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Green Living: Save a Post-It!

April 16, 2011

Sorry for the absence…I have been in the middle of moving, which isn’t a huge deal but nice change. Unfortunately, due to the relocation I lost my internet connection and am waiting to get wired back into the technological world.

I don’t have one of those computers you can easily tote around to any ol’ hotspot but was able to get a connection today. Thus, I quickly share with you another earth friendly tip for your home and/or office. I know at work, there is always printer mistakes or other paper mishaps and it just gets shoved into the recycling bin while your boss spends countless dollars on little notepads and stickie notes. Why?

Gather up all those random papers, give it a few hearty staples, and VOILA! A scratchpad is yours! You can still recycle it when you are done, you don’t need to buy any fancy notepads to doodle on, and if you really want to stick it somewhere, I’m sure the office has a some tape.

So save some trees and start making your own little notebooks and pads! You may just find yourself getting an extra pat on the back for saving the business those few bucks!

Do you like being away from the internet completely? Can you even remember the last time you were?

Green Containers and Running Pink!

April 11, 2011

April showers bring May flowers…I sure hope so, because it’s a good day to be a duck. As long as it doesn’t start SNOWING again, I think I’ll be okay 🙂 I sadly haven’t taken advantage of my parents kitchen while here because I’ve been sick and my diet has been mostly choking down green monsters, cottage cheese, and fruit, though I did have an odd craving for some broccoli and peas last night so maybe that’s a sign that I’m turning things around.

broccoli forest

I could definitely live here…change that waterfall to some almond milk, add some berry bushes and cottage cheese clouds and I’m good to go!

However, I do have some fun news! Up at my usual hour of 0330 (because I attend to my senior citizen bedtime of 6p :p) I read through the paper and saw the Coeur d’Alene Ironman was already asking for volunteers. I used to be really into tri’s until I got sick, so I went right over and registered to volunteer, I can’t wait. The event literally takes over the entire town for about four days, it’s really inspiring! I know I will get back there one day soon!

ironman_logo

Then, an email popped up asking me to do the Susan G. Komen Race. Now, even though I’m against all things pink, I AM FOR ALL THINGS THAT RAISE MONEY for cancer research and treatments because it hits very close to home. Due to such late notice I don’t know how much money I’ll be able to raise but if you want to support a great foundation, email me, and I can send you the info. In return, you will have your choice of a fun eco-craft in honor of Earth Month. I’ve been getting into this and will be posting soon, but it could be anything from a bottle cap charm, a box made from recycled cereal boxes, a fun purse, a hand-made journal…still experimenting!

komen sweatshirIf the rain keeps up I think I will be wearing about ten of these :p Unless I pass out from all the pink :p

Okay, back to the green tip of the day.  More containers 🙂

P4090069 I can usually make it through an entire year before I have to buy another box of Ziplocs, parchment paper, or foil, which is only increased/decreased by certain baking/cooking, or crafting I might do. Otherwise, I am able to reuse containers and other things to both store and travel my snacks and lunches with.

The Mason Jar we’ve addressed before-does just about everything.

I love putting a dash of pudding in my smoothies for flavor and thickness, and I just poured the powder in this old drink mix container and labeled it.

Debbie Green Meyer Bags really do work! I go through a ton of spinach a week, but I can buy almost five pounds of it at Costco and split it up and none of it goes bad. I’ve kept a lot of other produce in it as well, such as Kale, for over a week and it has stayed fresh. They can be washed out and reused. I’ve only had to buy one box so far.

Ziplocs-same thing, yeah, you do have to throw some away, but you can rinse out a lot of them, turn them inside out and reuse them. Especially if you’re one like me and drink a lot of smoothies and constantly freezing fruit in those big gallon bags.

Aluminum foil/Parchment can also be a better alternative to wrap your sandwich or snack in than using a Ziploc if you don’t have reusable snack containers. I actually do have some. Unfortunately they are still boxed up somewhere in NC….I hope!

bento containers

 

I like the products from Laptop Lunches because they come in great sizes and are BPA free, amidst many other great  earth friendly qualities! Having the parchment and foil  are usual household items, good to have on hand, and you can usually find cheap and cost effective with numerous purposes. Think outside the box 🙂

How do you travel with your snacks and meals?

Have a wonderful and blessed Monday!

Living the Green Life

April 10, 2011

As most of you know, April is Earth Month and all about educating people on how to live more eco-friendly, celebrate our Mother Earth, and hopefully preserve her so we can continue to live here at least until the end of our lifetime (it’s kind of getting scary with all these natural disasters). Anyway, I’m going to be sharing some of my low-budget tips on living green, because I’m sure you figured out by now I will never be owning a hybrid (or any car for that matter), probably never be able to buy completely organic, or totally eco-friendly products, but I do the best I can with the very limited income available.  In fact, recycling actually helps!

We all know I drink GREEN, staple to my diet! 🙂

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I love mason jars-I use them for almost everything! Which leads me to four of the containers I can’t live without!

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From left to right: BPA free Nalgene bottle, washed out cottage cheese/yogurt container, mason jar, and a reusable coffee mug.

1) BPA Free Nalgene bottle: I carry this around with me all day, I can fill it up anywhere and with anything, I’ve even done coffee. Places give you discounts if you want to use it for soda (yes, I love my diet coke from the gas station, and you can get 32oz for 69cents vs. paying their ridiculous styrofoamed cup fee of over $1 or their $2 soda bottle fee!

2) I go through cottage cheese and yogurt like no other and have tons of these containers that unfortunately my city does not recycle. They are not safe to microwave food in, but I will reuse a container one or two times to carry a snack in (no more than that, because the plastic does have chemicals. Also, I used to reuse those plastic waterbottles all the time and ended up with an amoeba in my stomach so I’m a bit wary). I also use them to store random stuff in like a bunch of my crafty things.

3) The Mason Jar: This is you’re all around jar that can do about anything. I use them to store grains, nuts, drinks, green monsters, bring them with me to buy bulk items so I don’t use a plastic bag, drink a huge glass jar of coffee if you’re an addict like me and don’t want to get up to refill for awhile :p It works for EVERYTHING! You can usually find them cheap at garage sales, craigslist, or a family member who has given up canning. They are easy to wash and safe, just don’t drop them!

4) The reusable coffee travel mug-this is something to invest in if you are a daily coffee drinker. Make sure you get one that has a really good seal, seriously. I have been through so many disasters in my backpack that once I find one, I stick with it. I actually got this one at Starbucks (even though I never go there) and love it. It’s a venti (24oz) size, bigger is better for me :p, and I can fill it up, literally turn it upside down, and nothing comes out. Plus, I love red, if you couldn’t tell already 🙂 Most shops will offer a 10cent discount for bringing in your mug, if you are a gas station drinker, you just pay the refill price which is about 79c-89c per cup, very cost friendly.

 

***What are your earth friendly tips? Stay tuned, I have a whole list ready for you, including my newest obsession of eco-crafts!! I’m excited to learn about others though, people are so creative!

Indian Fry Bread

April 9, 2011

An extremely odd situation (my bike lock breaking during a snowstorm, leaving me stuck in my bike shoes, freezing, wondering how I was going to chisel my way through the iron threads) coincidentally brought a very good friend into my life. I clip-clopped my way into the store and just looked around helplessly, randomly saw this man who looked like he might be one of those truck driving guys with tools (don’t judge, i usually don’t stereotype but i was desperate), and I asked him if he might have any tools with him that could break a bike lock.

I was about a mile from home, but not about to walk there in my bike shoes, in the snow, let alone being very under-dressed for the weather. We tried to get it off, but no luck, but he offered to take me home so I could at least change and get some tools. When I told him where I lived, it ended up being that his daughter was the director and he used to cook there-small world! We picked up a few tools, drove back up, hacked the lock off-which was actually quite an ordeal so I highly suggest the bulldog coil locks if you’re looking for a lightweight lock to carry around with you, and we continued on our separate ways.

edited litespeeed yaya, i obviously don’t have photoshop, but look at my litespeed! i miss that bike 😦

Well, since then, we have continued to form a friendship. He has taught me so many things-things I never thought I would learn like leather crafting and such. He also has come and made Indian Fry Bread which is simple, plain, but a very good plain, economical, and all of the residents love it. He was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and since I’m at the parents for the weekend I attempted making it for them, because “fried” “eggs” and “sausage” are three of my step-dad’s favorite words.

I had mixed up the dough the night before so when I woke up I laid the “worm” out to get back to room temp.

P4080055 Then I cut off chunks of the dough and formed little doughnuts and even one very sad looking three leaf clover. Then I just sat and waited. Normally you would be heating your oil and getting everything else ready-but I get up at the crack of dawn and go to bed like a senior citizen.

P4080057 Eventually my parents did finally get up and I started heating the oil, made some sausage patties (which my mother burned :p) and some poached eggs (they have the best egg poacher!) I tested the oil and one by one, in they went-FRY!!!

P4080060The entire breakfast:

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Poor sausage :p (blech to me) A lucky clover for a happy saturday!

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And there are PLENTY of leftovers, so come on by…

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This recipe is very unique, very economical, has about five ingredients and all are very cheap. I can imagine if I had to feed a big family on a tight budget, this would be a staple. I’m not so into the fry part, but it was fun. I need to make my fried pickles again! Needless to say it was a hit. My parents got their “farmers breakfast” and laid back down for a nap :p

The Blogging Pants have resurfaced!!!

March 28, 2011

My own life has been going through massive changes, and in the back of my mind, I was wondering, gosh darn it, who did have them last. Everyone knows how daily life can get the better of them, and when Ashley posted about all of her major changes and accomplishments (hello wonder woman) she was the recent owner of the pants and finally ready to pass them on. I think next time I feel like giving myself a pity part for all the changes I’ve had to go through, I’m going to look at Ashley-SHE IS AMAZING! All she needs is a cape and we have a woman with super human powers 🙂

blog pants ashely

I am very happy they have resurfaced are are going to be passed along again. After a good dose of travels and comments my hope is to donate them to NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) because their theme each year always plays off the word genes (jeans).  You can currently shop their store for numerous products that also go to support the foundation if you are interested.

neda bracelet

I follow many blogs and am constantly inspired by what people can do and accomplish when they set their mind to it. I can honestly admit, that at this time, I’m relearning self-love, trust, and self-forgiveness, and it’s a hard and bumpy road.

Caitlin is always a constant reminder and encouragement that we are all beautiful no matter what!

alive note

This is from the Operation Beautiful website-definitely check it out if you have not!

Old, New, and a Review!

March 26, 2011

Writing from across the border, yup, good ol’ potato Idaho. One would think ‘taters would be cheaper in a state known for the spud, but when I went shopping for my mother yesterday, two baking potatoes cost more than a 5lb bag…nothing makes sense these days. (Plus the 5lb bag was for those little taters that just don’t make a good baked potato). Anyway, enough spud talk.

monster ingredients Just because it’s a staple to my diet, hasn’t made an appearance in a long time (even though I might consume 2-3 a day) the Green Monster has never left. He has been my loyal, nutritional friend,  even through the freezing winter days when I would have to drink it under ten blankets.

green monster

My current comb0:

2 cups almond milk of choice                          1-2c fresh spinach

1/2 frozen very ripe banana

blob of plain yogurt

1/3c frozen blueberries

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

small sprinkle of  sf vanilla  pudding (secret ingredient)

I love how it gets all thick and foamy, mmmm delicious! Although I can’t imagine how even more delicous it would be with a Vita Mix…sigh…a girl can dream 🙂 Served in a mason jar of course, perfect for travel, easy clean up, and one part of the south I took home with me 🙂

Last night I finally tried making Ashley’s Buckwheat Bake I have been drooling over for quite some time, just like half of her recipes. I can’t wait to get my own kitchen where I can actually cook again!! I have a good portion of her recipes bookmarked, so if you haven’t check out her site, definitely head on over to An Edible Perspective, she is a genius!

buckwheat bakeAs you can tell I don’t have her photography skills or the recipe quite down to it’s perfection yet, but the bake was pretty good, a lot like a very healthy banana bread. I think I’m going to keep playing around with it.

Practically Exactly Ashley’s French Toast Buckwheat Bake-to do the French toast part follow the link)

  • 1/3c buckwheat flour
  • 1T chia seeds [or sub ground flax meal]
  • 2T almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana [~1/4-1/3c]
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1.5t vanilla extract
  • 1/4t baking powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Grease a 4-5” oven safe bowl, really well. [I use a small soup crock]
  3. In a bowl, mash the banana until wet.
  4. Whisk in eggs, almond milk, and vanilla.
  5. Mix in buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and chia seeds.
  6. Pour into greased bowl and bake for 30min.  It will be cracked and brown on top.  The toothpick test method will work here.  Do not overcook!

And last but certainly not least, since we are on the topic of breakfast like items, my mom and I shared my last VEGA sample of the Bodacious Berry Shake and Go Smoothie.  We mixed it with 1c milk, a few chunks frozen banana and a few frozen blueberries. We both liked it a lot, my mom is definitely a berry girl, and it held her over for hours. She was also very impressed with all the nutrient goodness.

If I were to rate the Shake and Go Smoothie’s by favorite flavors I think it would be:

  1. Choc-a-Lot
  2. very close tie, but Vanilla Almondilla (plus that’s just fun to say)
  3. Bodacious Berry
  4. Mango Tango

Honestly I like them all, it’s just a matter of mood I’m in, and I’m usually more in a chocolate or vanilla mood for me to buy an entire pouch. So really it’s just a matter of taste, you can’t go wrong! Thanks again VEGA for letting me sample and share, though we all know I would have caved eventually and found the stuff-on a personal note, I seriously love their stuff. When I started using more of their whole food optimizer and shake mixes, my blood results improved drastically. And, with the shake and go, you literally can take it anywhere….

Yup, that’s silly ol’ me with a Mango Tango pouch out in the Blue Mountain Range of North Carolina. You can make fun of me, it’s okay 🙂

Spokane…ummm…yeah….

March 23, 2011

If you’ve been following lately, you know that I recently relocated from North Carolina to Spokane, Washington.  I lived in Spokane when I was young, from about five to ten, then moved to Seattle, where I think I will always call home. I’m a city girl at heart, liberal, a bit odd, a cyclist, and Seattle just fits me. Spokane is Washington’s second largest city, it definitely has it’s quirks, tries to get a big city feel, but mixed with it’s country bumpkins. Parts of the city are really beautiful, other parts, well, are interesting.

idaho entrance

Another thing is it’s only about 25miles from the Idaho state line which is a completely new territory. You will actually see motorcyclists ride with their helmets on, then take them off as they cross the state line, I will never understand this. Idaho is an entity unto itself…we’re talking a beautiful resort town of Couer d’Alene, but also a small community that still has compounds and KKK parades. Don’t ask me….I just try to lay low. Also, if you have Idaho plates and are driving in Washington, you better be perfect or you will get pulled over, heck, you will probably get pulled over anyway. Vice versa, if you are in Idaho with Washington plates, you will just get pulled over.

manito park

My favorite memories of Spokane are the beautiful carousel in Riverfront Park, running junior Bloomsday (I might just do the adult Bloomsday this year), which is one of the largest races in the nation, and Manito Park where in the winter we would go sledding, the fall collect leaves and make scarecrows, and the summer enjoy the Japanese gardens. My step-dad found these songs that are hilarious, some a bit crass, if you live here you will appreciate them a bit more, but it’s good to start the day out with some laughter, and it’s good to laugh at ourselves. Even so, I think my heart still lies in Seattle.

carosuel

And now, for your laughter, viewing, and entertainment, a few songs about Spokane:

Starting off a little light and with some scenery:

And now for some more hard core, make sure you listen to the words, a bit more crass but hilarious: