Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

I don't know about you but when someone asks would you like the good news or the bad news, I always go with bad news first.

Something about getting it over with and ending things on a positive note.

This past weekend was no different.

I started off with pain and ended with a sweet time.

Saturday my friend Amy and I ran in the St. Patty's Day Revenge Obstacle Course.

There were 21 obstacles for us to go through and before we kicked off Amy and I were looking pretty cheery (although chilly):

Her husband captured photos of our fine form (nothing like going across a soccer field doing lunges):

And you know sometimes when you are called upon to do WAY more push-ups then you anticipated you just have to get down in child's post to give your arms a break:

I have been sore for two days, but it is a good sore.  I look forward to running this event next year...hopefully we can get more than the two of us on a team.

On Sunday was the sweet.  I attended the Mad Hatter Tea at the O'Henry Hotel with my daughter and mom.

sporting our lovely paper hats

the delicious plate of goodies
sometimes things taste better when you don't use hands
Caroline and her best friend posing on a toadstool

The event was put on with great pageantry and detail.  The girls got to eat a plate full of treats, make crafts, and play a few games.

It was the perfect exposure to a "fancy" outing for these 3 and 4 year olds.

The hotel holds 3 of these themed teas a year.  We are looking forward to October when they host The Wizard of Oz.

It was a fantastic weekend with friends and family. 

I hope you all enjoyed your time.  Did you do anything fun?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

Well this weekend wrapped up No Impact Week here in Greensboro.

To commemorate the week I finished by reading No Impact Man by Colin Beavan.

A good book indeed and it gave more in-depth information than could obviously be included in the movie.

I do have to say, and I in no way receive any sort of compensation for doing so, that the book is well done and the real jewel of the book is the list of resources in the back.  You can get website information about how to volunteer with a local environmental group or how to find a clothing swap in your area.  There are also numerous book suggestions (many of which have gone on my list to pick up at my local library).

To further apply our no impact philosophy, and to do something useful with a plastic item, my son Andrew and I made a watering can from a large white vinegar bottle.

To make it was super simple.  He drilled (yes he got a little power tool exposure) one hole in the cap and then several holes in the bottom of the bottle.

To make it work

  • Fill a bucket with water (preferably with water from your rain barrel).
  • Push the bottle down in the water so that it can fill up (keep your thumb off the top hole)
  • Put your thumb over the hole on the cap and lift from bucket

The water is trapped and you can just remove your thumb from the hole once you are at the flower bed.

I was really impressed with how easy this was and that it worked.

Once the recycling project was finished we were on to another project...chocolate making.

I am so very lucky to have a friend like Sharon, Bit of the Good Stuff.  She sent me this fantastic raw chocolate making kit.

I put my fear aside and got out the kitchen scale.

I put WAY to much thought into how hard this was going to be...because in the end it was SO easy.

It took all of about 10 minutes (and then another 90 while I waited for it to set up in the fridge).

My result...well take a look for yourself:

They are in a four leaf clover pattern for St. Patrick's Day

I put a goji berry on each one and waited.  I didn't want to get too fancy or stray from the original recipe as I wanted to make sure I got it just right.

My kids will tell you they love them, but are mad that I didn't let them eat more than one a piece.

They are indeed delicious and I highly recommend raw chocolate making to anyone who can do a little measuring.

Other than that that was about it for my weekend...OH well there was a little matter of Georges St Pierre retaining his welterweight title (in a fantastic fight against Nick Diaz).  

Yeah for GSP!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and are ready to kick off a fantastic Monday.

Remember today is the last day to enter my Plastic Free by Beth Terry giveaway (check it out here).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cool Stuff to Share


Am I the only one or do you also think of The Graduate when you hear people talk about plastics?

This past Saturday I went to one of our local libraries and heard Beth Terry, author of Plastic Free, and Danielle Richardet, It Starts With Me, speak.

Beth spoke about how she has moved to creating almost no plastic trash (except for some of the unavoidables like prescription refill bottles) after reading the article "Our Oceans Are Turning to Plastic...Are We?"

She showed us the ugly, British trash exported to China:

But she also showed us the good, products that can make for more eco-friendly living:

Glass Dharma glass straws

Chico reusable bags that come with a pouch (so you can always keep one on you)

RePEat bamboo utensil set that you can keep in your purse

Danielle also read the same article on water pollution and became driven to bring down her plastic consumption.

She not only uses reusable bags at the store but she brings jars everywhere with her.  She has them for her bulk bin items at her local co-op but also for leftovers at restaurants.

I have never thought about bringing my own container to a restaurant.  But it is rather wasteful to bring home the one time use container when I could plan ahead and bring something with me.

Did you know you can bring your own jars to fill at the bulk bin section of grocery stores (places such as Whole Foods, local co-ops, and natural food stores)?  

After the talk I was overwhelmed with information.  Beth's advice was to just do what you can and don't try to tackle everything at once...because after all every little bit helps.

That was good advice.

Now I mentioned that Beth wrote a book, Plastic Free:

I would like to give you all an opportunity to win a signed copy of this book.

The giveaway will run through Monday March 18th and I will announce the winner on Tuesday the 19th.

To enter fill in the Rafflecopter below (I promise the winner's book will be shipped plastic free)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 11, 2013

No Impact Greensboro

I find it ironic that a little over a month ago I watched, and reviewed here, the movie No Impact Man by Colin Beavan.

And then what ho?  My fair city, Greensboro, decides to participate in a No Impact Week.

I am incredibly psyched!

Starting this past Friday there are daily activities you can participate in.

On Friday my whole family went to one of our local colleges, Guilford College (who has tons of green initiatives going on there), for an art exhibit by Bonnie Monteleone titled "What Goes Around Comes Around."

This is a giant wave made out of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean.

What struck me about this exhibit was just what sort of things end up BACK in the ocean.  Things like empty bottles from motor oil and household cleaners, parts of surfboards, and tons upon tons of bottle tops.

Bonnie also had up some photographs that give a graphic example of what all of this plastic can end up doing to our animal life.

 (this is a bird's carcass filled with plastics which were fed to it by its unknowing mother)

I don't show these things to make you depressed, or guilty, merely just to make you aware.

Hopefully the movement will take hold and people will start to think before they buy and put a little more thought into what they do with their plastics.

To support those who chose to participate this week the City put out an action plan so that each day you can focus reducing your footprint in a specific area.

The week is laid out like this:

Sunday: Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Refuse
Monday: Energy
Tuesday: Transportation
Wednesday: Food
Thursday: Water
Friday: Green Home/Green Work
Saturday: Give Back
Sunday: Eco-Sabbath

So on Sunday we made use of tofu containers, drink cups from Panera, and large yogurt containers to plant some seedlings.

Today I plan to eat by candlelight, or natural light if there is enough of it, and have a family game night instead of TV watching (hopefully my children won't revolt).

What sort of things might you do today to reduce your energy consumption?  Do you have any good ideas for repurposing items?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fabulous Friday

Yes it is a wee bit chilly here in Carolina, but I consider myself lucky that I don't have any snow or power outages like they do in neighboring Virginia.

I have been completely failing when it comes to providing recipes here, and I apologize for that.

To be fair though I have been eating some delicious just happens to be OTHER bloggers recipes.

I will start with breakfast that I made for my kids this week.  I say for the kids because the jackals didn't leave any for me.

Apple and Cinnamon Monkey bread from Sharon at Bit of the Good Stuff:

                                                       Source: via My Naturally Frugal Family on Pinterest

Peanut Butter Fudge that I discovered over at Spabettie

                                                       Source: via My Naturally Frugal Family on Pinterest

This is some of the most addictive fudge I've ever had.  The delicious peanut butter, chocolate, and saltines all mixed together are just YUM!
As Kristina said "You Lucky Duck" if you have everything on hand to make this goodness.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Ginger soup from Grubarazzi (I am eating this tonight):

                                                         Source: via My Naturally Frugal Family on Pinterest

I love these two main ingredients and I can only imagine how delicious they will be together.

The strange, but weird, dessert that I am making tonight, comes from Leanne of Healthful Pursuit.

Vegan Lemon Pudding (as featured on SkinnyTaste):

                                                                        Source: via My Naturally Frugal Family on Pinterest

At first blush this doesn't sound too weird...except the secret ingredient is TOTALLY unexpected (I won't tell I want you to check out the recipe).

So that wraps up the delicious finds for this week.

Do you have anything that you eat that was particularly  noteworthy?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

And I want to say congratulations to Ju for winning my 3 month Conscious Box subscription that I gave away on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Olay Total Effects Review

I was given the opportunity to try out Olay's Total Effects 7 in 1 Color Control Creme.

That's a pretty long title for a creme, no?

The product comes in a cool little container and you can see the moisturizer and the tint swirled separately.  Which I thought was pretty cool and it was drew me to the product.

Upon opening the product I took a little whiff (I like to smell things, not just food before trying them out).  It had the familiar Oil of Olay smell that I remember from my grandmother applying her moisturizer.

Nothing like a little nostalgia to sucker you in.

The product claims to fight 7 signs of aging:

  1. Fine lines and wrinkles
  2. Uneven tone
  3. Age spots
  4. Gentle exfoliation
  5. Dryness
  6. Moisture barrier
  7. Luminosity
I found after two weeks of use the only thing that it did for me was cause my skin to break out.

I didn't see any of the claims come to fruition.  I don't feel like my skin tone was any more even or that I even  had brighter skin.

After I applied it my face felt a little greasy and like it just wanted to be washed fresh.

Overall I have to say thumbs down to this particular product.

The one bonus that it does have is that there is SPF 15 in it and it is good to keep a sunblock on your face.

Olay Total Effects product, information, and gift pack have all been provided by Olay however the opinions are all my own.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Conscious Box GIVEAWAY

Today is a VERY chilly Monday  here in North Carolina, but I have just the thing to get your blood pumping....

A giveaway from Conscious Box.

This isn't just for one month is a 3 month subscription (a $59 value).

Conscious Box now comes in three varieties:

Gluten Free

A box to fit any need!

There is something else exciting about this wonderful, ethical, sustainable, and green company they have launched a new website.

There you can create your profile, review products, manage your subscriptions, and even purchase some of the items that have been in your box.

You can earn points for your reviews of products, answering polls, getting a subscription, etc.  The points you earn can then be applied to your purchase, and lessen the total cost of an item.

Super Cool Yes?

I think so.

I have been a big supporter of Conscious Box and have loved working with them.

So would you like to win the 3 month subscription?

That is rhetorical I KNOW you want this.  So to enter please use the rafflecopter below and be sure to tell your friends (the more that know about this awesome giveaway the better).

The giveaway will run until midnight on Wednesday (March 6th).  I will announce the winner in Thursday's post.

If you would like to purchase a box at a discount use the promo code GOCONSCIOUS for 50% off.

a Rafflecopter giveaway