Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery
5 Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery Brands : Holiday Gift Guide 2019

While Jewelery is gorgeous, fun, and a sure fire way to make someone swoon….the jewelery industry is quite scary. 

Whether we are talking about the horrible environmental impacts of mining or the horrendous working conditions, one thing is clear: We need to wake up and become MUCH more conscious of who we are supporting with our hard earned money. By giving money to the companies who do not care, we are funding their horrendous acts. Read more

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Vegan Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
Vegan Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Vegan Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Looking for a salad dressing that your kids will love more than you?! This is it!

As soon as I pulled out the avocados, herbs and lemons….my two little boys ran around the kitchen shouting “Delicious!” and awaiting their “smoothie” hahaha. While this is not a smoothie, if your kid loves avocados as much as mine do…you might as well just let them drink it straight up.

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An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide for the Holidays (Budget Friendly & Beginner Friendly)

**This is part two of a two part zero waste gift guide series for The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas. Part one includes items for purchase and part two is ALL handmade/DIY**

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

An Amazing DIY Gift Guide for a Sustainable Holiday

1. Hanging Herbs/Plants. My favorite? These hanging eucalyptus leaves for the shower!

I was scrolling through Etsy a few weeks ago, looking for some inspiration on my new craft obsession of macrame wall hangings, when I saw this idea. Hanging eucalyptus leaves, hung from a branch, and then hung in the shower or just in the bathroom. Every time steam hits the leaves, the entire room smells like a rainforest dream! Is that not a gorgeous idea?!

All you need are some eucalyptus leaves, a stick and some string. Take a look at the Etsy shop here to check out the final product.

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

2. DIY Macrame Wall Hangings

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

Speaking of macrame wall hanging addictions! One of these wall hangings would make a gorgeous gift for anyone. You can purchase a macrame wall-hanging kit OR you can simply head to your local craft store and load up on macrame cord. From there, just head to youtube and look through the hundreds of tutorials! I have made three off of youtube so far and love every single one. This is really a beautiful gift.

3. DIY Brown Sugar Body Scrub

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

Walk into any beauty shop and you will most likely see containers of body scrub for sale for anywhere from 10 bucks to 25 bucks. The ingredient list is long and a tad confusing. But guess what?! You can make your very own sugar scrub with just 3 ingredients!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
  • 5 vitamin E capsules
  • A couple drops of essential oils if you wish

Simply add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. For the capsules, simply open and squeeze into the mixture. Pour the body scrub into small glass jars and gift away!

4. DIY Vegan Lip Balm

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

Another fantastic DIY beauty gift! Simply follow the directions and then use adorable zero-waste lip gloss containers like these. 

Melt all of the ingredients (except essential oils) together in a double boiler on low heat. Mix well with a spoon and then add in the essential oils. Immediately pour the lip balm into the containers. If the balm begins to harden too soon, just melt again on low. Let cool for a few hours until fully solidified.

These will last about 1 year. Enjoy!

5. DIY Plant Paintings

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

What I love most about this gift is that no matter how it turns out, it is still a beautiful work of art. I am absolutely NOT a good painter but the very first painting that I ever did of a monstera plant is now hanging on my wall right behind my head as I write this (and thus, is the muse for numero 5 on this list) and I love her! I think I love her more because of how awful (yet beautiful) she is!

What do you need? Paint, sturdy paper, 1-2 paint brushed and a muse. I like to paint the plants around my house but feel free to use google!

p.s. This is the paint set that I have (I have had it for years now and have made well over 20 different gifts from it!)

6. DIY Plant!!

What? How the hee-haw-sally does this work!?

Did you know that if you snip off a leaf from a big plant and then add that cutting to water it will (usually) grow roots?!

Here’s how it works: 

  • Find the plant you wish to cut from. PLEASE, I beg of you…do not cut from a plant that does not belong to you. If you would like a cutting from a special plant, you must ask permission. Us plant mamas and papas truly do love our plants!
  • Find the root node on your plant or vine. If you are unsure, ask someone to help you!
  • Carefully cut just below the node with a clean sharp knife or scissors.  About 1/4″ below the node.
  • Place the cutting in a clean glass of room temperature water.
  • Switch the water every 3-5 days.
  • Watch the roots grow. This can take weeks or even months.
  • Once the roots have reached 5 inches, add to soil!

7. DIY Bohemian Rope Basket

This is SUCH a cool tutorial. No need to spend more than a few bucks on some rope and grab an old box. Check out the full youtube video here!

8. An Old School Mixed Tape…or…Spotify Playlist?

In today’s fast paced world, there is nothing better to slow down than some good ol’ music. Surprise your loved one by spending some time gathering your favourite songs (or some memorable ones??) in a playlist to share with them. You can use a bunch of free services like Spotify, Soundcloud or even youtube!

9. Morning Ritual Kit

A small jar of matcha green tea, some non-toxic soy candles, your favourite essential oil blend, a list of beautiful affirmations and a small gratitude journal all wrapped up nicely in a vintage scarf to fend off the early morning chills. How lovely does this sound?! I just thought of it. Woohoo!

p.s. An extra perk would be a nice note in the journal telling your friend why he/she means so much to you!

10. DIY Calendar of Love

Did I ever tell you how amazing my best friend from Hawaii is? We were roommates and every year she would blow me away with the gift ideas that she came up for her brothers, father and other family members. Once she found old letters from her grandfather who was in the war and made the most gorgeous book for the family to cherish forever. Another year she made a love calendar….

You can do this anyway that you want…it really depends on the person. Either purchase a calendar with their favourite things (i.e., cats, dogs, babies…who knows haha) or create your own calendar at your local photo shop. Once you have the calendar, start to fill in the days. This can be as simple as adding birthdays, memories that you share (don’t forget that FB memories can help SO much with this!!), future plans OR….this beautiful idea…

Listen to your heart and tell the future. Add love notes to days where you think your friend may need an extra pick me up. Tell him or her how much you love them, how they are deserving of love and light….how you miss them when you are not around.

This is wonderful for those friendships that are long distance!

If you liked this blog post on An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide, then check these other amazing posts outs!

An Amazing DIY Gift Guide for a Sustainable Holiday

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The best zero waste holiday gift guide
The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas (Part 1)

**This is part one of a two part zero waste gift guide series for The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas. Part one includes items for purchase and part two is ALL handmade/DIY**

“Zero Waste” may just seem like another buzzword right now, but it is so much more than another trend. Choosing to lead a more zero waste lifestyle opens up our minds and hearts to so much more than we ever imagined. When our family made the switch to a zero waste lifestyle and home, everything in our lives changed for the better. We became more conscious of our consumer decisions, we reduced our waste by well over 70% (that’s huge!) and we slowly but surely began to live more intentionally.

This Christmas, you have the opportunity to give the gift of so more than a “material good”. These gifts are INSPIRING. Who would you like to inspire this year?

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perfect vegan cranberry muffins
The Perfect Vegan Cranberry Muffins

The Perfect Vegan Cranberry Muffins

There’s nothing worse than getting all of your ingredients together for a DELICIOUS looking recipe only to finish 45 minutes later (because baking with kids is hard enough already, let alone when they want to help every step of the way) and take a bite into the driest, most disgusting muffins ever.

Healthy food doesn’t have to suck. I promise. At least….not with these Perfect Vegan Cranberry Muffins!

The moisture in this recipe comes from good ol’ soy/coconut or whatever non-dairy type of yogurt you choose. I really like a vanilla soy yogurt in this recipe but you can use any unsweetened yogurt as well. This will make the muffins absolutely delicious.

Moist Vegan Cranberry Muffins

I am a big fan of “less is more” in recipes but I do regret not adding in more cranberries to these lovely ladies. Next time I will add in another handful!

If you are not a big cranberry fan, you can opt to substitute for anything else your heart desires. Chocolate works every single time (or you can do both), nuts, seeds, raisins, or even fresh berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or even black berries. The options are endless.

Silicone Muffin Pan

If you follow our blog/social media pages, you know how much I love our silicone baking mats so when I was shopping for a muffin tin, I made sure to go with silicone as well. These are just magical. Nothing sticks inside, you can easily pop the muffins out by flipping the bottom up, and you will never have to deal with a rusty muffin tin again. I highly recommend these for anyone who is looking for a new muffin tin. If you already have a muffin tin, keep it and just get some silicone muffin liners!!

Moist Vegan Cranberry Muffins

The Perfect Vegan Cranberry Muffins

These are the perfect breakfast or dessert choice for the entire family!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy breakfast, kid approved, vegan snacks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 128kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats blended into a flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup vanilla vegan yogurt
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  • You will need two bowls: One for the wet ingredients and one for the dry ingredients. Once each are well mixed, go ahead and add the wet to the dry and mix again.
  • Fill the muffin pan with the mixture. I like to use a silicone muffin pan to avoid using oils or parchment paper. If using a traditional muffin pan, be sure to grease or line with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

**These will last in the refrigerator for 5 days. 
**This recipe was inspired by the AMAZING Dianne Wenz from Diane's Vegan Kitchen. Try her recipe....it'll blow your socks off. 

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.62g | Protein: 4.04g | Fat: 1.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.33g | Cholesterol: 1.09mg | Sodium: 107.57mg | Potassium: 142.34mg | Fiber: 1.18g | Sugar: 11.24g | Vitamin A: 36.69IU | Vitamin C: 0.47mg | Calcium: 79.79mg | Iron: 0.87mg
Moist Vegan Cranberry Muffins

If you dig this recipe, check out these other ones!

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7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday
7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Here’s 7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday!

Black Friday Sucks….but these 7 Brands Do Not.

Black Friday. Ohhhhhh Black Friday. This day is one that I dread more than “Massacre a Turkey” day and for good reason; it’s a day that is bad for our mental health, our budget, our savings, the environment, the economy and so much more. The endless discounts, the ridiculously (already) low prices that seem to magically slash in half as if by a miracle and horribly distasteful marketing schemes to make you THINK that you need these things in order to be happy.

Well, we have had enough. For those of you who choose to completely NOT shop on this day? I applaud you. It’s a great stand to take and one that is admirable in every sense of the way. However…I do understand that Christmas is less than 4 weeks away and having a bit of a discount on your gifting helps.

SO, I went ahead and gathered 7 of our favorite sustainable, ethical and fair trade brands that not only offer very appropriate discounts (meaning it’s small because they are honest and true companies), but they also GIVE back. By supporting these folks, you are supporting amazing charities, projects or donations.

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Noctu Organic has some of the softest and gorgeous pajama sets I have ever laid my eyes on. Their pieces are organic, sustainable, fair trade and perfect for gift giving.

“For every single purchase made this weekend we are doubling our donation to the World Land Trust and saving 20 square meters of endangered wildlife across the globe in the most endangered areas. That’s 20 square meters for ★ Every ★ Single ★ Purchase.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

I own several of Organic Basics Bralettes, undies and they are also my go-to for activewear. I could not recommend them enough!! Check out my full blog post on OB here.

“Our Black Friday sale starts NOW. Save up to 30% on everything and we’ll plant 50m2 of wildflowers for every order placed — helping to restore habitat for bees and other pollinators.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Patagonia needs no introduction but let me just say, this is the NUMBER one company in my book. Did you hear that they just opened up a second-hand store?!

“Patagonia is making it easier for concerned citizens to double their positive impact on the planet. Make a donation to a grassroots environmental NGO fighting to protect our home planet. Patagonia will match it, pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

That is why this holiday season, Patagonia is matching all donations made in support of grassroots environmental organizations through Patagonia Action Works from 29 November (Black Friday) until 31 December 2019. Additionally, we are providing a platform for you to give the gift of giving and donate to an environmental protector in the name of a loved one.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Nomad’s Clothing is one of my all-time favorite brands for women. The pieces are unique, one of a kind, made to last and gorgeous. Check out my full blog post on them here! 

“We’re not running any ‘Black Friday’ offers – instead, once again we are donating 50% of all sales on Friday 29th November to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children – a charity that is changing the lives of disabled and terminally ill children across the UK.

50% of all orders placed on www.nomadsclothing.com on Friday 29th November will go directly to Newlife.”

Home Goods that are sustainable, fair trade, FAIRLY PRICED, and offer a lifetime warranty? I mean….come on. Check out our full blog post on this home good favorite brand of mine here.

“Our Get One Gift One is live from 6am and will run until midnight on Monday. You get 20% off everything using code GOGO20 when you checkout and for each order placed we will gift a peshtemal to homeless charity Knight Support.”

This zero-waste makeup company has been on my radar for quite some time. I love this offer, I adore that they are taking this initiative and I want to hear all your reviews on them!

“With sustainability at the forefront of everything we do at Elate, we are eliminating waste by embracing minor flaws and giving these Perfectly Imperfect Bamboo Capsule Palettes a new chance to thrive. ⁠

💚#GreenFriday is tomorrow, and we’re thrilled to share our sustainable promos:⁠

🌲One tree will be planted for every Elate product ordered Nov 29th- Dec 2nd through our initiative with @OneTreePlanted.⁠”

Another great company that has blown up over the years is TenTree. They are a very giving company, black Friday or not, and I highly recommend them for my fellow outdoor lovers.

“At this point, pretty much everyone knows what Black Friday is. It’s an unofficial shopping holiday that takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Black Friday has built for itself a reputation for overconsumption and bad human behaviors, but for many businesses, it’s an important day. Black Friday helps businesses get in the black – turning a profit for the year. Unfortunately, the mentality around black Friday now focuses mainly on consumerism without much thought for the planet or its people.

We’re not perfect either, but we’re doing our best. Planting trees is our biggest priority – we plant ten trees for each item purchased. That’s why here at the center, we don’t do Black Friday. We do Green Friday. Our goal for the week of Green Friday 2019 is to plant 1,000,000 trees! Making a profit is important for any brand, but for us, giving some greenback to the planet is even more important.”

There you have it! Happy Donating!

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Weighted Blankets by Weighted Evolution: Why We Love Them!

Weighted Blankets by Weighted Evolution

Have you ever heard of weighted blankets?? I was introduced to this phenomenon by a really close friend of mine who co-sleeps just like our family does. We were chatting about the blog and work and I told her how hard it has been the past few months because every time I try to sneak out of the bed to work, I wake up the boys!! Then I’m stuck lying there, staring at the wall until Martin comes home and takes my place in the cuddle zone.

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