Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tea for Clear Skin

I’m a huge fan of tea. This tea will help you get glowing skin. You may need to go down to a health food store or buy these herbs online. Make sure if you buy them online they’re okay for consumption. Another note: be sure you can mix these herbs with any medication you are taking.
  • Rooibos Leaf (can be substituted with green tea)
  • Orange peel, or a squirt of orange
  • Hibiscus
  • Chamomile
  • Red Clover flower
  • Burdock root
  • Chaste Berry

Thursday, December 17, 2015

10 ways to keep faeries happy

Most of us think of faeries as tiny creatures, flitting about on gossamer wings, waving a magic wand, but history and folklore tell a different tale. When belief in faeries was common most people didn't like to mention them by name and so referred to them by other names: the Little People or the Hidden People. They may remain hidden from us but you can attract faeries to your home and garden, and keep the ones who already reside their happy, by doing these ten things.

  1. Keep bird feeders full of food and water in your yard.
  2. Don’t use pesticides in your garden.
  3. Plant bell-shaped flowers in your garden.
  4. Switch to earth friendly soap, shampoo, and cleaning supplies.
  5. Eat a vegan diet, or only buy humanely treated animals and animal products from organic farms.
  6. Donate time or money to environmental or animal-rights charities.
  7. Put statues of fairies or gnomes in your garden
  8. Hang crystals from your trees, and put them, or other shiny objects, in your yard.
  9. Warn the fairies before you mow the grass.
  10. Relax or lay in your yard, especially with music in the background.


  • Celebrate toadstools and mushrooms that appear in your yard because that means the fairies have taken up residence in your garden.
  • Do not leave candies unattended, though faeries love sugar and would rejoice in a sweet treat like chocolate, it may be harmful to birds, squirrels and other animals who may find their way into your home and garden.
  • To see faeries try: wearing your coat turned inside-out; closing your right eye and only looking through the left; wearing a posy of primroses; or carrying a four-leafed clover.

Have you seen a faerie? How did you attract them?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

15 Fruits, Veggies and Spices You Can Regrow From Scraps

Various plants that you can regrow from the food you already have! Good for you! Reusing and recycling! Keep a constant supply of green onions, garlic and ginger growing. Grow potatoes and sweet potatoes in your pantry.

  1. Apples
  2. Avocado 
  3. Cabbage- Same technique as celery
  4. Carrot Tops
  5. Celery 
  6. Garlic 
  7. Ginger 
  8. Green Onions and Green Onions 2
  9. Leeks- same technique as green onions
  10. Lentils 
  11. Pineapple 
  12. Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes 
  13. Pumpkin 
  14. Romaine Lettuce- Same technique as celery
  15. Tomatoes
Bonus: Bok Choy

Do you regrow any of your food?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

30 Day Minimalist Challenge

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

For the next thirty days I invite you to try one thing from this list until you've completed it. Here is a printable of the checklist below so you can keep track of which you've done.

Here are some great reads on minimalism:
Joshua Fields Millburn's & Ryan Nicodemus's Minimalism Elevator Pitch
Leo Babauta’s Description of Minimalism
Joshua Becker’s Benefits of Minimalism
Colin Wright’s Minimalism Explained

Do you think you can do every item on the list?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Vegan Thanksgiving

I'm so excited that it is Thanksgiving tomorrow! Thanksgiving may be based in some questionable mythology but I believe in family and friends and I believe in taking the time to appreciate and give thanks for what we have.

Boyfriend's family is coming to visit us and I've never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner before. I honestly had no idea how much works goes into preparing for this special holiday (Thanks Aana, Mom and Aunt Ellen!!!) I wanted to celebrate with the traditional foods but a lot of these are not vegan friendly so I hunted for a new delicious and cruelty-free menu for all the staples. Here's what I'll be making today and tomorrow.


slightly altered via The Spunky Coconut
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk (not coconut “beverage”)
  • 1.5 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3/8 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 to 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp pectin
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (dissolved in 2 Tbsp water)
  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the pectin and cornstarch to a pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Whisk in the pectin while simmering. Continue whisking for about one minute.
  3. If your mixture looks runny after you whisked your pectin for a minute, then add another half a teaspoon of pectin. It should look a little thick after whisking for a minute or so.
  4. Pour over crust (frozen vegan pie crust or pre-made graham cracker crust or homemade)
  5. Refrigerate till solid. Store in the fridge.

Cashew Gravy

via Food.
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cashews ( raw or roasted unsalted)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed ( or more)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  1. Saute onion in oil until soft and slightly brown. (you can also let onions cook longer and get browner for an even richer flavor).
  2. (If you are using raw cashews, add them at this step and let them cook for several minutes to "toast" them).
  3. Add garlic and cook another minute longer to slightly brown the garlic.
  4. Add flour and stir it around over the heat for a minute.
  5. Add 1-2 cups of water a half cup at a time and stir to blend in the flour and thicken. Add more water as it becomes thick.
  6. (if you are using roasted cashews add them here).
  7. Add more water (another 1-2 cups) so that the broth is soup like and the cashews are completely in the water.
  8. Add soy sauce, pepper and salt (if desired) or any additional desired flavorings.
  9. Cook until cashews are soft and flavors have melded. I always let this simmer away for about 30 minutes and add more water and soy or spices as needed, but remember that the flavor will change when cashews are blended. When done cooking, you'll want it to be a thin gravy consistency. The cashews will thicken it up when you blend it.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6-8 medium yukon gold potatoes (if large, cut in half)*
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5-6 cloves roasted garlic (or sub minced garlic sautéed for 3 minutes in olive oil)*
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), melted/softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives for topping
  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot and cover with water. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp of sea salt, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until very tender. They should effortlessly slide off a knife when pierced with a knife.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, chop up your chives and measure your butter.
  3. Once tender, drain your potatoes and place them back in the hot pot off the heat for 1 minute to evaporate any additional water. Then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mash your potatoes using either a potato masher or a hand mixer until fluffy. Note: Be careful using a hand mixer as you can overmix the potatoes and they can become gluey. It’s personally the method I prefer as I don’t own a potato masher. I just make sure not to overmix.
  5. Add in butter, garlic, salt, black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Lastly top with chives, stir and serve as is or your favorite gravy (or mushroom gravy). Leftovers will keep in the fridge covered for up to a few days.
  • Use organic potatoes if possible, especially since you leave the skin on.
  • To roast a head of garlic, simply cup the top off to expose tips, rub with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour in a 400 degree oven directly on the rack. Cloves should squeeze out easily once cooled. Discard skins/peel.

Roasted Carrots with Sweet Tahini Drizzle

  • 12 large carrots, whole and tops removed
  • 3 tablespoons of tahini
  • 3 tablespoons of filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
  • juice of a fresh lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cut the tops off the whole carrots, wash, dry, and place on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle melted coconut oil onto the carrots and stir with your hands to make sure the carrots are evenly coated.
  4. Add fresh black pepper, dash of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender (you have a lot of options here, I personally like to keep the carrots a little al dente meaning with a crunch in the center. If you like a softer carrots, bake longer).
Tahini Drizzle
  1. In a small mixing bowl combine tahini, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and water until thick and creamy.

Apple Cranberry Fruit Salad

slightly altered via Tastes Better from Scratch
  • 1 (12 oz package) fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 red apples, chopped
  • 1 yellow or green apple, chopped
  • 1 (15oz) can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 large banana, sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • CocoWhip, for topping (non-dairy whipped cream, so yummy)
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the water and sugar. Add cranberries and cook on medium high, until you start to hear the cranberries pop. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. In a large bowl toss apples, mandarin oranges, and banana together. Add a little bit of lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning. Drain most of the juice from the cranberries. Add them to mixture. Toss to combine. Dollop with CocoWhip, if desired.

Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Dried Cranberry Stuffing

slightly altered via With Style and Grace
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 [or 1] tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
  • salt + pepper to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan, add 1 + 1/2 cups water, quinoa, season with salt and bring to a boil. 
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  4. Cover baking sheet with foil, spray with non-stick, add sweet potatoes and onions - season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft.
  5. Combine sweet potatoes and onions with cooked quinoa. Drizzle with olive oil. Stir in cumin, cranberries, toasted pecans and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. 

There will also be dinner rolls. I bought these pre-made, brown and serve. And a salad of the Olive Garden copycat persuasion (but vegan obvi).

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you eating tomorrow?

Monday, October 26, 2015

15 Ways to Rediscover your Town

Portland, Oregon, Keep Portland Weird, hometown, bridgetown, bridges, river, city

I've lived in Portland for almost 2 years now. This amount of time is not nearly long enough to get to know the entire city, but I do have it pretty well figured out for all intents and purposes. When I first moved here I tried to take a different route every time I went somewhere so I would be able to understand the layout a little better. Now that I've settled into my routine I tend to always take the road most travelled. I've decided I want to return to that adventurous spirit I once had and discover (or rediscover) some of those hidden places Portland has to offer. Here are 15 ideas for seeing new places in your own hometown.

Portland, Oregon, Mount Hood, hometown

  1. Buy a map of your town and highlight all the routes you've taken. Next time you go for a walk, bike ride or drive follow a different path to get to your destination.
  2. Go to open houses all around town. Let your dream home become a reality (if only for an afternoon) and find new neighborhoods you might not have known about.
  3. Look for local theater productions and see a play. You may even see someone you know on stage.
  4. Go on a public art tour. Try to find as many murals and sculptures as you can. Mark the ones you find on a map.
  5. Rediscover history by reading old newspapers at the library. “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” - Winston Churchill
  6. Research your towns sister city and visit it if you can. 
  7. Wake up early for the early bird breakfast at your local diner. See who's up and about at that time and experience a different side of your town.
  8. Organize a scavenger hunt for you and your friends. With a little research you can discover amazing places you never knew were in town.
  9. Take a day to visit the flea markets, craft fairs and antique shops in your town. You'll meet some very interesting people with wonderful stories.
  10. Do some research to discover if you town is the setting for any movies, TV shows or books. Then try to find the landmarks.
  11. Collect pamphlets from hotel lobbies to discover some activities tourists might do when visiting. You don't have to go out of town to go on vacation.
  12. Set your alarm an hour earlier to take an early morning bike ride. Let the trails lead you where they will.
  13. Start a walking or running group, take turns leading the route in order to find new trails and sights.
  14. Find out if any famous people are from your area. Find the house they grew up in and the places they used to work.
  15. Find the highest point in town or take a hot air balloon or helicopter ride to see your town from a new perspective.

Portland, aerial, oregon, City, hometown

Take some time to rediscover where you live. You may be surprised what you find right in your own back yard. Do you have more ideas to add to the list? Tell me in the comments below.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Top 5 Green Actions

Lately I've been noticing that I am easily distracted. I get my mind set on doing something based on what an "expert in the field" is saying only to turn around and hear another "expert" telling me I need to be doing something else. With all the modes of communication available to me it's easy to be bogged down with excessive information. I feel like they are just throwing bits and pieces of stories at me and hoping something will stick.

This is especially true when it comes to living green. There are about a hundred thousand things everyone could be doing to build a better world but it would be impossible for every person to do each of these things. I've narrowed it down to what I believe are the top five things. These are the actions I personally can see myself continuing to do or working toward doing more often.

1. Buying less stuff

We live in a culture where buying and having more stuff and a bigger place to keep it all is marketed as the fastest way to find happiness. I believe this to be wrong. Work on finding happiness within yourself through relationships, hobbies and activities. Collect only things that you actually need, rather than things that are advertised to make you think you want them.

2. Buying products from socially responsible companies

There are certain things you will probably never stop buying and for each person these special items may be different. Be sure that you are purchasing your favorite items from socially and environmentally responsible companies. Follow the links to my guides below for more information:
And be sure that when you do make purchases you bring your reusable bag.

3. Using alternative forms of transportation

The most significant change an individual could make toward reducing their carbon footprint is to cut down on how much they drive. Trains, buses, bikes, carpool. Avoid spending time in a vehicle occupied only by yourself and your imaginary friend. Read more in Getting Around.

4. Eating less meat and more sustainably grown and harvested food

Recognize the importance of knowing where your food comes from and what is being used to grow or raise it. Find out more, read Buying Food: The Naked Truth about Local and Organic. Decide for yourself whether fish should be on your menu: 

5. Conserving energy and water at home

When it comes to conserving energy and water, small adjustments can have a big impact. Protect the environment by conserving energy and water with these 100+ tips. Additionally, check out The Pros and Cons of Wind Power.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Look Beneath the Surface

This award-winning video was published on April 16th, 2012. It was made by the Environmental Protection Agency. Take a moment to watch it and see what is beneath the surface.

The little things we do or do not do can have the biggest impact on our environment. We produce plastic for the sake of convenience and it becomes garbage. Imagine how much of a difference we could make if we reduced this waste simply by recycling or better yet, used reusable packaging and containers.

We can all make a difference and help protect our environment!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Earth Angel: Make-Up

I am completely surprised by what I have learned today. The cosmetic industry is shockingly unregulated to the point that consumers are practically being used as test subjects. Cosmetic manufacturers can put just about anything into their products regardless of health or safety concerns. Though there isn’t always definitive evidence that a given chemical can cause adverse health affects, the fact that so few have been studied for safety is of significant concern. Plus, there’s the effect over time of all these chemicals we’re applying to our bodies to consider.

To protect your body and reduce your impact on the environment, make sure to follow these guidelines.

Labels are not to be trusted and are no indicator of safety. 
Words like “natural” and "hypoallergenic" may look appealing but both have practically no meaning in the world of cosmetics. "Natural" includes products which may contain natural ingredients but there are very likely synthetic harmful ingredients. "Hypoallergenic" simply means chemicals, which are irritants have been removed.

Scrutinize ingredients list.
It's easier than ever to check the safety of over 7,500 products using the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep online database. There's even an app for that.

Skin Deep App
Check companies that have made a commitment to safe products.
The Compact for Safe Ingredients is a pledge to not use 450 unsafe ingredients. Find out who has signed the compact here. View the Story of Cosmetics video below.

"Best Option" Cosmetics Companies
The following companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and either use organic ingredients or are members of Green America’s Green Business Network™.


Monday, October 20, 2014

DIY Yoga Mat Tote

I've been going a little yarn crazy recently. In the past month I finished two baby blankets, a full-sized blanket, a dog sweater, two hats, three ear warmers, two pairs of bunny slippers, and two yoga mat totes. I suppose the falling leaves, the cooler weather and the cinnamon scent in the air put me in a cozy, crafty mood.

This is a guide for you to make a yoga mat tote for yourself. I also sell them on Etsy if you are not familiar with crochet or don't have the time.

I made one for myself...

...and one for my roommate, Alyssa...

We recently started going to yoga classes together so it's only fitting that we have matching totes.


  • G-hook
  • Worsted Weight (4) Yarn
  • Yarn Needle


  • Double Crochet
  • Slip Stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Single Crochet
Note: after every round do another round of slip stitches to help the tote bag keep it's shape and give it a bit more strength.


Slip knot, then chain 40. Fasten off. Tie on pompoms if desired

Round Base
Slip knot then chain 4, join to first chain with a slip stitch.
Round 1 - Chain 3 (counts as one double crochet), 19 dc into center of loop. ss into top of chain 3. You should have a total of 20 stitches.
Round 2 - Chain 3, *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next stitch, repeat from * ss into top of chain 3. You should have 30 stitches.
Round 3 - Chain 3, *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next stitch, repeat from * ss into top of chain 3. You should have 45 stitches.
Round 4 - Chain 1, 1 single crochet into each stitch, ss into top of chain 1.

Tote Body
Round 5-28 - Chain 3, 1 dc into each stitch, ss into top of chain 3.

Round 29 - Chain 1, 1 sc into each stitch, ss into top of chain 1.
Round 30 - Chain 3, *dc2tog, dc into the next stitch, repeat from * ss into top of chain 3. You should have 30 stitches.
Round 31 - We want your drawstring to be on the opposite side of the bag from the seam. Hold the center of your draw string against the top of the previous rounds seam and do the following round around the drawstring (as if you are crocheting over ends). Chain 3, 1 dc into each of the next 13 stitches. When you reach the 14th stitch stop crocheting around the drawstring and dc into the next four stitches. On the 18th stitch pick up the drawstring from the opposite end and start crocheting around it again, dc into the next 12 stitches. Ss into the top of the chain 3 for a total of 30 dc around.
Round 32 and 33 - Chain 3, 1 dc into each stitch, ss into top of chain 3.

Slip knot, chain 62, *turn work, sc into 2nd chain from hook, sc into each stitch until the end* chain 1. Repeat between the *s for 4 or 5 rows, sew onto tote along the seam at about the 8th round and the 26th round.

For mine I was using up a bunch of yarn from my sc blanket. I was also figuring out the pattern. By the time I made Alyssa's I had perfected the design (which I am sharing with you here). I recommend using one color for the rounds 1-8 and for rounds 26-33 and for the strap for a more cohesive design. Of course I always encourage taking creative liberty. That's one of the many reasons DIY rocks, you can make it exactly fit your style and needs. Enjoy!