Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today's Green Tip: Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather

Fruit Leather Recipe

Ingredients:  
  • Strawberries
  • Water
  • Lemon juice 
  • Sugar (if needed)
**4 cups of fruit yield about one sheet of fruit leather
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting or 120 degrees...the lowest my oven would go was 170 degrees.
  2. Rinse the berries and cut of the green tops.  Cut the berries into quarters if they are large berries.
  3. If the berries are sweet you will not need to add much sugar, but if they are tart you will need to add a bit more.
  4. Place the berries in a covered saucepan on medium heat.  Pour in 1/2 c. water for every 4 cups of fruit.  Bring the berries to a simmer and let them cook down for 10-15 minutes until the fruit is soft.
  5. Use a potato masher to mash the fruit that is left in the pan until fairly smooth.  (Or wait for the mixture to cool a bit and put it in your food processor or blender.)  If you kiddos are sensetive to the seeds, you could strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove the strawberry seeds.
  6. Add sugar 1 tsp. at a time until desired sweetness and lemon juice to taste  I added 1/2 c. sugar and the juice from 1/2 of a lemon to give it some real zing.
  7. Simmer fruit until sugar is completely disolved and the mixture has thickened (about 5 or 10 minutes more).
      8.   Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Pour the strawberry mixture onto the lined baking sheet until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick or so.
      9.  Bake in the low temperature oven for as long as it takes for the puree to dry out (between 8 and 12 hours) and not be sticky to the touch...ours took 6.5 hours since it was at a higher temp.
      10.  Let the fruit leather cool.  Then as you take the leather up, tightly roll it, plastic wrap and all as you would do cinnamon rolls.
      11.  Then cut the leather into desired widths.
      12.  Store the homemade "fruit roll ups" in airtight containers or plastic baggies.

    Friday, April 29, 2011

    Today is Arbor Day!!

    Help Celebrate Arbor Day


    Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it's celebrated on the last Friday in April.  In 1872 J. Sterling Morton inspired the people of Nebraska to plant an estimated one million trees. 
    What are you doing this Arbor Day to help celebrate this tree planting holiday?  

    Today's Green Tip: Mother's Day your Flowers - Go Pesticide Free!

    Fresh flowers are one of life's little luxuries. We love having something colorful and living in our home. And with Mother's Day just around the corner, the season of Flower Giving is upon us. 


    But, before you order that online bouquet consider this: the floriculture industry is one of the heaviest pesticide users of all the agricultural sectors!!


    This barrage of toxic chemicals is a serious threat to the workers and the environment where these flowers originate. Colombia is the world's 2nd largest producer of cut flowers (after Holland), producing close to 62% of all the flowers sold in the United States. Colombia's export business employs over 75,000 people growing more than 50 varieties of cut flowers. As an imported agricultural product, flowers from foreign countries must be pest-free, so many trade regulators in the United States actively promote the use of a highly toxic fumigant, methyl bromide, for some flower exports.



    What You Can Do:
    1. Buy fresh flowers from your local market or farmer. Commit to knowing where your flowers come from and under what conditions they're grown.
    2. Look for flowers that have been certified by "VeriFlora," a certification and labeling program launched by U.S. consumers, growers and retailers, including Whole Foods Market. There are an increasing number of farms in Colombia and Ecuador that have earned the VeriFlora label, which requires a transition to organic production and bans more than 100 chemicals outright.
    3. Grow your own! If you're fortunate enough to have some outdoor green space, growing and maintaining a flower garden can be a wonderful outdoor activity. Click here for tips on how to get started.

    Thanks to re-nest.com

    Whole Foods One Day Sale 4/29 - Organic Strawberries

    Whole Foods Market is having a one day sale on Organic Strawberries TODAY! They are only $1.99 per pound - while supplies last. Keep in mind that you can freeze strawberries and they will be just fine when you thaw them out! Whole Foods always provides great recipes. 



    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Green Living Family Festival - Dallas this Weekend

    For those in and around the Dallas Fort Worth area, I just received this information on a great Green Living festival at the Heard Museum this weekend!



    Chat with dozens of green vendors that can provide you with practical tips about eco-friendly living. If you are a "green veteran," there is always something new to learn! Enjoy live entertainment, green demonstrations and kid's activities including kite flying in the meadow. See the new Bugs! exhibit, check out Animals of the World and walk the nature trails. Bring recyclable products to support the Heard’s electronics recycling program.  Stay tuned for more details.

    McKinney residents will enjoy free* admission to the museum and to this event for the day! *Please provide driver's license or recent water bill as proof of residency.

    Admission for non-McKinney residents is our standard admission: $9 adults, $6 seniors & kids 3-12.  Kids 2 & under are free.



    Activities


    At the Amphitheater
    Heard Live Animal Presentation - 9:45 to 10:15
    Blackland Prairie Raptor Show  -  10:45 to 11:30 a.m.
    McKinney Community Band - Noon to 1 p.m.
    Heard Animal Presentation - 1:30 to 2 p.m.
    Heard Animal Presentation - 3 to 3:30 p.m.

    Tours
    Native Plant/Butterfly Garden Walks & Talks - 10:15 to 10:45; 4:05 to 4:45 p.m.
    Guided Trail Tours - 11:30 to noon; 1 to 1:30 p.m.; 3:30 to 4 p.m.

    FREE Canoe Try-Its
    9:30 to 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 
    (children 7 and up only and must be accompanied by an adult)




    Book signing
    From 9AM-2PM, meet Skyler Ball, an Allen, Texas first grade student and author of Let's Green Things Up. Skyler and his dad worked together to write and illustrate a children’s book in which Skyler encourages kids to do what they can to make their homes, their cities, and the world healthier places to live. Read more about Skyler here.

    Food
    Texas Roadhouse on site serving grilled hot dogs/hamburgers - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    And more!



    The Second Chance SPCA will be on hand 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live animal adoptions!
    All guests are encouraged to play our “Black-Out Bingo Game” by getting a stamp when they visit all of our participating vendors.  Turn in your completed Bingo Form at the front desk and receive a special prize!



    Other activities will include an inflatable slide and kite flying. The Dallas Area Kite-Flyers Association will demonstrate their kite-flying skills from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Guests are encouraged to bring their own kites to also fly in the Heard Meadow.  Or, The Heard will have some kites for sale, including a kid’s kite that gives them the opportunity to color and design their own kite.



    Gold Class Cinemas will “free dessert” coupons to our guests as a prize for our “Vendor Black-Out Bingo,” while supplies last. Texas Roadhouse will provide $5 coupons as a prize for our “Vendor Black-Out Bingo,” while supplies last.


    Visit Oncor during the Ask Oncor event at the Green Living Family Festival! While you are there, be sure to enter for a chance to win a $250 American Express gift card! Learn about Oncor’s programs and processes including their interaction in the communities they serve.

    Today's Green Tip: Upcycle your Walls

    Have you ever just looked at your walls and just gone.....YUK!

    Try this twist.

    Use sheets of unwanted music, magazines, newspapers to create one of a kind wallpaper or wall art!

    This can be an ever evolving montage as you get tired of the look.

    The great thing - It's all recyclable when you're done!

    Mother's Day Giveaway: Eco-Friendly Robin's Egg Nest Ring

    Mother's Day is next weekend! Wow!  How time creeps up on us!  I can't believe that this will already be my 2nd Mother's Day and already expecting our second baby!  



    In honor and celebration of moms everywhere, I thought it would be a great time to host a Mother's Day Giveaway!


    Randee over at Of The Earth Jewelry has donated one of her beautiful Robin's Nest Egg rings to one lucky mom this Mother's Day! The ring is made of non tarnished silver and pearls.


    This nest ring is inspired by the beautiful colors of robin's eggs in their little nest. It can be made with any pearl color though. Mothers love to get it symbolize their own "nest" at home. 


    Of the Earth Jewelry  it is just Randee...a full-time speech therapist with a passion for the arts. She began selling items on Etsy and local (Louisiana) art shows and kept busy! She hopes to make Of the Earth Jewelry more of a full-time business in the future. 


    Randee tries to be eco-friendly in her business by recycling and reusing never letting a scrap of wire or cloth get thrown away without trying to incorporate it into an item. With hammered copper pieces, http://www.etsy.com/listing/70350625/large-verdigris-bird-with-copper-initial, she uses copper scraps (if they are available) to hammer her little initials. She hates waste!!!! 


    Randee has learned to use every possible piece available while growing up working in a flower shop....her mom always says, "necessity is the mother of invention" and she finds her creativity really sparks when she's limited on her resources.


    GIVEAWAY 

    Open to US Residents Only.

    Do you want to win this Eco-Friendly Robin's Egg Nest ring for Mother's Day?

    You can!   Here's how - Leave a comment for each entry WITH your email on EACH entry!!!
    MANDATORY ENTRIES

    * Visit Of the
    Earth Jewelry on Etsy - Favorite (Heart) the store AND tell me who and why you want to win this +1

    * Be a follower of Going Green with Noah via GFC +1

    * Follow Of the Earth Jewelry on
    Facebook +1


    EXTRA ENTRY OPPORTUNITIES

    * Follow Going Green with Noah on 
    Facebook +1

    * Follow Of the Earth blog via GFC +1
    * Follow me on Twitter +1
    * Tweet the following (Can be done 
    2x a day - At least 2 hours apart- leave link) +1

    * Join Of the Earth Facebook group to receive special updates and deals +1

    I just entered to #win an #eco Robin's Egg Nest ring from @GreenMomMel for #Mothers Day! #madebyhand #jewelry http://tinyurl.com/3szka2p 



    * Sign up for my E-Newsletter (This is a new feed if you are already subscribed, so please re-subscribe) - Worth 3 Extra Entries!!!

    * Share this giveaway on Facebook by clicking "Like" button above or below +1



    * Let Top Mommy Blogs know how much you love us by clicking on the banner at the top of this page (Can be done 
    once a day for extra entries) +1

    5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Grab my button and put it on your blog homepage and come back and let me know where to find it! +5

    Visit Alexa.com - Click on the Review Stars and Leave me a Review of your own.  Come back and let me know you did so I can validate +2

    This giveaway will end on 
    5/4 at midnight CST.  We will try our best to get the ring to the winner by Mother's Day.

    Any entries received after midnight will not count.  

    Shaklee All Natural Cleaning Giveaway! 5 WINNERS!




    Last year I attended the Live Green Expo in Plano, TX and LOVED every minute of it.  I met so many different vendors and had more good than bad experiences with the ones that I hired.  While perusing the floor, I started a conversation with a Shaklee representative and became so excited with their product.  Mind you, as excited as I was, I never found myself ordering.


    That was until I was approached by Sarah over at Three Boys to review some of the Shaklee cleaning products. Needless to say, I was THRILLED!!!


    I was given the opportunity to review two sets of products. 


    The first was Shaklee's Get Clean Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste in their Healthy Home Collection.  



    Natural ingredients remove the toughest dried-on splatters and spills, burned-on grease, baked-on food, and sticky messes without hazardous chemicals or toxic fumes.

    Scour Off is made from natural mineral abrasives and biodegradable cleaning agents. It does not contain chlorine, bleach, or dye.

    Scour Off gently removes stains other cleansers can't and is great for cleaning tubs, ovens, sinks, and tiles

    It will even remove rust, and is great for cleaning these surfaces: copper, grout, cement, ceramic, and imitation marble.

    Wide-mouth jar makes it easy to use


    Clean Credentials

    Nontoxic

    Natural abrasives

    No harsh chemicals

    Biodegradable surfactants

    No phosphates

    What I first loved about this product was the smell.  Such a wonderful smell, my husband even said "Man! You could eat that stuff!"  Needless to say, not only did it do a smashing job with only a little product, but it left the kitchen smelling wonderful!!!!


    BEFORE - YUK!!!

    DURING THE CLEAN


    AFTER - Oooo Sparkly!

    The second set of products that I had the pleasure of reviewing was the 


    This little 16 oz bottle creates an unbelievable 48 gallons of super-safe, really powerful, all purpose cleaner. We challenge you to use it up any time soon to clean everything from spilled milk, to bug guts on the window, to splattered spaghetti sauce. Now go, get cleaning.
    For all-purpose cleaning: 





    Add 1/4 tsp. to 16 oz. of water. 

    For windows and mirrors: 
    Add 1-2 drops to 16 oz. of water. 

    For degreasing: 
    Add 1 1/2 tsp. to 16 oz. of water. For bigger jobs, add 2 oz. to 1 gallon of water.


    Here is my experience with the glass cleaner:


     MY BACK WINDOW - YUK!

    AFTER CLEANING - GROSS!



    Once again - Sparkly!!!


    Winner of the 2008 PTPA awards, this product has to be good!  

    “If it’s safe in water… it’s safe in Basic H”
    ·      Biodegradable
    ·      Non-polluting
    ·      Phosphate-free
    ·      Not a soap
    ·      Non-toxic
    ·      Non-irritating
    ·      Non-flammable

    And check out all of the Household, Personal AND Automotive uses 
    that you can use it for! Wow!

    HOUSEHOLD USES

    General Cleaning – 5 mL in 1 L (1 tsp in 1 quart) of warm water for walls, woodwork, ceilings, kitchen appliances, furniture, bathroom, and fixtures. Leaves refrigerators odour-free.

    Windows, Mirrors, All Glass – 2–4 drops in 0.5 L (1 pint) of water. Glass will smear if more than the recommended amount of Basic-H2® is used.

    Dishes – 5–10 mL in 4.5 L (1–2 teaspoons in 1 gallon) of water.

    Pots and Pans – 15 mL in 4.5 L (1 tablespoon in 1 gallon) of  water. Let stand to loosen stuck-on particles.

    Floors – 15–30 mL in 4.5 L (1–2 tablespoons in 1 gallon) of cool water. Leaves surfaces shiny.

    Kitchen Floors – 2.5 mL in 1 L (1/2 teaspoon in 1 quart) of warm water to clean without polishing.

    Dusting – 1.25 mL in 0.5 L (1/4 teaspoon in 1 pint) of water. Pour solution onto a sponge and squeeze to almost dry, or spray on a clean cloth and wipe. Leaves bright, non-magnetic surface, which will not attract dust.

    Other great household uses:  Fruit and Vegetables (including baking potatoes), Woolens, Nylons and All Fine Fabrics, Spot Remover, Electric Coffeemaker, Ironing, Knives, Aquariums, Fish Odours, Boat Algae, Diapers, Spray “Snow” or Poster Paint on Windows, Wallpaper, Frying Vats

    IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER

    • Basic-H2® is the most economical and versatile cleaner you can buy. 1 L makes 288 L (64 gallons) of cleaning solution. Do not use more than the recommended amount, as a little goes a long, long way!
    • Basic-H2® makes water wetter.
    • Do not put any foreign matter into your Basic-H2® container. Large amounts of bacteria can degrade and weaken the product.





    So....how does this product compare in cost to conventional cleaners that you might buy at Wal Mart?  Would you believe me if I said CHEAPER??  Check out the cost comparison here.














    GIVEAWAY for 5 Winners!!!




    Open to US Residents Only. 



    Do you want to win a sample of the Basic H Organic Cleaning Concentrate from Shaklee??


    You can!   Here's how - Leave a comment for each entry WITH your email!!!


    MANDATORY ENTRIES (Must do all 3 to Qualify)

    * Visit Three Boys Shaklee page and check out their Earth Day Special!  Let me know other products from her Get Clean Starter Kits  you would LOVE to try! +1



    * Be a follower of Going Green with Noah via GFC +1

    * Follow Three Boys on GFC +1

    * Follow Three Boys on Facebook +1


    EXTRA ENTRY OPPORTUNITIES


    * Follow Going Green with Noah on Facebook +1
    * Follow me on Twitter +1
    * Tweet the following (Can be done 2x a day - At least 2 hours apart- leave link) +1


    I just entered to #win a Shaklee Basic H #Organic Cleaning Concentrate sample from @GreenMomMel - I could be one of 5 winners!!!  http://tinyurl.com/6fewyv7


    * Sign up for my E-Newsletter (This is a new feed if you are already subscribed, so please re-subscribe) - Worth 3 Extra Entries!!!


    * Share this giveaway on Facebook by clicking "Like" button above or below +1


    * Vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs by clicking on the banner at the top of this page (Can be done once a day for extra entries) +1


    * 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Grab my button and put it on your blog homepage and come back and let me know where to find it! +5


    Visit Alexa.com - Click on the Review Stars and Leave me a Review of your own.  Come back and let me know you did so I can validate +1


    This giveaway will end on 5/7 at midnight CST.  


    Any entries received after midnight will not count.