One of my favorite birthday presents this year were these 100% recycled iPod/computer/anything that has an audio feed speakers. Each pair has an individual design, and there are several different companies that make the same product differently. My pair came from the local Planet Organic store, and looks a lot like the image above. There are others that are made from recycled metal, and some that are folded into triangular shapes. These speakers are the most inexpensive ( about $15 CDN a pair) and portable versions of the regular iPod stereo systems. PLUS, they're green and the sound quality is pretty decent! So if you need some artsy and earth loving belated christmas gifts, pop into your local organic shoppe and turn up the volume!
So I have been thinking of instating a weekly blog entry about my favorite eco-friendly product finds for a while now. Today is early Christmas for you my lucky blog family. For here is my first weekly post.
All natural, organic, recycled & recyclable packages, and best of all affordable!
I am currently using this scalp tingling shampoo. It's great for my seasonal psoriasis.
Although all JASON shampoos have matching conditioners I am in love with how yummy smelling this one is. For someone who considers herself a condition-aholic (I never comb, just condition), this stuff works moisture wonders and smells amazing!
They have other great products I am excited to try too including: creams, deodorants, and body washes. Check out all of the products on their website. Or go to your local Super Store ( In the organics esle), or Safeway and scope the stuff out yourself.
Being a psych major and currently in the middle of the exam season, I have been studying abnormal psychology all morning. I just finished covering the material for Autism Spectrum Disorders and though I would share some of the fascinating facts:
The onset for autism is in infancy or early childhood, usually around the age of 2.
16/10000 births are likely to be Autistic, and 30-63/10000 births fall into the Autism Spectrum Disorders (have similar qualities to autism but different diagnoses)
Boys develop Autistic disorder 4.3 times more often than girls.
There are early warning signs that parents can look for, the sooner the intervention in treatment for autism the better the prognosis (future outcome). These red flags include: No reaction to sounds or name (not due to hearing loss), infant being described as either really good or very difficult, delayed or absent speech (or speech abnormalities such as echolalia), lack of imaginative play replaced with repetitive object play and preoccupations, odd responses to sensory input ( usually none or extreme sensitivity), loss of skills (this can mean toilet training skills and language skills), don't initiate play with others or respond to other's approaches, don't communicate with their eyes ( usually rarely make eye contact), and they usually don't point out things, show things, or engage in play with their parents.
A very dangerous misconception with Autism is that it is caused by vaccinations. This has lead many people to not vaccinate their children, which can lead to serious illness, re-spreading of previously controlled disease, and even death! The correlation is presumed to be casual because the age of onset is very near to, or after the time when children are to be vaccinated. There has been immense research disproving this casual claim, from the New England Journal of Medicine (2007), The California Department of Health, and Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (2003).
Autism spectrum disorders are considered to be the most heritable, even more so than schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.
Lastly the prognosis is most promising for children with an IQ greater than 70, and for cases that have early intervention.
I always forget how much I hate winter, until it comes. Although playing around in the snow and drifting every street corner is gleeful, nothing is fun when it's -25 outside. Since I have just finished my two hardest finals, amidst the liquid nitrogen conditions; I feel like I have no excuse not to be fully amped for sunshine and surf! I don't know if it's the lack of vitamin D, or the fact that my facial complexion is better when I am tanned, but I crave scolding sun rays. I would take being incredibly hot to even slightly chilly any day. Slightly ironic that I am so against global warming. Forget Christmas, I am more excited for January 2nd and the start of my trip to Mexico. I find that the higher the temperature the more elated my mood becomes. Here's to drinking mojitos and making snowmen in the sand!
Plus, a childhood dream of mine will be fulfilled on this trip: Swimming with dolphins!
Do things that make your happy, and charge it on your credit card!
This is very similar to what our lovely Stephen Avenue looks like this fine Christmas decorating season. I finally felt a warm fuzzy feeling while standing outside in the snow. Looking up at these 'dripping icicle' lights, I felt a sense of romantic holiday spirit and appreciation (and sugarplum fairies danced on my head, after I just had my hair done, so I got pissed and asked what kind of fairies wanted to represent sweetened dried fruit anyway). It goes against my nervous system reaction to like the cold weather. But really, I figure the icicle lights are just depicting something that is freezing; they're probably nice and warm themselves, since they give off so much inefficient heat loss. :)
Really adorable and quirky leaf art. Reminds me of that super pointless, yet somehow incredibly time consuming leaf project in grade 6. Getting one of those evergreen needle samples was the biggest challenge I'd faced so far.
I like the idea of nature imitating mundane (probably not very eco-friendly) objects.
The opposite of nature, technology. Oh how I adored not knowing all of the useless facts Computer Science has implanted.
Proof, yet again, that Star Wars references transcend all mediums. :)
That leaf you stepped on last month, that was art.
An anonymous artist on www.limpfish.com has recreated famous paintings, including Simpsons characters. My favorite is The Girl With The Pearl Earring Marge Simpson. I love that picture originally and simpsonofied.
Vinegar, not just one of the ingredients of salad dressing. There are over a 100 different uses for vinegar! Some of the uses are really surprising, not to mention eco-friendly, all natural, and sometimes fairly smelly. Here is a list of the uses I think would be most useful:
1) Attack spaghetti, barbecue, or ketchup stains with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.
2) Remove perspiration odor and stains on clothing, as well as those left by deodorants, by spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine.
3) Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.
4) Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.
5) Remove soap buildup and odors from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through a whole cycle. Do monthly.
6) Get rid of fruit flies by setting out a small dish of undiluted white distilled vinegar.
7) To remove a label, decal, or price tag, cover with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave the cloth on overnight and the label should slide off.
8) Deodorize the toilet bowl by allowing 3 cups white distilled vinegar to sit in it for about a half hour before flushing.
9) Kill germs all around the bathroom with a spray of full-strength white distilled vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
10) Soothe sunburn with a spray of white distilled vinegar, repeating as often as you like. Ice-cold white distilled vinegar will feel even better, and may prevent blistering and peeling.
11) Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.
12)For cuts and scrapes, use white distilled vinegar as an antiseptic.
13) Keep car windows frost-free overnight in winter by coating them with a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar to 1 part water.
14) Give your dog a gleaming coat by spraying or rubbing with a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar to 1 quart water. As a bonus, you save the cost of an expensive shine product used on show animals. (Works even on a horse!)
15) Kill fleas by adding a little white distilled vinegar to your dog or cat’s drinking water.
16) Cats hate the smell of vinegar. If you have a cat that is marking its territory around your house, spray the area with white distilled vinegar then rinse with a hose. ( This one's for you Britt.)
17) When poaching eggs, add a little white distilled vinegar to the water. The whites stay better formed.
18) Make pasta less sticky and reduce some of its starch. Add just a dash of white distilled vinegar to the water as it cooks.
19) If you’ve added too much salt to a recipe, add a spoonful of white distilled vinegar and sugar to try correcting the taste.
20) To keep eggs from cracking when boiling add a tablespoon or two of white distilled vinegar to water.
Here is this week in iPhone pictures. Evidentially, all twit-pic (very sad that my spell check knew this) worthy, but I would rather commemorate them in this blog entry. Also, I have no idea how to use twit-pic.
The most important bulletin at University, if not the one most likely to make you late for class because of its raw truth and hilarity.
Chinese weddings: the place where other people's grandmothers allow for temporary flaming dice tattoos to be put on them. Ice has so many uses.
I love Sexual Awareness week. Look at that grin.
Now you can look like a "I put out" girl without any hair spray! Available at Wal-Mart, Always Low Prices (Standards).
I received a great gift from my sister this birthday season. It's a Music Listography notebook where I am asked to produce musical playlists such as: songs that I would strip to, or a song that reminds me of each of my friends. It's incredibly entertaining, not to mention futuristically nostalgic. So here are the beginnings of both of those lists for your listening? reading? pleasure.
Songs to strip to:
1) Sexy Bitch - Akon
2) 15 Step - Radiohead
3) Sexy Boy - Air
4) You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate
5) Gimme More - Britney Spears
6) Bounce - Timbaland
A song for each of my friends (Purely based on psychological phenomenon):
1) On the Run - Sam Roberts (SW- one of many)
2) Consequence - The Notwist (RO)
3) Cause = Time - Broken Social Scene (HM)
4) Looking Through You - The Beatles (DM)
5) Have You Ever Seen The Rain - CCR (MZ)
6) Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston (LM)
7) Magalenha - Sergio Mendes (TP)
8) Mama Told Me - Crystal Waters (BG)
9) Dance Anthem of the 80s - Regina Spektor (IK)
10) Church - T-Pain (SC)
11) Please Don't Stop The Music - Rihanna (KF)
12) Paper Planes - M.I.A. (JF)
13) Sunshine - Matt Costa (AP)
14) Untrust Us - Crystal Castles (JG)
15) Live Your Life - T.I. (HT)
16) Cuerpo Triste - Estopa (OR)
17) Ur So Gay - Katy Perry (BW)
18) Your Song - Elton John (BB)
19) The Way I Are - Timbaland (MG)
20) Sound of Settling - Death Cab For Cutie (KM)
Lists aren't always for organization, but enjoyment.
Just off the jet-setter plane, and I'm already amped to write a new blog entry. Actually, I just want to share a hilarious Blog I just clicked my way to. It's called Stuff That White People Like, and features... well a list of things that White People like!
My personal favorites have been:
#124 Hating People Who Wear Ed Hardy
#121 Funny or Ironic Tattoos
#118 Ugly Sweater Parties
#111 Pea Coats
#108 Appearing to Enjoy Classical Music
#107 Comparing People to Hitler
#83 Bad Memories of High School
#2 Religions That Their Parents Don't Belong To
Today, several came true. I am in the most beautiful city in the country, with my best friend. Surely, a remembrance day to remember. Here are my favorite things about Montreal already (it's been two hours):
The giant over-pass highways, that appear extremely collapsable.
The teal copper church tops.
The white street signs, and beautiful street names.
The pretty leaves all over the city.
The Jesuit residence; extreme irony will ensue.
The town-house shops and their exterior signage.
Best tasting Starbucks latte I've ever had.
The music/psychology area at Concordia, where music is always playing.
Bee's door decoration of small bumble bees.
Hearing Bee sing from the shower. :) I missed her.
How there seems to be art shows, museums, and churches everywhere.
The magnitude of hole in the wall, cheap, yet delicious restaurants.
Um, essentially everything! Even the french!
Seriously wish I could transfer universities right about now!
Here is a list of all of my green endevours, products, habits... you get it all the things that allow me to say that I am an aspiring environmentalist:
- I don't drive. I take transit, and if I did yield a vehicle (Caution) it would be one extremely fuel efficient car-pooled wonder.
- I've recycled any and anything even before the blue bins were instated... Have a huge pet peeve when people put non-recyclables in my clearly marked bin.
- I use all natural home made deodorant that consists of pure organic coconut oil, and baking soda. It actually works, naturally moisturizes, and smells amazing
- I use organic, fair-trade, sustainably packaged face cream, currently Freeman brand.
- I use bars of all natural locally made face and body wash, from the Rocky Mountain Soup Company. I keep them in reused plastic tampon cases for travel.
- *Boys don't read this point. Seriously, I am warning you out of caring, don't.* I don't need my tampon case because I use a Diva Cup. At first I was terrified, but now it's totally natural (pun intended).
- I use 100% recycled packaging fair trade body lotion, currently it's Dewberry from The Body Shop.
- I use the term I use too often when I start sentences.
- I use LUSH bath bombs, massage bars ( great for use as body butter), and cuticle oil. I am dreaming of some mint solid shampoo, and perhaps a vanilla solid perfume. First have to use what I already have of course.
- All of my school notebooks are either reused, or made from 100% post recycled materials.
- I buy my dog biodegradable doggie bags. My mom usually urks me and gets plastic bags at supermarkets to use instead. Whenever I have extra cash I get her eco-poopy bags to try and counterbalance.
- I only ever get a plastic bag at a store when I don't have a purse/ tote on me to carry purchases with. If that's the case, I ask for a medium sized bag, so that all of my purchases can fit inside.
- I use Eco-dent, biodegradable, vegan, sustainably packaged floss... although really, I only use it right before a trip to the dentist
- I have several biodegradable pens for school and love my staple-less stapler.
- I bought a snuggie to keep me warm in the winter ( I am wearing it in the midst of writing this blog entry), instead of increasing the heat.
- I have a three outlet plug that connects to my printer, tv, and dvd player. All can be easily unplugged with one fowl pull when I leave my room.
- So long as it's daylight, I don't turn the light on when I take a shower, or go to the bathroom. This is partially due to the fact that I am slightly afraid of the dark. My mom beats me in this respect she always showers in the dark with candles on.
- I take sailor showers in luke-warm-warm water.
- I open my arms to all of my very fashionable friend's old clothing and bored with items and I give all of my old clothes away to charity.
- I try and buy used textbooks whenever I can and always sell my books again.
- I get a lot of my boots repaired instead of buying new ones. Ahem, minus that one incident (Mother) of which we shall not speak (perhaps yelling is better) including a certain pair of beautiful blue suede heeled wonders.
- I walk whenever the weather permits. Especially if I know the way and it takes less than 45 minutes.
- I always take the stairs unless it's over 5 flights, I have cargo, or a friend who won't join.
- I always let my hair air dry, and rarely use styling products or curling/straightening irons
- I usually wear clothes 2-3 times or before it starts to smell, or becomes stained before I wash it.
- I own an aluminum macbook, supposedly the greenest notebook yet.
- I am involved in a student group that educates and engages students in the integration of energy, environment, and economy.
- I shed a silent tear whilst looking into an oilsands pit
- I go to the farmers market every other week, and buy local organic food, and goodies there.
- Although I take planes to Europe every summer, I always stay in small towns or cities. Where I don't get into a vechile for over a month at a time, get around by walking, and always eat and drink local
- I eat/enjoy my mom's garden grown herbs, lettuce, and tomatoes.
- I have found an organic, all natural no preservative, better tasting, and wait for it.... less caloric Vitamin Water. I love planet organic!
- I asked my parents to take me on a planet organic shopping spree for my birthday... and perhaps order me some 100% Pure make-up. Sometimes a girl just wants black berry died natural mascara packaged in post consumer plastic.
- I always have organic milk at home.
- I like to buy things in bulk. Costco is amazing, as are savings of over 90% every-time I have a homemade iced chai tea latte.
- I use a tumbler for my coffee.
- I use a water bottle for my water and smoothies.
- I like using aromatherapy instead of air freshners and sprays.
- I always turn the tap off whilst brushing and lathering.
- I turn off all the lights in people's houses that I see aren't being used...yay for creepy good deeds!
- I don't eat beef or pork, and try and limit my meat to one meal a day, with one day of the week totally vegetarian. Most of the time I accidentally eat veggie so, yahoo!
- I own several pairs of bamboo socks.
- I purchase music from iTunes or download from blogs, and haven't bought a CD in over 5 years.
- I never print pictures, FB albums are a gift people. Always check the comment, they make the pictures.
- I hand re-sow on buttons, and mend holes.
- I use organic, all-natural, sustainably packaged shampoos and conditions. Current favorite is J.A.S.O.N's Apricot conditioner.
- I Recently switched to organic yogurt. Luckily, it tastes just as good, and isn't greater than 50 cents more expensive per package.
- I am constantly thinking of new ways to lessen my impact. I believe it's all about what you're individually capable of and comfortable with.
My acts alone may not save the adorable (Coca-Cola) polar bears, but that doesn't make them meaningless. Even the most miniscule change is still a green change.
One of my greatly beloved, yet neglected hobbies is replicating famous paintings/art. More specifically I have a thing for impressionist work, especially Degas' Green Dancer pieces. The pictures below are the original along with my 'negative' version of Green Dancers (my photo quality is quite abysmal, I do actually have an orange dress on my prima).
If only my paint brush wasn't too thick for the job, and my prima ballerina didn't end up accidentally looking like an anti-stereotype/anorexia symbol. I call it Green (double D)ancers. :)
Anyways, I have been trying to find some inspiration for the two empty canvases sitting beside my bed. Ideas so far have been: doing IKEA Audrey in Teal, Black, and Silver (Tiffany's colors)
Or my favorite painting The Kiss by Gustav Klint, and trying to make it as accurate as possible.
I always thought this painting was beautiful because it was so strange. In its meadowy flurry the line is blurred between romance, and force; but the gold leaf really does it for me.
Any more suggestions?
And please no requests for nude paintings.... unless your initials are SRW, and you know who you're going to call.
I'm not sure whether I was Victorian in a past life, or I just became accustomed to old century decor from the Korcula House (more so museum than house). Perhaps, both are true.
None the less, I am extremely attracted to antique victorian style. I especially have a liking for old keys, wall papers, vanities, mirrors, and kitchen tins. Also, the idea of having oil paintings rather than pictures of my relatives around is incredibly romantic and artistic to me; that person is a piece of art.
The following images make me want to ditch all the modern technologies that allow me to create this entry, and take a deep "old oaky" smelling breath.
I am seriously jealous of Marie Antoinette, minus the whole decapitation fiasco.
This month's dare challenge is no junk food allowed. This includes fast food, candy (I miss you sour soothers), ice cream, chips (the like), and most of all CHOCOLATE!!
Today, was not the best day I've ever lived on this planet, and lack of chocolate did not help! So I will resolve the rest of this evening by watching "Kate's Story" on TLC, and at least knowing that I don't have 8 children to support. As the famous maxim goes, this too will pass, this being my chocolate irritability, passing in approximately 27 more days. Also, a recap from last month's challenge:
I am significantly more toned than I was. I loved the results and continue doing squats and sit ups whenever I can. Hated the push ups though, glad to leave those behind in October. Unfortunately for my May dignity, I ended up losing the challenge. I totally forget about it whilst studying all day for a midterm. Damn deep concentration! I am not looking forward to a dare, but I did rock that test!
My family coat of arms has three pears on it. Pears are symbols of individuality, however the number three is very archetypical. Thus, the oxymoron that I descend from: the archetypical individual. Ironic, and oh so disgustingly post-modern.