Happy Halloween!!

Halloween to me is a day to dress up in something you wouldn't normally wear. Now, I don't take it to the degree, and dress like a hooker or anything. I'll just throw together a really off the wall outfit.

It's fun, and it doesn't cost me anything because I just use whatever I already have in unusual combinations.

My daughter this year is going as a bride. She is wearing her flower girl dress (which was white or off-white, not sure which) and my veil from when I got married in August and a bundle of pink plastic flowers I got as a Christmas gift from her two years ago.

So cute! I can't wait to post a picture of it.

What are you doing for Halloween? Do you dress up? Do you go out, or do you stay in? Tell me all your gorey secrets (pun intentional).

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Sugar-free trial update

So the sugar free trial was definitely a big ole failure. But that's okay.

Why is that okay? Because I've learned a little bit more about nutrition and what's in my food. I am still actively trying to limit my sugar intake, and even invested in some agave nectar (it was on sale, and I've always wanted to try it)

Photo found on Google Images search here
  Not quite the bottle I got, but it looks pretty close.

Also been thinking about looking into stevia

But mostly, I found that I had a lot of trouble in the afternoon, after I had eaten all the nice juicy fruit I brought to eat.

So I've started bringing extra fruit to work, to try and help me over the afternoon slump of sugar deprivation.

Peaches seem to be my body's favourite natural sugar source, and I can't wait until they're back in season here. Unfortunately, that'll be around 8 months *sad face*

What food helps your body beat the afternoon drag?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Link sharing time!

Here are some links I've found over the past week or so that have peaked my interest and I would like to share.

76 Dangers of Sugar - Dr. Mercola uses some big words, but puts it pretty simply despite the large list and long article. Very informational, and all concise.

"I Could Never Give Up..." - Leo put it straight forward and true. Saying you could never just means that you aren't ready to embrace alternatives. Really makes you think.

Stuff No One Told Me - 52 - Straight forward and true.

Digging for Savings - This is different from any secondhand store I've ever seen, and I wish we had outlet's like this where I live!

Waste Free School Lunches - Week One - I like how all the stuff matches and it can be suited to each child.

Compassionate Parenting - Yes it's a subscription website, and they don't spam. They only send their tips, and I have been receiving them for almost 2 weeks now. It's just a quick nice reminder of things to think about when speaking to your child (or anyone, for that matter)

That's all for now.

If you come across any links that you'd like to share, or want me to feature one of your site's posts/articles, send me an e-mail.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Adopting Simplicity: Be Here Now

Life is buzzing all around, and you feel jostled and rushed. How can you enjoy life and embrace what you have when you constantly feel pushed, prodded, hurried? Answer: you can't.

You can't always be thinking about what's next, and still enjoy what's happening around you.

You have to Be Here Now.

Pay attention to where you are at any given moment, and what you're doing. When you do something, do it completely. Don't multitask, unitask. Spend all your focus on one thing. When you're reading, read. Try to avoid doing multiple things at once, because your focus will be dispersed, and you will have a hard time truly enjoying what you're doing.

When you're eating, enjoy the flavours, the textures. Take smaller bites, and chew a little slower. Taste the flavours in your mouth.

When you're reading, focus on the words and the pictures they create in your mind. Imagine the book as reality, and immerse yourself into it fully.

When you're washing dishes, feel the warm soapy water on your hands, and the cleansing power it has on the dishes. Feel the dishes as they lose their dirt and become clean.

Enjoy the little things you do, and they will bring you ever more pleasure.

Because life is for the living, so live in the now.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy my Adopting Simplicity series? Here is a list of the other posts from the series:
Step 1
Ask yourself this...
I could never...
Three important things per day
Simplify your holidays by adding depth

Wednesday's Small Step: Smile at strangers

When you feel sad, or lonely, doesn't it always pick you up when you see someone smiles at you? It could be the guy sweeping the sidewalk downtown, or the friendly cashier at the coffee shop. Or your child when you wake them up in the mornig. But it always makes you feel that little bit better.

Can't you be that for somebody? Pay it forward, and share the happiness you feel.

It will feel so good. And it doesn't take any extra effort. Just throw a smile on your face, and watch people light up when they pass you.
Love is all you need. Love can change the world. One smile at a time.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Compassionate Parenting: Apply it to everyday life

I was doing a lot of reading yesterday, and came across a few websites and articles about compassionate parenting. Reading through them gives you that "well duh how did I not think of that??" feeling, and to be honest, made me feel like a bad and mean parent.

Not a happy feeling. But then I got to thinking...

If we can be compassionate towards our children, why can't we be compassionate towards one another?

Is it so hard to take a little bit of time out of our day to take notice and care about the feelings and emotions of those around you? Particularly those who you are close to?

When we are upset, we tend to get selfish and self centred and feel that the world is being mean to us. It's not, it's just our emotions playing games, and interpreting things wrong. Try thinking back to the last time you were angry. Take a step back and think about why you felt that way.

Say you had a fight with your significant other about dishes. Was it really about dishes, or was there something else? Were you being defensive because you don't like being argued with? I get that sometimes, I will admit it. I'll get defensive because I don't like being shown why something I've done is wrong.

But that's life. We have to do things wrong sometimes to learn. Learning is the most important we can do as humans, because it advances us and makes us pay attention to what's around.

Can you take a step back while you're upset? Not always. But if you realize after the fact, and discuss it with the person who made you upset, maybe you can find a way to keep it from happening again.

Isn't it worth a little extra effort if it makes everyone's day easier?

I'm going to try. Are you?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Compassionate Parenting series? Click the link for a full list from the series.

Monday Musing: Sustainable eating

Do you hunt your food, or forage it? Have you ever gone apple or berry picking?

It's hard! It's a lot of work, and a lot of time being put forth for your own sustenance when you have to gather your own.

But at the same time, it's very relaxing, and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment. Buying your food at the grocery store, you eat the food and that's it. But when you've put forward all that thought and energy towards your food, you enjoy it a little bit more. It tastes a little bit better.

I would love to have a garden. Even a few plants would be nice. Grow my own seasonal fruits and veggies. Put forward my energy for something more, my health, my family's health.

Those of you who read this, who don't have a garden or food plants, do you wish you did?
I dream of the day when I have a little house with a nice big yard, and I have a full garden and a few fruit trees. I am working to make my dream a reality.

What are you doing to reach and acheive your dreams? Have you started taking steps towards them? Why not start now?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Monday Musing series? Here are the rest of the posts from this series:
Happy thoughts
Automatic negative reactions
Crutch or reason?

Cancelled my cable? Why yes I did!

After much deliberation, and discussions with the wife, we decided to cancel the cable subscription.

What? I hear some people cry in outrage, How can you LIVE without cable?

I'll tell you, it's simple. There are so many things in the world that I want to do, that she wants to do, and that our daughter wants to do. Why should we pay for a service that is a detriment to our lives? Without the cable subscription, there is no pull towards sitting on the couch watching television all day.

We are given only a limited number of hours per day.

Eight hours are spent sleeping (on average)
One and a half hours spent commuting to and from work
Eight hours spent working
One hour spent getting everything ready to go to and from work

You're left with seven and a half hours. Seven and a half hours in one day to do something great, something inspirational, or just something that will make you feel content. In those seven and a half hours, you also have to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, take care of your pets, spend time with your children and spouse, tidy the house, wash the dishes, etc.

How can you do that if you are watching television?

Not to mention the advertisements that are non-stop. I won't miss those, let me tell you.

Do you have a cable or satellite television subscription? Why or why not?
If you don't, do you try to convince others to cancel theirs?
If you do, do you think people without televisions or cable are odd?

Peace (in the home, at last) and serenity,

Simply Me

Sugar free trial

I've done it before, and I'm doing it again.

Going sugar free. Initial goal is one week. Seven days. Not so terrifying.

The rules: (remember, these are my rules, so if you want to do this yourself, feel free to use your own rules)
-No refined sugar, which means, no sugar in my tea/coffee, no brown sugar on my oatmeal, no sugar in my muffins, etc
-No artificial sweeteners, no Splenda, no aspartame, nothing
-Allowed: natural sugars, such as those in fruits and vegetables.

Started this on Tuesday, but had some bread which had sugar in it, so official start date was Wednesday October 20th.

Why am I doing this? It's a test, a trial so to speak. It makes me have to remember to check labels of foods, and pushes me more towards raw, whole, real foods.

Also, sugar depresses the immune system, it's addictive, along with countless other issues

It's eye opening, and it's inspiring. I love the feeling. I haven't gotten any withdrawal symptoms, which is surprising. But we'll see.

Once I make it to a week, maybe I'll continue and make it to a month.

(Sidenote: I've also stopped eating meat, and significantly cut down my dairy and egg consumption.)

Have you ever tried something new, just temporarily, to see if you could do it and how you would feel?

Do you think I'm crazy and out of my mind for trying something like this?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Friday Fluff!

Every now and then, life needs a little fluff. Something extra, something soft. Something that reminds you of happy things, or that makes you just smile.

Today, I'm going to share the lyrics for one of my favourite songs.

Adam Lambert - Time For Miracles

It's late at night and I can't sleep
Missing you just runs too deep
Oh I can't breathe
Thinking of your smile

Every kiss I can't forget
This aching heart ain't broken yet
Oh god I wish I could make you see
Cause I know this flame isn't dying
So nothing can stop me from trying

Baby you know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
Cause I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
Cause I ain't giving up on love
No I ain't giving up on us

I just wanna be with you
Cause living is so hard to do
When all I know
In trapped inside you eyes

The future I cannot forget
This aching heart ain't broken yet
Oh god I wishI could make you see
Cause I know this flame isn't dying
So nothing can stop me from trying

Baby you know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
Cause I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
Cause I ain't giving up on love
No I ain't giving up on us

Baby can you feel it coming
You know I can hear it
Hear all the souls
Baby can you feel me feel you

Baby you know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
Cause I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
Cause I ain't giving up on love

I love this song.

What's your favourite song?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Adopting Simplicity: Ask yourself this...

When trying to determine a task/item/pastime/etc...'s priority, as yourself this:

Does it fulfill me in any way? Meaning, does having it around make you feel better, more accomplished, or does it just serve as a status symbol?

Can I enjoy it? Is it something that will get active use, or just sit in a corner/on a shelf/in a closet for months/years?

Why do I have this? Did you buy it because someone else had one, and so you felt that you needed it? Or is it something that you can truly use to benefit yourself somehow?

Ask yourself these simple questions when making choices about anything that takes your time or money. Make sure that when you spend money, you really get your value out of it. If it's something that will go out of style in less than five years, is it really worth your energy now?

Take a breath, and remember that all you can be is all that you want to be. You just need to take the steps to get there. Ensuring that you are not surrounded by things that distract you from your goals is a surefire way to find the energy to push yourself towards them.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy my Adopting Simplicity series? Here is a list of the other posts from this series:
Step 1
Be Here Now
I could never...
Three important things per day
Simplify your holidays by adding depth

Wednesday's Small Step: Just be write about it!

Today we're going to take a step in a slightly different direction. Slightly.

This week's small step is: Write it down!

Does that seem odd? It shouldn't. Writing things down is a very good way to remind yourself of anything.

See a sale? Write it down.
Find a recipe? Write it down.
Overhear something that interests you? Write it down.

Catching on? It's a very good way to remind yourself and keep note of things that you deem important.

Personally, I keep 2 notebooks on me at pretty much all times.

One for creative writing, any ideas come to mind, they go in there.

Second for life writing. So recipes I find that I like, things I think of that relate to real life and not imagination, ideas for what to write here. You get the picture.

Obviously, this didn't start so big. It started with a tiny little spiral bound notebook with the binding along the top. I still have that notebook, I keep track of prices in the grocery stores with it.

So this week, try keeping a small notebook with you, with a pen or pencil.

And write down anything that comes to mind, any idea you might have. Because trusting yourself to remember it, no matter how good your memory actually is, it not a safe bet. Things happen, and urgent needs come up, and ideas just fall by the wayside. Be safe, be cautious, just write it down.

You won't regret it.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Thinking or doing?

There are some things that you may come across that make you think. Like, really make you think.

Lately, I've been reading a lot on personal development as well as simplicity. Primarily from those two sites, but they cross link to others, and I find myself thinking a lot more.

But thinking and doing are two different things.

There are a lot of things in life that I want to do. I think about them, I plan possibilities, I imagine what I would do, what I would think. I often spend so much time thinking, that there's no time left to do.

You can do things without thinking but the consequences might be negative. (Ever said something you didn't mean just because it flew out of your mouth before you thought of it? Yeah.)

You can think things without doing but then you won't ever actually get anything that you want done. You'll just be dreaming. Or at worst, lazy.

To be productive, and not destructive, you need balance.

A balance of thinking and doing will not only get you up and moving, but make sure you're processing it effectively beforehand.

Think about what's important. Important to you, important to do, important to feel. Whatever you deem as important, is important. It needs to be taken care of, because you need for it to be taken care of.

So pick one thing. One thing each day that you want to get done. Then do it. Just do it. Plan it, make sure you understand all the angles.

Then do it.

You'll thank yourself.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

100 posts!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled posting for a quick milestone post! Monday's musings will resume next Monday.

Yes, that's right. I am making a gratuitous 100th post post! In commemoration of my 100th post, I'm going to post my top 10 favourite posts from my archive. For your enjoyment. Let me know what you think, let me know if you think I left one of your favourite posts out.

Top 10 in no particular order:

1. Youtube, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
2. I received a blog award!
3. Day 6 of 30 - A Stranger... and A Dream??
4. Monday Musing: Happy thoughts
5. Personal revisitation of yoga
6. All Natural Cleaning products... found in your medicine cupboard and baking supplies!
7. My camping experience
8. Day 13 of 30: Someone I wish could forgive me
9. Monday Musing: Automatic negative reactions
10. Wednesday's small step: Recipe sharing

I'm also going to post my top 9 posts based on pageviews (since my stat page only gives me nine). Just for fun :)

1. Idea
2. I received a blog award!
3. Personal cooking experiment
4. Giving hurts sometimes, but it's worth it
5. Wednesday's small step: New pastimes
6.30 Tweets for 30 Peeps Challenge - Day 1
7. My take on Earth Hour
8. Day 9 of 30: Someone I wish I could meet
9. My camping experience

What do you think?

I think I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking with this, and expanding my subject matter. I thoroughly enjoy writing, and giving myself more freedom to expand on ideas makes it a lot easier to be inspired.

What inspires you?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Adopting Simplicity: Step 1

In the spirit of keeping things simple, as my blog name says, I figured I would share some backstory.

In case you haven't read the archives of years past, this blog used to be under a different name (same domain). It was called Frugal Nuts are Green.

Silly name, but it was what I had originally been writing about. Living frugally while adopting a green lifestyle.

Eventually, my life got hectic all at once, and I decided to stop blogging for a while and focus on my life for a while.

Life got back on track, and so I decided to log back into my Blogger account and see if my blog was still there. Lo-and-behold, it was! But reading through the archives myself, I realized that my life had changed drastically, and so my blog should too.

I decided to simplify. The name Simply Green seemed appropriate for what I was aiming for in life, and what I was working towards on a daily basis.

Simplicity is something that I believe each person in this world should work towards.

Look around as you head to work, or walk down the street. You are surrounded by people who have something to do. They may not even know what they have to do, but they have to rush to it.

Take a step back in life and look at things that are important to you.

Do you multitask?

Do you fill all of your spare time with something?

Do you have no free time to do anything?

I was there. I took a step back, and looked at what I was spending my time doing.

Multitasking : Thinking I was being more productive, I tried to manage several tasks all at once. I confess, I still do. But it's not as satisfying.

Filling time with something : Doing nothing is "unproductive" so I sought out anything to fill time. Still do, again. Life is a series of steps in the direction you aim for. Perfection is not necessary. Now I look at what I fill my time with, and try to opt for enjoyable pastimes and hobbies.

No free time : There is always free time, if you stop filling your days with something.

In light of this, I am taking steps back everyday to reanalyze the choices I have made, and choices I'm going to make. Every day is a chance to take multiple steps.

Which direction are you aiming?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy my Adopting Simplicity series? Here is a list of the other posts from this series:
Ask yourself this...
Be Here Now
I could never...
Three important things per day
Simplify your holidays by adding depth

Quick breakfast recipe

I decided to make a real breakfast this morning, instead of the usual cereal and milk, for myself and Emily. She didn't seem thrilled, but she loves her cereal.

So I quickly browsed the index of my cookbooks, starting with the vegetarian ones since they happened to be at the front. Then I came across The Really Useful Ultimate Student Cook Book.
(Note: if you click through the Amazon link, and purchase the book, Simply Green makes a small commission. But I always recommend you look at the library, yard sales, or second hand stores for a used copy. Thank you.)

I found a super easy mushroom frittata recipe, which worked out perfectly since I just bought my first portobello mushroom yesterday!

I altered the recipe a bit, based on what I had in my kitchen, and came out with this:

Simply Mushroom Frittata

4 eggs, beaten
handful of bread crumbs (I had been saving them and letting them dry from the bottom of bread bags)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated marble cheese (pre-grated from dinner last night)
2 white mushrooms, sliced into 3/4 inch chunks
1/4 portobello mushroom, sliced into 3/4 \inch chunks
oregano (you can use whatever seasonings you'd prefer)

Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together until the eggs have coated everything.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased pan, and cook on medium-low until the first side browns.

Flip it over, cook until the second side is brown.

Serves 2 (myself and my daughter)

Absolutely delicious.

If you have some quick and easy breakfast recipes, throw them my way! I'd love to give them a try, and review and share them here!

Peace and deliciousness,

Simply Me

Link Sharing Time!

So, along my travels on the world wide web, I come across many blogs and articles that I find either particularly thought inspiring, or just a great read. Here's a few of them for you to peruse if you feel like it!

Little Steps: 100 Great Tips For Saving Money For Those Just Getting Started Trent really breaks it down. Any of these tips is great on its own. No one has to follow all of them, they are just ideas. Gets ya thinking!

all mixed up Laura takes some gorgeous pictures that really show you the other side of nature. The beautiful, simple side. I love her photos, and enjoy visiting her almost daily posts for a photo-refreshment.

Mocha FAKE-acinno everybody needs a pick-me-up.Why not make your own? Rob has a great, easy recipe for a sweet caffeinated jolt for any time of day.

Get ready, its coming your way. Hanna's got a great collaboration of natural cold fighters, immune boosters, and the history behind them. Great post.

Sun is coming up on the way to daycare

That's a good start I think. If you find any links, or want to send me your own, for me to post and share, send them my way!

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Homemade Hummus

I decided to use some of the dehydrated chick peas that I had in my pantry this week and made hummus.

I soaked the chick peas for about three days.

Saturday I boiled them for just over an hour.

Then I drained the pot, put the chick peas in the blender.

I added around 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2/3 of a cup of water, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (since I didn't have any fresh garlic cloves) and a few shakes of salt. 

I blend these ingredients, had to stop a few times to move the mixture around since the blender wasn't as strong as the last one I had used. But eventually, my chick peas became smooth hummus.

I put the hummus into containers, left them open to cool.

Then put the lids on around 20 minutes later, and stuck them in the fridge. 

It was my first time making hummus, and I tried it today. It wasn't great, tastes pretty watery instead of creamy and delicious. A friend of mine suggested mixing in a bit of peanut butter, since I am not a fan of tahini. I'm going to try that tonight!

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Wednesday's Small Steps: Buy one thing per grocery trip organic or local

One small step towards sustainability, sometimes they are very small.

This week, our small step is:

When you go to the grocery store, buy one thing that is either local or organic instead of the regular one you usually get. That doesn't mean just to grab something that is organic/local that you normally wouldn't get. It means to replace something that you buy regularly with an organic or local counterpart.

This week, after I had already bought my butter, I found organic butter. Next time I need some, I'm getting that. I also have replaced regular peanut butter with the organic version (actually tastes better!) and strawberry jam, until I learn to make my own, has been replaced with organic as well. Just this past shopping trip, I got organic yogurt, since I haven't gotten around to making my own (I only just got a thermometer, throw me a bone!)

My jam-y goodness! So tasty

Give it a try, help your local agriculture and economy, and improve your health too!

Let me know what you try to replace, and keep me posted. Maybe you'll find something that I don't know of yet, or maybe you can learn from the other comments!

Health and vitality,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Writing exerpt: The field

Since I've managed to stimulate my creative brain, I've actually written a couple of passages for some potential short/long stories. So, periodically, I'm going to write a little exerpt of it, for your enjoyment. And to get my stuff out there.

Critique if you want, or just read and enjoy. Either way, I would like to hear what you think.


A dry blue haze floats inches above the ground. Small paths is the smog could be seen where an animal has walked through, oblivious to the surreality. Bright city lights could be seen from adjacent blocks, yet this field lay in the dark. People could be seen walking by, visibly avoiding the smoky field despite the fact that it would shorten their trip. There was someting about this field, so innocuous by day, that repelled visitors by night. Was there some unseen force that had taken up house? Or was it simply a trick of the eyes due to the field being completely immersed in dark? None were daring enough to find out.

It had been nearly three years since anyone had stepped foot onto that field after sunset. Three years during which that patch of grass became slowly overgrown. The number of people passing through it, even during the brightest daylight hours, had dwindled in number. Even those responsible for it's maintenance no longer visited it. Superstitions had begun to surface, some said even looking at the field was an omen of bad luck. Only the bravest, or the most disobediant, children dared step foot on that field into the overgrown weeds and wildflowers.

That's where I'm stuck so far. What do you think? Think it's worth expanding on, think it's the lamest thing you've ever read? Either way, and anything in between, let me know. Your opinion is important to me.

Peace and creativity,

Simply Me

Monday Musing: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of year to celebrate family and togetherness. Or is it?

Thanksgiving (in Canada) actually started because of a settler/explorer being thankful for making the long journey across the ocean. It eventually developed into, as the settler population grew, to be a day to be thankful for that season's harvest.

I enjoy Thanksgiving. I get together with my family, we have a big ol' meal and talk. It's one of those days that my family uses to get together and (hypothetically) enjoy each others company.

What do you do for Thanksgiving? Do you think it's a sham? Or a wasted holiday? Or do you enjoy it, and spend time with family, friends, or other loved ones?

Thankfulness and gluttony galore!

Simply Me

Enjoy the Monday Musing series? Here are the rest of the posts from this series:
Happy thoughts
Automatic negative reactions
Sustainable eating
Crutch or reason?

Outlook on outlooks

Despite changes in life, some things maintain a level of continuity. They are things that one can always depend on to remain the same. Eaach person needs to identify such things in their lives and determine how they can benefit from these things.

A single positive (or negative) childhood memory of a small item or situation can have serious and huge effects on how someone will react or treat that item or situation.

The routine of your family sitting together by a big window and watching the lightning during thunderstorms will create a different emotional response in your adult self than the routine of hiding in individual rooms, bedrooms or the basement, and trying to shelter yourself from the thunder. One with warm family memories will enjoy the sight and sound of the storm. Where one with solitary, fearful memories will feel anxious and panic  and try to hide. Both are unique reactions to a consistent occurence.

There will always be thunderstorms in life, be they literal or emotional. Each persons reaction will be different. Don't think of why someone is different than you, think instead of what lead you to your own reaction, and what may have led them to theirs.

Seek to understand, only then can you accept. Trying to change the way someone feels rarely, if ever, ends successfully. If you try to understand the reasoning behind your own reactions, and theirs, instead, cooperation is more easily accomplished. Then a middle ground can be found, if necessary.

Personal health tips to avoid the flu

With flu season beginning to bear it's ugly head, and myself just getting over a nasty cold, I figured I would share my thoughts on germophobia.

Keep in mind, these are my personal views, and if you don't like them, that's fine.

1. Hand sanitizer is a waste of money. It's cold, feels gross on your hands, makes you smell like a booze-hound, and is overall bad for you immune system.

Why? Because your body needs to maintain a certain number of bacteria to balance it's own system, and to keep your immune system in check. Using hand sanitizer just kills off all the bacteria, making your system start fresh. With consistent use, it also tells your body that it doesn't need to create those anti-bacterical systems, and lowers your own personal immune system. Just wash your hands regularly with plain soap (not that antibacterial junk).

2. Keep warm. I know, technically you don't get sick by being cold. But it certainly doesn't make you feel any better! Throw on an extra layer, and your body will thank you. Plus, you'll exert less energy shaking/shivering, and won't lose hydration so quickly.

3. Drink your liquids!!! This has to be the worst thing that people don't do when they're feeling ill. They stop drinking. Worst thing. Ever. Keeping yourself hydrated will make your body continuously flush out all the nasty crap in your system, keeps the good bacteria where they are, and keeps your kidneys and other organs happy. So just drink something.

4. Get your rest where you can. If your body isn't rested, it can't fight off bacteria or other infections. Try to squeeze in at least 7 hours a night, preferably undisturbed. If you're having trouble sleeping, try avoiding caffeine and sugar after 7pm (or approximately 2-3 hours before you're heading to bed) and don't drink too much before bed.

These are just the basics, the commandments, that I follow pretty much year round. Just remember, if you treat your body well, it's more likely to treat you well in return. Give it what it needs, and it will work harder for you.

Peace and health,

Simply Me

Premium prices on premium products

Organics cost more than non-organics. We have mostly accepted that as a society. You pay a premium price, you get a premium product. Organics have many health benefits, as well as ecological benefits.

What about packaging? Sometimes the product you want (take for example, sketching pencils) will come in a variety of packaging. Will you pay the extra for the packaging you want?

I was at Michael's (local art store) looking for some sketching pencils and paper sketch pads. They had a variety of packs of pencils, most of which came in plastic, or cardboard with a plastic window. There was one package which, not only came with a great variety of pencil strengths, came in a little tin box. Now, to me, it was worth paying the extra 2-3$ for this, because the tin box will be useful, and it's less plastic being disposed of. This little tin box will keep my pencils from breaking as easily, and keep the cat from using them as toys.

Do you find that you're willing to pay extra for optimal packaging for the products you want?

If a store doesn't have a product with the packaging you're looking for, will you hold out until you find it?

Peace and curiosity,

Simply Me

Change starts from within

In a world full of opinions and differences, showing those around you the benefits of stepping lightly on the planet without coming across as pushy or over-bearing can be a challenge.

The first, and easiest, way to try to get friends and family to adopt your lifestyle, or one similarly eco-friendly, is to lead by example. If they see you acting one way, they will start thinking, even if it's only subconsciously.

Your friends and family will appreciate you more if you step back and let them come to their own conclusions about their actions. Let them see how you live and the alternatives you take, and they will see that you do not live a deprived lifestyle.

Because being conscious and proactive is not about going without. It's about enlightening your own life and taking the time to see what is around you. It's about deciding what's important to you, and reaching for it.

If you feel that you're better than others because of the choices you make, you may come across as self-important. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time paying attention to people who come across as high and mighty.

Your personal actions can speak volumes. Don't be ashamed of the choices you make, carry that stainless steel water bottle with pride. Bring out the beading/knitting/macrame project your working on into an easily viewed area. You might get some funny looks, but who cares? You should be proud of what you do.

Plus, maybe if you open the lines of communication, you'll find new information and learn new things. You may have a friend who was ashamed to show they're handiwork off until you showed your own pride. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Pride and peace,

Simply Me

Wednesday's small step: Recipe sharing

Making your own food, as opposed to eating take-out, is not only better for your health, and your wallet. It's also better for the environment. But sometimes, you need something different. Checking recipe books can be helpful, but if you're just starting out, or you're not sure what to try next, ask a friend!

By asking a person, not only are you opening and improving that relationship, but you are also talking to a real person who has made whatever dish they're telling you about. You'll have someone you can ask questions to, or inquire about alternative ingredients. Portion sizes and what order to cook/prepare everything in.

So once a week, call up someone you have been meaning to get ahold of, and ask them what recipe they'd like to share. And don't make it a one-way street, offer to share your recipes as well.

Creating a network of people you can count on for advice, ideas, suggestions, is always a great way to lessen your footprint.

Friends make life more fun, as well.

So pick up that phone, and call.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Brown-bag it!

So since I now have a desk job, and come home significantly less stressed every day, brown-bagging my lunch and snacks should be easy. It is a cheap way to eat, and it's also way healthier. Not to mention the fact that it's way easier to avoid as much waste as possible.

Except that I'm running low on ideas. We rarely have leftovers, since we make pretty much enough to feed everyone.

Right now, I take one container (cottage cheese size) of veggies, and one container (same size) of fruit. I have been bring along extra plums, since they're super ripe and we have a whole basket of them to eat. I bring a bagel, or bread, and put peanut butter on it.

It's kind of boring. I need ideas.

Anyone have any quick and easy ideas? I was thinking of possibly making a huge batch of pasta salad to keep in the fridge for quick lunches, since I love pasta salad, but I don't have any good sauce recipes.

Help me out here people! Please!

Thanks in advance!

Simply Me

Monday Musing: Automatic negative reactions

Changes in perspective are a necessary part of growing up and maturing. Understanding your own reaction to other people's comments and attitudes is essential.

I don't like being wrong. I hate it when someone points out something I've either done wrong or forgotten. It makes me feel inadequate, inferior, and useless. But I have no reason to take out my anger and denial on those I love. My wife was getting the anger because I didn't want to admit that my behaviour may have been wrong.

Now that I have acknowledged and validated that thought process within myself, I can stop myself when I feel it happening. I can notice it and stop myself to pay attention to what is causing this reaction.

Paying attention to negative reactions within yourself can save you future headaches and stress.

What is there that triggers you into a defensive position, and what do you do to keep yourself from taking out your anger/frustration/fear on those around you?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Monday Musing series? Here are the rest of the posts from this series:
Happy thoughts
Sustainable eating
Crutch or reason?

Day 30 — your reflection in the mirror

My reflection is something that I've watched change a lot over the years. From depressed, to happy. From feeling too fat, to feeling comfortable. From insecurity, to confidence. I have improved my own self-image so much, I don't even recognize myself when I look back. Even in pictures, there's such a visible difference, apart from the time gap.

@Me No matter what, keep smiling. You are wonderful, beautiful, and kind. You deserve everything good, and you can push through everything bad.

And so the tweet challenge is wrapped up. It was an interesting journey, and hopefully not too boring for those who've been following along.

I think I'm going to start having a weekly blurb on what I've been writing.

Peace and creativity,

Simply Me

Social Networking: Helpful or Hopeless?

So, I am all over Facebook. I use it for it's actual purpose: Social Networking. I enjoy catching up with people that I don't see regularly, keeping tabs on who's having kids, etc. I love it.

Some people don't think it's a good thing. Some figure, if you want to find out about a person, call and ask them! But I don't really see it that way. I see it more as a way to open conversation. When you already know a bit about what's going on in someone's life, it makes it easier to initiate and maintain a basic conversation.

I find it very helpful in also finding information, such as who may be looking for a place to live, or who is trying to get rid of some of their junk.

How about you, do you use Facebook? If you do, what do you primarily use it for? If you don't, what's stopping you?

Don't be shy, I'm actually curious!

Interest and accuracy,

Simply Me

Day 29 - Someone I want to tell everything to, but am too afraid to

Wow. Deep subject this one. Someone I want to tell all to, but am afraid to.
I think no matter who I pick, there is always going to be someone that I want to share everything to, but am too afraid. I don't like sharing everything, even when I want to, I don't really want to. I like keeping things to myself for the most part. I like the freedom that it has when I am feeling something but I'm the only one that knows it. It also makes it easier to explain some things to people, because you'll know that they have very limited background information.
So, I guess, without further ado:

@Bzilla Everything is so complicated with you two right now. Why can't you just suck it up and talk to each other?? I can't help you otherwise.

Dramatic people can't do anything for themselves, but they get mad if you try to help. Go figure.

Patience and peace,

Simply Me