The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen

This morning I picked fresh strawberries and used them on the salad we had for lunch, they were delicious.

I planted the strawberries partly because they were on the dirty dozen list a couple of years ago. The Dirty Dozen list is part of an yearly manual released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) showing which fruits and vegetables have the most – and the fewest – pesticides. This list helps us, the consumers determine which produce is worth the extra cost to buy organic when it’s not possible to buy organic EVERYTHING.

So I thought I should share the dirty dozen list (which is really 14 foods) with you today. They are:








sweet bell peppers


cherry tomatoes

snap peas (imported)


hot peppers

kale / collards


Pretty much everything I love to eat!

Keep this list in mind when you do your grocery shopping and try to buy organic varieties whenever you can.

Tomorrow I’ll share the clean 15.

Relief from Allergies?

Relief from Allergies?

I like the idea of keeping myself and my family as free from chemicals and additives as possible and we’re working toward that goal one step at a time. Unfortunately when Spring rolls around we are all (at varying levels) pretty much a mess! I don’t care for the reaction that I have to over the counter allergy medicines so I was excited to come across this article entitled Allergy Season: Natural Ways to Treat Allergies.

It comes as an ever lessening surprise that the recommendations include the trifecta (Eat Right, Exercise*, and Get Enough Sleep), nor did it surprise me that many of the other recommendations involve careful cleaning of yourself and your home (take THAT pollen). I was, however surprised that peppermint tea and probiotics make the list.  Check out the short article to see the rest of the list.

I plan to try a few of these today – right after I vacuum for the 47th time this week!


*Okay, so the article doesn’t specifically say ‘exercise’ but it DOES recommend reducing stress and one of the best ways to do that is exercise. Plus I like the word ‘trifecta’. 🙂

Make Your Minutes Matter!

Yard Work Rescue

Okay I don’t normally do this kind of thing but since the number one philosophy of Minute Movement is ‘Make Your Minutes Matter’ I just have to share this tip that has made me a happy and more productive girl.

Our city offers free leaf and brush pick up twice a year and tomorrow is our day, so I have been frantically working on my spring yard clean-up this week.

We have three lovely sweet gum trees on or near our property lot which means that in addition to raking leaves all fall and winter (and spring), I have two opportunities to gather these awful spiny balls from the yard, sidewalk, and street (saving my neighbors and family from potential broken ankles).


Every time I do yard work I struggle with keeping the bag upright and open long enough for me to shovel the debris inside – and that’s just on the calm days, windy days are almost impossible! I have purchased several tools meant to help keep the bags up and open but none of them have satisfied me.


Last fall I ran across this ‘Yard Waste Bag Funnel’ by Leaf Mate and I am in LOVE! The funnel is collapsible for easy storage (I’m big on easy storage / space saving) but it opens in seconds by unfastening two clips.


When it’s open you just flip it over and slide your paper bag on (upside down).

funnel and bag

Then flip it over and it funnels everything right into the bag – easy as pie! It’s made the extensive yard work I have around here so much more enjoyable (and quicker), I might even grab another one for Coach Wright 🙂 – then we can get the work done twice as fast and get on to other ways to Make OUR Minutes Matter!

Dirt Makes Me Happy!

Spring is in the air which makes me incredibly excited for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I LOVE playing in the dirt gardening. I could spend an entire weekend weeding and planting and digging –  it might be my very favorite thing. And even though my body gets sore from all of that work, I always feel great when I’m working outside (and I’m usually reluctant to come back inside)!

I always thought that it was the sun and fresh air that made me feel amazing but apparently there are microbes in the soil that stimulate serotonin production making me relaxed and happier’. According to this articleGardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection’, which is great news for me because when I finish working in my garden I am COVERED in those healthy microbes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    kind of like that!

Maybe it’s time for a new flower bed around here…

I hope the weather is nice enough this weekend for you to get out and play in the dirt. I can’t wait to hear what you plant!



It is said that you can’t ever love anyone else if you don’t first love yourself. Here are a few ways that you can love yourself this Valentine’s day:

Take care of yourself. You have one body and one life, don’t throw away your health and well being for any reason. Commit to healthy habits that will last your entire your life.

Be authentic. Being the real you is a million times better than ever trying to fill someone else’s expectations.

Spend time with yourself. The best way to love yourself is to KNOW yourself and the best way to know yourself is to spend a little time alone with your thoughts.

Learn to say no. There will always be demands for your time and energy. Know your priorities and your limits and (graciously) decline anything that doesn’t fit.

Say ‘No’ to the ‘Shoulds’. Things are what they are and all of the wishing in the world won’t change one single thing. Once you stop thinking about how things ‘should’ be (or worse, how they should have been) you will be free to enjoy life as it actually is. If there’s actually something that you are committed to changing, ‘should’ doesn’t even come into the equation,you’ll make it happen no matter what.

Be kind to yourself. Stop expecting perfection (nobody is perfect – not even you) and stop saying mean things to yourself!

Express your creativity. Even as an adult I find that there are few things as rewarding as making something pretty. Maybe you like to paint, or build cabinets, or write poetry – whatever it is, give yourself the opportunity to express your creativity as often as possible.

Be grateful. There are so many things to be grateful for. Start a list and come back to it often.

Do nice things for others. Almost nothing feels better than doing a good deed so try not to pass up opportunities to bring sunshine into the lives of someone else.

How will you give to yourself this week so you’ll be ready to give to others once Valentine’s day rolls around this weekend?