I am back!!

It has been a bit since my last post, about three years I believe. Life happened, derailed my plans, and frankly, I allowed it to happen. But I am back dear people, I am back.

Let me fill you in real quick on the major development in our life in the last year. I wouldn’t want to bore you with the last three. Early 2016 my husband and I decided to buy a fixer upper after watching too many HGTV shows convinced us that it would be an easy task. Well….let me tell you, it ain’t easy!

In November of 2016 we closed on our first home together, a split level, four bedroom, two bath house in Yonkers, New York. With the help of a construction loan we were able to start fixing the house straight away. The major repairs needed were the roof (needed a complete new roof), siding, and windows, plus some smaller things like a two news stairs, some electric work, etc, all of which were handled by a contractor. We are doing the rest ourselves, and with the rest I mean the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, garden, and so much more.

Renovating this house also gives us the opportunity to, 1) make the house truly our own, 2) create a sustainable home as much as possible. What this experience also has taught me thus far is that implementing sustainable practices isn’t easy or cheap. So I really thought I would take you, dear reader, with me on this journey. Are you ready?

Things I want to implement and which I will explore are creating a native garden, recycling materials we found inside our home, water filtration systems, a veggie garden, eco-friendly furnishings and bedding, etc. Let’s get this party started!

3 Easy Ways to Be a Little Greener Today

There are three small changes you can make to your every day life that combined will have an impact on the environment, your fitness and your wallet. I like multitasking, so this is right up my ally.

  1. You heard it before, walk, bike or take public transportation. The first two will be your daily exercise. Leaving the car at home and grabbing your bike or using those trusted legs of yours for some walking will save you some money as well. Good reasons right?
  2. Bring lunch from home. Pack your lunch in some BPA free containers, or even better, a glass container. There are some really good looking options out there, click here, here and here. I also love mason jar salads. Click here for some mason jar salad inspiration.
  3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Well, I have to admit, this is not always an easy one. For instance, I work at the 40th floor, unless I want to arrive drenched in sweat, climbing 40 flights of stairs is just not going to work for me. This is what I do, when I have to go see someone on a different floor, I take the stairs. See, there is that exercise part again.

All three tips are nothing new, you most likely heard this before. If you haven’t heard before, here you go, you’re welcome. If you have heard this before but you haven’t incorporated it yet, here is your reminder, you’re welcome.

Road Trip to Virginia Beach

For Labor Day weekend we took a road trip to Virginia Beach and combined a Rock & Roll race with a little vacation. I have to admit that we didn’t stay at a certified Eco friendly hotel. When I searched for accommodations, budget was the number one priority. When we arrived in our room at Candlewood suites it was freezing cold. My husband likes rooms to be cold, I don’t mind the heat that much. My first thought however, when we enter a cold room like this is the wasteful air conditioner. Well, I am happy to report that the hotel has a smart A/C that apparently knows when you leave the room.

While at the hotel I started wondering how I can still be sustainable when not staying at the most sustainable hotel. Most hotels are incorporating practices to reduce their carbon footprint. In my opinion the most important one is not changing towels and sheets unless you specifically request them. Doing laundry uses a lot of clean water, so it is important to only wash those items that are truly dirty. Using your towels for two days instead of one will safe a ton of water, actually gallons in this case.

Other options to offset the not so green hotel is renting a bike instead of using your car, or walk whenever that is possible. You will be surprised how much more of the environment you will see. A beautiful flower, a rare plant, a chirping bird, wildlife, these things all pass you by when you are driving your car and are focused on traffic.

In cities like New York City and Washington, D.C. there are bike rentals all over the place. Check them out on your next visit, you never know what you will see.

I Need Some Good News Please!

With all the misery going on lately in the world, Ebola, terrorists, wars, police brutality, I am desperately searching for some good news. Are there any people left who are just kind to each other? Call me naive, but I never understood why people kill, abuse or bully each other just for being different. So what if you have a different religion, skin color or you were born in a different part of the world. We are all humans. There is this great quote floating around, I see humans, but no humanity. And that is what is missing today, I hope we can find it again, soon.

Anyway, I found some good news to brighten the day on www.goodnewsnetwork.org. Enjoy.

Eco Travel in South Africa

I love traveling, I love exploring new countries, cultures, cuisines, meeting new people, I love it all. But unless I travel by bike or foot, traveling the world increases my carbon footprint greatly. To offset the negative side effects of flying, I like to stay at eco friendly resorts, hotels or bed & breakfasts. So, let me introduce you to this beauty in South Africa.

Let me tell you something about South Africa, it is the most beautiful country. The people are amazing, the food is great, there is so much to see and do. Being in South Africa is happiness for me. Pure happiness. I am lucky though, I have family in Cape Town so it makes it more affordable to go. We own this gorgeous sustainable house that you can rent. Check out the website, www.amanihousesa.com

The amazing part of this house is that it has a natural pool, yes, natural! No chlorine, no salt! The water is cleaned by plants! Can you believe it? It is amazing. I don’t think there are any words that do this house any justice, so check out the pictures. And let me know if you would like to go!





Talenti Gelato = Heaven


Who ever invented Talenti gelato is brilliant. My eternal thanks goes to the person who created the salted caramel version for Talenti. It is so amazing! What makes it even more amazing is the fact that it is gluten free. My body isn’t very happy with me when I consume gluten, so this is perfect. But besides this and the delicious taste, I love the container. The container? Yes, I love the container. Why? Well, let me tell you. The container is made of a sturdy plastic and BPA free! I love BPA free containers because that means I can store food in it and not worry about any nasty chemicals leaching into my food. (for more info on BPA, click here)

Reusing materials we have is key to living a more sustainable life, so I use my Talenti containers for storing my buttons, my lunch, my chia pudding (yummy) and anything else you can imagine. So, see, there are a multitude of reasons why we should eat Talenti gelato.

Paraben Free Skincare

I love beauty products. I love trying new potions and lotions in an effort to keep my skin healthy and glowing. Of course I know that I need to eat healthy and drink a ton of water, which I do, or at least try to do.skincare

One of my criteria for skincare and make-up is that it is free of parabens. What are parabens you might wonder? Well, parabens are a preservative commonly used in all beauty products and can be absorbed through the skin and the digestive system. This pesky little preservative can create havoc on a woman’s hormone system. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics states that the health concerns are “endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies, and immunotoxicity.” Because I do not like to take any chances when it comes to my health, I decided to pick products that do not contain any of the parabens commonly used.

There are so many brands that make amazing products so nobody has an excuse to keep using products containing parabens.

My personal favorites are:

Skincare: Korres, Origins Skin Care, Boscia Skin Care and Josie Maran.

Makeup: Tarte, Josie Maran, bareMinerals.

Shampoo: Devachan curly hair products.