Tuesday, November 30, 2010


December 1st advent journal

It astonishes me that it's December. I've had a hard time keeping up with the calendar, it seem like months are flying by.

I always want it to slow down, I keep thinking the next month it will but it never does.

This year started out tough on me, dealing with injury, loss, difficult challenges with work but there has been a lot of good too. I finally got settled into our new house, we were able to afford furniture and aesthetic changes like painting, crown molding and refinishing the floors. I also got to grow a garden, which even though I only deem partially successful, I got started.

Even though did not get to do most of my plans for the yard and garden or they did not turn out as successfully as I had anticipated, I learned things that will make it better next year. I forget that sometimes life is a process, and not everything is perfect the first time around. It's ok not to conquer a goal right away, or else you would get bored very fast.

In the past 5 years it seem like not much has changed for me. I am now married to my then boyfriend, I have essentially the same job and same friends. When I really think about the person I was then, it's hard for me to remember what has changed but when I really think about it I remember how insecure I was in our new relationship, how naive I was about certain friendships and how I have especially changed more in the past year than I did the four years prior. My desire to 'party' has declined, I've taken a greater interest in a more natural lifestyle (don't worry I won't stop shaving or go on a drastic no sugar no fat no meat no alcohol nature diet) and started wanting to understand things I ignored in the past.

Next year, I'd really like to spend a holiday in our home, something we haven't done yet, I want to join the neighborhood pool and make some friends that are local, and I hope to create some more stability and structure to our lives. Structure has been a part of my New Years resolution at least 2 years running, I guess it's time I get on it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trying new things

Although I've had them before, I've never made Lentils. It was surprisingly easy and addictive. You basically rinse a 1 lb bag of Lentils and boil it with plenty of water, a bay leaf, an onion cut in half, some chopped carrot, a garlic clove smashed and some S&P in a large pot, then cover and simmer for about 25 min on low until tender. Tasty.
Even more tasty was the dressing we covered them in while hot to absorb the flavors.
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

I've been eating the leftovers non-stop, it's oddly addictive.

Now to tackle spaghetti squash and the giant zucchini I've been meaning to shred for zucchini bread.

Plastics are bad, mmmmKay?

This can be confusing and most feel it's an ever-changing topic.
As of right now, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade. Plastics marked 7 are especially confusing since 7 is the throw all "Other cateogory".
So the general rule of thumb
Avoid Plastics marked as:
#3 #6 or #7-PC
If it’s labeled #7-PC, it’s unsafe polycarbonate.
If it’s labeled #7 “PLA” or #7 “compostable,” it’s a safer, bio-based plastic. For example Gerber baby food containers and BornFree baby bottles are part of the safe category.

Safer Plastics are those marked as: #1 #2 #4 #5 or #7 labeled labeled “PLA” or “compostable

Other tips they recommend are avoiding using plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave or with hot foods and liquids, buy a BPA free reusable water bottle, avoid PVC products (toys, building materials, etc.)

Most Plastics are marked with recycling symbols 1-7. These symbols signify the following:
3: PVC or V: Polyvinyl chloride, used for cling wrap,plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter containers, and detergent and window cleaner bottles.
6: PS: Polystyrene, used in styrofoam food trays, egg cartons,disposable cups and bowls, carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery.
7: Other: This is a catch-all category for plastics thatdon’t fit into the #1-6 categories. It includes polycarbonate,bio-based plastics, co-polyester, acrylic,polyamide and plastic mixtures like styrene-acrylonitrileresin (SAN). Number 7 plastics are used for a variety of products like baby bottles and “sippy” cups,baby food jars, 5-gallon water bottles, “sport” waterbottles, plastic dinnerware and clear plastic cutlery.

1: PETE: Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene, used for soft drink, juice, water, detergent, cleaner and peanut
butter containers.
2: HDPE: High density polyethylene, used in opaque plastic milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent and
shampoo bottles, and some plastic bags.

4: LDPE: Low density polyethylene, used in grocery
store bags, most plastic wraps, Ziplock bags and
some bottles.
5: PP: Polypropylene, used in most Rubbermaid, deli
soup, syrup and yogurt containers, straws and other
clouded plastic containers, including baby bottles.

Personally I'm especially guilty of using products in Category 3:
cling wrap, plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter containers, and detergent and window cleaner bottles. However not all items in this list are always #3s, my peanut butter and olive oil containers were #1s. I did notice my plastic bottle of syrup was a #3. I never buy styrofoam trays or cups but have on occasion bought styrofoam egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls used styrofoam carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery. Time to be more dilligent.

Info source: