Saturday, December 18, 2010

QUOTES OF THE DAY (To get you motivated!)

Thomas Edison and Light bulb

I have decided to concentrate specifically on the fear of failure for these motivational quotes. Some might say the most crippling emotion in the world is fear. It has the power to keep you from your opportunities, from your dreams, and most importantly from your success. These quotes can be applied to any part of your life that you are trying to move forward in. Learning to overcome fear (specifically of failure) is a lifelong journey, the task is not to learn how NOT to fail, but how to use those failures to the betterment of your goal. I am putting these quotes on the blog in an attempt to encourage you to live a more "natural life." Looking at the overall goal of living a life completely sufficient off of the Earth's natural resources is far too daunting for many to imagine, however, setting every day/week/month goals (i.e. making your own beauty products, cooking meals from scratch, etc.) is a HUGE part of changing your overall perspective of the task at hand. If you can succeed in being appreciative of your "failures" and all of the wisdom they have to offer in this one area of your life, you will hopefully begin to train your way of thinking in every aspect of your life! Enjoy...

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." Henry Ford 

"Failures are divided into two classes - those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought." John Charles Salak 

"Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Anonymous 

"In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail."Anonymous

"The only real failure in life is the failure to try."Anonymous

"Yesterday's failures are today's seeds 
That must be diligently planted to be able to abundantly harvest
Tomorrow's success."

It is not failure itself that holds you back;it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you. 
Brian Tracy 

I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  ~Thomas Edison

There is no failure except in no longer trying.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.  ~Henry Ford

Do you have a quote that encourages you? Share it! Post below in the comments, or e-mail me at

Top 5 reasons NOT to live more naturally (and their solutions!)

In no particular order...

1. It's too expensive. To this I can only say "start where you can." I always suggest starting with food, then adding in other products (i.e. makeup, clothing, etc.) as you are financially able to. More specifically, start with soft skinned produce and meats. For more information on that, read the post below titled "A Few Simple tips for eating Organically on a budget." Also, I would argue that prioritizing plays a big part in this, if you put food (and your health) at the top of your priorities list (with everything else coming after) you may be surprised at how much you really can afford. Michael Pollan talks about this in his book "In Defense of Food." Investing in what you eat, is just that, an investment! The amount of money you will spend later down the line NOT taking care of yourself and what you eat (i.e. prescriptions, medical bills etc.) will certainly cost far more than anything you invest now. If you quit viewing a healthier lifestyle as optional, but rather as a necessity, it becomes a much realer prospect.

2. I don't have access to organics. This is tougher, but not a roadblock, just an obstacle. First I would suggest doing your research. Use some of the sites in the posts below to research just how far organic growers/farmers are from you. If this is not an option, consider growing your most used herbs/vegetables (I will talk about this in later posting). Lastly, we have internet! Clothing, make-up, children's toys, etc. can all easily be found with one click of the mouse. Limited access is now becoming a dying phrase thanks to the web!

3. I can't cook/ I don't know any recipes. Again, use the internet! You can search for ANYTHING online (i.e. 5 ingredient recipes, crockpot recipes, vegan recipes, etc.) Also, use each recipe as a suggestion. Make necessary substitutions to cook a more "real" meal. Meaning, if it calls for a can of cream of mushroom, search for how to make homemade cream of mushroom (ha, can you tell I love cream of mushroom?!). For those who say that can't cook, I would say you must have quit trying. You only fail when you quit trying! Perservere! Learn from what you did last time and move forward. Also, start easy! Don't take on a 7 hour sauce that has to be reduced and calls for a list of exotic ingredients. Make simple changes in meals you already make. Take a meal of burgers and fries. Start simple, make the fries from scratch, or start with the ketchup! Try to take one element of each meal and make it from scratch, don't start with the whole meal! This way you don't become overwhelmed before you even begin, then congratulate yourself on your success! This is so important, regardless of the end result, you did it! If you take one taste and go running for your ketchup stash in the fridge, that's ok! Now you know to try a different recipe next time! Good for you for giving it a try, that's a huge accomplishment! I started by incorporating one new recipe a week. I saved it for a day I had more time, energy, and patience, in no time you'll have a whole stash of great recipes!

4. I don't have time. Again, this is a tough one. Not a dead end, but yet another obstacle. Time, and lack there of, is a very real dilemma. Let me encourage you by saying, "YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MORE TIME." To the normal person, this sounds like the exact opposite of encouragement, but let me tell you why it is: It is encouragement to get started NOW because you will never have more time, and realistically as your life, family, business, etc continues to grow, your amount of time will shrink. So get going now! Be creative now! Start the habit of making health your number 1 priority now, and your life will work itself out around that. Pick a day you have off and take that entire day to make and freeze meals for the week. Or pick one aspect of each meal to make (i.e. the sauce, the meat, etc.) and freeze for the week. Just this small step will make those 30 minutes you have to cook throughout the rest of the week much more fulfilled. MAKE EASY MEALS, I can't emphasize this enough, homemade does not have to mean hard-to-make. Again, pick what you can do and do it! If you only have energy to boil a pot of whole wheat noodles, toss in some butter and seasonings and call it a day, do that! Good for you, you've made a homemade meal! Most importantly, PLAN. Plan, plan, plan. Plan your meals, then plan the when, how, where, etc. When you are starving and exhausted after a long day of work/activities the last thing you want to do is take the time to try and plan then. Do yourself a favor and make it easy! Lastly, I come back to prioritizing. Whatever you do not make a priority in your life, will become a casualty.

5. But... This may be your toughest one yet. This represents every excuse you are going to come up with. "But... I don't have enough cookware... but... my kitchen is terrible... but... I can't do this by myself... but... I already have so much on my plate (pun intended!)... but...(I'm sure you can fill in this blank). This will probably the hardest thing for you to overcome. This is why I have listed some encouraging quotes on my next posting...

Have any ideas to help encourage others? Is there something you have overcome with living a more natural life that has paid off? Have you seen positive results since your lifestyle change? Comment below (if you can!) or e-mail me at

Friday, December 17, 2010

Find a farmer near you!

Image from

Stumbled across THIS site today and was so happy I did! You can go HERE on their site to find local farmers/farmer's markets near you. There are several sites that offer this service, but I love sites like these where you can almost feel their passion through the monitor. They provide several ways to donate and gain access to more information. I can not express how important it is to buy everything you can locally. Besides the obvious benefits, there are also several (not as obvious) benefits. CLICK HERE to read some quick facts (from the same site!) about the importance/benefits of buying locally.
Again, buying locally comes back to planning. I am ridiculously guilty of not maintaining my stance of buying as much as possible locally. The only reason, failure to plan! Planning ahead is key here, and once you do it often enough, it becomes "the norm" and less of a task.

Good luck to all of you and your local search! Have any ideas or suggestions about how to get local produce through the winter? The above site has THIS to say about winter time (scroll to the bottom)... Have an experience you would like to share about buying locally? Share it! Comment below (if you can!) or e-mail me at


Problems Commenting on Blog

I have received a few e-mails that some people are having problems commenting on the blogs. I have looked into it but am not quite sure how to fix it? If anyone can offer any help or suggestions let me know! So sorry for the inconvenience! Until then, feel free to e-mail me at with any comments or concerns.


Try a new vegetable!

Try Bok Choy! CLICK HERE to read about the health benefits. This is a great vegetable for someone who doesn't like vegetables! Incredibly healthy, but incredibly mild tasting. I like to make it with noodles b/c it is a gentle accompaniment, when cooked holds the same texture as noodles, and doesn't overpower the flavor. It's a bit like an onion in that it's crunchy before being cooked, but soft after. This is a great one to puree! Toss it into a salad or sauce and no one will be the wiser! For those with little ones who are new eaters, this makes a great starter food (once pureed), serve it plain or mixed with steamed veggies, my daughter loved it!

Have you tried bok choy? What are you thoughts on it? Do you have a recipe with bok choy? Share in the comments below or e-mail me at



"Let the clean air blow the cobwebs from your body. Air is medicine."
Lillian Russell (1862-1922), quoted inReader's Digest, March 1922

Thursday, December 16, 2010


"Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty."
John Ruskin, (1819-1900).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WONDERFUL way to buy clothes for your growing little ones!

Inexpensive, incredibly easy, and fun! CLICK HERE to view an up and coming site that makes it easier than ever (you never have to leave your front door) to buy clothes for your little cuties! Saves you time AND money, what more do I need to say? :)

Henna Hair?

I was getting my hair colored last night and asked the stylist if there was such a thing as "organic hair dye?" She confirmed that there is a type of all natural dye you could use that was basically just henna. From her perspective though, the negatives far outweigh the positives. She said it is impossible to dye with Henna without getting a redish tint to your hair. She also said that you can not perm/straighten/color over the dye, which is an obvious drawback (once you dye with henna, you have to stick with henna!)

Looks like we have a ways to go with discovery in this field... she recommended sticking with all natural shampoos and conditioners until they find something better! I did some research online and I think this site summed it up best.

Do you know anyone who has used, or have you used organic hair dye? Please share in the comments below, or e-mail me at


"Why don't we pay more attention to who our farmers are? We would never be as careless choosing an auto mechanic or babysitter as we are about who grows our food."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A few simple tips for eating organic on a budget

Start by buying only the MOST important things organically!

CLICK HERE to view those things.

CLICK HERE to see foods that should be lowest on your list (for buying organically).

Also, try focusing on spending more of your money on produce than meat. Try to shake the idea that you must have some type of meat at every meal. Cutting back your meat intake will be healthier for you, and your budget! Instead, use that money towards trying new vegetables, or adding more of them to your diet!

Support your local farmers, buy from them! CLICK HERE to find farmers/farmer's markets near you. 

Start a trade system. Find people who are passionate about eating organically, and set up a free trade (i.e. you grow the veggies, I'll grow the fruit!)

Make a list! This may seem like it doesn't belong, but it's very important. Start by putting your "no compromise" items. Things that are most important to you, then work from there. Make meals around those items, or find what you don't necessarily need so that you can purchase what's more important to you. Planning BEFORE you hit the aisles and become overwhelmed with choices and decisions will save you time (and a headache!) in the supermarket. *A few extra minutes planning at home will translate into several minutes taken off of your shopping time!*

Remember, some produce is better than no produce! If you can't afford organic this trip, don't let it keep you from getting those fruits and veggies!

Most importantly, don't become overwhelmed! You don't need every soap, lotion, and food product made by every organic company. Find the things that are most important to you (I suggest starting with food:produce) and work from there. Any change is great! 

Have some tips to share? Comment below or e-mail me at to share!!!


Take care of the earth and she will take care of you.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sites you may enjoy... Click the links to view!

Michael Pollan's Website. Great resources, links, and food related information!!!

Pet Adoptions. Please pass along to anyone you know that is/will be looking for a pet!

Organic living. Lots of ideas/resources!

Click Here and Here for buying/trading organic

"Green" news Stories, discoveries, etc.

Click Here If you would rather purchase than make organic beauty products!

Find One and support it!!!


"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure."
— John McConnell, founder of International Earth Day

Some books I have read/am reading that inspire(d) me!

Some of these pertain to food, some to a more conscious environmental way of living, some to finances/business, and some to love and relationships. All in all they have in some way inspired me to live a fuller, healthier (spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially) and thus happier life :) Most of these will be titles you probably recognize, but sometimes it's good to be reminded of some oldies/goodies!

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Love, love, LOVED this book. Changed everything I thought about food and nutrition, because of this book I will never count calories or "diet" again! Some parts are extremely detailed (see: dry) but overall informative and fascinating. Life changing...

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield. Great book full of recipes. Wonderful ways to introduce vegetables to your children/yourself. Great for any person (young or old) who is trying to adapt healthier food into their diet. (Just starting to work my way through this one!)

Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. Practical, Easy to read and reference, humorous. For anyone attempting to "go green," this book is a great go to guide!

Secrets of the Spas by Catherine Bardey. What I will initially be drawing many of my ideas/beauty recipes from!

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Great insight on becoming debt free and how to live in financial freedom.

Inc. and Grow Rich by C.W. "Al" Allen, Cheri S. Hill, Diane Kennedy, Garrett Sutton. Incredibly informative book outlining the steps to take towards go into business for yourself (and reasons why to). Incredibly thorough, thus hard to read at times, but a great book to inspire, reference, and learn from. 

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Another life changing book. Concise, informative, and easy to follow along. Great for any kind of relationship (co-workers, parents, etc)

Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti by Bill and Pam Farrel. Don't let the name fool you, this is a really informative (humorous) book about how Men and Women think differently. Honest writing and analogies make the concepts easy to understand. (They have an edition for singles also!)

I will continue to post books that have inspired me personally as I read them... Share books that have inspired you! Post in the comments below, or e-mail me at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Mission (Yikes!)

At present, my main focus will be beauty and cleaning products. I know these are random selections, but they are the two types of products that I have left completely untapped. I have never attempted to MAKE either.

Task 1: On the 1st and 15th of every month I will make either a beauty or cleaning product. I will attempt to make products with as many "real" ingredients as possible (meaning no 37 letter chemicals, etc). I will document the process; rating how affordable it was, how accessible the ingredients were, and how much effort it took to create.

Task 2: I will use that product for 2 weeks (as needed) then attempt to rate how useful it was, whether or not I would recommend it, and what I would do differently next time.

Task 3: In addition to the above tasks, I will periodically:
*Try to post different food recipes I am trying (that are as homemade as possible, made up of "real" ingredients... i.e. no pre-packaged, preservative filled, man-made type things)
*Post any new material I am reading on all things organic/homemade
*Post hints, tips, or ideas for living a life "closer to the earth" that I pick up

I have enabled comments on my posts because I would sincerely like to hear from the readers. If you have any knowledge/information that would be helpful to my process, let me know! If you have a recipe, potion, suggested reading, etc. you would like to e-mail please do so at: I may use the information you send me in a blog post!

One last thing, JOIN ME!!!! Come with me on this journey of discovery! I will put the source/recipe/ingredients of each new thing I am trying. Attempt them with me and let's do this thing together, encouraging each other and pushing each other forward!

Look forward to starting January 15,2011!!!!


Why I'm trying to be a "Natural Nancy..."

Let me first start by saying why I decided to start this blog. The first word that comes to mind is "accountability," but let's start a little earlier than that...

My original interest (or forced interest!) in all things natural came many years ago, before the big organics boom... before it was "normal" to have gross tasting toothpaste, razor blade crystal shaped deodorant, and sandpaperesque grains. A member of my family encountered some health issues which spurred an instant change in our diet, our soap, and yes, our toothpaste. The positive health changes became apparent, if not miraculous, and that was proof enough for me.

At first I, like so many people, resisted the change because it was, after all, change. I thought it was just another phase and not worth the raw armpits. Luckily, organic/natural things have come a long way, and so has my thinking.

Since that original push, I did what I could here and there to keep up the natural lifestyle. I was blessed to marry someone who encouraged and supported my efforts. That, accompanied by finding out I was pregnant a few months into our marriage, motivated me to deepen my attempt at living more naturally. That being said, I am the farthest thing from an expert. I have learned a lot, but the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I would have never imagined that taking on a task that sounds so simple "living as close to the earth as possible," would become so complex. It has taken some serious shifts in my way of thinking, and I am continually shocked by new information. I have taken on the motto of doing what I can, when I can. Basically meaning, don't become overwhelmed by all I want to change. Any step, even baby steps, are steps toward an organic future. Some days I feel like conquering the world (and all it has to offer!); making a meal COMPLETELY from scratch (no jars, cans, or pre-packaged seasonings allowed!) then cleaning up with some home-made potion... but almost as often, I just want to crack open a can of cream of mushroom, clean up with the cheapest store bought chemical cleaner, and call it a day.

This is where I come back to "accountability." I was flipping through a new book that my Mother passed on to me SECRETS OF THE SPAS which is full of recipes for homemade beauty products. I immediately got that tingly, inspired, world at my fingertips feeling. I then began thinking of how much it was going to cost building up a stash of jars, ingredients, etc, not to mention how much time it was going to take. I lost all my steam before I could even set sail. That's when I realized, I needed someone to be accountable to. I needed something that would force me to keep trucking in my natural adventures. Money, time, patience, and knowledge are ALL real factors for me. These are all things I possess a limited amount of. I am starting this blog as a pledge to whoever may happen across it, but mostly to myself, that I can, and will do this!

I have encountered several people who wholeheartedly believe organic living is a gimmick. To that, I can only draw from my own personal experience, research, and health. All of that aside, I just have this overwhelming feeling that living closer to the Earth was what we were intended to do... I am not in anyway creating this blog as a means to be controversial, pushy, or pretentious. These are just my beliefs.

Thanks for your interest!!!