Favorites

I enjoy holistically living a healthy life. What does that mean? It means I try to look at the big picture. My passion for organic gardening and healthy living has taken me on a journey of trying various products, tools, and foods that align with my values. If living an organic, natural, and sustainable life is something you’re interested in, feel free to check out my favorites below. I am constantly reviewing and adjusting the listings on this page. These products (some are affiliate links) are ones I have researched and chosen to use in my own home and garden. 

Last updated March 15, 2021

I’ve divided this list into 5 sections: 

Gardening Favorites

Seeds: Botanical Interests is my favorite seed source. They carry a lot of organic and non-GMO seeds.

Seed Favorites: Botanical Interests

Beginner Gardener Tools: For beginner gardeners, I recommend a few basic items without breaking the bank: Gloves to protect your hands, garden shoes to protect your feet, and a hand trowel for working in your garden. Having clippers for trimming and harvesting is also helpful. And if you don’t have access to a hose, you’ll want a watering can.

Raised Beds: If this is your first time building a raised bed, I recommend using pine because it’s cost-effective. But if you’re looking to upgrade your raised beds, these are the cedar wood boards and corner brackets I purchased from Gardener’s Supply Company. I wasn’t able to find sanded cedar wood boards locally so I decided to order them online.

Plant Stakes: Sometimes your plants need extra support. There are 3 different types that I use: tomato stakes, pepper stakes, and plant props for small seedlings.

Garden Harvesting tools: Depending on what I’m harvesting, I’ll use kitchen shears or clippers in my garden.

Gardener Gift Ideas: Hamama creates microgreen kits that are a super fun gift idea for anyone interested in growing their own food. These plush succulents make great home decor gifts for gardeners. If you know a gardener, this garden kneeler and seat also make a great gift.

Extreme Temperatures: If you live somewhere where it gets hot or cold, you might want to invest in frost blankets and/or shade cloths. I use both here in Florida.

pH Meter: If you are interested in checking your soil’s pH, you can use a Soil pH Meter.

Soil Test: To test the macronutrients in your soil, you can use a Rapitest Soil Test Kit.

Garden Planner: Writing things down is super helpful. You can record what works and what doesn’t. You can also design your garden with a garden planner.

Seed Starting: I like to use these 3″ square peat pots for starting seedlings indoors along with my Jumpstart grow light.

Garden Maintenance

Mulch: Mulch helps to keep moisture in, weeds at bay, and regulate temperatures. You can use fresh woodchips or leaves. You can also purchase untreated mulch or EZ-Straw. I use mulch around my raised beds and straw in my raised beds.

Soil Building: When building your own potting mix or soil mix, coco coir and perlite can help to retain moisture and allow for aeration.

Compost Tumbler: Composting is one of those things that eventually a lot of gardeners start doing, even if they didn’t originally intend to. I’ve had this Yimby Tumbler Composter for a few years now and it has held up great. And I love knowing my kitchen scraps aren’t just going in the garbage. You can also use a compost starter that helps to speed up the composting process.

Organic Fertilizer: In addition to making your own compost, you can also purchase compost. Compost and cow manure are two common organic fertilizers. You can also use others that focus on a specific nutrient or mixes. I commonly use blood meal and bone meal along with azomite in my garden. When I found the Down to Earth natural fertilizer brand I fell in love. A couple of my favorite organic blends from them include Vegetable Garden Mix and Citrus Mix.

Fertilizer Favorites: Down to Earth

Organic Pest Control: cold-pressed neem oil and Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap are two ingredients you can use to make your own pesticide sprays. Essential oils, including peppermint, can help deter pests when diluted. Diatomaceous Earth and Bt (Thuricide) are two other pesticides I would recommend purchasing if you need to. Yellow sticky traps and row covers also help to control pests. For larger animals, a fence or bird netting can help.

Organic Fungicide: cold-pressed neem oil and baking soda are two ingredients you can use to make your own fungicide sprays. I also recommend copper fungicide if milder sprays don’t work.

Harvesting Tools: I use kitchen sheers and hand clippers to harvest my vegetables and herbs. 

Kitchenware Favorites

Food Processor: My ninja food processor has been a faithful companion for chopping and puréeing food. This came in handy when I started growing vegetables to make my own salsa and since then I’ve done a lot of cooking where I’ve needed it.

Blender: I have two blenders I use. I use a 900w Nutribullet for smoothies and I use an immersion blender to make soup, salad dressings, pancakes, waffles, and blending my coffee.

French Press: I’ve been using this Williams Sonoma Stainless-Steel French Press for a couple of years now. I went from a drip brew to an espresso maker and finally the french press. Each time I upgraded was because the previous machine broke. Since a French press doesn’t require anything electrical it’s going to last a long time, is affordable, and makes a great cup of coffee.

Preserving: There are many different ways you can preserve your food. Three popular ways including water bath canning, pressure canning, and fermenting. I use Ball jars for all three of these methods. I also have a water bath canning kit, a pressure canner, and a fermenting kit to add to my Ball jars.

Food & Supplement Favorites

Cod Liver Oil: When it comes to supplements, I prefer whole foods and like to avoid anything synthetic. A lot of cod liver oil has synthetic vitamins A and D added back after being processed. This cold-pressed cod liver oil is a good source of naturally occurring omega 3, vitamin A, and vitamin D.

Cold and Flu: On the rare occasions that I feel like I might be coming down with something I gravitate towards C&F Herbal, elderberry syrup, and oil of oregano.

Smoothie Ingredients: I love my daily smoothies of superfood pact nutrients. Here’s a list of the latest dry ingredients I’ve been adding to my smoothies: flaxseed, cacao powder, collagen powder, and mushroom powder.

Books: Food: What the Heck Should I Eat is one of my favorites. Dr. Hyman is a great source when it comes to health and the insight he gives on what to eat and what to avoid. The 28 Days lighter Diet is also a great book on women’s health. I reference it monthly, while it could be used for dieting, I personally haven’t used it with that intention. The information has been priceless for me.

Household Item Favorites

Diffuser: It took me a long time to stop using candles in my house. I have a sensitive nose and I love smelling scents. Now I use a diffuser with Plant Therapy Essential Oils. Not only do they smell good, but they also have properties that can help you wake up, focus, and relax without burning candles. 

Personal Care Favorites

Dental: I love smart floss because it expands to clean better, and I usually add a couple of drops to my floss of this mouth blend oil to kill germs. I also use a tongue scraper in the mornings.

Hair Care: I currently use Avalon Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner. Avalon is a brand recommended by the EWG for using fewer toxic chemicals that can cause damage over time. This is my favorite wood hairbrush handmade in Italy.

Makeup: 100% Pure and Beauty Counter are the only two companies I purchase makeup from these days. 100% Pure doesn’t use coal tar for its pigments which is practically unheard of (even for most natural companies). Instead, 100% Pure uses fruit pigment (their mascara smells like blueberries). From 100% Pure, I use their blush, bronzer, eyeliner, and mascara. From Beauty Counter, I use their foundation, concealer.

Makeup Favorites: 100% Pure and Beauty Counter

Sunscreen: I use this face sunscreen and this body sunscreen. They are both physical sunscreens, recommended by the EWG. Because they’re physical sunscreens they do create a slight white coating. The body sunscreen is a spray, it doesn’t go on super thick, it’s spreadable, and it smells good to me. The face sunscreen is a thicker cream, but manageable because I only use it on my face, and it smells good.

EWG

The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. They have a database of personal care products that is one of my favorites. They have 80,000+ products and whether or not they would recommend them based on their ingredients (such as parabens, phthalates, and aluminum). Whenever I’m interested in using a product on my skin or hair that looks healthy, I’ll cross-check it with their database.

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