Tuesday, April 30, 2013

☼ Grow your own damn Food! ☼

. . . . . . . . . .
These weekly posts are to share the progress of our garden; sharing photos and our gardening experiments and will hopefully inspire you to grow your own garden too! :) 
. . . . . . . . . .

What a week in the garden!! 
So, last Tuesday we spent the day mulching the greenhouse garden bed--where our kale are still happily getting bigger and bigger. We mulched with grass clippings and it does wonders to keep weeds back and keep moisture in the soil. I don't understand not mulching, it just makes things so much easier! The kale itself has outgrown the ones we planted inside for starts, by a lot! The mustard greens are almost ready to start harvesting as well, and the radishes will be ready in a little while too. The radishes are daikon radishes, which I forgot to mention before, so they aren't ready as early as other kinds of radishes but are usually bigger. 

[mulched kale/growing collards]

I just can't believe how fast the kale is growing! We'll be harvesting in no time and will be able to keep that going throughout the whole summer and through the winter with the greenhouse. Our collards have also popped up in the greenhouse bed and are gradually getting bigger. Again, everything in that little greenhouse is doing so well! 

The peas came up and are growing quickly. So we planted another row of peas. What we did was space them out wider so that we could plant more every couple weeks so we can keep a more steady harvest instead of having them all ready at once. We'll see how that works out. We also spent Sunday building our pea trellis, out of bamboo and natural twine. I think it looks great, more earthy. It's also fun because mostly all our materials that we've been using to make our garden have been recycled or eco friendly. Even the wood we used to build the frames was from a mill that discounted the not so perfect pieces. Everything else has been reused from various places. And of course there's the swing set that makes up the netting "fence" to the pea garden bed, and helps to make the trellis that much more solid too. 

In that bed, we also planted strawberries this week! Cory sourced some out from a local gardener who sold us 40 plants for $20. Super stoked! We bought a nice strawberry planter for half the plants and the other half went in the garden bed. Super exciting! They're ever-bearing which means we'll have a steady supply throughout the summer as well.

We also spent Sunday putting up a fence around the front garden bed, which doesn't have anything planted yet but we're just getting ready since we already have spotted a few deer and tracks around the garden. It was quite the task, not as tall as it needs to be but it's not done yet either. 

Spinach and lettuce are slowly coming up in the other three beds. 

Yesterday we planted some more things outside as well. We mixed some more of that "starter soil" like before to give the seeds some awesome soil to start in as opposed to just the manure in the beds. And we soaked the seeds in fertilizer solution for about an hour before planting them in the ground. 

We planted some broccoli next to the spinach, and some swiss chard in the back of that bed. We planted some spinach and also transplanted some of our lettuce starts in the far bed. 

Oh, and Cory planted a few cucumber seeds in between the rows of peas at the base of the trellis. And we put a frost cover over the second bed with the spinach and new broccoli and chards.  

We've started climatizing our starts this week, to get them used to the weather outside and change, meaning we take the outside for a couple hours every day. 

Oh and the cucumber and zucchinis!!! Remember how we soaked and planted them last week? Well, they are HUGE! It's funny to compare to last year because even when we planted our starts last year they were these measly pathetic looking things that tried and failed. This year they are so big and strong so I have a feeling we're going to have an awesome harvest!

And we also have a current bush from last year that is coming back to life! So many exciting things! 


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

Monday, April 29, 2013

☺ Motivational Mondays! ☺

. . . . . . . . . .

We're taking back Mondays!!!
"Motivational Mondays" are fabulous tips to get you excited and pumped for the week! 
Feeling low? Moody? Down on life? Well, that's what these posts are for! Time to feel awesome again and get some Positivity rolling! Just because it's Monday doesn't mean you can't have fun, smile, and enjoy Today! Apply these tips to your week and try to tell me that you don't start to see an improvement in your life! ;)
It's all about You! Change your perception, change your attitude, love your life! xo

. . . . . . . . . .

Make Feeling Good a Priority! It's sad to think that with all the things going on in our lives, happiness somehow gets placed on the back burner. Life is about happiness, it's about feeling good, this you must remember. And this is why you need to make feeling good a priority--nay, your Biggest Priority. Plus, when you feel good, all else will fall into place.          
Spend the day being Lazy.  Every so often having the laziest possible day is a necessity. We work ourselves into the ground with work and even play sometimes so it's good to have some down time simply to do nothing and just veg out. I like to do this on a cozy rainy day, but really any day will do. Make it a point to stay in your pyjamas and be lazy at home. Have a you day, a day to read, write, draw, sprawl out across your bed and stare at the ceiling. Just enjoy a lazy day. 
Stop Needing an Apology…  It was pointed out to me this week that apologies are selfish. This topic is something I want to write a full article on because it can play such a large role in our lives that blocks us from moving forward. But for now, learn to let go of needing an apology from another person. The second we need someone to apologize to us then we are placing our own happiness and state of life in someone else's hands, and that responsibility should only ever fall on you. Remember, you are responsible for your own happiness. So no asking for apologies, let it go, realize we're all going through something, and find new ways of acceptance and moving on.  
Send someone a surprise gift. I don't think anything excites me more than receiving surprise letters or little goodies in the mail from friends. It's such a lovely feeling to know someone is thinking of you. Likewise, I love sending people surprises in the mail as well, for no other reason then to let them know I am thinking of them and love them. So pass it a long, whether it's a lovely letter or a little gift. Make a new pen pal if you can too. :) 
Take part in the 30×30 Nature Challenge!  Join the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Nature Challenge by committing to spend at least 30 minutes a day outside in nature for 30 days in May. The more we connect to nature, the smarter, healthier and happier we are. Getting outside even makes us nicer and more likely to clean up the planet. Sign up here and take part!  
Let go of the bad and Begin again! You can let hate, anger, animosity, fear, or any other negative emotion eat away at you, Or you can let it go and learn to begin again. Your choice. 
Star your Next Chapter! We trap ourselves in the past, re-reading the events or refusing to let go. Most of our problems do come from our pasts: things we haven't resolved, bad habits we've formed, negative feelings about ourselves or others, and so forth. Working through the past is important to move forward, however you'll never actually make the first step onward if you keep returning there and don't leave. Make peace with your past, let it go, and start anew.   

Don't forget to get out there and Create a Nice Day!! 
Much Love from me to you! 


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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Teriyaki TSP Ⓥ

I just recently really discovered textured soy protein (TSP) and the wonders it can do in the kitchen. It's not the healthiest soy option so I don't use it often, however it is versatile, especially if you're transitioning into veganism or just want some meat alternatives. TSP is versatile because, like tofu, it's unflavoured but it will take on whatever flavour you'd like it to depending what spices you use and how you cook it. 
This one was inspired by watching my mom make it at my sister's once, but since I didn't write down any recipe I just sort of winged it. Turned out delish! 
Makes a great side to any meal and even better over a stir fry!

Teriyaki TSP

1 cup Textured Soy Protein
2 cups Water (+)
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Apple Vinegar
2 Tbsp Agave
2 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tbsp Paprika
3 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric 
1 tsp Salt

In a large sauce pan or wok, add all of your ingredients, gradually adding the water 1 cup at a time and sauté for about 20 minutes. TSP starts off rather dry so you need to cook it long enough for it to absorb all the moisture and flavours. Add more or less water to get your desired thickness for your sauce. 
Serve over noodles and veggies or add other veggies in at the end to make a yummy stirfry! Enjoy!


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

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Sautéed Tofu Ⓥ

This recipe is so super good and so super easy to throw together. I know it doesn't look that amazing in the photos, but trust me, it is! You could even bread these at the end if you wanted.
Makes a great side to a roast or potatoes!

Sautéed Tofu

1 Block Firm Tofu
1 Tbsp Miso 
1 cup Water
1 Tbsp Tamari
1 tsp Mustard
2 tsp Parsley
1 tsp Turmeric 
1/2 tsp Salt

Chop up your tofu into bite-sized cubes. 
In a large sauce pan, add all of your ingredients and sauté for 10-15 minutes until the tofu starts to brown and absorbs all that delicious flavour. 


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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

{life reflections}

. . . . . . . . . . 
{life reflections}
 Weekly thoughts and rambles. A glimpse into my mind and world. 
These are entries that I might jot down in my Happy Diary; what happens when we put our fingers to the keyboard and allow our thoughts to flow uninhibited. Reflections from the soul. 
Reflections of life.  

I hope to leave you inspired. 
If you want to share your own reflections of the week please leave a link to your "life reflections" entry in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

Happy-get-on-track week is going well, I am happy to say! (harhar) I know last week's post may have been a bit of a downer, but as I always say, life is just like that sometimes. Regardless, I am feeling myself again. Sometimes getting back on track truly is only as hard as we make it. 
I've written up a post before on all the things I did originally to get back on track so I'm not going to repeat it all now. However, remembering that Happiness is in my own hands was one of the most helpful things for me this week. When you're in a slump it's easy to stay there because we often wake up feeling not so upidy-awesome and because we don't fix that right when we wake up, the spiral happens. I want to write a full "list" this week of more useful tips, since these "life reflections" posts aren't generally supposed to take over my "Inspirational" posts with all the life advice and help. So, let's just say that I'm back on track, that I forced myself to smile every single day. I'd wake up in the morning, telling myself "I love my life" with a great big silly grin, and start saying in my head all the things that I am grateful for as I entered my morning. I swear to you, this alone helps tremendously. Tremendously!!! 
That aside, I am so very grateful for the amazing friends and family I have in my life. I feel so blessed and loved and grateful. And I can't tell you how much I appreciated how many of you wrote me as well wishing me better and if that I needed anything you were there for me. So truly truly touched and grateful to you amazing wonderful lovely friends! I love you! And I think it goes without saying that I am always here for you too if ever you need me. xoxo
On Saturday I got to celebrate my good friend's birthday and housewarming, it was an epic night filled with so much ridiculousness and laughs and memories. I haven't actually drank since New Year's Eve, so it was fun getting even sillier and louder than I usually am. ;) We also tried to watch the meteor shower on Monday with a few friends while we had a bonfire, but the moon was so bright we didn't see any (and I'm sure staring at the fire instead of the sky didn't help either).
So blessed for my friends. I honestly don't have many in real life. I just don't really see the point in having a bazillion friends that you're not even close with just for a popularity contest. This isn't high school anymore. That's what I see a lot in this small town anyway, and I'm sure it's the same elsewhere. I don't get it. Why not put the time and effort instead towards working on the close relationships you do have instead of spreading yourself too thin? I just see so many of the artificial friendships of these big groups of insecure people that cling together and feed their own insecurities by talking badly about one another behind each other's backs. How is that helpful? How is that real friendship? True friends are there for each other, support one another, lift each other up when they're down. They don't Kick them down! 
So, anyways, I don't have that many friends in real life. I want Real friendships with people I actually have things in common with and have fun with and who support and love me as I do them. I know lots of fun people that I'll hang out at parties with but that's as far as many of them go. I love my close friends. So incredibly much. I love getting the hugs and seeing their smiles, and laughing and adventuring, and going for tea. In case this isn't obvious either, I don't go out partying much. It's not that I don't enjoy it, but I do understand the effect of not only the alcohol, but even going sober with all the staying up late totally messing up sleep patterns and therefor your head and health. Going out tooooo often also exhausts yourself, and where's the fun in that? Maybe it's also because, while it's fun to flail around and be ridiculously silly, I appreciate more of the sober times where you get quality time with the people you enjoy being around and sometimes drinking just feels like the artificial side of things. Again, not that I don't enjoy a good fun flailing night. Hopefully you understand what I mean. Don't get me wrong, I Do go out, and I Do have a ton of fun, I guess I've just sort of learned a bit of balance with that aspect of my life. I never used to party in high school, because I was a loner, I just didn't have much in common with a lot of people there and I really didn't know myself at all so not really a surprise. For the younger readers still in high school, I just want to let you know that life after high school gets better. Immensely better. I hated high school. I love life now. It's liberating and frightening, because when you leave school all of a sudden you're free to form your own opinions and hobbies and interests, where as in school it's very bootcamp and narrow minded--in my humble opinion. So yes, things get better. 
And, yes, I am alllll over the place today. I swear I'm not drinking right now. ;) 

How shall I finish this diary entry?…  
Life is good! Life is grand! Life is Beautiful! Have you noticed everything blossoming?!!! So super exciting. The air smells so sweet with flowers and fresh rain and grass, and everything is so green and vibrant and coming alive. I love spring! It truly truly is such a cleansing season, taking out the old and making room for the new, which is why we have the extreme ups and downs at the moment, so just know that you are heading towards somewhere better. So stay positive. Always stay positive. 


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

Friday, April 26, 2013

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . . 
"There are no ordinary moments." ~Way of the Peaceful Warrior

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A photo (few) capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . . 

[summing up a night of ridiculousness and fun ^_^]


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, April 25, 2013

☆ Canada's Seal Hunt News: EU Fur Ban could be Overturned! ☆

**** UPDATE: VICTORY! ****
On Thursday the European Union court upheld it's three-year-old ban on seal products!! The General Court of the European Union issued a statement saying the existing ban is valid because it fairly harmonizes the EU market while protecting the economic and social interests of Inuit communities. This is the second time the group has lost a challenge before the European court. 
Keep up the pressure, the fight isn't over yet! Click the link below to learn more about the hunt and what you can do and you can scroll down to the bottom of this post for petitions 

. . . . . . . . . .

Every year Canada's Annual Seal Hunt is declining in popularity and reasons for them to continue the horrible annual cull. I wrote a full article about Canada's Annual Seal Hunt (click) and what you can do, so I recommend giving that a read so I'm not repeating any information and for more links to petitions there.

However, the hunt is still going on so it's important to keep the pressure on, especially when things like this happen… 

There is some daunting news. 

Europe-Wide Fur Ban could be Overturned

There has been a Europe-wide ban on the trade of seal fur and products made from it since 2010. Since the institution of the ban, pelts that sold for £60 (about $90) in 2007 are now worth only about £6 (about $9).
Clearly, this has been a huge step to stop the hunt, or at least slow it down and build the momentum for change. However, it is likely to be overturned this Thursday in a dispute that is setting environmental activists and scientists against fur traders and Inuit from Canada and Greenland.

The Fur Institute of Canada has led the legal fight to overturn the European Union’s 2010 ban on trade in seal products, including their skins, meat and fat. Not a surprise from an organization I deem as pure evil due to the greenwashing lies and other tactics they use to try and make fur popular again. 

The argument is boasted with statements that contend that ending the ban is necssary for “maintaining a balance between seals and fish.” Fishermen in Scotland have been eager to see the ban overturned on the grounds that the growth of the seal population has depleted cod stocks around the Orkney and Shetland islands.  

However, such accusations have been debunked. Rebecca Aldworth, executive director at Humane Society International (HSI), has dismissed the claims that seals are the reason for declining fish stocks as “irrational and absurd.” Noting that “the largest predators of fish are other fish and the last thing anyone should be doing is promoting a seal cull,” Aldworth emphasizes that having “more species in the sea” is to the advantage of the entire marine ecosystem.
Sientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have also disputed the claim that the seals are to blame for declining fish stocks, pointing out that the seals are being used (just as whales once were) as “scapegoats for overfishing abuses.” “No credible scientific evidence” exists to show that hunting Atlantic Canada’s gray seals can help depleted fish stocks recover. In fact, one Dalhousie University researcher points out that cod actually only comprise a “very small part” of the seals’ diet.

The topic in general aggravates me; the mentality that humans are superior to animals and we have a right to every resource and every life. Quite frankly, even if it were true (which it doesn't seem to be) that the seals were eating all the fish, they were here first, we're the ones tramping on their territory. Humans are clearly to blame for overfishing problems, so why pass the blame onto seals? 

Certainly the ban has been effective. Since it was passed, the number of seals killed in commercial hunting in Canada (where most seal hunting occurs) has fallen dramatically. 40,000 seals were killed in 2011, a significant drop from the 354,000 in 2006.

We continue to do wrong to animals and to the ocean’s ecosystem. We place the blame for declining fish stocks on seals because we don't want the finger pointed back at us. Really, it's just another push from the fur industry to keep the hunt going and their cruel industry profitable. 

Take Action!

We must keep the pressure to stop slaughtering seals brutally to use their skins. 

Please sign the Petition over at the Care2 Petitionsite: 

Other Petitions against the Hunt

And don't forget to donate to organizations working to ban the hunt like HSI and IFAW.
Spread the word!! 


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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

♥ New Cute Characters in the RedBubble Shop! ♥

I've been quite enjoying the Redbubble shop, simply because I can have so much more of my artwork available on shirts and other items. I love silkscreening and hand-making shirts as well, but like I said, this simply allows me to expand a little and offer up some new prints more often for you lovelies. 
So, a little while ago I added a couple new prints...

Some more animal-rights/vegan themes

and more creepy cute and adorable other prints.

Enjoy! And don't forget to check out all my other work in the shop. 


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

❀ The Good News ❀

. . . . . . . . . . 
Stop watching the News on T.V. filled with lies, propaganda, and made to make you feel helpless and afraid.

With all the negative news in the world, it's time to give you hope and inspiration. It's time to the weekly Good News! 
. . . . . . . . . .

Humpback Whale Nursery and the Kimberley Saved!
Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority put industrial interests before the whales and other wildlife when, back in July 2012, it gave approval to Woodside Petroleum to build such a build a liquid natural gas processing plant in a region that houses the world’s largest humpback whale nursery, at James Price Point. As of April 12, the company is dropping plans for the $4.5 billion project that would have created one of the biggest industrial complexes on the planet and led to drilling and dredging some six kilometers out to sea. 
This is all thanks to the Goolarabooloo Aboriginal people and nonprofit organization Sea Shepherd, undertaking “operation Kimberley Miinimbi” to bring the creation of Woodside Petroleum’s plant to public attention with support from the Australian Greens and a former Greens Senator, Bob Brown. At least 700 people participated in a Sydney demonstration against the project and contacted local and federal officials, says ENS.

Goods News for the Arctic and Polar Bears!
ConocoPhillips announced last week that it will be cancelling its 2014 Arctic drilling plans.

New Zealand legalizes same-sex Marriage
New Zealand has just become the 13th country to legalize the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Brazil, Mexico and the U.S. offer marriage in parts of the country. 

Antibiotic Tetracycline no longer allowed in Apple Production
Last week, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) decided that it will not allow the antibiotic, tetracycline, to be used in the production of organic apples and pears beyond the original 2014 deadline.
This was a hard fought victory, one that you made possible. Nearly 32,000 of you signed our petition asking the NOSB to get antibiotics out of organic fruit production. The OCA’s Alexis Baden-Mayer delivered the petitions in person at the NOSB meeting in Portland, Ore. She testified along with activists from other groups about the threat these antibiotics pose to public health, and to the organic industry.

Earth Day Deeds!
In Pakistan, Earth Day Pakistan is in the process of planting 50,000 trees today.
In the Cayman Islands, 1,500 people are participating in a beach and reef clean-up.
In Columbus, Ohio, volunteers are pulling invasive plants, cleaning up neighborhoods, and preparing gardens at over 1000 sites in the region.
Check out more Earth Day Deeds here http://www.earthday.org/highlights-submissions

Success! U.K. Saves Wild Animals from Kidnapping and Circus Life

The United Kingdom has finally banned circuses from using wild animals in their shows. Over 13,500 Care2 members urged them to do so.
(Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/success-u-k-saves-wild-animals-from-kidnapping-and-circus-life.html#ixzz2RP0v5b5q)

Success! New York Wildlife Rehab Center Will Remain Open

A critically important wildlife rehabilitation operation in Long Island called Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR) was in danger of losing their animals. Robin Lynn created a petition on Care2 to keep them open and it worked, allowing WINORR to continue rescuing and caring for wildlife at their current location.
It was the collective force of your support that pressured the town to negotiate and reach a compromise that works for both sides and sees all charges against the Horvaths dropped. 
One more successful petition and to show that your actions do count for the greater good!

. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks for reading this week's "Good News!" Join us every week and feel inspired! 
Be sure to sign up for Care2's newsletter for some real news around the globe, to make a change, and to open up your mind to the Real World! 
Have a story you want to share? Email me at alter_eco@hotmail.com to submit your story (no matter how big or small).  


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, April 23, 2013

☆ Infographic: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days ☆

Moving oil is a dirty business, and never has that been more clear than this past month. Since March 11, the global oil industry has had 13 spills on three continents. In North and South America alone, they’ve spilled more than a million gallons of oil and toxic chemicals – enough to fill two olympic-sized swimming pools.

How bad was it? Here’s an infographic of all the oil spills, leaks and derailments in the past 30 days. 

All spills in order of occurrence:

March 11 – 21: Gwagwalada Town, Nigera
A week-long leak of Kilometer 407.5 NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corp) pipeline. No official # of barrels spilled released, however the spill saturated a hectare (10,000 sq metres) of marshy ground near a major water source.

Tuesday, March 19: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories Canada
Enbridge Norman Wells Pipeline leaks 6,290 barrels of crude oil

Monday, March 25: Fort MacKay, Alberta Canada
Suncor Tar Sands tailings pond leaks 2,200 barrels of toxic waste fluid into the Athabasca River

Wednesday, March 27: Parker Prairie, Minnesota USA
CP Rail train derails and spills 952 barrels of Tar Sands crude oil

Friday, March 29: Mayflower, Arkansas
Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline suffers a 22 foot-long rupture, spilling at least 12,000 barrels of diluted Tar Sands bitumen

Sunday, March 31: A power plant in Lansing, Michigan USA
16 barrels of an oil-based hydraulic fluid spills into the Grand River

Tuesday, April 2: Nembe, Nigeria
After suffering a reported theft of 60,000 barrels of oil per day from its Nembe Creek Trunkline pipeline, Shell Nigeria shuts off the pipe for 9 days to repair damage.

Wednesday, April 3: 350KM southeast of Newfoundland, Canada
A drilling platform leaks 0.25 barrels of crude oil

Wednesday, April 4: Chalmette, Louisiana USA
0.24 barrels (100 lbs) of hydrogen sulfide and 0.04 barrels (10lbs of benzene) leak at an Exxon Refinery

Monday, April 8: Esmeraldas, Ecuador
The OPEC-managed OCP pipeline leaks 5,500 barrels of heavy crude oil, contaminating the Winchele estuary

Tuesday, April 9: 29KM NE of Nuiqsut, Alaska USA
Human error during maintenance spills 157 barrels of crude oil at a Repsol E&P USA Inc pipeline pump station


Never has it been more important to move away from crude oil that is destroying our environment, communities, and wildlife. Enough is enough. With the Keystone XL Pipeline still trying to be pushed through, further drilling, and the Canadian Northern Gateway Pipeline, it is important to voice our opinions, to spread awareness and act for the goodness of our planet. There are still lots of petitions circulating to sign so do those, attend rallies, share information, contact your officials to let them know you want clean energy, and so forth. Every action counts. 


If you found this article to be helpful, please consider a small donation or visit the shop. Thank you for your love and support.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Save $100 on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders + Free Shipping