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Showing posts from June, 2011

Finally Gardening the Right Way

Gardening is always a learning process, but this year I am finally doing things right. Or at least one thing . I am finally thinning my plants. Believe me, it was shear torture to rip out perfectly good plants, just to leave dead space in their places. I tried to transplant as many as I could, but I had to obey the space rules there too, and could only move a few. I cringed when I first planted my broccoli plants - look at all this wasted space: Broccoli But just a month later - look what has happened. Yes you can see that I sneaked some Basil in the "dead space" I couldn't resist! And I'll thin it out later.... Broccoli - one month after planting The tomatoes, corn, and beans are all filling in their "dead spaces" as well. I thinned out the spinach and lettuce and had an amazing tuna salad with the thinnings. I thinned out my carrots and thought about eating them as well. All right, fine - I ate a few of them. But I wasn't really hung

Plant Hoarding!

My name is Angela - and I'm a plant hoarder. I admit it. I love to grow thing, It's hard for me to dispose of perfectly good plants, and somehow plants find me. But I'm on the mend, sort of. A few weeks ago, my sister called to tell me she had excess potato and strawberry plants. I told her I didn't have room for them. It's true, I don't have the room. But if she had been standing in front of me, I would have grabbed all the plants and found a place for them. Yes, I said ALL. I was proud of my willingness to turn down plants and I told my husband about the call. Later that day I went to Lowes to pick up something in the hardware section. Since I was already there , I moseyed into the plant section. My daughter suspiciously asked why we were heading to the gardening area, and I guiltily explained that sometimes mom just likes to look at the plants . In fact, I take a lot of trips to nurseries and farmer's markets "just to look at plants."

Green Works - Green Tips to Green up Your Home

Living Green is really important to me. I like to take steps to reduce and reuse as much as possible. I also recycle. When it comes to cleaning - going green is a whole new (and sometimes scary) world.  I recently came across the Green Works Facebook page and if you like their page you'll have access to home greening videos full of helpful greening tips.  Guess what I learned watching the videos? You can COMPOST Green Works cleaning wipes! Yeah baby! I have always hated using cleaning wipes because they created trash - but to be able to compost them rocks!  I'm going to give them a shot next time I'm out buying cleaning supplies. Check out the site for yourself and see what green tips you might learn. **This post was written as part of an entry to the Clorox Green Works giveaway on Mom Bloggers Club. I'm hoping to win. :)

This is what 16% body fat looks like - on a woman!

It's now been almost 10 months since I got back into a regular exercise routine . Why did I ever get off track in the first place - seriously, it's a quandary. First there was the whole back-to-back pregnancies, new mom thing. Then there was the laziness factor. Then......Yeah, I was really out of touch with what I needed to do. But this year, I am back on track. Through sickness, volunteering at school, and just life in general, I have stuck to the task and I have not quit!  I stuck it out for 10 months straight - and I am still at it! But what about results? To be honest, it's been a little annoying. I love to watch shows like The Biggest Loser and see people drop mad gobs of fat each week. I was already at my "goal weight" so I never saw any massive scale drops - just a few pounds. I didn't really expect to "lose weight", so I came up with other goals - be able to do a real pull up, increase my running speed and distance....and get to 16

Organic Gardening with Fish Rich Fertilizer

My parents were organic gardeners by default - it was just how they were raised. Years later, I became an organic gardener - first out of laziness (who wants to figure out all the fertilizer/pesticide rules) and then out of concern for what is going into our bodies and our world. So over my many years, I've come to know a thing or two about organic gardening. I've learned that by NOT fertilizing your plants, you end up with a much smaller harvest.  I've learned that beyond the chemical impact, organic fertilizers provide a more complete nutrient profile - micronutrients, enzymes, trace minerals, etc. I've also learned that not all organic fertilizers are created equal. Take compost - which I vigorously work to create every day of my life. It's not always available and honestly, it's a great "soil amendment" and only a so-so fertilizer. Then there are bone meals, blood meals, manures. They all have a bit of ick to them and have odd ways of appli

Healthier Sports Drinks?

When you think of sports drinks, do you think of Gatorade? When I think of sports drinks, I think of sugar bombs. Artificial flavors. Corn syrup. Yuck, yuck, yuck! Guess what, it doesn't have to be that way. Just like every area of the supermarket, the sports drink aisle is being remade. It's better and healthier. We recently had the opportunity to review the Modjo line of performance beverages. In all honesty, I thought they were going to be horrible. But they were fantastic! They had a wonderful taste and were made with good ingredients. No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives. They also contained a lot of really good ingredients that I'd look for in a sports drink - coconut water, sea salt, Resveratrol, B vitamins. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure they had fewer calories that the corn syrup beverages. Don't quote me on that - check it out for yourself, but I remember being all around surprised. My favorites were the ModjoLife drinks, but I

Simple Steps Canning Guide

It should come as no surprise that I've been canning all my life. My Grandmothers canned. My mom canned. And I canned. So when I had the opportunity to review an all inclusive canning guide , I was excited. I downloaded it on to my computer and read through it in one sitting. That, in and of itself, was a good thing. Nobody wants an exhaustive 300 page guide to canning. It was succinct, easy to follow, and well put together. I thoroughly enjoyed it, learned a lot, and copied down notes. But guess the biggest thing I learned? I have been canning all wrong! My family has always canned in an open water bath. Always!  A few years ago my sister-in-law told my mom that we could get botulism that way, and my mom wrote it off. But it freaked me out a little. It turns out my SIL was right!  But how does someone pressure can? Glad you asked - because every answer, from how-to, and which foods, and how long to store it are all answered in the Simple Steps Canning Guide. 

Lichi Superfruit Detox

If you're like me, then you've probably heard a ton of buzz about "super fruits" and how they can improve your life. One of those super fruits is Lychee (also known as Rambutan ). I was offered the chance to review the Lichi Superfruit program: consisting of a detox, probiotic and superfruit supplement. Those who know me, know that I do not take supplements and I eat a wide variety of whole foods. But I liked the ingredients in the Lichi Superfruit products . Reading through all the information on their website, I couldn't find any ingredient I objected to. My own experience with Lychee has been favorable. We ate a bunch of it at a Hawaiian farmer's market. They are like huge tasty, skinless grapes. But like all "superfruits" they have more than tastiness going for them. I originally thought I'd go through the detox (which is easy, by the way - it only entails drinking a detox juice before breakfast and you eat as usual throughout the da

$300 American Express Gift Card Giveaway - Big Baby Shower Event!

Remember how generous Pampers has been in their Little Miracles Mission ? Well, things are about to get even better. Pampers is going all out in the Big Mother's Day Give! What does that mean? For starters, it means they are going to give one Suburban Jungle reader a $300 American Express Gift Card to throw the most fabulous baby shower ever ! I would throw a shower for my daughter's preschool teacher. Her home flooded out days before she gave birth and she was forced to move into her in-law's basement. She worked diligently to get their home back in order before the baby arrived, but to no avail. She had to take her first baby back home to her relatives' basement and keep working on repairing their home. And it was her first baby. You can imagine the stress and heartache. So I think she deserves a great shower. I'd include a lot of necessities (diapers, etc - I can't help it, I'm practical) but also a lot of mom pampering items. After all that she

What do You do When You are Allergic to Everything?

What happens when you are allergic to everything ? And I pretty much mean everything? That's the situation my sister is living with. She's allergic to dogs, cats, pollen, all fruits and veggies, horses, deer.....  She's had trouble for some time with certain fruits but eventually got to the point that all fruits were giving her trouble. She decided to head to an allergist. Guess what he found. She's allergic to everything.  And not just sort of allergic. Super allergic. Within a few minutes every single test site was inflamed. Here's a shot of her test after 2-3 minutes. She didn't take another picture but said the welts were unbearable after the test was complete. The verdict - she's allergic to every animal, pollen, grass, etc.  The allergist recommended she take allergy shots 3 times a week for the next 5 years. Really? Can't there be a better way?  I'm not an allergist, a nurse, a doctor, a nutritionist, or a health

LoveMode Review & Giveaway

Sponsored by As a thirty-something mother of two, I still shop in the Junior's section. And I'm not embarrassed about it. Honestly, juniors clothes fit my body and style much better than the women's section. I recently had the opportunity to review an online juniors clothing store . It's called Lovemode. I had the opportunity to review one of their dresses. If you head over to, you'll find a big assortment of cute tops, bottoms, accessories, denim, and dresses. The tops section was my favorite, but the entire site is a good source of cheap juniors clothes . And that's important. Styles change so quickly and it makes sense to spend as little as possible. Right now is the time to check out Lovemode because they are having a 25% off sale and Free shipping until June 14th. The dress I reviewed was made well, fit perfectly, and looked exactly like it's picture. You always wonder when you order online. My only complaint abou

Yeah Bud-dy - How the Garden Grows

Just a few days ago, I posted the completion of our 2011 garden . Well, I forgot to take pictures of a few garden plants and since that posting a few more things have grown (or died...) Here's an update: Valiant Grapes (red) Part of the Black Raspberry Patch - this year we'll finally get some berries! Black Raspberries up close (Jewel) Latham Raspberry Patch (Red - and loaded with buds - yeah buddy) Fallgold Raspberries (golden and super sweet - only 2 survived transplanting) Part of the second strawberry patch (variety unknown - from one of my sister's gardens) Strawberry Close-up Chives Beautiful Chive Flowers LaCrescent Grapes (White) The Second Heritage Raspberry Patch - one of the forest dwellers (Red) Arugula starting to pop up! Cilantro leaves popping out - they smell so great Carrot leaves popping out Carrot Close up Berries starting to form on the Northland and North