10.31.2019

TRICK-OR-TREAT

One of my favorite things about Halloween is creating costumes for my littles, it gets my creative side going and it's so much fun to come up with ideas and bring them to life, the best part of course is seeing how much they love their costumes.

This year I wanted to choose designs that were more eco friendly, we've only ever purchased one Halloween costume for Bella, when she was almost 2 years old she wanted to be Princess Anna because I've always really enjoyed making them myself. I love that costumes, especially princess costumes are great for pretend play (which is what the Princess Anna dress became for awhile until it ripped), but since we have limited space and I didn't want to buy something that might potentially sit in a toy box or rip after a few months of play, I had to rack my head for some different ideas. While it would have definitely have been easier for me to just buy a costume, I always like a good challenge, so here we are, with a honeybee costume for Bodhi and a jellyfish costume for Bella.


Bodhi's wings were made with re-purposed cardboard that a package had come in and that I hand painted, his onesie was a white nearly too small onesie that I pulled out of our donation box (instead of buying a new one) and dyed it with turmeric (such a fun experience and I think I'm now addicted to dying all the things), I hand painted stripes onto it after it had dried and he just wore dark colored pants and a shirt underneath. Bella's was made from tissue paper with one gigipip straw hat as the base, I sprayed a thin layer of clear glitter spray for a fun touch, and the rest is crepe paper streamers (I cut some scalloped edged onto each side on some, and the rest I just scrunched), and ribbon, we paired it with a pretty white nightgown and white tights (both things we already owned)! It was for sure the most unique costume I saw on our trick-or-treating adventures and they both turned out even better than I had anticipated they would. What did your little ones dress up as for Halloween this year?

10.27.2019

CREAMY WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

As soon as the weather starts cooling off I always start craving warm soups, give me all the soups... and chili of course. I've been wanting to try white bean chicken chili for practically forever and finally whipped up a pot of it the other day and I am obsessed now. It's SO GOOD, plus it's pretty easy to make so that's another plus for this busy mama! I had a ton of people ask for my recipe after I shared a peek of hat we were having for dinner in my Instagram stories, so for everyone who asked, here ya go! Let me know if you make it! :)


3 chicken breasts (precooked and shredded)

1/4 extra virgin coconut or extra virgin olive oil

1 onion (diced)

3 coves garlic (minced)

32 oz. chicken broth

1 to 2 cans of great northern beans (drained)

1 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 can corn (drained)

1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

3/4 teaspoon italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

8 ounces sour cream

1/4 cup heavy cream

Cook chicken breasts in coconut or olive oil in a skillet, season to taste with himalayan pink salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Once chicken breasts are cooked through, shred and set aside. In a stockpot or soup pot, add about a tablespoon of coconut oil to caramelize the diced onion. Once caramelized, add in your shredded chicken, minced garlic, chicken broth, northern beans, tomatoes with green chiles, corn and seasonings (salt, pepper, cumin, italian seasoning, and chili powder) and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower stove temperature and simmer for 1 hour or until thickened. Add in fresh chopped cilantro, sour cream, and heavy cream and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


9.13.2019

IT'S A SUSTAINABLE LIFE

There's been a change in our home since this year started, a shift in our mindset, a transition to welcome a lower waste and more sustainable way of life into our home. But first, let me preface by saying, we're not perfect, we probably never will be, but we're trying, and any little bit makes a difference, and I feel if we all done even a little bit, it could make a big difference!


I shared awhile back on my Instagram about the one event that started the change in our home, but in case you missed it , here's the verbiage from that post and the story of how our journey to lower waste and a more sustainable life started:

"So here's a story for ya... about 3 weeks ago we were outside and heard some rustling in a nearby bush and birds chirping loudly, naturally we investigated and were shocked to find a robin, hanging face down, with a piece of plastic bag wrapped around it's ankle and caught in a branch of the bush, it was struggling and unable to break free and though it's mate kept trying to free it, it's attempts were futile as well. I carefully caught it, held it's wings down so it wouldn't hurt itself anymore than it might already have, and gently broke the plastic string holding it captive. This robin couple were building a nest, and I thought that after all that, they might have abandoned it, but last week I took a peep in the next just because and was so surprised to see 3 tiny blue eggs. Well, yesterday the eggs disappeared to be replaced by three of the cutest l little baby birds I've ever seen and I couldn't be happier for this little bird family. I shared a little peek at them over in my stories today if anyone wants to see their adorable barely feathered selves."

After that happened, I started researching lower waste alternatives, finding reusable options and even re-purposing things like glass spaghetti sauce jars and gravy jars (you'd be surprised how nice jars like this are and all the ways you can use them for storage in your pantry), buying less single use items, and finding better options to replace items with when we ran out of something.


We're using our reusable shopping bags more, I even found some super cute mesh ones for produce, and guess what, sometimes I forget and still use plastic bags, sometimes I forget and start bagging in plastic only to be like "wait, I don't have my reusable bags with me, but here's some paper bags we can use".

One way we've been sustainable for a long while is switching to glass and stainless steel water bottles instead of buying water bottles all of the time. Basically we done it because I thought glass looked nice and the water stored in glass tasted so much better and less chemical-ish, and since my husband works in an industrial setting, he wasn't able to use glass, so stainless steel to the rescue. Now that I think back though, I'm realizing just how many single use plastic water bottles we saved from the landfill though and it's kinda an awesome feeling. We've switched to stainless steel straws when we use straws, I even carry them in the diaper bag so we can use them when we're out and about. Again, we don't always remember them, but we're getting better at it little by little!

When God created the earth He called us to be the caretakers of all that He had created, to be the ones who took care of the earth, both land and water, the animals, birds, fish and plants. Every living thing. I feel like animals (and future humans) shouldn't have to suffer for the sake of convenience for us current humans.


Did you know that over 1 million marine animals (including mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds) are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean? It's currently  estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world. Single use plastics like plastic grocery bags and straws are some of the biggest offenders, as well as microplastics (which is categorized as any piece of plastic less than 5 millimeters in length) such as plastic items that has broken down into smaller bits or even those little exfoliating beads in body wash! Crazily and sadly enough, did you know that every single plastic toothbrush that has ever been created... still exists? I just found that out the other day and my jaw dropped. Plastic toothbrushes take over 400 years(!) to decompose, and even then, they just break down into smaller pieces, never completely going away. Different plastics take different amounts of time, 400 years is even sadly on the smaller end of the scale, with some single use water bottles and plastic bags taking 1000 years.

It's all just been kind of eye opening for us.

So what can we do and where can we start? Here's some super simple things you can switch out now to reduce your footprint and live more sustainably:

Use paper bags instead of plastic bags when shopping (if you don't see them, ask your grocery store cashier, usually they're hidden away).

Even better, choose reusable fabric or mesh bags rather than single use bags when shopping.

Use bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic. Amazon has them super cheap, around $1 apiece. (and then you can store them in this tooth brush holder from one of our favorite sustainable brands, Full Circle Home, that has a "dry earth" stone at the bottom to soak up water and prevent bacteria from growing).

Buy yourself a cute glass (like this one or this one both from SOMA) or stainless steel water bottle or two and start using it every single day (if you don't like the taste of your water, grab this pretty and minimal water filter pitcher from SOMA that will last you for years).

Choose and invest in higher quality items that will last (example, we were needing a new toilet brush, and instead of grabbing one for 99 cents at IKEA again like I did last time, I chose this "scrub queen" toilet brush from Full Circle Home that will last for years and it actually looks nice, plus it has the same dry earth technology built in as the toothbrush holder I mentioned above to keep bacteria and mold growth at bay). This scrub brush, reusable household cleaning gloves, dustpan and mini broom set, and dish brush are some other great high quality items we love that will last us a very long time!

Use homemade toxin free cleaners (I usually use white vinegar with Young Living Thieves essential oil mixed in a glass spray bottle) and some reusable "paper" towels when cleaning up messes (these "clean again" absorbent cleaning cloths from Full Circle are my new absolute favorite AND they soak up up to 7 times their weight in liquid to reduce paper towel waste n a big way).

Take the labels off those glass spaghetti sauce jars (or whatever you may buy in a glass jar) and reuse the jar. We've found endless uses for these!

We've also quit buying single use plastic sandwich/storage bags and instead we now use these reusable Ziptuck bags from Full Circle! They come in a ton of sizes for every thing you might need them for!

Stainless steel straws are another favorite that is easy to switch out, you can find a decent sized pack of them for around $5 at Homegoods or any similar store (and this product cleans them and your reusable water bottles amazingly well).

These bamboo adhesive strips from PATCH are our new go to when it comes to minor scrapes and cuts and are a great alternative to plastic bandages!

We're also loving these reusable food wrap sets from Seed & Sprout as an alternative to single use plastic wrap when covering leftover food in the fridge!

There's just so many little things you can do that are incredibly easy to switch out, and become more sustainable, these things I suggested above that we do are just a small list of many things!


we're making changes in our home, striving for progress rather than perfection, trying to teach our little ones about the importance of living sustainably and doing our/their part. These little ones and their little ones and all of those who come after will be the ones inheriting our planet, the ones who have to live with every choice of convenience we make. Do you do any of the things above? Let me know if you try any of them!