Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jazzed about ICAD 2013!


ICAD stands for Index-Card-A-Day Challenge. The goal is to create something on a 3" x 5" index card every day in June and July. ICAD is hosted and organized by Tammy at Daisy Yellow blog. She provides creative prompts and themes which you can choose to follow, or not. It's up to you. You can then share your creations via the Daisy Yellow ICAD Flickr group or Facebook group.

ICAD starts Saturday, June 1 but you are welcome to join whenever you'd like. Learn more about ICAD at this awesome FAQ page.

I participated in Index-Card-A-Day 2012 and had the best time ever. Besides working on a community mural, I'd never shared my art with an audience outside of school before. Through ICAD I discovered it's actually really fun. (You can see the cards I made last year here.)

My favorite thing about ICAD was the diverse group of participants. Many were just beginning a creative practice or- like me- picking one up again, some were more seasoned artists, and a few were children! Everyone was so encouraging, curious, clever, funny, unique, ... I couldn't have asked to spend my summer with a better group of people. I can't wait to do it again!

Weird thing I drew tonight with zebra, crown, and recycle prompts and rainbow theme in mind. I found this index card and circle cut-out on the street. (Thanks RISD/ Brown grads!)

I'll be sharing my index cards via the Daisy Yellow Index-Card-A-Day Flickr group. I hope you'll join us!

ICAD has me pumped about summer. What are you looking forward to this summer?

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Wanna keep nerding out about creative green living? Let's stay connected: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Monthly(-ish) Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WIWW: Singing in the Rain

Saturday was cold, rainy, and gray- the best weather for bringing the sunshine with warm and colorful style.

Awesome rainy day!

Hair: Wash & Go with sides pinned (My trick to perfect coils is no combing after wash) // Umbrella: Queen of Hearts & Modern Love // Earrings: Silver Cocoon  //  Jacket: Huxley (gift from Mom) // Dress & Leggings: F21 (I'm wearing the same dress as in this WIWW post) // Purse: street artist in South Africa (via Dom) // Rain boots: Lands End

See what other bloggers are wearing, and share your style, at The Pleated Poppy:

pleated poppy

If you're visiting from WIWW, please say hi. Hugs!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was entertaining. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WIWW: Chill-Out(fit) & Mongo Kiss

This is my new favorite chill-out outfit, a chill-out(fit), if you will. It's got a combination of supersimple pieces that are comfy, easy-to-wash, don't wrinkle, and still look kinda hip.

The perfect outfit for drinking coffee on the stoop with a cat.



Hair: Thank you humidity! // Earrings: Fabulous string earrings sold by NYC Subway vendor (via Mom) // Cubic Zirconia Necklace: Dahlia Kanner Studio // Silver Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage (via Mom) // Top: Urban Outfitter's label (via Anne S.)  // Skirt: Alternative Apparel (via Liz) //  Leggings: random discount store // Shoes: Bass // Coffee Mug: Vintage via Fishs Eddy



Mongo Kiss: I love it, but the cat isn't a fan. Whatever, she doesn't have lips anyhow!

Also wanna tell you about my new lip balm: Mongo Kiss in peppermint by EcoLips. It was a total impulse buy at the Whole Foods Market check out line, but I love it. It's fair trade, made with organic ingredients, and has no fragrances or flavors added besides essential oil. Plus it's made with mongongo oil from Zambia, which I never heard of before but can tell you from experience that it's very, very moisturizing without feeling waxy or oily. Mongo Kiss does, however, have beeswax so it's not vegan. (Eco Lips does make vegan lip balms though.)

Wanna try Mongo Kiss and try your luck? There's a giveaway for a one year supply on the Eco Lips facebook page now through Monday, May 27.

Note: Eco Lips didn't solicit me to write this or provide a free sample. Mongo Kiss is just the best quality and most ethical $2 lip balm I've ever used, so I felt compelled to tell you guys about it.

See what other bloggers are wearing, and share your style, at The Pleated Poppy:

pleated poppy

If you're visiting from WIWW, please say hi. Hugs!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was entertaining. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Lovefest for BrightNest App

The crazy banana tip I shared yesterday comes from BrightNest, an informative and inspiring website "on a mission to make homeowners happy [via] tips and tools will shape up your home & simplify your life." What magical tools might these be? Oh, just an awesome free app that sends weekly personalized prompts of projects and tips to your phone. Don't have a smartphone? You can log into the site with your profile and receive them via email too.

Everything about BrightNest is crisp, clear, and clean- from their design to the voice of their expert tips. The website and the app are both just a sheer delight. Check out this screenshot of the app:

BrightNest app screen capture via CNET.

I most love that BrightNest gives users the ability to schedule projects along with estimated time investment. This makes it the perfect tool for procrastinators and time-pinched overachieving weekend warriors alike. (I've been known to be a little bit of both depending on the season and chore!) I also love that their tips are eco-friendly and encourage creative re-use and taking the best care of what we have. I always learn something new from them.

If you love taking care of your home, or feel like you're losing control of your home maintenance, sign up for a free BrightNest account today.

Have you used the BrightNest app? What do you think of it? Leave a comment.

Disclaimer: BrightNest didn't pay or otherwise solicit me to write this about them. I'm in no way affiliated with them besides being a very satisfied user of their free service.

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

DIY Non-Toxic Leather Shoe Polish

Or "That Crazy Thing I Did with a Banana Cuza BrightNest."

Dusty shoes meet banana.
Ready for a simple, eco-friendly method for polishing leather will knock your socks off?
  1. Eat a banana. (Yay potassium!)
  2. Rub the inside of the peel on your shoes, couch, wallet, or other leather item.
  3. Buff with a cloth. Be sure to wipe all banana crud off so you don't attract flies or smell like someone who cleans her possessions with fruit.

All polished up! Now all I need is for my feet to get some sun. LOL!

This tip comes from BrightNest. I'll be sharing my review of the app and website tomorrow. Oh, and if you like my leggings, they're by PVD-based artist Muffy Brandt; get your own on Etsy.

Do you have any home remedies and DIY tricks involving bananas? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WIWW: Saying Goodbye to My Favorite Outfit of the Season

Monday I wore my favorite cool weather outfit. I predict it's the last time I'll get to wear it until Columbus Day. I'm feeling a little bittersweet about that.

 

Hair: Efforts of many days of just going with it post twist out. LOL! // Earrings: Aye' Shanti Designs  // Cubic Zirconia Necklace: Dahlia Kanner Studio // Silver Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage (via Mom)  // Dress: by Maeve via Anthropologie (sale rack, but you already know!) // Shirt: Free People (I've had this shirt for 15 years and it's still in good shape. Free People clothing is totally worth the price!) // Tights: HUE knit  // Shoes: Sam by Dansko

This is my favorite outfit because of the marriage of color, texture (cord dress & knit tights with red french knot nubs to die for!), pattern (birds, nests, butterflies & blooms print shirt and on earrings), and shine (bracelet and wee cubic zirconia on necklace). Color, texture, pattern, and shine are four elements of a great outfit, at least according to What Not to Wear. There's a fifth element, but I can't remember what it is. Does anyone know?

 See what other bloggers are wearing, and share your style, at The Pleated Poppy:

pleated poppy

If you're visiting from WIWW, please say hi. Hugs!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was entertaining. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Remove Cat Fur From Tights

Don't waste paper and money using disposable lint rollers to remove pet hair from your clothing. All you need is a simple pair of rubber gloves. Actually you don't even need a pair. One glove will do!

Removed cat hair from my cotton tights with a rubber glove.

To remove pet hair from clothing:
  1. Put on a clean rubber glove.
  2. Rub garment in one direction with the glove. Repeat as necessary. 
  3. You'll notice all the pet hair clumps on the glove.
  4. Any stray hairs that were missed can be removed with a lint roller. One sticky sheet should do it, as opposed to the 3 or 4 usually required. (I find Casabella makes the best lint rollers, but they are not cheap so between that and saving the planet, I like to minimize use.)
  5. Rinse, wash, and dry the glove as you would after normal use. (Sprinkle some baking soda in there to keep it fresh too.
Watch this video to see Green Cleaning Coach Leslie Reichert do it!

Lucy 2.0
We're sitting Lucy 2.0, our downstairs neighbor's adorable long-haired kitty, this week. She was kind enough to lend infuration for this post.

My mom has a long-haired mini dachshund and uses this technique on her couch. I bet it works with a variety of pet hairs and fabrics.

Try it and let me know how it works with your pet hair situation. Also tell me, what's your favorite pet hair remover trick or product?

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Meatless Monday: Vegan Pizza

This is my second #MeatlessMonday post. Pizza is something practically anyone can make, even vegan pizza, even me! You just need patience with the crust and creativity for combining toppings.

Gooey leftover homemade vegan pizza. Yum!
 You have two options for delicious crust.
  1. Make your own with yeast. (Quick and easy, and popular, pizza crust recipe.)
  2. Buy a bag of pizza dough at the supermarket. You can find it in the refrigerator and freezer section. There's usually a multigrain and white flour option. I recommend leaving it out of the fridge a few hours before you work with it.
Homemade or from the market, you've got to make the dough into a crust somehow. Watch this video "How to Toss Pizza Dough, and Why You Should" from CHOW featuring World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani.

Now, what are you going to bake it on? Three options.
  1. Do you wanna make deep dish style pizza:? Use a cast-iron skillet. Check out what Emma did at A Beautiful Mess.
  2. Are you fancy? Then you probably have a pizza stone. (I wanna eat at your house!) If you're thinking about getting fancy, this HowCast video explains how a pizza stone can help distribute heat evenly and make for a crispy crust.
  3. Are you just a regular person who bakes occasionally? Then you probably have a cookie sheet. Put your pizza dough on that.
Whatever you do, I recommend baking the dough a little bit before putting on sauce and toppings then baking it some more. What kind of stuff goes on a vegan homemade pizza? Whatever you like. That's the magic of homemade! Here's what I like:

Vegan Pizza: All the kids are eating it! Good looking recipes at:
No Meat Athlete
Oh She Glows has a million pizza posts
Vegan Yumminess

Do you make pizza at home? What do you use: stone, cast iron skillet, or baking sheet? What's your favorite vegan cheese for pizza? Let's talk!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to Clean a Blender

Dirty Vitamix? No bigs!

It's almost sinful how easy it is to clean a blender: Just rinse the container, make a soap smoothie, and rinse again. Done!

How to clean a blender.

I bet this technique would work with immersion blenders that are dirty post-smoothie too. Just fill the glass you used with soapy water and let the wand do the magic.

This tip comes courtesy of Melissa Danielle, aka The Bad Ass Blender Woman. Check out my interview with her for more tips on making smoothies.

We just got our Vitamix this weekend but I'm certain this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. My blender makes it easy for me to eat more healthy foods and still be a lazybones. I hope my juicer doesn't get jealous! (Juicer baby, you're not that hard to clean either.)


Surprisingly good!

I can't resist bragging about the smoothie I had for breakfast: frozen kale, romaine lettuce, frozen peaches, almond milk, flax seed meal, and coconut oil. It knocked my socks off! I just threw stuff I thought was healthy in the blender. I was not prepared for how good it would be!

Update 5/14/2013: If you blend something fatty (coconut oil/ nut butter), this technique may not get everything off but it should be clean enough to make another smoothie. For best results, add a little baking soda along with the soap. Blend. Empty container, but don't rinse it. Wipe container with a sponge or dish cloth. Now rinse. Unfortunately, Vitamix containers shouldn't go in the dishwasher.

Olivia Lovejoy is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Meatless Monday: Easy Lentil Soup

I'm trying out #MeatlessMonday posts here on Olivia Cleans Green. This is not a food blog, but I think Meatless Monday is awesome and I'd love to encourage people to eat more vegetarian meals. So each week, starting today, I'm going to share a vegan recipe that I've tried myself and can confirm will reap delicious results without advanced cooking skills or access to exotic ingredients.

Lentils for #meatlessmonday lunch
Today I made a big pot of lentil soup following a popular 2 step recipe from AllRecipes.com.  The great thing about lentil soup is you can't really mess it up. As long as you include lentils and water, you're pretty much good. Here are a few tips and tweaks I've tried with this recipe:
  • red onion instead of yellow
  • vegetable broth made with Better than Bouillon vegetable base in place of all or half the water
  • I usually make a huge pot, so I'd say use about 3-4 cups of water/broth for each cup of lentils. I like a chunkier soup and you can always add more water or broth as you go too.
  • diced canned tomatoes instead of crushed
  • palmful of Italian seasoning mix (rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil,and parsley) instead of just oregano and basil. Use your favorite spices.
  • without garlic and vinegar (still tasty!)
  • frozen kale in place of fresh spinach (add about 10 minutes before end of cook time)
  • add potatoes or sweet potatoes/ yams (add about 30 minutes before cooking time ends)
  • cook for an hour and a half for softer lentils.
Did you know lentils are superhealthy? According to 9 Reasons to Love Lentils, they are teensy nutrient powerhouses containing iron, protein, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B1, potassium. Woo hoo! Go lentils! I know I always feel satisfied and energized after eating a bowl of this soup with a thick slice of toasted bread or crackers.

Happy Meatless Monday! Let me know if you try this recipe. Also, let me know if you're eating something else meatless tonight.

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

21 Simple DIY Recipes for Reducing Your Kitchen's Carbon Footprint

Passing on convenience foods and choosing to make things from scratch is a great way to not only save money, but also to reduce your carbon footprint. When we prepare foods with bulk dried ingredients or local produce we reduce the demand for the many resources required to package, refrigerate, and ship foods. We also make our grandmas proud!

Recent food projects: Almond meal and milk, soaking almonds, sprouts, and bread.
Here are a few lazybone-friendly recipes we use in my house:

Make your own cereal. My favorite breakfast is one of steel cut oats served with simple fruit and nuts topping or made following Fat-free Vegan's pie-like recipes with cooked fruit . I also love this savory granola recipe from Brooklyn's Early Bird Foods.

Skip cans and buy dried beans in bulk instead. Chez Bettay has great instructions on how to sort, pre-soak, cook, and freeze several varieties of beans. Oh My Veggies shows how to make beans in a slow cooker. Legumes like lentils and split peas don't require pre-soaking and have a short cooking time, meaning they're pretty popular in my house especially this recipe for lentil chili.

Speaking of beans, why not grow your own bean sprouts? It was supereasy for a beginner like me to make lentil sprouts following these instructions from For the Love of Food.

Make your own milk. Keeping a pet cow or goat isn't realistic for most of us, but we can all make nutritious plant-based milks from coconut, soy beans, or nuts. I recently made almond milk following wonderful video instruction from Anita of Electric Blue Baking Company. It was easy and deeeeelicious, at least twice as good as anything packaged.

Bake your own bread. While there is some artistry involved, it isn't required; even less-than-perfect fresh baked bread tastes amazing! I've tried these recipes: Basic White Sandwich Bread, No Knead Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, and a Simple Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. I can't wait to try this recipe for tasty oatmeal bread by Ian of PVD's Secret Door Projects.

Here are a few recipes I hope to try soon:

Can your own tomatoes. These Canning 101 instructions from SimpleBites make it seem so easy!

Make your own yogurt. Cassie at Back to Her Roots shares simple instructions for dairy yogurt and a vegan-friendly recipe for making homemade fruit-on-the-bottom individual yogurt cups. Vegans, check out this recipe for dairy-free yogurt in a crock-pot from Sayward at Bonzai Aprodite.

Make your own condiments. It's not only eco-friendly, but healthier since you can make them without high fructose corn syrup or preservatives. Check out these recipes for: ketchup from fresh tomatoes, vegan and soy-free mayonnaisse, whole-grain mustard, and hot sauce.

Brew your own kombucha. All the cool kids are drinking $4 disposable bottles of it, but you can be the coolest kid by following this kombucha recipe.

Resources:

What foods and drinks do you make yourself to save money and resources? Share a recipe or idea in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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WIWW: Big Fish, Small Pond?

Life in Providence is going swimmingly!

Richard photographed me outside Aqua-Life aquarium supply shop on Wickenden Street. I love it because it has this amazing aquatic mural that extends down onto the sidewalk. It's just wild! I was also thinking about the idea of being a big fish in a small pond. That's what a friend suggested moving to Providence would be like for me as a New Yorker. After living here almost a year, I don't really see his point. Even though it's a small pond, Little Rhody, especially Providence, is teeming with talented and interesting people I'm proud to swim with!

Hair: Twist Out & Braid Out combo // Sunglasses: street vendor // Earrings: crochet on plastic hoops, handmade by Bohemian Soul of Brooklyn // Cubic Zirconia Necklace: Dahlia Kanner Studio // Silver Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage (via Mom) // Colorful Bracelet: from Burkina Faso, available at One World Projects // Sweater: Forever 21 // Dress: by Wishes Wishes //  Leggings: Maggie's Organics // New Shoes! Sam by Dansko I'm not 100% in love with the round shape of clog sandals but these are so comfortable! Perfect for walking and working in retail, two activities I do a lot of.

See what other bloggers are wearing, and share your style, at The Pleated Poppy:

pleated poppy

If you're visiting from WIWW, please say hi. Hugs!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was entertaining. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An Interview with Shannon Sodano

Does spring have you yearning to get fit, but you loathe the gym? Meet my friend Shannon Sodano, a NYC-based nutrition, fitness, and yoga instructor with a unique vision for a healthy and gym-free world. Through her seminars, videos, classes, and retreats, Shannon guides people to live a healthier lifestyle that is enjoyable and sustainable.

Richard and I went on a retreat with Shannon over a year ago and I still draw on some of the things I learned. Shannon introduced me to literally hugging trees (try it!), walking on grass to stimulate the senses and strengthen foot muscles, coconut sugar, and more. She's got so many great ideas, I'm thrilled to introduce you to her!

Watch my interview with Shannon Sodano.



Shannon also interviewed me. If it's your first time visiting my website, this should give you a good idea of what I'm about: good green clean fun!


Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Please like Olivia Cleans Green on Facebook, join my email list, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my blog posts (by email, via Bloglovin', or with your preferred RSS reader) to keep in touch and discover more creative green homemaking tips.
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