Hair Remover and a Bra…

Haha. Okay, just another quickie review of two products I LOVE: TheEmjoi Gently Silken Epilator and the Glamorise Strapless Bra.

I’ll start with the bra:


It’s summertime and going strapless is a given in L.A. It’s heating up and the bras are flying off. Personally, I’ve despised every strapless bra I’ve *ever* tried. Always soooo uncomfortable. And almost always with underwire — oh, don’t get me started on wired bras! Who was the misogynist who fangled those instruments of feminine torture?! And the poking…Ugh! Those wires hurt. Rib-rubbing wires — does that sound like a comfy way to spend the day in the California sun? Not fun. Back to Glamorise — this is one of the most comfy bras. It does not squish or cut off circulation; it requires no wire — AND it holds! I was shocked, actually. When I first got it (ordered it online), I expected it to be one of those types where you’re constantly having to adjust and pull it up…may as well be smacking some chewing gum wearing daisy dukes while at it, right? So classy… πŸ˜€

Anyway, you won’t have to suffer with the “tube-boob” look either. I like the lace top part; if your top is lower cut, the bit of lace showing through looks nice. It’s also inexpensive: JC Penny has it for $15; I think I’ll get them from in-store next time.

I’ve also tried a stick on silicone-type, which did not hold for me (didn’t stick well) and was uncomfortable; however, that one looks like a better one. Then there are the paper adhesives which I used when in high school, haha. Not ideal, but do work if needed (do not lift and hold; mostly for coverage); and there are nipple covers, which I haven’t tried, but seem pretty much the same deal.Β  While I’m at it, fashion tape is a Summer must! Great for dress-up time too πŸ˜‰ .

Okay, so Glamorise Strapless — Bigthumbs up big

Onward to the Emjoi. I had this for over a year before I even used it — I kid you not. Why? I don’t know. It seemed like a hassle for some reason…at the time, anyway. I think because it had to be charged for some time first (I know, I know, what’s the big deal?) But that was just silly! As I stripped, pulled, rubbed (do NOT even waste your $ — at least for the face), and sugared my body raw instead. Ack! I could have been plucking and done in minutes with this thing-a-ma-jiggy! Only a light pinching sensation; no biggie. It does get at the root and lasts. That’s a big deal because having to deal with shaving, plucking, waxing or whatever, often, is a pain in the follicle. Again, only minutes till you’re ready to go. Love this! Anotherthumbs up big

I just realized I could ramble on and on about bras; but since no one is reading this, who cares? πŸ˜€

Pox_

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Sprout Jar Lids…What I did…

LIDS!! I mentioned before about preferring the stainless steel mesh lids to the plastic lids. However, I also mentioned I liked the idea of the plastic rings, a.k.a bands, offered by SproutPeople (who promptly went out of town just as I tried to order them!).

Why? Well — take a looksee:

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Ugh! Happened sooner than I thought it would. SproutPeople said they don’t mind using the rusty instruments; I, however, do mind!

I searched hardware stores, garden centers, etc., and found no plastic bands! Very frustrating; I mean, there have got to be some out there that fit mason jars…why on Pluto wouldn’t the Ball or Kerr folks make them anyway? Hmmm..Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Could it be a money issue? NahhhhPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

That’s the way it rolls…

So, SproutPeople outta Dodge, I took my green lid and…
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A liiiiiiiittleΒ  _more_ *grunt* _el_bow_ grease….

Success! :D…
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Now, just slip in the mesh strainers just as with the metal bands…

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Ta-Da! πŸ˜€

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I guess, if I were eating small amounts of sprouts, I’d go this route; they will keep a long time, I imagine, so the very small investment would be worth it. I’ll keep a couple of these on hand ;). Good news is, Handy Pantry sells those plastic lids separately if I ever need more. In stores, I’ve only seen them as part of the sprouting jar kit; I don’t need any more jars! Just the lids, please. One problem I anticipate is that the screens may still rust! I’ll have to update on that.

Just another option πŸ™‚

Pox

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Got the Sprout Screens from MRH…

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And some other stuff πŸ˜‰ I *definitely* like these better than the cheesecloth — definitely! No need to remove the cap, just pour water through, shake and wiggle, drain — done! No reason to worry about contamination with the cloth, nor fuss with rubberbands and strings! Little strings of cheesecloth tend to unravel into the sprouts…do you know how hard it can be to find a cheescloth string in mob of tailed sprouts?!!

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Okay, so I did say I liked the cheesecloth better than the plastic lids, and I do! It’s still a great, easy way to sprout, and, at this point would be my second choice. I’m moving up with my sprouting! πŸ˜€

So I received the Biosta, sprouting canister kit (looks bigger in that pic, no?); and, I have to say, I was surprised how small it was! Here it is next to some lemons to get an idea:
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Actually, it still looks bigger in this pic than reality…Here is another…

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Hmmm…better?

Sigh…no problem, really, it’s fine; unfortunately, it came damaged 😦 The bottom tray had two large cracks in it. It is the one to hold water, so not really usable…Called MRH, and, they said they will send one out on Tuesday…when I finally got a hold of them. Honestly, I love their products and they USED TO have excellent service; but I’ve had problems with their customer service now *several* times. I’m still on their bandwagon, but I’m close to finding another ride. I’d hate to, really, since I adore their quality and products (and freshness). Still, I’m a HUGE customer service person, and will suffer if I have to_lol. Anyway…I’ll have to review it in the next couple weeks to see how my garden grows :^)

Speaking of review — just a quickie: If you see one of these Zyliss Salad Knives:
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Save your $2.99 (Plus Tax). It’s lousy! It may not “turnΒ  your lettuce brown” — it’ll squish it first! Lousy, lousy, product. Not good enough. It’s said to be “ideal” for bread (doubt it) and brownies (probably); but, if you’re not eating breads and brownies (which you shouldn’t be πŸ˜‰ ), then it’s useless. My salad greens were bruised and squished by this cheapy, plastic knife. Poor greens :(.

OH, and I made myself a sprouting bag πŸ˜€ When I get time, I’ll post!

Pox_
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More on Sprouts!

CLOVER SPROUTS (aka Red Clover Sprouts), ready for their greening πŸ™‚ :
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Ready for their closeup (just a mere hours) after their greening Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Yes, I cannot get enough! I’m consumed by sprouts; they’ve cast their spell over me and their magic, taken hold! I have to say that I have — despite what may or may not be true about food=energy — that I have been feeling stronger, physically — Oooh, yea — and feel “better” (as opposed to “more energetic”). (I’m feeling it in my weightlifting to boot!) I mean, in other words, I don’t feel an artificial (or even ‘natural’) boost or burst of energy; I feel overall just more — just better…if that makes sense. Like I have each time I’ve reached — yet another — state of improved health.Β  So, not like a caffeine or some supplement rush; but the sort of “energy”; “enthusiasm”(?); or perhaps, “feel-good” state of being that ETL’ing (“Eat To Live’ing”) gave me when it catapulted me to the blissfulness that is optimal health. Know what I mean? πŸ˜‰ If not, then read Eat To Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman — actually, I take that back: READ IT AND DO IT, *then* you can — gain or regain TRUE, optimal health YOU WERE MEANT TO HAVE in this life. ETL’ing removes the ups-and-downs, the highs-and-lows, the lifts-and-crashes — the mania, if you will. πŸ™‚ For me, achieving health brought contentment: that is the word I use — a state of being so that I no longer oscillate wildly ;). Beautiful word, isn’t it?Β  Okay, back to the sprouts!

I Photobucket - Video and Image Hostingclover sprouts, yesiree, I do. They used to be first on my list before I started growing my own; now, since the broccoli sprouts are so incredibly delicious when I grow them, I have to say they are equal…I think…They are very, very mild and tasty. They are also extremely easy to clean (the hulls rinse away and even fall off by themselves when only slightly jarred, very easily). Ready in four days is also a plus!

They are not cruciferous; in fact, they are a member of the family alfalfa. Same cautions that go with overdoing alfalfa goes for clover, apparently; however, there are two sides. Perhaps, moderate consumption with these is best, as it seems these are some of the claims made for consuming too much soy. Also, alfalfa and Clover, by the way, are the two sprouts in the news as the ones to avoid because they are said to harbor salmonella. But, these were not organic (read more about this at the end of this blog post, below).

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Okay, more on my ORGANIC broccoli…just gimme more, more more

Methinks I’m getting better at this! Yes. I know this because, I’m getting a better, higher yield from the same amount of seeds. I think it comes down to one thing, basically — draining more efficiently. This, itself, is responsible for, pretty much, whatever possible problems arise from sprouting at home — drowning; molding; bacteria; low yield; and more, I’m sure. It can also be a contributor to the problem of poor air circulation. Anyway, I’ve no probs so far! It really is easy, though; so it’s not like I’m this super-ace sprouter yellow lol rolling VF. Follow directions — just do it as written, as I always say — and, guess what? It’ll work πŸ˜‰

What I have discovered, however, is that growing in the mason jars with these plastic lids…

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definitely works; BUT, using a cheesecloth, like so…

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works better yellow nod happy big

I was cautioned against cheesecloth*; so I opted for the plastic lid (which was what I found at the market; had their been a stainless steel screen, I’d have chose it) to begin my adventure. However, I found the cheesecloth, while an extra step to cut and rubberband it, to be MUCH better at draining the jar AND allowing more air into it. I haven’t seen the metal lids at any store so far — should just look for some sheets of stainless steel mesh, myself, and make my own (Home Depot??) — so I decided to order the sprouting screens from Mountain Rose Herbs, since I had to place an order there anyway. I really, really like the screens offered by SproutPeople; I like the varying meshes — this is very handy! No little-lost seedlings and no stuffy housing for the adult sprouts. However, I don’t like to order one thing from a site…had I other things to order from them, I’d have ordered those screens. If the MRH screens don’t work for me, I’ll consider the SproutP’s. I also like the plastic rings: This way, there is no warping or rusting like does happen, eventually, with the standard mason jar rings. Hmmm…now I’m regretting! We’ll see. Oh, and I also ordered the Sprouting Canister Kit from MRH…yea, yea, it even looks cheapy online; _lol but, the reality is, not much of a contraption is really needed for sprouting. It’s all very simple.green cutie cheeks

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Broccoli Sprouts ready for greening Wow! Don’t they look green already?! Not even from the market are the tastiest this beautiful:

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But, whoa, take a looksee — Super-Green Broccoli Sprouts, FINI!

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Awesome. Can absolutely see the difference — and only within hours of greening — they’ve been sunning themselves and it showssunshine bursting

Oh, and don’t forget: Your home-grown sprouts WILL taste better than any store-bought sprouts you can buy — I guarantee it. The fragrance is sooo *fresh* and the taste is not “brassica-y” like some broccoli sprouts; they are mild and sweet — yes, you read that right, sweetbaby-sweet, Baby ;). AND, not only that, if you like a crispiness/crunchiness, harvest a bit early. I noticed when I let them sprout longer, they are less crunchy. I like them both ways, actually. Sometimes the softer ones are nice, but sometimes those little crunchy-sweet things are yummy in an ETL-Salad (which, if you’re an ETLer, you know the difference between an “ETL-Salad” and a — well, salad).

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Even Noodles gets into the act ( Yes, it is at you he is winking πŸ˜‰ ). Here is a pic of his food — mixed, whole grains with broccoli sprouts (I’m not sure about giving him clover) and kale:

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A bit more on the sprouts — SproutPeople really emphasize the rinse and drain as being paramount to success; I have to agree. However, one of their instructions is to use a LOT of water and to use high pressure water flow;
as it happened, I was having waterflow issues at my kitchen sink and had a very, very weak stream at the time I started this jar method experimenting. I had no problems NOT using tons of water and NOT using high-pressure water. I simply filled the jar and did a really — really — good shaking and mixing so that all the sprouts were thoroughly wet. I kept the SproutPeople’s advice in mind about how important all this is; so I made sure. No problems whatsoever. Perhaps the swirling and shaking and TIME taken contributed…you know, as opposed to rushing my way through it very quickly — like a too-fast rinse and dump; instead, I made sure they had a nice “dip in the pool” and got their hair wetsmiley in jar
Still, it’s great information to keep in mind in case any issues arise or, if you simply want to use more water as a precaution. My position, however, is staunchly conserva — wow, don’t say that often πŸ˜‰ — tive on the waste issue. I’m a self-admitted mad recycler and non-waster of any and all things…well, I do my best.

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Now for a bit more on safety. The recent tomato-gate scandal has made the “contaminated veggies!” whiners all the more excited of late — oh, the inhumanity. What I find at the core of this issue — and which is, of course, IGNORED by the “media,” is twofold: One, the problem produce is ALWAYS non-organic; and, two, it is always linked back to an animal source. AND, not some ‘natural’ occurrence by some hapless pig wandering — or “free-roaming”/”cage-free” soul — about, stumbling onto a crop of vegetables; this is an environmental issue and a vegan issue — namely, the keeping of animals for human usage, food, mostly. (Just look up “factory farming” and you’ll get all the information you need)
Just as good, READ THIS (PLEASE) – “Pork’s Dirty Secret”. Read all the pages; it’s worth it.

Additionally, SproutPeople had a back-and-forth going with Whole Foods on the contamination issue and sprouts. Good, important read. [ Note the info about bleach!! More reason to grow your own :^) ]

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*This caution about cheesecloth (that it is, at times, a bacteria attraction) was mentioned atΒ  SproutPeople.com; however, the site is so incredibly dense, I cannot find the citation!

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Okay, I’ve gotten very carried away here…many issues I’ve touched on!

Signing out,

_Strix
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My Mighty, Mighty Juicer!

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I’ve been meaning to do product reviews — I’ve so, so many products about to post! So far, only the Aquasana has bore the brunt of my wrath ;D; and the Soap Nuts, a thumbs up. But I’ll start again with this: I bought a new juicer — I don’t know, in March or April? I think. Sometime like that.

I had researched and researched and decided on a GREEN STAR, which is a FABulous juicer (I know because I’ve used one); however, at the last minute, I came across THE SUPER ANGEL JUICER. (They have another site here.)

Looked great, but I was taken aback at the price! Still…I decided to do what I normally wouldn’t, and just go for it. Reason I was hesitant was because I was told I’d lose 50% of what I paid if I returned it. Not really sure on the legality of that (like I said, I did what I normally wouldn’t — meaning, I didn’t look it up to be sure!), but decided to give it a go. What sold me was the all-stainless construction! Wow, that’s impressive.

Here is a top shot of the front with the gears covered with the “Angel” piece (I don’t even use it; the juicer does not splash or anything, so it’s just a show piece anyway πŸ™‚ ).Shown are the cleaning items that come with it — a brush, a scraper — a wooden (nice) tamper, and two containers, one for catching the pulp; one for the juice ….

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It cannot take a big handful of greens in at one time without a bit of struggle. However, it goes very fast, as it really just pulls those leafies in — it’s a greens eating machine! It can handle the harder-textured greens in larger amounts, interestingly, and it prefers the stems go first. So, if you put in baby spinach, which is very soft, or mache, it will do better in smaller amounts. This, I think, because the gears are so close and it’s so tight and fine a strainer, it really needs the smaller amounts to get every last bit.Β  So, again, all this is good stuff: You put in smaller amounts and get MAXIMUM juice. Seriously, I’ve never seen or FELT such dry pulp!

Greens-pulp

Touch that pulp and it’s DRY, dry as a bone. When I was using my older (now discontinued) Omega Juicer(that’s the newer version of the one I have; same juicer/function as mine), I was going through tons of greens, having to filter the juice 3 times to remove pulp, and still had very — VERY — wet pulp, and lots of it. I’m already saving LOADS — loads, I tell you! — on greens. I don’t have to buy so much now in order to get the same amount of juice I get from the Angel. With organic kales, for example, at $2.59 a bunch (and they’re not big like they used to be) I’m saving a lot. It’s really amazing how much juice this thing squeezes out!

To test it, I strained it through a fine, jersey-knit tea strainer! Not a speck of pulp was left.

It was really difficult to get a clear shot of just HOW tight the screen is! But this is why not even little speckles of pulp get through:

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See what I mean?!shock_oh_no_animated

So there are a mere 3 items to deal with, basically — the two gears and the extractor screen.

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The Screen is FABULOUSLY all in ONE with the chute! It is one piece which attaches over the gears, then you simply pull down the latch to lock it securely in place — boom. Done. You are ready to juice! How convenient is that? Love it. The gears are heavy-duty pieces of equipment — literally. They are heavy, solid steel. Beautiful.
You put together and clean only these three items. No other juicer can boast so easy and FAST a clean up; seriously, it takes like a minute! If in a super hurry, you could easily just rinse and wash later; but, of course, only on occasion. Even stainless steel can garner buildup! But you don’t have to: with the brush provided, it’s really allΒ  you need.

So here is a shot of the front. The gears go here:

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Then you slide the strainer/screen/chute attachment right over them:

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Done!

Now all this quickness, beauty, and design ingenuity is whooey if it doesn’t juice extremely well (it better for the price!), right?
Honestly, I was almost willing it to not work, lol. I honestly didn’t think it would; I was expecting to be disappointed. But it is definitely the best home-juicer I’ve ever tried. Green Star is still Excellent, mind you, and I’d not discourage anyone from it; but for the ease, the perfect, CLEAR juice; and the stainless steel construction — if you have the money —Β  I gotta give it to the Super Angel. I do believe it could be less expensive :). I cannot attest to its longevity, of course. If it lasts a lifetime (which it better), then I’ll say it’s worth every penny πŸ˜‰

One thing I would change would be the making the chute bigger. It’s very small; but it’s no smaller than the Green Star, and, in fact, it may even be bigger. I think most people feel chutes are too small, though, anyway, right? πŸ™‚

I love that the juice is so clear with no pulp at all. It has nothing to adjust for various tasks, no attachments to deal with (or lose!) and it looks great, to boot. SUPER fast and efficient as all get out. It’s a single functioning machine: whatever the task, it’s the same procedure — convenient, yesss!
So, yea…very pleased, indeed πŸ˜€

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I’ll be reviewing more products too!

Pox_

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Borage, Purslane Update and Some Surprises…

and other gardening stuffs. Unfortunately, my borage and verdolaga (purslane) never grew past the stages I last posted in this post . green sad I don’t know why. I read that, particularly, purslane — isn’t “purslane” a whimsical-sounding word? I love it; reminds me of care-free times, almost childlike — is so easy to grow that it becomes hard to control. And, of course, it’s often pursued by gardeners who consider it an invasive weed! Hmph! green mad bigThe nerve of that verdolaga! Anyway, I’m very disappointed, to say the least. BUT! In keeping with my NY resolution to NOT COMPLAIN, I have to focus on the positive — and there’s a-plenty! I purchased some cruciferous seeds for a friend in another country, and, I guess, I accidentally forgot to pack one of them. I found the package for collards couple weeks ago lodged into the cushion on a chair! I figured it may be too late to grow, or something, so, haphazardly, sprinkled a ton onto some soil — didn’t even plant according to the directions or cover properly — and simply tossed some soil from the perimeter of the pot, lightly over some of the seeds. They grew!!! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting So cool! Funny. But doesn’t it happen that way often? One takes care to do things perfectly and, nothing; do it without stress or worry and, voila! I wonder if it’s the negativity thing…you know, the stress involved when over-thinking, fussing and worrying too much over something which is best just done simply. Could be. I do happen to believe in “vibes.” I get vibes from people and other non-human animals, why not plants? Makes sense…we talk to plants, don’t we? By the way, this reminds me: I purchased, “The Secret Life of Plants,” by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, which I haven’t gotten to yet! Must read it. I have always felt — what’s the word I’m looking for? — connection (?) around trees (especially as a child), have always adored plants, too; and I’ve always felt there was some sort of sentience to them — at least more than is given credit…Purely an innate, organic feeling, of course; I have no “knowledge” of such things — though personal anectodal experience… However, I’m looking forward to the book; perhaps, answers lie within! So, the collards have been growing like mad! And guess what? Now I have collard microgreens! I thinned them ’cause that’s what I’ve read (somewhere) is supposed to be done, right? Hopefully, the strongest will survive! I have no idea; potting may not even be ideal for collards…Talk about a novice gardener! So, anyway, I plucked a TON of little microgreens and am looking forward to them in my salad tonight! Whoo Hoo! (I forgot to get a picture :(. If I remember, I’ll post a picture of the microgreens I pulled, all cleaned and ready for my dinner). The pots were just full of them. It hurt to pluck them out, lol. OH, and speaking of salad, I had my buckwheat lettuce/sprouts last night!! OH MY MMMMMMMMMMMMMMomma! SOoooooooooo good. These are definitely going to be regulars! Honestly, I can’t believe how simple growing these greens and sprouts is…Here are the seeds I got from the market Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I did them with my cheesecloth method, just hoping it’d work! Had no clue, but was willing to try and…

The Buckwheat’s first sprouts πŸ˜€ : Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Closeup: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

By the way, these were done entirely indoors. I followed SproutPeople’s, Buckwheat Lettuce instructions; apparently, they need soil! Or a similar medium for growing. Since I’m not too keen on dealing with soil indoors, I’m going to be getting both vermiculite and the baby blanket — yes, I’m SO sold on sprouting my own food! I have no real garden space, but, how can I resist growing my own food?! I can grow tons of greens this way. I just have to get organized with scheduling, and so forth, so I have a steady stream of greens all the time. As I mentioned in my other post, I am through with the “…when I…” type of thinking — “When I get my perfect house with my perfect garden space…” Why wait? Do it now! And I am :D. Anyway, I just used some soil I had. Only a little bit was needed, which was great! Okay, Day 5: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting And this is last night! I think, Day 7 :D: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting DE-licious!!!!!!! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Next up, the powerhouse of nutrition: BROCCOLI SPROUTS. Did the old jar method: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting SUCCESS!!! Ready to eat and just GORGEOUS, besides being the BESTest Sprouts I’ve EVER had πŸ˜‰ Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Seriously, these were the most delicious sprouts I’ve had. (I’m perfectly willing to accept that it’s so, merely because I grew them :D) Actually, so far I can only speak for the broccoli because the buckwheat sprouts are something I have not knowingly eaten. I may have in a mixture of sprouts or a salad, but never alone to actually get the flavor, which is a mild and tastes like a lettuce. The collards, I’ll have to report back, since I’ve not knowingly eaten those either. Here is a quote about just how incredible Broccoli sprouts are: “New Research Finds High Levels Of Anti-Cancer Compounds in Broccoli Sprouts. Amazingly after 3 days sprouting, the compound Sulforaphane is between 10-100 times more concentrated in sprouting seed than in the mature vegetable – and it s a powerful blocking agent against cancer. Broccoli sprouts also contain Sinigrin which persuades the pre-cancerous cells to commit suicide. It is believed it has so powerful an effect that the occasional meal of young broccoli sprouts may destroy cancerous cells in the colon…” And that’s NOT hyperbole! Okay, back to my sprouting — the grains sprouting I’ve done in the past was very cool, but never this exciting! I guess because I never greened any of them. I would sprout them and dry them, or make rejuvelac (which i love and will make soon; it’s fabulous for digestion–and cheap! Will get a post about it…eventually). _Pox Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

New Fabric…

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I recieved my order of hemp-cotton fabrics and cotton threads from NearSea Naturals on Friday. They are just beautiful! I am very grateful they allowed me to order such small amounts — 1 yard each of three fabrics and some organic cotton thread.

The feel is soft and appears to be very strong. I love them!
Here is a closeup of the fabrics: Featherweight Natural Hemp-Cotton Jersey, Natural Hemp-Organic Cotton Muslin, and Lighter Natural Hemp-Cotton Jersey.

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My only problem is that I wanted everything organic :(. This, of course, was MY mistake! Oh, well, next time I’ll be more careful. I thought I was ordering organic, but it appears only the middle fabric was.

Closeup of the organic cotton threads:

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I am anxious to work with these! Such beautiful fabric makes me wish I was better at sewing :^).

I’ve been going over NearSea’s offerings and I am getting sucked in! They have so many nice-looking/soundiing fabrics…I’m SO-oooooo tempted! Maybe next time ;^O

Okay, I just HAD to add these cutie-pie pics: Presenting, Noodles, in Spring-pink linen ;^)

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Strix_

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