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10 ECO-Tips (that will be great on your wallet too)

15 Jan

We all care about the environment (I assume) and would love to do whatever we can to be a bit gentler to our planet. Sometimes, being environmentally friendly can be costly, time consuming and bothersome (still worth it though). However, sometimes it’s actually really easy. Here are some eco-friendly tips I have compiled to help us on our quest to go eco.

1.Wooden toothbrush

This particular tip isn’t necessarily cheaper than purchasing a regular plastic toothbrush but it costs about the same as a good quality regular brush and it’s a super easy swap to make.

2. Menstrual Cup 

For persons who have periods, the paper products widely peddled throughout the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century do not come cheap and result in waste due to their one time usage. I suspect it will be a long while before we can completely get away from disposable paper products, but this is a good start.


The most popular brand I would say is the “Diva Cup” although there are others available. I have a close friend who has used a menstrual cup for over two years. She currently uses the Diva Cup brand and caustions that there is a bit of a learning curve but once you get into the … flow of things (ba-dum bum ching!) it works out fine.

The Diva Cup menstrual cup costs around $38 US which does sound a bit steep but for comparison, a woman can spend around $100 US per year in paper menstrual products while some women report their menstrual cups last 2-3 years.

3. Shorter showers

Or…less showers. I know. I KNOW! This one seems weird and well gross. However, many of us waste a lot of water in the shower just standing there letting it run over our bodies for minutes on end. In fact, many suggest that no shower should last more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Shorter showers can save water and save you money on your water bill.

4. Less Laundry

I KNOW! First, I tell you to wash your body less then I tell you to wash your clothing less! Yes, it seems odd but again, we wash a lot of our clothing far too often resulting in faster wear and tear which leads to more clothing being discarded and filling up landfills. Additionally, many persons will wash just a few pieces of clothing at a time. This wastes  a lot water, a lot of electricity and a lot of money. Any clothing that can be re-worn such as jeans, jackets etc. should be and wait until you have a full load before turning on that washing machine.

5. Cloth makeup Remover

Take a stroll to the cosmetics section of any drug store or even a high end makeup counter and you will see every company peddling their disposable makeup removers. A thick piece of tissue impregnated with some cleaning solution usually lavender or lemon scented, requiring that you use one or two a day and repurchase every couple of months. Well… what if I told you that there was a way to remove your makeup without destroying the earth! What if I told you it was super easy and affordable too!

There are plenty of brands out there making makeup removal facecloths that you wash and reuse. Most are made of microfiber which has great propensity to absorb oils and doesn’t scratch. I have been removing my makeup this way exclusively for about 18 months. Right now, I have 5 cloths that I use about 4 times each (I use half of one side at a time) then wash. With this number of cloths, I always have a clean cloth I can grab and I haven’t spent a dime on disposable makeup removers for ages.


6. Reusable bag

This is an oldie but goodie. By now, I hope that we all have a stash of sturdy reusable bags in differing shapes and sizes for all our shopping needs. Whether its one of the woven plastic ones or my personal preference; canvas (more durable and long lasting), you can really cut back on your plastic bag use by including these bags in your repertoire.

7. Reusable food wraps/covers

Cheese wrap by Bees Wrap

This is a new concept to me. There are food wraps made of cloth and infused with bees wax and tree resin. Because of the wax, the cloth is easily folded and molded to the shape of the item it is covering whether that is a piece of cheese, half or a cucumber or the top of a bowl. The wax also makes it somewhat waterproof. The best part is that these cloths are washable hence reusable. Goodbye aluminum foil, cling wrap and wax paper.

I first saw this product when browsing in Sur la Table, a cookware,dinnerware specialty store and the brand I saw there is Bees Wrap but there are a number of companies that offer this type of product.

8. Reusable glass/plastic containers

Another oldie but goodie. Again, instead of wrapping unfinished foods with disposable materials such as foil and plastic wrap, place your edibles in containers for storage. A good quality plastic container can be reused for years and glass is eternal (unless broken)

9. Dish rag/cloth

Instead of a sponge (which depending on your appetite for risk can last you’re a couple weeks or a couple months), a cloth used to wash your dishes can give you years of service. After a few days/weeks change to a new dish rag, then wash and reuse.

Stainless steel Insulated Travel Mug by ZAK

10. Reusable water bottle/mug

This one is a no-brainer. Many of us drink plenty of water/coffee/tea every day. If we were to drink those things while in our own homes we would use a glass or ceramic mug, because we can wash them and reuse them. Well it doesn’t have to be every different when we go out. I have a mug which keeps things either hot or cold for hours at a time and I do NOT leave home without it. I have had everything from coffee to cocktails put into this cup in order to avoid using a disposable one.

These ten tips are easy to incorporate into most lifestyles. They help your pocket and they help reduce your footprint on the planet. Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

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New Year Dreams

1 Jan

Hello and Happy, Healthy 2019 to everyone

I dream of a December where I don’t find myself sitting scribbling into multiple notebooks all the things I will do differently in the upcoming year. That honestly makes me feel as if every year I fail. And sure, there are certain things in my life I’m not as successful at as I’d like to be but I’m not a failure. I am human and I have successes and losses and most of all, works in progress. That is what most of us are right? Works in progress and we likely will be for most of our lives. So in an effort not to make any overly ambitious resolutions that will probably make us feel like crap a few months on I wish to share some of my dreams for the upcoming year.

LOVE

I dream of more love. First love for yourself. So many self destructive behaviors to ourselves and to others stem from us not having enough love for ourselves. I also dream of us loving each other, our fellow person a lot more. There are billions of us sharing this planet and we will have different beliefs, opinions and lifestyles but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love and respect each other regardless.

FUN

I dream of people having more fun. Real uninhibited fun. As modern women and men we can get caught up in the image of the lifestyle we think we want and focus so much on that, we forget to have fun. We’ll even do things that are supposed to be fun that we may not truly enjoy. Whether it’s a trek on the beach or binge watching animated shows, be sure to have fun.

PROSPERITY

I dream that we will all achieve prosperity. For you that maybe opening your own business, for someone else that maybe finishing a degree or getting a promotion. Whatever that means to you I hope you find the tools and have the drive to make it happen.

Have a beautiful 2019




Holiday Cocoa Bar

19 Dec

Cocoa is a delicious treat enjoyed by most. People drink it all year round but it gets more popular around holiday time. What you see more and more, is instead of making individual cups of cocoa and serving it, people are creating cocoa bars…just like how we made mimosa bars and popcorn bars and sundae bars…thanks Pinterest!

I for one, love the idea of an anything bar when hosting an event. Allowing guests an interactive experience is great, furthermore, you the host have a little less to worry about during the event since everything has been set up ahead of time.

WHAT YOU NEED

Cocoa

Whipped cream

Toppings: marashmallows, sprinkles, cookie crumbs etc

Add-ins: Coffee flavourings such as hazlenut, raspberry or liquors e.g Chambord.

Mugs/Glasses

Sweet Snack: Cookies, Biscotti etc

WHAT TO DO

Make your cocoa, you can do this on the stove or microwave or use a kettle.

I made a hot and cold cocoa bar, so after making my cocoa I placed half of it in the fridge to get nice and cool.

Choose a cozy spot for your bar. You can place it in a nice corner or on top of a kitchen island.

Place all the components out and play around until it is organized the way you like.

Add additional decor- I used a mini Christmas tree because I thought it added a classic touch. You can add baubles, tinsel, garland or nothing at all.

Displayed on this Cocoa bar: Cocoa, liquors, whipped cream, marshmallows, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper, iced oatmeal cookies.

You can make it cold or hot and add your toppings.

A cocoa bar is a great addition to any holiday party whether it’s a Christmas day brunch or a gift wrapping party.

Happy Holidays and have an awesome day!

DIY Gift

7 Dec

Hello, today I bring an easy DIY gift idea. These are decorated wooden spoons and I think it adds a bit of personal pizazz to your basic kitchen supplies.

WHAT YOU NEED:

Wooden spoons

Acrylic paint in preferred colours

Paint brushes and other painting tools- I used a sponge and a dotting tool

Sealant/Protectant- This is to prevent the paint from chipping when it gets washed. Mod Podge is a good option.

WHAT TO DO

1)Decide how far up (or down) the spoon you want your paint and tape it off- I used scotch tape but of course painter’s tape would work.

Spoons taped off

2) Paint a layer of white paint- This is to prime the wood, especially if you plan on using a light colour.

White paint added

3) Pour/Mix the colours- I chose three variations of pink to create a gradient.

Mix paint colours

4) Paint on colours- I added about three layers to make it very opaque

Paint colours added

5) Add designs- This step is optional, I kept it simple and added silver and gold dots but if intricate patterns on a small surface is your thing, feel free.

Paint for design

Design added

6) Once the paint has dried, add protecting layer of mod podge or other sealant and let that dry.

Sealant added

Once everything has dried, tie it up with a bow and you’re ready to gift!

Finished product

This is a great Christmas or anytime gift and also a great DIY for your own home. It adds a personal touch to everyday items.

Thanks for reading and happy DIY-ing!

The Signature Cocktail

30 Nov

The Signature Cocktail

Almost two years ago I did a blog post talking about holiday entertaining tips. In that, I mentioned concocting a signature cocktail. Well, I still recommend it, lol. A signature cocktail is a fun, easy idea that is sure to add some pizazz (that’s right, I unironically used the word pizazz) to any party/event that you have.

Some pros:

It’s cheaper– If you chose to serve just your signature cocktail or with only one or two other beverages, you only need buy one set of ingredients.

It’s easier– Again, having to mix or premix just one drink makes life far simpler for whoever is making and serving them.

It seems fancier (though it really isn’t)– When you pour that beautiful drink with cute toppings and announce it was created specifically for this event, people will be highly (or somewhat) impressed. It’s that attention to detail that sets a broke party girl (or guy) apart from the crowd.

It’s fun– It’s a great experience to come up with an idea for your drink, make it and serve it.

It’s a great way to personalize your event-Having a drink you invented just for a wedding or birthday adds a meaningful touch and makes it that much more special.

 

Some tips:

Find inspiration:

Theme: Use the theme of your event e.g. a tropical theme could have a drink with pineapple juice.

Colours: Your drink can be based off colours used in your event or based off of your favourite colours.

Abstract: Take inspiration from unexpected things. A few weeks ago I attended an event where there were cocktails made based off the top notes in perfumes they were premiering. I thought that was super cool. You can get inspired by notes in a favourite body fragrance or candle, you can pull on visuals in a painting, decor or architecture.

Let it compliment your menu flavours– In the same way you would select a wine based on the food being served, your signature drink should suit the menu. A crisp acidic based cocktail might suit a seafood soiree while a malty flavoured one goes with barbecued meat.

Let it suit the type of event– The cocktail flavours should match not only the actual food but also the type of food which is also somewhat dependent on the time of day. You may create a light and whimsical cocktail to go with a brunch or a sweet decadent one to go with a dinner party.

Keep it simple– Once you’ve been inspired and select your flavour profile, chose a few key elements and put them together, don’t over complicate it with every flavor you like.

Add a “surprise” element– This could be a sugared flower or candied fruit or some sweet treat. It can also get very fancy by adding dry ice or torching a marshmallow.

Signature Cocktail: The Broke Party Girl (pictured above)

Inspo: Champagne mouth and beer pocket, pink, bubbles.

Ingredients: Prosecco, Chambord liquor, Pink cotton candy, berries in syrup (I used Amarena cherries).

Presentation: Champagne flute, cotton candy placed on top.

Drop cotton candy into drink and watch it dissolve!

Holiday Travel Tips

16 Nov

 

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes time with friends and family, lots of food and of course travel. Traveling year round can be as stressful as it is enjoyable but add a holiday in the mix and it becomes that much more intense. I myself have done a good bit of traveling around holidays and here are a few tips I find serve me well:

 

  • Book early and look around- If you know you plan to travel start checking flights ASAP! Generally as the date draws closer, the cost of the flight exponentially increases as the demand is now high. I would recommend booking at least 6 weeks in advance if you can to ensure the best price. Also take some time to check different airlines and third party booking sites for the best deal.

 

  • Try avoiding peak days- When it comes to holidays, some of the busiest days are the two days before or the two days after the actual holiday, this means fares are up, delays are rampant and airport lines are long. Interestingly, the actual holiday is usually much quieter with lower fares to boot. To get a better idea, there are some websites that actually list the best and worst days to travel in terms of fare costs and how busy.

 

  • Avoid peak times- Travel early am or late at night. This is in the same vein as avoiding peak days. Very early or late flights tend to be more rare meaning shorter lines. Very early flights are less likely to be delayed as well. There are also websites that offer some insight as to the best times of day to travel.

 

  • Allow for connections- Many of us have to take connecting flights in order to get to our destination. This is definitely a source of travel induced stress. If the first flight is delayed or the immigration/customs/security lines are long, you can end up missing your next flight which can send the entire trip into a tailspin. Try to book your flights with enough time in between to allow for a smooth connection. This may require a little research into the airports you’ll be traveling through to understand the layout, get info on the wait times etc.

 

  • Plan ahead: check-in online, plan for ride pick up/drop off/ weigh luggage- All in an effort to achieve a nice smooth travel experience, check-in in advance, book rental cars or pick ups in advance and ensure that your luggage and its contents meet the security and airline requirements…IN ADVANCE!

 

  • Be early- They say that Timeliness is next to Godliness…or is it Cleanliness? Anyway, if you leave early you will at the very least arrive on time. I recently traveled out of LAX and LA is infamous for the actual worst traffic. What did I do? I got my Lyft ride to collect me 4 1/2 hours before my flight. I was so early there was no one to check in luggage and I sat at the check in desk for almost an hour, but that was okay I’d rather sit at the gate for two hours than sit anxiously in traffic, lose my mind while checking in and have to run through security and to my gate.

 

  • Pack smart- I try to avoid checking luggage whenever I can because that saves money as well as time (spent waiting for luggage to come off the conveyor belt) and hassle (when it mysteriously doesn’t come off the conveyor belt). If you can’t avoid having checked luggage, remember pack your essentials, versatile clothing and in keeping with baggage policies to avoid issues with overweight or oversize charges and customs hassles.

 

  • Eat well/Bring snacks- Travel can sometimes be long and arduous, you don’t need hangry-ness on top of that. I advise having a nutritious, filling meal before you begin your travels and pack along something to munch on while waiting in lines or on flight. You can of course eat at the numerous overpriced eateries available inside airport terminals , just make sure you stay well fed and hydrated.

 

  • Dress comfortably- I have mentioned this before in my post about dressing for travel,  but comfort is key when traveling. That, and being dressed to run to a gate it you have to. Wear comfortable well fitting clothing and shoes that are simple to remove and replace during security checks.

 

  • Be patient/Prepared for delays- Despite your best efforts to be prepared; on time, appropriately dressed, perfectly packed something can still go wrong. There could be a major delay or flight cancellation, lost luggage or nothing but terrible restaurants in your terminal. Just take a deep breath because this too shall pass.

Thanks for reading, have an awesome day and safe travels.

 

PINK Lipsticks

24 Jun

Hello

The loud pink

The Candy pink

The pretty pink

The matte pink

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