Category Archives: link love

link love: Slow Your Home

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I’ve been reading a fabulous blog this past week.  You know it’s a good blog when you spend a few days reading the entire blog back to the beginning!  The blog is titled Slow Your Home, and the author, Brooke, hails from Sydney, Australia.

Slow Your Home is a great read,with lots of inspirational posts for minimalists with children in the family.

Start with So What is a Slow Home? An Introduction – Brooke paints a very calming and appealing picture of what life in a slow home looks like.  Organized, simplified, decorated mindfully and filled with good memories.  It’s what we should all be aspiring to for the sake of our health and the welfare of the planet.

Dear Internet, Stop Making Me Feel Like Shit – The internet can be motivating and inspiring, but it can also be anxiety-inducing and exhausting.  A lot of the reading I do daily is online, and often times the lives of others can look a lot shinier through the lens of the internet.  This blog post reminds us that we all need to take a step back, and reflect on all the good people and things that are already in our own lives.  And chances are good that we want for nothing.

Green Cleaning: Lemon + Baking Soda = Sparkly McGee!  I love handy household tips, and am particularly drawn to those that are easy on the environment.  My husband recently purchased a bottle of Drano, which I promptly returned to the store.  Armed with nothing more than baking soda and vinegar, I managed to unclog the drain in our bathroom sink!  So if you have a dingy sink that needs a good cleaning, follow Brooke’s lead and break out the ol’ baking soda and slice yourself a lemon.  With a little elbow grease, you’ll have a shiny sink and the planet will thank you.

Have you stumbled upon any great new (to you) blogs lately?  What are some of your favourite reads on the subject of simplicity and simple living?

link love: becoming vegan

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I’ve been spending the last couple of months absorbing a ton of information about eliminating meat and dairy from my diet.  I came upon the decision to begin avoiding meat and dairy after reading the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser.  Fast Food Nation explores the industrial food production system in the United States and how it is intertwined with the fast food industry.  It is a fascinating read, but be prepared to read about some ugly truths about the meat and dairy industries in the United States (I’m sure that the industrial meat and dairy production systems are similar in Canada, but the book only tackles the US).

After absorbing the information in Fast Food Nation and deciding to eliminate meat and poultry from my diet, I stumbled upon the documentary Forks Over Knives.  A good friend of mine had actually recommended it to me months earlier, but after we’d discussed it, I didn’t think about it again.  Then, within a week of finishing reading Fast Food Nation, I came across the complete Forks Over Knives documentary movie online and watched it in one sitting.  The premise behind Forks Over Knives (by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn) is that consuming a plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease.  Dr. Esselstyn recommends a diet free from meat, dairy, oil and sugar, and he has done a lot of research and testing on his own patients over the past 25 years to support his claims.  After finishing watching Forks Over Knives, I became convinced that I wanted to continue trying to overhaul my diet and make conscious choices to eat better for my own health and well-being.

Here’s some sources from which I’ve been absorbing a ton of information about the benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle:

How It All Vegan - A fabulous vegan cookbook with some additional information on making this lifestyle change.  What I liked most about this cookbook is that the recipes are very simple.  Since I don’t believe in complicating things unnecessarily, I appreciated the tone of this book.  How It all Vegan contains a chapter on vegan recipes that might appeal to children, which I thought was helpful.  I also particularly appreciate the authors take on considering the environmental impact before “veganizing” your lifestyle – like consider using what you have  and wearing it out (leather shoes, leather belts, etc.) before making additional vegan clothing or lifestyle purchases.  One of the authors of How It All Vegan currently runs a website that includes a blog and an online store too (from Victoria BC) if you are interested in that sort of thing

The Kind Diet – Alicia Silverstone is a celebrity vegan, and she has written her own book, The Kind Diet.  You can also check out Alicia’s blog, The Kind Life – she tackles lots of other subjects in addition to veganism, like environmentalism and conservationism.  Be sure to read her timely Earth Day post for lots of great ideas on how to be kind to our planet!

Skinny Bitch – Ignore the sensationalistic title, and read this book!  While the title might be misleading, the information contained in this book focuses on the benefits we can derive from eliminating meat and dairy from our diets.  It is written in a “girlfriend-conversation” style, which I find makes it pretty light reading.  There are some facts about the horrors of factory farming, but for the most part, the content of this book is a lot of common sense interspersed with dietary facts.  This book is a great reference for those looking for other titles on the subject of veganism – peppered throughout the book are titles of other suggested reads on the subject.

Eco-Vegan Gal - I first discovered Whitney’s informative video posts on YouTube, and skipped over to check out her website.  She has lots of great inspirational videos on her YouTube channel, with additional posts about veganism and reviews of vegan products on her website.  I would recommend Eco-Vegan Gal as a good resource for anyone looking for other voices in the discussion on veganism.  Whitney also writes about eliminating gluten, soy, oil and sugar from her diet, so there are posts on those subjects as well for those who are interested.

Loving Simple Living is another recent discovery for me.  Blog author Lorilee Lippincott posted recently over at Rachel’s blog The Minimalist Mom about simple living with children.  I enjoyed reading Lorilee’s post and skipped on over to her site… to discover that she is also a vegan!  I spent some time exploring her site and she has some fabulous, kid-friendly vegan recipes.  Lorilee also eloquently writes about how simple eating dovetails nicely with simple living.

Oh She Glows - I’ve been a fan of Angela’s website for years.  Hers was the first vegan cooking blog I read that made vegan food look so amazingly delicious.  Her recipes are awesome, and she even shares her inspirational journey to healthful eating and living.  Plus, she’s a Canuck!  Lots of inspiration and recipe ideas at Oh She Glows, and I think Angela may even have a vegan cookbook in the works for the future.

Hungry Hungry Hippie - I’ve just started reading Hungry Hungry Hippie, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.  Lot of great, simple food recipe ideas – even though Elise doesn’t describe herself as vegan, a lot of her recipes are free of meat and dairy products.  I recommend her seitan recipe – I made seitan (or “wheat meat”) for the first time yesterday using her recipe and it was a hit, even with my six year old son!

I’ve also subscribed to the Facebook feeds for Fat-Free Vegan and Engine 2 Diet - they provide inspirational recipe ideas daily, and it is to know where to find a community of people striving for the same goals.

Watch Forks Over Knives here.

I feel like I’ve read and learned so much about going meat-free and dairy-free in the past weeks, and I’m coming out on the other side – I’m no longer overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on the subject, and it feels great to know there are a TON of resources on the internet just waiting to be discovered.  If you’ve ever considered not eating meat or dairy, I encourage you to try one recipe at a time – there are vegan recipes for literally EVERYTHING your heart might desire.  I’ve lost 10 lbs in the past month, and the only changes I have made are dietary.  My goal is to lose another 20 lbs, and I am hoping that by eating healthfully in this manner my goal will be a lot easier to attain.

link love: not buying anything

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I heard this week from one of my favourite minimalist blogs about a blogger writing exclusively about buying nothing.  And he’s local to me!  Well, sorta.  Lots of inspiration at this blog for simple living, but here’s a few of my favourite posts (so far) from Not Buying Anything:

Reducing consumption reduces harm - It’s important we take the time to consider the environmental impact of our purchases, and whether we need to make certain purchases at all.

Putting our eco-footprint on a diet - I find having goals helps challenge my thinking and behaviour.  I’m striving to reduce my carbon footprint by living a less wasteful life – some of my goals include consuming less animal products, refusing wasteful packaging, and continuing to walk and use public transit in lieu of driving and flying.

Simplicity is Freedom - Simplicity really is freeing. Give it a try, you just might like it.

Reducing food waste - I’m creating a “just-in-time” household, in an effort for our family to reduce any unnecessary food waste.  We’re pretty good about eating leftovers and using food before it goes bad, but this blog post has a few extra great ideas on how to manage food waste.

Change for a dollar - A beautiful video on how a little kindness goes a long way.

Enjoy and Happy Tuesday! <3

link love: apartment therapy for the soul

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I’ve become obsessed with Apartment Therapy.  There are a ton of inspiring articles over there to read, and they have the coolest categories, with lots of fun posts on green living, small living, and mindful living.  Now that I have found their website, I am pretty sure my life is complete.

Everything is pretty at Apartment Therapy!

Here are some cool, recent posts from AT:

Have you discovered the inspiration that is Apartment Therapy?  If so, do you like the Do-It-Yourself posts or do you favour the house tours?  Personally, I am very much inspired by most of the posts on Small Living.