Archive for July, 2012

DIY Oregon Grape Jam

So I’ve never canned before in my life. Never even thought I’d be able to do it if I tried. Turns out the new me who makes things herself and goes against the grain is actually good at jam making! 

So there are these blue berries growing all over the place and I read up on them from my favorite foraging website so I knew they were edible… but after picking a few and finding out they are disgusting in flavor, I didn’t think I’d be able to use them for anything. But, I wasn’t ready to give up on this bountiful supply of free fruit, so I turned to my friend google and found this recipe for Oregon Grape Jam 🙂 

The other day I went picking in my townhouse complex and after an hour I had 5.5 cups of berries. I was able to make the jam pretty easily (with some tips and tools from an awesome friend) and came out with 3 jars of delicious jam! The berries, although nasty when raw, taste somewhere between a blackberry and a raspberry jam once cooked. So yummy! 

Tonight I had a friend come over and between her and I, we picked my townhouse complex clean of berries and ended up with over 9 cups worth! We came in and made the jam together and split it 🙂 I love have a jamming buddy, we be jammin! ❤ lol

Here’s some pics of the process. Berries on the bush, berries in the bowl, juice/pulp in the pot, seeds/skins taken out and put in a bowl and the end result!  Enjoy! ImageImageImageImageImage

Advertisements

Outraged

Ok so its time for a bit of a rant. I hate, and I mean hate with every fiber of my being, people who kill animals for sport. The only reason I can think of condoning animal death at the hands of humans is if someone is starving and has absolutely nothing else. Recently it has been brought to my attention that there are lots of people who are able (and more than willing) to travel to exotic places and kill endangered animals for fun. The fact that they do this sickens me. The fact that they do this, brag about it, take proud pictures next to the dead animals, then share it with the world, enrages me. I want to rip their heads off. The Trump sons (shown in the picture below) are proud hunters. They kill all kinds of exotic animals for fun, why? Because they are rich, bored and they can. Also, they are world class douchebags. Sorry for the language but I’ve had it with being nice. Anyways, the point of this post is to get the message out there that this IS going on in the world and this particular family (the Trumps) will no longer have an ounce of support or respect from me ever again. 

Image

Homemade Toothpaste & Staying Eco-Friendly @ Festivals

The other day I found an easy recipe for toothpaste and tried it out and it works great, so I’m happy to share it 🙂 

Here it is 🙂

2/3 cup baking soda, 4 teaspoon fine sea salt, 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil and water to your desired constancy. The only thing I would change is putting less salt in (I don’t mind it but the 4.5 year old will like it better) and next time I will be making a batch with a different essential oil (probably orange or cinnamon) for the hubby, who doesn’t like mint 😛 

Yesterday myself, hubby, the 4.5 yr old and 6 month old went to a large festival called Fusion Festival here in Surrey. We have been twice before in previous years and it’s always a blast. There are foods from tonnes of different countries as well as many different music stages with all kinds of music. We were able to find a vegetarian or vegan option at almost every booth, and tried over 10 different countries foods for about 50$. Hubby shocked and surprised me by not even asking to try any meat dishes and being extremely receptive to all of the meatless options 🙂 We were soooo full by the end of it and even had lots to bring home with us. The tricky part with these types of events is trying to stay sustainable and eco-friendly. Everywhere wants to hand you stuff in their own containers, lots of extra napkins, plastic utensils, cups, etc. We drank (with the exception of hubby getting pop, which we recycled after) water the whole day, refilling our reusable steel bottles at the water filling station. I reused many of the containers at different food places and asked for no extra napkins/etc. Another thing about these events is all the “freebie” give-away junk that all the booths try to give you. We declined all but a little temporary tattoo for the kiddo, and only bought a fabric/wooden umbrella for her and a wicker rattle for the baby. There was a great kids area this year where we made an eco friendly craft (a flag) and got the 4.5 yr old’s face painted, played in the sand area and the inside the huge teepee. Then we checked out the music until about 945 then trecked home on the bus, which was a big deal since the kids are usually in bed at 730-8pm! We also picked up (as we always do) garbage on the ground on our way to, from and during the festival. It really isn’t that hard to stay conscious about the environment while you’re out and about… It might not be convenient all the time but it IS important and that makes it worth doing! 

Image

Busy Busy!!

I seem to be very caught up in my dedication to my Give a Shit about Oceans group on facebook (almost 2000 members now!!!!) and not remembering to write on here. Well, it’s been almost a month and I promise to try and do better! It’s also been about a month and a half since my blackberry was stolen and I’m still sticking with the no phone concept. It might make me sound weird to some, but the hippie inside of me loves it and I know I’m a better parent without being attached to that device all day! 

I seem to have gotten the hubby on board with the no meat and no plastic mission! Yippee! Huge victory for me 🙂 He has been using cloth bags and reusable steel canteens now, buying organic and glass products. For a man, this is a very great accomplishment! I’m so proud of him for caring. 

We’ve got quite the little garden happening in our backyard right now! The flowers are going crazy (next year we’ll be taking them all out and focusing solely on veggies) and we’ve got a few tomato plants, spearmint, chives, green onions, radishes, carrots and a few kinds of lettuce. Plus we’ve got berries, chickweed, dandilions and lots of other edible plants growing all over my neighborhood. Add that with my weekly CSA box from Pitchfork Organic Farm and we’re pretty much set for most of our produce needs! It’s finally summer and I am loving it!! 

We are still doing our part with picking up trash whenever we leave the house… since there seems to be a tonne of people out there determined to not care and throw it wherever they please. We have partnered up with our facebook friends at GASAN and have a worldwide litter cleanup event set up for July 17th! Over 1200 people (so far) have pledged to pick up garbage on the 17th and it makes my heart sing ❤ 

Recently, as requested by a bunch of like minded mamas on facebook, I started up a Natural Mamas group. We share recipes, do it yourself tutorials, green and eco friendly solutions and all kinds of positive parenting stuff. We welcome anyone who wants to join that is like minded, even if you’re not a mama! 

That’s all for now, I’ll try and get on here to write again soon. I will leave you with a little collection of pictures that I like, enjoy! 🙂 

ImageImageImageImageImage