Wine O’clock

Oh hey… it’s that time again! My favorite time of the day!

If you are not familiar with wineology, Wine O’clock is the time of day when the kids go to bed and you get to drink wine. 🙂 It’s really quite epic actually… especially for stay at home moms who do it all! 

I know this post doesn’t really have anything to do with sustainability or eco-friendliness… but it’s all I’ve got right now. I realized that I haven’t done a blog post in about a month and I felt bad and since I’m having an awesome wine o’clock, I figured I’d type something out. It’s hard to remember to blog when you’re trying to keep your facebook people informed on important stuff as well as run 1…2…3…4…5…6… sheesh I have too many facebook groups/pages to run. 

I must say that, before I talk anymore about wine, that I love my kids more than anything in the world, even wine and sleep and chocolate. They make getting up worth while and deserve the best mom that I can be, so that’s why I have my wine in the evenings, on occasion 🙂 

OK SO WINE IS GREAT WINE IS GOOD AND WINE IS LOVE ❤ LOL. I need to throw out a big thank you to my mom who got me hooked 🙂 I even have a tattoo on my back of grapes that is partially because of her and her love of wine and growing grapes in her yard. 

Here’s some pics that I love about wine o’clock and such. GOODNIGHT! 

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Le Garbagio!

Ever since the weather has started to get nicer I have been re-committing to cleaning up my community. I really look forward to warmer spring weather and long afternoons spent with my ipod, Chevelle and my garbage grabber!

I just don’t understand why picking up garbage is such a foreign idea to most people, and why most people don’t do it. I find it extremely enjoyable and satisfying to get out in nature, make my neighborhood and environment look nicer and do something that is so easily in my power and does so much good! I don’t have millions of dollars to donate to the charities that I support, I don’t have political influence to make decisions happen to benefit our planet but I do have the power to bend down and pick up shit that inconsiderate assholes drop! Such a simple concept and has so many beneficial aspects for the environment. 

Worse off, why do people think they have the right to throw their garbage on the ground at such an alarming rate? Is it not bad enough that we are contributing to massive landfills that are polluting our soil and groundwater that we need to also pollute everywhere else too? It’s utter laziness and disregard for nature. I hate it. I would love to catch someone actually littering in front of me someday… I will go angry environmentalist on their asses! 

I run a facebook page called Give a Shit about Littering and am trying to use it to inspire others to get out there and clean up nature, use more environmentally friendly products and reduce their plastic purchases 🙂 I will share a few pictures from a few of my recent garbage runs in my neighborhood and down by a creek in my area. Enjoy! 

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Just a few that mean a lot to me :)

“If I am to be a voice for animals, then how should I speak? Am I to whisper, when they are screaming in pain? Am I to be calm, when they tremble in fear? Am I to shout for mercy, as their throats are being slit? Tell me how I need to speak- for you to grant them their freedom…” ~Davegan Raza.

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All life, not just yours, is important. The choices you make every day effect many creatures that are equally deserving of life. Make choices that are peaceful ❤

Family Cloth & Diva Cup! Less disgusting than the “norm”!!

Soooo this is going to take the private right out of your privates! Yes, I’m going to go there and expose some intimate stuff that doesn’t get talked about often but should! It’s important and it’s a hugely easy way to get a bit greener for people who care about their health and the health of the planet 🙂 

My family has been using only 100% recycled, unbleached and packaged in recyclable plastic toilet paper for a long time now… but after reading another crunchy mom blog awhile back I decided to take it one step further so that we could cut down drastically in how much toilet paper we buy. Also, being the minimalist that I try to be, I didn’t feel the need to go buy a bunch of fancy “cloths” or containers or anything… I just cut up an old towel, dish cloths, a stained receiving blanket and more recently, I cut up some old bibs and some socks that had holes in them. I have a plastic bag beside both toilets in my house and that’s where the dirty ones go. I thought, initially, that it would end up smelling after a day or two and I’d have to find a more airtight solution, but that has not been the case at all! We only use the cloths for #1s, so maybe that’s part of it, but whatever the reason I am happy to have such an easy set up and I just throw all the dirty cloths in with the laundry when the bags get full. Besides using them for the bathroom, we also use them for diaper changes, face wipes, cleaning and nose blowing. No more need for plastic packaged baby wipes, kleenex or anything else wasteful! We are still only using soap nuts (and loving them) for all of our laundry (with vinegar in the rinse cycle for cloth diapers) and they work great for cleaning everything without having all the toxic crap and perfumes! The fact that I already have to do laundry all the time with a house of 4 and cloth diapering, it makes no difference adding a little bit more to the cycle 🙂 

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Speaking of cycle… If you have never heard of a Diva Cup or a Moon Cup… then this is definitely going to be interesting for you! What it is is a silicone cup that you insert inside yourself (like a tampon) that collects your period until you need to empty it. It’s a fantastic creation that eliminates the constant waste from packaging with pads/tampons, no chemicals going on or in your body, no waste going into the environment, and no worries of getting toxic shock like you would with tampons. I was told about this invention a few years ago when I was in a totally ignorant state of mind and thought it was a disgusting idea… but really, what is more disgusting? Sitting in your own period with a pad… or sticking a chemically laden tampon inside yourself and then having to put it in the garbage or flush it? This is definitely the least disgusting option available 🙂 It’s really not that messy and it’s really comfortable once you figure out how to get it placed properly. I don’t even notice I’m wearing it and you can wear it for up to 12 hours! I sometimes use one of my cloths just sitting in my underwear, it doesn’t fall out or anything lol, and have never had any messes or problems at all. I can also report that after not using pads/tampons for close to a year, I have noticed that my periods are lighter and my symptoms are much less extreme. I feel almost normal most day… I’m sure that the lack of chemicals and hormones and crap in my diet and lifestyle these days is a big help with that as well but I would like to think Diva Cup helped a bit too 🙂 

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I really hope that more people get on board with these sustainable and eco-friendly practices as they are great ways to save money, your health and the health of the planet. NO LOSE SITUATIONS!! 🙂 

Who says you have to give up ANYTHING to be vegan?!

Sooo I don’t care what all the nay sayers say… but these nachos were possibly better than any other nachos I had when I was vegetarian or omnivore!!

Even hubby, who is still sometimes skeptical about the vegan foods, thought they were bad ass and ate a huge plate. He was worried that all the “fake meat and cheese” would make it taste weird, but he was pleasantly surprised!

I will call these “Epic Vegan Loaded Nachos”Image

 

Dips are pineapple salsa and refried black beans

Ingredients: organic stone ground tortilla chips, veggie ground round with organic mexican seasoning, avocado, tomato, red onion, red pepper, tofutti mozza, daiya cheddar and daiya havarti jack.

Would have also been great with tofutti sour cream or guacamole too! Oh and green onions, but we didn’t have any. 

Anyways, share with all of your meat/cheese loving friends as this would please anyone!! 

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Peace… it begins on your plate ❤ 

Jammin!

It’s cold, it’s gloomy and I’m out of jam. What to do!? Ooooh what to do…. 

Hey wait! Didn’t I freeze buttloads of berries and fruit this summer? Heck yes I did! Oooh so happy, not having to go out and buy more jam or sit here jam-less! 

I decided to make blackberry jam but then thought… why not kick it up a notch! Add some apples… and thought hey! I have tonnes of cranberries too, add some of those too 🙂 Add some sugar, add some lemon juice and a tiny bit of water… 

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Looking goooood! Stir stir stir, cook cook cook….

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Mmmm tastes yummy but too chunky and seedy! Bust out the blender and puree it 🙂 Then strain it through cheesecloth…

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Stained red & sore hands and a messy kitchen later… 

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The “fruits” of my labor! This should last awhile and yummmm it tastes good. My 5 year old said “Make sure you put some jam and crackers in my lunch tomorrow!”… Yessir boss mam! Will do! But for now…. 

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Yummmmmm ❤ 

“Green” Valentine’s Day

This year’s Valentine’s Day was one of many firsts. The first that our 5 year old had to make her own cards as she is in school now, the first being vegan and the first with some new and eco-friendly traditions to carry on through the years to come 🙂

Some of the ways we turned our Valentine’s Day GREEN are:

Made all of the kindergarten cards from scratch using scissors, paper, glue, markers, crayons and stickers.

Made my hubby an edible (vegan) gift from scratch with the help of our 5 year old, I even used beet juice to colour the frosting pink!

Hubby made my card with the help of our 5 year old from scratch

Hubby re-used a heart shaped box from a previous Valentine’s Day and had it filled with vegan chocolates for me

Instead of buying him anything, I took him out for lunch (he ate vegetarian, I ate vegan) and instead of him buying me anything (besides the chcocolates) he is paying for my next tattoo!! (tomorrow, eek!)

Instead of buying anything new or junk foodish for my kids I took them to Value Village (a thrift store) and let them pick out a few things. My 5 year old got 2 hand made dolls and a party dress and my 1 year old got some wooden turtle that you pull along with a string. I also picked up a glass french press coffee maker for my hubby since I gave away our old plastic one and he has really been missing coffee since. All of that for under 20$ and there was no packaging/waste and we have a new family tradition 🙂

I hope everyone reading had a warm & loving Valentine’s Day that was as eco-friendly as possible 🙂

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Vegan, Month 1!

Well it’s been over a month now of my vegan life change and I know I’ll never be able to go backwards from this. Living cruelty free means a great deal to me as I truly feel that humans are not above other creatures and should not use them for our own personal gain. I’m dedicated to this cause and really embracing the new food choices available to me 🙂 Of course I have always loved ice cream, cheese, etc my whole life and rather than think about never having them again, I think of all of the things I can have, the other yummy alternatives, and keep on smiling! 

So far I have discovered a delicious vegan cream cheese brand called Tofutti and a mouthwatering vegan yogurt brand called Amande! They both taste just as good if not better than normal dairy kinds I have had in the past. As for hard cheese I have only tried 2 kinds, one was a rice based kind that I found really gross and the other is Daiya and it isn’t that bad. I have tried the mozza shreds, cheddar wedge and spicy havarti wedge. When mixed with other food it tastes good as a replacement for cheese but on it’s own it is a bit weird after only eating real cheese for 27 years. It will take some getting used to but I am committed to not having dairy anymore so really enjoying checking out what my other options are! 

As for milk substitutes I am still making my own nut milk (mainly almond) all the time and occasionally buying other types when they’re on sale, just to see what they’re like. The most tasty kind I have bought yet is a brand called So Delicious Organic Vanilla Coconut Milk 🙂 It’s the only kind (besides my own home made nut milks) that I could actually drink a glass of and enjoy. All the other kinds I have tried so far were more suitable for adding to coffee/tea, baking and cooking. 

Below are a few pictures of some vegan-licious creations that I thought up. I hope you enjoy and if you want more, here’s a link to my facebook album of vegan dishes 🙂 

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This is my MEAN GREEN salad! Sweet (with green apple and honeydew) and zesty with lemon and cilantro! 

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Here’s my “Cream” of Broccoli soup! I used broccoli, potatoes and a few other veggies as the base of this soup with some veggie stock and soy milk. 

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Here is my favorite breakfast/lunch! Organic vegan flakes with vegan french vanilla yogurt, bananas, chia seeds and a few other goodies. YUM! 

Merry Christmas & New Years Resolutions!

Well it’s been almost a year since I started this blog and this journey and I’d love to thank every one of you that’s come along with me! I am really looking forward to 2013 as my first FULL year of living in an aware and cruelty free state of mind.

Our “Nothing New” Christmas was fairly successful and I was able to find mostly everything on my list for everyone either used, home made or from local vendors. I thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas and how challenging yet eco-friendly it was and look forward to doing even better next year! 

After spending the Christmas holidays with family and being forced out of my plastic free, organic, vegetarian household and forced to defend myself over and over for my choices, being put in situations that are less than comfortable and not able to live to the standard that I’ve become used to… I have become re-dedicated if nothing less. I am hoping to make even bigger changes in the New Year to make a difference in the world, my life and my health. 

Going vegan is #1 on my list. I realize this will be very hard for someone like me who has always loved ice cream, chocolate, cheese, and egg products… but after watching enough documentaries, realizing that there’s no real “humane” and “sustainable” way of farming these products on a large scale… I just don’t want to support it anymore. I also realize that it isn’t really possible to put my 2 children on a totally vegan diet until they are older and I’m ok with that… nor do I expect my hubby to go vegan. But I’m going to do my best for myself as the guilt is just getting worse and worse! 

I might also try going gluten free as well as starting some kind of yoga/breathing to increase my well being 🙂 I am lucky enough to have a few friends who are knowledgeable in the gluten free world as well as the yoga world, so I’ll be good to go on that front. 

Anywho! I am still on holidays right now and having a hard time focusing on writing but wanted to at least do a little update. I’ll leave you with some pictures of a few of my home made gifts and one of my favorite videos of a song that has lots of fantastic quotes from famous people. Enjoy! Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grmhh8i4UCA&feature=share

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Going nutty and milking my nuts!

LOL I could not help it. I have wanted to make nut milk jokes for so long… I apologize for the long stretch of no posts! Busy busy! 

So I have not bought any cows milk in probably close to a month and a half… and I don’t think I will buy any more anytime soon. I am becoming very fond of my home made nut milks, how much more eco-friendly they are and how it is actually saving me some $$ as well! 

One 1ltr glass bottle of local, organic cows milk costs me over $4. It is, of course, worth it to have a less cruel, chemical free milk BUT it really does add up quickly so I think switching to hand made nut milks is going to be my newest life change 🙂 

It’s so easy to do, I wish I had taken a chance and done it sooner in my life! I have tried a few packaged varieties of milk alternatives and some were OK, but really I would rather make my own, save on the packaging, money and appreciate every drop I consume since I made it myself! The kinds of pre packaged milks I have tried so far are soy (my least favorite), hemp (my second least favorite), rice, coconut and almond. It’s nice to buy a container or two of organic milk alternative when it goes on sale just to have in the cupboards for cooking/etc, but it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as home made! 

All it takes is 1 cup of whatever nut you want to use, so far I have done Almond, Pecan and Hazelnut, soaked for a day in water, rinse, then put in the blender with 4 cups (or more/less depending on your taste preferences) and blend on high for 2 minutes. You can add a bit of sweetener if you wish, I have used agave nectar and maple syrup in the past and both tasted good, as well as some vanilla extract if you want too. After you blend it, strain it through a cheese cloth and you’re done! Should make about 1 ltr. I can easily buy many different kinds of organic, raw nuts in the bulk bins at the grocery store and it is much cheaper per 1ltr of the nut milk versus cows! 

One of the other awesome things about making your own nut milk is the left over nut crumbles in the cheese cloth do not need to be wasted! You can keep them (fridge for a week or so or freeze indefinitely) and add it to your cooking/baking. I love to add them to oatmeal, use them like breadcrumbs in cooking, add it to any kind of baking… there are so many ways to make use of the left over nuts! 

Next on my list of milks to try making are flax, walnut and coconut. I will hopefully post about them and let you know how they turn out 🙂 The bottom two pictures are my almond milk and pecan milk. My old glass bottles from the organic cows milk have come in handy! 

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