Sunday, September 20, 2009

In order to further elaborate...

To elaborate on my last post.

I'm going to be parking my car tonight at my aunts farm outside of Edmonton, and un-insuring it.

The idea started the other night when I was talking to my mum about how it's a little bit of a waste right now, I'm paying $120 a month to keep in insured, and the last time I used it in the past 2 months was to drive my sister to the fricken bus station, and the bus didn't even come. So to be honest, the $240 I spent in those past 2 months was definitely not worth all of the trouble.(Although I did use my car yesterday to take 3 boxes of stuff to the salvation army, because I know my car is leaving me soon, otherwise... it would have sat there for another few months because I am that lazy)

So even though, for every possible angle I look at it, it's positive(Minus the fact that I can just pick up and drive to kimberley if I want to(I don't have the money for that ANYWAYS)) I'm still apprehensive about it. This will be the first time, since I've been old enough to drive, that I haven't had a car.

You may ask why I just don't sell it. Simply I'm not ready for it yet. I do worry that something will happen and I will need to get home on short notice, and in that case I can always get someone to drop me off at my car, and get a temp insurance. I doubt that will be the case. But I probably will end up selling the car. Eventually. I just need to covet it a little bit longer I think.

Big changes.

Big for me at least.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Something big is on the way

I'm parking my car and un-insuring this weekend.

We made the decision within an half an hour last night.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An easy change for the sake of the environment...

Buy a nice fountain pen.

That's it.

Well and an ink converter to go with it.

Here's why.

If you buy a good fountain pen, it will be the last pen you will ever need to buy.(With care and cleaning) Also if you buy a converter to go with it, you will be able to refill the ink anytime that you need some.

Rene and I were talking about this yesterday(mostly because I bough a new fountain pen yesterday, I'll explain why in a minute) and we figured most people go though a pack of 10 ballpoint pens in a matter of months, because of how cheap and disposable they are. "Forgot your pen today? Here you can borrow mine" and then later they usually end up keeping or or you give it to them. Cause why not? They're cheap right? They are also easy to misplace because they are so unimportant. I've seen people use up more than 10 ballpoint pens in less than a month. Honestly that is a lot of plastic. It's kinda stupid.

Therefore... 1 fountain pen that you like and are willing to take care of, with a converter can last you a looooong time. the only thing you will need to buy is a bottle of ink, and depending on how much you write, could last you... like forever... But seriously, most bottles of ink are sold in 50 ml bottles. I have 5ml cartridges right now(They were a gift given to me 5 or so years ago I'm still going through them) I figure that a 50 ml bottles would last me 25 days of writing 7 or 8 FULL pages of notes. So really about 200 full pages of writing. Big pages. That's a lot of writing. The ink writes smoother, and it smudges less(If you let it dry that is)(Ball point pens are still "tacky" for quite a while after use. Also, you are going to go out of your way to NOT loose or lend out this pen without getting it back, since you payed so much money for it.

And it automatically makes your writing look nicer. Once your pen get's used to your writing(That's what my friend who I got my last pen from told me)

Anyway, the story behind my pen.

It was a gift from a friend. When I lived in Japan half way through my school year a guy from France, Pierre, came to our school. He always used to write with fountain pens. I was SO intrigued. It was SO cool. I'd never really written with a fountain pen before(Except in heritage towns around my hometown, and then it was just a few scribbles anyways). So he let me write with it one time. I was beside myself. The pen just flowed so smoothly, my writing was a little bit wonky, but that happens when you write with a VERY different pen.

Pierre though it was funny that I was so intrigued by his pen, so when it was time for me to go home, he gave me his pen that he used for blue(He had one for every color) and all of his blue ink cartridges and told me to take good care of "him" I've written with that pen every chance I get since I got it. But to be honest. I haven't really written a whole lot not being in school or having a job where I need to write stuff. So when I started school last week, I was excited to be using my pen on a daily basis again(I really do love that pen). But being that it was an old pen, and Pierre was a pen chewer(EW) that pen has really seen better days. It leaks ink at the tip sometimes(Not on my writing, just onto my fingers) the end is missing, and the lid was cracked and missing a small piece. Then last week. I made the mistake of leaving my pen in a very precocious spot in the bakery and of course it fell on the floor, and, another piece of the lid broke off. So now the tip dries out and I have to shake the pen LOTS to get it to work.

But as luck would have it, when Rene and I were downtown so I could get a few of the kitchen supplies I needed for school, we walked past a pen shop advertising that they sold fountain pens on their sandwich board. I didn't even have to ask Rene he went and opened the door for me. They had fountain pens ranging $25 to $500. I found a beautiful red pelikan fountain pen. I used it all day at school today, and to rewrite a bunch of my notes tonight, ALSO to write a letter to a friend last night.


Oh and for those of you who are worried about not being able to erase: there is a solution for that.

Fountain pens... are just... the bomb

Get one. It's worth it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thus far...

First I ignore my blog for a week then I go on a mad posting spree!

So I just feel like giving an update on my OUR green/healthy lifestyle choices.

We Do:

~Recycle(Again... everyone is doing this, and if they aren't... what is wrong with you?)
~Eat locally with the exception of spices and a some grains(Even our milk abides by the 100 mile diet rules now)
~Eat as nourishing a possible without torturing ourselves.
~Never turn on the lights(We have bees wax candles)
~Use the Diva Cup(Rene doesn't do this... I think)
~Get rid of things we don't use anymore to clear up clutter
~Not use shampoo
~Not use tooth-products(Thought I was gonna say paste didn't you?) with SLS or Flouride. Rene isn't ready for the soap jump. His choice.
~Not use "one time use" paper products(With the exception of toilet paper for numero dos)
~Rarely use the car(the only time we use it really is to go to my uncles house, but we haven't been there in over a month... I'm a terrible niece)
~Clean our laundry by hand
~No chemicals in our apartment(Vinegar and baking soda clean our house(With the occasional shot of hydrogen peroxide)
~Keep all electronics unplugged

We are Trying:

~To buy all of our food at the farmers market(Damn milk is messing this whole thing up)
~To only spend money on things that we NEED(In other words... food)
~To use the "Drip water" from our tub for our laundry and watering the plants(if they would just fix it we would have to worry about this at all)

We Want to:

~Compost(we really want a worm compost)
~I know there are other things we want to do but I can't think of them

My brain isn't really working right anymore so I'm going to stop this list right here.

Hopefully it inspires someone to try something new.

Make your own: Basil

I haven't posted at all this week because I started school!!!!!

Yay me. It's fun. I'll talk about it later.

I have a confession to make... I've been ashamed of it for a long time.

I used to be in the plant club in school

I used to get ridiculed about it all the time when I was in middle school. But it be honest, to was the slackest club there was and I got full "Club points" for the year so I got a special award at the end of the year.

All we did was take care of all the plants in the school(one teacher one other girl and myself), which meant watering them all 2 times a week, trimming, repotting, splitting, splicing, and all that jazz.

In other words... I know some stuff about plants.

That said!

Last time I bought basil I thought to myself. WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING!???? I SHOULD HAVE A BASIL PLANT ALREADY! Then I remembered that I've looked for one a few times at the farmers market. But to no avail. I'm not much for blue basil and that's all they really had.

So I decided to make my own plant.(I'd just like to say that this is the great thing about "REAL" food. You can make you own perpetuating source from a lot of it. Yogurt, Keifer, kombucha, plants. Patterns are fun)

I've successfully started an adorable little basil plant. He's growing strong. We can't use his leaves yet, but we love him all the same.(Rene is french, so everything we talk about is a he or a she(He was raised English, it's just a thing he got from his mum))

What you will need to start your own basil(or any other herb really) is one of those packs of basil you buy from the store(or the farmers market, or from a friend) All you need is one good healthy stalk of the plant. Then you are going to chop the plant off at one of the "Off shoots" so that it looks kinda like this:

Yes I know this is parsley not basil

then you plunk it in a cup of water in front of a window for a while. It will start to grow little "Nubs", at the point where the stems come together, after a few days. Wait till those nubs have grow into at least 1 inch long roots, you can wait longer, but I'm impatient.

Then you plant your new little baby in some soil and give it some water. Herbs like to dry out a little bit in between watering so it's okay not to water it every day.

As you can see I'm trying this with parsley(Because damn it sally I'm sick of spending 2 dollars on it when I want chicken stock!), it doesn't seem to be working. But it still might. If it hasn't sprouted roots after 2 weeks, it's probably not going to.

One caution try not to let the leaves rest in the water, they will get water logged and fall off then your poor plant won't be able to feed itself!

If you have any troubles with this, drop a comment, I'd be glad to help.


An update:

Parsley does not work. I didn't think it would when I started. I think the plant is just too... "water based"(I'm not sure how to explain it) Kind of like how celery is just green solid water. But it will work with just about any other herb. If someone tries rosemary let me know what happens. I'm curious if it will work(I'll probably just end up trying it myself in a few days)

Shared at:

Pennywise platter @ Nourishing Gourmet

Food Roots @ Nourishing days

Fight Back Fridays @ Food Renegade

Monday, September 7, 2009

The joys of toothsoap

My sister was here last week visiting, it was really good to have her here, but at the same time it's nice to have the apartment, and time, back.

I've been using soap for brushing my teeth for about a month now. And right off the bat I'm going to tell you that I love it!

I will admit, I was a little bit skeptical about it at first, I mean, I remember when kids were threatened to have "Their mouths washed out with soap" in the movies. It seemed like unusually cruel punishment. AND JUST PLAIN WRONG!

So you'll understand how scared I was the first time I got "Ye olde toothbrushe" wet and rubbed it on a fresh bar of "Olive oil" soap from the organic store. I mean come-on, this stuff is meant for washing my butt, not my teeth. In all honesty though... I wasn't really that bad. It did taste a little bit soapy, but over all... there was really no taste at all... So it passed the first test. I didn't want to gag after using it. And it did pass the second test as well. My teeth felt delightfully glossy after the brush down. Next I just had to see if it would pass the final test. Would my teeth rot out of my head after a month or so?

I'm happy to say I no longer need to brush ever again because I no longer have teeth

Just kidding. Actually I think my teeth are in better shape now than when I started. I had a few "Light" spots on some of my teeth(Like 2 of them) which are going away.

So a few weeks ago(after a week of already using soap) I found this shop on etsy which is run by a wonderful gal who will answer ANY of the questions you have about her products. She's great. Who just so happens to be selling toothsoap. IN A CONVENIENT 4 PACK NO LESS! Which means 4 different flavors. Perfect. I just got mine last week. I'm using the "Original" flavor first. It's not quite what I imagined it would taste like. But I'm getting used to it.

And all the negative things I've read about toothpaste and all the crap that's in it has only made this all the more easier.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

And just the fact that something I'm sticking in my mouth says "DO NOT SWALLOW" "SUPERVISE YOUR CHILDRENS AROUND THIS!"

Just seems wrong.


I love toothsoap!

And if you are even the tiniest bit interested in using it but don't want to totally commit, go buy a fresh bar of soap with ingredients you can read all the names of, and give it a try. If you don't like it, use the new soap in the shower. No harm no foul right?

All you do is get your tooth brush wet, bush the bristles across the soap a few times and then brush like you normally do.

On a side note:
Some sites suggest using something to "Buff" the yellow out of your teeth once and a while. I've been brushing with baking soda on Monday mornings after I do my normal brush. It's working so far.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Farmers Shepherds Pie!

I love LOVE love Shepherds pie. It's great. Mostly because I love mashed potatoes. I would live on mashed potatoes alone if I could. But since that's not possible I eat things with mashed potatoes to seem normal to everyone else in society(I jest).

Since Rene and I have been trying to only buy our food(except for dairy) at the farmers market(They just don't have any dairy there) This shepherds pie was a little bit improvised... but it was still delicious.

Farmers Market Shepherds Pie:

4 Small carrots(Not those huge ones you get from the supermarket)
4 or 5 Small parsnips(Same for the parsnips as the carrots)
1/2 an onion
5 or 6 potatoes(You could use less, but like I said... mashed potatoes rock my world)
1 small packet of lamb(I forgot to look at how much was in it)
3 tbs cream cheese
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce(The only not nourishing thing in here, I can't help it I love it)
A splash of milk
Butter for frying(Olive oil works good too)
Salt and pepper for taste.


1 pot with a lid to fit all your potatoes in with some head space for boiling
1 frying pan
1 square Pyrex glass dish or something to it's equivalent
1 spatula(Just something to move around your cooking vegetables)
1 fork

You can peel your vegetables if you want. I don't. Now dice then all into small small cubes except the potatoes, dice your potatoes into approx 2 cm cubes(Smaller if you want them to cook faster) put in a pot and cover with water, set to boil.

In a frying pan set at medium to medium low, fry up your onions in the butter until they are translucent, then add in your carrots and parsnips fry them for a little it(I only fried mine very briefly, we like ours still crunchy when we eat them) then add in your lamb and fry it up till it's cooked then add in your worcestershire sauce and enough salt and pepper so that you are happy. Then dump in into your Pyrex dish.

While this is happening watch your potatoes, once they start to boil, turn the heat down to medium high and offset(I'll take a picture of this later) the lid so that the steam can still get out. Let it simmer like this for 20 minutes or so, then check your potatoes with a fork to see if they are done, they should be soft and slide right off the fork after you've stabbed them.

Once they are done drain your potatoes and mash the crap out of 'em. Add a little bit of milk so that your potatoes are smooth(that is the KEY to the best mashed potatoes ever) then add in your cream cheese and salt and pepper to taste. You can always add more cream cheese if you want. I tend to add quite a bit some people don't really like it all that much.

Now spread your potatoes on top of your meat.

All you have to do now is bake that puppy(Not your puppy, the pie silly) in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350.

Oh wait, then you dig in a enjoy!

Hope you liked it.

This recipe was shared at:

Food Roots
Penny Wise Platter @ Nourishing Gourmet