Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

This year has been quite the excitement.  I started this blog this year, and had many changes throughout the year.  In my area of the world, we had a tornado, the first that many had ever seen, a huge scare that changed many lives and caused many to lose their homes.  I was blessed in being safe and being equipped with the opportunity to help out.  almost a full season after the tornado, the clothing drive I started has ended, we have cleaned up, and shut the doors. And the tornado was not the only dissaster.  There was the other storms, and during halloween, the snow storm that put many out of power again and killed many trees along with it. And now here we are, in a winter without snow, about to start the new year.  Personaly, I have also had quite a year.  I have learned a lot this past year.  A little over a year ago I first started dating my boyfriend, who I am still madly in love with now.  I don't know what I would've done without him through it all.  And then of course it was about a year ago that I finally decided on being vegan and staying that way again.  My family has been wonderful throughout everything we've gone through together, and I am greatful that they are in my life.  Another life changing experience was my time in ANYTOWN, a camp I went to over the summer.  I learned so much and met so many beautiful people that have changed my life, and my outlook on it.  This year was also the year I became obsessed with crafting and making my own things, driving my family nuts with all the recycled containers lying about the house.  This year was a sad year, and angry year, a hard year.  But it was also a happy year, a productive year, and a year of change.  I can look back on this past year and be proud of myself.

Here is a few of my most viewed blogs this past year:
The Jersey Knit Bracelet

Equality Of Life

No Electricity Day

Protein in the Vegan Diet

And Some of My Favorite Inspirations:

Quotes On Slavery, this is a great blog about animal activism and is filled with inspiring ideas and quotes.

Girlie Girl Army, this is the perfect site for anyone who thinks being vegan is all about cutting back and having less to eat and less to own- boy are you wrong! Check out this site for vegan and eco ideas on living a rich lifestyle full of the stuff us girls love.

Healthy Life Deals, this is the blog for those of us who can't always afford to spend money on pricey organic, vegan foods, but know we need to eat that way!  Full of coupons and sales!

Reduce Footprints, this is a blog with weekly challenges to keep us being green and good to our planet!


I'm hoping to fix up the blog a little to prepare for the new year! Hope you all like the new ideas that are soon to come!


In this next year I am looking forward to a year of happiness and love.  I feel that this coming year will be a good one, and I hope it will be the same for all of you.  Happy New Year. :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Countdown


from Brainz.org
So it's almost New Year's Eve.  If you're anything like me, you're wicked excited for this New Year of 2012.  It's like it's the perfect opportunity to start fresh and new and change it up a little bit.  This New Year's Eve my family and I will be having the best, most exciting New Year's Eve party.  Ever.  Yup, that's right.  I've got some tricks up my sleeve.  First off, there will be fun and games to be had on the countdown to New Year's!  I took this idea from blogger Amy on The Idea Room.  Check it out, little "party bags" to open at every hour leading to midnight!   I am making some and filling them with the following:
  • 4:00 pm - make spin drums and paper noisemakers for midnight
  • 5:00 pm - play a board game
  • 6:00 pm - eat dinner! :)
  • 7:00 pm - bake new year's eve cookies
  • 8:00 pm - play "flashlight" limbo
  • 9:00 pm - watch an old home video and eat desserts
  • 10:00 pm- write down new year's resolutions
  • 11:00 pm- go outside and watch the stars, make snow angels at night
  • 11:45 pm- get ready with noise makers, spin drums, new year's drinks, "confetti" balloons, ball drop on tv
  • 12:00 midnight, the new year! - make as much noise as possible! use noise makers, pop confetti balloons, say cheers to all, call loved ones not present, and ring in the new year!
Here's how to make a spin drum on Disney's Family Fun, along with other great kid's ideas.

The confetti balloons will hang from the ceiling and be filled with confetti, so when the new year hits, we pop the balloons and watch the confetti fall!

What are your plans for New year's?  I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Inspiration: Generation Green


So the other day a friend of mine picked up a book from the library for me.  She didn't know anything about it, but she figured I would like it.  Boy, was she wrong- I loved it!

Generation Green is a book written by Linda Siversten and Tosh Siversten, mother and son.  They write about a bunch of very interesting things to help the environment, and describe what it's about.  They explain climate change, the "dwindling fossil fuel reserves", worldwide water shortages, loss of topsoil and trees, desertification, electropollution, and the increase of waste.  They give the facts and ways to fix it!  They have a chapter on eating green- a mostly vegan lifestyle :) and they talk about organic food and pesticides. 

The most shocking quote, in my opinion:

"A pet project of Adolf Hitler's during WWII was the development of poisonous neurotoxins, or nerve gas.  After the war several scientists figured out how to use an offshoot of this poison on plants as a pesticide.  The World Health Organization estimates that pesticide poisoning kills twenty thousand people worldwide every year."
I highly suggest reading this book, it's a good read!  I got it from my library, I'm sure it could be in your's too.

Interested?  Check out their site here.  And take Tosh's Green Challenge to see how green you are!! My results: Greener.  good, but I'm gonna get a better next time!

Hugs,
Mandi <3

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Boxing Day


Oh, Christmas Tree

So it's the day after Christmas.  For those of you who celebrate it, it might be the day you go through all those presents you got yesterday.  Maybe you like to clean out the old stuff before you put in the new stuff today.  If so, look twice at all the stuff you take out.  That old t-shirt?  It could become a pillow, part of a quilt, a rag for cleaning, or you could donate it.  There are infinite possibilities to all of your old stuff.  Why not clean out and repurpose the old stuff?  Make room for the new stuff?

An old-fashioned Christmas
So this year for Christmas my wonderful parents bought me a kindle and an electric keyboard. :)  I am loving my new kindle.  It is very energy-efficient, something I had been a little worried about.  But as it turns out, I have used it frequently since yesterday morning, and the charge is still almost entirely full.  And I can charge it on my laptop during the time I use my computer anyway.  There are quite a few free books and games that I have gotten, and I just love it!  I also love my new electric keyboard, I can practice piano during any hour with headphones so no one else can hear the noise! <3  I also received some great organic clothing and vegan bath set~no animal testing or beeswax!
  
Angels are all around us during Christmas
 My favorite part of the holidays?  The decorations, the food, the magic of it all.  My favorite decorations of the season are the miniatures.  We set up a little village on our buffet in our sitting room every year. 

Ice skating on the town pond


blanketed in snow

the mailman

Santa and the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph

An elf preparing for Santa's ride

How were all of your holidays?  Did you get to see happy reactions from people you gave gifts to?  Did you get any good gifts?  How did you celebrate? 
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.  :)

Fairy dust on the tree

                                           Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. <3

"And stockings were hung by the chimney with care"




Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Countdown to Christmas


So Christmas is on it's way! As are many other holidays.  I celebrate Christmas this time of year, and I'm very excited this year!!! I can't wait to give out presents, kiss my boyfriend under the mistletoe (for some reason it's so much better then), make a gingerbread house, baking, cooking, crafting, Santa Claus, and giving out clothes and having a christmas party for our town's and neighboring town's kids. 

This year I am extra excited, as this year I have many gift ideas.  And not just that, but many inexpensive gift ideas!  They are green and animal-friendly too!  I have fallen in love with a few different sites for gifts to buy, such as Ethical Ocean.  Try the holiday helper elf to look for some special gifts for some special people :) Then you can create a list of what you want for Christmas (mine includes stuf I want to get other people) and you can share it with others! 

Another site I love is Fur Is Dead from Peta2, which offers a "free gift"~ anything ranging from a discount on something or a vegan recipe~ every day until Christmas!  And don't forget to sign the pledge agreeing to go fur-free!

The only problem about this time of year is being green while still enjoying the holidays.  Around this time of year, most of us use Christmas lights or other electronic decorations, cut down a tree or use a fake tree with plenty of chemicals, have heaters on full blast because of guests, have the TV on more often to watch the holiday movies and shows, give gifts that may be thrown away or waste more electricity, use wasteful wrapping paper or bags, and more!  It sounds like a nightmare when we put it that way doesn't it? 

But of course, it doesn't have to be that way, and many of you know that.  There are LED lights, solar lights, etc.  There are blankets and sweaters, there are eco-friendly gifts and wrappings.  But there are some things we just can't seem to get around.  How do you be good for the planet but have a Christmas tree, real or fake?  How do you watch your favorite holdiay movies and shows that are a tradition? 

Personally, I feel like this is my most wasteful time of year.  And it's hard not to be, because so many of these things are just tradition.

This year, I have some ways to be eco-friendly, to cut back on the wastefulness.

  1. Lower the heat and bundle up with blankets and layers.  This one I find difficult because I have a love of heat.  I have raynaud's, so I'm very sensitive to the cold, especially my fingers and toes.  I will have to work on this one!
  2. Turn on the Christmas lights only when it's dark, or even use a timer.  With lights, you can use LED lights and have a timer so that they go on only when it's dark for a little while and then turn off themselves.
  3. Take short showers.  I know this one is hard!  But it's important!
  4. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse! This is a great thing to do this time of year!  All those things you usually throw away?  Take another look at them.  Can it be used for anything else?  Something I've fallen in love with recently is Pinterest, a virtual board where you can share all sorts of things! Check out the DIY & Crafts section for the most amazing crafts!  And recycle what you can't reuse.
  5. When you shop for gifts, use reusable bags! Stock up so that you can have enough bags~ it's easy to run out!  And if you're feeling creative, make your own! This is a cool idea for a reusable bag for fruits and veggies from an old shirt!
  6. Compost. This is such a great resource to limit waste and save on fertilizers for spring!
  7. Shop consciously.  Know what you're buying.  Does it contain animal products? Was it tested on animals? How far did it travel to get here? Can the packaging be reused?
  8. Eat less animal products. The leading cause of climate change? meat. Going vegan actually does more for the planet than switching your car to a hybrid! *check out more facts at peta2.com
  9. Give away unused gifts or misc. items around the house and donate it to a second hand store, organization, or shelter.  Or even hold a "greencycle" where everyone brings their unused stuff and people jcan take whatever they want- for free! It's a great way to show holiday spirit this time of year!
  10. Always be conscious.  Whether it's what you're buying, what you're asking for for the holidays, what you're wearing, or the energy you're using.  Always think twice and have an open mind- you never know what crazy idea could lead us to saving the planet next!