Crystal Clear


A popular argument I hear from people who don’t like to use natural cleaning products is that they don’t work as well as those with harsher chemicals. And lets face it, when it comes to certain things, you really want them to be clean. However, for those of you who trust in your natural ingredients, you can rest assured that you can be green AND clean.

A recent study from Consumer Testing Laboratories “proved that natural, plant-based products do clean just as well as chemicals – chemicals, such as phosphates, 1.4 dioxane, chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, and caustics, etc.” To prove this, the testing lab compared Cascade to the Wave® 2X Ultra – High Performance Auto Dishwasher Gel from Earth Friendly Products. “Both products were tested for their ability to remove a variety of soils from a set of identically soiled test dishes. Tests proved that both gel detergents performed well, removing all of the test soils. All of the test dishes, tumblers, and flatware were judged as comparable for spotting, filming, and soil removal following the dishwashing tests.” (Download the full PDF press release here.)

I decided to conduct my own test and got some of the Wave High Performance Dishwasher Gel. (I have been a long time fan of their Furniture Polish seen here.) As for the results, while I may not be a consumer testing expert, there was no visible difference to me. My husband (an occasional skeptic) even agreed that the dishes washed with the Earth Friendly Products were just as crystal clear and clean as when we use less natural products.

So if you are skeptical of how clean green products can be, I suggest you conduct your own study. You may just be pleasantly surprised how clean your house (and conscience) will be!

Posted in Living Green by Rhaya on May 27, 2009 | Permalink | 4 Comments

Facing the Facts


I have to admit that Liz is more of the resident expert around here when it comes to all natural makeup, beauty and other skin products. And now even my husband is choosing more wisely when it comes to what he’s using on his skin.

Admittedly, I always try to pick out the most all-natural products I can find (especially those that aren’t tested on animals) but I get lost in a sea of information about parabens, phthalates and petroleum byproducts. So it’s nice to find a product that eliminates all those hard to pronounce (much less understand) ingredients and still has very satisfying results.

Lavera offers a line of skin care for a variety of skin types, and for the past couple weeks, I have been thoroughly enjoying a few of their products, especially the Facial Moisturizer and Self-Tanner. Aside for the fact that these products are free from parabens and synthetic ingredients (not to mention award-winning) I just enjoy the fact that they smell great, work even better and take the guesswork out of what I am putting on my face.

If you are shopping around for some better skin solutions, check out the Lavera web site and you may find just the right products for you. They also currently have a giveaway for a chance to win $223 worth of products.

Posted in At The Market by Rhaya on May 19, 2009 | Permalink | No Comments

Friday Fave:


It’s cute. It’s charitable. It’s Enough said, visit our Friday Fave today!

Posted in Friday Fave by Rhaya on May 15, 2009 | Permalink | No Comments

Rhubarb Season


About this time in May through the end of June marks rhubarb season in Ohio.  A great source of Vitamin C, fiber and calcium, rhubarb is rather tart on it’s own but when combined with something sweet, it makes a fantastic dessert.  I put together this strawberry-rhubarb crisp by combining the best of several recipes in an attempt to sub-in healthier ingredients. It came out great and it was a even better topped with just a little vanilla bean ice cream.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

2 big stalks of rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 big squeezes of agave nectar (maybe 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 unbleached white flour
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
3 tbsp of butter

Preheat oven to 350 and butter an 8×8 baking dish.  Combine chopped rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl, add the agave and stir to coat the rhubarb and strawberries well.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish.  In the same bowl mix the remaining ingredients, cutting in the butter.  Sprinkle topping over the rhubarb and strawberries.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Posted in Going Local,Recipes by Liz on May 13, 2009 | Permalink | No Comments

Eggs in a Basket

This recipe was originally posted in our November 2008 edition of “The Squeeze,” but because of some recent reader requests for it, we are posting it here on the site as well. My favorite version of this breakfast meal is simply to use red peppers, onions and cheddar cheese. (And to keep things simple, I just use a no-stick spray instead of butter. Natural, no. Fast, yes.)

Don’t miss out on future recipes like this, and sign up for “The Squeeze” today!

This is a easy egg dish to serve for a family brunch, and is similar to a Food Network recipe but I have changed it up a bit to meet my personal tastes, I hope you do the same!

Required ingredients:
12 eggs
Won Ton Wrappers

Topping ideas:
Sun-dried tomatoes & fresh Parmesan
Proscuitto & Swiss
Roasted red peppers

Preheat oven to 350, and lightly butter a 12-muffin pan.

To make the "basket," lightly butter the two won ton wrappers and lay them in a muffin cup in a criss-cross pattern (so the corners of each do not line up). Continue with the remaining 11 muffin cups.

Then, crack one egg into each basket followed by your choice of toppings, my favorite is the chopped sun-dried tomato and fresh Parmesan shavings. Use just enough toppings to cover the egg but avoid making too thick of a layer on top.

Bake for 20 minutes or until eggs are to your desired "doneness."

Posted in Recipes by Rhaya on May 12, 2009 | Permalink | No Comments

Friday Fave: This Young House

this young house

This week’s Friday Fave is a site that Rhaya and I have both been visiting quite frequently lately – This Young House.   The authors, John & Sherry, are a creative young couple, who moved from Manhattan to Richmond three years ago and bought an old “fixer-upper.”  After lots of hard work and fabulous results, they had a stunning wedding in the backyard and now chronicle their remodeling and decorating adventures for all of us to share.  

We love their “diy” spirit , penchant for repurposing and budget friendly ideas.  Not to mention, we could all learn a little from their “healthy living” tips.  Oh, and they a great little thing going on over there that they call a “Fab Freebie” so check in with them often so you don’t miss out!

Posted in Friday Fave by Liz on May 8, 2009 | Permalink | No Comments