Archive for September, 2013

Library Reading: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home

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First off, I am a big fan of Mrs. Meyer’s Products.  (I usually buy them at Target or Fairway)

Their products contain plant-derived essential oils and smell oh-so-pretty.  And, they are cruelty free – which makes my heart happy. 


So, imagine my shock when I stumbled on this book in the library (just another reason to love that place).  There is a whole book written by Mrs. Meyer’s!



First off – she is a real woman who birthed nine kids in ten years in the late 1950’s-1960’s.  She is officially my hero!  The book is full of practical tips on how to clean everything in your home while raising a growing family.


Her no-nonsense way of cleaning is great – I am trying to practice some of her advice.  Most notably – keeping up with my chores.  This is my greatest downfall – once I let something go (like matching socks) it grows until it is almost insurmountable. 


Almost all  of the recommendations in the book use non-toxic chemicals to achieve cleanliness.  There are charts and advice on cleaning EVERYTHING on your home.  She leaves no stone unturned.

Overall, very impressive and I love how she barely mentions her product line!

Can I give three thumbs up?

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Food for Thought : What Does Organic Really Mean

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In last little dissertation on GMOs, I said the best way to avoid them is by buying Organic.  What does that mean?  The nifty graphic below from Robin O’Brien pretty much sums it up:


I don’t know about you, but there seems to be more benefits to buying organic than just avoiding GMOs…


But here is the thing – there are a couple different levels of Organic…. I know, I know.  Why can’t this stuff just be straight forward?  I don’t know what to tell you.  We live in a nutty world.


When a product says it Contains Organic Ingredients it means less than 70% of the ingredients are Organic.  (hey, it is better than nothing).


If a product says it is Made With Organic Ingredients it means at least 70% of the ingredients are Organic.


The real labels we should be looking for are Organic (contains at least 95% Organic Ingredients) and 100% Organic (which are completely Organic).   Only these products are allowed to contain the USDA Organic Seal.


When it comes to buying fruits and veggies, there are some ways to save.  The Dirty Dozen typically contain higher pesticide levels when conventionally grown.

The Dirty Dozen are:

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Ernest Borgnine (just checking to see if you are still reading…)
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberries

I have been buying organic strawberries all summer; Max is a huge fan.  Typically, they have been running around $3.99.  Not too bad, especially when he eats them all.


The Clean Thirteen have been found to have the lowest levels of pesticides, mostly due to the fact these fruits and veggies have thicker skins or need to be pealed.  You can save money here by not always buying organic

The Clean Thirteen are:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Pineapple
  • Peas (sweet)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

 So, there you have it.  A simple starting point for purchasing Organic.   Next week I plan on posting about Organic Dairy and Meat.  Who else is excited?


Just me, huh.  :)


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Paper Plate Gourmet : Chicken Fajitas (Made With Coconut Oil!)

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Corn Starch, Corn Protein Hydrolyzed, Sugar, Salt, Maltodextrin, Spices, Pepper(s) Chili, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Soybean Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Citric Acid, Color(s) Artifical, Silicon Dioxide Added to Prevent Caking, Natural Smoke Flavor, Sulfiting Agents, Ethoxyquin Preservative




Those are the ingredients to the Old El Paso Fajita seasoning package.




I figured I could do better than that – so I did some google searches for fajita seasoning and found a few recipes (such as this one by 100 days of Real Food) which gave some starting points.



Here is my uncomplicated and pronounceable recipe for chicken fajitas




1 lb chicken, cut up (I used organic chicken and was very proud of myself)

1 or 2 red peppers (sliced or diced, however you roll)

½ onion (I used a yellow onion because I was feeling crazy!)

1 TBS-ish minced Garlic

½ TBS of coconut oil (Yup!! Good old coconut oil)

1 lemon

Decent amount of Smoked Paprika – I shook it all over the skillet (to taste)

Smaller amount of Cumin (to taste)

Even less Black Pepper (to taste)

Smallish amount of Salt (to taste)



  1. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat
  2. Add chicken, wait for it to start to cook, stirring often
  3. Add the onion, let it brown a bit
  4. Add the peppers, cook for another 3-5 minutes
  5. Add the garlic
  6. Squeeze the lemon into the skillet
  7. Shake on the spices
  8. Stir
  9. Shake a little more
  10. Let the food simmer on the burner for another few minutes


You can serve this with all sorts of fun things – salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro and/or cheese. (I like Monterey Jack) 

This was my lunch one day at work.  Impressive, right?   I microwaved the fajitas mix for a minute, stirred, hit it up for another minute. 

I then heated my flour tortilla for 10 seconds and  added cheese, cilantro & a touch of sour cream.

Yummo and it beats Taco Bell!


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DIY : Easy, Semi-Homemade Sugar Scrub

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When I saw a Homemade Gardener’s Hand Scrub on One Good Thing by Jillee, I was intrigued.


To say I adore this scrub is an understatement.  I have made it multiple times – and have even given it as gifts!


All you need is a jar, Olay Dishwashing Soap and White Sugar.


Previously I used the pink Olay which smells divine. But this time I wanted something a little different.  So, I went with the blue one.


To me, the real trick is having a great vessel to hold the scrub.  I am totally in love with these little jars (a birthday gift from Mom.  Thanks Momma, I love them!!)


Simply fill it ¾ the way with sugar and add the soap, stirring it as you go along.


That is it.


A word to the wise, I tried using Brown Sugar instead of White Sugar once because I thought it would be ‘exotic’.  It ended up changing the color  – to use a technical term – a poopy pink.  I do not suggest trying that at home.

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Little Victory : Finding the Floor in the Playroom

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Are you sitting down? This is not for the faint of heart.

This was the state of my playroom.



I promise you, there is a floor in there- somewhere.


This room was basically a repository for stuff – broken toys, big toys, the occasional mummy.  You needed a safety suit just to walk into the room.


I was utterly embarrassed by it.  Especially since we bought awesome cabinets from IKEA to store all the kids’ toys.  You can kind of see them in the above picture… if you squint and turn your head sideways.   #OrganizationalFail


One fine day, I had a few precious hours to myself.  I was giddy with excitement and set off to righting the wrongs done to this poor excuse for a playroom.


Amazingly it only took 2 hours to clean it out.  I know, shocking!

In the end, I knew it was a win when Cooper ran into the room and screamed ‘It’s Clean – Max, the room is ACTUALLY CLEAN”

I even tacked up some custom border art made by Max.  I printed a bunch of Halloween images (his favorite) and he painstakingly colored all of them and cut them out.  Then we laminated the images and taped them together using clear packing tape.


Max was beside himself when he saw it mounted to the wall.  He then stated he needed to get started working on his ‘Christmas Border’.

And see, I told you there was a floor buried in there.

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Paper Plate Gourmet : No Fail Guacamole

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Did you know avocados are the new black? 


My first foray with this fruit (yep! It is a fruit  – I even looked it up!) is guacamole. 


Here is my simple recipe




1 ripe avocado

1 lime

Bunch of cilantro (to taste)

Garlic Powder (to taste)




  1. Cut the avocado and spoon all the good stuff into a bowl
  2. Cut and squeeze the lime’s juice into the bowl on top of the avocado
  3. Add some shredded cilantro on top of the avocado
  4. Sprinkle on a decent amount of garlic powder and a tad of salt
  5. Use a fork and mash that bad boy up
  6. Eat!

In a quintessential Doofy Dizee move, I bought a bag of Garden of Eating’s Red Hot Blue Tortilla Chips to eat with my guac and was completely shocked to realize they were spicy!  Doh!  I should have read the package a little bit more carefully!

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The Dollar Store – A Cautionary Tale

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I believe the moniker ‘The Dollar Store’ is a bit of a misnomer.  I have never, ever,  ever, never, EVER spent only a dollar.  Maybe these stores are just Dizee-Kryptonite?  More likely, I should just learn some self control.


I usually head over there for some benign reason – typically it is wrapping paper.  I hate spending $3.00 or more on wrapping paper that will be destroyed in minutes.  I also cannot cotton to my husband’s notion of always wrapping gifts in Christmas Paper (which, somehow, we have a never-ending supply)


So, this particular day I was heading over to buy some wrapping paper for my friend’s Baby Shower (Yes, yours Myra).


This is what I ended up buying. 




Here was my rationalization process:


  • Wow,  Tiki’s.  Max loves Tiki’s. I can never find Tiki stuff- it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar
  • Spiderman Shield?  Got to buy two for the boys – it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar
  • Water Balloons? Bubbles? Yes please, its summer – it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar
  • What a cute re-useable bag-  it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar


And so it went until I got to the register. 

My bill was Thirty Dollars.

Granted, this shouldn’t have been a surprise.  All I had to do was count the number of items.  But I was still like ‘Oh Crap’

And that is how my quest to save $2.50 on wrapping paper utterly failed. 

Consider yourself warned.



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Never Forget

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