The Organic Messaging Company
Reusable Grocery Bags, Organic Tees, Recycled Wristbands, Eco Mugs and more!
View Cart
Items: 0
Total: $0.00

   Home » The Very Next Thing My AccountMy Account   

The Very Next Thing

A Very Good Week
May 21, 2011 at 6:00 am

An assortment of recipes, books, blog posts, or other things that inspired me this week.

ReUse Connection

Gluten- and oat-free granola

Something to try! Oven-baked egg and vegetable cups

If Toxins Made You Fat from our friends at Simply Neutral

I’m looking at purchasing some popsicle moldsfor summer. I am considering Tovolo brand — does anyone have any experience with those, or do you have other suggestions?

What is inspiring you this week? Please tell us about it in the comments below!

Posted in (A Very Good Week) by Kara
Comments (0)

Dairy-Free Tapioca Pudding
May 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Sometimes when things are not going the way you would like, it sure is nice to have something pudding-like around the house.

Most of yesterday was spent on a project for my nephew, whose first birthday is today. But then my sewing machine went wonky, in that way where I was online typing random sewing jargon into Google in hope that maybe the Sewing Fairy would hear my distress calls. I can only think she is tied up with a wedding dress emergency somewhere that trumps my project. Understandable.

So instead, today’s post is about Tapioca Pudding. The two have nothing to do with one another, except that this pudding is so yummy and wholesome and fun, and with all the temperingand egg separating, it makes me feel quite “capable in the home,” which almost makes up for the fact that my sewing machine is almost certainly possessed.

Mixing up this slow cooker, dairy-free tapioca does call on some fun rarely used kitchen skills, but the end product is really delicious and makes a great afternoon snack, especially on those days when an apple just ISN’T GOING TO CUT IT.

Dairy-Free Tapioca Pudding

1 cup large pearl tapioca

5 cups of sweetened vanilla almond milk

2 egg yolks

2/3 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

1/4 tsp lemon extract

sea salt

Soak tapioca in 4 cups of water overnight. In the morning, drain the tapioca and pour it into a slow cooker with a pinch of salt and the almond milk. Cook on high for about 2 hours, until pudding has thickened slightly and tapioca is really soft.

Here comes the fun part: In a large-size bowl, mix sugar with egg yolks. Temper by slowly adding small amounts of the tapioca mixture to the egg mixture. Take your time and add plenty of the tapioca mixture before pouring the egg mixture into the slow cooker. Add lemon extract and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until mixture has thickened a bit (it will thicken more in the fridge).

Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and refridgerate for an hour. Serve, enjoy, stop kicking your sewing machine, take a deep breath. If this does not calm you down, we may have to talk cupcakes.

The Outside Bag
May 19, 2011 at 6:00 am

A Waldorf early education teacher I know first gave me the idea for an outside bag.

She actually had an outside basket. The children in her care play outside almost every day — even when it is cold, even when it is rainy.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather,” she says. “Only bad clothes.”

Knowing the importance of a little preparation and planning, she had an outside basket in which she could carry everything her students would need when they went outside. This kept her from having to dash back indoors for a band-aid, or water, or sunscreen.

I had an outside basket for a while, until it occurred to me it would even better be to have an outside bag for when we wanted to play outside away from home. It’s the same basic concept, but has everything at the ready for trips to the beach, the park, the woods, etc.

When we are hitting the road for an adventure, I know I usually have most of what we need ready to go. When we use our bag, I can change out whatever needs to be laundered or replenished and if necessary, I can even throw the bag itself in the washer before our next outing.

In our bag, I try to always have:

  • A beach towel or blanket (or sometimes both)
  • A full change of clothes for the kids (one of our favorite destinations has a fountain!)
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellent
  • wipes
  • hand sanitizer
  • a couple of non-perishable, non-squishable snacks
  • a wet bag (tutorial to come!)
  • an umbrella
  • sunglasses and sunhats
  • a first-aid kit or at least a couple of bad-aids, Arnica gel and Calendula gel
  • a book! I like to bring one to look through that doesn’t require a lot of concentration and can be put down and picked up frequently
  • and perhaps most importantly for summer, emergency ice cream money

Having all this stuff ready in one bag makes it easier to be spontaneous and hit the road when the mood strikes. It also makes it easier to let my kids be kids — get muddy, get wet, touch toads, etc., without worry.

Do you have an “Outside Bag” too? What is your favorite type of summertime outing with your kids? 

Natural Ways to Treat Insect Bites
May 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

I think there was probably a spider in his bike helmet. That makes the most sense since he came in from riding his bike and his ear was swollen to three times its normal size.

I could also see the little bite marks when I looked closely. A bee sting, a nurse told me, would show one little hole, not too.

Last summer, Owen got a bite of some sort, and his ear reacted with itching, swelling, redness … all the classic signs.

Once we got it diagnosed, we tried a natural treatment our naturopath had told us about.

(NOTE: Some spiders really are incredibly dangerous, and of course, other stings and bites can carry dangers as well, especially to people with allergies. So please know this post is not intended to replace medical advice. Please seek help from a professional if you need it. Disclaimer done.)

Bug Bite Poultice

You can create a bug bite poultice by mixing equal parts ground flax seed and activated charcoal and adding boiling water. Stir into a thin paste. Smear between wet paper towels an apply to skin. Wrap affected area and leave on for a few hours.

If it is on your ear, the poultice plus bandage might feel a little funny. But it is darn effective and I have been told that it does not hurt.

Unfortunately, Owen’s spider bite was not the only bug-related incident last summer. We also had two family members who befriended ticks.

Again, one type of ticks CAN carry Lyme Disease, so inform yourself about that illness and the symptoms. But otherwise, I was glad to find a natural way to treat ticks bites and to remove the little buggers.

The way we handle ticks bites here is to smother the tick in olive oil, which will get it to release and its weird little body will pull up into the air. Next, we use tweezers to grab its head and remove it with a twisting motion. (If you think it is a deer tick, save it in a bag. I saved ours anyway for a few weeks just to be sure.)

After removing the tick (being sure to get all tick parts), we cleaned the area carefully and treated the spot with thyme oil, which is naturally antiseptic.

We kept an eye on things and in both cases we were lucky.

(ANOTHER NOTE: Both times we found ticks we had not been visiting a wooded are or a place that normally would be associated with ticks. It was flukey. But when we do visit those kinds of places we apply natural insect repellent and do “tick checks” when we get home just to be safe.)

Do you have a natural way of handling insect bites during the summer? Have you ever made your own insect repellent?

Happy Hip Homemaking
May 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

I am really enjoying the new homemaking book, “The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking,” by Kate Payne.

I’m finding so many useful organic-living ideas in this pretty volume, which is part decorating-on-the-cheap manual, part do-it-yourselfing and part smart kitchen management.

It’s ALL cool.

Payne’s voice is fun and chatty — like you are hanging out with a girlfriend who isn’t going to judge you for never having made your own lighting fixture, but will walk you through it step by step.

I love homemaking manuals, but most don’t make it long in my house because the emphasis is on which blue cleaner to use when you do your twice-weekly dishwasher sterilization, and how to keep people from mussing on your “good couch.”

Payne aknowleges that most of us don’t have “good couches,” and that lots of us also didn’t learn a lot about homekeeping growing up. But we may still want to build a peaceful, functional pad now:

“Why homemaking?” she asks. “Because it’s cool to have a cool house … Because feeling in control in your own home does wonders for every instance when you’re not under that sweet roof.”

Ahh … feeling in control. Wouldn’t that be lovely? It’s true that I can’t concentrate or function when my house is too out-of-control, and so I truly appreciate Payne’s useful tips for home management and self sufficiency.

I’ve already implemented some of her ideas – especially those related to cooking, food planning and gardening.

My favorite “Hip Trick:” using a Sharpie to write on glass storage containers. A little rubbing alcohol will remove the writing so you can change the message when you swap your leftovers.

I really can’t say enough nice things about how much I am enjoying this book, but I originally got it from the library, and I’ve since purchased my own copy to keep (and reference often).

I think that right there says a lot.

Got a hip homemaking tip of your own? Add it to the comments below!! And check out Kate Payne’s blog here for more information about her book, tour and lots of projects!

Glass storage
May 16, 2011 at 6:00 am

Spotted these Ziploc brand GLASS containers yesterday at the supermarket! It was the first I had seen them.

A friend of mine recently asked about favorite glass storage containers and it reminded me that many people are looking for good recommendations in order to make the switch to glass. My favorites are always Pyrex and mason jars, which I really like for storing grains.

Do you have a favorite brand of glass storage containers that you would recommend? Has anyone tried these new ones from Ziploc?

Posted in (living organically) by Kara
Comments (7)

A Simple Sunday
May 15, 2011 at 6:00 am


Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths.  ~ John Egerton

A Very Good Week
May 14, 2011 at 6:00 am

An assortment of recipes, books, blog posts, or other things that inspired me this week.

Win an I’m Organic t-shirt via Heather Eats Almond Butter

How Bad is it to Throw Away One Water Bottle — from The Onion

Free Food and Medicine via Clean.

Meet your own needs in order to be a better parent

Speaking of almond butter — truffles!!

What is inspiring you this week? Please tell us about it in the comments below!

MYO: Simple Upcycled Produce Bag
May 13, 2011 at 6:00 am

There are a couple of neat things about bringing your own produce bags to the farmer’s market.

First, by bringing your own bags of all sorts, you are cutting down on the farmer’s cost, which means you could just maybe pay a little less for your tomatoes. Second, unlike at a major grocery store, the farmer knows what you are putting in those produce bags, and can ring you up accordingly without any hassle of “What’s in the bag?!”

I made a few simple produce bags last year to stuff in my larger shopping tote when I go to the farmer’s market. They have worked great to bring home everything from corn to cucumbers. And when I unload my bounty, I can just throw them in the washing machine with everything else!

For this upcycled produce bag, you will need a clean, old pillowcase, thread, scissors, a seam ripper, at least 3 yards of ribbon or yarn or something similar, a safety pin, a sewing machine, and about 15 minutes. Really! You can make four of these in an hour — especially if you have your sewing machine set up and ready to go.

(A couple of things: First, you don’t have to use an old pillowcase. You could use any fabric and just sew it into the basic bag shape. And second, you don’t need a sewing machine, but it makes this project so quick and easy!)

Step 1: Cut the pillowcase. Laying it flat, I cut mine so it was about 12 inches across the bottom and 16 inches tall. Important: Make use of the seams already there! Just cut up from the bottom and across the top, keeping the bottom seam and left side seam intact.

Step 2: Flip your cut bag inside out, even everything up, and sew up the right side seam.

Step 3: Flip the top two inches of the bag over and sew all around.

Step 4: This is the trickiest step. Line up the bag in your sewing machine and make two sets of zig-zag stitches back and forth perpendicular to the seam. You are making it so when you create a hole in the seam it can only go so far.

Step 5: Using a seam ripper, cut the stitches between the two zig-zag lines. Now you have a little hole.

Step 6: This will be familiar if you have ever heard of sweatpants. You want to clip the safety pin to your ribbon or string and push it all the way around the opening. This will be your drawstring.

Step 7: When you have both ends out of the opening, tie them together so you never have to repeat Step 6 again. (Unless you make another bag).

You now have a quick, easy produce bag made from an old pillowcase! Wasn’t that fun? You can make some more … make a little one for radishes or cherry tomatoes. Make an extra long one for rhubarb or greens.

Bonus: These make great bread bags for homemade bread!

Have fun! And Happy Summer Produce Shopping!!

Farmer’s Market!!
May 12, 2011 at 6:00 am

The cheeseman is back! And he has new friends!!

It is always with mixed emotions that we head out to the farmer’s market for the first time — we are so excited only to get there and see four booths.

Last year it was freezing cold, and we tried to find something to buy, finally deciding on some onion sets.

But this year, the weather is HOT. Like 94, so it just felt like a day to go to the farmer’s market and get some berries or something summer-y, only to buy cheese, hummus and olives. (Still good.)

We were really hoping for rhubarb, which would have been a lovely find, but at least the cheeseman is back, so that’s something. Back with his Thai Basil Jack and aged cheddar older than my kids.

Really, the farmer’s market is part food, and part experience for us anyway. We love the little stands, the friendly folks, the strollers and flowers and now this year there is a pizza stand. That would have been so fun last year on our first farmer’s market foray — a hot slice of pizza in the 40-degree weather, but not today, when it has decided it is summer here, at least for a day or two.

Oh farmer’s market — you hold such promise of things to come …

Do you have a favorite farmer’s market where you live — what is the part you look forward to the most each year?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

256 Bit SSL Secure Site

Home | About Us | Organiblog | The Organic Family | Affiliate Program
Promotions | Wholesale | Contact Us | Shipping Info | Your Privacy | Terms

I'm Organic® Inc. © 2011
Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Reach us at
Seperator Seperator Seperator Free Shipping! Car and Fridge Magnets!
Car and Fridge Magnets!

Recycled Wristbands!
Recycled Wristbands

Seperator We