Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIWW: Yellow, How are You?

How are you? I've been feeling really optimistic this past week (I'll explain why in a future post) but tonight I'm just feeling "meh."

One thing I like to do to lift my spirits is change into something bright and airy, like this skirt.

Making sure I make all the iPhone photo cliches: selfie (check) & cat photobomb (check)!

Hair: summer nubins (I just twist & pin up my hair into mini buns. It's too hot for a 'fro!)  // Halter: Free People (I've had this top over 10 years!) // Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage via Mom // Skirt: Random discount store dress that I shrunk then cut into a skirt (Cheap clothes always shrink!)  //  Shoes: Sam by Dansko

Does wearing bright clothing help improve your mood? Do you have any "get happy" outfits?

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. 

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was entertaining. 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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Monday, June 24, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Raw Kale, Cantaloupe Melon, and Walnut Salad

It's suddenly so hot here in Providence. Are you hot? I got you, boo. Here's a quick, light dish that doesn't require turning on the stove.

Raw Kale, Cantaloupe, & Walnut Salad

This raw salad features kale from my garden, cantaloupe melon (which is in season and was on Madness Sale at Whole Foods Market), and walnuts.

You'll need:
  • a nice, juicy lemon
  • salt (I used Kosher, but sea salt works too)
  • a bunch of kale (washed, stems removed, & torn into large-ish bits)
  • honey or agave
  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • cantaloupe, diced into big bite sized chunks
  • toasted seeds or nuts

Do this:
  1. Put kale in a big bowl. Drizzle a wee bit of olive oil on it. Pour juice of half a lemon over. Toss in a bit of salt.
  2. Massage the kale with your hands. It will start to wilt. Yay!
  3. Now, make the dressing: Whip together juice from the rest of lemon, honey, pepper and olive oil.
  4. Add melon and nuts to kale.
  5. Pour dressing over and toss.

This is my twist on Aarti Sequeira's recipe for Massaged Kale Salad, so check out her recipe on the Food Network website for more detailed instructions. You'll notice the original recipe featured mango and pepitas, two foods I like but didn't have on hand. I think any smooth fruit would be good in this recipe. I'd like to try sunflower seeds in this next time I make it. Sunflower seeds seem to sing summer somehow.

Adding random pic of my guy holding the kale right after he picked it just cuz I think he's cute.

Do you ever make a raw kale salad? What do you usually toss into it? Also, are you sad that it's too hot to grow kale now? I am.

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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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Make Art at a NYC Laundromat

The only thing worse than having to do laundry is having to do it at a laundromat. Amiright? But what if you could make art, keep the kids entertained, and connect with your neighbors while you washed your clothes?


The Laundromat Project makes that possible by bringing free and fun kid-friendly drop-in art workshops to Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Hunts Point. Workshops include silkscreening, smoothie-making, neighborhood-themed self-portraits, and more!

Here's their awesome mission:
The Laundromat Project is a community-based non-profit arts organization committed to the well-being of people of color living on low incomes. Understanding that creativity is a central component of healthy human beings, vibrant neighborhoods, and thriving economies, we bring art programs to where our neighbors already are: the local laundromat. In this way, we aim to raise the quality of life in New York City for people whose incomes do not guarantee broad access to mainstream arts and cultural facilities.
How juicy is that?! Beats watching telenovelas or zoning out on my iPhone, which is what I used to do when I had to use the public laundromat.

More of The Laundromat Project: Website //  Support // on Twitter // on Facebook

What's the most fun you've ever had in your local laundromat? Do you wish there was something like this in your city?

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, June 19, 2013

WIWW: Orange You Glad?

Orange you glad it's summer dress season?

Dresses are the most awesome way to look like you give a damn without really trying. Now that it's warm out, you don't even need a coordinating sweater, boots, or tights. Shave your legs and your pits and you're good to go! (Speaking of pits, check out my natural DIY Deodorant Cream. It's magical!)



Hair: Wash & Go pinned on sides // Dress: Joe Fresh // Jacket: ? It's reversible so the tag is missing; purchased at Loehmann's (my fav retail spot for fab old lady style) // Earrings: via South Africa // Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage via Mom // Sunglasses: Why didn't I wear any?!!! //  Shoes: Softspots ("Looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker!" 'Member that jingle? These aren't Easy Spirit, but they're cut from the same comfy cloth.)

Need more convincing about dresses? Read this blog post on Fancy Little Things by the uber-adorable Tricia from The Domestic Fringe.

Random FYI: The first photo in this blog post was edited with the A Beautiful Mess iPhone app. I love it! What do you think?

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. 

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was entertaining. 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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Consider supporting this blog by purchasing green cleaning & fun home goodies selected by me via my Amazon shop or clicking on an ad. Thanks.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Food in the Nude: 10 Simple + Yummy Raw Vegan Snacks

I will totally eat whatever snacks are available to me. Cupcakes? Sure! Carrot sticks and hummus? Sign me up! I enjoy earthy, snappy, crunchy healthy foods and sugary, salty, fattypants snackypoos equally. However, I generally end up eating whatever is in front of me because I don't like to spend a lot of time thinking about, seeking out, or preparing food.

That, and it's hard for me to gain weight-  a lame excuse I use to convince myself that what I eat doesn't matter. Nevermind that I have horrible PMS, painful long periods, bad skin, and low energy! (Skinny does not equal healthy folks!)

Using my new Vitamix to make green smoothies is one way I've managed to get better-for-me foods into my body.  I usually have a smoothie for breakfast and/or an mid-day snack. Smoothies are seriously the secret to eating healthy without sacrificing the lazybones lifestyle!

Still, I often find myself stuffing my face with chips, crackers, baked goods, and trail mix. Why? Three reasons: I get overwhelmed in the grocery store and make bad choices (or no choices at all). I don't like cooking much therefor food usually dies in my fridge before I eat it. I am horrible at figuring out what foods go well together.

So today for Meatless Monday I've created a list of my favorite healthy foods that don't need to be cooked, blended, juiced, soaked, dried, paired, or dressed up to be enjoyed. I'm talking about food in the nude.

Peas from my garden

These are 10 awesome snacks that can be zoinked from the grocer or garden then mindlessly nibbled exactly the way mother nature made 'em. Many of these are in season locally now too. Extra bonus!
  1. avocado
  2. romaine lettuce
  3. cucumber
  4. peas & pea shoots
  5. radish
  6. turnip
  7. kohlrabi
  8. watermelon
  9. corn
  10. cherries
I'm totally putting this list in my phone so I have it ready whenever I go grocery shopping.

What's your favorite food in the nude?

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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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Encouragement for Beginner Container Gardeners

In March I shared my decade-long dream of growing food. Today I am happy to share pictures of what's growing in my container garden.

My container garden
Isn't it awesome? Those shelling peas are just about to pop off the stalk. We're having some for dinner tonight!

If growing a garden is something you've been putting off, I have five morsels of encouragement:
  1. Don't wait for the "perfect time" or to "know more" about gardening. Get some seeds and plant them now. Everything will be alright. And if it's not, seeds aren't expensive so you can always try again without much financial loss. 
  2. Don't let your fear of killing plants stop you either. As far as I know, it's not illegal.
  3. Growing plants is a great way to learn about and appreciate them. Planning a garden is not nearly as interesting which is why you should just jump in.
  4. Once you plant your first seed or sprout a seedling, the Universe/ God/ whatever will start attracting more seasoned gardeners and other awesome resources to you. A net of support and garden love will spring up like magic after you take that leap of faith.
  5. You really don't need to water outdoor plants as much as you think.

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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Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Refresh Vintage Clothing


Meghan Graham, owner of Into the Wardrobe, offered me this tip for refreshing dry clean only vintage and second-hand clothing:
  1. Wet a washcloth with water. (Not dripping wet.) 
  2. Place it into the clothes dryer with the offending article(s) of clothing. 
  3. Run the machine on air setting (no heat) for a few minutes.
  4. Flaunt your fresh style!
I told Meghan my trick for removing the smell of perfume or mildew from funky clothes: I spritz them with vinegar. She thought it was a good idea but warned that the acidity of vinegar can ruin certain fabrics, especially silk and wool. It's good to have friends who are pros!

What about moth balls? Moth balls are toxic (they're a pesticide) so she says it's best to not even bother with clothes that smell of them. If you can't live without a particular item that's been stored with moth balls (like maybe your great-granny's sweater), Care2 suggests putting the clothing in the sun, repeatedly until the smell disappears.

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'
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

How Many Refrigerator Magnets Is Too Many? & DIY Fridge Flair

I have a lot of magnets on my fridge. Maybe too many (although I secretly don't think there's such a thing as too many magnets). It's the one area of my house where I express my hoarder fantasies.

My fridge: a colorful collage of magnets, doodles, and stickers.

If you love fridge flair as much as I do, you'll love this easy trick for making hip magnets.

Make your own refrigerator magnets.

You need:
  • A small magnet. I've saved a stash of magnets from the bottom of vinyl shower curtain liners.
  • An awesome pinback button/ button badge/ whatever you wanna call it. The one in the photo is made by Fishcakes. (P.S. Am I the only one who can't look at one of these things without thinking of that scene from Office Space?)

Do this:
1. Open the pin and pull out the wire, pin part.
2. Place the magnet inside the pin.
3. Draw something (how about an ICAD?) and post it on the fridge with your new fridge flair. You're a star!

How many refrigerator magnets do you think are too many? Do you prefer a totally clean fridge front or do you love expressing yourself via your appliances?

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'
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WIWW: Vintage Victory and Chug-A-Lug Cheer!


 I'm celebrating! I won a Chug-A-Lug and I scored the most awesome vintage dress.



Hair: I let Mother Nature do her thang! // Earrings: F21 // Necklace: H & M // Dress: In Roads of Dallas (vintage via Into the Wardrobe, my new favorite store!) // Bracelet: Olive Spoon Studio (bought on Sunday at the inauguaral Providence Flea) // Chug-A-Lug Jar Cozy: The Makers Mill // Belt & Leggings: F21 // Shoes: Sam by Dansko (I really need a dark pair!)

Backstory: I won a Chug-A-Lug via a raffle I entered at the RISD Alumni & Student Art Sale. Gibb drove up to my house Ed McMahon style and hand delivered it to me!


Chug-A-Lug is handmade in Warren, RI by The Makers Mill. A Chug-A-Lug is a leather cozy that fits snuggly on a mason jar. It's designers, Gibb and Freyja, hope it will replace disposable to-go cups and plastic bottles.

I think it's really stylish and I also appreciate that it's well-constructed by hand from quality materials: brass hardware, non-toxic vegetable tan leather from small producers. This is the kind of thing you could pass down to your grandkids. It'd make an excellent Father's Day gift or gift for anyone who:  1) appreciates artisanal leathercraft, 2) drinks to-go hot coffee or tea regularly, or 3) is a germiphobe but hangs with lots of other people who also drink from jars and leave them hanging around.  (I might actually re-gift mine! I love to share the love!)

My Chug-A-Lug

What has you feeling victorious and cheerful this week? Let me know in the comments. And did you enter my ENJO bathroom package giveaway yet?

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. 

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'
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Consider supporting my blog by purchasing green cleaning & fun home goodies selected by me via my Amazon shop. Thanksies.

Giveaway: ENJO Bathroom Set


Wanna try the ENJO bathroom set I reviewed yesterday? Enter the ENJO giveaway I am hosting to win one of two packages ENJO Canada is providing to you fabulous fellow domestic enthusiasts.

Each package, retail value $99, includes:
  • Bath GloveClassic fiber for the bathroom.
  • Bath MaidHandy cleaning of toilets and drains with our Bathroom Maid.
  • ENJOfil: Super-absorbent, streak free drying cloth.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to earn entries every day now through midnight Thursday, June 27th. I'll announce the winner via this widget on Friday, June 28.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excited? Hope so! Be a dear and tell your best friend about this giveaway. There are two sets after all. If you're feeling extra generous, pin the image so all your Pinterest followers can test their luck. Thanks!

ENJO is "on a mission to show you a new way to clean your home chemical free!" What's not to love about that? Stay connected with ENJO Canada: via Facebook // via Twitter // via YouTube // Shop at ENJO.net

Disclaimer: ENJO Canada provided me with free products to review, however I was under no obligation to review if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free products.

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'
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: ENJO Microfiber Bathroom Cloths

Last month, I saw a YouTube video of a woman cleaning a bathroom in just 4.5 minutes using ENJO products. It's possible to clean a bathroom in under 5 minutes with only water?! I just had to see for myself.



I contacted ENJO to request a complimentary kit to review. They responded by sending the following tools from the video:
The website doesn't list prices but the ENJO representative told me the set is a $99 value. $99?! For some cleaning rags?!!! Even though I was getting them for free, my inner cheapskate was repulsed. These better be good, I thought.



They were good. Immediately upon opening the package I could tell the ENJO products were of a higher quality construction than most microfiber cloths. An ENJO rep informed me that most microfiber cloths have a thread count of 400-600, while ENJO's is 2000-4000. ENJO fibers are 1/100th the diameter of human hair and each fiber has 90+ additional little surfaces along it's shaft to trap even more dirt and grime.

The patented fibers are designed for mechanical cleaning instead of relying on chemicals (natural or synthetic) to do the dirty work. In fact, ENJO creates fibers for optimal cleaning of specific surfaces, so the kitchen glove's microfibers are cut like fish hooks to grab grease, while the bathroom glove is designed to best tackle soap scum and calcium build-up.

So do fancier cloths make for better cleaning? I didn't clean my bathroom at all for an entire week and tried to use them in the same way the woman in the video did.

I was most impressed by how well the bathroom glove cleaned my sink basin. I was almost blinded by how white it was! The ENJOfil drying cloth did a great job cleaning my mirrors even after I put my oily cheek against the mirror to give it a challenge! Good stuff!

Before and After using ENJO bathroom glove and ENJOfil

The glove didn't perform as well on my crappy acrylic shower/bath. I had to use lots of elbow grease. In the glove's defense, the previous tenants thoroughly scratched the surface and I use a heavy hair conditioner, so our bath area is always a little hard to clean. The ENJOfil wiped away a lot of what the the glove couldn't so ultimately things ended up clean.

(I didn't try the glove on my floor, so I can't report on it's performance there.)

The toilet maid did a pretty average job cleaning my toilet bowl. It didn't look dirty, but it didn't have the "just cleaned", brilliant look I am used to getting from my toilet brush and Bon Ami. The ENJO website says if you have hard water you should also use their calcium dissolver. We have hard water here in Providence so I imagine that would have helped.

Was I able to clean my bathroom in less than 5 minutes? No. The woman in the video didn't pre-wipe the sink and toilet top with a dry cloth before cleaning. She must live in a dust-free house with hairless beings because that doesn't usually fly in Chez Olivia. I too skipped this step, curious if dust and hair would miraculously cling to the cloth while cleaning, as the video suggests. What a mistake! I'm sure that added more time to my cleaning because I had to rinse the cloth and rewipe certain spots several times to remove hair. Also, I clean under the toilet seat, unlike the woman in the video. I'm not here to judge. I'm just sayin'.

I believe ENJO could save you time if you are the type of person who juggles multiple types of specialized cleaners since it only uses water, but you really can't expect it to cut cleaning time down from 22.3 minutes to 4.5 minutes. Also, who spends 22 minutes cleaning a bathroom? Usually I'm done in 10 minutes, or 15 if I vacuum and mop the floor.

Will I ditch my regular green cleaning regimen for an ENJO-based regimen? I loved the ENJOFil and I liked the glove. I'm keeping both in rotation in my bag-o-rags. Still, my current bathroom cleaning ritual using 3 simple green cleaners (Bon Ami, Viva Vinegar, and club soda) with pretty much any cloth and sponge works perfectly for me.

Who is ENJO perfect for? I think the products I used would be great for someone who is new to green cleaning, has more disposable income, and is seeking to simplify her life. At $99 this initial investment is kinda steep but the cloths are designed to last 3-4 years with weekly use. If you also consider that you won't need to purchase cleaning products or take time to decipher product labels for safety, this could balance the price for a busy professional.
 
I think ENJO products are also a great choice for someone with an apartment cleaner who either doesn't read English or isn't supersavvy about green cleaning. You'd need to make sure he or she knows which cloth to use for each surface, but you'd eliminate concerns about damages caused by using the wrong chemical product.

Would you like to try these ENJO products? I've teamed up with ENJO to give away 2 bathroom sets. (Click here to enter now until midnight Thursday June 27,2013.)

Have you used ENJO products before? I'd love to read about your experience. Also, what do you think about cleaning a bathroom without any products? A few people on YouTube wondered if it is sanitary. I felt fine about it, but what do you think? 

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'
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Consider supporting my blog by purchasing green cleaning & fun home goodies selected by me via my Amazon shop. Thanksies.

Monday, June 3, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Chickpea Salad Sandwich Recipe



Here's an easy sandwich filling that's got plenty of protein and flavor. Some folks (and chickens) say it's a fun alternative to chicken salad.

You'll need:
  • cooked chickpeas
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • garlic (just a little)
  • your favorite mayo (I love Vegenaise)
  • your favorite mustard (I love Dijon)
  • herbs (dried or fresh, I used dried parsley)
  • seasoning (I totally recommend Old Bay Seasoning)


Do this:
  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Toss in food processor with garlic clove(s). Process so that the chickpeas are just chopped a bit, but not so much that they become like hummus.
  2. In a bowl, mix chickpeas and everything else. Resist the urge to use a ton of mayo. You really don't need it and too much mayo makes it taste like weird hummus. 
  3. Slap onto bread with your fav garnishes for a sandwich. You can also serve on crackers as an appetizer. (It's super yummy on Herb-Garlic water crackers!) It's also good on a bed of romaine lettuce, but then again, what doesn't taste good on romaine?
Did you know chickpeas have lots of fiber and protein? This keeps you feeling satisfied after noshing on them. Read more about the health benefits of chickpeas at WHFoods.

What's your favorite way to eat chickpeas?

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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