Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#WIWW: Solving Problems with Summer Layers

I am so in love with this brilliant new outfit!


Beaded Necklace (worn as headband): H & M // Earrings: via South Africa // Top: Forever 21 // Tank Dress: Alternative Apparel // Screen printed Cuff: Handmade in Brooklyn by my friend Sarah Djarnie // Shoes: Bass

I have some problems with the main pieces of this outfit. First problem: I always felt the grey basic dress was too dull on its own. Second problem: The dress does not play nice with any of my bras. The top of my bra peeks up from the low neckline and the straps are visible from the racer back. This yellow top is not without its own issues, two major ones being its transparency and super cleavage factor.

I solved these problems by playing into each troublesome item's strengths to create a kickass outfit. I love the bright color of the yellow top, why not pair it with this dress? It's light enough, after all. And voila, magic happened! No more extreme cleavage. No more bra issues. Just a new outfit I'm super excited about. Hooray!

Lucy really didn't want to be in this picture, but I dragged her into the frame. She's too darned cute!

Have you found an awesome way to mix and match clothes you rarely wear lately? What problems have you solved by shifting your focus to strengths?

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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or shopping via my Amazon shop. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 Natural Ways to Keep Fleas Off Your Pets

A special post from my first guest blogger ever: Maya Rodgers. Hooray!

While flea collars, medications, repellants, and ointments are convenient and helpful in warding off fleas, they can be hazardous to your pet’s health – and sometimes even deadly. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, shivering, dilated pupils, tremors, and skin problems. Worse still is that many of the ingredients found in flea medications are harmful to children and adults. (I have, in fact, given my dog spot flea and tick treatments, but the warning label on these medications can be daunting!) Luckily, there are natural alternatives for flea prevention that will hopefully leave you and your furry friends both happy and healthy.

Guest blogger's dog, Mindy, tuckered out.


1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is full of healthy vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that are good for your pet. When used as a flea remedy, it can make your pet’s skin more acidic, which fleas hate. You can rub a small amount of ACV onto your pet’s skin, or dilute it with water, before spraying it on your pet. You can also bathe your pet in a solution with ACV, soap, and water. If your pet absolutely won’t bathe, use a flea comb, dipping the comb after each stroke into a bowl of warm, soapy, ACV water. If your pet can tolerate the acidic taste, try adding a small amount of ACV to your pet’s water bowl.

2. Essential Oil Spray
Fleas are naturally repelled by lavender and other essential oils, so a homemade spray would be a smart choice when used as a flea repellant. BUT lavender and some other essential oils are hazardous to cats, so make sure you pick essential oils that are cat-friendly. Here’s a great resource on how to make your own essential oil spray.

3. Add Healthy Nutrients to Your Pet's Diet
Your pet is more able to fight fleas when he or she consumes a healthy diet. Since most commercially processed pet foods lack certain vital nutrients, your pet may not be able to build up the natural immunities needed to ward off fleas. Adding natural ingredients like brewer’s yeast, garlic, flaxseed oil, and B vitamins to your pet's diet can aide in making them less tasty for fleas while boosting their immune system. However, before you add any supplement to your pet’s diet, be sure to talk with your vet about specific nutrients and amounts that are appropriate for your unique pet.

4. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is known for its ability to kill off many different insects. Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled onto your pet's coat, your yard, and onto carpeted surfaces to fight off fleas, BUT be sure to get food grade diatomaceous earth. This way if you or your pet ends up eating some, it won’t harm anyone. Let the diatomaceous earth sit on the carpet for 24 hours before vacuuming it up. Diatomaceous earth will likely need to be reapplied more than once before all the fleas are killed.

5. Nematodes
If fleas have progressed out of your home to your yard, or came from your yard in the first place, buy a container of beneficial nematodes from a garden supply store. There are many different types of nematodes (some of which can harm your garden, so be careful!), but the beneficial kinds can take care of many pests, including fleas. A last word of warning: Do not use nematodes and diatomaceous earth at the same time in your yard as the diatomaceous earth will likely harm the nematodes.

Armed with these five natural remedies, any flea will cower at the very sight, smell or sound of your pet. Or at least I hope they will! Though these natural remedies should help get rid of fleas, you may need to use them more than once, and it’s up to you to make sure the fleas never come back. Continue to make sure that your pet is healthy, both on the inside and out. Keep bathing and combing your pet regularly, and vacuum often. Lastly, if you’re ever worried that the fleas might return, you can always sprinkle another round or two of diatomaceous earth.

Maya Rodgers writes about pets, exercise, green living, pest control, and many other subjects on her blog: Pets and Pests. She gets her expertise on pest related topics from doing termite inspections and other pest-related issues for Terminix. She loves hearing from readers, so please drop her a line!

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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad, shopping via my Amazon shop, or my Mountain Rose Herbs affiliate link. Thanks.

Monday, July 29, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Tomato, Basil, and Millet Salad

This millet salad is the perfect Meatless Monday summer dinner entree. It takes advantage of the delicious, sweet tomatoes growing now. It also features basil, which is regarded as a cooling herb in Chinese medicine. It's super nutritious and filling thanks to fiber-tastic millet. It requires some cooking, but not enough to make a person sweaty. (Hooray!)



To make this salad you need: uncooked millet, veg broth, cooked black eyed peas, green onions, fresh basil (I used lemon balm basil from my friend Kate's garden), cherry tomatoes, lettuce (I used romaine), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper.

Check out the complete recipe (measurements & instructions) via Whole Foods Market recipe collection. Also wanna send love to the WFM Recipes App which makes it super easy to store recipes and shop for ingredients.


This millet salad is best enjoyed at room temperature, making it a low-fuss dish to bring to a picnic or potluck. It was a hit at the garden potluck I went to this weekend! It was also very enjoyable as leftovers the next day.

What's your favorite main dish salad for 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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or shopping via my Amazon shop. Thanks.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How to Green Clean Wood, Stone, Ceramic, and Vinyl Floors


While cleaning floors can be a pain in the applejacks (and back), it certainly isn't rocket science. There is really only one thing to consider when choosing a green clean solution for you floor: the surface. Here are a few different methods for cleaning floors, sorted by the type of material the floor is made of.

WOOD
Untreated hardwood floors are the gremlins of the floor world, don't get them wet! Just dust mop or vacuum them and call it a day. Sorry! If your hardwood floor is treated with polyurethane, wax, or something else you've got the green light.

The way to tell the difference between treated and untreated wood floors is to spill a few drops of water on the floor. If it beads, the floor is treated. If it gets absorbed, the floor is untreated.

I love Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. It smells woodsy and a little goes a long way. Bronner Mom Lisa Bronner recommends adding 1/2 T of Sal Suds to a bucket of water*.

Melissa Maker of Clean My Space recommends adding a "pinky nail" worth of dish detergent (which is a great neutral pH cleaner) and a cap full of white vinegar to a bucket of water. Check out her awesome video on How to Clean Hardwood Floors.

Sarah at Nature's Nurture used a combo of vinegar, water, rubbing alcohol, and essential oil to make a natural all-purpose floor cleaning spray to pair with the Swiffer she repurposed into an eco-mop.

There are a bunch of hardwood floor cleaner recipes at TipNut too.

Wellness Mama writes that you can bring shine back to wood floors by rubbing a mixture of 1/2 c white vinegar and 1T vegetable oil into it.

MARBLE and other STONE
Aren't we fancy! If you have marble floors you need to use a neutral cleaner. Dish soap is a wonderful choice. Add up to three drops of the stuff to a bucket of water. Mop the floor. Then be sure to dry. Do not use vinegar cleaner on stone surfaces.

CERAMIC TILE
Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar or 1/2 T Sal Suds in a bucket of water. Mop. Wipe dry for shine.
If the grout is really dirty, try using a brush and scrubbing with Bon Ami or washing soda then rinse well with plain water.

VINYL TILE
Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar or 1/2 T Sal Suds in a bucket of water. Mop. There's no need to wipe dry.

TIPS
  • Always vacuum or dust mop before damp mopping.
  • *All references to a "bucket of water" in this post mean about one gallon of water in whatever container is easiest for you. It could be a bucket, but trash cans and sinks work too.
  • I love microfiber mops. I described what they are and how to use them in my blog post about alternatives to Swiffer, so check that out.
  • Regardless of the solution you use, wring out your mop thoroughly before cleaning the floor. I also recommend drying the floors after cleaning by going over them with a dry mop head or towel. 
  • If you can avoid storing things on the floor, do so. That will make cleaning the floor way less of a bother.
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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or shopping via my Amazon shop. Thanks.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What to Do if You Forget Deodorant

Sometimes you leave the house and you realize you've forgotten something. Not your wallet or your sunnies, but something even worse...deodorant!

Don't fret, my pet. Chances are you've got something in your purse that will do the trick: hand sanitizer.


Yup! Hand sanitizer not only kills common germs on your hands but anywhere. So if you put it in your pits, it'll Kung Fu odor-causing germs there too, leaving you fresh.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a big advocate for hand sanitizer. I believe we need germs. I also think using soap and water is the ideal way to keep our hands clean. Still, I feel that on days when you need a touch-up on your natural deodorant or have flat-out forgotten it, this is a sweet secret weapon.

I like EO Hand Sanitizer gel. It's made with organic alcohol, has moisturizing jojoba oil & glycerin, and is scented with essential oils not synthetic fragrances, so it's not as bad as standard antimicrobial sanitizers.

How do you feel about hand sanitizer? Do you ever use it? Have you ever used it as emergency deodorant?

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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or shopping via my Amazon shop. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

#WIWW: I Did Yoga!


People probably assume because I'm sorta crunchy that I do yoga. Nuh uh. I've done it off and on over the last few years, but I could never get over the hump of sucking enough to do it regularly. The suffering of these scrawny arms and bony wrists makes me squeal during downward dog. I tend to be uncoordinated, inattentive to vocal cues, and surprisingly forgetful of the distinction between my left and right. I'm a hot, whiny mess!

Even greater than the physical challenges is the mental challenge. My inner dialogue wells up and things get nasty. It says I'm weak and stiff. It says I'm not as good as everyone else in the room- people who seem to glide through the flow like pros. My mind tells me I'm foolish for trying.

I'm not used to doing things I'm terrible at. I guess that's why it's important that I keep up with yoga and try to go to a class at least once a week. I found Now Yoga, a studio that's about a 5 minute bike ride or 15 minute walk from my apartment. The space is light and roomy. The instructor Guisep was kind and positive. Despite the fact that I can sometimes be a jerk to myself, I had a good experience. I look forward to going back and confronting my inner bully soon.

Hair: Chunky two strand twists pinned back into a knotty updo. (Prettiest and most sweat-friendly natural hairdo I've ever exercised in!) // Tank & Shorts: Old Navy // Socks & Sneakers: Columbia // Handmade Ceramic Earrings: Maboue // Recycled Rubber Bracelets: Made in Mali, available via Made With Love and at Sustainable NYC // Colorful Bracelet: from Burkina Faso, available at One World Projects // Yoga Mat Bag: Handmade in Guatamala by Upavim, purchased at Sustainable NYC

Are you conquering any inner bullies through exercise? Namaste sister! Leave a comment.  And if you are wondering how to clean a yoga mat, here ya go! Also, wanna invite you to enter my giveaway: Win EcoJarz BPA-free stainless steel lid & straw that makes any mason jar a hip to-go cup for coffee or smoothies.

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 nerd out about creative green living? Let's stay connected: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or making a purchase via my Amazon affiliate shop . Thanks.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Clean Stinky Dansko Clogs


Saturday afternoon I got caught in a very refreshing rainstorm on my way to see 20 Feet from Stardom (which I totally recommend, that is both getting caught in the rain and the film). My Dansko clogs were soaked. I let them dry on a windowsill when I got home, but things seemed a little funky when I put them on again on Sunday afternoon. When I removed them on Sunday evening it smelled like I'd been aging cheesy in those things. Yes, it was that bad!

To get them back on track, I used:
  • about 1/4 cup water, room temperature
  • about 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cleaning cloths
  • an old toothbrush

Here's what I did:
  1. I wiped the insides of the clogs with a cloth.
  2. I mixed the water and vinegar together in a cup. 
  3. I dipped another cloth into the mixture, then wrung it out so that it wasn't dripping wet. I used this to scrub the insides of the shoes (footbed, inside roof). Some elbow grease was necessary. #realtalk
  4. I dipped a toothbrush in the mixture and used it to reach funky nooks and crankys.
  5. I let the shoes air dry completely overnight.
Results: Excellent! No more cheese smell, no vinegar smell either. Just funk-free and fabulous! I believe these techniques will work on the soles of other funky hippie shoes and sandals worn without socks like Birkenstock and Toms too.

Like this? Check out my other tips for keeping shoes fresh.

Share this post. Tweet: How to Clean @Dansko Clogs Naturally http://bit.ly/1NmejG7 via @itsolivialane #greencleaning #eco

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

Monday, July 22, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Creamy Oatmeal Berry Smoothie

This morning for Meatless Monday I tried Strawberries n Cream smoothie inspired by a recipe on GreenPlateRule.com.



Into my blender went: coconut milk (this kind), ground flax seeds, coconut oil, quick oats, banana, strawberries, oatmeal, ice cubes, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

The texture was indeed creamy. The taste was reminiscent of the Capt'n Crunch Crunch Berries cereal I enjoyed in my youth, except unsweetened.

Will today forever be remembered as "that one time I put oatmeal in my smoothie" or will I try it again?Totally! Oats are super good for you. I love that they are packed with fiber that helps me stay full longer and keeps things moving inside.

Thinking about putting oats in your smoothie? Here are some other recipes:
Have you put oatmeal in your smoothie before? Have an awesome recipe to share? Leave a comment. Also enter my giveaway to win an EcoJarz lid & straw like the ones in the photo.

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.   

Stay connected: Free Gift // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, July 19, 2013

How to Green Clean a Toilet Brush & Plunger

If I tell you your toilet brush and plunger are dirty, you'll probably tell me "No sh*t." But have you cleaned them? I must admit this is one of those tasks I tend to put off, but it's pretty important and not that complicated.

(toilet brush pic via PhotoDictionary.com)

Here's how to clean your toilet brush and plunger without bleach or other toxic chemicals.

You'll need:
  • Access to your toilet and the ability to not use it for an hour
  • A stock pot of boiling water. Do not fill it to the top unless you like being burned by splashing water.
  • half gallon of white vinegar 
  • Bon Ami or baking soda

Do this:
  1. Clean your toilet.
  2. Rinse the toilet brush by flushing water over it. Pour a cup of water over the brush caddy to rinse it over the toilet too. You probably rinsed the plunger last time you used it. If you didn't....uh, wtf?
  3. Drain the toilet: First, turn off the water valve (there should be a knob under the toilet tank). Secondly, hold down the handle to flush wall water from the tank. And finally, pour clean water down the bowl to flush any remaining water.
  4. If you don't wanna drain the toilet, you can clean everything in a bucket instead.
  5. Place the toilet brush, caddy, and plunger in the toilet bowl. Pour enough boiling water over it to cover the hard workin' bits (including the bottom parts of the handle). Pour in about 2 cups of white vinegar for every 1 ½ gallons of hot water. 
  6. Let everything soak for about an hour. 
  7. After one hour, remove everything. Give the handle and the toilet brush caddy a good scrubbing with a damp sponge and baking soda or Bon Ami. Use an old toothbrush on stubborn stains and hard-to-reach places. 
  8. Turn on the water to your toilet. Let the tank fill then rinse everything thoroughly by flushing. 
  9. Put everything out in the sun to dry. This will kill any remaining germs. 
  10. Brag and judge others for having dirty toilet brushes. 
Tip: Let your toilet brush dry in between uses by propping it between the toilet bowl and toilet seat.
 
Reference: The Bath Outlet Blog

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by shopping via my Amazon shop or buying my green cleaning eBook. Thanks.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

5 Natural Remedies to Soothe Bug Bitten Skin

I'm the sweetest lady in Providence, RI. Don't believe me? Ask the mosquitoes. If 'skeeters, fleas, flies, and other bugs think you're tasty too, here are five natural, non-toxic treatments to soothe your ailing skin.



Baking soda
Broke and bug bitten? Try my favorite remedy: baking soda. Make a paste by adding a little water to baking soda. If you have witch hazel, use that instead of water, as it helps to draw out fluids and reduce swelling. Apply paste directly to bug bites and feel relief almost instantly. Warning: This will leave an unsightly white crust on your skin, so I don't recommend doing this before leaving home unless you just don't give a darn. In which case, can I borrow some of your confidence?

Essential Oil
You probably have lavender and tea tree essential oils in your green cleaning kit, but you needn't reserve these dynamic oils for household chores. Lavender essential oil is one of the few essential oils that's safe to place directly to your skin without a carrier oil. A dab on the skin can help reduce inflammation and pain and prevent infections. (via Huffington Post) Tea tree oil is also helpful. Add a few drops to a tablespoon of coconut, almond, or jojoba oil before applying to irritated skin.

The home remedies below didn't work for me. I'm including them because they're pretty popular. Maybe one of these will give you relief since every body is different.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Another handy, inexpensive treatment. Use a cotton ball to dab some ACV directly onto bug bites. The acid helps to balance the pH of your skin and kill germs that cause irritation. (via Huffington Post)

Veg Out
Place cucumber skins on top of the bites to sooth the itching and irritation. (via Dr. Oz blog)

Hair of the Dog
Apply honey to a bug bite to sooth the skin. Because honey is a natural antibiotic, it can also help prevent infections. (also via Dr. Oz blog)

How to you treat your itchy bug bites? Do any of these remedies work for you? Leave a comment. 

Update: This blog post is linked up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #81 link party at FrugallySustainable.com. Check it out!  

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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#WIWW: Seniorita Sunshine

Wearing this skirt with a golden orange top makes me feel like Seniorita Sunshine. She's a woman who drinks tea from jam jars, frolicks on playground swings, and doesn't sweat over kipping a day of shaving her legs. I like when she comes to visit!


Top: H & M // Skirt: Shameless // Beaded Earrings & Purse: via South Africa // Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage via Mom // Shoes: Sam by Dansko

Do you have any outfits that make you feel like a different character or a different part of yourself? Leave a comment.

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 nerd out about creative green living? Let's stay connected: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or making a purchase via my Amazon affiliate shop . Thanks. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

5 Resources for a Healthier Menstrual Cycle & A Free Lunapads Sample


I'm trying to heal my relationship with my menstrual cycle which is kinda bonkers lately. In case you are dealing with similar challenges, here are some natural resources for a healthier menstrual cycle plus info on how to get a free eco-friendly pantyliner from Lunapads, sponsor of this post and an awesome company!

5 Natural Solutions for PMS from Yoli's Green Living - I love Yoli's simple recommendations: eat a whole foods based vegan diet, exercise, eat more potassium, avoid caffeine, and consider natural supplements. Check out her blog post to read her explanations of why these things help, then poke around her website some more. It's awesome!

Health Talk: All-Natural Remedy for Menstrual Cramps via Hey Fran Hey - Check out this video to see how blackstrap molasses can help reduce your cramps.

Alisa Vitti's 4-Week Cyclical Hormonal Health Plan - Alisa was a featured guest on Dr. Oz this spring. This is her quick-start four-week plan to get your hormones balanced in 30 days. My plan is fully detailed in her book, WomanCode, (which I am still reading. God, I wish this was on video!) and is one of the steps of the protocol she uses with her clients at FLOLiving.

Natural Remedies for PMS, Cramping, & Hormone Imbalance via Wellness Mama -  This blog post is busting with info. I like that Katie includes how lifestyle factors like chemicals in food, cleaning products, and other household items can affect our fertility and hormone balance.

4 Treats for a Healthy, Eco-friendly Period - Check out my blog post to see four treats that make Aunt Flo's visit more green and less toxic, including fabric menstrual pads. If you've been meaning to try cloth pads, there's no time like the present: Lunapads is currently offering a free pantyliner sample to new customers. Read the sponsored details from Lunapads below.



Free Sample from LunaPads
Lunapads are smart, sustainable alternatives to disposable menstrual pads and pantyliners. Washable menstrual products are easier on the planet as well as your wallet. With no added chemicals, perfumes, plastics or adhesives, they are also easier on your body.

Join the LunaRevolution and discover why thousands worldwide feel better about their periods! 

Curious but not sure you’re ready to make the switch? Now you can try before you buy! Lunapads offers first time customers 1 Lunapads Pantyliner sample for just $5 shipping & handling -- plus, you’ll receive a coupon for $5 off your next order.
Some conditions apply. Get your free sample here: http://lunapads.com/sample

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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or shopping via my Amazon shop. Thanks.

Monday, July 15, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Dairy-free Peanut Butter Mocha Milkshake

Coffee milk is kind of a thing here in Rhode Island. This peanut butter mocha milkshake is a fun vegan way to enjoy it this summer! 

Vegan milkshake made with Dave's Coffee Syrup

You'll need:
  • 1-2 T Dave's All Natural Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup. There are other brands but I like this one because it's made here in Rhody with natural cane sugar and boasts "No high fructose corn syrup. No artificial sweeteners. No fake colors." Yay! There's also a decaf kind. 
  • 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks before freezing)
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T peanut butter (almond butter is yummy too!)
  • 1 T ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 t to 1 t ground cinnamon
  • wee bit of vanilla extract
  • about 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk (or your fav non-dairy milk)
  • about 3 ice cubes

Do this:
  • Put everything into a blender. 
  • Blend. 
  • Enjoy! This makes about 1 jumbo serving or 2 moderate servings so you I'll let you decide if you wanna share.
  • Clean your blender.
I wanna mention that I'm hosting a giveaway with EcoJarz. Win a BPA-free stainless steel lid and straw that turns any mason jar into an easy to use to-go cup. How awesome would it be to enjoy this milkshake with one of those?

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 // Newsletter // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by clicking on an ad or shopping via my Amazon shop. Thanks.

Friday, July 12, 2013

DIY Ayurvedic Rose Water Cooling Mist

Heya goddess, feeling overheated and annoyed? Here's an easy, inexpensive, organic solution: DIY Rose Water Mist.



Rose water is great all year, but it's especially awesome to have on hand in the summer. It's recognized by the Ayurvedic tradition to have cooling properties. It's also anti-inflammatory and a mild anti-depressant. This makes it great for cooling you down when you're hot and angry and useful for treating sunburned and mosquito bitten skin.

You could buy rose water, but why not make your own for a fraction of the cost?

You need:

Do this:
  1. Rose water is basically a strong tea made from roses. Make rose water by pouring boiling water over rose petals. Approximately 1 and 1/2 heaping tablespoons for every 8oz of water should be enough. Cover and allow to steep at room temperature overnight.
  2. Strain rose water into another glass or jar. Squeeze petals to get every bit of rosey goodness. (See detailed tutorial with pics in my blog post: How to Make & Use Rose Water.)
  3. Use a funnel to pour the rose water into a mist spray bottle.Happy misting!
  4. You can also add a little rose water to lemonade or sparkling water for internal benefits. Just make sure it's fresh!
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. We don't want it to get moldy and gross. You can add grapefruit seed extract as a "natural" preservative, but there is controversy about some brands possibly containing parabens.

Do you have any other natural tricks or treats for staying cool in the summer? Leave a comment.

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by shopping via my Amazon shop or buying my green cleaning eBook. Thanks.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Turn Any Mason Jar into To-Go Cup with EcoJarz!

EcoJarz describes themselves as "a smart and simple way to turn a canning jar into a to-go cup." I totally agree! EcoJarz produces non-toxic BPA-free, phthalate-free lids and straws that fit on mason jars. Thus making it easy to reuse the glass jars that are ubiquitous in every hipster and foodie kitchen cabinet as an eco-friendly and healthy alternative to disposable cups.

Enjoying hot chai in the park with EcoJarz lid and the Chug-a-Lug mason jar cozy.
EcoJarz was kind enough to send me four complimentary products to try out: two stainless steel sippy lids (in regular and wide-mouth size) as well as two stainless steel straws- including one made specially for sipping smoothies.



I think the true test of a carry-out lid is how easy it is to both drink from and to carry the container while walking without splashing beverage on yourself. EcoJarz lids have a raised mouth opening that is moderate enough to make both tasks manageable.

I'm not a straw person. I think they're generally kinda gross and wasteful. That said, I found using Ecojarz stainless steel straws surprisingly pleasant. They didn't affect the taste of my drinks and the mouthfeel wasn't icky, two things I always find troublesome about plastic straws. (Well, that and getting a little faux estrogen with my iced tea!) 

EcoJarz products are a great conversation piece. They present a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about chemicals in plastics without seeming like a pushy weirdo. People just asked me because I'm a hip lady carrying a cool and unusual cup and a straw that looks like it came from the future.

Also awesome: You can clean the straws and lids in the dishwasher. Yay! They sell inexpensive reusable straw cleaners for hand washing too.

I'd love for you to have a lid and straw from EcoJarz too! I've partnered with them to host a giveaway. Good luck!

Update: The contest is over but you can grab EcoJarz products on Amazon.

Meanwhile, connect with EcoJarz on social media. They're a young woman-owned, small company based in Denver, CO and Ithaca, NY: EcoJarz.com //  on Twitter // on Facebook // on Pinterest

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.   

Stay connected: Free Gift // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#WIWW: Soulful Bohemian Visit to Hastings-on-Hudson



Hair: Chunky two-stand twists (done in car!) // Sunglasses: via NYC Street Vendor // Earrings: Aye' Shanti Designs  // Necklace & Belt: Forever 21 // T-shirt: Threads 4 Thought // Skirt: Re-styled cheapo dress cut into skirt (becoming my summer favorite!) // Purse: street artist in South Africa (via Dom) // Recycled Rubber Bracelets: Made in Mali, available via Made With Love and at Sustainable NYC // Silver Bracelet: 70s hippie vintage (via Mom)  // Ring: Handmade by my friend Roberta (who is also a gifted photographer) // Shoes: Sam by Dansko // Staying hydrated thanks to my Klean Kanteen


Two weekends ago, Richard and I had so much fun visiting his mom in Westchester (the 'burbs of NYC). Usually weekends there are packed with family activities or just hanging around, but that Saturday was different. Here's a list of the fun things we did:
Have you ever had fun in Hastings or a nearby Hudson river town? What did you do?
Also, check out this NY Times article on how Hastings is becoming a hub for hipster breeders priced out of Brooklyn. It made us laugh a little.

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
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by purchasing green cleaning & fun home goodies selected by me via my Amazon shop or clicking on an ad. Thanks. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

8 Ways to Save Money on Green Cleaning

Many people believe that eco-friendly cleaning is more expensive than conventional cleaning. We've all seen the crazy markups that seem to magically appear on items once a green label is slapped on them, but there are also lots of deals and savings available too.


  1. Stop using Swiffer Sweepers and Mops. Pass on Swiffer Dusters too. Instead of spending $10 a month on paper towels and disposable mops and dusters, invest $60 or so in a set of washable microfiber mops and cloths that will last years instead. I've got lots of cleaning tools listed in my Amazon shop, but you can also find them in a good hardware store, supermarket, The Container Store, or Bed Bath and Beyond.
  2. Buy concentrated cleaning products. I love Better Life products. You can buy gallon sized jugs of concentrates of what-EVER and other solutions on their website. Plus you'll get free shipping since it's over $25! Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soaps and Sal Suds are also highly concentrated- a little bit in a spray bottle or bucket of water will go very far! Check out Lisa Bronner's dilution cheap sheet. Housekeeping Channel has a list of helpful tips for understanding how to dilute cleaning solutions.
  3. Sign up for email newsletters from manufacturers of your favorite green cleaning products. I'm always getting printable coupons from Seventh Generation. Connecting with companies on Facebook and Twitter is another way to get notice of deals. Don't forget to connect with your local supermarket, health food store, and drug store too. They'll have sales and promotions on green cleaning products as well.
  4. Shop at stores that will allow you to return a product if you're dissatisfied with it. (Whole Foods Market is great for this reason.) 
  5. Look for free or inexpensive samples directly from a product manufacturer. Sound Earth will send out a free sample with every order. This will help you discover products you like and avoid ones you don't.
  6. Make your own cleaning products. Check out my video for how to make Viva Vinegar All Purpose Spray or sign up for my mailing list to receive a free illustrated zine of my favorite green cleaning recipes. Invest in a copy of Better Basics for the Home by Annie B. Bond. It's got a natural and inexpensive solution for practically every housekeeping conundrum: cleaning, personal care, pet care, gardening, pest control, etc.
  7. Follow directions on the package (or contact customer service if there are none) to find out the best way to use a product. Don't use more than what's called for. Using the wrong or least effective product for the surface will also waste money because you'll be inclined to use more of it but you still won't get great results.
  8. Spray cleaning product at the surface, or the cleaning cloth, and not at the air around the surface. You wanna hold the spray bottle relatively close to what you want it to get on. Seems obvious, but it's a product-wasting error many people make without even noticing.
Do you have any other tips for saving money on green cleaning? Leave a comment. 

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
Follow on Bloglovin
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, July 8, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Fruit Salad You'll Never Forget

Last year I made the most memorable fruit salad I've ever eaten.

Mmmemorable fruit salad.

Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, avocados, and pear with fresh squeezed lime juice. Oh boy! Just the memory of it is making me salivate. I must have this for dinner tonight!

I can't take credit for coming up with this surprisingly compatible combo of smooth, fatty, sweet, thirst quenching, and crunchy fruits. I followed a recipe by Laura Friendly that I discovered on HelloGiggles.com.  Check out Laura's website for more "happily gluten & dairy-free" recipes.

What the most memorable fruit salad you've ever had?

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
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by purchasing green cleaning & fun home goodies selected by me via my Amazon shop or clicking on an ad. Thanks.

AddThis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...