Saturday, August 31, 2013

{this moment} - and the weekly {Smile-Up}


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

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A photo (or few) capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember.
Served up with the weekly {Smile-Up} - gratitude practices to love and appreciate your life. 

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



{Smile Up}:

Portland Adventures! (take two!)
Discovering new places, just having good wanders
Eating Vegan Food in Vegan Restaurants! ^_^ 
Quality time with friends!
Thunderstorms (such a crazy one here the other night!) 
Tea Dates, Tea Dates
Friday Night Market Fest in Nelson! 
Cuddling up with my kitties and watching anime
Quality time with my hubby   
Hearing from old friends :)
Planning trips!    
Ordering my Cintiq!! (can't wait for it to arrive!!)   
Getting excited over geeky things ;)
Kitty cuddles (can never have too much)
Drawing a photo a day! ^_^ 
 Hugging Trees! 
 Being a big kid! ^_^


Loving: Lots of Drawing, planning out my book • Simplicity of pencil and paper • Adventures • Summer Markets • Lazy evenings •  Self Work • Happy Diary Entries • Dancing • 

Interests for the week:
Reading: On the last chapter (finally) of "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman. I don't want to finish it haha. Time for a new book!
✯  Current Anime shows: Finished "D. Gray Man" (onto the Manga now! ^_^). Started "Guilty Crown" (soooo good!!). Episodes of "Say I Love You" (such an adorable story, love it so much).
✯  True Blood is over, I'm sad. :( New Dexter and Ray Donovan episodes. Stand-up Comedy! 
Music Playlist: Hollywood Undead (looooove them--although not all their songs), Chevelle "SciFi Crimes", Florence and the Machine, Breaking Benjamin, Dub FX, The Sounds. 
Food Faves: Chocolate Vega Smoothies with Spinach Vegan Pizza Cake (Petunia's in Portland) Sundaes (Back to Eden Bakery in Portland) Daiya and cream cheese grilled sandwiches ♥ 


Lessons of the week: 
Think Positive, Think Positive, Think Positive! Happy Diary entries every day are a Must when feeling insecure and/or down! Dancing and prancing are the best medicine . Realizing who in your life makes you feel good or badly about yourself and dealing with such appropriately. Don't over think, and go with the flow! Things happen much smoother this way. You control your mood = you control your life.



Hope you're all having a beautiful wonderful blissful week! 
What are you grateful for this week? :)

Tell me about your lovely weeks! Tell me about your 'Smile Up' and 'this moment!' :) 


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Thursday, August 29, 2013

☺ You Deserve to Be Happy! ☺




I have some good news for you: You Deserve to Be Happy! Yes, You! 
The bad (and sad) news is that most of us don't actually believe we deserve to be happy.
Our lack of this good feeling of deserving to be happy stops us from living life to it's fullest potential. When we feel like we don't deserve to be happy, we place barriers around ourselves that stop the good things from coming in. It makes us cause our relationships and any possible good things that do manage to sneak through to fall apart rather instantly. We start to look for things to go wrong, seeking them out, drawing them out, making them magically appear out of nowhere. It makes us pick fights and get into disagreements with the people we care about. It makes us feel depressed. It keeps us trapped in this terrible bubble that circles over and over until we can actually learn to love ourselves and accept that we do indeed deserve to be happy. 

The reason that most of us don't believe we deserve to be happy is thanks to our insecurities and our general lack of liking and loving ourselves. Society teaches us that to love ourselves is a show of vanity, of being conceded, and this is a bad attitude that needs to halt. Love starts with yourself, you must must must love yourself in order to be happy and in order to love the people and things around you. So, you don't just deserve to be happy, you also deeply greatly do deserve to be loved.
Happiness and love are really one in the same, and both of them start with You. You can't expect to have an abundance, or much at all, of either of these wonderful things if you can't work on yourself and place yourself into a mentality and openness to let them in. 
I don't care what you have been through in your life, I don't care what shitty circumstances might be going on around you, I don't care how badly another person has made you feel about yourself, because, you know what? You are awesome! Despite anything that has happened or will happen in your life, you are awesome! Yes, you! And the more that you believe that, the more you will love life, love yourself, and welcome goods things into your life. You will become an inspiration to those around you and you can fill others up with that same joy because that energy will become so contagious and spill over onto others.  

[photo courtesy: JessicaRoman]


The feeling of not deserving to be happy also comes from being entirely too hard on ourselves for past mistakes and for things that were quite often out of our control, but that we have taken the blame deeply upon ourselves. 
The past is the past, you can't change anything that happened, and the more you try to deny that the longer you will remain in this state of lovelessness. Things happen. To everyone! Taking on the blame doesn't change anything. Carrying that blame around with you will only serve as the chains to your depression and it makes things worse for the ones you love as well. If you want to help others, if you want to help yourself, then choose to be happy, and you do that by making changes and letting go of the past.    
What you need to realize is that almost everyone has gone through some shitty things in their lives. Everyone has done things that they regret, things that they don't feel so good about, things that they deem as "awful" and "unforgivable." So is that where we should stop? Just sit there and wallow in that negativity and just accept that we've done some shitty things, that "god" or the universe, or some holy power has deemed us unfixeable? Or, is it not better to get back up and try again? If you don't like who you are, change it! You get to choose who you are. You get to choose how you are going to live your life. You get to choose whether or not good things can enter your life or not. 


You deserve happiness. Maybe, sometimes life makes you feel like you don't. Maybe sometimes your headspace makes you feel like a bad person, and therefor undeserving of good things. That mentality is the only thing stopping those good things from coming into your life. If you don't open the door, they can't get in! You have to let them in! The door is your bad attitude, so learn to love yourself and then you'll be able to open the door again. Happiness IS within your reach. 
Okay, so maybe it's not as easy as waving a magic wand and going, "Tadaaaa! I love myself! I deserve happiness! Woot woot!" Because, maybe, you just can't let go of that nagging awful mentality that you simply don't deserve good things and that you're not a good person. I've been there, so I know the feeling. Here's the thing; I used to hate myself, I mean utterly despise myself. I was a suicidal, depressed, self-loathing mess for a long portion of my life. You know what changed? I woke up. I started working on myself every single day. I started getting help, reading books, and looking at myself differently. I realized that I could be a person that I was proud of and liked--and loved.  
If you don't feel good about yourself then that's something you must work on everyday. And I mean every day! Every day until life gets easier and you fall in love with your wonderful self (and even after that) you should be doing gratitude practices for yourself. A simple and amazing practice that I still do when life feels rough, and when I may not be feeling so good about myself, is this… get a pen and paper (or I highly recommend having a Happy Diary) and write down a list of all the things you love about yourself. Write down small things, big things, things that you want to be and write them down as if that's who you are already. Write and write until you feel that energy shift within yourself and you genuinely feel better about yourself. Again, you Do get to choose who you are, and if you want to change then this is a good practice to become the greatest version of yourself. Do this practice every morning and every night, or at the very least, once a day. 
You don't have to be miserable forever. You don't have to hate yourself. You have such amazing wonderful unlimited potential inside of yourself and your lack of self love is holding you back from living your life to the fullest and being the amazing person that, deep down inside, you always truly are. It's time to let go of those restricting thoughts and allow that wonderful person inside of yourself to come out and play and smile and be happy.  
So, one more time: You Deserve to Be Happy! 



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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

❀ 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! 
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India Proposed to End Tests on Animals for Household Products and Their Ingredients! 
After an extensive campaign by PETA India—which included appeals from high-profile politicians as well as lengthy discussions with a PETA India scientist—the Bureau of Indian Standards' Soaps and Other Surface Active Agents Sectional Committee proposed to end the use of animals in tests required for household products and their ingredients. The proposal was made during a recent meeting of the committee, on which PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr. Chaitanya Koduri has a seat, and the final decision on a ban will be made by Dr. G.N. Singh, the Drugs Controller General of India, soon.

Victory! India Bans Shark Finning
In a move to protect the ocean’s apex predators, India has announced a ban on the practice of shark finning that is being applauded around the world.
According to a report by the wildlife monitoring agency TRAFFIC, India is the world’s second largest shark-catching nation behind Indonesia.
Now, fishermen who are found with detached fins could face up to seven years in prison under the assumption that any fins brought in alone are from a species who is protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, even if they aren’t.
The move was called for by the Humane Society International/India, in collaboration with one of India’s biggest fishing communities, the Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen, and was supported by the Animal Welfare Board of India and other conservation groups over concerns about the brutality of this trade and need to conserve shark species and protect them from unsustainable fishing practices.

McDonald’s Unwraps New Meat-Free Menu – in Canada
This week, according to Canada’s National Post, McDonald’s is rolling out two new meatless options at participating locations nationwide: a Mediterranean McWrap and a Sante Fe McWrap. (Note: As listed on McDonald’s website both wraps include cheese so request yours to be made dairy-free).
Why is McDonald’s going meatless and touting this “delicious new way to get your veggies”? Simply put: consumer demand.

Police Officer Saves 100 Baby Sea Turtles From Certain Death
Florida police officer Derek Conley, from Sarasota, saved nearly 100 baby sea turtles when he gathered the newly hatched creatures from a hotel parking lot and street, put them in a cardboard box, and released them into the Gulf of Mexico.
Conley was on patrol at 1 a.m. on August 3, when he noticed a baby sea turtle crawling toward the front door of Sarasota’s Lido Beach Resort. A passerby told him that he’d seen more hatchlings in the parking lot.
When he checked up, he saw that there were dozens more turtles swarming toward the hotel. He grabbed a cardboard box, and with the help of some of the hotel’s guests, he gathered up the slow-moving creatures from the parking lot and surrounding streets, stopping the traffic a few times in the process.
Conley delivered the turtles back to the beach and across the water line, effectively saving their little lives.

New Mexico on the Verge of Marriage Equality
Now that one county clerk is issuing same-sex marriage licenses, is New Mexico state on the verge of legalizing marriage equality?
Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing same-sex marriage licenses last week based on the fact that New Mexico’s marriage laws are gender neutral and therefore, even without explicit recognition of same-sex couples, would appear to allow for equal marriage rights.
Reports ABC: 
Ellins said he had carefully read state laws and concluded the “state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Doña Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples.”
Ellins, however, said “any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act.”

Pastor Who Helped Create “Kill the Gays” Bill Charged with Crimes Against Humanity
Scott Lively, pastor and head of Abiding Truth Ministries, has made warning of the dangers of homosexuality a primary focus of his ministry. He has done so much damage to the LGBT community, with talks and actions in Uganda which led to the Kill the Gays Bill. The Kill the Gays bill has been circulated multiple times, most recently in February of 2013. It’s still awaiting passage in parliament.
In March of 2012, the Center for Constitution Rights filed a federal lawsuit against Scott Lively and his current organization, Abiding Truth Ministries. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a non-profit umbrella organization for LGBT advocacy groups in Uganda. In their complaint, Sexual Minorities Uganda seek a judgment declaring Lively’s actions illegal, in violation of international law, and in violation of their fundamental human rights.
While this is just the beginning, they are one step closer to the justice they desire and at least Lively will become accountable for his crimes. 


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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!
See that your actions count and get out there and do good! Be the Change!  


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Monday, August 26, 2013

☺ Motivational Mondays! ☺


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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

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Law of Attraction tip: Remember that what you talk about most is what you are attracting. So, while it's nice to vent and talk about our problems to work through them, we must be careful that our focus isn't more consistently on the problem instead of the solution. Our worst habit is still talking too much about our problems instead of the joys in our lives, so watch your speech and switch it onto something positive.    
Practice Self-Gratitude!  Almost nothing diminishes our sense of worth more than our own selves. It's an easy mentality to fall into since we tend to take things too harshly, listen to others criticisms too much, and degrade ourselves by comparing ourselves to others. These are all bad habits that need reversing, but most importantly, you need to spend time on your Self. Every single day, without fail, without slacking, take time to write a love letter to yourself. Remind yourself that you are an awesome person, of all the qualities you like about yourself, and generally just focus on how kick-ass you are! Because you are! ^_^ 
Put the Damn Phone Down! Our addiction to our smartphones is getting to the point of ridiculousness. I mean, really ridiculousness. I'm not saying I'm not guilty of busting out my phone and taking photos of everything (although, to be fair, I did this when I just had a camera before I had my phone), but moderation I think is key here. Technology can be a wonderful thing, but let's not become brainwashed zombies who can't do anything but turn to our phones every few minutes. Try leaving it far away when you can, and turn it onto silence when you're out with friends.    
You are What You Eat! Remember last motivational monday when I told you to indulge? Well, I hope you're done because now it's time to eat super duper clean and good! Our food directly affects our mentalities and we too often overlook this. You absolutely are what you eat, so eat food that fuels you, that takes care of your body and your soul. 
Go for a walk. Take a route you don’t normally take. Explore. Just enjoy walking, saying thank you with every step, and breathing in some fresh air. Walking clears our minds and makes us feel good. So try going for a walk every day this week.  
Focus on the Positive! The most cliche of all advice and the one I will repeat over and over again. ;) Focus on your joy, instead of on your pain. Meaning, no whining, complaining, or frowning; instead learn to smile and focus on what makes you feel good!        
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt. Follow your dreams and follow your heart. Your dreams may change and that's okay, but always put your heart into it and the world becomes a more beautiful place.  


Get out there and create the best damn day ever! Every week, every day, every second is an opportunity to live your life to the fullest, so go do it! :) 
Much love from me to you! 

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

❀ 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! 
. . . . . . . . . .

Pup Struggling to Stay Afloat Saved by Commuter on Boat
Thanks to some five windsurfers and a man who makes his daily commute to work in a motorized rubber boat, a waterlogged dog was rescued from the waters of the San Francisco Bay.

Woman Trucks in Food to Save African Herds from Starvation
Very low rainfall has created a localized drought along this section of the river and essential grasses are nearly gone now. The vegetation isn’t expected to return until December, so conservationist Karen Paolillo, who lives at Turgwe River at the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, is trying to make a difference. Karen has already done so much for animals with the Turgwe Hippo Trust she formed nearly 20 years ago; the land is also home to thousands of lions, wildebeest, buffalo, elephants and more in the 3,000 square kilometer refuge. Now she is trying to do more but needs help:
The Harmony Fund, a small charity devoted to helping ‘underdog’ animal rescue teams across the planet, has set up a platform for people to help keep the animals alive during this drought. To learn more or to get involved, click here

Victory! Puget Sound’s Orcas Will Stay Protected
Following a legal battle about whether or not to remove a group of orca whales from the endangered species list, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced they will be keeping their protection.
This good news could also play a role that will impact Lolita, the lone orca who is currently at the Miami Seaquarium. She is a member of the L pod who was taken from the wild decades ago and currently has advocates fighting to have endangered species protection as a southern resident extended to her.

Victory! 18 Belugas Escape Aquarium Life
Anti-captivity activists got some good news this month when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that it would be denying the Georgia Aquarium’s application for a permit to import 18 beluga whales from Russia for public display.
The application to import these whales marked the first request in 20 years from a facility in the U.S. to import wild caught marine mammals for public display. The belugas in question were captured in 2006 and 2011 and are currently being held at the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station on Russia’s Black Sea Coast. Their advocates are now calling for Russia to allow a team of scientists to evaluate their health and rehabilitate them for release into the wild.

More than 1,100 Elephant Tusks Uncovered in Major Wildlife Crime Bust
Two tons of endangered species body parts—including 1,120 ivory tusks, 13 rhino horns and five leopard skins—were uncovered by Hong Kong customs on August 6. The contraband was found in 21 crates hidden inside shipping containers arriving from Nigeria.
Under new operational procedures agreed at CITES last March, any ivory seizure over 1,100 pounds must undergo a forensic examination to provide insights into its geographic origin and help shed light on who is orchestrating these large-scale ivory shipments.
Although no arrests have been made, Hong Kong’s Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance legislates a maximum fine of more than $600,000 and two years in jail.
While this is good that the bust was made, there is still a long fight ahead to stop trafficking. WWF and TRAFFIC continue to fight the illegal trade of endangered species even as demand sky rockets in Asian countries like China and Vietnam, so please show some support and spread the word, and, of course, don't buy products with ivory or animal parts.

Success! California Transgender Students Gain Groundbreaking Rights
Excellent news for Care2 activists! On August 12, California became the first state in the nation to enact a law protecting transgender students, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1266 into law.
This is a huge thanks to the almost 6,000 Care2 members who signed their petition urging Governor Brown to end discrimination against transgender students in California schools.
This legislation also happens after 16-year-old Ashton Lee, from Manteca, California, brought his own petition with 6,000 signatures to Governor Brown’s desk.

White House Announces the Return of Solar Panels
In 2010, the Obama administration pledged that it would show the president’s commitment to renewable energy by putting solar panels on the White House. This week, Obama made good on the promise, as construction workers began putting the panels in place. 
The installation will show the value of retrofitting older buildings — even historic ones — and creating more energy-efficient buildings. Go green energy! 

Bystanders Rush to Help Dog Running Down the Freeway
On July 3rd, after becoming frightened by early fireworks, a terrified little dog ran through rush hour traffic, down busy streets, evading State Police and the Department of Transportation crews that have been attempting to corral him. Helicopters were following the story of this dog from above, broadcasting on the news. As the dog continued its desperate terrified dash, a group of Good Samaritans came to the rescue when they realized the dog was nearby. Thanks to that group of wonderful people who wanted to help, the dog was finally circled and grab the now terrified, injured and extremely dehydrated little dog. 
The dog was brought to the animal hospital and taken care of and the veterinary and his wife decided to adopt him and give him a good home. 


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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!
See that your actions count and get out there and do good! Be the Change!  


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

❀ 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! 
. . . . . . . . . .

Horses Get Lifesaving Reprieve from Slaughter in the United States
Plans to start slaughtering horses have been put on hold thanks to a federal judge who stopped companies in New Mexico and Iowa from opening up shop this week.
U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo issued a restraining order in a lawsuit brought by several organizations (The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, Marin Humane Society, Horses for Life Foundation, Return to Freedom) and five individuals, alleging that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) failed to complete the proper environmental studies before issuing permits that would allow slaughterhouses to operate.
Investigations and proper assessment must still happen before the slaughterhouses can be moved forwards. 

Success! Philippine Airlines Stops Trafficking Primates
After a vigorous PETA campaign, the airline has agreed to stop shipping monkeys to laboratories to be tortured in cruel and deadly animal tests.

Victory! Cruel Chicken Factory Farm Scrapped
Thousands of you wrote to Worcestershire Council opposing plans for an intensive broiler chicken farm. Your voices were heard! The application has been withdrawn, saving 80,000 birds from misery.

Chipotle's New Vegan Sofritas Takes Off!
Never underestimate the power of good vegan food. After introducing "Sofritas"--a tofu option braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices--to its menu at just seven northern California locations a few months ago, restaurant chain Chipotle plans to expand it statewide due to its wild popularity. According to Steve Ells, Chipotle's founder and co-CEO, additional markets are also being considered. The chain currently has over 1,400 locations in the United States.
While I don't generally support fast-food in general, any step towards increasing vegan options is a good one! :) 

Thousands of Minks Freed from Idaho Fur Farm
2,400 minks who had spent their lives in dark cages felt grass and went swimming for the first time on July 28th. Then they bounded off into their new lives of freedom, according to the people who broke into the farm and opened their cages.
The animals were breeding stock at an Idaho mink farm, living solely to create more minks who would suffer and die for human vanity. They were released by an anonymous group, according to a communique published by Earth First! Newswire.

Facebook Helps Domestic Violence Survivors Protect Their Privacy
Sounds like Facebook finally has done something right…
Facebook has teamed up with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to help survivors of domestic violence better navigate the social media site’s privacy and safety features. The company has released a guide to these account settings intended to teach Facebook users how to manage their online profiles without encountering someone who has abused them in the past, as well as how to easily report someone who is using the site to threaten or stalk them.

The End of Environment-Destroying Fertilizers Could Be Near
Research breakthroughs have been pretty great for Mother Earth lately: We’re on the cusp of treating polluted water with little more than apple and tomato peels, and now Professor Edward Cocking from the University of Nottingham has created a new technology which may soon bring the end of environment destroying fertilizers.
The new technology, known as N-Fix, puts nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. With this bacteria, plants are then able to fix and hold nitrogen from the atmosphere, rather than just from the soil (where we must use harmful synthetic nitrogen fertilizers).
This method of nitrogen absorption can provide a plant with almost all of its nitrogen requirements, making nitrogen-rich fertilizer redundant. The possible implications for agriculture – and the entire food system – are huge.

Success! Animal Dissection No Longer Required for Connecticut Students
Dissection in schools (and everywhere else) should have gone the way of the dodo long ago. Yet many pigs, frogs, rabbits, cats and other animals are still sacrificed each year in the name of science at those institutions that hold on to this arcane and inhumane practice, even though advanced modeling techniques are making humane alternatives to dissection easy, cost-effective and highly educational. However, all that is changing in Connecticut, thanks to the successful passage of a law mandating schools to allow students to opt out of dissection and related curricular activities.
Fewer than half of US states currently have such legislation, leaving many students without legal protection or recourse if they want to refuse dissection. With biology a required part of the curriculum, such students may be effectively forced to participate in something they find unethical, distasteful and upsetting. Youth in the United States often have limited civil rights in school environments, and this is a powerful example of such limits. No student should be faced with the choice between failing a course and engaging in a morally repugnant lesson plan, yet many students across the country do just that when they take biology courses.
For Connecticut students, this represents a major victory, but it represents more than that for the country at large. As more and more states take on such laws and signal that they want dissection-free options for their students, it puts pressure on those that don’t have such protections to consider adopting them. Animal activists can use such legislation to create models for use in other states and to pressure officials who are resistant to the idea of offering dissection alternatives.

3 Adorable Animal Rescues Caught on Tape
Click through to check them all and smile :) 


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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!
See that your actions count and get out there and do good! Be the Change! 


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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, August 12, 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

. . . . . . . . . .


Law of Attraction tip: Thoughts Become Things. Thoughts Become Things. Thoughts Become Things. Pay attention to what you're thinking about; is it positive or is it negative? What do you want to attract? Positive or Negative? Thoughts Become Things!   
Take Care of Yourself!  If you know something is affecting your health (both body and mind) negatively then take action immediately to remedy it. Don't stay static, do something about it and make a change. If you don't try then you'll never move forward.
Remember to Practice Random Acts of Kindness. It's the little things that can make a huge impact on someone's day, so do your part to make the world a little brighter. If you see an opportunity to help someone, take it. If you think of something sweet to do for someone, do it. Try to do a few acts of kindness where no one else knows you're doing them as well, that way it becomes more selfless--although it will make your soul feel good too!   
Indulge! Because next week I'm going to tell you to purge. ;) If you want to eat something, eat it. If you want to binge eat, do it. Indulge a little without guilt. Because every so often it feels good to just give into cravings and nom nom nom!
Look for Beautiful Moments. When I was sitting on the bus the other day, there was an awfully smelly guy sat near me, and the bus was hot and humid and not all that pleasant. But then I noticed a little boy of about 3-years sat with his mother just down from me and he was kissing her and being affectionate and she was smiling so lovingly. It was a beautiful moment. When you are out and about, choose to see the world through enchanted eyes. Look for beautiful moments, for when you start paying attention you will notice them--and they are all around you!  
Do Epic Shit! Get out into the world and live your amazing life the way you want, the way you choose, the way that makes you feel good! And do it unabashedly! You are so full of awesome it's limitless, so get out there and be awesome and do your thing! And enjoy every awesome second of it!        
"A bad attitude can literally block love, blessings, and destiny from finding you. Don't be the reason you don't succeed." - Mandy Hale. Change your attitude and you'll change your life! Literally! :)


Get out there and create the best damn day ever! Every week, every day, every second is an opportunity to live your life to the fullest, so go do it! :) 
Much love from me to you! 


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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: (Raw) Zucchini Cashew Alfredo Pasta Ⓥ



As I mentioned last week: sooooo many zucchinis (from our garden)!!! One of my favourite things to do with fresh zucchini is to keep it raw and make pasta! Super delicious and because you keep the zucchini raw you're also keeping all of it's amazing nutrients--plus nothing tastes better than zucchinis right from your own garden (or if you don't have a garden, shoot for local as it will too be amazing ;)).
Okay, so here is a super simple, easy, and divine raw dish to keep your summer sizzling and your tummy happy! 


(Raw) Zucchini Cashew Alfredo Pasta

Pasta:
1 large, or a few small Zucchinis, spiralled into long thin "pasta" shapes.*

Sauce:
1 cup Cashews (soaked for 10 minutes or longer)
1 cup Water
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Garlic Clove
1 Heaped Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Salt
dash of Black Pepper
pinch of oregano (optional)


*Zucchini Pasta Preparation: 
Maybe you are fortunate enough to have an awesome spiralizer, but if you don't (and you don't want to fork up $40 or so for one) then there is a small investment alternative: a Julienne peeler! Ours cost us $12 and it works like a charm. It may take a little more time than a speedy machine, but I like the preparation process anyways, and it really doesn't take very long at all to use one of these amazing peelers. Oh, plus you get awesome thin beautiful "pasta" zucchini! ^_^ 


Sauce:
Place ingredients in a blendtex, vitamix, or even a food processor and blend until smooth. Takes approx. 5 minutes in a food processor. If you own a blendtec or vitamix then you can warm it up slightly too (and it only takes about a minute! Did I mention I love my blentec??! ;)) 
Add a little more water if necessary, or to get your desired consistency. Taste test if needed. 

Serve over your zucchini pasta, top with chopped avocado and you have a delicious heavenly meal that's super good for you!  
Makes approx. 2-4 servings.



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Saturday, August 10, 2013

{this moment} - and the weekly {Smile-Up}


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

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A photo (or few) capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember.
Served up with the weekly {Smile-Up} - gratitude practices to love and appreciate your life. 

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

 [hiking with two of my favourite guys ^_^]


{Smile Up}:

Random hiking adventures 
Discovering new places / exploring the wonders of where I live!
First time in a little natural cave 
Huckleberry picking!
Thunderstorms 
Tea Dates (as always ^_^) 
Spontaneous afternoon swims (even when it's cold out! sep!) 
My new pink wig -- and that no one so far has known it was a wig!
My bestie helping me at the markets    
All my friends who collect bottlecaps for me haha
Exercise!    
Me Time -- getting to draw and write and work on my book ^_^   
Planning our next Portland trip! (so soooooon!!)
The ridiculously cute and silly things our cats do.
Texting! Thank god for texting and being able to keep in touch with faraway friends ^_^ 
Friends that give the best ever hugs! ♥♥
Random acts of kindness. 


Loving: Me time • Smiling over old photos • Adventures • Creating • Kootenay Lake •  Thunderstorms • My job • Dancing • Mountains • Tea Dates •

Interests for the week:
✯  New Dexter, True Blood, and Ray Donovan episodes. (only three things I've been watching on TV lately… aside from…) Anime shows. ^_^
Music Playlist: Hollywood Undead (SCAVA is just too awesome a song!!), Rabbit Junk, Brand New "Daisy", Chevelle "SciFi Crimes", Hurt "Vol. II" 
Food Faves: Chocolate Vega Smoothies with a ton of kale Stuffed Zucchini Mountain Magic Cookies Hazelnut Butter Homemade Icecream Daiya grilled sandwiches Wild Huckleberries ♥ 


Lessons of the week: 
I'm probably The Worst procrastinator! Patience! Remember to repeat Positive Affirmations in the morning and set your intentions for the day (every day!) . There's enough time for everything! Don't fall into the habit of saying "there's not enough time" or you will attract not enough time! Gratitude gratitude gratitude! Accepting that I'm (half) an introvert -- and that's okay. ;)



Hope you're all having a beautiful wonderful blissful week! 
What are you grateful for this week? :)

Tell me about your lovely weeks! Tell me about your 'Smile Up' and 'this moment!' :) 


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

❀ The Good News ❀



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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! 
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Lots of amazing news for animals this week!!

25 Cows Find Happiness at their new Sanctuary Home!
Twenty five cows destined for the slaughter house were freed, after having spent their lives in the dairy industry. The only life they knew was a life in which they could not move and never saw daylight, until they arrived at the shelter. Watch the video and their reaction to their new found freedom. Don't miss the reaction of these animals when they see freedom, thanks to this group of owners who have created another very different kind of luck. The video made me all teary to see how happy these cows are getting to be free and prance and play! 

Baby Chimp Rescued
For a baby chimpanzee in the African rainforest, the world is only as big as a mother’s arms. So when that mother is suddenly taken, there’s a massive rush to fill the void.
The Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, United Nations Great Apes Survival Partnership and MONUSCO peacekeeping forces all had a hand in one such rescue of a two-year-old female chimpanzee Beni, named after the town in which she had been kept in captivity. It is believed that Beni’s mother was killed by bushmeat hunters and she was being kept illegally as a pet by a local family.

Over 200 Animals Rescued From Shocking Conditions In Texas
More than 200 animals were rescued from deplorable conditions in a residence in Texas on July 25. This person was hoarding animals for unknown reasons in filthy conditions. Thankfully, after receiving a complaint of suspected animal cruelty, the SPCA of Texas was able to step in. The SPCA took custody of a total of 221 animals from a property in Kaufman County, near Dallas: 166 rabbits, 36 guinea pigs, 12 goats, five cats, one dog and one bull.
At least in this case, the SPCA has hopefully ensured a happy ending for these animals.

Success! Deadly Dog Camp Raided, Animals Rescued
Last week, Care2 brought you the tragic story of a deadly dog camp in Sky Valley, near Palm Springs, California. The camp had been there for years, with local residents desperately concerned, but unable to get it shut down.
Well, on July 25, four Animal Control trucks, six SUVs and one white van stormed the remote desert property, and rescued the ten Queensland Heeler dogs that they found there. The dogs are now in protective custody in a non-public area at one of the county’s shelters.
The owner of this camp, Mary Bernadette Schwenn, was arrested at the Indio branch of the Riverside County Law Library last week and charged with 10 counts of felony animal cruelty and 20 other misdemeanor charges relating to the improper care of animals. She was taken to the Larson Justice Center jail in Indio, CA, and her bail was set at $50,000. She could face a sentence ranging from probation to nine years in custody if convicted.
This is thanks to the almost 40,000 Care2 members who signed the petition asking Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit to close the deadly dog camp. Your actions, along with pressure from many local residents, finally persuaded Benoit that he needed to take action.
Since Schwenn has not plead guilty, the fight isn't quite over, so please sign the petition asking that Schwenn never be allowed near animals again, and that the animals that were saved are treated humanely. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/967/344/241/help-stop-desert-dog-death-camp/

Animal Place Rescues 3,000 Hens from Egg Farm
On July 29th and 30th, Animal Place rescued 3,000 hens from a caged "egg-laying" hen farm. 2,000 hens went to our Grass Valley sanctuary and 1,000 to our Vacaville adoption center.
They need volunteers and donations to help care for the rescued hens though, so please if you can help, please do. Visit their website to see how: http://animalplace.org/helping-hens-rescue
And if you cannot donate or volunteer, you can do something else - go egg-free, go vegan. :)

Victory! Etsy Bans Endangered Animal Products
Etsy, the popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, has updated its policies to crack down on sales of items made from endangered animals.
Earlier this spring, the Snow Leopard Trust raised concerns about illegal listings for products made with endangered animal parts, which were spurred by an item that was listed as “genuine real snow leopard fur.” After attempting to have their concerns heard by Etsy, they created a Care2 petition that has since gathered more than 33,000 signatures.
It appears to have gotten the company’s attention. According to the Snow Leopard Trust, following the petition’s creation Etsy’s CEO Chad Dickerson reached out to the organization to let them know they were working on the issue. Last week the company announced a formal policy change banning the sale of items made from endangered species which will apply to sellers around the globe, with the exception of Native Alaskans.

Victory – North Carolina Ag Gag Bill Fails this Session! 
IDA teamed up with animal advocates like you and other animal protection organizations to convince North Carolina’s legislature to oppose Senate Bill 648, the state’s proposed “ag gag” bill. Ag gag bills seek to criminalize individuals who document animal abuse in slaughterhouses and on factory farms. Without the evidence that undercover video provides, the worst abuses committed by the factory farming industry would go unseen and unpunished.
Thanks to you the North Carolina legislature ended this session without passing its version of the ag gag bill.

Organizations Worldwide Join Empty the Tanks Protests
On Saturday In Defense of Animals (IDA), Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Save Japan Dolphins, Direct Action Everywhere, and many other animal protection organizations came together for worldwide simultaneous protests as part of the Empty the Tanks Day of Action (to protest marine animals in captivity). There were a total of twenty-four events in twelve countries. 
These events coincided with the U.S. opening of the new documentary film, Blackfish, which focuses on the 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau who was killed by an orca imprisoned at SeaWorld in Orlando.

14-Year-Old Girl Defends Women’s Rights
The Texas legislature waged a new front in the war on women the past couple of months by introducing an extreme anti-abortion bill under the pretenses of protecting women’s health. Of course, it does the exact opposite, but it didn’t stop them from passing it into law earlier this month.
There was tremendous opposition, so much that the first attempt to pass it was shut down by an amazing display of democracy in action, which included filibusters by a senator and citizens.
Billy Joe Cain and his wife showed up to protest this latest assault on women’s reproductive health. They also brought their 14-year-old daughter, Tuesday, seeing it as part of their parental duty to continually educate her on how the world works. The Cain family joined more than 10,000 people in Austin for several days to express their outrage. Tuesday decided to make a sign to add her voice to all the others.
As a result of the sign Tuesday made she and her family were met by the rudest and most shameful backlash, with adults screaming and calling the 14-year-old a whore. As a response to all the negativity, Tuesday's father was right there defending her and Tuesday, as well, wrote a well worded response. 
I think it's great that parents are teaching their child about women's right and that she has been brave enough and strong enough to be a positive wonderful force. Let's hear it for more women (and people in general) speaking up and being smart. 

Lawmakers Propose Bill To Prevent Rapists From Claiming Child Custody
(I can't believe this isn't already law!)
On Thursday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) held a press conference to explain their recently-introduced legislation designed to help rape survivors maintain full custody rights over their children. The lawmakers were joined by Shauna Prewitt, a rape survivor and victims’ rights advocate who was forced to endure the type of custody battle with her rapist that the bill seeks to prevent.
The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act would provide funding incentives to states that have laws allowing mothers of children conceived through rape to “seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist.” These states would receive federal grant funding for programs authorized under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).



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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!
See that your actions count and get out there and do good! Be the Change!  

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