videos and pictures to his e-mail. He will forward ones to me like this video. It is very short and doesn’t take long at all to watch. I was really touched by this one. Let me know if you think it is really cool also.
Seed catalogs have started coming in the mail already so that has made us start thinking about GARDEN TIME!! Still to early though! Not only does Spring get me excited for this But also for things like wonderful smelling honeysuckle. And beautiful tulips! Are you thinking about Spring yet?
It has been a really extra mild Winter here but this past week was really a weather roller coaster here in Tennessee Around the first of the week it was around 70 degrees Our grass has started to grow and be such a pretty green here in January!! Then two days later it looked like this and this!! Ice everywhere!! I see from this picture that my husband forgot to bring the grill spatula in!!. Thats okay though because he was so sweet to grill a lot of veggies for me the other day when it was so warm.Grilling outside in Tennessee in January is not the norm! Then yesterday it was so sunny and 56 degrees. It was so nice that we were able to take some fun pictures outside with our grandsons. Our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons came to visit yesterday and our daughter-in-law fixed a wonderful meal, She said she needed some Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley. She was so surprised that I still had fresh herbs growing.Will and I picked them and the whole house smelled wonderful. I don’t when I have had this many herbs make it this far into the Winter.
In a few posts back I told about several of the things I wanted to get accomplished this coming year. One of them was to learn how to change the header on my blog.Which after our daughter said the two words “Photo Shop” I have changed my mind on that goal but I want to thank Micah from Captain Micah blog. She was so kind to to have taken the time to work on a really cute header for me. I have sent it to our daughter to see if it will fit my blog. Micah is a corporate pilot who is starting a design business as well. She takes some amazing pictures from her plane.and also of the cities she flies into. Thanks Again Micah!
Don’t forget to check out all of our all natural organic skincare product and makeup at Eco Natural
I saw this recipe for a tasty looking Mediterranean Salad on Alicia Silverstones Kind Life blog. I decided to give it a try and I am so glad that I did. It is so delicious. Sometimes I am not very good at taking pictures while I am preparing a dish.but I did get a picture of the finished product This is such an easy salad to make because you can put in whatever amount of each of the ingredients you want. You can use canned chick peas but I like buying the dried and cooking them myself. I cook a big pot of them, then when they are done I rinse them real well. After they drain and cool I put them in several bags and freeze them. They freeze exceptionally well which makes them so handy to use in cooking.
Chickpeas ( if you use canned ones make sure you rinse them well )
Organic fresh broccoli broken into small pieces
Organic fresh spinach chopped
Organic sweet onion chopped
Organic grape or cherry tomatoes chopped into bite sized pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add a few splashes of good red wine vinegar
Toss all of this together and let in stand at least 30 minutes before serving. This salad was gone very quickly because everyone loved it!
I used a wonderful red wine vinegar that we bought in California for this recipe Napa is known for their wines but they also make some awesome wine vinegars as well.
I have got a question for you. I am pretty new at the Facebook thing and am learning more about it all of the time. I have come across a few people that seem to be fearful of being on Facebook .I talked to someone not to long ago who gets on Facebook and reads other peoples pages and wants to be on there herself but seems to be startled. She is a good christian lady and knows that God has not given us a spirit of fear so I am not sure what is holding her back..I know someone whose spouse doesn’t want them to have a Facebook account but I won’t even get started on that!! My question is are you concerned about being on Facebook or do you know someone who is? Do you know of any negative things about Facebook? We have some amazing all natural organic lip balm that will keep your lips moist for hours!! Keep your pets skin and coat looking and feeling great this Winter! If you want to check out more of our products just go to Eco Natural
About a year ago we quit eating dairy products and have been SO glad that we made that choice. Before this we were pretty big cheese eaters especially me. When we lived in California they are not only big on pairing wine with cheese but also fruit and cheese. I love cooking with wine but don’t drink it so the fruit and cheese pairings were right up my alley. I learned what cheese goes best with what fruit and which fruit brings out the flavor of different cheeses.
When we gave up dairy products I thought that I was going to really miss cheese but I haven’t What we all have missed most has been ranch dressing. We love it on salads and for dipping raw veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and grape tomatoes.We use Tofutti for a Vegan alternative to sour cream,. So I decided to Google some ranch dressing recipes to see if I could come up with a recipe that would suit us. Oh boy did I find a great one! I dried quite a few herbs from our herb garden so I used them as well as our store bought ones. Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Used my wire whisk to blend it How easy is that? It is so delicious!! I added a few extra chives on top because we like them so well This is great as a dip and you can also thin it a little bit and have a great dressing for salads.
Here is the original recipe I found on allrecipes.com for those of you who eat dairy.
1 cup of mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried chives 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Mix all together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Here is the dairy free version that I came up with
1 carton of Tofutti 1/4 cup of coconut milk
1Tablespoon of dried chives 1Tablespoon of dried parsley
1 Tablespoon dried dill 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. This is one of those recipes that you can add or subtract the amounts you use. This really taste better than the store bought ranch dressing. I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think.
Do you ever make homemade versions of products that you buy?
First I want to say that I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. The holidays are when so many families come together to have great fellowship and fun and hopefully to celebrate what the season is all about. What a great gift God gave to us!! We had such a nice day with our family and so enjoyed watching our three year old grandson Will having so much fun handing everyone their gifts.One of the most fun things for him this year was setting up our nativity . He has spent so much time arranging and rearranging baby Jesus so as to make sure that the shepherds, wise men and everyone else would be able to see him. We got all the gifts for our eight month old grandson Eli at Whole Foods. After hearing all about the recent shipment of toys that had large traces of lead in them we just wanted to make sure that he had good safe toys to play with. He loved this toy and played with it all afternoon. They have a really good selection of baby stuff at Whole Foods. Toys, sippy cups, teethers, adorable eating utensils so many other cute things. It was easy to fill our list for him there’
The New Year usually gets people looking back over the past year and thinking about what they want to accomplish in the coming year. Many make lots of New Years Resolutions. In fact I was a reading a survey that stated at least 45% of Americans make resolutions but most don’t keep them. The good news is that even though they break them it is still beneficial to make the resolutions. People who make resolutions are ten time more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. We really haven’t made New Years Resolutions in quite a while. We like looking back and then decide how we want to improve.in the coming year So I guess that is almost the same thing isn’t it? So here are a few of the things that are on our list.
I taught our grandson how to compost.this past year I have been thrilled that he loves doing it. This year I want us to teach him how to recycle and look forward to teaching his little brother when he gets a little older. I definitely want to reuse a lot more items this year. I am excited to try out some things that I have learned from some awesome “green’ bloggers. I tried out a few new herbs in our herb garden but am excited to try a whole bunch of new ones this coming year. We look forward to an abundance of great veggies from our garden again this year..and plan on planting several new varieties. We really had a time battling the bugs this year because we were doing it organically..My husband has found some new ways to battle the bugs and fungus that get on the plants without using chemicals! YEA! Because Alan and I are both so vocal about our faith and how we give God all of the glory for the success of our business we have so many people want to know where we go to church. We even have people ask if we know of a good church in their area.Sometimes people don’t know where to start to find the right church for them. I plan on researching a few more churches in the area this coming year so that I have more recommendations for people who ask us. As you can plainly see I still have a Summer header on my blog. Changing the header is something that I have not learned to do yet but I am planning on changing that this year. Our daughter has changed it for me a few times so I am going to see if she can teach me how so that I can go ahead and get a picture up there that looks more like Winter. I so admire these blogs I read that change their headers with every season and holiday. I use my new Nurti Bullet almost everyday I make our own Flax meal, almond meal, almond butter, sunflower seed butter and some of the most delicious nutritious drinks ever!! It also is an amazing juicer because it liquifies everything so there is no pulp to deal with which means you are not throwing away good nutrients.We are really trying to do more raw recipes so I am looking forward this year to finding more great ways to use this awesome appliance. Thanks sweetie for getting me this! We have seen our business take such a tremendous growth this year and we praise God for all this. We started this business a little over three years ago with only six products. We now have over 150!! Our website sales are awesome and we are thrilled to have a 98% reorder rate!! As of this year we have had over 100 local retail stores start selling our products. These include almost every Health Food store in the Nashville / Middle Tennessee area as well as some locations in Kentucky. We will also be putting our products into Whole Foods this year. In the past few months Alicia Silverstone and Carrie Underwood have gotten our products as well! Our Acne Relief line is our top seller with the Psoriasis and Eczema lines close behind. Our Foot and Toenail Fungus products have been getting awesome testimonies which we have posted on our website. All of our products are all natural and chemical free!! Our product line includes awesome lip balm wonderful Mineral Makeup, shave and shampoo bars and new products like our Menopause Relief and Wrinkle balm. Our pet relief line is used by so many groomers, vets and pet owners.. I am not telling you this to brag in any way only to give God the glory for these awesome formulas. We are excited to see what God has planned for us this year. If you would like to check out any of our products just go to Eco Natural
We also will be working on our website in the coming months to make it so much more appealing and easy to navigate.So as you can see we have quite a few things lined up to improve on this coming year. I believe with the Lords help we can get them all accomplished!
Do you make New Years Resolutions and if so what are some of your bigger goals for 2013? Also I try to visit new blogs each week and if you are visiting me for the first time please leave a comment and make sure that you leave the link back to your blog so that I can visit you again!
First of all I want to say that we should never forget the reason we celebrate Christmas.What an amazing gift God gave to us The greatest gift of all!! What a reason to rejoice! I hope all of you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas!
For the past several years I try to shop Eco Friendly and local for most of our gift giving. At first I thought that it was going to be hard but it really hasn’t been at all. It is such a blessing that a lot of the retail stores that carry our products carry a lot of other great local products as well. The Green Wagon has a great selection of recycled jewelery.Different artist in the Nashville area take different types of materials and remake them into some really pretty and unique pieces. They also have some beautiful locally made scarves. They also have organic clothing, baby products, makeup, toys and so much more. They are proud to say that 705% of their merchandise is locally made and it is all 100% American made!! I think that is something to be really proud of. I know some people who are wanting to make an effort to start getting rid of the awful chemicals in their homes. It is very easy to make some of your own cleaners and there are some really great ones available that are chemical free. So a cute basket filled with some of these all natural cleaning products will be great for them. Lulu’s in Franklin also sells our products as well as some great locally made jewelery. They don’t have as many Eco Friendly products as some of the other stores but they have so many cute things in this adorable boutique They are locally owned and I love shopping with other locally owned business instead of the big box stores.You get more unique gifts and are helping keep these stores in business! Lulu’s also has a new location in Lebanon as well as the one in Franklin. I also discovered this wonderful artist in the Green Hills area that has a studio where she designs and makes such gorgeous jewelery. Her jewelry is beautiful and is priced quite a bit higher than some of the others but her quality is amazing. I think a basket filled with local honey, bread and cheese will be a great gift. I know someone who will be thrilled with a basket full of locally made salsa, tortilla chips and locally made flour and corn tortillas And anyone would be happy to get some locally made Olive and Sinclair chocolates. . The Produce Place in West Nashville and Hendersonville Produce both have a great selection of locally made food items that would make great gifts. Regina the owner of Hendersonville Produce makes gorgeous gift baskets with your choice of products in them. I really like filling recycled small boxes full of homemade goodies that I have baked. I try to always find several new recipes to try each year. One of the new ones I tried is homemade peanut butter cups. I thought they would be difficult to make but were really pretty easy and they have been one more big hit! They are now one of our favorites. Do you like buying local for the holidays or would you rather shop the large department stores? Also do you like to give homemade gifts to friends and family? If you need some great gift ideas check out our all natural organic products at Eco Natural