Lavender lemonade

Don’t let headaches or anxiety ruin your summer!
Keep your troubles away naturally (and deliciously) with this tasty and soothing bev.

  • 1 cup sugar (agave or honey will also work)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender (or 1 drop lavender essential oil)
  • 5 lemons, juiced (about 1 cup of juice)

-Boil half the water.
-Remove water from heat and add sugar and lavender, stir til dissolved.
-Cover and let sit anywhere from 20 mins to 4 hours so the lavender can infuse.
-Strain into large container (like a juice pitcher).
-Stir in lemon juice and remaining water.
-Adjust to taste.
-Refrigerate.
-Pour over ice before serving.

lav-lem2 I know you think lavender tastes gross, like fancy soap or some old lady’s perfume. But in this case, the lemon totally overpowers the lavender taste, resulting in straight up: Yum!

Why bother with lavender lemonade?
Because anxiety is a hugely prevalent mental health issue.

And even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, you probably get a headache now and then.
We don’t always want to be rushing to the doctor or drugstore. Especially when there are effective, affordable, natural steps you can take to fight off anxiety and headaches.

Lavender is an aromatic herb that calms the senses. And lavender oil possesses a whole host of other amazing properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative.

Lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and provides pain relief.

So, if you ever have any of these issues, stir up a tasty pitcher of Lavender Lemonade!

lavender

And if you need some lavender to execute this yummy creation, I have loads, so hit me up and I’ll get it to you!


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Saving Dory

Blue-Tang5-1

 

Meet the beautiful Royal Blue Tang. This stunning fish is known by many names: palette surgeonfish, paracanthurus, powder blue tang, hippo tang, blue surgeonfish, regal tang, blue tang.

The Blue Tang is found throughout the world and is fairly common.
It’s even common in the aquarium trade, though it’s consider a “fragile” fish. The Tang easily becomes ill, prone to parasitic infections and lateral line disease.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the Disney movie “Finding Dory” could mean absolute disaster for this fragile and beautiful species.

The upcoming movie release on June 17th will mean every kid aged 3-12 will be wanting a Blue Tang.
Just as during Easter, every kid wants a bunny.
If this sounds silly to you, think back to finding Nemo in 2003, there was a huge boom of Clownfish sales.
HUGE.

Back then it was fair easy for suppliers and petshops to meet the demand as Clownfish can be bred in tanks.
However, the Tang cannot be bred in captivity and must be caught in the wild.

This means their numbers could be decimated by this fleeting but overwhelming new interest in the fish and that also means trouble for aquatic ecosystems.
The Tang is important for coral health as it eats algae that may otherwise choke it by overgrowth.

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It’s important to teach kids responsible pet guardianship.

It’s a big responsibility to care for a pet.
Any pet.
It means cleaning, feeding, research, vet appointments, and a whole host of other aspects you never even thought of.

If a captive Tang survives its ineveitable bout with marine ich, it can grow to be happy and healthy.
And aggressive.
Tangs aren’t supposed to be in the same tank as other types of fish and they need a large tank with lots of room to swim.
Also, the Tang feeds constantly and needs a very specific herbivore diet that contains Spirulina Algae.

If you are not prepared to handle this fish properly, do not get one.

Getting a pet because of a fad is not a good idea. If your child is too young to understand this concept, YOU need to understand the concept.

The Tang as a pet is not a responsible choice.

It’s not fair to individual animal, to the Tangs as an entire species, or to the environment they came from.

If your kids are crazy for Dory and really want to show their love, please buy them a super cute stuffed Dory they can cuddle at night. 
Not a sad fish in a tank that probably won’t last a month.

 

 

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Toddler eats

Koa just had a taste of my fried puffed gluten and was all “MMMMMMmmmmmmmm!”

and he proceeded to eat more and more and more until there was nothing left for me.

On one hand:
Great! Eat it up! Get big and strong! Diversify your palate.

On the other hand:
Damn it! That little brat just ate all my delicious gluten!

I sometimes wish he didn’t have such good (and expensive) taste.
I don’t always want to be sharing my gluten, avocado sushi, ice cream, toast, raspberries, water chestnuts, and grapefruit. Sometimes I want that tasty goodness just for myself!

Do you ever wish your kids would just stick to their own gross old gruel… or whatever children are supposed to eat?

Gluten = mommy
Pantry_Fried-Gluten

Gruel = Babies

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Tip of the Week: Sorting

Tip of the week

I used to really resent all the steps in recycling.
Rinse out the container, remove the lid, remove the label, flatten, put in proper receptacle, etc.
None of these steps are really that hard, but it just seemed as though it was counterintuitive. I mean, if you want people to recycle, you should make it easier for them, not harder. Right?

But there is a reason for all the steps behind recycling….And it’s not just to annoy you.
It’s important to separate the pieces properly (which includes removing the cap from bottles, not putting recyclables into a bag, and avoiding nestling) because many containers are all made of different materials.

So you may have a glass bottle, but the lid could be metal with a rubber ring.
If those materials are not properly sorted, the end buyer of materials will return them to the recycling plant as “rejected” because the pallet of #5 plastics delivered to them has 30% of other materials mixed in.

Meaning they can’t use the raw product to downcycle* or recycle (eg: make railroad ties from plastic bottles). If the plastic bottles being recycled are covered with bits of paper, it would reduce the quality of the material and undermine the efforts of those trying to reuse those products.

Of all the recyclable materials we throw out, approximately 40% make it to the recycling plant and FIVE PERCENT actually get recycled.
So do what you can to help, will ya? Take off that darn label and remove that lid.

The city has already have provided the recycling plant, the bins, the pickup service, and the steps on how to do your part.

So please just do it.

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But if you are moaning about how you can’t possibly be bothered, there is an easier way.

The easiest way to reduce your impact on the environment is to reduce.

Wanting less, needing less, using less, consuming less.

In North America, we generally have so much more than we could every possibly need. It’s very fortunate.

And very wasteful.

The best way to curb your impact on the environment is to just stop buying. You will get a different sort of satisfaction from not consuming. Saving money. Helping the environment. Making a responsible decision.

So if you don’t want to recycle, that’s fine. Just don’t produce anything to be recycled in the first place.

recycling

 

  • If you’re confused about recycling, upcycling, and downcycling, you can get more easy to understand info from Greenpare
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No-Bake Energy Bites

Hanger happens to the best of us sometimes, we get so hungry we snap at our loved ones and generally make really poor decisions before melting into a puddle of emotions and finally succumbing to eating 6 hamburgers and an entire cheesecake.
But hanger but can be warded off and better decision can be made by having a hearty snack on hand.
There are plenty of recipes floating about for how to make a great energy bites (or balls), but I am sorta lazy, so I found a great one that doesn’t require a food processor or any baking.
Success!
Welcome to Peanut Butter Energy Bites.
A super simple (and super delicious) recipe!

Mix together well:
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dark , dairy-free chocolate chips (or flakes)
1/2 cup chia seed
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
1/3 cup raw honey

Form into balls. This recipe makes 12.

Put into fridge until ready to eat (well wrapped and they’ll keep in fridge for 2 weeks, freezer for 1 month)

Alternatives and substitutions

Vegan: use coconut or agave nectar instead of honey

Peanut allergy: Use a tree nut butter instead of peanut butter

Canadian: Use Maple Syrup instead of the honey

Poor: Use rolled oats in place of the chia (or an oat/chia combo)

Keep in mind these are not supposed to be eaten all at once as a snack.

But that can be hard to avoid as they are delicious! (even my toddler agrees).

Enjoy your hangry-free energy!

energy-balls

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Protected: All Points Bulletin: Size isn’t relative

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Earth Day!

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Happy Earth Day everyone!

This is a great day to think about our planet and how you can help keep it beautiful.

Take this quiz to see how Green you are (or are not…).
The top scores will get a special gift from me!

Going green doesn’t have to be big sweeping changes, it can be small adjustments that add up to make a big difference.

Try starting one new habit today that will help.

Whether you got a good score on the quiz or not, below are some easy tips you can do to help keep our planet happy and healthy!

Here is a list of 40 easy ideas that Mother Earth will approve of, how many do you already do?

-Only run a full load of dishes or laundry
-Hang dry your clothes
-Wash your clothes in cold water
-Go vegetarian or vegan
-Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
-Shower less frequently
-Use a reusable water bottle
-Buy local
-Buy used
-Don’t buy at all
-Donate used items
-Turn the thermostat down just one degree
-Turn the thermostat off when at leaving the house
-Turn off the airconditioner
-Turn off your computer at night
-Keep your fireplace damper closed
-Recycle paper, glass, cans, or anything else you don’t already
-Put up a “no junk mail” sign on your mailbox
-Use matches instead of lighters
-Skip the plastic straw in drinks
-Stop getting paper bills and bank statements
-Pay your bills online
-Unplug electronics and applicances that you are not using
-Switch to LED bulbs
-Carpool
-Bike/walk to work, school, or when running errands
-Take public transport
-Telecommute
-Take fewer flights
-Take the train
-Use an e-ticket instead of a paper ticket for travel, concerets, and events
-Buy in Bulk
-Bring your own bag when shopping
-Avoid purchasing items containing Palm Oil
-Stop using K-cups or coffee pods
-Avoid excess packaging
-Plant a tree (or 50)
-Avoid using pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers
-Donate to an environmental cause
-Write a letter to your congressman, MP, or editor about an environmental issue you are passionate about

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earth-gif

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Here is a happy Earth song (or poem) for you:

Earth is our home, what a beautiful home.
We love our beautiful home.
Earth is our home and wherever we roam,
we know Earth is our home.

Flowers grow tall, insects so small,
we love our beautiful home.
Songbirds that sing, fit for a king,
we know Earth is our home.
Oceans so blue, oh what a view,
we love our beautiful home.
Trees touch the sky, clouds float on by,
we know Earth is our home.

Earth is our home, what a beautiful home.
We love our beautiful home.
Earth is our home and wherever we roam,
we know Earth is our home.

Ice on the sea with a walrus or three,
we love our beautiful home.
Deserts so dry, weeds tumble by,
we know Earth is our home.
Snow on the ground, hush not a sound,
We love our beautiful home.
Rivers so wide, with turtles inside,
we know earth is our home.

Earth is our home, what a beautiful home.
We love our beautiful home.
Earth is our home and wherever we roam,
we know Earth is our home.

*****

Earth heart

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Mother’s Day

 

 

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With Mother’s Day coming up I am realizing how important it is to mark an appreciation for your mother.
I look to all my friends and see what they are going through as new moms and think how they deserve a card, a cake, a gift, a bloody medal for all they go through.

Sleepless nights, careers on hold, ruined bodies, mental stress, financial strain.
Not to mention all the little things…..Like having someone pee and barf on you all the time.

Is being a mom hard? Yes.
Is being a mom awesome? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want a little extra appreciation.

Moms often feel under appreciated and I got all grumpy thinking about this.
Why is that?
Are our families ungrateful jerks?
Not necessarily.
But as I think ahead to Mother’s Day and want to buy cards and gifts, I find little available.
I will have to wait until the mass wave of chocolate bunnies and easter egg dye kits are removed from shelves. But even then, promotion will be weak and selection will be limited. I mean it’s only like a month away and nobody’s even mentioned it yet.
If Christmas was only 4 weeks away we would already be sick of the holiday music.

I don’t fully blame checked out husbands or self absorbed children for the lack of mom appreciation. I place the blame for this squarely on the retailer.
Why isn’t there a bigger push to show moms the love?
Mother’s day could be just as love filled as Valentine’s Day. But it’s not.
I asked my preferred card shop when they would be getting their Mother’s Day cards in, and they told me they aren’t getting any. Ever. 
Even shops that do stock cards don’t have a good variety. What about godmothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, or people you wish were your mom because they are just the best ever?!

If the retail industry is going to drop the ball, then I guess it’s up to each and every one of us.

Show your mom you care!
Show someone else’s mom you care!
Show someone who acted as a motherly guide that you care!

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Mother’s Day is on May 8th and I’m gonna be sharing the love for all whole lotta moms in my life, I hope you do the same.

And if no one is showing you the love, treat yourself!

Little Jonny wants new shoes? Instead, get yourself some chocolates.
Suzy wants ballet lessons? Too bad Suzy, Mommy deserves a pedicure.
The family wants dinner out? Suck it, Mom got herself some flowers and went out to the movies. Alone.

If you need suggestions about what to get a mom for mother’s day…Ask her.

Or go for one of these fun ideas:
Edible arrangements
Charmed Aroma
Or even search for Spa ideas here

Are you flat broke?
Make a mom dinner, clean her house, or just visit her and tell her she’s cool.
She was probably pretty cool before she started hanging out with a baby every day.

Even if you don’t totally think your mom is the greatest person on planet earth, it would be nice to acknowledge the fact that she tried her best to keep you alive while you had no regard whatsoever for your own safety.

Make her a card that says:

Thanks for feeding me vegetables instead of those tasty paint chips I had my eye on.

or

Good call on teaching me not to play in the street. I’m glad you were in charge while I was busy not paying attention.

Do it. ‘Cause being a mom is darn tough and you were probably kind of a brat.

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Be Water Smart!

It’s World Water Month!

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Here are some quick tips to help you conserve this natural resource, and protect its quality, too.

1- Keep showers short, or skip them all together!
We don’t need to shower everyday.  Heck since becoming a mom, I only shower about twice a week, and I have yet to lose any friends over it.
But if you are into bathing and smelling like an English rose, try super short 5 minute showers.

2- Install low-flow toilets and shower heads.
The shower-heads are affordable and easy to instal yourself.
As a renter, you can always take your shower-head with you when you move, as well!

If you aren’t keen on replacing your toilet, you can get a cistern displacement device put into your toilet to reduce the volume of water being used in each flush.
Or you can DIY – put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.
Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly.

3- Fix leaky plumbing.
Tightening up a leaky sink is usually simple and quick.

4- Use the bin to toss your trash, not the toilet.
The toilet is not a wastebasket, flushing a piece of trash or cigarette butt is ridiculously wasteful!
And try skipping flushes here and there. A bit of pee sitting in the bowl is not the end of world.

5- Don’t waste water outdoors.
Limit outdoor watering and washing to the bare necessities.
Let the rain rinse your car clean.
Use a watering can for the plants instead of a hose.

6- Use a rain barrel.
Catch and use rainwater for the yard, garden, and to wash the car.

7- Avoid rinsing trash and soaps into the sewer.
These lead into rivers, bays, and other waterways.

8- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
This doesn’t sound like much, but it saves about 5 litres per minute!

9- Don’t run the tap to get water colder.
If you want cold water for drinking, pop a jug of tap water into the fridge. Or use ice. It’s simple to make and I’ll even share the secret recipe with you!

10 – Be water efficient with your landscaping.
Plant hardy, drought tolerant plants in your yard, this will keep you from having to water as often.
Mulching your plants will also reduce on the need to water.

Some pretty suggestions for drought tolerant plants include:
California Lilac, Deer Grass, Salvia, Dusty Miller (pictured), Tickweed (pictured), Cactus, Cape Blanco, Sunset Strain (pictured), and lavender.

dusty miller

tickweed

Sunsetstrain

11- The same goes for indoor plants.
Try succulents (pictured), ZZs, palms, snake plants (pictured), cacti, air plants (pictured), chinese evergreens, cast-irons, pathos, begonias.
These plants use little water and are hard to kill (for those of us with a black thumb… or two).

big-succulent

snakeplant

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12 – Run your dishwasher and washing machines with full loads only.

13- Use a broom, not a hose.
To clean your porch, driveway, lanai, sidewalks, and other outdoor areas.

14 – Don’t water the lawn on windy days, or at high noon.
This will keep the water where it needs to be for longer.

15 – Be water smart when cooking.
Make sure to choose the correct size pot, something larger than needed will be a waste of water. Cooking with less water will also increase the amount of nutrients the food retains.

16- Use the garbage disposal less, and compost more!

17 – Use gray-water.
Reserve the water used to rinse fruit and veggies and use it to water your plants.

18 – Soak your pots and pans.
This will make washing a quick breeze, instead of letting the water run while you scrub.

19- Wash clothes in cold water.
Cold uses less water. And it will help keep your darks darker for longer.

20 – Install a shut off valve or self closing hose.
This will ensure that the hose only runs while in use.

21 – Move planters into the shade.
This will help plants avoid the hot afternoon sun, and reduce the amount of water they need.

It’s never too late to challenge yourself to be mindful of water use habits.

Let’s work together to seek changes that will make our oceans and waterways healthier for all!

Water2

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Water 7

If you have more tips, please add them in the comments!

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