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October Unprocessed 2012
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Rainbow (Photo credit: homer4k)

Wow…this feels like I’m hanging out with an old friend I haven’t seen in a long time!

Looking back on 2012…all I can say is it’s been a whirlwind.

Bean is drawing closer to being 2 1/2 and is as always such a joy – I’m more thankful than ever to have her in our lives. I’ve been working full time for a year and a half now at a job I really enjoy – I went from 2 days a week to being promoted (twice!) and am continually surprised at how blessed I am to be there.

I’m still on a constant search for change – improvement – passion. Being far from superwoman, it’s not been easy to work full time and be a focused mother, wife, friend; to be a good steward of the earth and of our health, to move forward with dreams of who and what I want to be. More than I would like gets pushed aside.

If I had to look back on what the best lessons from 2012 have been, one would be the realization that I need help. Being very much a do it myself kind of gal, that has not been an easy lesson to learn (in fact its taken me to the end of the year to finally ask!). But I’ve done it, and I’m seeing good come out of it already. Read the rest of this entry »

October Unprocessed Week 1 Meal Plan

Tomorrow starts the October Unprocessed Challenge hosted by Eating Rules, which the husband and I have signed up to take along with over 3,000 other participants. We’re part of an October Unprocessed group on Facebook started by my friend Jamey of Two Dudes Foods that I’m hoping will provide a lot of ideas, encouragement, and support (as I know I will be needing it!).

I’m both excited and nervous, wondering if this is a commitment we can really stick to. I do a lot to immerse myself in the world of ‘real food’ but it’s not always enough to stop me from heading through a drive through or picking up a frozen pizza. Meal plans often go really well until we start to get towards the weekend and the dishes stack up or I just get tired of cooking.

For me I think this challenge will be both timely and helpful. There are a lot of people I admire taking part in it. It’s not overwhelming as it’s technically only a month (though one can always hope for new habits to be formed that will last much longer!). And finally autumn is pretty awesome as far as food goes. There are tons of things in season that I enjoy; we always visit at least 2 farms for apple and pumpkin gathering among other things and our organic delivery box is bursting with yummy possibilities.

Of course, the one thing that will help me succeed the best is planning – I really know it when I don’t plan ahead for the week’s menu. We did pretty well last week though I admit we went out for sushi one night and got invited to Thai another, so some of what I planned then will be carrying over in the next few days. One of my biggest accomplishments was the breakfast burritos, which were a huge hit and will easily carry us through this week’s breakfast. It is a huge help to have that extra few minutes in the mornings no longer taken up by making breakfast!

Here’s what we have planned for this week… Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways to Breathe Easier Indoors This Winter

English: Spacious Living room with gas firepla...

Image via Wikipedia

I am pleased to publish a guest post today from Jakob Barry with information on avoiding a polluted air supply in your home over the winter months. I know I always keep meaning to get more plants to help keep our air fresher!

I’m grateful to have these tips as well…

With winter here and most of our time being spent indoors there’s something we should be extra careful about when it comes to our families. It’s called the state of our indoor air.

Think about it. During the cooler months the arctic air can be so paralyzing we rarely open the windows and let the breeze just blow through our homes. The air becomes stale and tainted with undesirable particles which end up constantly circulating through our living spaces.

Depending on the region you live in and how long the winter lasts, the cycle of inhaling contaminated air could lead to various types of sicknesses and respiratory problems. At the very least it can make us feel pretty lethargic.

That’s why in order to help everyone breathe a little easier over the next few months, some preventative measures should be taken to avoid a polluted air supply. Here are a few things to watch out for and tips worth considering: Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Mama Blog Carnival ~ Call for Submissions {December}

November 22, 2011 Update: We’ve noticed that the wonderful Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction is hosting The Safe Cosleeping Carnival on the same dates as Mindful Mama. Well, we want to support and participate in both carnivals, and I am sure many of you do, as well. I am grateful that the three of us were excited to make small changes to our schedules so that we can support one another’s carnivals. I hope you find this helpful, too. Please note the new publication date for Mindful Mama below is December 13th. And hop on over to Monkey Butt Junction for details in participating in The Safe CoSleeping Carnival. It’s going to be an entire week of Parenting Goodness!

We all talk about how we want to bring more connectedness into our lives. We may want to connect with spirit, our bodies, acceptance, forgiveness or simply to find peace. Whether you already have a practice that centers you or you want to have a practice, but haven’t yet begun, here is a chance to write about what keeps you going or keeps you from starting and read what others are experiencing on their own journeys.

Kelly from Becoming Crunchy and Zoie from TouchstoneZ are pleased to announce the Third Mindful Mama Carnival.

Topic: Staying mindful during the holiday season

Some suggestions:

  • Do you have a mindfulness practice that works to keep you centered during the holidays?
  • How do you reconcile giving and receiving with being mindful of waste, the environment, the economy, accumulating objects, or other issues you follow a philosophy about?
  • How do you manage your finances mindfully during the holidays?
  • How do you manage relationships with family or friends you may spend time with during the holidays that you may not agree with on mindfulness topics?
  • How do you balance (or not balance) your conscious relationship with your body when there are so many temptations over the holidays?
  • For all of these suggestions, is there something that prevents you from living the your life as mindfully during the holidays? Why or why not?

Remember, these are just suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. Please let us know what mindfulness looks like for you during the holidays.

Deadline: Thursday, December 8, 2011. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to BOTH Zoie and Kelly by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: zoie{dot}touchstonez{at} gmail{dot}com and kelly{at}becomingcrunchy{dot}com

Carnival date: Thursday, December 15, 2011. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on December 15 before 9am PST and email us the link if you haven’t done so already. Once everyone’s posts are published on December 15 by 9am PST, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants’ links to generate lots of link love for your site. We’ll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

I hope you’ll join us in writing about staying mindful during the holiday season. Please submit your post on the form below by Thursday, December 8th 11:59pmPST and have your post up on Thursday, December 15th. We will send you code for the top and bottom of your post that will link to any other participants in the carnival Wednesday, December 14th with final update on December 15th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or email  zoie{dot}touchstonez{at} gmail{dot}com and kelly{at}becomingcrunchy{dot}com

Copy this badge code and add it to your blog sidebar:

Mindful Mama Carnival

To stay connected:

You can fill out the form at the bottom of this post or go directly to the submission form Here

The Risks of Babywearing, A Wasteful Generation, Supporting Birth Centres and More in This Week’s Sunday Surf

We are off to a baby shower this afternoon (getting so excited for this little one to arrive – I love babies! :)and I thought I’d leave you with some of the great posts I’ve been reading over the past week…

  • No one talks about THE RISKS of babywearing. Sure, you’re baby will be happier, cry 43% less than their pram based counterparts, they will sleep soundly, will learn how to self regulate their own temperature, they won’t get a flathead that requires special pillows or corrective helmets, they will have better head control, they can access the breast whilst you go about your day hands free…..but is it REALLY worth it with THE RISKS?The Risks from Sausage Mama & the Sausagettes.
  • If my mother could ignore a doctor who would condemn me to death, then I can ignore my inner demons who tell me I’ll never make it as a writer. If my mother could demand that I achieve straight As in school, then I can demand greatness from every blog post I publish. If my mother could lobby school administrators and government agencies to get me the help I needed, then I can lobby bloggers and social media power users to get my idea the attention it deserves.On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas from Copyblogger
  • As a lover of words and a believer in the power of ritual, I relished the chance to write a script for the ceremony that conveyed the importance of our respect for our baby’s individuality and identity, his connection to all people, as well as the natural world, and our desire to parent sensitively with love and compassion.The Ritual of Dedication (guest post by Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama) on the Natural Parents Network Read the rest of this entry »

Oh Darling…You’re a Woman Now!



The average woman uses 12,000+ disposable pads/tampons in her lifetime. If all 2,772 of you fans switched to GladRags halfway through your menstruating years, together we’ve kept over 16.5 MILLION disposables out of landfills! Whoa!

That was a recent status update from the Gladrags Facebook page (quite relevant during Earth Week!), another Mama Cloth review I’ll be sharing today, along with my experiences with Jade & Pearl Sea Sponge Tampons. If you’ve missed the earlier reviews from this week, go start off with Moms Crafts 4 U, then head on over to Lunapads and the Diva Cup.


GladRags was founded in 1992 as a home based business in Portland, Oregon (it’s moved to its own building now) with a pretty awesome Sustainability Pledge.

I purchased 1 GladRags Day Pack – a cotton flannel pad with 2 inserts (they fit into the envelope style pad). I also bought the Sea Sponge tampons from them – they came in a package with 2 pantyliners.

The pad with inserts was $13.99; the 2 sea sponge tampons and 2 pantyliners together came to $30.99. I used a discount code, so my total with shipping came to $48.36 ($12 shipping to Canada!).

GladRags was something of a mixed bag for me. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Surf! Lots of Great Posts This Week!

Happy to go to the market again...

Happy to go to the market again...

It has been a gorgeous weekend so far here in Ontario…I just keep thinking, please, please, please don’t let it snow again!

We started Saturday morning with a trip to The Village Market, a year-round farmer’s market I recently discovered that happens to be quite near us. I love farmer’s markets! I’ve been missing them all winter.

This one was a bit too expensive for our taste, but we did pick up some venison stew meat to have as a novelty, along with some tasty gluten-free cherry tarts (I don’t make a practice of eating gluten free – these just looked really good) and some honeycomb, because I wanted to give it a try.

I’m finding so much fun in trying new foods lately…I was the pickiest of picky children, and still struggle with it more frequently than I would like, but I’m finding myself surprised at how many things I DO like when I just give them a try. It’s particularly fun for me to find a veggie I’ve never heard of and Google a recipe for it…I find I’m rarely disappointed. (Still don’t like tomatoes though! Or green peppers…)

We had great success with one recipe in particular this week – Swiss Chard Gratin. This is one of the BEST dishes I have ever made – we could not believe how good it was! It was kind of fussy to make, but so worth it in the end.

I know, it wasn’t part of our weekly menu plan. I still deviate from that more than I really should…but sometimes it just happens that way. Last night, for instance, I was feeling way too lazy to cook whatever I had planned, and I came that close to ordering out. Fortunately, I stuck to my guns, and we had fried potatoes and scrambled eggs for dinner (I did throw in some Gruyere cheese to fancy it up a bit ;) ).

I’m not terribly worried about it…I do try to stick to the plan more often than not, and so far we’ve made it without being too tempted to eat out.

Here’s the plan for this week, if you’re interested (I love seeing people’s menu plans cause it gives me lots of ideas!): Read the rest of this entry »

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