Hi all! For this post I will be interviewing my mother, one of the greatest gardeners I know! Although summer is a great time for the sun and vacations and ice cream, I fully enjoy the fresh taste of home grown tomatoes, green beans, peppers, squash, zucchini and more! So, here is what my momma has to say about how to grow and maintain a delicious and naturally cultivated garden:

1. Why is it important to grow a garden without the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals?

Pesticides may preserve and protect fruits and vegetables from bugs and deterioration, but how natural is that? Why eat something and put something in your body that is genetically engineered and who’s purpose is to prevent insects from eating it?! Grocery stores may do that, but we do not with our garden. We produce plants that taste great because they are not contaminated with unnatural chemicals. The soil is naturally taken care of and thoroughly prepped before we plant.

2. What do we use to protect the plants then?

Instead of chemically processed pesticides, we use Rotenone, which is a natural insecticide. It is a crushed root that repels the bugs, and we use a sparse amount as well. We also spray vinegar on plants to keep cut worms off.

3. What are some tips for having and maintaining a healthy and tasty garden? 

Compost makes the soil richer (compost can be food at dinner that was not eaten and foods that act naturally with the soil to make it healthier.

Over the winter we plant barley and rye and till it into the soil in the spring. This adds extra nutrients for the soil.

We also rotate crops, so they are never in the same spot every single year.

Add some water and there  you go! A delicious and nutritious store right in your backyard!


Gardening is extremely important. It helps to teach us responsibility and patience, and it also adds natural health and daily nutrition for our bodies. Trust me, there is nothing like sinking your teeth into a natural and home grown tomato! 🙂


As I become more knowledgeable and pretty confident in my understandings and use of all-natural and organic products, I thought that it would be important to share what makes a company and products organic? Luckily, the U.S. has stricter policies and rules about companies using organic ingredients and how they should be labeled for the public to see. So that is why I always enforce the ‘please thoroughly read the ingredients before buying’ policy. It has really changed my views of companies and made me much more aware of what I am putting on and in my body.

Here is what labels mean when they say organic (these are also the codes that companies have to follow because of the USDA and federal legislation, a round of applause for them!): 1. A product is pure and nothing but certified organic when it says ‘100% organic’ on the label. No fooling consumers there! But, this is where it can get tricky, 2. In order to be labeled ‘organic’ a company must use at least 95% organic ingredients in their products…wonder what defines the other 5%? And lastly, 3. Products that are labeled ‘made with certified organic ingredients’ has to use at least 70% organic material.

I used to pick up numerous ingredients that would have the second or third rule on the labels thinking that all of the ingredients were good for me, but they weren’t. Please please please people, read the ingredients and become more familiar with what is truly good for you and what is just a cheap filler in a product. Your health and body will thank you.

Today I am going to share my what in the world Wednesday which includes two of my favorite all-natural and affordable things. The first one is a healthy mid-day snack and the second is a moisturizing new find!

My first favorite is my greek yogurt parfait. It is all natural, delicious, and easy to make! Here’s what you need: Plain non-fat yogurt (my favorite to use is Chobani). Also add in some fresh or frozen blueberries and/or other fresh fruits you may enjoy. Use some all-natural granola (my favorite is Kashi, which is a great company I may add) and voila! A healthy and hearty snack that provides you with protein, antioxidants, fiber, and more! Eat it up folks. 🙂

If you’re anything like me, you cannot live without a type of lip balm. I mean, balms have been my thing ever since I could remember. Back then before I knew much about ingredients and products, I used regular brand Chapstick, which has parabens and petroleum. Chemically created ingredients are not going to naturally keep these lips moisturized! So, my new find is Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One” Organic Lip Balm.I got this at Target for about $2.50 — a little bit less than my other favorite Burt’s Bees lip products. This balm is absolutely wonderful and has 100 % organic ingredients that are not only good for you, but also good for the earth! This product has certified organic products and no animal testing which is a must! Check out this balm and many other amazing Bronner’s products on their website… I promise you won’t regret feeling good about buying from a caring company and using products that are purely good for you.

Today’s post will be about one of my absolute favorite organic cafe’s in the tri-state area: Pure & Simple Cafe. This adorable cafe is small but has a wonderful message to it. I mean it is the pure definition of what an organic cafe should be. A menu with an array of delectable meals and out of this world smoothies. They even have wheatgrass shots!! (Which I still have yet to try but would LOVE to).

Pure & Simple Cafe is located at 164 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, PA and is not far from I-81. The trip is definitely worth it, believe me. Their salads are so delicious and fresh, they are literally like a piece of art (before I eat the entire thing). Everything on the menu is organic and fair trade and where could you go wrong with that?!? They even buy certain foods from locals which, for me, is a definite plus for a business. And, best of all, with my recent meal change, they have a variety of gluten-free options too.

The smoothies are out of this world!! You can add whatever you want from their list of smoothies and they’ll add vitamins and other good-for-you ingredients to your drink. My personal favorite is the Bitty Buster with extra B-vitamins and with fresh strawberries and blueberries. So, if you are looking for a welcoming and natural atmosphere, with all natural and simply fresh and pure ingredients, this is the place.

Check out the article in yesterday’s Herald Mail featuring the head chef of Pure & Simple. It is a wonderful interview!

Hey there!

The word ‘diet’ can be quite cumbersome and very difficult to follow through with. So today, instead of using the word diet, I want you all to say healthy eating. That’s all it really comes down to really, watching what you eat and how much you eat. Along with throwing exercise in there as well.

  I have just started a new semi-to-no gluten meal plan. Gluten is  found in everything from breads to pastas. It is the processed ‘stuff’ pretty much. When I first discovered a person who was on a gluten free ‘diet’, it was my best friend’s mother who was diagnosed with celiac’s disease. Celiac’s is no stroll through the poppy field,  people living with it have to maintain an extremely strict diet and as they say, literally ‘watch what they eat’. Recently gluten has been in the news with some famous faces like Miley Cyrus and Elizabeth Hasslebeck raving about a gluten free lifestyle.

For the next two weeks, I plan to try this gluten-free plan and see what results I get. I am so ready to cut the urges for processed sugars like candy and pastas and hope that my sluggishness and breakouts may recede.

For day one I had gluten-free cereal with unsweetened almond milk and water. For lunch I had an organic spring and baby spinach mix salad with avocado, tomato, walnuts, wild alaskan salmon and organic balsamic vinaigrette dressing. For snacks, I indulged in gluten-free multi grain crackers with almond butter (a healthy alternative to peanut butter!) and a kiwi. I literally felt like I had much more energy and felt good about what I was putting into my body. For dinner I plan to have lean chicken with a special sauce and asparagus cooked in olive oil.

Day one of my gluten-free lifestyle is almost to an end! I’m excited for tomorrow’s meals! If you’d like more information on gluten and gluten-free recipes just simply google and you have thousands of options available now.

This week, I interviewed Lora, owner and maker of Willow Tree Minerals. Her shop is not only enticing with its array of all natural and good-for-you products, but it is absolutely adorable! The way her makeup and other products are displayed beat out the rest of the competition. Check out this interview and also her shop!

1. Where did you get the inspiration/idea for the name of your shop and for the products you make?

I went many years without being able to wear any makeup because I had such severe reactions to the chemicals and toxins. I decided to try and make a few products for myself. My friends and family soon asked me if I would make product for them and soon my company was born.
As for the name of my business, I wanted something natural and earthy, but the words natural, healthy and earth seemed to be overused in other company’s names. So, when Willow Tree popped in my head it seemed to fit the feel I wanted and was different than other cosmetic lines.

2. What are your favorite products that you make and why?

 It’s hard to choose a favorite product because each and every one I have put my heart and soul into to make them perfect. I probably have the most fun with my eye shadows though, because of all the colors. I also LOVE my lip shimmers because I have never been able to find the right lipstick and these are exactly my style!

3. Some mineral makeup companies claim that their products help the consumers skin over time.. Do you think that’s true? If not, why? And, does your mineral makeup offer any benefits to the consumers skin/body when being used? 

Mineral makeup can actually improve your skin overtime. But there are several factors that have to be looked at:
A. Are the ingredients used ALL natural or just some of them?
B. What quality of minerals are being used, and are any of them highly processed?
C. Are they using micronized minerals?

All those facts determine how great they will be for your skin. Benefits for Willow Tree’s Minerals are:
A. Calms & soothes irritated & acne prone skin. With anti-inflammatory properties it heals & conceals
B.  Will not cake or crease like liquid foundation & is sweat and waterproof
C.  Good for your complexion & will not clog pores. No chemicals, talc, perfume, dyes, phthalates, bismuth, parabens or micronized minerals
D. Provides Natural UVA/UVB Sun protection
E.  No hidden ingredients

4. What experience do you have with making your products and where did you come up with the natural ingredients?

My entire life I had to be careful with what product I used because of my sensitive body. So I have gotten really good at knowing my ingredients and being well educated on what these ingredients can do to your health and what the different laws are concerning makeup and body care. The most shocking information that I think everyone deserves to know is:

An average American uses 10-15 personal care products daily. However, the government does not require pre-market safety testing before approving body care products. It approves an average of seven new chemicals every day, and 80% are approved in three weeks or less, with or without safety tests. Industrial chemicals are the basic ingredients of personal care products that contain carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers, and surfactants.

I think in a time where cancer and diseases are running rampant, each of us should educate ourselves on what we are putting on our body and take charge of our own health, instead of relying on a company to do so!

Thank you so much to Lora and her wonderful shop! 🙂

I wrote in my post last week about spring cleaning and eating the ‘top three’. Well, today I’d like to share one of the many recipes that I use spinach in. It may not sound delectable, but if you follow this simple recipe it’s bound to be delicious and good for you! Just make sure that the groceries you are buying for this recipe is fresh and organic! Read the labels people!

Today I’m going to share my spinach smoothie. Yum, right? To some of you, probably not. Even I was a little hesitant the first time I made this, but it was well worth it! Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Blender
  2. Half a cup of frozen peaches
  3. Unsweetened or vanilla almond milk
  4. Ice
  5. About two handfuls of fresh, organic spinach

Take the blender, and add the peaches, ice, spinach, milk and start to blend! Make sure that is is blended enough then to become a complete liquid to drink. And, voila! There you have it, pour it and enjoy it!

The nutrients in this smoothie will make you a green machine and you will feel the benefits of it immediately!

My next experiment may be to either make a kale or watercress smoothie, both show very high content of vitamins and minerals needed for a healthier lifestyle.

There are no boundaries to the benefits of a fresh and all-natural smoothie! Enjoy 🙂

Hello! Today I have another interview up for all to see!

Jess runs a wonderful all-natural shop that caters to a variety of health needs and interests.  Thanks again to her for doing this interview with me! She has some great insight and some really great products!

1. Your teas look absolutely delectable, but I am very curious about your organic matcha tea… what really makes matcha green tea so healthy and how does it differ from regular green teas?

Matcha green tea is very special.. it has been used for centuries in Japanese tea ceremonies, awakening to us that matcha was highly revered. It is made from the highest quality young green tea leaves of the camellia sinensis plant and is finely powdered, making it unique to whole leaf green teas commonly available. When you delight your sense of smell, something inside you signals it is the superfood of green teas! It’s super rich green color instinctevly notes it is highly rich in anti-oxidants and processed with gentle minds. Many teas of the camellia sinensis plant are fermented, cooked and even aged. All green teas have benefits, but matcha sits on the throne of royal tea.

2. The shop has a variety of organic products from teas to mouthwash to tonics. How did you come about creating and thinking of all of it? And, what are your top selling products?

My mind is inspired and moved by the natural mystic of nature. There are so many amazing plants and remedies to make.

I let my herbal collections plant seeds of wisdom to blossom creations unique to my artistic point of view. I have been making art my whole life and making herbal remedies is a way to share the gift of being human to express and steward natures gifts to us. The colors and unique gifts herbs have move me to manifesting my herbal art.

The most popular items are : the ultimate green drink for it’s deep rich green that note deep forest nourishment . Blush salve and the blood orange lip tint : the red tints for the cheeks and lips to accent our amazing spirits. The quarter life crisis balm is so amazing for keeping our skin in check with five different organic oils. The chakra sample tea pack for uniting all the colors and parts of our selves and of course the matcha green tea.

3. I’ve noticed that your shop is very earth friendly and eco conscious… what steps do you take to be green? And, what are your feelings about how people should be aware of what we put in our body and put on?

There must be a balance with the earth humans must to strive for. I am the only one who can be responsible for my movements across life’s trail. Small things make the biggest difference: being aware of what you take from the world is as important as what you throw away. I would suggest doing what you can, that is in balance with your own life. You don’t have to make drastic changes, but ones that will make both you and the planet happier.

The awakening process is up to each individual. The curious will seek the wisdom, but stay grounded and find a balance. It is no question, unless from a good source, a lot of products on the market are not the best for us. Small desicions like buying from farmers markets, shopping at natural food coops, growing food, DIY, foraging, learning about natural healing and staying stress-free is a magnet for radiance to those who are open.

4. Your organic superfood’s look extremely healthy.. how do they benefit your consumer health wise and earth wise?

Color is life. I want the richest and most nourishing herbs I can find: the givers and extenders of existence. I like to share the knowledge I have found in herbal medicine. I make my own shipping boxes and bicycle deliver all of my packages to the Post Office. I forage and try to rely less on using the system. I have hope that the human part of the world will move towards that with a better relationship with nature, and we will not destroy ourselves beforehand.

Finally! It is that time of year. The time when winter has finally ended and we can shed those dismal days and the food along with it and enjoy spring. The time to start planting a garden, spend more time outdoors, and time to cleanse our bodies!

Now, I know that detoxes are currently a hot topic and though I have been tempted to spend over $100 on professional cleanses, I just can’t get past that maybe these cleanses aren’t so good for you. Some say that they disrupt the way your digestive system works, that if not done right you can become dehydrated and quite ill.

Well, what I have decided and what has always worked as a natural and effective spring cleaning for my body can simply be found at the grocery store.

What is it you ask? I have my tasty three fruits and veggies that never fail.

1. Lemon. Lemon is chock full of vitamin C and is especially healthy for your kidneys. It’s famous for being a quick and everyday safe cleanse for your body! I add lemon to my water, tea, and even add on top of certain foods as a zest.

2. Kiwi. Another fruit loaded with vitamin C, it also contains the right amount of fiber for your daily diet. Just one of these delicious green morsels a day and you have added an incredible amount of vitamins and minerals to your body!

3. Spinach. Yes, the kind Popeye uses to grow instantaneous muscles! Unfortunately it takes more than just this leafy green to make us ridiculously strong in a second, but close enough! It is just enough of what our body needs. Spinach is famous for vitamin K, fiber, and numerous other vitamins and minerals. Care about the health of your body? Eat this. I add spinach to my salad, to my sandwiches, and even make green smoothies with it!

Give these a try and your body will be thanking you. What fruits and veggies make you feel and look your best?

Hi all!

A couple of months ago while at a Barnes & Noble I was doing my usual magazine search.. You know, finding the next new mag that will catch my attention with all the beauty secrets of the world and then some? This time I was on a mission to discover a magazine that was dedicated to a more natural way of life and tips on how to be green.

Mixed in with Self, Shape and numerous house magazines, I discovered this magazine and thought, ‘What in the world?’. On that note, I am going to share with you all what exactly I discovered (pst, don’t peak at the picture.. well, maybe it’s too late now..)

This may not be new to some, but at the time I had never heard of this mag and feel the desire to spread the word!

Natural Health magazine peaked my interest at first sight. And as I paged through, I discovered that this was what I was looking for all along! From the articles about organic products for your hair and body to the sumptuous recipes that are not only good for the earth, but for your health! As I sat down at Barnes that day and leafed through the pages, I had to have a subscription.

Each month I look forward to the factual and educational content of this magazine. It is a buy that I definitely do not regret! Through reading this magazine, I feel as though I am supporting a publication that not only cares about my natural health, but also the health of the earth. So go on and check it out! From experience I can say that it is truly a source of never ending knowledge.

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