Saturday, December 22, 2007

Free Rice

Go play this game at For each word you get right, they donate rice through United Nations to help end world hunger. Its a fun game and actually kinda it give you a broader vocabulary - all while helping a worthy cause!

How many Canadians does it take to change a lightbulb???

ONE! If every household in Canada replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) like this one pictured, the reduction in pollution would be like taking 66,000 cars off Canadian roads.
A CFL bulb uses up to 75% less energy than old-fashioned bulbs. Save up to $50 in energy costs! Every bulb changed means less coal has to be burned to produce power. That means cleaner air, less childhood asthma, and lower health care costs.
This porchlight was left in my mailbox.
To learn more about this project visit "

Friday, December 21, 2007

Look what just arrived!

Okay, so I'm way behind the 8-ball with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. But like I've said before, better late then never. And I'm very excited to read it. I've been following the book club at Crunchy Chickens blog - and now I actually get to read it!

I've been himmmmming and hawwwwwwing over buying "Ecoholic" for awhile now. So I just bit the bullet and got it - as a Christmas gift to myself. LOL Its geared to the Canadian market so that's great. I'll let you know how that one is once I'm finished. I love the fact that both books are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper!

Vegan Christmas Cookies

I only made three kinds of cookies this year. (gasp!!) Time is valuable to me and besides, I find that as the month goes on everyone loses interest in goodies anyways. People tend to overinduldge at holiday gatherings and eventually the blahs start to set in from too many sweets. Sooooo, I thought I would keep it simple. What you see here is a reusuable christmas tin filled to the brim with all three kinds: starting from the left - Vive le Vegan's Carob-Coconut-Pecan Cookies. I used walnuts instead of pecans and these are my favourite out of the three. Next, Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan's Jam Print Cookies - I used walnuts instead of hemp nut seeds, strawberry jam (made by yours truly) instead of raspberry and refined white flour instead of barley flour. Lastly, ED&BV's Tickled Pink Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies - I used a green sprinkle and omitted the beet powder. All three have a 'festive' taste/look to them.

I made up several of these christmas tins and will bring one as a hostess gift to each of the holiday parties we are attending Christmas Eve through New Years. As well, we are having company over a few nights so will keep a tin for us too!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Spaghetti and Bean Balls - Oh My!!!

I haven't posted anything about vegan num nums in awhile. We're suckers for eating the same 10 meals over and over and over again. We like what we like....what can I say. But once in awhile I dare to try something new. Last night I made, for the second time, Spaghetti and Bean Balls from Veganomican. That first time I made them the kids thought they were too sour due to the lemon juice in them, so this time I omitted the lemon juice and they were fine to eat them. Although I thought they were 'missing something'. (obviously the lemon juice). ha Tonight with the leftover balls, I'm going to bake some homemade buns and do Beanball Subs!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wind Energy - Powering Canada's Future Naturally

My city - Sault Ste. Marie is the home to the Prince Wind Farm - Canada's largest wind installation. The McGuinty Government has worked to help create new sources of energy in Ontario which are more environmentally friendly. The renewable energy strategy developed by the province has made it possible for Brookfield Power to make a massive investment in the development of 126 wind turbines. In return, the Ontario government has agreed to purchase power from Brookfield and agreed to allow a portion of the wind farm on 50 hectares of Crown land. Brookfield Power is helping to make Ontario more self-sufficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. The new wind farm created hundreds of construction jobs and generates enough power for 40,000 homes. This is a huge positive for this community - but we still have those who wish to complain about the 'unsightliness' of the turbines along with the noise. When I hear people complain about such things, my blood boils!!
In addition to this wind farm we are poised to become the location of Canada's largest solar farm, thanks to the latest contracts signed under the McGuinty government’s Standard Offer Program. This builds on the McGuinty government’s solar power strategy which includes: Setting a target of installing 100,000 solar roofs across the province Launching “Go Solar” – a one stop information shop for Ontarians interested in installing solar energy systems to heat water or generate electricity. Extending the retail sales tax rebate on qualifying solar equipment, as well as wind, micro-hydro, and geothermal systems, to January 1, 2010. These are great incentives for all of us to put on solar roofs in the coming years!!

Why soy candles make scents!!.

Some facts about soy candles:
1. Soy candles produce about 90% less soot than paraffin wax candles and have no known carcinogens, thus help to maintain air quality and are less likely to trigger allergies. Paraffin candles emit 11 known toxins while burning.
2. They last up to 50% longer than most paraffin candles. They burn evenly all the way to the bottom so there isn't any unused wax left when finished.
3. Soy wax lowers the melting point of the candle, which translates into cooler burning candles and faster scent dispersion.
4. Soy wax spills can easily be cleaned up with hot soapy water unlike paraffin wax.
I can buy soy candles locally here in SSM due to a couple women who make them in their home. I won't ever buy a paraffin wax candle again!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Organic Christmas Tree

We managed to get an organic christmas tree this year!! We bought it from Mockingbird Hill Farm. The Farm depicts a typical horse-drawn homestead farm with the pioneer's menagerie of animals - a few pigs, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, ducks, turkeys, cats and dogs. The Farm is open year round to the public. Farmer Bob sells christmas trees in the winter and we got this scraggly looking one for a mere $20! Can't beat that since some tree farms sell them for $50+. All our lights are LED and all our ornaments are hand-me-downs - which means I saved them from spending eternity in the landfill.
Talking about stuff like this just makes me giddy!

Tea Totalin'

Tea anyone??? I've got 7 kinds of tea on top of my stove right now. Sometimes I have more, sometimes I have less. What you see here are my favourite kinds and I always keep these flavours in the house at all times. I'll try a new variety here and there too though.

Starting from the left:
1. Tetley Organic Green Tea: Usually I buy a flavoured green tea as green tea by itself doesn't do it for me. But when I bought this Tetley tea it was on sale and didn't have any flavoured ones. Most days I cut up lots of ginger root and put it in my tea pot. That makes it flavoured AND gives me a boost in immunity.
2. MC Peppermint: I like peppermint tea and its good for late afternoons and evenings when I don't want any caffeine. Also, I keep it in the house for my daddy when he comes to visit.
3. Stash Organic chai black & green tea: love the combo of black and green tea here. Because the green tea is mixed in there I don't have to add milk and sugar like I would if it was just a black chai tea. I love chai tea with a cookie or muffin or something sweet.4. Black Tea: I don't drink black tea by itself. My mom gave me this tin because they didn't like it. My hubbie will drink black tea and his family does when they come over.
5. Camomile Tea: love this in the evenings or if I'm having a particular stressful day.

6. Stash Organic Merry Mint: I just bought this one and I LOVE it! It is a green tea with peppermint, ginger, lemongrass, and spearmint. It has a very mild spearmint flavour (reminds me of gum). It is a nice change from regular peppermint tea. It is a holiday tea made by Stash so I won't be able to get it any other time of the year so I'm going back to buy lots more! ha ha

7. Choice organic rooibos tea: I have to admit it took me a long time to get used to rooibos tea. At first I didn't like it at all. And the varieties that make vanilla rooibos teas are gross. If rooibos wasn't so damn good for us, I probably wouldn't bother to make it. But, it is good for me, so I do drink it most days. Because it doesn't have any caffeine in it, I usually drink it in the afternoons or evenings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


According to the Wikipedia, Reflexology, or zone therapy, is the practice of massaging, squeezing, or pushing on parts of the feet, or sometimes the hands and ears, with the goal of encouraging a beneficial effect on other parts of the body, or to improve general health.
I was mentioning in my previous post about rubbing Olba Salve on our feet when we have a cold. I target certain areas of our feet in accordance with this chart. I will rub the areas corresponding to the lungs, throat, nose, and sinuses. It probaby doesn't hurt to rub the areas for the brain either. ha
Whether or not this works is up for debate. The fact of the matter is when my kids are feeling icky, a foot rub is soothing for them - and if that is the only thing that makes them feel better - I'm sold on the idea of Reflexology!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Product Reviews: Baby Products

Pictured here are a few products my kids use.

1. Green Beaver Winter Lotion: i've posted about this product before - it's great. Pros: No sulfates or parabens in it, made in Canada, and no fragrances. No Cons people!

2. Tom's of Maine children's toothpaste: Pros: the flavour we bought is Silly Strawberry - is a cute name that make the boys giggle everytime they use it. Is fluoride-free. Tastes good enough to make the kids want to brush their teeth. Does not contain artifical sweetners. Cons: has Sodium lauryl sulfate in it! GRRRRR. I missed that ingredient when purchasing it - otherwise wouldn't have bought it. And isn't Tom's of Maine getting bought out by Colgate-Palmolive Co.??? This means that Tom's of Maine, which currently stands at an impressive 16 out of 20 in Ethical Consumer's unique "ethiscore" rating system, would see its score cut to just 5 out of 20, if the takeover goes through. Tom's of Maine has, up to now, been applauded by ethical consumers and has received Ethical Consumer's highest rating for its environmental reporting, animal testing policy and for its paraben-free products. Parabens are hormone mimicking chemicals that have been linked to breast and testicular cancer. Colgate's current score of 5 out of 20 is attributable to its receiving Ethical Consumer's worst rating for environmental reporting and its animal testing policy. Soooo, Colgate isn't a company I would like to support. So once this toothpaste is done we won't be buying any more.

3. Badger Sleep balm: Pros: has organic natural ingredients; organic extra virgin olive oil, essential oils of bergamot, ginger, rosemary and lavender. So it smells great. I rub it onto their temples, face and neck before bed. Cons: none

4. Preserve Toothbrushes: Pros: the handle is made from the highest quality post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled plastics. Once we no longer have use for the toothbrush they encourage users to return them to Recycline, were they will grind it to make material for recycled plastic lumber. Included was a postage-paid return envelope to encourage us to do so. All of its packaging is made from recyclable materials, and the reusable brush canister provides a sanitary holder to keep the brush clean and portable when travelling.

5. Aromaforce Lavender Essential Oil: if the kids have had a particular stressful or busy day i will put a few drops of this into their bath. I find this is far healthier then some of those 'bubble baths' that are out there - full of sulfates.

6. Olbas Salve: I rub a little of the salve under their noses and on their chests when they have a cold. Also, I've been putting it on the bottom of their feet (according to reflexology charts) to help with coughs and colds. I'll post another day about reflexology. Pros: smells like vicks (which we like that menthol smell) without the toxic ingredients. Cons: none

7. baby Derma Med Therapeutic Shampoo: pros: has organic ingredients, made in canada, no sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates. This shampoo works well for now as the kids are still young. As they get older and oiler, we'll likely have to look for something a bit stronger. Cons: no smell, which the kids seem to like smells associated in their bath.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

World Wildlife Federation

Wildlife adoptions are unique and meaningful gifts for any occasion, and for friends and family of all ages. Give the gift that makes a difference by symbolically adopting a threatened species for someone you love, and help support World Wildlife Fund’s conservation efforts to save wildlife at risk and their habitats.
We have supported this for the past few years - at Christmas time we adopt an animal in each of our children's name. I also have adopted animals in the names of other family members and given as gifts. Pictured here is what you get when you make the adoption. Everything comes in a reusuable cloth bag - a stuffed animal in what you adopted; in this case I adopted a Sea turtle and an Orangutan - and an adoption certificate.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I am Ecofabulous!!

I was at the Bulk Barn - Canada's Largest Bulk Food Retailer ( the other night and I realized I forgot my cloth bags. grrrrrr. So I had to resort to using their plastic bag to take all my goodies home with me. When I got home and took a look at the bag I saw that it is 100% degradable!!! wooohoo! They are OXO Biodegradable bags. The plastic used in the bag will convert to water, carbon dioxide and biomass in the presence of soil, moisture and oxygen. Like a fallen leaf, it will disappear over time. HOW COOL!! So I googled the company OXO to get more info about them and from there stumbled across This guy is selling shirts, bags, mugs, etc with the slogan Ecofabulous. So anyways, I liked the slogan, the biodegrable bags and thought I would share the info with you. I might even be asking for one of these hoodies - made in the usa - for christmas. wink wink.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I just received this in the mail -an essential oil made by Essential 3. It is called Courage and I LOVE it! Its such a coincidence but it sorta smells 'christmas-y' - very appropriate for this time of year. This is the blend in it:
Spruce -antimicrobial, antiseptic, expectorant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, astringent, warming
Rosewood -antiviral, anti-depressant, stimulant, bactericide, aid nervous depression, increase energy, uplifting
Blue Tansy - anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, analgesic, nervine, hypotensive, relaxing, sedative
Frankincense - antidepressant, immunostimulant, expectorant, sedative, antibacterial
I read Kris Carr's blog (Crazy Sexy Cancer) and she mentioned this company and particular blend. So of course I just had to try it! I mixed a few drops of it in a carrier oil (almond oil as that is what I have on hand here) and I put this on my neck, arms, legs.....anywhere. It sorta smells like a christmas tree! ha ha
I don't wear traditional fragrances - we all know how cacka they are. I usually buy Kate & Allie's Sweet Scents which are made locally here in Sault Ste. Marie. Two I have bought are Dirty Hippy and Boho Bliss. They are made from organic jojoba oil and essential oils. Dirty Hippy obviously has patchouli (i know...sooo stereotypical) and an orange blend. I'm not sure what essential oils are in Boho Bliss but it has a very soft and 'powder' like smell to it.
Anyone looking to make their own signature blend of essential oils can learn quite easily. There are lots of internet sites out there to show you how to get started. Then all you have to do is go to the health food store and start sniffing all the essential oils to find the ones you like the best!