Tag Archives: cloth diapers

Earth Week Giveaway!!

16 Apr

It’s Earth Week – the week leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd.

Do you have anything fun for planned to help your local community?

Start composting
Commit to recycling
Pick up trash in your neighborhood
Plant a tree
Bike or walk instead of drive
Talk to people about climate change
Conserve energy – use cold water to do your laundry, hang clothing to dry, shut off lights!
Use cloth diapers
Reuse instead of create refuse
Campaign for green initiatives

You don’t have to save the world, you just have to do one or two things. If everyone does one or two things, that DOES add up to change. And when people start seeing change, it makes them want to see MORE change.

One of the biggest changes that I’ve made in the last year is embracing the idea of “reuse.” After starting a cloth diaper service with my family, it helped me put things into perspective. Disposable diapers are the perfect example of planned obsolescence: this describes a product which was produced and manufactured with the intention of it having limited use. It is produced so that you have to throw it away and buy a new one. Disposable diapers are used one time and then dumped into a landfill with BILLIONS of other diapers. The millions and millions of resources and dollars that go into producing disposables each year is literally a waste. Reusable diapers (aka cloth diapers) are produced so that they can be washed and reused over and over again. They use less resources. The contain fewer harmful materials. They lessen a family’s carbon footprint with every reuse.

So that got me thinking about what other stuff I throw away. If you look through your garbage can right now, I can guarantee the majority of what’s in there is packaging. Packaging from stuff you buy, stuff you eat, stuff that comes with your clothes and shoes, just stuff. Just packaging. In 2011, I was buying ziplock baggies almost every time I went to the grocery store. They were the easiest thing to dump snacks and lunches into. I used them to organize things: paperclips, change, nuts and bolts, nails, nail polish, hair ties, etc. In 2012, I really started thinking about how much stuff we throw away, where it comes from, and how we can cut down. It occurred to me that our main issue is packaging.

I started collecting containers of all shapes and sizes. I knew I wanted all of my food to be stored in BPA-free containers. I washed out glass jars from pasta sauces and apple sauces and pickles, boiled them all, and stuck them in my pantry. I invested in some BPA-free glass Snapware containers and I recycled all the Gladware and miscellaneous containers I had collected which weren’t BPA-free. I cringe every time I see someone heat up leftovers in one of those plastic containers that Chinese food comes in. That low grade of plastic is full of chemicals which break down before we even use them. It leaches into our food, ESPECIALLY when its heated in a microwave. Not for me.

So here’s a chance for you to make a positive change in your food storage.

BPA-FREE CONTAINER GIVEAWAY (courtesy of Mira Brands)


Mira Brands has given me the opportunity to test out their new line of stainless steel, food-grade, BPA-free containers.  I used them all week long for my lunches and for storing some yummy fruit at home.  Both of these thumbs are pointing to the sky, people.  They kept out the smells, kept my food fresh, were conveniently sized, and durable.  I dropped one which was full of strawberries and cottage cheese, and that lid stayed put!   If you’re looking for something larger, there are also larger ones, which are available through their Amazon store) Just knowing that they are free of toxic materials like BPA, phthalates, PVC, and lead made me feel confident in my container.

Mira is giving one lucky Sole For The Soul (SFTS) reader their own set of stainless steel containers!  The giveaway begins right now and runs until Sunday at 5:00 p.m. EST.  Then, a winner will be chosen by random draw.

Here’s how to enter:

1.  Leave a comment on this post about something awesome you are going to do for Earth Day/Earth Week.

2.  Like SOLE For The Soul on Facebook by clicking here.  If you all ready like SFTS on Facebook, leave a separate comment telling me you are all ready a fan.

The winner will be announced on Monday.  Good luck!!  🙂


Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

14 Oct

Fall is in full swing and I have been insanely busy.

My cloth diaper/laundry service is in the process of moving into our new facility, I’m working on my graduate research AND I was recently elected to the executive board of the Real Diaper Industry Association.  Needless to say, I have had very little time to blog.

Here is a little teaser that I’ll leave you with until I can devote more time to SFTS:

Ravioli with Pumpkin Sauce (from Cooking During Stolen Moments)

Melt 1/4 c. butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Then, add 1 medium, minced shallot and 3 cloves minced garlic; cook until the shallot and garlic begin to brown.  Then, add 1 can of pumpkin, 1/8 t. nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  I let this sit for a few minutes to integrate the flavors and grab the next ingredients.  You will need 1/2 c. chicken stock and 3/4 c. milk.  Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens up – I tasted while its thickening, adding more salt and pepper.  Then, right before spooning over the prepared ravioli – I added a 1/4 c. of flat-leaf parsley.

It took the ravioli longer to cook than it took to make this sauce from scratch.  Just sayin’.

It was AMAZING!  I was hesitant to dive into Pinterest, but the recipes I try get better and better.

Wheelin’ and Dealin’

24 May


We are leaving this weekend to pick-up Changin’ Time‘s brand new shiny diaper delivery truck!!!

I’m beyond ecstatic!

But that means I need to get some research work done before I leave,

so you will just have to check my Twitter to find out what I’m up to until Monday…

I’m sure I will have a TON of stories to tell you ♥

SOLE Sloppy Joes

18 May

In the spirit of my last post, I will completely abandon my cookbooks.

Trust me, this doesn’t need directions.

How can the sloppy joe be SOLE food you ask?

Simple.  Organic ground beef, locally made bread, and sloppy joe sauce made right here in the good old state of PA by a family-owned company.

Yeah, if you’re from Pittsburgh you’ve seen their commercial.  Emphasis on multi-generational family-owned business; horrible acting.  Similar to the commercial I recently starred in for Changin’ Time.

“We’ll save YOU a lot of money!”  Okay, okay lets be serious.

Not too shabby.  We got exactly 6 sloppy joes out of this, so the nutrition facts ended up being realistic to actual portion size.  How does this compare to Manwich?  Delgrosso has slightly higher caloric level and slightly more more sugar.  However, it is lower in sodium than Manwich.

Ready for it?

NO PRESERVATIVES and gluten free (I don’t really know too much about gluten, but yay for people who need it!).

See those ingredients?  I know all of them.  And they are located in Tipton, PA.  105 miles away, so yes I would consider that part of our regional foodshed.

Manwhich ingredient list (source): Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Less than 2% of: Salt, Sugar, Dehydrated Onions, Dehydrated Red and Green Bell Peppers, Chile Pepper, Tomato Fiber, Spices, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dehydrated Garlic, Carob Bean Gum, Natural Flavors.

Yeah, 30 calories and a little sugar isn’t going to change my mind now.  I have no idea what most of those ingredients are, let alone what they will do to my organs.

Bonus Fact:  There is a Delgrosso Amusement Park. Randommmmmmmm.

Mock all you want, this sloppy joe is SOLE and so worth it.

Besides, Delgrosso Sloppy Joe Sauce was 10/$10 at Giant Eagle last week.  So this entire meal cost next to nothing.

♥ This meal really is SOLE for my soul ♥

Brew in Beechview

10 May

Sorry for my long absences, I’m in the middle of my graduate research AND Changin’ Time is really taking off.  Both faster and slower that I could ever imagine.

Shameless plug:

Since I’ve been frequenting Beechview a little bit more, I thought I would do a follow-up post from the Crested Duck.  I have decided not to share my secret access to the aging room just yet.

Instead, since its nice and chilly in Pittsburgh today, I am turning my attention to coffee.  The best invention ever.

And Brew – a community-owned coffee house on Broadway Ave. – is what I’m craving.

Adorable.  When the weather is nice, there is some great seating out front on the patio/sidewalk.

My first visit to Brew was a little overwhelming!  Everything is adorable so I of course wanted pics of everything.  I wandered around with my iced chai latte like a creep and scoped out the place.

There was a dog there with her owner, which hello…..I have the attention span of a goldfish sometimes and I can’t walk past a dog without having a full conversation with it.

Then I got sucked into a conversation with a ex-New Yorker, a violin maker to be exact.  He was chatting me up about the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, which is supposed to be incredible.  They have been added to my super secret list of places/things to do.  🙂

During our conversation, I noticed this adorable little deli board, which visually explains how each drink is made:

We didn’t have time to sit and relax, but if we did – I would have picked this spot:

Brew is a pretty neat idea: after expenses and wages are paid, the “profits” of the shop get invested back into community projects.  I wish Homestead would wake up and smell the coffee.  (Don’t judge me.)

To keep a short story short – Brew is worth a visit.  Get like me ♥

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