Fragility

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Every once in a while something shocks you. Strikes you down. Hits you hard. In the chest. In your heart. In your soul. Something that will stay with you forever.

Something that when it does, saddens me to the core. Makes me bleed.

A few months back it was an image of an orangutan. Covered in blood. Burned by humans, to death. The real face of the fight against palm oil. The real victims.

That image hit me hard. That image has changed me. It has made me more aware. It has influenced the way I shop at the supermarket. It has changed the products I buy. Palm oil is currently my enemy number one. I can fight with my wallet.

What absolutely knocked me for six was an image I came across on Facebook just the other day. An image so confronting that I will share it only on a link below. It was a photograph of a beautiful strong African male elephant killed by poachers. They hadn’t just sawn off his tusks, but had hacked off his entire face for the illusive ivory of his beautiful strong tusks. All whilst he was alive. Probably to save on time and bullets.

What???!!! Images like this distress me. Images like this and the orangutan haunt me. They make me feel sick to be human.

Unlike palm oil, this reality I can’t fight.

War, as much as it horrifies me to say this, I can deal with. Two sides, both human. Both with egos. The devastation it causes is tragic but is human created.

Famine, also so tragic, I believe is nature’s way of culling. Us, animals, plants…. It’s survival of the fittest. It’s Darwin’s theory of evolution.

What really hits me is human vs nature. One with a mind and an ego so big. The other much more fragile and innocent.

Both the orangutan and the stunningly strong bull elephant will remain in my mind forever. Both have lost their lives. But, both have made a life changing imprint on my life. Both have changed me as a human. Both have made me stand up ready to fight. To fight for the future of their species and of this beautiful planet we share. Neither, in my heart and soul, have died in vane.

I believe that education is the greatest teacher. Through awareness we learn. By acting on that knowledge we grow strong.

With enough noise, one man can change the world.

xx

Orangutan: http://www.greenerideal.com/science/0911-burned-orangutan-dies-result-of-palm-oil-demand/

Elephant: http://freespirithobo.tumblr.com/post/18623870552/his-face-hacked-off-with-no-conscience-or

Evolution

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Nearly six months later and I am only just beginning to feel as though I am resurfacing into the world after having our baby. Some days are still hazy; other days the clouds are starting to lift. Sleep, on the other hand, is still very much only a dream.

It’s quite amazing. No-one can ever truly prepare you for motherhood. Every mother’s road will be different. Every child unique. Just like a David Attenborough documentary, every parent evolving just as a caterpillar metamorphosises into a beautiful butterfly. Never to return.

Just like my life you will find that this blog too evolves. I write from within so therefore how could it possibly not. This year is going to be a big one as we begin plans to rebirth our home. Evolve our home. And as always, expand our dreams of living green in a modern world.

Less than five kilometres from our city centre, yet we are creating a world away from the hustle and bustle of the crazy modern age we live in. Green grass, gardens, worm farms, edible backyards, chickens, insects, compost, solar passive designs, sustainable living, baby steps…

Life is taking time to smell the roses.

As the clouds lift higher, I plan to make time to blog. I plan to reconnect again with this earth. I plan to feel the wind on my cheeks. I’m looking forward to you joining me on my journey.

xx

How to eco-move house

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We received a letter in the mail a few weeks back. The kind of letter that you dread. No… Not a bill. As a tenant, it was something even more sinister…. A termination of lease notice. Ouch!!!

Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how good a tenant you are….

So that brings us to now. We are surrounded by boxes. What else would you do with a new baby? And the week before Christmas!!!? Talk about stressful!!!

It got me thinking… Moving house is a VERY un-eco pastime! Sure, you detox your home by de-cluttering, sorting, cleaning, recycling and donating, but what about the purging? The idea led me to blog about ways to minimise your impact on our environment when you move house.

1. Keep your supplies.
Since I was in my early twenties and I moved out of home, I have always packed down and kept my moving boxes, butchers paper and bubble wrap. Sure they take a fair bit of room to store but the cost to the environment and your hip pocket for these often one use items is huge! It’s amazing how many boxes you can stack under a double sized bed! Just a tip. Don’t use sticky tape on your butchers paper.. It make it easy to flatten out again and store.

2. Do your own cleaning.
This way, by using your toxic free and natural based cleaners, you know you have minimised the impact on your health, the health of future inhabitants and of our waterways. Vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, eco dish washing liquid and water can rival even the best promoted cleaners on the market!

3. Use a local removalist.
By using a local removalist with a depot not far from your home, you are employing locals and cutting down on emissions. By using a truck big enough to fit all your belongings in one load, you are minimising the carbon miles of your move not to mention your overall cost if charged by the hour.

4. Recycle.
It is so easy just to purge the things you don’t need or want anymore into the garbage bin. Stop right there! Instead, sort things into piles. Things for Gumtree and EBay, things that can be fixed, things that can be recycled, things that can be donated. You will always invariably have rubbish, but the idea is to minimise it!!!

I came up with an idea years ago to make a sign bold enough to be seen by passing cars. On it I painted “Free Stuff.” This sign I put out on the curb with any item I did not need anymore. You will be amazed at how quickly things find a new home. Whatever doesn’t get collected by passerbys can then be disposed of another way.

5. Don’t pack your slow cooker.
By pre-preparing a few days before, you can arrive at your new home and plug in your slow cooker (or if you are lucky enough… Your Thermomix!) Whilst you move and unpack, dinner is cooking away nicely and without any thought! What better than having a yummy, healthy dinner at the end of a huge day and minimising one use plastic takeaway containers or pizza boxes from your local takeaway. If you do order takeaway, take in your own containers to collect your food in or else, eat in. You’ve had a long day… You deserve it!

Now I just have to work out how to get around having to produce a pest control receipt…..

I’d love to hear what you do to minimise your impact when you move.

xx

It’s a new world..

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adult_hand_with_baby_hand_webTwo weeks ago tomorrow, my husband and I welcomed our beautiful little boy into the world.

It wasn’t the birth we’d planned but then again what in nature can be planned…

We dreamed of a natural birth. A birth that began when our baby decided it was time. A calm hypnobirth. Drug free. Delayed cord clamping. Natural placenta birth. etc….etc…

Induced at 37 weeks due to low amniotic fluid, we had two days to get our heads around the fact that our entire birth plan was about to go out the window. We both became very fearful. What we believed was in our hands, was now TOTALLY out of our hands! We feared for the cascade of intervention. The high chance of ending up with epidurals, complications and the risk of caesarean. This was not a road we wanted to walk.

Enter stage-right our beautiful Doula Emma Stewart. A few fear release sessions later and her continuous support and unbroken pelvic massage, my husband and I delivered our little boy six and a half hours later, induced with Syntocinon, yet entirely drug free. Against our wishes, our little one had his cord instantly clamped and cut and less than five minutes of skin on skin contact before he was whisked away into neonatal. Soooo totally not the birth we planned for him but the most important thing was that he was out… Safely!!! The rest could not be changed.

So, we began our lives as a family. Where two become three. Where love goes deeper than one could ever imagine.

Our little one is simply perfect.

They say that in centuries gone by and in many traditional cultures still today, a woman is nurtured for six weeks after becoming a mother. She eats warming food that is cooked for her, not by her. Her belly is oiled and bound to help her uterus to contract and return to size. Her every need is fully met. Her only job, to focus on herself and her baby. More often than not, she is bed-rested for six whole weeks!

The modern world we live in has totally eradicated this bonding and recovery time. Mothers are expected to return to life asap after labour… To not do so, shows weakness.

How wrong this thought pattern is….

We have been truly blessed to have had my family cooking, cleaning and shopping for us the last ten days whilst we three bond as a little family. A total godsend! I believe this has been the reason why two weeks later, our home is calm, peaceful, clean and totally functioning. Our hearts are open and filled with love. Our lives are enriched, not stripped away. Our baby sleeps. And our little family is happy and complete.

I can say that placenta encapsulation is worth it’s weight in gold! What our little one missed out on with his umbilical cord being cut within seconds of his birth, he is now benefitting through my body and my breast milk. Not to mention, my risk of postnatal depression has been severely minimised.

My mother sent me today for THE most amazing body scrub and facial at Bodhi Health and Beauty Spa here in Perth. For nearly two hours, I was pampered by Michelle, using my favourite organic and toxic free Sodashi products. My body was scrubbed and detoxed from head to toe and made to feel alive, complete and once again my own. After 10 months of not being able to detox and half of that time not even being able to touch my toes, a layer of skin has been removed from my body, my liver and my soul.

My life is perfect and now my rebirth has begun….

xx

 

Pregnancy…

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7892788178_3f98f35e07_zThe most natural thing on earth….

The way nature renews all it’s species. The growing of life.

As all those who have experienced it know, pregnancy is filled with natural moments. The miracle of a little life growing inside you. The miracle that your body is able to create this little one without much involvement from us. The miracle that a baby can be born whilst a mother is in a coma. The love it stirs. The greatest gift that nature can give. The greatest gift that you can receive. Now that is nature at it’s finest!

Some days it’s not all rosy though…

The feeling that your body is not your own. The incessant kicking that sometimes just does not stop. The reflux. The sickness. The cravings. The stretch marks and varicose veins. The aches….

You would not be human if you couldn’t admit how un-natural pregnancy can feel at times.

I have been lucky. Apart from horrific reflux, I have so far travelled through relatively unscathed. My baby is healthy, there are no complications and we are nearing close to the beautiful, natural birth we are hoping for.

I do have to say though that there’s a part of me that is soooooo selfishly excited!!! I can’t wait to be able to enjoy my yummy green smoothies again without gagging, to get back into my daily detox cleanse, to be able to take a yoga class without reflux, to be able to run around the block, to dig in the garden without a watermelon between my legs, to not wear leggings for a year and instead wear every dress I own….

And to be able to blog more.

Life is evolving from two to three and yet I feel like I get to rebirth too.

Till next I blog, you can always keep in touch with simple tips to “Live Green” in this modern world by liking my blog on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-Green-in-a-Modern-World/153259498150630

I hope to see you there. xx

 

Weakness can become a strength

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So….. I can’t lie.

My husband and I do have cravings. And we have weakness. We do our best…….

We shop every week at our local farmers market. We only buy meat, eggs and dairy if the animals are ethically farmed. We grow our own veges and herbs when we seasonally can. We recycle. We try and have a conscience with every decision and purchase that we make.

I refuse a shopping bag when I shop and avoid plastic wherever I can..

Which leads me to tonight.

We had one of those once a year cravings for a McDonalds sundae. One of those cravings that you just can’t shake…

We couldn’t throw it!!!

We figured we can’t change the way the dairy is farmed, the packaging and transportation of the ingredients, not to mention the potentially harmful food additives, but the one thing we could change was the way it is served to us.

Armed with our own ceramic bowls and spoons from home, we marched into our local McDonalds. My husband was quite nervous and apprehensive. To his surprise, the young girl was really happy to serve us our sundaes in our own bowls, even congratulating us on our efforts!!!

So it was a win-win…

Not to mention that the ceramic made it taste that little bit better.

Any little step we can all take towards living “greener” in a modern world is a better step than the one before. And simple little changes can have a far greater impact than you can imagine. I urge you. Get out there and make every little step better than the last.

If you need inspiration, there’s a fabulous doco called “No Impact Man.” Watch it if you can. I’d love to hear what steps you take to walk “greener.” xx

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My Eco Nursery

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b65f6cc3599eed35cb2175cb220992edWith only 2 months to go before the birth of our first child, the nursery set up has begun.

We are determined not to overload our nursery and our child with EVERYTHING.  There are so many children around the world who grow up with nothing….  Our child is lucky through the luck of birth to be born into the first world.  We hope to teach him how lucky we all are and to teach him awareness of the world around him by showing him firsthand.

So..to the Nursery.  With what we have chosen, we have tried to remain eco-friendly and organic where possible.

THE BASSINET

slide1We have been soooo lucky to have been given a Hushamok as a newborn gift by my mother-in-law.  It’s a beautifully designed organic baby hammock that is designed to mimic movement that the newborn baby has been used to within the womb.  It is designed to cradle them and gently rock them to sleep with each movement they make.  You can find some fabulous prices on secondhand sites such as Gumtree.

tetra_snuggle_bed_white_4There is also a gorgeous little organic swaddle bed by Tetra that would be a fabulous and potable bassinet that doesn’t disrupt your child’s sleep.  They also have wonderful and sustainable cot mattresses and pillows.

THE COT

There are many wonderful sustainable cots out there on the market such as

cot-600x600This cot converts into a table as your child grows…Soleil baby bed

ubabub_plywood-room-BAnd this one grows with your child into a toddler bed…..Ubabub

961d8a7cf08b50dc_cardboardcrub.previewFor highly biodegradable…..Cardboard Album

There are so many beautiful “green” cots to create a fabulous designer nursery with an eco edge.

We have chosen not to purchase one of these cots (as much as I would like to) because we have been very lucky to have been given a cot from a friend that is no longer needed.  Now I call that sustainable.  Recycling at it’s best.  Once again, if you’re not so lucky to be given a cot, check out Gumtree or a similar site to buy a secondhand cot.  Just remember, if you choose to paint it make sure you use low VOC or VOC free paints.  Just ask at your local hardware and tell them you need kid friendly paint.

SHEETS AND SWADDLES

product_images_ecoLinen_organic_bassinet_sheet_set1Now if you read my blog regularly, you would know how much I love Ecolinen Organic.  Ecolinen Organic have some beautiful cot and bassinet sheet sets for your special little oone.  Think the most beautiful sheets you have ever slept in, imagine they were 100% organic cotton and Whalllaaaaa!!! Divine!!

little_bamboo_muslin_wrap_-_mainFor swaddling, we have purchased some beautiful 100% bamboo swaddling muslin wraps from Little Bamboo.  Bamboo is such an absorbent, breathable and sustainable fabric designed to keep your child warm in winter and cool in summer.

gro-swaddle-fv1For something a little thicker Groswaddle make some 100% organic cotton swaddles designed especially for newborns.  They are cut specifically and are such a beautiful warm cotton weave that keeps babies so warm and snug.

REUSABLE MODERN CLOTH NAPPIES

I am a firm believer in using cloth nappies.  I understand every family is different and I will never judge others, but for myself there is no option other than cloth nappies.  Besides being reusable, they are better for the environment and your child’s skin.  Some question the water used for nappy washes and the detergent, but today’s modern cloth nappies are sooooo much more than the terry towelling squares that were used on us as kids.  Once rinsed, they can be placed in a normal washing load with other clothes, require biodegradable detergents only and do not require soaking or whiteners as they are designed to remain white when dried on the clothes line in the sun!

CBHomeCollageCocobaby have THE most beautiful designs for their MCN’s.  Butterflies, spots, floral patterns…… I can’t tell you how divine they are! Their sizing is one-size-fits-all from birth to toilet training.

9807d420-d7ba-4419-8739-84c17e1683e7If you are looking for one-size-fits-all pocket nappies with insertable bamboo liners that you can adjust depending on your requirements, look no further than Green Kids. I think the design of their nappies is pretty clever and the bamboo inserts are so absorbent.  Within the pocket, they draw any moisture away from your child’s skin meaning the nappy can be worn for longer between changes.  They also stock fabulous bamboo reusable and washable wipes that I intend to use each and every nappy change.  So soft and absorbent on your child’s skin.

I have also been very lucky to have been given some fabulous new nappies from a girlfriend.  These nappies are from some fabulous companies.  Baby Beehinds, and Bonnibuns as well as other brands.

Every child is different and I have been told that what nappy brand leaks for a friend’s child might fit your child perfectly.  Therefore, I suggest you purchase one or two of each nappy brand you like and try them before purchasing a full set.  A full set can be around $600 but if you compare that to the $2000-$4000 cost of disposables over the same period, I think it’s fabulously worth it!!

TEETHING AND SOOTHERS

There is much debate over whether you should “dummy” your child.  I say whatever works for you and your family.  Hevea_children_forside_rubber_naturally_designed_1Hevea manufacture some fabulous natural rubber dummies and teethers.

logoVULLI_0250(800x532)My mother-in-law knows me so well and had given us a beautiful Parisian “Sophie le Giraffe.”  A wonderful 100% natural rubber teething toy that has been a favourite with French children since 1961!  How stylish!!

PRAM AND CAR SEAT

productimage-picture-stroller-g2-119_jpg_580x420_q90The “greenest” pram I can find is the Orbit G2.  Made with Orbitgreen certified fabric, it is the world’s first stroller with all fabrics and foams certified safe by Oeko-Tex® Standard 100.  It is also BPA and PVC free.  Only problem is it is not currently available in Australia.  Orbit also make a fabulous baby car capsule that clips into the Orbit G2.  It uses safe flame retardants in it’s manufacture without the potentially harmful chemicals, PBBs and PBDEs, used in most other car seats.  I looked at importing one of these into Australia, but as they are not currently certified to Australian standards, if you have a car crash and the child is injured or worse, you as the parent must wear any court findings including manslaughter….. Scary I know!!  Therefore, I have chosen instead to purchase a secondhand running pram on Gumtree and a new baby-to-4-years Australian certified car seat and fit them out with a natural sheepskin fitted liner that is washable and will minimise skin contact between our child and certified flame retardant fabrics.

CLOTHING AND TOYS

PurebabyPure Baby is a truly beautiful organic Australian children’s clothing brand that is all about social conscience.  Their clothing is divine!

cocoome_pj_bj_and_romper__20174.1365908723.1280.1280A friend of mine runs a fabulous organic children’s sleepwear company called Cocoome.  Many children’s pyjamas and onesies are coated in a flame retardant chemical, hence why organic is so important for our children’s sleep.  Amanda’s designs are beautiful.  Tell her I sent you.  You’ll love them!

eco_toys_1Ecotoys have fabulous wooden toys and organic cotton dolls for when your little one grows and starts to interact.  Wonderful toys that are also highly stimulating.

Some other companies that have toys that I love are Alimrose Designs and Moulin Roty.  bg-000-009Alimrose Designs are stunning Australian designed dolls, toys, bibs etc that are sooooo unique and divine!  The company gives back to Save the Children Australia and Bear Cottage, a respite and palliative care hospice for children & young people with life limiting illnesses & their families in Sydney, Australia.

2_Biscotte_et_PomponMoulin Roty, as far as I know, are not eco but they do have some of the most beautiful traditional wooden toys and plush toys you will ever see designed by a French toymaker.  For a classic, unique toy that will be pride of place for a lifetime, look no further…

NAPPY BAG

Screen_Shot 2012-05-22 at 4.49.36 PMI have chosen a tote bag from Apple and Bee as my nappy bag.  A fabulous Australian company that is carbon neutral and commits itself to having the lowest minimal impact on the environment that it possibly can.  They also stock a fabulous range of bibs, nappy mats, library bags, lunch boxes, totes and accessories for kids and adults of all ages.

MOBILES

mobilecribPetit Collage have some stunning mobiles for your child’s nursery.  Made in the US from sustainably harvested bamboo, all the images are laser cut and assembled by hand.

I have chosen though, a beautiful white handmade Indian dream catcher similar to this to be hung over our baby’s cot.

98e8d4de0094675b0b541bce17c5d935Sweet dreams baby…….xx

0dfeb4de0501a272e2a6054ee0d9e529♥♥♥

My delectably delicious and utterly luxurious body butter

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I can’t wait to share my homemade recipe with you!!!  Think of everything fabulous for skin and voila!!!  Here it is in one little jar!

body butter 2This body butter is packed full with sooooo many nutrients.  The raw products are not cheap initially to buy but I believe that if you buy in bulk, the quantities you are able to make each batch and the beautiful skin you get after use make the cost worth it.

I am currently just over seven months pregnant and I have used this body butter everyday, both morning and night, on my belly since 6 weeks. Touching wood, to date I am stretch mark free.

Ingredients

Makes enough to fill a 500 gm jar 

  • 125gms cocoa butter
  • 50gms coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp jojoba oil
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp macadamia oil
  • 2 tbsp rose hip oil
  • 1 tbsp vitamin e liquid
  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • 6 drops mandarin oil

(NB I have kept essential oil blends to a small amount and limited oils due to pregnancy but feel free to add what you’d like!! Just remember, the butter will have a slight chocolatey smell due to the cocoa butter.)

On low heat, gently melt cocoa butter and coconut oil together. Do not heat any more than required. Remove from stove and leave to cool until just over room temperature. Mix together in a bowl with other ingredients.  Pour into jar immediately and place in refrigerator to cool whilst still well mixed for a few hours. Remove from fridge and let warm to room temperature. Then use…use…and use some more!!! Cover yourself in this luxurious body butter!!! 

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This butter seems to have a shelf life of quite a few months if not more in your bathroom.  I haven’t left it lying ’round long enough to find it go off.  It is slightly grittier than a body butter you buy but rub in your hands for a few seconds before applying and grittiness GONE!!

Hope you love as much as me!!

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July beauty faves

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1woman-rugged-up-in-scarf-during-winter_article_newWinter.. It’s cold.  You could choose to hide yourself behind thick scarves and woollen beanies, or… you could choose to rock out your winter skin with these latest favourites I am in love with!!

ZWENA OIL OF MORROCCO 100% pure organic Argan oil

Sourced by the Berber women in Morocco, this fair-trade oil is pure gold.  Many women have tried and loved the benefits of “Moroccanoil” products on their hair. Not many have looked closely at the ingredients.  Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone and many others that you can’t pronounce.  The Argan Oil it contains sure does coat our hair in shine but at what cost to our health.  Step in Zwena.  This 100% pure organic Argan Oil is the real deal but without the frills.  Used on your hair and your skin, this oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and filled with antioxidants to reduce the harshness of winter.  It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way.  A truly beautiful and luxurious oil.

http://www.zwena.com.au

ELUSYION Liquid Mineral Foundation

This vegan and cruelty-free foundation is fabulous and even better is that it is made right here in Australia.  I find this foundation can be used lightly or heavier depending on the coverage required.  With ingredients like Rose water, Aloe Leaf extract and Jojoba, Olive and Coconut oils it helps to reduce the drying effects of winter.  I was torn between Elusyion and Inika foundations but Elusyion had the perfect match for my skin.  I am so happy with it.  It covers every flaw and looks so natural that my husband doesn’t even know I am wearing make-up!

http://www.bkind.com.au

100% PURE Fruit Pigmented Black Tea Mascara – Black

You all know how much I rave about Irene from Nourished Life!  Well this is another little beauty that she stocks in her store.  Most toxic free mascaras that I have tried have been great apart from the fact that you end up wearing them down your cheeks!!  This one is sooo much better!  For one, it’s water resistant and smudge proof.  Two, it does not contain any synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial colours or fragrances or any other harsh toxins in it’s ingredients list.  Three, it’s filled with lash conditioning ProVitamin B5, Vitamin E, Oat and Wheat proteins.  It’s a staple in my everyday morning routine.

http://www.nourishedlife.com.au

And then, at the end of the day, I am currently using my ENJO daily face off.  With water alone and a very gentle circular motion, this little blue microfibre pad amazingly removes every bit of makeup and oil from my skin.  It is so easy that I just use it in the shower.  You will see the make up come off with every wipe!  No cleanser necessary!  Brilliant!! After each use I just wash it with a drop of castille soap and then gently roll it to remove excess water.  It’s now ready for tomorrow’s use.

http://www.enjo.com.au

A cosmic Earth

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crown-chakra-2If you have the feeling something cosmic is going on this week, then you are totally right!  With the Winter Solstice occuring on Friday here in Australia (the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere) and tonight’s “supermoon”, Earth’s energy cannot but be affected…

solstice_StonehengeThe Winter Solstice comes only once a year and marks the Earth’s shortest day of the year.  In civilisations gone by, this event marked the beginning of a stronger and brighter sun.  A turning-point for the planet’s cycle.  Friday just gone marked the point when the Earth was tilted away from the sun at its maximum angle all year.  This means that at noon the sun was at its lowest point on the horizon and in the Northern Hemisphere where it was the Summer Solstice, the sun was at its highest point in the sky.

In Neolithic times, the Winter Solstice was a time of celebration.  A time of feasting for the long, cold, un-producing months of winter were coming to an end…

supermoonExpect to see a moon up to 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the usual full moon tonight.  A Supermoon occurs once every 14 months when the moon’s axis brings it closest to Earth.  Tonight’s moon is a mere 356,990km from earth.  Many claim that a supermoon can bring on earthquakes and seismic activity, although the scientific community do not confirm these claims.  It will however, bring with it extraordinary high tides.

If you wish to believe the claims, you will be interested to read that both the devastating 2004 Indonesian earthquake and resulting Indian Ocean tsunami along with the unimaginable 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami occured within weeks of a supermoon….. Freaky!

Delectable winter skin

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298x232-healthy_winter_skin-298x232_healthy_winter_skin1Delectable skin…..

Almost a distant memory in winter when climates, heating, starchy diets and an excess of clothes are all working together to dry our skin out from the inside out!

So what can we do to protect and restore our skins?

The first thing we all seem to do when our skins dry out is to stop our usual routines.  We go into protection mode and our skins do not thank us for it!!  We then get oily and break out.  What do we do then?  We start cleaning it like crazy to get rid of the oil and exfoliating it to rid ourselves of the congestion which then creates more dryness and the cycle starts again…

Our skins like routine like we do.  By following a routine daily,  we have created a cycle where our skin relies on this routine to function.  The amount of oil our skin creates and our cell renewal depends entirely on this routine.

So therefore in winter, we should never stop our routines to combat dryness.  We should adjust them instead.

Try cleansing with a cream cleanser instead of a foaming one or even ditch store bought cleansers all together and use olive or coconut oil on a cotton pad to cleanse, or try an Enjo daily face off – a microfibre pad that requires only water to clean (I am currently using one of these and LOVING it!  It’s amazing what it removes!).  If you exfoliate regularly, you will still need to keep that up to maintain a skin free of dead skin cells.  By removing those dead skin cells, you are helping your skin to breathe and to absorb the incredible moisture you are about to put on it.  And this is where we increase our moisture intake…

If your skin is not happy, you will need to up the moisture you are currently providing it.  In summer, the weather and humidity cause our skins to form a layer of protecting oil.  In winter, we need to manually do this.

After cleansing and exfoliating your skin, rinse it with cold water to close your pores and to protect your skin.  If you have a protective serum to apply, do this now.  Next, you need to seal the skin.  At this stage, I warm 5-6 drops of rosehip oil (packed full of vitamin c!) in my fingers and then rub gently but effectively into my face and decolletage.  You could also use jojoba oil.  Before this has a chance to dry, immediately add your moisturiser, once again effectively absorbing it into your face.  Make sure this moisturiser is a rich one to combat the drying effects of winter.  Your summer moisturiser just won’t cut it!!  At the moment, I am using a light facial shea butter formulation from Mokosh that is providing a beautiful luxurious layer upon my skin.

And don’t ever forget your sunscreen!

As for your body, the rules are the same.

Dry skin brush your skin before every shower, ditch your soap, at the end of every shower blast your skin with a shot of cold water (great for the skin and for your immunity!) and then…

Moisture, moisture, moisture!!

Being pregnant, I am keen to avoid stretch marks and therefore have made my very own body butter out of the world’s most decadent and divine oils!!  Five months in I am still (touching wood!) without a mark and my skin is singing!  I believe this body butter is perfect for EVERY dry winter skin not just my pregnant one.  I can’t wait to share the recipe with you soon.

xx

 

 

Nitrate-free Corned Beef Silverside

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The verdict is in!  The organic beef brisket/silverside that I corned at home a few weeks ago without nitrates was voted by ALL that tasted it as “the best corned meat they have EVER tasted!”

With winter rearing its head here in Australia, we are all turning to yummy, bone-warming meals to warm our souls.  My mother used to do a mean Corned Beef so this is always a favourite in our house.  Previously, we have bought the raw store-corned nitrate loaded version, but after how easy and how yummy it is to do yourself at home, NEVER again will I cook a store bought version.

Picture-14-Modern-Gas-FireplacesNitrate is a preservative found in many meat products including bacon, salami and many smallgoods.  It is considered carcinogenic and has been linked to cancer.  What better reason to avoid it at all cost!

Here’s the recipe I adapted from another who had apparently originally adapted it from Alton Brown’s Good Eats.  It will take at least 10 days in the fridge to fully corn and you can freeze in the brine once done.

Corning your meat

  • 2-2.5kg organically reared beef brisket/silverside
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 cup himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Place the water into a large stockpot along with all the dry ingredients. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. At this point it smells beautiful!

Take brine mixture off the stove and leave to cool to room temperature.

Once it has cooled, place the meat in a zip top bag or large glass container with lid and add the brine.  Seal and lay flat, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days.   Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and flip over to stir the brine.

Cooking your Corned Meat 10 days later

  • 2 white onions, whole and peeled
  • 3large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 10 cloves

After at least 10 days, rinse the meat and place into a slow cooker or a pot just large enough to hold the meat.  Add the above ingredients and cover with water.

In a pot, bring to the boil over low heat and simmer for 3 hours until the meat is fork tender.

In a slow cooker, set to low and leave for 7-8 hours.

Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.  In our house we serve it with the onions, carrots, white sauce, mashed potato and peas.  Yummo!

food 137

xx

287 chemicals found in umbilical cord blood

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As I gear up toward the next stage of my life, motherhood, I realise that the toxic free life I have chosen is ever so much more important.

A newborn baby

Did you know that an average of 287 different chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood from 10 infants born in US hospitals*?  

This fact shocked me and quite literally stopped me in my tracks!!  What!!  How could a little embryo be subjected to so many chemicals and all before it is even born!!  And that the life-giving umbilical cord is already causing our children harm!

Our bodies are amazing things.  They support life, they are our life!  And for us women, they are the creators of the next generation.

We know that BPA is a hormone disruptor.  (I for one, believe that BPA was a main cause for a micro-ademona found on my pituatry gland a few years ago.  This little lump luckily wasn’t found to be cancerous, but it was playing with my hormones.  Basically, my body had not received Oestrogen for years! This little lump had rendered me infertile and very ill.)  I found my home and my kitchen FILLED to the brim with BPA.  Cans, receipts, plastic containers, shampoo bottles… you name it…

And BPA is only ONE toxic chemical found in our homes and our everyday lives!  There are over 80,000 chemicals in use on this planet.

There are mercury, thiomersal and aluminium in our vaccinations, permeates in our milk, fluoride and aluminium in our water, pesticides on our food, tungsten in wedding rings, lead in our paints and household dust, titanium dioxide in our sunscreens, not to mention the toxic cocktails found in our beauty products…..

So what can we do about it?

We could drop out of society all together.  It may be fun for a while, but totally not practical.  And besides, this blog is about living green in a modern world… Our modern worlds don’t have caves.  So what can we do?

We can rid our homes of chemicals.  Simple.

And we can all eat only organic produce and take a detox supplement such as milk thistle.  Drink green liver loving smoothies.  Sauna it up.  Dry brush your skin.  Drink only filtered water (and NOT out of plastic bottles.)  We can stop over burdening ourselves with chemicals.  Start with cleaning your insides.  I prefer to call it a clean not a detox.  Detox is too harsh and short-lived.  A clean can be gentler and continue forever.

And if detoxing your home and ridding it of chemicals sounds too full on and too expensive, why not focus on one room at a time.  That way it’s achievable.

And remember, a clean home does NOT need to smell clean.  Only the artificial fragrances left behind do.

Given the cost of illness to us and our children…. Doesn’t that make clean living all the more economical?

There is only one time to start and that is NOW!

xx

* Wellbeing Magazine, Issue 144

Me

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I am just your average Australian chick. Blonde, blue-eyed, beach loving girl. Older than I feel in numbers, yet young at heart and on a mission to save the world one step at a time.

I never thought in a million years I would have kids. Hubby and I have been together 16 years. There have been health issues and always an underlying awareness of the environmental impacts from over-population. I guess, to be honest, it had just “never happened.” We were okay with that. We decided to leave it up to nature to choose. Nature, of course, being the divine decider of life.

Mother Nature is god.

I started this blog as a way to share my knowledge and thoughts on environmental issues without annoying my Facebook friends. Sometimes I was made to feel guilty about sharing eco disasters and animal cruelty with my friends, yet my conscience couldn’t not share! “Awareness and knowledge are power” being my motto. With this blog and its own Facebook page, I could find my own world of like minded individuals to walk this eco journey beside me, meanwhile leaving friendships intact. And I found you! I’m soooo glad I did! I am loving the positive passion that comes from like minded individuals doing their bit.

So this brings me to now.

I find myself 5 months pregnant. With all the hormonal changes, emotional roller-coaster and sickness that comes from pregnancy, sitting down to blog has been the last thing on my mind. For that, I apologise! I ask that you bear with me. The world is filled with great things to write about!

The next six months will be a strain for me. This blog will continue to grow and evolve. As will my belly. My road has taken a slight detour but the journey is just as much a part of the destination.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Together, with you, hopefully little poppet and I can continue to share our footsteps as we “Live Green in a Modern World.” After all, aside from this beautiful planet and it’s animals, now there’s soooo much more to lose!

xx

Is the Vitamix all it’s cracked up to be?

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Well my beloved Breville glass blender whirred it’s last spin last week which left me with a MAJOR dilemma!  I have smoothies EVERY morning….. Without fail!  They are my nutrient-packed start to the day!

blend

Now, I could’ve gone out and bought any blender… Instantaneously!  But, oh no… I researched and researched.  I am not a fan of our disposable society.  I cannot buy another blender only to have it end up as landfill in a years time.  I am buying for life!

smoothie

So, there’s the Vitamix that came in at number one.  A full powered mega machine that creates smoothies, ice cream, soups and even mills your own grains, coffee and nuts.  Sounds pretty impressive hey!  There’s also a Froothie and Optiblend that are quite similar and get rave reviews.  But for me, aside from the cost, the one main turnoff is the plastic jug.  I know they say that this plastic is safe……. For now.  After having a massive cleanout of plastic from my kitchen last year due to finding out that toxic chemicals in plastic may have contributed to my micro adenoma, I was not about to bring another new plastic item into my kitchen!!!

So alas began my search into high-powered glass jugged blenders.  Here are the ones that I found.  Sadly there aren’t many…

  • Oster 4093Beehive
  • KitchenAid 5 speed
  • Waring Pro Mega mix, Waring Beverage Blend and Waring NuBlend ( comes with a plastic jug but a stainless steel one can be purchased separately)
  • Magimix le Blender

They all vary in price, wattage and design.  Ultimately my choice came down to what best suited my use.  I eventually chose the Magimix le Blender.  A lovely glass jugged machine with simple buttons, an amazing 1200 wattage, quiet operation, the ability to make soups, ice cream and mill grains and nuts (YES! Like a Vitamix!) and although it comes with a three year warranty, the knowledge that Magimix are made to last.

4

I’m in love with it so far.  Let’s hope I’ll still be raving about it in ten years time!

As for my beloved Breville, it’s not heading to landfill.  It’s off to be recycled.

xx

April Skin Care Reviews

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149214_10152751038695195_55612494_nWell… Summer is nearly gone for another year in Australia and in the Northern Hemisphere you are heading towards yours.  A change of seasons means updating your beauty products to match the season.  I have had the pleasure in trialling some fabulous skin products over the past month or so and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

coffeebean_tube100% PURE Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

Fabulous!  I have never found an eye cream that takes away dark circles and now I have!  And I adore the fact that it is 100% pure!!! Full of green tea and coffee, this eye cream is packed full of anti-aging vitamins and anti-oxidants.  It is also Ph balanced which is sooooo important for a change in seasons especially when it is used on such delicate skin at around your eyes.

2605628MUKTI Tinted Moisturiser with Sunscreen

The best tinted moisturiser I have found since Invisible Zinc, and the best thing is this moisturiser is totally organic, GMO-free, cruelty-free and made right here in Australia.  It has an SPF rating of 15 which is sufficient for day to day wear.  I wouldn’t recommend it to be strong enough for the harsh midday sun at the beach but for all other day to day living I think it’s great.  It’s non greasy even though I use it after my moisturiser.  I just make sure my moisturiser has absorbed properly first.

Madara_Reinigungsschaum_Purifying_FoamMADARA Purifying Foam

A deep cleansing, make up removing foam cleanser that is so easy to use.  I just use in the shower.  Filled with organic Yarrow extract it is the most natural foaming cleanser I have found to date.

 

Check out www.nourishedlife.com.au and www.iamnaturalstore.com.au here in Australia to find these products. Thanks guys! ♥

xx

Inspiration

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patagonia

I watched THE most inspiring movie yesterday. “180 degrees South”

You can find the trailer here…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em3mIrbOeFw

It was not just another surfing movie… Or a rock climbing movie…  It was a movie about pushing boundaries.  About finding a place where your soul can sing.

And ultimately, it was a movie about living small, taking from this earth only what you need and standing up for what you believe.  Most importantly, it was a movie about conservation.

“(With the modern world) people say you can’t go back…. Now what happens when you stand on the edge of a cliff? You do a 180 degree turn and take one step forward” – Doug Tompkins, 180 degrees South (American environmentalist, prominent landowner, conservationist and a former co-founder of North Face and Esprit.)

“180 degrees South” has inspired my soul and given me a kick back into reality.

I urge you to make time for two hours following a beautiful journey through some of the most remote places you will find on this earth.

You will not regret it. ♥

xx

Rasberry Frozen Yoghurt

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TLT-raspberry-froyo-HCI am not one to waste food.  So when we are going away and I see half a litre of beautiful homemade Greek yoghurt in the fridge, it is time to make some frozen yoghurt!  This little recipe is one I made up and it is soooooo easy.  Just three ingredients….

  • Greek yoghurt (I used 1/2 litre)
  • Rasberries or any kind of berries (I had half a packet left of frozen Organic berries – If not organic, make sure you rinse well as frozen berries are covered in toxic chemicals)
  • Agave Syrup to taste (I added about two tablespoons for the amount of yoghurt I had)

Now I am lucky enough to be able to add these three ingredients into an ice cream maker and then let it do it’s magic.  If you are not so lucky, mix ingredients well with a hand blender then freeze until nearly frozen.  Blend again and then put back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.  Yum!  The yoghurt freezes hard so you may need to leave on the bench for a few minutes to thaw before you serve.  Enjoy! ♥

xx

Happy Easter

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DSC_0203_2451-1Wishing you and your family a truly special Easter break.  For those that celebrate, may you be surrounded by those you love and may you be blessed with new life and new beginnings.

There are always ways to remain earth-friendly during this time.  Why not buy palm oil free Easter Eggs to save the Orangutans (details for Aust/NZ are available on my facebook site), plant a tree for new life, go vegetarian for the day to save a life, make peace with your neighbours for a new beginning and then, make craft with the kids out of all those left-over wrappers before you collapse on the couch with a chocolate hangover!!

Image courtesy of www.sarecopeland.com.au

Here’s an oldie but a goodie! ♥

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hopping down the bunny trail.
Hippity hoppin’,
Easter’s on its way!

Bringing every girl and boy
Baskets full of Easter joy
Things to make your Easter
Bright and gay.

He’s got jelly beans for Tommy,
Colored eggs for sister Sue.
There’s an orchid for your mommy,
And an Easter basket too. Oh!

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail.
Hippity hoppity
Easter’s on it’s way! :)
Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hopping down the bunny trail.
Look at him stop and listen to him say,

“Try to do the things you should.”
Maybe if you’re extra good,
He’ll roll lots of Easter eggs your way.

You’ll wake up on Easter morning
And you’ll know that he was there,
When you find those chocolate bunnies
That he’s hidden everywhere.
Oh!

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hopping down the bunny trail.
Hippity hoppity
Happy Easter Day!

xx

Burma. A land of extremes. A land of contrast.

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image2As the sun rises on Burma, the dust and smoke from wood fires of the night before still linger in the air. Through the hazy smog, what is seen is a land longing to look to the future. A land longing for a future.  A bright one.

From its glacial Himalayan mountains, to its dense lush jungle, to its stunning coral reefs, to it’s dry plains of ancient civilisations, Myanmar, as it is now known, is full of surprises.

My husband and I have traversed extensively in SE Asia.  And by traversed, I mean truly traversed. We have spent time in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and now Myanmar.  We travel by train and by local bus, moto and songthaew.  Journeys are rough.  Journeys are difficult.  Journeys are long and bumpy.  Journeys can be shared with chickens and pigs.  And snails.  Eels. And hundreds of people.  No room to move. But we feel this is the only way to truly see a country; to get off the highways and out of the airports.  To get away from the “farang” and head deep into the truth of a country.  It’s life and its people. We strap on our backpacks and hit the road.

They do say the joy is in the journey right?!

Well, Myanmar is proving a little more elusive a beast. As independent travellers Myanmar is not easy.  Travel in Myanmar is full of “cant take anymore” tears.

Some people book tours, stay in lovely colonial hotels and have a fantastic experience. Travel agents and guides are found.  Flights are booked around the country.  Hotels have hair dryers.

As an independent traveller, regions are closed to you, guest houses are minimal, beds scarce, and travel information hard work to find and travel even harder.  Why, you ask? It can’t be that hard?

The reason is the Junta.  The Burmese people live under severe oppression.  Human rights are non existent.  Torture is commonplace.  Free speech is only a dream.

The Myanmar people have not known freedom for a long time.  When the British colonised in 1826, they found a land with very unique and different ethnic clans.  It was not an easy colonisation on either side.  Bitter fighting and an unceremonious partnership.  During WWII, the Japanese were initially welcomed into the country by the people as an ally against the British. Upon recognising the brutality of the Japanese, it was realised the English were the better ruler and success prevailed!  In 1948, Burma was given its independence and became Myanmar. Almost immediately by default, Myanmar launched toward a military government.  Since 1958, the Burmese have lived under a military dictatorship that rules with an iron fist and that held Aung San Suu Kyi, a people’s elected leader, under house arrest for a total of 13 years.  Finally there is hope with a newly quasi-style government.

This is a country wanting to open to the world but is so scared at the same time.  There are so many secrets hidden deep within that the authorities do not want the “west” to know.  That is why independent travel is so hard.  It is nearly impossible to get off the “beaten” track.  There is civil unrest, ongoing fighting, daily torture and areas closed to foreigners for no reason at all.

The easier road is so tempting.  The lure of relaxed looking tourists being driven around is oh so tempting!   European package tourists step on and off clean buses in immaculate clothes, seeing the best of the country’s sights.  The sad underlying truth of these tourists is that virtually not a cent of their money (US dollars mind you!) will end up in the hands of the people that need it most, the local people.  The Junta have a hand in every pie. Businesses with strong government links own and/ or manage the big hotels.  They run the package tours.  They own/ or control the airlines.  So effectively, tourists are unknowingly funding the atrocities of the Junta.  By travelling your own road, by staying small, by eating local, by travelling slowly, by spreading your money around and by supporting the sellers on the street you are maximising the money going to the local population.  By volunteering in schools or finding a family and buying them what they need, you can take it one step further.

With our windswept hair, our simple clothes respecting the culture, our “thannakka” coated cheeks and our dusty feet covered with the sands of Bagan, hubby and I are heading deep into the cultures of those that we meet.  We are hearing their stories.  We are seeing their worlds. We are learning of their world. We are getting an insight into their religion and beliefs.  We are testing out their language.  This is the gift we will take away.

We struggled long and hard in whether it was ethically right to travel to Myanmar.  As we “bounce” through the countryside slowly, we are happy in the fact that we are touching the lives of a few of these beautiful Burmese people, albeit nowhere near as much as they are touching ours.  They truly are such a beautiful race.  So poor, yet so rich in life.  So scared, yet they speak so openly and honestly.  So oppressed, yet so many are educated and speak impeccable English.

“Australia! Kangaroo!”

This truly is a land of contrast.

As the sun sets over the great Ayeyarwaddy River tonight and the smoke and dust haze returns, lets pray that tomorrow brings in it’s wake, another little sweet scent toward freedom for Myanmar.

xx

NB This post was written ten days before it was posted.  It could not be posted until we crossed the Myanmar border into Thailand for fear of government persecution to those whose internet service I could have used.

To travel is to dance

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They say to travel is to dance.  Well I would have to say I am dancing right now…. Not a dance soft and slow like a waltz nor a passionate sexy tango. It is a simple dance.  A happy one. Yeah I think I am dancing the salsa.  A happy, bright, rhythmical dance…..

 
Yep I’m definitely salsa-ing right now.
 
We are sailing the Andaman.  The winds in the sails and in our hair.  The salt spray coats our skin.  The ions are electric.  And we are free! 
 
Freedom.  That’s a simple thought.  A simple word.  A simple feeling.  Hmmm… I could just get used to this!
 

Freedom…

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over-packed-car

Don’t you just love holidays!

Hubby and I are heading off on Friday for a journey on the road less traveled in SE Asia.  I will post when I can, but I hear that internet is VERY sketchy in Burma, if it exists at all.

There is an ancient Chichewa saying that says “to travel is to dance.”

Well…we’ll be dancing alright!  No bookings, no itinerary…  Just a Lonely Planet to guide us.  Our favourite way to travel.  And we can’t wait!

I can’t wait to share our journey with you when we return.  Until then, don’t miss me too much.

xx♥

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe”……Anatole France

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I just read this beautiful quote.

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. “ ~ Aboriginal Proverb

This image is Lake Eyre in flood. The pink is caused by an algae. Simply breathtaking hey! ♥

jfLakeEyre

My Cacao Coconut Bliss Balls

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rawdatetreats_1264Looking for a yummy, healthy, sweet treat with none of those sugar spikes.  A treat that is good for you and a treat that can help rid your body of cellulite.  Well… look no further.  The best news is that you can make them at home in less than 10 minutes!

My Cacao Balls

  • 1 1/5 cups pitted dried dates
  • 1/2 cup STRONG green tea
  • 4 tbsp LSA
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 handful sultanas
  • 2 tbsp dark agave syrup (to taste)
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp raw organic coconut oil (to desired consistency)
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut

Soak the dates in the green tea for 5 minutes or so.  Then in a food processor add the dates to the rest of the ingredients (minus the coconut oil and the shredded coconut).  Whir with chopping blade.  Once chopped, use the remaining green tea and the coconut oil to moisten the mixture till you reach the desired consistency to be able to roll into balls with your hands.  If too moist, slowly add more coconut flour.  Taking a teaspoon full of mixture at a time, roll into balls and then coat with organic shredded coconut.  Refrigerate for an hour to harden the balls.  Balls can then be kept in the fridge or at room temperature in a sealed container.  Your choice!

coconut-rum-ballsYou will find my cacao balls delicious and just the right sweetener to keep those sugar cravings at bay.  Packed with fibre, loaded with raw coconut and it’s health benefits, gluten free, with green tea antioxidants and low GI, I find these balls eliminate my refined sugar intake and help strip my body of cellulite.  And the best thing is, one or two can really satisfy!

I’d love to hear what you think! ♥

xx

Australia

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Australia Day conjures up sooo many different images in peoples’ minds.

We celebrate it on 26th January.  The date that in 1770, white man, Captain James Cook, first laid eyes on the vast southern land we call home.  Discovered long before by the Portugese, “Terra Australis Incognita” was the unknown great southern land.

To many, the words “White Man” and “Australia Day” bring feelings of hatred and disrespect.  Of stealing a country.  Of a race suppressed.  To me, Australia Day is soooo much more than that.  It is a day of reflection to say thanks to this great land we are so very proud to call home.  Governments, policies, racism, environmental issues aside, this is a land of plenty.  A land of beauty filled with droughts and flooding rains. Of brutal intense fires.  Of stunningly tall gum tree forests. Of vast red deserts.  A land of beautiful desolate beaches.  A land of survival.  To me, today is a celebration of a fertile nation with star-filled skies.  A land with THE most amazing and unique animals on earth.  Of koalas and wombats.  Of platypus.  A land with the most beautiful blue skies you will ever see.  Of sunlight.  Of freedom.  Of choice.  Of hope.  A land were opportunity abounds and where neighbours look out for one another.  Where friendship surrounds and prosperity abounds.

A land of dreams come true.

Yes, the lives changed dramatically for all those who inhabited this beautiful land on that day in 1770.  Unfortunately, history cannot be erased.  But together man can move mountains.  Happy Birthday Australia!  I am sooooo proud to call you home.

As the sun sets tonight, I will give thanks to those that walked these shores for hundreds of years, preserving and believing in our beloved home.  Leaving only footprints. ♥

287191-tumby-bay-sa

“MY COUNTRY”

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar
xx

Honey Lemon Sugar Body Scrub

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honey+sugar+scrub

  • 1 cup raw castor Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • The juice of 1 Lemon

Conbine ingredients well.   Massage the gorgeously fluffy mixture onto gently into moist skin and then rinse.  I use it in the shower.   Pat dry.  And then moisturise your skin well.  I use organic raw pressed coconut oil on my body and a beautiful organic body butter on my hands, feet and elbows.

The smell of summer.  Yum!

bar-refaeli-beach-beautiful-blonde-girl-Favim.com-125358

How to detox your hair and skin

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1970393557931520_7sXZM65s_cOkay….What you’ve been waiting for!!  My favourite organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers and organic self tanners.

HAIR CARE

All I can say is “Yarok” rocks!!

I have tried pretty much all their hair products and I am soooo in lurve!  I am not a big hair girl.  I wash, treat and straighten my hair.  My hair is chemically lightened and prone to frizziness.  As my hair is frizzy, I aim for a smooth, free-falling feeling, preferring to steer clear from beach type products.  I get enough of that if I leave my hair be!

Well… Yarok’s “Feed your volume” shampoo and conditioner are such lovely products to use.  Unlike other silicon free, natural based shampoos, Yarok’s version feels like your hair has truly been fed!  Your hair feels soft and silky!  The cleanse is a great one too.  No residue left behind.

Their “Feed your Ends” leave-in conditioner……Wow! Love it! So light, yet so nurturing! I  apply this before drying my hair and then once I have straightened I add a few drops of “Feed your Shine” as a serum. Yum!

“Feed your Roots” mousse is great for getting that lift in your volume when you feel like a little oomphhh!

And “Feed your Youth” is a lovely oil based treatment oil that stimulates your scalp and hair to retain, as it says, the youth of your hair!  Just be careful to wash out well as it can leave oily hair if you don’t.

And Yarok’s products seem to work best when styled.

All of Yarok’s products can be found online in Australia at www.nourishedlife.com.au

BATH SOAK

My favourite bath soak is from Perfect Potion.  Detox Bath Soak. Double Yum!  What a luxurious way to detox!  Some Queen B beeswax candles to detox the air around you, some music…maybe a book… Need I say any more!

BODY SCRUBS

Make your own! So easy! Sugar, salt, lemon juice, honey, coconut oil.  Here’s a link to my yummy recipe.

BODY TREATMENTS

Coconut Oil….Coconut Oil…Coconut Oil!!!  Nature’s little secret!!! It is a moisturizer.. an antibiotic… a multivitamin…. a multi-nutrient, boosting, nourishing, anti-aging, anti wrinkle and anti-oxidant lotion…. An all in one skin cream!  And if you buy raw, virgin, organic coconut oil then, it’s super healthy too!  Pure coconut oil will not clog your pores.  Cheaper versions will.

For something a little richer for hands etc I love “Mokosh’s shea body butter!”  So rich and luxurious, you only use sparingly, therefore one jar of this body butter will last forever!

FAKE TAN

If you don’t believe that there could be an organic, all natural, fake tan then you are not alone!!  I researched long and hard before I tried “EcoTan”.  And I am here to tell you that it is the real deal!  The closest fake tan that you can get to nature!  And it is so easy to use and the colour is great!  When used properly, I found none of the streaking that I have found with other well known versions!

TOXIC FREE MAKE-UP AND REMOVER

I am not a huge make up wearer so this an area I am still researching.  What I can tell you though is Lavera and Zuii are fabulous toxic free make up brands.  Their lippies are DIVINE!!!!  I am especially in lurve with Lavera.

For a make up remover, I love “Mokosh’s Organic Makeup Remover“.

For make up, head straight to the experts!  Three fabulous Australian online stores that stock only toxic free make up that works!  These stores and their creators are inspirational people.  I am sooo proud to be able to share them with you.

Nourished Life

B kind

I am Natural Store

Hope my Greening your bathroom series has helped you on your way to detoxification.

Part one: Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health

Part Two: Toxic free skin care

Namaste ♥

xx

My liver, my home and my life

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1336443251611845When I started on my journey to detoxification, I didn’t really know what I was looking for.  I thought I was clean.  I thought I was healthy.  I thought I felt good.  I thought I had it all going on well…..   Little did I know!  My wake up call was a morning of EXCRUTIATING abdominal pain that found me in hospital.  Unfortunately after 6 hours it disappeared on it’s own, as quickly as it began.  Therefore I never received a proper diagnosis.  It was suspected that it was either gallstones or a burst ovarian cyst.  Neither sounded good.

Never wanting to experience that agony again, I decided right then and there that the health of my gallbladder and liver were of strong importance!  Naturopaths, Homeopaths, Iridologists, Native American Medicine Men….(yes!  So true!)  have always told me that my liver was sluggish.  Funny I thought cos I am not a drinker.  I do not smoke.  I live simply and healthily.  It was only now that I took their advice!

“Fair, fat and forty”  was how my mother always described the victims of gallstones.  I have learned now that there are actually 5fs.  Fair, fat, female, fertile and over forty.  One, yes I am fair.  Two, weighing in at 48kgs I would never consider myself fat!  I am a yoga loving, pilates freak with a six pack!  And as for over forty……. Well, I’m not there YET!!!!  So how?

I started on a cleanse of fats and sugars from my diet.  I increased my fibre intake and started taking supplements like chia seeds, mesquite powder, maca powder, bee pollen and increased my LSA intake.  I replaced chocolate with homemade cacao balls made with agave syrup.  I added EVERYTHING coconut into my diet.  I cut out red meat for a period.  Being gluten free, I didn’t eat wheat but I did have rye bread for breakfast.  This I cut out.  I replaced my breakfast with my green smoothie.  My lunch was yoghurt and oats with the above supplements.  Dinner was fish or chicken and LOADS of fresh and raw veges and salads.  My treats were my cacao balls, dates and sesame seeds.  My once a day medicine, 2 tablets of “Fusion Liver Tonic” and I teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.

I also cleansed my home of the small amount of toxins that existed.  I greened my bathroom cabinet.  I even tried a old chinese gallbladder cleanse.

Things happened slowly but it’s amazing looking back four months now.  I do not crave sugar.  My energy levels are more consistent.  I don’t crave fatty foods when I’m tired.  The biggest surprise for me is that my body has ridded itself of cellulite!  What?!!  Yeah I agree….I never thought it was possible!   And the best thing…. my pain has not returned!

I have a few people and companies to thank for my new found health.  One is “Loving Earth”, a fabulous Australian company putting our health and the health of the planet at the forefront of their business.  They have a fabulous online recipe log of YUMMY, healthy meals!  Another is a fabulous Aussie woman called Irene who runs “Nourished Life.”  Initially writing a blog about detoxifying her cosmetics, she has grown into a one stop online advice and store designed to make toxic free products easy, delivered to your door and reasonably priced.  She has taught me that my so called “healthy” home was actually still full of toxic chemicals that were greenwashed!!  For that, thank you Irene!

So I told you that in my next blog I would tell you more about beautiful organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers, organic self tanners and some fabulous online web sites that only sell guaranteed toxic free products.  I think they deserve a blog of their own…..

Stay tuned! ♥

xx

Our Homegrown Tomatoes…

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Tomatoes.  So easy to grow. So rewarding to grow. So fun to grow…roma_tomato_6-20-12

We are picking close to ten tomatoes every few days off the three vines we have planted in our garden.  Such a bountiful crop!  Traditionally considered a fruit, tomatoes are packed full of Vitamin C, vitamin A and Lycopene.  Lycopene is not an essential antioxidant required in the human diet but it is non-toxic and has been linked as a potential fighter in the prevention of certain cancers in the human body.  Tomatoes also help the body in fighting our harsh Australian UV rays.

Here’s a little fact.  Tomatoes have four chambers within them.  And so do our hearts.  Funny that, as it must be nature’s way of letting us know how good eating tomatoes is for the health of our hearts!P1010415

We grow Roma Tomatoes as both my family and myself are susceptible to salicylates.  Roma tomatoes contain the lowest levels of salicylates of all tomatoes.  Almost all foods contain some form of salicylate.  It’s a substance that acts as a natural preservative and insecticide.

What better way to celebrate your beautiful home-grown tomatoes than with them taking pride and place on top of your own home-made pizzas!

P1010422I will share with you soon my husband’s fabulous gluten-free pizza dough.  He is a fabulous home-taught breadmaker and his doughs, pastry and breads are divine!

xx

Toxic free skin care

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“Your body is a temple.”

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Your body has the ability to absorb up to two and a half kilograms of toxic chemicals every year through your skin.  So why not make today the day you choose to start in your detox of your bathroom cabinet and your health.

This is the second post in my series on Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health.

So where do you start in your detox of your bathroom cabinet and your health?

The truth is there are some FABULOUS healthy and totally toxic free products out there on the market and for NO more than you already pay for those mainstream toxic bottles of chemicals found in supermarkets, department stores and chemists.  So, where do you go to find these FABULOUS products from companies that are leading the way in healthy, non-toxic skin care and make-up that is world class and that really does work?

I am soooo excited to share my findings with you!!

I can assure you that I am not paid for any of my opinions and that I will only blog about a product I have found that is fabulous.  And a product I have thoroughly tested.  Therefore my results can only contain the products I have been blessed to sample so far.  And I can vouch 100% (to the best of my knowledge) that the products I have listed are toxic free, chemical free and are not tested on animals.

I have been a Jurlique girl for years.  Loving their products.  Loving their ethics.  Loving that they are natural based.  Loving that they are Australian made.  Loving that they are cruelty free.  Loving their recyclable packaging.  Loving how my skin felt whilst using their products.  What I didn’t know was that they still use some pretty harsh preservers in some of their products.  The good thing is that every product lists their entire ingredients, therefore giving you full power as to what you buy.

These chemicals led me on a journey to try and find alternatives to my favourite products, but by no means compromising quality and results.  I would describe my skin as normal/sensitive and pigmented in parts.   As my skin ages, I find that quality and results becomes so very much more important.  It is more than slapping on some cream and heading out the door.  It is about preserving and protecting what I have now, for the future.

Through this blog I have been blessed to have had the luxury of sampling some wonderful toxic free products and have also come into contact with some fabulous online stores that stock them.

Below are the products that I have firmly planted into my new GREEN bathroom cabinet.

So let’s start with the basics.  Our cleanse, tone and moisturise routine.

CLEANSERS

Unfortunately, I can only speak of my results and I have tried numerous cream cleansers over the past few months but no foaming cleansers.  I do have to say I am a “foaming” cleanser girl so I was not sold on any of the products I tried.  Therefore I am not able to make comment on cleansers at this time.

EXFOLIATORS

I “lurve” Sodashi’s Rejuvenating Concentrate.  An oil based steaming exfoliant with lavender, geranium and lemon that you compress onto your face with a wash cloth.  It smells beautiful and opens up your pores so effectively.  My skin feels so supple, fresh, clean and alive after using this product.  Highly Recommended.

My skin also appreciates a manual exfoliant.  I sampled Evohe’s Exfoliant that I really enjoyed but unfortunately I didn’t have enough for more than two scrubs so I cannot vouch for the long term effectiveness on my skin.  With cacao powder and lotus seeds, it is truly a beautiful product.  My skin felt clearer, smoother and lighter and absorbed my moisturiser beautifully!  Highly Recommended.

TONERS

Evohe’s Mist is lovely.  With Colloidal Silver and Vitamin E, this anti-inflammatory mist contains an Australian bush blend of lovely natural scents.

MOISTURISERS

There are three moisturisers that I am loving.  The first is Evohe’s Moisture 24/7 Lite, a really easy moisturiser to wear in humid Australian summer conditions.  Non oily it absorbs well without leaving a layer of residue.  For a little bit more punch, I tried adding a pump of Evohe’s 3.6.9 Omega and also my favourite, Inessence Rosehip Oil.  Both combined really well and gave a little more moisturisation if needed.

The second is Sodashi’s Calming Face and Neck Moisturiser.  For night, I found this product fantastic!  It is great for drier, temperate Australian climates.  My skin felt wrapped, safe and nurtured.

The last product I have been loving is Mokosh’s Light Face Cream.  I recently had a work trip to Taiwan during a bitterly cold Taiwanese typhoon winter.  OMG! It was cold!  To give you an idea, my job is an outside job, so for a week I was exposed to the elements for 8-10 hours a day.  This cream was truly remarkable in the way that it protected my skin from the extreme conditions and kept it moisturised!   This cream was my lifesaver!Since returning home, I have been using this cream instead of my eye cream and I believe it is THE best eye cream I have EVER used!  Highly Recommend.

NATURAL FACE OIL

As you know, I am a HUGE Rosehip Oil fan.  For something a little lighter, there is another oil I have been enjoying and that is Mokosh’s Natural Face Oil for Normal and Combination Skin.  A beautiful blend of unrefined, organic and biodynamic oils, this oil smells beautiful and feels divine.

In my next posts I will share with you some beautiful organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers, organic self tanners and some fabulous online web sites that only sell guaranteed toxic free products.  These stores and their creators are inspirational people!!!  I am sooo proud to be able to share them with you.

xx

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Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health

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RackMultipart20130103-6661-9w4hdvSo it is January.  A new year.  A time of detox.  A time of renewal.  A time of change.

What better way to renew, detox and change than by starting the new year with the resolution to change the products that load your body with toxins everyday, silently, without you ever even noticing?  You can only eat so much healthy food, work out so much in the gym or in the park and drink water till the cows come home…. These things are great but the sad fact is they are not going to detoxify you if you are still lathering your body in the harshest and most harmful toxic chemicals known to man!!!

  • Suffer from eczema?
  • Suffer from acne?
  • Suffer from psoriasis or rosacea?
  • Do you have joint problems?
  • Sleeping troubles?
  • Hayfever?
  • Pigmentation?
  • Hormone imbalances?
  • Do you suffer hair loss?
  • Eye irritations?
  • Headaches?
  • Tiredness?
  • Cellulite?

All these symptoms are caused directly by toxic chemicals and are a sign that your liver is struggling to cope.  Over time, research can show these chemical overloads can lead to conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.

Would you believe, your body has the ability to absorb up to two and a half kilograms of toxic chemicals every year through your skin!!!

These chemicals include carcinogens, pesticides, endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxins.  These same chemicals are Formaldehydes.  Paint thinners.  Anti freeze.  Petroleum.  Lead.  And the scary thing is that there is NO safety watchdog watching over the beauty industry!!  So when you reach for that cheap bottle of cosmetics, PLEASE (for you and your family’s sake) think again…

So how do you start to change the products you bring into your bathroom cabinet and your home?  There is no safe way other than to throw all those expensive products out, recycle the bottles and start again.  If you can’t bear to do that, then at least promise yourself and your family that you will buy differently once you have used all that shampoo… Or moisturiser…. Or lip gloss… Or mascara….

There are some FABULOUS healthy and totally toxic free products out there on the market and for not much more than you already pay.  Unfortunately the way forward is not easy, as the only way to know that you are truly safe is to read the ingredients on every single packet and bottle you buy.  Companies like Sukin whitewash their products as natural and healthy, when really they still contain Phenoxyethanol (A product similar to formaldehyde.  According to a warning by the FDA of 2008, “Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants” – Wikipedia.)

I have been blessed to have had the luxury of sampling some fabulous Australian and International products from companies that are leading the way in fabulously healthy, non-toxic skin care and make-up that is world class and that really does work.

Over the next few blogs, I hope to share some of these, and the fabulous online stores that stock them, with you.

I hope you stick around to find out more…

xx

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My Choc Mint ice cream… dairy and sugar free….and delicious!

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Okay…..As promised here’s my recipe for a dairy and sugar free Choc Mint Ice Cream that is really yummy!  It has been stinking hot here again in Perth today, so I thought I’d surprise my hubby with a yummy thai chicken salad followed by Choc Mint ice cream for dessert.  What a nice cooling way to end the day……P1010430 Okay…Okay…I’ll get straight to the ice cream!  Just had to set the scene, that’s all!!

Choc Mint ice cream

  • 1 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 hefty bunch of mint, spearmint, peppermint, choc mint…..Whatever you have in your garden
  • 1 handful of spinach leaves (minus the stalks)
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A few drops of peppermint oil to taste!
  • 200gm of dark mint chocolate

I wizzed all the ingredients except for the chocolate together in a blender until totally combined.  You want all the leaves to have disappeared into your mixture.  Then place the mix into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. P1010428 I then crushed the chocolate into chips in my food processor and added to the ice cream mix when it was really cold but not yet frozen.  Any earlier and the choc chips will melt. 

Then, unfortunately, you need to sit back and wait for the rest to happen….

You could also make this recipe by blending, then freezing till nearly frozen, blend again, freeze and continue to mix this way until totally creamy and not icey.  My mix turned out a dirty green colour which I find quite rustic, but for a bright green I can’t think of any other way other than adding green food colouring…. something I would prefer to do without.mint-choc-chip-ice-cream2

And wha….la!!!!!!!!!!!  Done.

PS Hubby LOVED it! So will yours.  The spinach is our little secret!

x

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

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chocolate-ice-cream24webSummer is here with a venegance!  Heat waves all over Australia.  Devastating bush fires in Tasmania, New South Wales and the ACT.  There seems to be no end in sight!

We are all looking for ways to cool down!

There is nothing yummier or cooler on a hot summer’s day than a beautiful big bowl of home-made ice cream.  This Chocolate Coconut ice cream was such a cinch to make.

My healthy Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of cacao powder (Or substitute with cocoa.  Cacao is raw, not heat treated like cocoa, and is therefore packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. Nature’s super, dooper food!)
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup (a yummy, unprocessed, low GI sweetener made from a mexican cactus.)
  • 3 cups of coconut cream (we all know the health benefits of coconut! ;))

Mix together well with beaters and then place into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.

OMG!! Yum!!

Next I am going to try a healthy version of choc mint ice cream…. Nice and cooling on a hot day.  Will promise to share…

xx

Happy New Year!!

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As this new day dawns full of energy and life, the world is full of new beginnings.  Those fireworks signal the start of a new year. The remnants of Christmas very quickly disappear.  Another year down and regular life begins again.

Time to make time.  For you.  For your family.  For your lover.  For your life.  For life itself…

I hope your Christmas break has been truly special and I wish you and your family a wonderfully successful 2013 where dreams really do come true!

So long Christmas…….

The “living” Christmas tree has been beautiful…..  But it seems like a lot of effort for just a few weeks of Christmas cheer.  And what do you do with the (now dying) living Christmas tree?

Natural-Christmas-Tree-Decorated

They are renewable; they absorb carbon dioxide and they create oxygen. So why not recycle?  Right……HOW?

SYDNEY: Every Wednesday between the 29th of Dec and the 19th Jan, the Sydney City Council is offering a free pick up of pine-Christmas trees. Once collected, these trees will be composted.

MELBOURNE: Melbournians check with your local councils.

ADELAIDE: In Adelaide there is no pick-up service but nurseries should accept used trees.

DARWIN: Take your tree down to the Shoal Bay Waste Disposal Site and there the trees will be disposed of correctly.

Unfortunately in CANBERRA, PERTH, HOBART and BRISBANE, there are no recycling programs at this time. Never fear though…

If you need help recycling yourself why not borrow a mulcher off your neighbour and make some compost of your own?  Or if you have a pond or dam?  Tossing in your Christmas tree actually helps the fish by providing shelter and nutrients.

As far as live and artificial Christmas trees compare; the pine trees are much better for the environment…  And by turning your pine tree into compost you are preventing methane from entering the atmosphere.

Next year, I have found an even better idea!  I will be going for an “ECO CHRISTMAS TREE.”  Finally an Aussie company that is renting out real, “living,” potted Christmas trees, 1.8m high, for the same price as a cut pine.  After Christmas they go on to plant your tree in a plantation.  Now THAT is a fabulous idea!

Let’s make 2013 the year of sustainability, health, tree hugging and banning everything toxic in our homes wherever we live. Cheers to the future! x

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My Merry Christmas

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“Living Green in a Modern World” is not about going without.  It is not about foregoing quality and a modern way of life.  It is about choosing ethically, choosing responsibly, choosing with a conscience and most importantly living consciously through every moment in every second of every minute of every day.  And about being consciously aware of where we all sit in this web of life.  And this universe.

Christmas is a time of mass.  Mass consumerism, mass spending, mass expectation.  For the general population, everything is large!  For me, Christmas is much richer than that.  Christmas is a time to stop and celebrate life. Celebrate love.  Celebrate family.  Celebrate the fine thread of life.

Three years ago my family had a very different Christmas.  A Christmas spent in an Intensive Care ward, watching and waiting for that fine thread of life to choose whether it would hold on or snap.  This Christmas, 2012, is the first Christmas since that my family can and will all come together and celebrate that fine thread and the choice it made three years ago…. It chose “Life.”

I must say I am a tad excited!

Sure…. We buy presents for each other.  We have a big feast.  We stuff ourselves silly and then spend the rest of the afternoon rolling around on the grass trying to rid ourselves of the agony in our bellies.

In my house, we don’t have a different Christmas.  We have a responsible one.

Presents are chosen because they are actually wanted or needed.  They are bought responsibly, from independent quality retailers and small designers.  All Australian.  Beautiful wrapping paper is folded up and reused again.  Ribbon is collected.  Packaging is recycled or goes into our compost.

Our designer menu is selected with seasonal produce in mind.  Fruit and veges are bought through local farmers at our local Farmer’s Market.  Any cut of meat is chosen responsibly and ethically.  It is then bought directly from the farmers who raise the animal responsibly through a free range, organic method that has given THE best life to that animal. The meat is then cherished and respected for what it is.  A life that has been sacrificed for our table.

Off cuts of food feed our compost.  Leftovers are kept.   If not homemade, condiments are bought in jars not plastic.  Herbs and selected veges are picked fresh from our garden.  Food is prepared fresh, not out of a packet.  No food goes to waste.

The table is decorated with flowers from our garden and gorgeous beeswax candles.  Our tablecloth is linen.  Our napkins are linen.  Our crockery ceramic. Cutlery, a mix of stainless steel and silver.  Glassware always glass.  Nothing is landfill here.

Beautiful Christmas carols are downloaded online rather than bought as cds.  The atmosphere is euphoric.  We are comforted knowing that our electricity bill is going towards green power.

Of course, we know that we are lucky to be able to afford these choices.  But then for the small cost, what kind of world would we have if we didn’t?  We all have a choice…

At the end of the day, we will choose to sit outside under a beautiful star lit night.  Under the moon.  And remember our place in this universe.  And give thanks for that thread of life.  For life would not be worth living without it.

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

xx

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Gift wrapping…. a la “eco Sare” style

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I know we are only days away from Christmas and the vast majority of you have been super organised like always and are well and truly passed the wrapping stage in the lead up to your celebrations.  Then there are those of you that, like me, are running late in their preparations.

I believe I do have an excuse, although my husband thinks it’s only that…. An excuse!  I have been away for work for the last six weeks and I didn’t see him start the preps now did I so there you have it, in my head my excuse is valid.

I have done all my Christmas shopping online this year.  Not good for the carbon miles I know, but I am proud because I know I have bought well from quality independent retailers and small designers.  All Australian.  I can’t tell you what I’ve bought as some of the recipients could be reading….so you’ll just have to close your eyes and imagine.

Now, as my parcels are arriving in dribs and drabs on our doorstep, I am finally able to start gift wrapping!

Now the fun begins!!!

Here are some ideas….

fabric_gift_wrapI could chose to wrap my presents in the Japanese style “Furoshiki.”  Find some beautiful organic fabric, exclusive to each recipient, and totally reuseable…

gift wrap newspaper

What about using newspaper and a gorgeous ribbon?

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Or making these gorgeous newspaper rosebuds to decorate your present?

santa sacksWrapping in a santa sack or stocking like these from My Munchkin Home?

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One year, I wrapped everybody’s presents in gorgeous reuseable shopping bags from Envirosax.

425697_10151131550405826_1386458818_nOr what about using pages from that old and out of date street directory you found in your bookshelf?  My very old school friend Bronwen has done just that!  These are her presents in the image above…

2126326166_1bbeaa20e1Then there’s beautiful recycled kraft brown paper.  Make sure it’s unwaxed.

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There are gorgeous ways to make brown paper shine!

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In fact, this image below is how I’ve chosen to decorate mine this year.

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Using recycled brown paper that can be composted and some cotton Divine Twine from my own online store, my presents look beautiful and compliment our absolutely exquisite “living” Christmas tree!  Being a part-time greeting card designer, for me, it is all about the card.  I have used stunning tree-free cotton cardstock and have hand stamped my own image.  So personal and sets off the brown paper perfectly I think.

There…..Done…. Now if only the postie can get his deliveries done on time we’ll be laughing!

xx

Nominated for a Super Sweet Blogging Award!

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How exciting and thank you to “Beautywhizz” for nominating “Living Green in a Modern World” for a Super Sweet Blogging Award.  I feel sooooo priviliged especially since my blog has only been in existence for just over two months!!  Let’s hope I can continue to deliver and that you all continue to love reading my posts.

To accept this nomination I am required to firstly crediting Beautywhizz once again for this award nomination.  What a lovely early Chrissie present!!

The second step is to answer the questions below…

Cookies or cake?

Oh boy….. This is a hard one!!  I love a good cake but I am also a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie!!  Being allergic to wheat has made these treats much harder to get my hands on unless I make them myself.  So saying that, I might go my warmed gluten free chocolate chip cookie with walnuts, sultanas and coconut.  I cannot stop at one!  I must also list the DIVINE french salted caramel macaroons that I sample at the Subi Farmers Markets here in Perth every Saturday morning.  They are well and truly my weakness!!

Chocolate or vanilla?

Another hard ball!  I am a recovering chocoholic!  Yes, can you believe I have managed to now be able to say “NO!” to chocolate!?  Most of the time anyway.  I have replaced commercially made chocolate with homemade cacao treats sweetened with agave syrup.  Yum!  It’s a dead heat between chocolate and the taste of real, pure vanilla pods.

What is my favourite sweet treat?

My Saturday morning macaroons and the healthy cacao balls I make at home.  Oh and pavlova….. I do LOVE a good pav!

When do I crave sweet things the most?

After dinner and once I have succumbed to the first mouthful of sugary treat…

If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?

Of course, I would have to be “sweet as sugar!”

Now to the final part of the award nomination.  This is where I return the favour and nominate my favourite 13 Bloggers.  I might have to add a few more than 13…. How can I stop at 13? Some of these, I follow via email and others I tend to follow on Facebook.  I have linked them in the way I follow them.  Hoping you love them as much as me!!!  Here goes….

DIY: Eco decorations for the Christmas tree

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Eco Christmas

We are blessed with THE most beautiful real Christmas tree in our home this year.  The smell of pine has filled our home and created such warmth and love.  We are totally feeling the spiritual side of the Christmas season.

It is not easy to make eco conscious choices at Christmas.  A living Christmas tree in a pot is the ultimate gift you can give the earth at Christmas, but only if you have the land available to plant the tree afterwards.  A real Christmas tree, like we have this year, has given to the earth for the past three years by stopping erosion, creating homes in it’s branches for a myriad of insects and by collecting carbon as it grows.  What happens to it’s carbon now that it is cut, I am not sure.  But knowing that it will give back to the earth in it’s sacrifice as mulch at the end of Christmas has to be a plus.

Choosing a living tree is the ultimate for Christmas.

But if you already own a plastic tree do not fear.  Yes…a plastic tree is bad for the environment as it takes carbon, petrochemicals and toxins to create but you can justify keeping your already purchased plastic tree by realising that it will save the sacrifice of many trees in its lifetime.  The truly eco conscious way I can see to justify your plastic tree that you already own, is to make it last for years.  Love it for years.  And when it is finally at it’s end, choose to recycle it consciously.

As for the tree decorations, it is nearly impossible to avoid the mass consumerism and marketing that comes with Christmas decorations.  They surround you wherever you look!

I have come up with some beautiful ideas to decorate your tree in a truly unique and consumerism-free way…

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Origami is such a truly beautiful art form.  Why not have your kids make many Japanese cranes or something similar from divine Origami paper.  Join together with string and decorate your tree.  You could even make paper planes!

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Or how about reusing the decorations you already own and using ribbon as tinsel to tie the theme of your Christmas together?  Therefore the ribbon is uncut and totally re-useable…

Eco Christmas ribbon decorations

What about hanging gingerbread men, homemade iced circular cookies with a hole in the middle, cinnamon sticks, some cranberries on thread, fresh cherries on their stalks and candy canes on the tree?  You are limited only by your imagination……

My husband and I have used offcuts of ribbon to decorate our tree for many years now.  We tie the ribbon in bows at the end of each branch.  At the end of the Christmas period, we untie, flatten and then place into a box with the stunning Christmas ornaments we have collected over the years ready to be reused next year.

Eco Christmas

We have decided that by purchasing only two absolutely stunning Christmas ornaments each year made of ceramic, glass, timber or metal, we are building a tradition we hope will be passed on through future generations.  Less is more.

Merry Christmas

x

DIY: Make your own eco Christmas Wreath

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I returned home a few days ago from a six week work trip.  Never before have I been soooo excited to get home and start Christmas!

Obviously after arriving home from so long away, there are endless jobs awaiting their catch up…. One of them was my overgrown garden.  After giving my rosemary bush a rather large prune, I was looking at the pile of beautiful cuttings thinking how sad it would be to have to throw all this fresh rosemary away.  That’s when I had a wonderful idea!  Make my very own Christmas Wreath!

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Firstly I started bunching the rosemary so it all ran the same way.  I staggered it a little so neither the stems or the tips are aligned.  Once it had reached my desired thickness, I wrapped a fine piece of wire around the bunch.  I secured it by twisting with pliers before tucking the ends into the bunch.  Once this was secured, I adedd more rosemary to one end of the bunch following the original principle or letting neither the stems or the tips align.  I secured it again with more wire about 10 cm along from the first piece of wire.  I continued these steps until my bunch was the required length to form the circle of my wreath.  Then I wrapped it in a circle and secured with my hand.  I tucked the stems and tips into each other to join.  Using some small cutoffs, I added around the outside of the bunch to hide the tucked in stems and tips.  Then I secured the last piece of wire around where I was holding the wreath together.  All that was left to do then was to decorate!

I chose to decorate mine with a simple red and white gingham ribbon.  You could use flowers, holly, pine cones, Christmas ornaments, raffia, hessian or what ever your heart desires.

Other beautiful ideas for a Christmas wreath would be to make it out of lavender, daisies, roses or any fragrant herb you desire.

A beautiful way to enjoy the wonderful scents of your garden whilst celebrating this special Yuletide season…

xx

 

My wickedly healthy, awesomely yummy banana smoothie

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There is no better way to start the day than with a fresh and super healthy smoothie.  Here is my favourite banana smoothie…

SARE’S WICKEDLY HEALTHY, AWESOMELY YUMMY BANANA SMOOTHIE

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2 bananas

150ml biodynamic apple juice

1 handful of ice

1 tespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon agave syrup

2 good tablespoons of natural greek yoghurt

Whack it all in a blender and whizz!! Yummo!!

For a chocolatey version, just add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder.  Tastes just like a Boost King William smoothie but LOADS healthier!

xx

The toxins in our everyday beauty products

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ecomom and Jessica

What can I say?

The majority of us are born with beautiful, perfectly functioning, healthy bodies.  Just like a car, if we maintain them with maintenance, quality fuel and a bit of TLC, we have the power to keep them in good health.  Dis-ease stuggles to live in a healthy body.  Life is a gift.

For a one stop toxic free beauty store in Australia head to http://www.nourishedlife.com.au/

Nourished Life is run by a gorgeous lady called Irene who has dedicated the last year and a half of her life to finding THE most healthy beauty products on the market.

Thanks to http://www.ecomom.com/ for the image.

x

 

Ethical Phone Apps for the Supermarket

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As much as we try to avoid it, we all shop in supermarkets.  They are quick.  They are easy.  They are everywhere.

In this fast world of consumerism our supermarkets are a place of mass confusion to people like you and me.  Where do you start when it comes to choosing ethically??

Well there are two phone apps that I LOVE to rely on!

SHOP ETHICAL – $4.49

Available for iphones and androids, this app guides you through every aisle at the supermarket, rating every brand and giving you the choice of what you buy.  Featuring the most up to date data from the Ethical Consumer Guide, this app gives you information on over 3800 products.  It tells you who manufactures them, their principles, the ingredients they contain etc… So finally you’ll know which products contain palm oil!

You can also access this guide in hard print from http://www.ethical.org.au/shop/

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD GUIDE – free

“The fish we choose today will directly affect the health of our oceans tomorrow” – Australian Marine Conservation Society.

This iphone app is fabulous when you are looking longingly through the glass displays at your local fishmonger, giving you an insight into the sustainability of over 100 seafood species commonly found at our fishmongers and in our supermarkets, fish and chip shops and restaurants.  It tells you where the fish comes from, how it is caught and whether it is responsibly fished.  Once again, helping you to make an informed ethical and sustainable choice whilst saving the health of our oceans at the same time!

The app also includes the FABULOUS  “Greenpeace Canned Tuna Guide” to help you sort out your tunas in the supermarket aisle.  Absolutely priceless!!

The guide can also be bought in print form from http://www.sustainableseafood.org.au

I’m sure there are plenty more apps out there on the market that help us change the world one product at a time whilst we shop.  These are two that I use on a day to day basis.

I’d love to hear from you if there’s an app you’d like to share.

xx

Reality…

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As I write, there is a television reality show somewhere in Australia that currently in production.  This show is recording 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an entire month.  There are close to 400 employees working behind the scenes.  Maybe even more!  My colleagues and myself are all working flat out.  We are all exhausted.  Life is consuming right now…..

It is only when you stop and take the time to slow life right down that you realise we are working in a beautiful rainforest that lives and breathes.  An ecosystem so divine and so fragile.  A place where life lives, irrespective of us sharing this environment or not.  It is such an amazing world.  Most would have not even notice a tiny little bird’s nest hidden in the thick of this large rainforest….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos were taken today by my beautiful girlfriend, Sammi.  It is THE most beautiful bird’s nest I have ever seen.  Thank you soooo much for sharing Sammi.

This IS nature.  We all NEED nature.  It’s moments like this that make us feel alive.

Uashmama – A paper bag you can wash

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UASHMAMA

A paper bag with the texture of leather.  A paper bag you can wash.  A paper bag with a life span of a leather bag.  Made in Italy with virgin fibre from cultivation not deforestation, Uashmama bags are DIVINE!!!  I just stumbled across them in Harvest Deli in Newrybar yesterday and already I am in “lurve” with mine!!

To wash, just handwash in 50 degree water with a little handsoap or detergent and dry flat.  They come in brown, black, white and grey.  For everyday use or so special you can use them in homeware displays. Use for lunch, your grocery shopping, in your laundry, as a vase or planter, or a rubbish bin… The uses are endless!!!

They have even released special gold and silver Christmas designs that are made to weather and look like alfoil.  These look amazing!!!

 

 

 

 

Made in 5 different sizes these bags are ready for every use you can imagine.

This Lucca based family run business even make gorgeous shoulder bags, aprons, paper light shades, and totes.

You can find Australian stockists here http://www.objettrouve.com.au/Stockists.aspx

Yay for Uashmama!!!

xx

20% off Keep Cups for a limited time!

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Looking for the perfect gift for that coffee addict??  Look no further!

KeepCup have offered us a special promo code to save 20% off purchases in their online store!!!

Simply submit the promo code GREEN at checkout at http://www.keepcup.com.au/  for 20% off their purchases.

This offer is only availble from Saturday 10/11/12 till Saturday 24/11/12.  Get in quick!  These cups are LOVED by those that own them!!  You can even find one in your team’s colours!!

About KeepCup:

  • They are barista standard because they replicate standard takeaway sizes and fit under the group heads of most espresso machines. When espresso based coffee is made in your KeepCup the crema remains intact and the portioning of milk to coffee will be correct.
  • They are BPA free and non-toxic.
  • KeepCups are dishwasher safe, microwaveable and splash proof.
  • KeepCups fit into most car cup holders and many bicycle bottle holders.

To read about their sustainability go to http://www.keepcup.com.au/sustainability

Eco Gift Ideas for Christmas

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As Christmas comes around again, so to starts the dilemma of present shopping.  What would Uncle Bob like?  Will Cousin Sandy appreciate her present this year?

Then if you are like me, there are the bigger questions… How can I minimise my impact on the environment this year whilst avoiding consumerism?  By promoting local Australian made?  By giving gifts that keep giving?

Here are some suggestions if you are looking for ideas:

For the ladies:

Queen B Candles

Beautiful Australian made beeswax candles

 

 

Polli

Using plantation timber and recycled stainless steel, Polli make the most wonderful jewellery right here in Australia!

 

 

Bambu

Beautiful kitchenware and homewares made from completely renewable materials.  Not made in Australia but I adore their totally renewable cork bowls.  Such a feature table piece to talk about!

 

 

Madonna Bain

Organic and eco luxurious underwear.  Australian made.

 

 

 

Ecolinen Organic

THE most beautiful bedlinen you could EVER sleep on!!!  They also have a fabulous range of bathroom and baby linen as well as organic pillows and doonas.

 

 

Apple and Bee

With THE most gorgeous totes and purses, Apple and Bee is a must!!

 

Ecovault

Stunning iphone and ipad cases handmade from brass etc in a little shop in Brooklyn NY.  Something your gal will cherish forever!

 

Solar powered lanterns

Divine!!

 

Eco yoga mat

Made from TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) foam, these eco yoga mats contain no latex, PVC or rubber and they use no toxic materials in their manufacture.

 

Handmade linen ballet flats

So beautiful!  Made with cotton canvas and hemp and found on Etsy.

 

 

Mokosh

An Australian organic skin care range that has the most fabulously smelling massage oils, body butters and soaps!!

 

 

 

EcoTools

Environmentally friendly make up brushes etc.

 

 

 

Or what about a gift card for a fabulous local masseuse or beauty bar?  Or a specialist eyebrow shaping?  Or a gym membership?  Local dressmaker?  By supporting local you are keeping your money in Australia where it is needed.

For men:

Organic Wine

Why not buy him a beautiful case of Australian made organic wines?

Automatic Solar Powered Mower

Leave it to Husqvarna to come up with it!!

 

Envirowheels electric bikes

Get him out and about without sweat!  Great for the commute to work!

 

 

Bamboo MacBook Case

Stunning!

 

 

Holloway Sunglasses

Stunning sunglasses made in Brisbane out of recycled skateboard decks.

 

 

Keep Cup reusable take away coffee cup

An Australian made reusable take away coffee cup for his coffee on the run.  BPA free.  And you can even design your very own design on the website!

 

Bokashi Bucket

Australian made composting bucket that works right in your kitchen.  Reduce your landfill whilst improving the soil in your garden.

 

Stonemen

Not eco but seriously cool and they ARE Australian made and donate to Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, Surfers for Cetaceans and My Life.  This November they are donating to Movember – supporting prostate cancer and male mental illness.

 

Adrenalin Gift Vouchers

They may not all be eco friendly but at least you are supporting Australian businesses whilst feeding your man’s need for speed!

 

 

For the kids:

Avoiding Chinese made and by giving a gift that keeps giving and teaches your kids along the way…

Skipping Pebbles

An Australian small business bringing back the games of elastics, hopscotch and skipping ropes.

 

 

 

Cocoome

THE most divine organic sleepwear and pjs for kids!!

 

 

Eco Toys

A treasure trove of eco toys, gorgeous teddybears and eco versions of the good ol’ favourite toys we had growing up including a gorgeous eco bug catcher that will last generations!

 

Balloon Balls

Imagine a ball that the kids can use inside!!

 

 

My Munchkin Home Santa Sacks

Not eco made but OMG!!  The cutest and totally reusable Santa Sack for generations to come!

 

 

Decorations:

Have you met Miss Jones

Made from ceramics in the Phillipines, these decorations are THE most divine things you will ever have hanging on your Christmas tree.  These will become hand me downs!

 

And if all those ideas are still not right for your special one or many, there are some amazing charities that you can choose to donate to this Christmas both in Australia and abroad.  You can adopt an orangutan, save a koala, buy a goat to feed a village, etc..etc.. You can even volunteer to help others on Christmas day.  Just google and you will find!

Now THAT truly is the gift that keeps giving!!

Happy Christmas Eco Shopping!!

xx

Our Earth…. Beautiful…. Finite….

For every breath we take, every choice we make…

This beautiful short film is the reason humans must change the way we live. We are merely a thread in a very fragile web.

It will bring tears to your eyes and a profound love to your heart. Enjoy and please keep sharing. xx

♥ Life. ♥ this planet. It’s the only one we’ve got.

It’ll only take you 5 minutes to watch.  A lifetime of rememberance and future choices.