Archive for August, 2013

Library Reading : The Honest Life by Jessica Alba

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Let me just start with – this book made me want to go out and buy all new organic furniture. Seriously.  

Overall,  I really liked what she had to say about clean eating and healthy living.   I even took a bunch of notes – I am such a nerd!

This is a fantastic reference for someone new to the whole ‘organic-healthy living’ releam.  There are a ton of cute pictures and some interesting ideas (her vanilla scrub uses coconut oil – very cool!).  There is also a seriously awesome Appendix filled with fantastic links to other sites, companies and resources. 

Per a suggestion in the book, I soaked the boys bath toys in a mixture of distilled white vinegar (I added a decent splash) and some warm water.  EWE!!!!!! The stuff that came off the toys was gross – so I will be doing this way more often. 

My only complaint with the book it seemed to be an ad for her Honest Company.  I felt like she was always suggesting something from the vast line of products – floor cleaner, stain remover, etc.  It would have been a bit of a turn-off to me if I was buying the book.  But, since it was a library read, it gets a 8/10.  I am sure Miss Alba would be flattered by that….

I love the library.


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Free Shutterfly Photo Book : Just Pay Shipping

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You can get a free  20 page 8″ x 8″ hardcover shutterfly book now thru August 30th.   Just use the code TARGETBOOK when you check out.  You should only have to pay shipping and tax.    (Thanks, Common Sense with Money)


My last book cost me just under $12.00.

BTW, I love shutterfly books!!!


I do a yearly book, give copies to family and just stare at them lovingly.


Before I started being smart and waiting for a Free Code, I would routinely spend over $60-70 bucks on a book. (And my first book was a 12″ x 12″ – way too big AND close to ninety smack-a-roos)


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Two out of Three Ain’t Bad…. Organic Products

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In my attempt to ‘green’ my life and live more organically (or as the hubby calls it ‘expensively’) I have been trying to find some good organic products. 

I didn’t realize it, but the FDA does not do much to regulate cosmetics.  They basically rely on companies to police themselves. 

 Here are my two cents (well, actually a bit more since these things cost about ten bucks.  And Yes, I used coupons!)



Apparently luscious lashes come at a price. 

Per Food Babe, most mascaras contain all sorts of harmful chemicals and ingredients. I had bought this from Target for about $7.00.  I was soooo excited but, alas, I am not a huge fan. 

 It looks great when I put it on but by the time I walk out of the bathroom it begins to drip off my lashes.   Inevitably by my first bathroom break at work, I am trying to clean up under my eyes. 

I tried it for about a month (can’t tell you how many people told me ‘I looked tired’), but, in the end, it doesn’t seem to work for me.  I am going to have to try something different – I love using mascara.  For now, I went back to my ‘toxic-but-does-the-job” mascara. 




I love this chapstick (or is it chap stick… I am not sure).  It is utterly fantastic, makes my lips feel lovely and for $3.50 it is probably the least expensive item at Whole Foods.   The first ingredient is my favorite – coconut oil!!!!





Antiperspirant uses aluminum-based ingredients that temporarily plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring.   It has been implied this can cause cancer… which is always on my mind since Dad’s diagnosis.

I decided to try Tom’s of Maine since I heard a lot of great things about it.  Overall, I am  pretty happy.  I have been able to play a double header softball game without stinking like a decomposing animal – however, thank goodness I had a dark shirt on.  (Deodorants only mask smell)

 If I had something where sweating was frowned upon – like a wedding – I would probably use something stronger.  But, at around $2.00 with my coupon, it is good for day to day.


If you are so inclined, you can check out how your products rate at Environmental Working Group

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Food For Thought : I am Sorry

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Seriously – I am pre-apologizing from the bottom of my little heart


It is possible I may destroy everything you enjoy about food. 

Well, not all food.

 Just most food -  like Oreos, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and my ultimate favorite – McDonald’s. 

Oh, and drinks, too.    Yes,  I am looking at you, my beloved Diet Coke.

Actually – I am not sure that we can classify that stuff 100% as food anymore.

Now, in the effort of full disclosure, I still eat the aforementioned food. 



Why? I am not  sure.  I am lazy, tired and have a husband who loves artifical foods…. 

Here is some food for thought:

According to Robyn O’Brien, since 1999, the number of children with food allergies has jumped by 50%. 

Per the BBC, nearly half of the UK population is expected to contract cancer in their lifetime.    Right now, a woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime.  

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are banned in multiple countries but not here.  Most of these food items have not been tested before they are released for our consumption.  In fact, multiple countries such as the European Union, Australia, China and India require GMO labeling.  Again, not the US.   

You may have seen BHA listed as an ingredient in your gum or cake mix,  but did you know it is also found in rubber, petroleum and food packaging.,  Artificial colors can also be derived from petroleum and are thought to promote ADHD and various cancers.  Ewe.

 Now, I am sure you are thinking – Dizee, I thought this is a happy blog. 

Yes, it is!

But, this stuff is scary!   And, the more I learn, the more I am amazed at what I didn’t know!

As Cat Stevens said

I can’t keep it in, I’ve gotta let it out.
I’ve got to show the world, world’s got to see


Am I dating myself?  Maybe it’s just that I have more eclectic taste in music than some…. 

Would Robin Thicke work better?

Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines

I dunno, I am still going with Cat Stevens…

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DIY – All Natural Face Scrub Made With Stuff You Have!

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I am in LOVE!  And this is totally the forever kind of love.

These face scrubs are really super simple and it makes my skin incredibly soft! Plus it costs pennies to make! Score!

I have two different concoctions that I use depending on my mood & what I have on hand.  


Olive Oil & Sugar Scrub



Olive Oil is a great moisturizer and sugar is a gentle exfoliator.  I simply add equal amounts of each to a bowl and stir. I apply this to my face in the shower.  I also use it on my elbows, knees and feet. 

I don’t even put on moisturizer after I get out of the shower.   It is that good.



 Coconut Oil & Sugar Scrub

Coconut Oil has approximately 4 million uses.  Seriously – it is like a miracle product.  Same as above, I mix equal parts of coconut oil and sugar and scrub my face.



Fantastic and smells even better than the Olive Oil scrub.  Be wary of random people sniffing your face, though. 


I have used both mixtures multiple times with no issues – no greasy face, no red skin, no dry patches.  My face did not fall off.  However, be smart.  If you have sensitive skin, test a small area before you try this at home. 




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Recipe : Garden Fresh Meal

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Just call me Farmer Dizee.  Why?  Because I grew my dinner! (Ok, most of it!)



(You can use more or less depending on your preference.  My meal made two portions):

1 tbs Olive Oil

1 tsp Minced Garlic

1 Zucchini cut into chunks

Cupof Cherry Tomatoes, quartered & seeds removed

7 Leaves of Basil cut up/shredded

Pasta (I used whole wheat)


Cut up all the veggies.  

Put a pot on the stove, add water (I also add salt ), turn on the heat to medium/high

Grab a nice size pan, place it over medium heat and start heating the Olive Oil.  

When the oil is hot, add the garlic for a minute or two.

Stir in Zucchini, let them cook up for a few minutes

Add the Tomatoes, stir and let them cook for a few more minutes.

By now, the water should be boiling, add the pasta and cook per the package (I like Al-Dente or as my husband calls it  ” barely cooked”)

Allow everything to keep cooking, continue to stir.  Stirring is important.  Add the Basil toward the end.

Drain the pasta and add the veggie mixture.

Put it on a plate and eat.  I added some cheese… yum!  


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Organization : Weight Loss Chart & Menu Plan for the Week

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Well, it’s Monday.  That means it is time to weigh myself. 

And shake my head, curse for wasting another week, yadda yadda yadda. 

Story of my life.  (I am working a kinder inner voice)


 I created this handy 12 week weight chart.  Why 12 weeks?  Why not.


 Actually, it coincides with how long my pal Myra will be out on Maternity with her little man Averie.  (Hope you are enjoying yourself Myra! I miss you!)


So, now I have no excuse.  Since I don’t have a lunch date, I have been bringing my own lunch.  I am working on incorporating Craig Diet (we have spoken about this before and I am sure you will hear about it again). 


In an effort to keep myself on track, I created this printable Weight Loss Chart (here it is in excel and here it is in pdf form if you don’t have excel). 

I even laminated it so I can’t complain it got wet, dirty, or suffered some other tragedy that would render it useless.  (I also look for any excuse to use my laminator- or the plastic machine as the boys call it)

And see, I even hung it up on my cabinet in my kitchen -for all to see.  Isn’t that ballsy?



To be honest, it has been a slow start.  I am into week 1 and I am down a pound.  However, to be completely transparent, I have been cheating with my old nemesis Chocolate.  It is very hard to resist the call of the Siren.


Here is the Menu Plan for the Week:

Breakfast : Homemade Instant Oatmeal

After Breakfast Snack : Fruit

Lunch: Salad with Easy Lemon Dressing (Will be posted next week – so easy but I have to pace my posts…)

After Lunch Snack: Homemade Popcorn / Pretzels

Dinner : Lemon Chicken with Veggies (I am on a Lemon kick…)

After Dinner Snack : Veggies


Seems like a lot of food, but they are all small portions.  Let’s see how it goes…

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This is a Library, We Don’t Have Cookies, Just Books

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 (Melissa, I pulled out the Sesame Street reference just for you!)

Am I the only person in the universe who didn’t recognize just how freaking cool the library is?


Seriously, every time I take a book out of the library, it feels like I won the lotto.  What can I say, I am easy to please.


Besides the obvious (books)  my library offers a wide range of DVDs, CDs & e-books.  There is a full children’s room with activities (crafts, board games and computers), a Young Adult section (it’s where all the cool kids go) and an array of conference / auditorium-like rooms in the basement.  


They also offer free programs like Wi-Fi,  tickets to museums, movie nights and free classes.   Oh, and  Air Conditioning.  That is definitely a plus during the 90 degree heat wave we recently got hit with.


I will confess – I am a reformed book snob.  I liked having an assortment of books…. Now, I realize those books mostly take up room and I am persnickety– I tend to peruse books and toss them aside.   


Therefore, the library makes the most sense for me!  I can take books out on anything I want - Green Cleaning,  the Paleo Diet, cook books up my eyeballs.  You name it – the library has it.  And you can even REQUEST books if someone has already taken the book out or it is at a different library.


The Nassau Library system is pretty cool.  You just need to get a library card at your ‘home’ library but can frequent any of their 50 + locations


What I usually do is look up the book or subject I want to read – ie: The Honest Life by Jessica Alba and search for it under the resource list.  I write down the call number and off I go.


The biggest challenge is keeping the kids quiet while I am looking for my books.  Apparently  ‘Let’s look for call number 614. W’  isn’t as exciting as  I-Spy…. Who knew?


So, who else loves the library?  Or, did everyone already know just how awesome the library really is?

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