Green Favourites 2016

posted in: ..., Green Living | 0

This year I created a series where each month I share 5 things including an eco product, slow fashion brand, book or documentary, something I learned, and a blogger or youtuber I follow. These are all my favourites from the year!

Green Products

Argan oil – I use it as a simple face and hair moisturizer

Reuseable produce bags

Glass water bottle from Soulbottles

Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile liquid soap

Reuseable food wraps from Bee’s Wrap

Rose water

Safety razor

Jar for seed sprouting at home

Reuseable coffee cup from Ecoffee Cup

Insulated water bottle from S’well

 

Slow Fashion Brands

MUD Jeans

A Wool Story – reclaimed hand-knit wool accessories

Project JUST – assesses and reviews brands ethics and sustainability

Osei Duro

Odina – eco swimwear

Elle Evans – eco swimwear

Zady

Slumlove Sweater Company

Wintervacht – upcycled blanket jackets and coats

Uye Surana – ethically made lingerie

Tonlé – zero waste fashion

notPERFECTLINEN

 

Books & Docs

Books

Overdressed: The Shocking High Cost of Cheap Fashion

Eating Animals

Threadbare

The Curated Closet

Harvesting Color

Docs

Trashed

Sweatshop

Minimalism

A Fibreshed for London

Before The Flood

 

Conscious Chatter (podcast)

 

Things I’ve Learned

Ethical consumer study by Ohio State University

Climate and beauty products – Glycerin is a humectant

Only boil the water you need – Leyla Acaroglu TED Talk – Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore

Plastic Free July

Clothing sizes – Vanity sizing and size standardization article “The absurdity of women’s clothing sizes”

Toxins in clothing – “Why You Should Watch Out For These 5 Gnarly Chemicals In Your Clothing”

Huffington Post Reclaim project

BBC Panorama, Undercover: The Refugees Who Make Our Clothes

Photography – Illumi Beginner Photography Starter Pack 

 

Blogs and Channels

Blogs

The Blissful Mind

Into Mind

Unfancy

Minimalist Baker

StyleWise

Channels

Peaceful Cuisine

Tara E.

Jenny Mustard

Alli Cherry

Walk Sew Good

Coolirpa

Annika Victoria

 

 

I’ll have a Green Christmas

This video was made in partnership with Greenvelope.

 

It’s December! Here are some tips and ideas of things you can do to make the holidays a little greener:

Give mindfully
  • Give gifts you know will get used instead of random stuff. Experiences, consumables, your time, charity donations, and digital gifts (subscriptions, games, e-books, music, etc.) all make great gifts without waste.
  • Avoid glossy wrapping paper and wrap gifts with recycled or upcycled materials, or things that can be reused.
  • Send digital cards and invitations which saves paper (and often plastic) as well as shipping and trash. Greenvelope offers beautiful, paper-like designs and useful features.

greenvelope

Ask for conscious gifts
  • Ask for things you know you’ll use, support sustainable and ethical brands, or ask for donations to an organization or charity you support.

 

Use natural or secondhand decorations
  • There are lots of easy and beautiful DIY’s using natural materials, these are a few of my favourite inspirations (click through for source)

and check out my Green Christmas board on Pinterest for more inspiration :)

This year my DIY decorations included (click links for tutorials- some are in different languages so use google translate):

holiday1

holiday3

 

Host greener parties and dinners

And instead of buying a new party outfit, shop your closet or get one secondhand!

 

 

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season! xx

 

 

Vintage Stores & Veg Food in Brussels

posted in: Food, Secondhand, Travel | 0

Early this month my husband Ben and I took a little trip to Brussels. We didn’t have anything really planned, just wanted to wander around a new city and Ben loves beer, particularly Belgium beers, so we wanted to try some different local beers. I also read Brussels had some good vintage and secondhand stores so wanted to check some of those out. I posted on Instagram about being in Brussels and we got some great recommendations (thank you!) of secondhand stores and places to eat, these where the places we really liked:

 

Vintage & Secondhand Stores

I was generally impressed with the quality and prices of the stores in Brussels. In my experience well organized and curated stores can charge a lot more (especially in large cities) and with “cheaper” stores you run into quality issues, and have to inspect for holes, stains, etc. We looked at a lot of stores and I think only came across one flaw- a sweater with a tiny hole that could definitely be fixed.

Gabriele Vintage was my favourite and had the most beautiful collection of vintage dresses I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely a store for vintage lovers though, most garments are very formal (not capsule wardrobe items…) and although the prices are quite a bit higher than the other stores they seemed fair for the quality of the vintage pieces. They also have an amazing assortment of hats! I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a unique special occasion outfit or just love vintage clothes.

Gabriele Vintage Brussels

I had to try this dress on for fun. It’s a terrible photo, but the dress was a beautiful light blue and pink floral pattern with huge pleats of fabric in the skirt. I loved it but have no need or occasion to wear a dress like this.

vintage dress

 

Foxhole was my favorite “normal” vintage store (Gabriele is a whole different level- like the wardrobe department for a glamorous old movie). We ended up going to both of their locations and they have a great selection of staples like printed shirts, chunky sweaters, floral skirts, and big scarves but also some more unique items like a pair of holographic platforms! Although their prices were more expensive than a lot of the other stores.

 

I also liked the selection at Think Twice, it was fun to go through and they had some interesting pieces.

Think Twice Brussels

 

Ben’s favourite store was Melting Pot Kilo where you pay for the clothes by weight. I loved their selection of coats but unfortunately the ones I liked were all too big.

 

Restaurants

Finding vegetarian and vegan food was not as easy as we hoped (even the Belgium frites aren’t veg friendly- they fry them in animal fat) and eating out in Brussels was a lot more expensive than we’re used to, but we still had some great meals.

I think my favourite was Ami, they have an interesting selection of veggies burgers and we both really enjoyed ours. The burgers are small though so definitely order a side too!

La Grainerie was an adorable place for lunch, they have a bulk grocery store in front and a little cafe at the back. It look like their menu changes regularly and the dishes are small but you order 2,3 or 4 of them. Everything was great (loved the potato lentil dish!) except I didn’t enjoy the banana bread which was super dense.

img_20161105_130644

 

Moonfood is a great vegan cafe where you pay for your food by weight and they have a lot of different dishes to try which I always like.

We also had a nice lunch at Peck 47 which is right near a lot of the sights so a good place if you’re checking out the centre.

 

And because a main goal of this trip was beer tasting, my favourite beer I tried was the Bink Bloesem from Moeder Lambic.

Bink Bloesem Moeder Lambic

 

Overall it was a really nice long weekend away. We enjoyed walking around the city, checking out some stores and trying different foods and beers. :)

 

 

 

Minimalism & Sustainability

For me minimalism and sustainability have always been connected. A big part of the environmental issues of our stuff is how much of it there is, so reducing how much stuff you purchase is a wonderful way to reduce your impact. Living more minimally also often means that you can “buy less and buy better”- buy fewer things but invest more in them so you can afford to buy higher quality items and support brands that manufacture in an ethical and sustainable way.

Eco & Ethical Alternatives to Zoella’s Fall Style

To dispel the myth that ethical/sustainable fashion is boring, ugly, and not in style, I decided to recreate Zoella’s autumn lookbook with conscious alternatives.

 

Outfit 1

Striped top from Krochet Kids * (US)
Stripey organic t-shirt from Braintree * (UK)
Light-wash jeans from MUD Jeans (NL)
Pom Pom Beanie from Hoodlamb (vegan) (NL)
Yellow wool knit hat by Wild Honey Design from Ethical.Market (UK)
Hi-cut sneaker from Ethletic (GER)
Recycled choker from Chic Made Consciously (US)
Backpack from Skunkfunk
Tan waist belt from Bhava (vegan) (US)

 

Outfit 2

Grey bodysuit from Woron (DK)
Wide-leg pant from Kowtow (NZ)
Green wide-leg pant by Silvae from Bishop Collective (US)
Black felt hat from Vaute (vegan) (US)
Cross-body bag by Angela Roi from Modavanti (US)
Fair deck shoe from Ethletic (GER)

 

Outfit 3

Jersey long sleeve dress from Luxaa
Black bomber jacket from Wunderwerk (GER)
Heeled boot from Matt & Nat * (vegan) (CAN)
Red ankle boot from Nine to Five
Recycled glasses from Modo
Gold bar earrings from Wild Fawn Jewellery (UK)

 

Outfit 4

Neon Pink wool jumper from Lowie
White rollneck jumper from Wunderwerk (GER)
Wonderwool sweater kit from Wool and the Gang * (UK)
Cotton dress kit from Wool and the Gang * (UK)
Herringbone bomber jacket from Nancy Dee (UK)
Green jacket from Wunderwerk (GER)
Recycled pantyhose from Swedish Stockings (SWE)
Cat bag from Alltrueist (vegan)
Over the knee heeled boot from Beyond Skin (vegan)
Silver star earrings from People Tree * (UK)
Pink dog sweater by PupCycleCanada on Etsy (CAN)

 

Note:
This video includes footage from Zoella’s Autumn Lookbook 2016 used under youtube fair use guidelines.

* indicates an affiliate link, thanks for helping me out! For more information on the use of affiliate links please see my disclosure policy

Questions To Ask Before Buying New Clothes

Questions To Ask Before Buying New Clothes

To go along with this week’s video about 5 things I no longer buy, these are some questions I’ve found helpful and think are good to ask yourself before buying anything new:

 

When/where will I wear this?
  • Clothes should fit your lifestyle, only buy pieces you know you’ll actually wear.

 

What will I wear it with?
  • Make sure the garment is your style and works with what you already have/doesn’t require you to buy other things to wear it. I try to think of at least 3-5 different outfits including the item, if I can’t easily think of them I know it’s going to be difficult to make that piece work in my wardrobe.

 

Does it fit and is it comfortable?
  • And if it doesn’t fit right, can it be altered? Your clothes should fit the way you want and if it’s not comfortable when you try it on, you likely won’t enjoy wearing it.

 

What is it made from and how do I care for it?
  • Make sure the material has the properties you want (eg. soft, breathable, water-resistant, etc.) and is a fabric you like wearing.
  • Check the care instructions and only buy things you are prepared and able to care for properly.

 

Is it good quality?

 

How long can I see myself wearing this?
  • 1 year? 5 years? 10? …20? This helps avoid fleeting trends and the longer you can see yourself wearing something the better the investment it is.

 

Does it fit with my budget?
  • Make sure you can afford it and that your money isn’t better spent on a different piece(s).

 

Are there any sustainability aspects? Is the company trying to reduce their environmental impact?
  • Look for sustainable materials, eco-friendly production, or any other areas where the brand is conscious of the sustainability of their products.

 

Were the people who made this paid fairly for their work?
  • Support companies who manufacture in an ethical way – pay their workers a living wage and treat them with respect. Check out brand’s social responsibility policies and look for fair trade brands.

 

Do I love it, or am I trying to convince myself I need it? Is the price/sale factoring into my decision?
  • It’s easy to get excited about something new so make sure it’s an item you actually want and will use (giving yourself some time to think about it often helps). It’s also incredibly easy to be tempted by sales, ask yourself if you would feel the same way if the product was regular price.

 

 

Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving

posted in: Food | 0

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving and even though we no longer live in Canada, I never pass up an excuse to have friends over and cook a bunch of delicious food.

Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

 

 

On the table this year is:

  • lentil shepard’s pie I used this recipe from the Minimalist Baker and it’s delicious
  • a quinoa, apple, kale, & squash salad, from this “Harvest Quinoa Salad” recipe – definitely one of my favourite salads, I love the mix of crunchy apples with the butternut squash and kale and the ingredients are very autumnal
  • roasted brussel sprouts, I just tossed them with oil, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper before roasting
  • garlic bread, made with vegan butter, olive oil, and rosemary

 

  • pumpkin pie (not pictured), using this recipe for the filling (but also subbing in some sweet potato) and this recipe for the crust although I’m not sure we made it correctly because our dough was very sticky

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

 

Round 2

The next day we had a bunch of leftover ingredients so we decided to have another dinner since one of our friends couldn’t make it the day before.

  • we had a leftover pie crust (accidentally made a double recipe) and extra frozen veggies so I made a veggie pot pie using this recipe for the filling and the crust on top
  • we also had an extra baguette (not sure why we bought 2) and lots of celery so I made this dressing/stuffing but with just one kind of bread and subbing vegetable stock
  • there were a bunch of extra potatoes so we also had mashed potatoes
  • and we made another salad with the kale we had, basically the same recipe but without the quinoa and squash

thankdinner3

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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