Thursday, June 30, 2011

♥ Meet the furry members of my family!!! ♥

On Tuesday we adopted our second kitty, Buster, and I wanted to share him with you all. Then I realized that I'd never formally shared my first kitty, Lyla, with you and decided that it would be unfair to dedicate a post just for Buster. I love them both immensely so, here I am sharing them with you :). 
Pets are not possessions, they are members of your family--furry ones. They deserve to be treated with love and care and attention. They have emotions, they speak with their cute individualized sounding meows (and barks or any other noise your pet may have) and are more than just "pets."  

Lyla is our first baby. She's an adorable female short-haired tabby with beautiful markings, likely has some bengal mix. Her fur is the softest I've ever felt!! 
We got her when she was 8-weeks old from my husband's cousin, her 1-year birthday is coming right up at the beginning of July. :) Looking back, I wish I had adopted, however I love Lyla to death and can't imagine my life without her. We'd just moved back to Nelson and the timing was perfect. She was the rut of the litter, swatting her brothers and sisters as they passed by. We simply couldn't resist taking her home with us. 
She can be quite shy, and likes to keep to herself, although she has slowly gotten more cuddly and sometimes sleeps on our laps when watching movies. She is also very needy (which I love!) and follows us around the apartment wherever we go, greets us eagerly at the door, always sleeps on our feet. She makes up for not being the cuddliest kitty with her amazing fully-packed spunky little personality. She has "tornado modes" where she loves to run around the apartment making little ferret noises. She is super sweet and the prettiest kitty I've ever seen!

Buster is a super cute (and handsome) male long-haired black and white kitty. He has white on his face, belly, and his little paws. He has adorable little mismatched features, including pink spots on his nose, and a black spot under his white bearded chin.
We've only had Buster for three days today. We picked him up at one of the animal shelters here in Nelson, immediately falling in love with him when I first saw him. He's only six months old but has had a rough little life. He's a stray, found at a lumber yard and has had lots of rectal problems which resulted in two months of staying at the animal hospital and surgery. The animal hospital was amazing and performed all the surgeries and care for free, saving his little life! He was moved to the animal shelter about a month ago and has been doing really well--his poops have been looking normal now for a month as well. 
He is ridiculously cuddly, affectionate and sweet and we are too happy to give him a loving home. All he wants to do is cuddle, and sleep on our necks, faces, laps, anywhere close to us. He also likes to hang off things to the point of sliding or falling off. He is a little spitfire, has lots of personality and so far loves to chase Lyla around our place--she's slowly warming up to him and playing back. 

Both our kitties are gifts in my life and I am grateful for their companionship and love. I'm hoping the two of them get to be really close and cuddly together... but we'll have to wait and see. Lyla has been weary of him in her home but now that she's warming up to him I think they will be friends in no time. :) 
I'd also like to remind everyone to always adopt, spay or neuter your pet, and be responsible pet-owners! There are so many animals in need of homes, they deserve that chance at a loving home. 


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Monday, June 27, 2011

☺ Inspirational: Motivational Mondays!☺

 Let's make the week fabulous shall we? Embrace life and make it amazing and full of new experiences, lessons, and lots of laughter and smiles!!! :)  

☺ Think Before you Speak... Sometimes it's just too easy to speak our minds and say things that perhaps we shouldn't. This past week I have been on the receiving end and delivering as well. It's counter-productive and usually ends up with someone being emotionally hurt. Be the bigger person and don't get into silly arguments and engage negative habits. Think and choose your words wisely.      
☺ Allow yourself to be Uninhibited! Try stepping out of that oh-so-cozy and safe comfort zone and let yourself jump on opportunities, try new things, talk to new people, and Be who you want to be and act the way you want to act.
 Find a new use for recycling and garbage! You could be pleasantly surprised by what uses you can find for things that automatically get discarded. While recycling is fantastic, it's even more fantastic to recycle it into something new yourself! Get creative and perhaps crafty! ;)  
 Eat local Produce! Start paying attention to where your produce comes from and start eating closer to home. Things are coming back in season and that means checking out local markets and supporting local growers! Plus the benefits of eating local fruits and veggies far outweigh anything else! 
☺ Make a "Happy Food Plan"... and stick it blatantly in your kitchen as a constant reminder. Get into better eating habits this week, cut out all those foods that you've been meaning to. Be healthy!! 
 Enjoy the Weather... No matter what it's doing out there! We've had lots or rain and crazy storms so far this spring and summer, but instead of whining about it, I'm enjoying cozy inside days, dancing in the rain, and listening to the rumbling thunder above. When the sun does come out you'll appreciate it that much more too! Bask in its warmth and take in every second of that vitamin D! 
 Have a campfire! We had our first one this summer last week and it was epic! Lots of fun and laughter sitting around beautiful flames under a star-dusted sky.      

Now make the most of it! :)   


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Almond-Crusted Potatoes! Ⓥ

 These are by far my favorite potato fries. It's something a little different, packed-full of flavor and just so ridiculously good you'll be as hooked as I am on these. ;) 
I have also made this recipe with peanut butter instead of almond butter, and both are amazing! You can also use any combination of potatoes or root vegetables you'd like for this recipe, all one or a combination of anything you'd like; sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, carrots. My favorite is sweet potatoes and yams--plus they're healthier than regular potatoes. 

Almond-Crusted Potatoes:

3-4 Potatoes or other Root Vegetables 
3 tbsp Almond Butter (or peanut butter)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp each of Garlic Powder, Cumin, Black Pepper, Curry, and Basil. 

Chop root vegetables into thin "fries," or you can chop them into cubes--either works. Preheat oven to 400° and oil tray.
Combine all the other ingredients in a food processor (or a large bowl) until well mixed.
Line fries on tray and pour mixture over them, making sure they are well coated. - or - Place fries into the large bowl with mixture and get fries so they are well coated and then place them onto tray. p.s. you're hands are probably going to get messy unless you can manage to mix them alright with a spoon or spatula. ;) 
Bake 35-45 minutes (depending on the thickness of you fries) until coating is browned and a bit crispy and the fries are fully cooked. 
*Flip fries several times to avoid sticking. 

Makes approx. 2-4 servings, depending how hungry you are. ;)

(Will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days)

Enjoy! These are amazing and once you know what you're doing they are super fast and easy to whip up! :) 


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

☺ Inspirational: Weekly "Smile Up"!☺

I'm trying something new and would like to make this a regular feature on the blog. I figure I already have a fun way to start off Mondays with the "get-pumped" attitude of the Motivational Mondays posts and wanted to do something for the end of the week as well as a reminder to be Positive. Basically, this is  a little happy/positive/optimistic "catch up," or as I like to call it "Smile Up," for the week; to reflect on the beauty of life, express gratitude for the week's experiences, and share some of the week's interests (music, food, movies, or anything else). A look on the positive and to repeat that PMA. Of course, this is also an encouragement for you all to be going the same, whether you want to share right here on the blog, maybe on your own blog (share your link in the comments! ^_^), or as an entry for your "Happy Diary," remember to always express gratitude for life and remind yourself of how beautiful life is. Be positive!! 

What do you guys think? Do you want this as a regular weekly feature? Let's hear your feedback! :)

Well, here it goes...

June 25th Weekly "Smile Up":

My week has been fabulous, full of new experiences, amazing people, and fun adventures. And of course, lessons to be taken and applied for life. :)

 I took two days off work (which is very rare for me) to enjoy the sunshine (that finally came after so much rain we've been having!) and to be outside. 
 The hubby and I tended to our little garden to discover it thriving ! Got to eat fresh kale and radishes picked seconds from the garden. There is nothing more amazing than freshly picked veggies and fruit!! 
 Had our first campfire gathering at a beautiful lake with some super rad people. And discovered Vegan marshmallows!!! And, of course, enjoyed tons of laughter and a star-lit sky. :)
 Loving all the local Markets!! Getting to check out local talent and vendors, and meeting some cool new people. I also treated myself to a beautiful pair of earrings :). 
 Played in the rain at the first Friday night "Market Fest" here in Nelson, lots of music, amazing vendors, and amazing atmosphere of people. 
 Despite having lots of rain and crazy weather, been taking advantage by dancing in the downpours :). 
 Finally had time to sew lots of new items for the Alter-Eco summer collection. 
 Had drama but stuck up for myself and still bouncing back and positive. :) Also always learning from these experiences and therefor expressing gratitude for them.  
 Hung out with family, which is always good times. 

Loving: Sunshine. Care2 newsletters and petition site. Dread Beads. Wearing tank tops and shorts again. Sandal Boots. Pouch Belts. Kitty meows. Markets. Local produce. Writing outside. New friends. Dancing. Laughter. Life.

Interests for the week:
✯ Bought a new book "The Secret" which I've been dying to read. Checked the local bookstore where it was $30.00 for a hardcover, decided to check the secondhand bookstore instead and found the same hardcover copy that looks like it's never even been touched for $10.00. Score!! 
✯ Got through the first season of "True Blood." Loving cozy lazy nights with my hubby. And we're totally hooked on this show now. Yayy for raunchy vampire flicks! ;)
Music Playlist: new In Flames album and new Sixx AM album. Matisyahu "Light." And discovered the band The Black Keys, totally dig it!
✯ Food Faves: Strawberries back in season!--fresh and topped with my Peanut Butter Cocoa Soygurt recipe Juicing everyday with our new Green Life Juicer Making Juice Pulp Burgers and muffins. 

Lessons of the week: 
☀ Never underestimate the power of Positive Affirmations--it still blows my mind how incredible it is when these things come to be.  
☀ Stick up for yourself. But learn not to encourage other's need for confrontation. Always smile, laugh, and stay Positive no matter what!
Life is what you make it, always always always you can chose Happiness. 
Love the life you live. Make it epic! 

Why has your week been spectacular?  


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

☯ What's in My Closet; "Buddy Not Beef" RTZ Hoodie! ☯

I know, I know, I can't share enough Rocky the Zombie ;). But, seriously, her designs Rock! And after receiving this amazing new hoodie I have just been dying to share it with you all ever since! 
I have practically been living in this hoodie since receiving it. It is ridiculously cozy, soft and cuddly, and *ahem* have you seen the "Buddy Not Beef" print?!!!! Too adorable! This is a Must for any vegetarian or vegan's wardrobe. Now I know that summer is upon us and so we're looking to buy cute little bikinis, shorts, and tank tops, but hoodies are a must-have all season long. Having a cuddly sweater to wear around late night campfires and camping is a must! So what are you waiting for? Go get yours today!! ;)


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Monday, June 20, 2011

☺ Inspirational: Motivational Mondays!☺

We all have moments in the month, in our lives, our day when it's just a bit tougher to smile. However, remember that you always have the power within you to be happy! Here are some lovely tips for the week and self-reminders to make that smile burst back through to share with the world around you! :)

 Don't resist Change... Change happens whether you attempt to resist it or not. Life is much easier when you let go and go with the flow of those changes. People change, things change, everything changes. We should not be afraid of this but embrace it.   
 Be Bold! Go for it! Whatever it is your hesitant about just do it. We miss out on too many opportunities and chances because we allow our minds to inhibit us. Sure, it's good to think about things first, but it's also good to be bold and do the things that you Want to do. Tell that cute girl or boy you're crushing on that they're cute. Make a new friend instead of being shy. Try that activity you've been afraid of doing. The opportunities are endless! Be bold! 
 Love Your Self! Here's a "Happy Diary" task for your week ;). Sit down and take a moment of appreciation for yourself. Write down all the things you love about your body, your soul, your Self. Self-Love is important, if you can't love yourself how can you expect to love anything else around you? So take the time to appreciate your inner beauty. Appreciate all the things that make you shine!    
 Laugh!! Just like smiling, laughing is good for the soul and mind :). Be happy and let that laughter flow, just for the hell of it! It'll make you feel amazing!  
 Be in the Now!  This has always been one of the most helpful lessons in my life, but it is one that I also find myself wandering from from time to time. So, a reminder, live in the present moment, stop thinking about the past and far into the future. Be present and mindful. Pay attention to what is going on right Now. Remember, Happiness is Now. Just Be.     
 Try an art or craft... Let out some creativity! Try sculpting, pottery, drawing, painting, knitting, baking, anything your heart desires! No one said that you have to be "good" at it, the point is to have fun while you're doing it, there is no right or wrong, so just have some fun! Trying a new craft can free your mind of the mundane and help you to develop your creativity.
 Take a break... brew a pot of tea, sit down with a good book or magazine and take a break from the world.     

Here's to another lovely new week full of fabulous experiences!   


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Friday, June 17, 2011

☺ Inspirational; Don't Make Excuses for Your Behaviour☺

Excuses are excuses no matter how you look at it. You always have the choice of how you are going to behave--that is; you get to Choose every moment how you are going to act. 

We all have histories, incidences, experiences, tribulations, and events that helped shape who we are, our personalities, our actions, behaviours, thought-processes, morals, and beliefs. But all of these things change as we change--as we grow and evolve--and we always get a choice in how we want to be. To say that you are pre-dispositioned to act a certain way in any given situation is not giving yourself any credit at all. To say that your behaviour is a result of "this" or "that" or that you are acting negatively because something happened in your past simply illustrates your unwillingness to accept responsibility for your self or your life. Blaming the past also means that you are unwilling to live in the present. Whatever the past was, it's passed. You get to choose in the present. You get to choose your actions, reactions, attitudes, and behaviours in this moment. You choose, not your past. You have an intelligent mind, you have a will to do things, You are the one deciding your actions, not your past, or anything else for that matter. Passing the blame is irresponsible and self-defeating.

Excuses are excuses no matter what way you look at it and no matter how hard you may try to convince yourself and others otherwise, it doesn't change the matter. Accept responsibility over your own behaviour and that you get to choose every moment Who you Are and how you are going to act. Take the credit and responsibility for your self and your life instead of allowing yourself to be self-defeated and not in control of your own being. Blaming other people, your past, an addiction, anything outside of yourself is just an excuse, an outlet from accepting responsibility. Stop looking outside of yourself for answers and blame. It is within you, looking inward where you will find responsibility, action, and control. And when you accept that control then you can fully choose your behaviour and actions. You decide. 


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Garbanzo Cookie Balls! Ⓥ

It seems that I have been drawn to desserts made from beans lately, but after such great results with those black bean brownies I simply couldn't turn down the opportunity to try these. I changed the original recipe slightly to my liking as I often do, simplifying and adjusting. 

I get very excited over desserts that are actually healthy for you too! You get to enjoy something sweet without all the guilt that goes along with eating a flour-, fat-, and sugar-heavy cake. And I have to say that I am absolutely obsessed with these cookie balls! They are amazing! I have already made them twice within a week and plan to make them again right away. You must make these for yourself--immediately! ;) Plus they are super easy and quick to make! 

If you have the patience for it, it is recommended to remove the skin off the garbanzo beans. It makes the texture smoother. But to be honest, I am much too impatient to take the time to remove all those skins and I loved these cookies without putting in that extra step. But that's just me, it's up to you whether you want to take that extra time or not. Maybe I'll try it some day... probably not, I already have too many things to do in a day, peeling chickpeas doesn't sound like any particular thrill ride. ;) 

Garbanzo Cookie Balls:

1 can Garbanzo Beans (drained and rinsed) (skins removed if you have the time and patience)
1/4 cup Peanut Butter (or other nut butter)
2 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour
1Tsp Vanilla Extract
1-2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 cup Carob Chips
Drizzle of water or Vegan Milk

Combine all the ingredients (except for the water/milk and carob chips) in a food processor and blend until well combined. Drizzle a tiny amount of milk (or water) in while processing, just enough to get a doughy, smooth consistency. 
Scoop dough into bowl (or depending on the size of your food processor just keep it in there) and fold in the carob chips. 
Scoop out little balls of dough and roll them in your hands to make them round and smooth. Place on cookie sheet over tinfoil or lightly oiled pan. 
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. 
Makes approximately 16 balls.

These cookie balls don't taste anything like beans, though you may want to play around with how much sweetener you want to add depending on your taste buds--the carob chips add sweetness though too. Either way, they are delicious and I love the texture. Prepare for them to be gone in one sitting though, especially if you're sharing. ;)



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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

♥ Alter-Eco Clothing's New Gothic Doll & SteamPunk Collections ♥

Yes, today I get to do a little shameless self-promotion, but hey, why not? ;) 

I am very excited about these two new lines! 

Inspired by a mix of gothic and "pretty," lots of lace, and the look of Emilie Autumn... And a little SteamPunk-ish feel thrown in as I often do. ;)

I am always totally in love with the look and feel of SteamPunk and it definitely plays a huge part in much of my designs. The SteamPunk seems to get a but touchy for those "hardcore" SteamPunk addicts, however I feel that this collection is SteamPunk-"esque" and I totally love it. ;)

I am also super excited for some more summer items that will be a fun combination of both the "Gothic Doll" AND "SteamPunk" look--all kind of thrown into one for a beautiful wonderful magical look. 
In case you don't know my designs very well, Alter-Eco is essentially whatever I want it to be. I get inspired all the time by different genres, different looks, and pull inspiration from all over the place. The designs that I come up with are all a mash-up of those various inspirations and I don't place limitations on my work by defining Alter-Eco Clothing as solely one thing. I believe it can be for everyone and anyone, whether you dress it up or dress it down. 

I have lots more to share hopefully very soon, in the mean time check out the two new 2011 Spring/Summer collections now available at Alter-Eco Clothing on Etsy, as well as all the previous collections still available.


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Monday, June 13, 2011

☺ Inspirational: Motivational Mondays!☺

Omg it's Monday!!!!!! Whooooohoooooo!!! :D Let's make the week exciting shall we? ;) Here are this week's Motivational Monday tips to help you bring more joy into your week:

 Learn when to rest and when to work...  and when to play of course! ;) We don't listen to our body-mind wisdom often enough so start paying attention. If you're a woman, learn to be respectful of what phase of your cycle you are in too--you're not actually crazy, your body is just acting by instinct. ;)      
 Make Your Bucket List! My mom and I were talking about this today and it reminded me of how awesome they are. Of course, never look at your list with complaint, the point is to have it in your mind, and written down so you can look back at it. It's fun when you do get to cross things off your list and can keep goals in mind to work towards too.   
 Take Initiative! And make that call to hang out with someone, whether it's a new friend, new love-interest, family member, or anyone at all. Most people enjoy being social and seeing people so let go of the hesitating moment to make the first step. 
 Change your normal travel route... whether it's a trip to the grocery store, a walk downtown, a stroll in the park, take a different route than usual, explore and little and discover the back routes you don't normally venture along.   
 Stop Complaining... and spending so much time focussing on the negative. Is that negative facebook status really going to improve your mood? Playing the sympathy card isn't all it's cracked up to be. Try focussing on the Positive instead, talk about the amazing happy things that you're grateful for in your life instead. ;) 
 Give something up for the week... Whether it's meat, dairy, video games, makeup, cigarettes, coffee, anything at all, try giving up something for the week that you think you need (but don't!). Who knows, this may be the beginning of kicking some bad habits. ;) 
 Show and Share Kindness! There is not enough good going around in the world these days--not to say that there isn't LOTS of good also going on ;)--but you can never have enough kindness. Be kind to others, share the love, be nice to people, even the douchebag at work or in the grocery line. Showing kindness brings kindness back and all that negativity never gets anyone anywhere anyway remember. ;)     

Now get out there and seize the day! And week! ;)
Happy Monday!!!! :) 

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