Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alter-Eco's new "Grunge Rock" items...

Just wanted to share this Photoshoot with you as I think it turned out amazing. 
It is for the new "Grunge Rock" items now available at Alter-Eco Clothing

Photography is all done by my amazingly talented Husband 

More pictures and Items to check out at the Etsy store ~_^

Peace & Love

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

☮ "Be the Change": Clearing up the Kitchen & Food & Such ☮

I haven't taken the time to actually really post much of what I have been up to with this personal challenge, so I decided it was time to check in ;)

I've had a busy two months and I wanted to share some of the things I've taken up lately. Some of these I was already doing, some are new, all will benefit yourself, your pockets, and Mother Earth. 

This post is looking largely to do with the Kitchen and Eating Environment...

Composting: We realized that about 95% of our garbage was compostable so we'd cringe at our last place when we'd be taking out unneeded trash. We bought a composter (second-hand at that!) and so our new goal is to only go through...

ONE GARBAGE BAG for the whole year! So far it's looking good. I hugely strongly encourage you all to do this! By composting and recycling, there is no reason this challenge is not possible. 

Buying in BULK: at our local natural food store they have sooooo many items in bulk, we are totally loving it! We get to reuse containers so creating less waste, plus it's cheaper too! :) 

ReUsing Containers: from food products, such as yogurt containers, cereal boxes (I reuse these as packaging boxes for Alter-Eco), etc etc. They make great containers to store leftovers in and such, so reuse them before recycling!

Steer Clear of Over-Packaging! It is heavily engraved with both myself and the hubby that when we buy something we look at the packaging. Is it recyclable? Bio-degrable? Reusable? Or is it plastic that will end up in a landfill? Be conscious in everything you buy, all the time! 

Reusable Shopping Bags: this one we are seeing everywhere and there is simply no excuse for plastic bags anymore. They are wasteful and they are destroying our habitats, especially our oceans! There is actually an "island" of plastic twice the size of texas in our ocean! Gross and so wrong!   

Bring your own Mug: Next time you go to get your morning coffee, latte, or what have you, bring your own mug! There is no need for that wasted paper cup and plastic lid. Sure, lots of companies are starting to use compostable or recyclable cups but not all places will recycle them (Tim Hortons claims theirs are recyclable when in fact they are not), plus reusing your own cup is much easier on the environment than recycling.

Bring your own Takeout Container: the same thing goes for any kind of takeout. Bring your own tupperware or container instead of using those wasteful takeout styrofoam or plastic ones that restaurants and fast-food joints use. 

Use your own Water-Bottle: This one is a no-brainer yet so many people are still buying plastic bottles instead of carrying their own water-bottle with them. That plastic is aweful!!! And unneccasary! And cancerous and toxic for your body! Always use your own water-bottle. There is simply no excuse. Ever! 

There are so many easy steps we can take to help our Planet. Keep doing new things for yourself and for Earth. It's rewarding! Plus, there might be a world left for our children and theirs to come. 

Peace & Love,

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

♥ Wednesday Favorites: Vegan CookBooks ♥

Since it is "World Go Vegan" week and all, I thought I should take this opportunity to share with you my favorite Cookbooks in the whole wide world. ^_^

"La Dolce Vegan" and "How it all Vegan" 

They are Amaaaaazing cookbooks with so many incredibly delicious recipes that everyone can love! There's tons of variety, and some take some time while other recipes can be whipped up in a flash. A perfect example of how being Vegan kicks ass and we have just as much yummy, no yummier, foods to eat as the carnivores out there do. 

The book(s) are written by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard (except for La Dolce Vegan) who both just so happen to be Canadian girls as well ^_^. They are Two fun and sassy, punky girls that make the recipes fun to even read, plus the books are so much fun with a retro 1950s feel throughout. You can check out more about them, the books, and more Vegan goodness on the website... 

So what are some of my favorite recipes from the book? 

In  in "La Dolce Vegan"....
The Red Lentil Pasta, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burritos, Spaghetti and Tofu Balls, Raspberry Apple Crumble Pie, Chocolate Puddin' Cake, and...well I could keep going, there are just so many good ones, but we'll leave it at that and the rest you can explore for yourselves. ;) 

I only just got "How it all Vegan" so I have yet to share favorites, but it is their first Cookbook so I am excited to try out new recipes seeings as I love the other one so much. And I'll be sure to share some of my favorites as I discover them ^_^.

These books truly make being Vegan eeeeeaaaaasy! So if you want to change your life and help those suffering animals, I highly recommend picking up these cookbooks! Being Vegan has never been easier! 

Peace & Love,

If you found this article to be helpful, please consider a small donation or visit the shop. Thank you for your love and support.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So, some of you may know, but if you don't....
I will be 24th on November 13th ^_^

It is perhaps the first year that I finally don't care about my age. Instead, I'm excited. It's a celebration of our coming into the world, so why do we spend so much time on the negative aspects of things? Why are we so afraid of aging? What's the big deal? 
Let's enjoy the moment, enjoy getting older and growing as a person in the process. 

Anyways, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about my "Birthday Wish". 
Facebook has a neat little program set up where you can use your birthday to donate to the "cause" of your choice. I couldn't turn down this opportunity. 
My fundraiser is for World WildLife Fund because, in case you hadn't yet noticed, I love this organization. They do so much good as a whole for both Wildlife and Planet Earth. Their efforts are huge and effective. So help me help them help animals and Earth ;)

If everyone donated even a measly $1.00 it would allow me to reach my goal ^_^. 
♥ And I know enough of you love me and love Earth and Animals to contribute. Right? ;) 

Peace & Love,


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

☆ World Go Vegan Week ☆

It's official! "World Go Vegan Week" starts today (October 24th) and goes through to October 31st! 

I challenge you all to go Vegan for the week. That's it, One week. If you can't do it then you're seriously not giving yourself any credit. It's easy, its fun, and for one week you can say that you did something amazing for animals ♥ 

Being Vegan is about love and compassion, and it is a sustainable and healthy way of eating and living. So you're helping Mother Earth as well as animals and as well as yourselves by participating in the week of Veganism.

Need a reason to give it a try?

Animal Cruelty: Most animals on your dinner plate are from Factory Farms. They endure excruciatingly painful lives, are chocked full of anti-biotics, growth-hormones, pesticides and other chemicals, and eventually endure an equally torturous and grotesque death. Is it really worth it? (Read more: Here!)

Your Health: Being Vegan is super healthy for you!! The Dairy industry has deep multi-million dollar advertising campaigns to convince you that dairy is actually healthy, you know all those ridiculous Milk commercials I'm talking about. The actual "Fact:" is that it ISN'T healthy for you at all. Dairy is linked to a horribly long list of diseases and health problems. As for meat, well, the carcass you ate last week is still rotting in your intestines. Not to mention your body can only absorb about half of the nutritional value actually in animal products. And when you eat meat your consuming all those hormones, pesticides, anti-biotics, etc. as well. (Read more: Here!)

The Environment: The meat and dairy industry have a devastating impact on the environment! Rainforests are leveled to raise cattle, factory farms pollute rivers and lakes, over-grazing erodes fertile land into arid desert, and vast quantities of energy and water are wasted to raise animals for food. A meat-eater riding a bike is more polluting than a vegan driving a hummer. Get the point? 

Take the pledge to go Vegan for the week:

Seriously, it's one week! You might be surprised by how much better you feel and how it's not as hard as everyone makes it out to be! 

Peace & Love,

If you found this article to be helpful, please consider a small donation or visit the shop. Thank you for your love and support.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

☺ You are Who You Want to Be ☺

We don't give ourselves enough credit in our Life Choices. All of our life choices; from a simple what to eat for breakfast to resisting food addictions; from choosing what to do in school to our career choice; from impulsive buying to having money to do the things we actually enjoy; from choosing how we feel to Being Who we Are.

The bottom line is that we do have a Choice. And this last part is where I'm placing particular emphasis: We Choose Who We Are.

Why is this the point of emphasis? Because if you can consciously decide Who You Are, then it makes way for just about everything else you will choose or do in Life.

We choose, almost always deeply subconsciously and automatically, Who we Are. But the sad part is that we usually don't choose to Be Who we Want to Be. Why? I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps its largely society and media-based, with mixed messages everywhere you go and the overwhelming message that You Are What You Buy. Which couldn't detach you further from your True Self. Perhaps for others its self-doubt or pity, or an addiction to being miserable. It may sound strange, but lots of people are this way. We simply don't open our eyes and realize that, at the end of the day, and at the end of all the excuses, we can Choose. 

Before you can consciously Choose Who You Want to Be, you have to look at Who You Are at this moment. You may discover you like who you are. You may discover you dislike a few things about yourself. Or you may discover, like many, you don't really know yourself at all.

I remember in school, every so often an assignment of some sort would come up where you would have to describe Who You Are. I never had a clue. I never knew who I was. At all. I was this blank entity going through the daily routine of school and being plagued by the confusion of conformity and society and general teenage hormones. It wasn't until I had graduated and lived on my own that I truly began to discover Who I was, and later, Who I Wanted to Be. 

Back then, and a couple years following graduation, I hated myself. I was depressed. Suicidal at times. For years, I didn't like any aspect of myself. I'd pick myself apart regularly. I thought I was worthless, pathetic. Any negative thought I could have, I had. Not only that, but I dwelled on this negativity continuously. I remember listening to this one song in particular that I'd cry to and hate myself to a couple days a week. It was no wonder I was depressed for so long, I was literally teaching my Mind to hate myself. 

As I did more soul-searching I discovered the Real Me. I slowly uncovered a Happy me. I discovered a loving and compassionate self with an eagerness to learn and to help others. I discovered I had interests and hobbies. All of a sudden, I was learning and researching things on my own because I had a genuine interest in many many things. 
In school, it was so restricting that when suddenly you were given the freedom to write an essay on a topic of your choice, I was like a deer caught in the headlights. I never knew what to write about. I simply hadn't been given the opportunity to discover my own interests before this. Now, I have endless things to write and research about. This freedom that I gave myself allowed me to step out of our society and its set ways and discover what Life was all about. I was free. And, more importantly, I was free to be Me

Once you discover some things about yourself, again, you may find things that you may or may not like. But this is the point; you can Choose to continue having those characteristics, or you can Choose that they are not What you Want to Be. Everyone has "faults" so speak, and that's perfectly ok. Being aware of these "faults" means that we can learn from them. And we can learn to have them work for us rather than against us. We can grow from them. And we can Change them. 

It has taken me years to really know myself. But it is a journey, and it is a part of the beauty of life. If you are aware of the process it will move along much smoother. I had no idea the process I was going through, not until years later, after reading lots of amazing books, seeing a councilor, and setting my life straight. I suddenly realized one day that I Liked myself. This was a huge revelation for me, after years of self-loathe. This alone brought me a lot of Happiness, or perhaps it was the other way around, but either way I was Happy and I Liked myself. 
Some time shortly after this, I continued to be consciously aware of Who I Was. I believe it was in a book somewhere along the lines that I received the message that I had a Choice in Who I want to Be. And this revelation was even greater. Suddenly I had a Choice. I could be Who I Wanted to Be. It seemed so simple and obvious. I couldn't believe that I had never been aware of this before. 

It takes practice and it takes a lot of self-awareness, but it's worth every second of it. Remind yourself every day Who You Want to Be. Meditate on it. Repeat it in your head during a workout, or even in any daily routine. It will make you smile, it will bring you an incredibly light-feeling and freedom. You will realize that You can Choose to Smile. That you can Choose not to judge or discriminate. That you can Choose to be Nice to others. Choose to be Positive. Choose to be Compassionate. And Choose, ultimately, to be Happy.

And we can Choose to have Love in our Lives instead of pain and ordeals.

A Positive Mind brings Positive Results. The Happier and more Positive you are, the more you will receive that back into your life. It's contagious, in a beautiful amazing way. 

We are constantly Changing, despite human-nature to resist change. We are continually Changing Who we Are, and are constantly discovering more aspects of Who we Are. You can be someone different every day if you so Choose. But remember, the Choice is Yours. 

So five yourself some credit. Choose to Love Yourself. Choose to Be Happy. And Choose to Be Who You Want to Be. 

Peace and Love,

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Favorites: "The Legacy" by David Suzuki

This Book is a MUST-READ for anyone and everyone!

It is so good that Cory, my sister, and myself all had it read in two to three days. You simply can't put it down! Cory (my husband) never reads, he prides himself that this is actually the first book he's ever Bought himself (lol), so that's saying something! 

David Suzuki is brilliant for so many reasons. His style of writing makes for an easy read, all while being incredibly informative, precise, and to the point. He pulls readers in with the urgent information he has to share and the realization we need to face regarding the tragedies we are inflicting on our home, Planet Earth. The information he provides is vital to our existence. He is upfront and honest. He is smart and wise. And he knows how to get his points across efficiently and effectively. 

"In his own lifetime, David Suzuki has witnessed an explosion of scientific knowledge as well as a huge change in our relationship with the planet — a tripling of the world's population, a greatly increased ecological footprint through the global economy, and a huge growth in technological capacity. These changes have had a dire effect on Earth's ecosystems and consequently on our own well-being.
To deal with this crisis, we must realize that the laws of nature have priority over the forces of economics and that the planet simply cannot sustain unfettered growth. We must also recognize the limits of scientific reductionism and the need to adopt a more holistic point of view. Perhaps most importantly, we must join together as a single species to respond to the problems we face. Suzuki ends by saying that change begins with each of us; all it takes is imagination and a faith in the inherent generosity of Mother Earth."

"The Legacy" is incredibly inspiring. If you must only read one book in your lifetime, this should be it. After reading it, you will WANT to help the Earth and will be given an insightful look on our society, our life, and our home (Earth).

Open your eyes. Read "The Legacy" and you will understand. 

Peace & Love,

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Monday, October 18, 2010

☺ A New City, A New Life? ☺

I couldn't quite decide what to blog about today, and then it occurred to me; the thing I have been struggling with lately, the Move to a new city.

That's right, today's post is a bit more of an inward look. I'm far from perfect and I struggle at times with things as well. The point is to realize what isn't working in your life so that you can correct it. 

The move has been a mixed blessing, as any Change seems to be. Probably has something to do with our human nature to resist change. Well, I have learned better, so it's time to look at things more positively no?

So here's the question: What do You struggle most with when you move to a new city? 

For myself, Friends seems to be the big one. I have always had a hard time with friends for some reason, very likely some deeper routed issue that goes back to my childhood. Regardless, I have a hard time meeting new people. I work from home. I don't have a whole lot of hobbies that get me "out there". So how does one approach this issue? 
I like people, that's not the issue. Perhaps I'm a tad picky when it comes to real friends though. I mean, REAL friends. You know, the ones that you can share anything with and would do anything for. I miss mine back in Edmonton. But moving to new places means lifestyle changes and time to step out of ones usual habits and comfort zone and get to know new people, right? Well, at least I think so. 

(myself and my two favorite sweethearts back in Edmonton)

I have debated even getting a part-time job that gets me at least a bit more out in the public. Yoga is another one I'd like to pick up this week. I'm also debating getting back into Skateboarding for the simple reason that there is a Girl's Skate night every Thursday here. 

So, I guess this has two questions and a bit of rambling on my part ;p 
How do You meet new people and friends? How did you meet your closest friend? 
And what you find intimidating about a new city? 

Let's hear your stories and ideas!   

Peace & Love,

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

☮ Eco-fying your Home...☮

Depending on your situation, moving into a new home can be a fabulous time to spice up your Eco-Revolution.

For the Hubby and I, it was an exciting opportunity for us to implement some earth-friendly ideas we'd been wanting to do. We are still a young and adventurous couple and aren't ones to plan out our futures (nothing ever goes as you plan anyways, which is the fun of life) so settling into one place is never for certain. This, renting is still really our only option, but if you are a Home-owner "Greening" your home should be even easier for you with many more opportunities. 

Location, Location:
When searching for our new rental, location was important. We live in a small town and we wanted to be located somewhere that we could walk everywhere and anywhere we needed to go. We found our place and it couldn't be any more central. Two Grocery stores are a two minute walk, our Natural Food Grocery Store and the "downtown" are about ten minutes. The park is across the street. 
When choosing your place, keep in mind what is important to you and look for that. Try to be somewhere where you don't have to drive. Remember, every bit counts! 
Furnishing Your Place:

There is no real need to be buying new furniture, there is so much already out there! 
When we left Edmonton, we sold almost all of our furniture (except for my favorite Bamboo table), so for our new place we had resolved to only buy Second-Hand & have a budget of $100.00. It's amazing how easily this is possible. We were given lots of furniture from Cory's folks, but if you ask around you're sure to find people eager to get rid of some of their own furniture. We also yard-saled a lot and found plenty for a small budget. Sure, our place is a bit mismatched at the moment, but it's easy to spice things up and you can always keep an eye out for things to trade in. An animal-print blanket we kept hides the questionable print of our couch. Pretty brocade fabric trims some of our shelves and our computer desk. If you have paint handy its easy to turn mediocre items into completely new and pretty furniture. It's fun and you won't be using unnecessary energy and materials for the production of new things.   

Energy Efficiency:

There are so many things you can do in your home (again, especially if you Own the place!). 

If you're able, turn down the hot water tank--all that hot water takes a lot of energy to heat and it's always way hotter than you would ever possibly need it to be. 

If your Shower-head isn't low-flow then switch it.

Check your toilet as well. There's a label at the back of the bowl, in front of the tank, telling you how many litres per flush it uses. If you can't afford a new one, or if you're renting, simply put a weighted plastic bottle (such as a litre pop-bottle) in the tank.

If you need a new shower curtain, refrain from purchasing the usual high-toxic plastic ones that end up in the trash anyway. Buy a Hemp or Organic Cotton canvas one. There's plenty online to choose from. Even PEVA vs vinyl is a better choice without horrible toxins leaching out into your lungs. 

Fix any leaks right away! A dripping tap can fill 55 one-litre water bottles a day!

Switch all your light-bulbs to energy efficient (CFL) ones. 

Weather-proof your windows and doors so stop all that cold air getting in and the warm air from getting out. Do this with plastic wrap, tape, or weather-strips.

This is only really possible if you own your home, but if you can, make sure to get energy-efficient Appliances, such as your stove and fridge that suck up more energy than necessary. Look for the energy star labels.

Turn your thermostat down. Even one degree helps! 


Got any tips of your own on how to make your Home a Greener place? Comment with your suggestions and what you do to have an eco-friendly home. 

Peace & Love,

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

☮ "Be The Change" Challenge! ☮

Alright Lovelies, it's time to step it up! And I'm giving you some extra incentive to jump on board--although saving your own home (Earth) and human life (yourself) should be all the incentive you need. 

Changing and helping Planet Earth starts with Each of Us, as an individual to contribute to a Global Movement. 

I am making it a personal mission to use everyday as an opportunity to help the Planet. This means that Everyday I will find some new way to help or contribute. 

I encourage all of you to take up this Challenge as well! 

**This Challenge will be Officially starting in the New Year (2011) once there are enough people expressing interest! Leave a Comment to show you're interested!**

The Challenge:

When you wake up in the morning, ask the question;

"What can I do for Mother Earth today?"

Then, do something for your planet! 
Strive to make changes in your every day life that help. You may be surprised by how much fun it can be, how rewarding it is, and how passionate you will become about saving Earth. 

Keep track of all the changes and eco-goodness you've been up to throughout the week and the month. As an extra challenge, see if you can do something new for the well-being of the planet every single day. Then, Share what you've been up to on the end of the Month "Be the Change Challenge" blog post.  

The Reward:

Aside from saving your home (and therefor yourselves) and feeling great about doing something so important, I am adding a little extra incentive...

Once the Challenge is underway, I will have a draw for a $$ Gift Certificate(s) to Alter-Eco Clothing, as well as a package of other Goodies to include with your purchase ^_^. 

How to Get Entries in the Draw:

There will be a Green "checklist" in a Page on the Blog with all sorts of Eco Changes you can do. For each Green thing that you're doing, it counts as a point, and therefore an Entry in the Draw. That's right, each point counts for One Entry!! That means you can get tons and tons of Entries for the draw!! The Greener you are the higher your chance of winning!!  
Points will be tallied up at the end of each month so I can keep track. 

Again, post your Green List in the end of the Month "Be the Change Challenge" Blog post. 

Any New Green ideas will be added to our "Be The Change: Green List" as our Challenge progresses. We can watch it grow together!! Pretty exciting? I think so! ^_^

Little rules to follow...

It seems a bit redundant that I have to bother with some of these details, but here we go anyways...

*Be HONEST! Remember, Lying is Bad Karma. And no one should be lying when it comes to doing something good. 

*When posting your entries, be sure to give your full name with your entry (so there's no cheating by using multiple accounts to get more entries). If you don't want to share your name openly, send me an email through the ReLove website with your username and real name so I know who you are. 

*Please don't make these Green choices for a day or a week and then abandon them. Strive to Green your life and become part of the Change. It is incredibly rewarding! 

I have created this Challenge to give you some extra incentive, please be respectful in return in your honesty and efforts for Planet Earth. 

Need Ideas?

Not sure what you can do for the planet? Plenty! But if you truly can't think of anything or just need some new ideas, worry not, I've got you covered! 

As well as our "Be the Challenge: Green List" that you can use for reference...I will, of course, be taking up this challenge (don't worry, I can't enter the draw ~_^) and will be sharing my own Green Changes in weekly Blog posts for some extra encouragement and motivation.

So have fun and get involved! Start today! 

If you want to take up this Challenge please leave a comment and get others involved! 
There needs to be enough people taking part in this Challenge to be worth while! Also, if this is a success then I will be advancing the Challenge as it progresses, with  extra goodies to win! ~_^

Every day is a Gift. Accept it and return the Love. 

"Be the Change you wish to see in the World" ~Gandhi

Peace & Love,

If you found this article to be helpful, please consider a small donation or visit the shop. Thank you for your love and support.
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