Happy Halloween, all! I know that your feeds are bursting at the seams with Halloween posts. I will add to that 😉 So, I decided to do something a bit different and share some random or little known facts about Halloween.
The original Jack O’Lantern was carved into turnips, not pumpkins. Pumpkins are used in the Americanized version because they were more plentiful in the USA than turnips.
This year, Germany, a country that usually enjoys wearing terrifying costumes for their Halloween celebration, has announced a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ regarding creepy clowns. This is due to the fact that the creepy clown phenom has reached Europe from the USA and following in excess of 30 attacks, robberies and the like, in Germany, the ministry doesn’t not really know how to deal with it, except to make it illegal.
In 2007, Daylight savings time in the USA was actually changed, after many years of lobbying by the candy companies, to add an extra hour to Halloween for trick-or-treaters. It has been claimed that it was for safety reasons, as the hit and run statistics on Halloween are very high. But I think we all know it’s because adding an extra hour, means more time to trick or treat and an increased need for larger amounts of candy.
Oh! Oh! Oh! I finally found a place where I can get help with my Apple devices and programmes!
Most of you who know me, realize that I have a devastating deficiency in the technical capability arena. That said, I was super happy to get an inside look (and A LOT of help) from Screen Casts Online.
It seems to me that Screen Casts Online focuses mainly on Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV and the apps, syncing, usage, operating systems and special apps that go with them. Super nice to find these tutorials all in one, very well organized space!
I spent a good amount of time checking out the videos that relate to me (the WP series, video creation, application walk-throughs and iOS – I had just updated my operating system on my Mac and it was acting funny). They were clear, concise and I learned quite a bit about the endless possibilities which I was never aware of on my Mac.Unfortunately, I was unable to watch all the relevant video tutorials (We’re talking many hundreds of hours worth of tutorials here. 730+ tutorials to be exact.), but I did get a good feel for the program and learned a lot about my current apps and products. You know me, always trying to figure out the basics first. (Hello utility tutorials!)
When you first log in, you are directed to a page which shows all the newest Mac and iOS tutorials. Each tutorial is color coded and stated if it is a Mac (green) or iOS (red) tutorial. From there you can browse all the new Mac or iOS tutorials by clicking the link, search for a specifically oriented item via the search page, or browse by catalogue. Me? I stuck to browsing the new tutorials (thanks for helping me get my pc back to normal speed after the iOS update!) or browsed by category. If you have a bit of time to explore, I recommend browsing by category via the Library link at the top of the page. You learn about some really super programs that you might have never known existed! Once you find a tutorial that peaks your interest, you can read the summary, or click to the right of it to watch the tutorial. Personally, watching the tutorial helps me tons. Being able to watch someone doing what I should be doing, explaining clearly and concisely exactly what happens and why, being able to see basically first-hand everything that a program I have yet to try can offer and how to use it – is extremely valuable, in my opinion.
For me, I really liked the videos. I’m always doing something strange and figuring out new operating systems, video creation and even WordPress (yes, there is a 2 part series on WP – about 45 mins each) is never easy. They explain things in a very simple way, that enables people such as myself to follow what’s happening without feeling like we’re looking at Ikea assembly instructions. Personally, I would highly recommend this site as a huge help for small and micro businesses. I think that the assistance offered is invaluable in a business setting when you don’t have the opportunity to learn by trial and error. I would also recommend this for the individuals who are technologically impaired or unaware, such as myself.
I know what you’re thinking – why pay when tutorials for everything can be found on youtube? Here’s why: You Tube is the video version of wikipedia. Wikipedia is the most unreliable form of research – aside from asking your neighbor what the forecast population growth for Ghana is (so much so that its use is not allowed in professional or University settings). You Tube is the same. Anyone can post a video on You Tube – Those who truly understand the product, as well as your sixth grade niece, can both post and claim proficiency in the subject. And my biggest fear – the hacker who slyly tells you exactly how to make your computer susceptible to viruses, and all you think you’re doing is finding a way to download more music. Do you really want to take the chance of following bad advice when it comes to such expensive and necessary machines? I don’t.
The main tutor on the site is Don McAllister, who founded ScreenCasts Online in 2005. He was in Corporate IT for many years before and has become highly sought after by some of the foremost Mac and iOS vendors. There are 4 guest tutors as well, all of whom have written extensively on the topic, and have had dealings in one way or another with Mac, iOS or their specialized programmes. The site provides information on your information, as well as names and links so that you can verify the source or reputation of the person instructing you.
The site contains 730+ video tutorials ranging in length from 20 mins – 1 hour. Some have multiple parts. The instructions and displays are very clear, and sometimes the main points are written at the bottom of the screen so to make it easier to remember the basics.
Here is an example video, of How to get the most out of your Apple device. They have Mac, iOS, OSX, Apple Watch, design, web, photos, videos, hardware apps and business related tutorials.
If you would benefit from video how-to’s or thorough explanations as to why your Apple and it’s programmes might be acting bizarrely, check out Screen Casts Online site. It is a monthly or annual membership site, but it is worth it. The rates are $8 monthly, $7 monthly for quarterly memberships, and the best value is $6 monthly for annual memberships.
What do you think, would you use a service like this?
*Disclaimer: I received a temporary membership to this site in order to adequately review the service, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Hi everyone and thanks for stopping in! Todays article kicks off my happily anticipated series on sustainable fashion. I have been on the hunt… high and low, searching for the best, coolest and friendliest homes of sustainable fashion.
Here’s how it went down: I think I spent at least 30 hours doing internet search on top of internet search for sustainable fashion businesses. I then compiled a list and went through each site that I had found (another several days of solid researching). Many were sadly no longer active. Another large group was those that specialized in like…socks. And then, THEN we have the massive conglomerates that marketed sustainable and ethical fashion, but in all honesty, it was just for marketing. I’ve worked in business; I know a marketing ploy when I see one. So once I was able to categorize these business even further, it left me with only a handful of genuine fair trade practicing, sustainable processing, natural fiber using fashion companies who have some really nice modern day designs. Works for me! I’ve been on the search for the best and now it seems like I’ve found a tiny group of them.
Now I must tell you, that these people at People Tree are some of the most co-operative people I have spoken to. I understand, of course, that when a blogger contacts a company the immediate thought is ‘freebie request’. Now, I love freebies, it’s like Christmas when something that you really love arrives! That said, I merely wrote to request information. They not only understood my request for information and permission, they made sure I was well stocked in all the information I could possibly need and were at hand for any questions I might have. How awesome is that for this humble blogger??!
Now, a large part of the reason I developed a clothing crush on this company is because their designs are nice. They are comfortable and beautiful; suitable for office, home and a night out. Two of their featured designers this collection are Peter Jensen and Zandra Rhodes. They have worked with Thakoon, Laura Ashley, and Vivienne Westwood (to name a few). Having designer options at a reasonable price, in natural fabrics all the while incorporating Fair Trade and sustainable business practices, is what really made me find myself going ga-ga.
Some of this information is in the form of a social review, which is conducted every other year in order to ensure that The People Tree is maintaining or exceeding their fair trade practices. This was fascinating reading, as so many companies do not truly practice any form of transparency in their sourcing and business practices.
People Tree utilizes fair trade practices in every step of their production process. From Cradle to Cradle. Most of their cotton is certified organic and fair trade. They use safe, azo-free dyes for their clothing, they source locally and use recycled where they can. Even down to their natural buttons which use either shell, coconut, corozo ( a natural grain which resembles resin), horn or wood. All of the woven items are hand woven, and in many cases, People Tree uses recycled material so as not to create or contribute to any additional waste. Logistically speaking, they are brilliant – utilizing sea transport as opposed to air. They even take sustainability so far as to use solar panels in as many possible places as they can.
Safia Minney founded People Tree in 1990. People Tree is said to be the ‘first international clothing company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product label’. In the past 25 years, they have been able to perfect a supply chain, which positively affects in excess of 3,700 farmers, tailors, weavers, dyers and management due to Fair Trade practices. They employ some of the persons from castes which truly struggle and need a fair opportunity. Including as stated ‘Indigenous, disabled, refugees and people living in poverty’ from the Countries India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In total, they work with 34 Fair Trade producers who employ approximately 15,000 people. The numbers I was able to get my hands on states that there are approx 4,500 artisans & farmers in 13 countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Laos & The Philippines). That’s a lot of Fair Trade going around!
Some of their Fair Trade practices include training, the possibility of advance pay without interest for business development, fair wages (which is why you won’t find a €5 garment here), good working conditions and market exposure. Ladies, you will love this; HALF of the leadership positions throughout People Tree’s production chain are filled by Women! Yeah, Baby! Yeah!
People Tree has two seasonal collections per annum, and these are some of the stand out items from the Autumn/Winter collection. I could not do a business feature without displaying some of my favourite lust-worthy products, of course!
Some of the items I love at People Tree:
The Lara Pencil Skirt
95% organic cotton, 5% elastin
The Imara Top
95% organic cotton, 5% elastin
Formerly priced at €65, now €33,04
Hesper Striped Skirt in Black
100% Organic Cotton
95% Organic Cotton, 5% Elastin
Fisherman’s Jumper in Unbleached
100% Organic Cotton
Peter Jensen Jewel Tie Waist Dress in Multicolour
100% Organic Certified Cotton
Another cool little thing they do on the website is that under the photo of the particular item you are looking at, there is a statement which informs you where the item was sourced and the Fair Trade aspects of it. Nice 🙂
Now here’s the icing on the cake: FREE delivery in UK on all orders, and an INTERNATIONAL delivery fee of only 5 British Pounds for ALL orders over 70 British Pounds. THAT is SUPER! You know me, I’m a sucker for affordable international postage! J
They have loads of fashionable items to choose from in both Women’s and Men’s. If you are interested in sustainable fashion, this is a great place to check out!
After so much time reading up on this company, the mantra that will remain ringing in my head is ‘slow fashion, not fast fashion.’ From here forth, every time I see a clothing shop which turns over their trends on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and are selling man-made fabric must-have’s on me for the price of €5-€7, I will mentally equate it to McFashion – the pre-processed, rubbery burger that you can get for €1 and regret for much longer.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this business, please share!
Today, I feel pretty good about my #ootd so I felt like sharing with you. The great thing about autumn is that one can wear her suede over the knee boots and a nice cashmere sweater to dress up her favorite skinny jeans and look and feel great!
Sorry, I hate taking selfies and they always come out just awful looking, so I found the products themselves to show you.
Hi there, and thanks for stopping by to scan my unsolicited advice for beginning bloggers post! Now, I am well aware that this post is a bit of a risk. I am not a professional blogger, and I absolutely do not claim to have a plethora of knowledge on the subject. I definitely don’t want to come across as saying ‘blog like me’. The reason I felt compelled to write this post (and am a bit nervous as to how this will be perceived) is that, well, honestly, I’m big on etiquette. As in – saying ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘May I’ and telling someone when they have something in their teeth. I’ve spent a lot of time cringing at posts with something in their teeth. Although I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who cringe at some of my posts with the same vigor.
As a blogger – that seems to have been around for awhile (comparatively speaking, as this articlefrom 29 August, 2016 states that the current average lifespan of a blog is only 100 days…That is dismal.) This article has a few theories on why blogs don’t seem to last so long anymore. Anywho, I digress….
A bit about me: When I began blogging, I didn’t really know if anyone would even be interested in what I have to say. After all, it’s a mishmash of all things ‘my life’. Travel, thoughts, home reno, shopping, spa days, book & product reviews, and just life in general. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to make some golden friendships here and honestly, without their help, support & guidance, I think I would have easily foundered by now. I don’t usually write posts about blogging, because well, I am no expert. Just like most everyone else, I have had to learn by trial and error, ask for tons of help, read better blogging posts until my head hurt, and just see what happens over time. Aside from my own mistakes, I have seen several ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ that seem to be a recurrent issue in many of the blogs that I peruse. So, as your sister in the blogosphere, I feel obligated to share my thoughts on things that might help you out a bit. Agree or don’t, its completely up to you. I’m not telling you what you should do with your blog. It’s yours, keep it yours. I know that I scoured thousands of articles on this topic when I was starting out – and continue to today. So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned and would just like to pass on:
Please DO, I think it will help:
Be yourself! Everyone is different and every blogger has their style & preferences. If you do what everyone else does because you think that’s the way things should go, then all blogs would be the same and … that’s no fun.
Write what you are passionate about! People can see your passion and expertise in your posts.
Proofread your posts! If you can’t spend the time to review your writing before hitting the publish button, why should people spend the time out of their lives reading it?
Publish regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily, or even weekly. But you should maintain some sort of schedule. Personally, I now post at least three times weekly. More often if I have more to say. When I began blogging, I posted once weekly. That was enough to slowly build my blog and have the time to learn about what I was doing. Your followers will appreciate your consistency. (It is one of my blogging pet peeves when a blog I follow posts daily, or multiple times per day, and then drops off the planet without any reason given for two months, returns with an apology & 5 posts on the same day. It IS however completely understandable & acceptable if life gets in the way. We all have things to do. Just let people know and it seems to go over better if your posting schedule isn’t totally erratic.). Slow and Steady wins the race.
Set reasonable, yet challenging goals for yourself. For example, my goal was to reach 1,000 WP subscribers in my first year. Not easy, but I knew if I could do it, it was sign that I could continue blogging. It took almost a year to achieve that goal, but once I did – it felt like nothing could stop me. Thanks everybody for THAT! 🙂 🙂
Make sure your Gravitar profile is on-key! Many people will find you through this, so make sure its updated and well kept!
Sync all your social media accounts. I can’t tell you what a time-saver it is to have my posts updated on all accounts the moment they are published.
Make your posts worthy of a life/time investment! There is spending time (wasting time) and there is investing time. The point being, that people are spending time in their lives that is gone – never to return- once it’s spent, reading our blogs. Do we want this to be a waste of their time in life? OF COURSE NOT! This is where the term time investment comes into play. The difference? An investment implies ROI – or return on investment. If someone invests their time reading your article, and comes out of it enriched with something – be it motivation, knowledge, awareness, a smile, an idea or increase in blog traffic – then they have received a solid return on their investment. Well done!
Enroll in everything! Learning is the best way. WordPress Blogging Universityoffers free online courses on a regular basis: Blogging 101, blogging 201, commenting bootcamp, branding & marketing strategies, photography, et al. Follow the link above for the sign-up page. Personally, I never stop learning. I’ve found that the more I learn about blogging, the more I realize I don’t have a clue and need to learn more.
NETWORK! There are constantly sites hosting meet and greets, networking parties, drop your link posts, et al. Do it! This is a great time investment for you! Get to know other bloggers, leave your link, repost the parties and socialize, socialize, socialize! This is hands-down the best way to get your site out there. Personally, I have followed hundreds of new sites I found on these parties that I never would have known existed otherwise.
Be considerate of your fellow bloggers. New, old and indifferent – we are ALL here to accomplish something. A large percentage of your subscribers are fellow bloggers. They are investing in you, you should invest in them. Take the time to check out their sites. Like or comment if you find a post you like.
Sharing is caring. If you stumble across a blog post that is wonderful and you think your followers would love to read it, share! However, please always ask in the comments section before you reblog or wp it. Some bloggers love to be shared, some don’t. So make sure first. Personally, I love it when someone deems my work worthy of a good share 😉 Also, when you share the post, make sure to thank the original blogger in the additional area for an introductory comment. Respect for others is key!
Sweat SEO. The search engines will pick up your articles at some point. I’m still pleasantly surprised when I see search engine views on my stats page.
Post more than twice daily (Unless you are an incredibly popular site (in excess of several thousand followers) news site or a massive site which has multiple bloggers publishing articles – then it’s a whole new ballgame and post away!) The reason for this is that it appears (to me) as though you are only inundating the web with links, photos or little snippets in order to attract more traffic to your site. Trust me, its obvious. Quantity does not mean Quality. Not to mention it gunks up people’s email inboxes. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. There are at least 5 blogs that I follow which post good quality posts, multiple times a day. But I can tell you as someone who spends a lot of time reading blogs, that this is the exception more than the rule.
Post the link to your site in the comment section of other blogs, unless it has been specifically requested. (My other major blogging pet peeve) It’s spammy, and many bloggers, including myself, will just delete it. Other people’s blogs are not your free marketing arena. People can find their way to your site via your profile name and gravitar profile which is displayed with your comments. Plus, there is always a networking party to be found where you are encouraged to drop your link. But as for comment spamming: Seriously, please, don’t do it. Send an email if you truly want to thank people for following. Comments are great! Please just don’t use them to direct traffic to your own site.
Put all your stock in numbers. True, stats are important. And the difference between 200 followers and 2,000 is huge. However, its the quality of traffic that really matters. Go with the 10% rule (personally, I think more like %6 is more realistic). Meaning: Only an average of 10% of your subscribers will actually see or like your post. Interaction is huge! If you have a higher ratio of views, likes and comments – then you have high quality traffic. A person with 200 followers can get 70 likes on a great article and a person will 2,000 followers can get 30. This is what I mean.
Let your ambition turn you into a naive nut. This is the internet. There are predators out there and we are prime prey. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a company you’ve never heard of contacts you, do some research before replying. And NEVER-EVER pay to be an ambassador or freely hand out your personal information for anything! Companies will contact you in time, don’t you worry. Looking for fresh talent is what people do for a full-time job.
Play the follow/unfollow game. This is not instagram. You can’t expect likes & follows in return, although many people respect others enough to do so. But also because professional and business bloggers, as well as those who have popular blogs are paying a small fortune for self hosting domains with all the bells and whistles – which include google analytics. Many watch the numbers very closely, as it tells what we are doing wrong: navigation and the like. So, WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Nobody likes a cheater, so please stop doing it. Be legit, or be gone. (Another pet-peeve: on all platforms, the people who do this are kind of A-holes, in my personal opinion. I always make sure that I do NOT follow or like any of those who play this follow/unfollow game…I don’t care how great your content is.)
Invest too much money until you know where you’re going with this. I realize that this is difficult at times. We all need hosting, new programs, cameras, products and the like. Fake it, till you make it…right? BUT what happens if you spend yourself into oblivion and then decide 4 months later that blogging isn’t for you? Remember your ROI. You are left with a pile of investment and no return.
Drink and blog. Seriously. Yes, you will regret that rant in the morning. We all know you were wasted because it looks like you were typing with your face. Sleep it off and rant in the morning.
Quantity is not Quality. Quality is better.
Remember who your friends are, they are golden.
Gain a thirst for knowledge
Sharing is caring!
ROI on your followers time investment.
It’s not all about numbers
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Be legit, or be gone
Respect for others is key!
Thanks for reading, everyone! If you have any more advice you would like to add, please leave it in the comments section so we can all see!
This is one of those occasional posts to discuss future posts. I know it seems kind of weird maybe. However, it is your valuable time that you spend reading here, and my valuable time writing – so I like to make sure that my experiments are something we would all like to spend our time exploring.
That said, here are some of the new experiments & bi-monthyl/monthly blog series I would like do here on Lifexperiment Blog.
Getting to know you! I’ve made so many golden friendships here and I love meeting new people and getting to know better the friends I already have! So I was thinking that we could do a once monthly discussion on – say – one question. I will post my answer in the post, so you can get to know me too 🙂
Quirky Quotes 😀 I love fun, weird, somewhat strange & sometimes inspiring quotes. I was thinking that I could share some of these, maybe, say… bi-monthly?
Sustainable fashion. I posted about this earlier and I have put a lot of time and research into it and I think that sharing my findings on this when I am able would be great fun and spread the word a bit.
As for the experiments I have been blogging about all along: wedding, home reno, garden, the hunt for the perfect beauty products, travel, food, books, fashion, product reviews and my occasional blab about whatever has me cross-eyed that day – these will all still continue. And the Recycled Book Reading Challenge on the first of every month…of course! 😉
A very cool and original book about the art of Orna Ben-Shoshan and the artist herself.
Her art is somewhat surreal and somewhat not. She is an artists in the 2000’s, yet her oil paintings contain almost cartoonesque medieval figures and colours. The appeal, for me anyway, is that in each painting there is something a bit off about it. Upside down sitters, spun hair and surrealistic wavy checkerboard floors all add to the appeal of her quirky, admirable artwork.
The artist is said to have had a life-long interest in metaphysics and mysticism which is clearly reflected in her artwork. Her works are fascinating, exhibiting a slightly twisted yet healthy sense of humor combined with a sense of fantasy and mysticism.
Most of her art is in oil. She does do digital art as well, which is pretty cool. My favourite is ‘The Jeweler, 2006’ and it doesn’t look like digital art at all.
Another super cool surprise with this book, is that when you open your kindle reader (if you get the e-book), there is a link where the artist has offered a complimentary copy of one of her works as a Thank-You for purchasing the book. We are putting ours up on our wall 😉
I would recommend this book for surreal art fans. It’s pretty cool! The hardback would make a great coffee table book. If you would like to check out Orna Ben-Shoshan’s artwork, you can find it here.
Thank you for reading!
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like clacking into work in stilettos. It takes time and effort to look like you just stepped off a runway and pretend that you didn’t just spill coffee down the front of your blouse.
Today, I felt like running in with a bag full of hoagies and a thermos of hot tea. You know what though? It felt great! Nobody laughed at me and it was hands down the most comfortable workday ever! To be repeated many more times.
This book, an autobiographical memoir told in first person narrative form gives us, the reader a vivid glimpse into the lives and thoughts of a boy coming into manhood during the infantile stages of the holocaust and throughout. This book tugged at my heart strings like no other in a very long time. A must-read!
The author, born in Slovakia in 1928, walks us through his eye witness testimony of how the holocaust sneakily came to be, from the eyes of a boy. He discusses watching Jewish businesses ‘Aryanised’ and how no-one really thought it would last long. That surely, someone will take this madman out of powerful position – it’s just a matter of time. I can easily see myself, naively assuming that relocation would be only temporary and that the whole of Europe could not possibly hate one culture so much as to see them utterly destroyed. Denial is a powerful thing, and it something one must take into account when reading this book!
Based in Slovakia, in the town of Presnov is where the beginning of this family’s story of degradation in the holocaust begins. The author, reminisces about the good times, his life milestones with which those he loves will not be able to repeat with any others. He writes about watching his sister and other dear relatives, leaving for Palestine to escape persecution. He also writes about relatives from Poland escaping to Slovakia to work in ‘Aryanised’ businesses – not knowing that the same grisly events were slowly unfolding in their own city of reprieve.
Amir explains to us the desperation of his father to become an ‘economically viable jew’ or Hospodarsky Zid in order to gain exemption status or the vynimka label so as not to be sent to the Poland ghettos – or worse. An economic jew being explained as one who had knowledge or a level of expertise that would be of economic benefit to the government. Even this label did not help much during the ’round-ups’ of 1942. Only hiding helped, and not with much success as many examples from the period have shown.
Giora Amir speaks with great relief and trepidation about the days leading up to May 8, 1945. The day Germany surrounded. Having been taken in by the Czechs during a surprising run-in, only some days before, Giora and his small group of refugees were finally the lucky ones – albeit in a world that still held a great amount of distain and few opportunities for the remaining Jewish populace.
The author, Giora Amir, takes great care to lay out a mapping of familial history, culture and business dealings in the beginning of this book. This serves well to bring a sense of humanness to the reader. Whereas it is normally easy to disassociate oneself from the characters in a book, it is not the case in this book. In this book, the reader feels closer to the characters and therefore experiences a larger sense of fear and empathy with the characters.
I very much appreciate the fact that this book is not just a first person eyewitness account of the the author. The author has taken great care to include letters and writings that he knew would never see the light of day otherwise – to give us, the reader, a clear vision of what life, death, sadness and suffering was like for all involved. These included testimonies also shed a dim light on the happenings, hidings, round-ups and battles from other areas and from different perspectives.
If you like The Diary of Anne Frank, you will love this book! I highly recommend this book for all ages! Keep a tissue handy though. This book can be found at amazon by clicking here. There are both Kindle and paperback editions.
Thanks for reading!
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. This book tugged at my heart strings like no other in a very long time. A must-read!
I really really like this cookbook! The recipes are unique and awe inspiring, and set out in such a way to help the reader follow a Zen-inspired lifestyle.
The 5 seasons are set as Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its foods (seasonal fruit and vegetable), the colors that normally accompany these foods & seasons (greens, reds, whites, etc) and coolest of all – the organs of the body which benefit most from this seasonal eating (Heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.) Fortunately for us, we can make almost any of these recipes year-round for a full body benefit and extremely tasty experience!
Some of the recipes I am dying to try:
Vegetable Stuffed Persimmon Fruit Leather with Asian Paste (Spring)
Rye and Spelt Flour Sicilian Pizza (Spring)
Persimmon Sorbet! (Spring)
Endive Boats Stuffed with Macadamia Feta (Summer)
Baked Vegetable Chips (I have been searching for this recipe!) (Summer)
Tri-Color Cashew Cheese Rolls (Late Summer)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Grilled Pepper Sauce (Late Summer)
Hearty Root Soup (Autumn)
Acai Sorbet (Autumn)
Moroccan Style Jerusalem Artichokes (Winter)
Pickled Vegetables – Korean Kimchi (Winter)
In the beginning of the book, there is a nice explanation of Zen and the Zen diet. Following the recipes, there is a great section about mindful eating, which I think is extremely important – especially if one is using foods as a means of healing.
One of the additions I enjoyed, is the ‘Good to know’ sections. Filled with tidbits about ingredients, prep and nutritional value. It really is good to know that certain food items are very filling, and therefore I can make smaller portions!
If you are interested in cooking for health, following the natural cycle of food and body or just love to cook – I highly recommend this cookbook and it can be found here.
I can tell you that we will be keeping this e-book handy for our kitchen adventures, and I hope you will too!
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I like it…a lot 🙂
This has to be the healthiest sushi I have ever eaten!
As I stated in my previous post, I have been on the hunt for good, organic superfoods and nutrients that will serve as a compliment to my vegetarian lifestyle. I was absolutely thrilled when my package from Indigo Nutrition arrived! There are so many nutrients – brain food, that I need and this Supergreens Powder has ALL of it! Yes! Brain food, power food, ENERGY FOOD!
I couldn’t wait to get cooking. The only question is: What to create? I carefully opened the package and peaked inside. Green. Awesome, just as I thought, since the contents are 100% Organic Wheatgrass Powder, Organic Barleygrass powder, Organic Spiraling powder, Organic Chlorella Powder & Organic Mooring powder it would be a surprise if it were say …red. I took a big whiff (we do like to smell foods, don’t we?!) and it smells like …seaweed! 🙂 Question answered! Sushi it is (vegan, of course)!!
So we made this gorgeous set-up:
Here’s how you do it:
Cooking and Prep Time: approx 1 hour (this includes cooking, cooling, prep & prettying)
Sushi rice (cooking volume: 1 decilitre sushi rice to 1,5 deciliters water)- for this recipe we used 4,5 dl sushi rice
6,75 dl water (adjust if using varying measurements of sushi rice)
1 small cucumber
1 pack of seaweed wraps (usually come in packs of 8-10, but this recipe only needs 5)
A bamboo rolling mat (covered in plastic wrap) OR a sheet of baking paper
Small cup with water for rolling
Preparing the ingredients:
Preheat oven to 175 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit
Measure your sushi rice, put in pan or strainer and rinse well with cold water. 3 good rinses and drains should do the trick
Add the required water into the pot: 1,5 parts water per 1 part sushi rice
Bring stove to a simmering heat to cook the rice. Cover the rice and simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is completely absorbed. (Check frequently! Sushi rice is temperamental)
While the rice is cooking, remove your tofu from the package and rinse. Cut into length-wise strips and place on baking tray to bake.
Place baking tray with tofu strips into a preheated oven at 175 c for 15 minutes. It should begin to golden when it is done.
Cut one small cucumber into julienne strips to be used as filling
Measure out 3 teaspoons of Indigo Nutrition Organic Supergreens Powder and place into a small bowl.
Take rice and tofu from heat when they are cooked and set out to cool. (The fillings must be cooled or the seaweed wraps will pucker)
Making the rolls:
Place 1 seaweed wrap on a bamboo rolling mat (thats covered with plastic wrap) or on a sheet of baking paper (shown below)
Fill ½ -2/3 with a small layer of rice. Don’t over-fill or it will not roll properly.
Place one line of the baked tofu strips and 1 line of the cucumber strips (next to the tofu) towards the front of the wrap.
Sprinkle Supergreens powder gently over the tofu and cucumber filling
Gently life the end (closest to you) of the rolling mat or baking paper and the beginning rolling fold of the sushi. Squeeze across the roll to give it a little compactness. Put the mat or paper back and continue rolling, squeezing gently along the way to ensure it holds.
Roll until there is a bit more than 1 cm (0r ½ inch) of empty seaweed left to roll.
Dab this last section with a few droplets of water and run finger along line before completing the roll. The water will act as an aid to help the end of the seaweed wrap stick to itself and will seal the roll.
Set aside until all rolls are completed.
Cut into 2,5 cm (1 inch) sections and lay flat on a plate. It helps if you use a large kitchen knife with a few water droplets on the blade – to prevent tearing the seaweed wraps.
Sprinkle the tops lightly with the remaining Supergreens Powder, for an extra boost!
OK, I have to say a few things about this. Firstly, the sushi turned out awesomely! Secondly, these Supergreens are truly SUPER! We are both usually so tired by the end of the day. This small serving of these powdered greens gave both of us a serious energy boost. (I had a partner in crime on this one, so I know it’s not my imagination.) About 3 hours after we ate this sushi, we both looked at each other and were like – ‘I’m not tired… AT ALL. You?’ – ‘Nope, me either.’ – ‘I like that Supergreens powder!’ This fantastic boost of energy lasted about 5 & ½ hours after the meal. I can now tell you that I will have some of this with my food during the day so that I can continue to be a fully functioning human, even after the work day has ended! Yeah, Baby! Yeah!
The Organic Supergreens Powder can be found here. Indigo Nutrition is located in the UK, and they are currently offering free UK delivery with purchases over 30 British Pounds. Best part? This company does offer worldwide shipping, at a very reasonable rate not at the crazy high rates most internet shops do. All you folks around the globe, I’m looking out for you. I hate paying as much for shipping as I do for the product. I know how you feel, so I try to let you know when a good thing comes my way 😉
What do you think about supergreens/superfoods?
Thanks for eating! 😉
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary portion of Supergreens in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Which I have given, and I love this stuff! 🙂
Today I am so pleased to introduce Brooke, from The Utopian Universe ! She is a fully qualified psychologist, life coach and performance consultant.I have been following her blog for awhile now and I really enjoy all her shared positivity and valuable life lessons. Do yourself a favour and check her out!
I was very happy when she agreed to write a guest post for us, because even though I discuss topics from here, there and everywhere – I am not qualified, nor am I in the know enough to write about such valuable topics concerning thought processes like she is. Brooke has a way of stripping bare all the clutter bugs in our minds, in order to show us the resolute simpleness of things that drive us absolutely mad. Such as – flopping back and forth during (or after) the decision making process.
Please everyone welcome Brooke and share with her the warmth and kindness that you so wonderfully share with me!
I am very honoured to bring you this post today, as a Guest Blog, for my friend Mliae, as you follow her fabulous blog, I hope you will enjoy this, it regards something that we all do, whoever we are. Brooke – The Utopian Universe
Do you think that a decision and doubt are opposites ? And maybe that a decisive person would never doubt ? Well reality is very different, because the previous step is essential in the process of a decision. As we go through are reasoning it takes us to our decision, without a doubt!
Why do we wear those clothes and not another? Why do you eat that piece of cheese? It’s not an accident, all day long we make and take decisions, some are conscious and some are not, the majority are not, we dress, we choose our food, and we even decide to use one word instead of another. In most cases we just do it,we don’t doubt or decide, it’s just an action we take.
We have this doubt and decision, just like we breath, we don’t think about it, we are alive thankfully because we breathe, and by the same token we are responsible for our life, resolving doubts and making decisions.
In general, we think that doubt and decisions, are opposites ! This is where the saying, a decisive person never doubts and the day they do they don’t make a solid decision. In actual fact doubt and decision are complimentary, one follows the other, and are both essential parties in the process of a situation of resolution.
OUR INTERNAL CHIT CHAT
Doubt will usually come from an external factor, like, a professional or job option, although it comes from an external place,we then take it inside of us and the chit-chat starts, one part of each wants one thing and the other part of us wants something different, so what do we do ? We are made up of multiple aspects, afraid but brave, generous but cautious and above all confused…imagine if you could take an x-ray of ourselves in this moment.
When we are in doubt, we start a mechanism inside of us, that could look a little like a theater production. We have the main characters, their images, their dialogue that in the end come together to form the final act, during this process hopefully we will have learned valuable information about how you work on the inside. The doubt is only provisional , as we always find a solution even if you think no, the person who says “No, you decide for me” they did reach a decision, they decided to let another decide! This is when decision is confused with action, however there are people who are passive,silent not moving when decisions are made.
Many years ago, a Chinese Warrior Sun Zu, said that the art of the great warrior, was to win the battle without going into combat….this type of decision , shows a person that does not doubt but knows how to evaluate well !!
DOUBT AND LEARNING
When we doubt, we get the opportunity to analyse and listen to our inner arguments, expect chit-chat it will help us with the learning process and for us to witness our personal transformation. It is important that you reach an agreement , after listening to your internal arguments and views to reach your decision, show respect to both internal conversations and accept the disagreement. Always leave a little space for a change of decision, change or cancellation of the same.(There is nothing wrong in changing your decision for valid reasons, not on a whim )
LIVE THE UNCERTAINTY
There are situations that we become involved in but we don’t control, this is when we have uncertainty, uncertainty is not confusion, it is not doubt and it is not decision, it is simply a situation where we are passengers and not the driver, in these cases there is no doubt to have and no decision to be taken. Uncertainty is just lived and hopefully it is done in the best way possible.
When we have doubt, we should be able to discover, once we have gone through it, what true alternatives we have, if we manage to do this , we will be able to value what each option holds, this allows us to reduce are margin of error. Doubts are not cancelled or just forgotten, a doubt is resolved, when you do this you may form a new option that previously did not exist. For this reason to learn to doubt, is to learn to decide, and when we realise and understand this, you will decide in a conscious and responsible manner, and also above all else it gives us peace within ourselves.
Good day, everyone 🙂 Today I thought I would do a little something different. You know, I am constantly on the search for healthy products that will add a bit of a boost to my mainly vegetarian diet. So, in addition to merely doing a product review, I thought I would share a really easy and yummy recipe I created to go along with this great product.
I’ve been really excited, as I received my Indigo Nutrition Organic Super Protein Powder last week. This stuff is supposed to be amazing! It’s 100% vegan organic protein powder. The ingredients are: 100% Organic Chia, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Pea, Organic Pumpkin Seed and Organic Rice Protein Powders. It’s a high source of Protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Phosphorus and Iron. Which makes this a superb nutritional addition for myself and any other vegetarians/vegans because it is difficult to get enough of some of these nutrients from diet alone.
The serving recommendation is 5-20 grams daily, which is quite easy because there are 100 grams in the package and I included 10 grams in my mashed cauliflower recipe. There are no artificial colors or flavors, so I was a bit wary as to what it would actually be like when I opened the package. It is a nice natural color, and smells slightly reminiscent of turmeric. That was a pleasant surprise 🙂 I think that this product would actually go quite well in some smoothie mixtures, but it was dinner time and I was dying to try it, so this is what I made:
Super Protein Chunky Mashed Cauliflower with Basil
Time: 20 mins
Serves 4, 125g servings Ingredients:
10g Indigo Nutrition Organic Super Protein Powder
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 heaping Tablespoon of Turkish Yogurt (can be substituted with Soy yogurt)
1/4 Teaspoon Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Herb Salt
Fresh Basil Sprigs for garnish
Steam 500g cauliflower for 10 mins
Remove from heat and transfer cauliflower into medium sized mixing bowl
Add 3 Tablespoons olive oil
Add 10g Indigo Nutrition Organic Super Protein Powder
Mix on low with a hand mixer 1 minute, or use a hand potato masher (like I did) for 3 minutes
Add 1 heaping Tablespoon Turkish Yogurt, 1/4 Teaspoon Basil and 1/4 Teaspoon Herb Salt
Mix on low with a hand mixer 2 minutes, or hand potato masher for another 5 minutes
Serve and garnish with Fresh Basil
This side dish turned out really well! It will pair well with steamed veggies and maybe a béarnaise sauce or vegan mushroom gravy. Personally, I ate a ton of it just how I cooked it and it was delicious!
I also woke up the next morning with a bit more pep in my step, which is unusual because I am normally a morning zombie. So I’m assuming that my body was thankful for the extra surge in nutrients.
Please check out the full line of Indigo Nutrition products. I know I’ve been drooling over what I might order next. I will definitely make sure I have this item in my pantry at all times.
What do you think, would you be interested in trying super food powders? Why or why not?
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary package of this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
I had to share this post. I love luffa, and given that I can’t hop into the ocean to find myself fresh sponges, THIS would be an AWESOME alternative! Anybody know where I can find these seeds?
Thanks to www.littlellewellynhomestead.wordpress.com for the fun post!
Today, I’m celebrating my first glorious year of blogging! This month has been full of surprises and celebrations and I am so happy to be able to share another high note with you 🙂 Imagine my delight when I woke and found thins notification:
‘Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.’
It’s been an amazing year and I’ve had the privilege to meet so many of my fellow bloggers and make some really great friends! I’ve found myself going from posting once weekly, to 2-3 times weekly, and recently on an almost daily basis! I guess I just have too much to talk about…blabbermouth 😉
Thank you so much, everyone for your continued readership, help, ideas and friendship! You have really kept me smiling and blogging this year!
Today I’d like to discuss a topic which is becoming more and more of a priority for not only myself, but also for many fashion forward men and women. The words of the day are ‘sustainable’, ‘eco’, ‘fair trade’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural fibers’. The reason I would like to talk with you about it is because I am seriously considering launching yet another experiment here on lifexperiment blog.
As most of you already well know, I am a huge proponent of natural fabrics. There are several reasons for this, some are as follows:
Studies have shown that linen is the most hygienic fabric for sheets, and that bamboo is naturally antibacterial
Chemical processing. Fabrics like polyester, rayon and acrylic are treated with various acids and chemical processes. What’s the use in leading a healthy lifestyle if you are absorbing these chemicals through your skin? Of course, you aren’t going to get a ton of it, but some of these have been said to cause cancer and I’m thinking that 5 minutes of saved ironing, isn’t worth it.
It’s basically plastic. I don’t eat plastic and I don’t want to wear plastic. However, I do eat flax, so linen is ok 😉
Money. If I am going to invest in a gorgeous piece of clothing, I want to feel gorgeous in it! Also, if I can buy a poly dress for €5, why would I pay €300 for the same thing? This is a major bone of contention with me.
Natural fibers feel better. Ever notice how you always get hot in that poly blend shirt, but never in organic cotton or silk? It’s back to the plastic thing. Natural fibers breathe better. Personally, I’m in love with the way silks, linens, cotton (especially organic, for some reason), cashmere, wools and leather feel on my skin.
In searching for these beloved fabrics of mine, I have made some interesting discoveries. There are actually tons of companies that now specialize in sustainable, natural or eco-friendly clothing. And it’s not like it used to be! Remember 10 -12 years ago when basically all the sustainable clothing was only in stores that also carried candles and incense? When the first thing that came into your mind at the sound of ‘organic cotton’ was bicycle Tee’s and cargo pants? Totally not the case anymore…much to my delight! 🙂 Some of the online shops I found actually had some really fabulous business wear, daily wear and I even saw a few wedding dresses! Now here’s the rub: Although most places are very upfront about which branch of eco, sustainable, organic they are on – sometimes, you just have to find what you like, click and hope the fabrics are what you’re looking for. Here are some of the differences I’ve noticed:
Fair Trade: This usually refers to locally or regionally sources fibre, and it also refers to the labor. Fair Trade labor is always better because you don’t have to worry about sweatshops, under payment or child labor. Fair Trade is awesome 🙂
Sustainable: This can represent a multitude. But the main meaning behind it is that either the fabrics, production methods or business are done in such a way to drastically reduce waste, pollution and over-use of resources. For example: I have found several companies which use recycled bottles, recycled polyester or recycled cotton and cashmere to make their clothing items. Some of them are really cool too 🙂 This drastically reduces waste as the fabric contents are recycled, so no new production there (apart from the recycling process, of course). Also, another example, is companies who do not make the item until it is ordered, in order to reduce the waste of over-production. Sustainable is good 🙂
Eco: Eco is kind of ‘all-encompassing’. It can mean using recycled material, fair trade, organics, or not using the harsh chemical component to some of their textiles. Eco is good, but can be confusing.
Organic: No pesticides used on the crops (including silk, because the silk worms can eat natural – non chemical filled – whatever silk worms eat. Leaves?) which go into your natural fabrics. If it’s organic, it’s natural. This is great, and might explain why organic cotton feels so much fluffier than regular cotton. (I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure out why that is…)
Natural fibers: Yeah, Ba-by – Now you have my full attention! Linen, silk, cotton, hemp, soy, mohair, rabbit hair (I actually found a place that combs and shears their own rabbits to make rabbit hair products – with no harm to the bunnies!), bamboo, leather, wool, cashmere. Love this. When I find a place with great natural fiber clothing – as a general product line, not a diamond floating in a sea of acrylic sweaters – I will be a customer for life.
What I’m proposing is this: Since I’m already on a constant search for natural fiber, eco friendly and sustainable clothing anyway on my own time, what if I just share the experience with you? Let you know when I find a company I like and what their specialization’s are, or share when I find an outfit or two that I totally fall in love with. Or rant when I get totally feed-up and frustrated with the search. What do you think?
Since it is our time that I am taking, I would really like to hear your thoughts and feedback. Would you be interested in continuing the search with me for highly fashionable, natural fiber, eco-friendly and sustainable clothing?
Thanks for reading and taking part! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
As I was scrolling through my email, instagram and followed blogs this morning, I began noticing a common theme: Turkeys.
Turkeys?!? Why? Did I miss something or somehow otherwise pull a Rip Van Winkle last night? You know, go to bed in October with all the ghouls and spooky stuff, Wake up in November with all things …Thanksgiving?
What’s with all the Turkeys?! Seriously, please enlighten me.
Update: Thanks to the very friendly blogger over at The Analyzed Life , I just learned that today is Canadian Thanksgiving! So THAT explains all the turkeys in my feed. Thank you for enlightening me 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!
Hi all! I wanted to share my guest post that I wrote for Chape Personal Trainer. He’s got a great site, full of motivational posts and some super workouts! I recommend you give it a look-see, you’ll love it 🙂
I hope you enjoy his site as much as I do and I truly hope you enjoy the read!
Hello all 🙂 I really wanted to share this post from www.ruchisvegkitchen.com Whilst wedding planning, I have discovered that quite a few of my guests have serious food allergies. I can only imagine how difficult it is to find good food if you are allergic to, for example, onions and garlic. This is a great looking recipe for that and I hope you enjoy!
Happy Birthday to me! Celebrating one year older, one year bolder…and one year more Fabulous! 😀
I got to enjoy this gorgeous passionfruit cheesecake. It’s delicious! It was perfectly beautiful until I accidentally bumped it with the cake cutter, but I wanted to share it anyway so you can see my perfectly imperfect birthday cake 🙂
My fear for the future:
My hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming year? Just stay tuned and you’ll watch me achieving them one goal at a time (and probably quite a few fails too…).
Hi all! I HAD to reblog this awesome post! I am really looking forward to trying this home cheese recipe, it looks so much simpler than I had ever imagined 🙂 Check out www.wildwoodhomestead.com for more cool ideas!
Thanks so much to those of you who helped me get to the proper places in wordpress to figure out what I had done to my pages, while creating more pages. I finally got everything all linked up in the header menu for easier navigation! Yes!
I’m still having a hard time figuring out how to add additional pages that will automatically update with said tags, without losing my entire menu and many days of work. Once again, if you have tips, please share!
I’m not usually one for romance novels, but I do love suspense. So when you mix the two, this book is the result. I think I found this book on the english rack at the second hand shop for 0,25€.
Published in 1997, this wasn’t a bad read. Like I said, not usually my style, but the mystery kept this book on the rails when I didn’t feel so drawn in by the whole lusty fussy over a kidnap victim scheme. I have been told that Sandra Brown is actually quite renown in her field, so I felt a bit ashamed that I wasn’t completely intrigued.
In summary, Burke Basile is a police officer, he absolutely hates Pinkie Duvall who is a criminal defense attorney. Pinkie is married to Remy, and they aren’t exactly in love. Everyone assumes she is a trophy wife, and even Burke openly calls her a hooker because she dresses so provocatively. Burke loses his partner, basically becoming a lost cause. He decides the best form of action for revenge is to kidnap Remy and take her into a swamp to lure in Pinkie. In the meantime, he falls absolutely in love with her and well, you know how these things go in romance novels! All the while, the characters that lie in the outskirts of the story are woven throughout and Mardis Gras – Fat Tuesday is vastly approaching. Fat Tuesday
There was a plot, more so than just getting Character A with Character C in an isolated place to get hot and heavy. However, the plot was kind of…loose. Not exactly the making of a great suspense novel. But it was a nice read on a rainy day 😉