Getting our green groove on!

Amy’s picHello. :) I’m Amy, also known around the internets as amygeekgrl. Welcome to my groovy green blog party, part of the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom! I’m so glad you stopped by. :) Come in, have a seat and let me offer you something to eat.

Brownies with heart -2/7/08

Oat-nut scone with strawberry jam

Can I tempt you with some homemade granola or perhaps an oat-nut scone topped with strawberry jam or maybe you’re in the mood for a Grilled Panini with Provolone and Basil or a brownie baked with love? I have a fair bit to choose from here, as I enjoy cooking and baking a great deal. :) I just wish I had more time to do more of both.

Me and the kids on New Year’s Eve - 12/31/07Now that you’ve got something to munch on, let me tell you a little bit about myself. First and foremost, I’m a mom. I stay at home with my two amazing children – Ava (3 3/4 years old) and Julian (15 months). My husband Jody and I try to raise them with the philosophy of attachment parenting in mind, though we really just follow our instincts and do what feels right for our family.

I have a lot of passions that I like to write about on my blog. Some of them include home birth (my son was a footling breech and born at home), breastfeeding (I’ve shared my experiences of nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing), and informed healthcare decisions (why we delay/selectively vaccinate). I also write a lot about the environment (picking up trash in our neighborhood, composting, and recycling) and do a weekly Green Tip of the Week column with suggestions to make life a bit more eco-friendly. Some would call me a hippie or granola or crunchy, hence my blog title. ;)

One of my favorite quotes is “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” by Gandhi. I try to live by that philosophy both on my blog and in my life.

I also write about maternal health as a contributing editor on BlogHer, write reviews for Green Mom Finds and will soon be joining the team of Blissfully Domestic as the Eco-Diva.

I like to do giveaways here at Crunchy Domestic Goddess. In the past I’ve given away t-shirts, natural cleaners, reusable bags, books, toys, and even a digital camera. I currently have a giveaway going on right now for a bottle of Shaklee Basic H2 natural cleaner. It’s good stuff! The deadline to enter is March 13. Hope you’ll check it out and enter to win!

In addition to my blog, I also have two online stores – Attached At The Hip, featuring AP advocacy wear and more and home to the I make milk. What’s your superpower? shirt, and Cute As A Bug, featuring cute and original designs for babies, kids and adults. I enjoy photography (and love taking part in Best Shot Monday), reading, and hiking.

green balloonsYa know, this is my kind of party, very environmentally friendly – no paper or plastic waste and little carbon emissions! :) I hope you enjoyed your visit and will come back again.
Please feel free to sign up for my RSS feed or follow me on Twitter (amygeekgrl)! And, of course, be sure to leave me a comment so I can try to come check out your party too. :)

Now it’s time for the kids and I to get our party groove on, but feel free to visit the rest of the other party people linked up at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Julian’s got his cape and is ready to party! Ava’s got her cake and is ready to party!

Edited to add: I’ve donated a prize – an I make milk. What’s your superpower? short-sleeved t-shirt – to the Ultimate Blog Party. It is prize #141 on the prize list.

There are so many great prizes to choose from in this year’s Ultimate Blog Party, but my top fvie choices are: Bead Dangle Photo Tile Necklace by Elemental Memories, Marketing for Entrepreneurs by Lis Garrett, Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless skin care line by Geggie, Go BPA Free Sippy Sampler Kit by The Soft Landing and Rocking Horse by A Rocking Horse To Love. If my top five picks are already taken, then I’d also love any of the following (in order of preference) #11, 12, 15, 2, 3, 14, 32, 34, 37, 70, 72, 79, 87, and 5 or anything related to a toddler or preschooler. :)

Pumpkin black bean soup recipe

For everyone drooling over my Best Shot Monday post, here’s the recipe. It’s quick and easy and both of my kids love it. :)

It’s reportedly one of Rachel Ray’s recipes and I think my friend Nicole gave it to me. (Thanks, Nicole!) My comments/changes are in parenthesis.

Julian enjoying pumpkin and black bean soup - 2/29/08Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
4-6 servings; Cook 20 min, 5 min prep

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (1 turn of the pan)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups canned vegetable stock, found on soup aisle (I use a few cups of water and a few teaspoons of vegetarian chicken base here)
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (I blend it first so that it’s not chunky, since a few family members don’t like tomatoes)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree (avoid buying Libby – it’s owned by Nestle)
1 cup corn, frozen or canned (drain and rinse if canned)
1 cup heavy cream (I use 1% milk, but you can use soy milk as well)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I don’t add this since my kids don’t do spicy foods)
coarse salt
20 sprigs fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish

1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add oil.
3. When oil is hot, add onion.
4. Saute onions 5 minutes.
5. Add broth, tomatoes or tomato sauce, black beans, pumpkin puree and corn.
6. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste.
8. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.
9. For Vegan option use Soy Cream or Soy milk.

Partying your way to more blog readers

Last week, I wrote a list of things you can do to increase your blog traffic. And now here’s another idea that’s sure to be a lot of fun! Ultimate Blog Party 2008If you haven’t yet heard of The Ultimate Blog Party sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom, you may be living under a rock. ;) Just kidding. But seriously I’m finally getting on board before time runs out, am planning to get my groove on and be a part of the party. I hope you will join in the fun too! It looks like a great way to find some new blogs and attract new readers to your own blog. Oh, and there will be prizes too. Gotta love prizes! :)

Here’s a bit more about it from 5 Minutes for Mom:

Last year’s Ultimate Blog Party was a blast with almost 1000 participating bloggers. So make sure you don’t miss out on this one. It is a fantastic opportunity to introduce your blog to a bunch of new people and to find new blogs that you will want to read regularly.

As well, The Ultimate Blog Party features tons of prizes.