Monday Ten:

03/12/2012 § Leave a comment

CHANGE YOUR LIGHTBULBS

Well, this week, for me, was super easy. We already use CFL bulbs throughout our house… this is one of those weeks where I go “Really? How is it that everyone doesn’t already do this?”  Let’s make a list of why you are seriously missing out if you haven’t already changed your bulbs.

#1. It’s better for the environment:

“The amount of pollution equivalent to the emissions of two million cars can be removed from the atmosphere if every household in America replaces ONE lightbulb with an Energy Star qualified CFL bulb.” -EMM

“Replacing 1 bulb prevents the release of 300 pounds of carbon dioxide in just 1 year.” – EMM

#2. It’s cheaper for YOU:

“CFL’s last up to 10 times longer and save $30.00 over the life of the bulb.” – EMM … Yea that’s just ONE bulb.

“If every home replaces 5 frequently used lightbulbs with CFLs,close to $8 billion a year in energy costs could be saved.” – EMM

That’s it… the end of my list, but isn’t it pretty impressive? I mean EMM did all the work… but facts are facts, and those facts speak pretty loudly.

Those saving the environment facts are the ones that drive me nuts, because if when it’s that easy and it saves YOU money as well, it drives me crazy that everyone in the world doesn’t do it. I don’t even care which reason people do it for, because in the end you’re getting both benefits… zero downfalls.

Imagine where all that money could go???…. cue dream bubble… vacations to Ireland, a food processor, yarn, books! Okay, that’s just my dream bubble, yours could be of anything!

That’s all for today, short and sweet.. I’m off to shoot some pool… and then home to do some crocheting!

Here’s to lots of scarves in my future!

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Monday Six:

02/12/2012 § 2 Comments

GET RID OF JUNK MAIL

Go Go Green….If I’ve really got to explain this one, I’ll be thoroughly disappointed in humanity.

It may just be because I try my hardest to be as eco-friendly as I can in my day-to-day, but even still I think on some level everyone should understand the simple fact of output vs. resources when it comes to our paper production.

If I was going off on one of my rants (which I won’t) I could go on forever about the various reasons that recycling and being eco-friendly is the way to go…. not always just because of the environment either. Instead I’ll do a small re-cap on how I got to this point of “Go Go Green Awesomeness.” When my Uncle passed a few years ago it was really hard on our family, and everyone had their different ways, different stages, different depths of grieving… as well as different methods of coping; and the thing I’ve learned about death is that everyone deals with things in their own ways… one is not better than the other, it’s a process unique to that person and unique to that death. I won’t get into too much detail, as to not bring down the morale of the post, but my personal method of coping was anger and avoidance. It certainly wasn’t the most healthy of outlets, but it was mine…. and it got me through a lot in the beginning. Years down the road I have slowly, piece by piece, let go of the anger and replaced it with something more along the lines of acceptance. Okay, okay… anyway, when I was in my anger and avoidance stage… I THREW myself headfirst into being somewhat of a self-induced humanitarian/philanthropist/environmentalist…. whatever it was to get my mind off of our tragic reality… I was avoiding. As the years went on and the coping continued, my new philosophies were still hanging around… in short it was my own personal silver lining out of such a horrible event; because I believe whole-heartedly that everyone needs to find a silver lining… it’s a little piece of good to get you through. I’m not happy for how it started, but I am happy about where it’s ended… as a lifestyle. It has certainly been a process, but so is every lifestyle change you make whether it’s eating healthier or working out more often or volunteering (all of which I’d like to adopt)… it’s all a process, and they’re all worth it once you get there.

So in short, get rid of your junk mail; I have. The stuff you can’t get rid of… at least recycle, even if your town doesn’t recycle… take it upon yourself to get a pile going and drive it to the nearest recycling place…. because it’s worth it.

“5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct-mail advertisements end up in landfills annually.” – EMM

Seriously, it’s worth it.

Oh that’s not it people, I figure since this was a fairly simple week and there are many more environmental tasks in weeks to come (that I’ll probably babble on during) I’ll finish up this post with some V-day awesomeness! I don’t care how commercialized you think it is, because seriously… every holiday is over commercialized anymore. You should love to your max every day of every year, but Valentine’s Day to me is an extra celebration of it… and it doesn’t have to be expensive!

Jeff and I planned on just a nice night at home, him cooking (whaaaat???) and me making dessert.

Chocolate Pudding for Two

Courtesy of Thefauxmartha.com

Doesn’t that look delicious? If you said no… just go away. Something else I’m planning on for V-day are these awesome heart bird feeders I stumbled upon during a Pinterest marathon.

Courtesy of http://www.notimeforflashcards.com

Thats officially it, aside from the need for me to plug Pinterest.com even more because I love it that much. I’ve never been a huge fan of Facebook, and probably never will… but Pinterest is my internet equivalent of the stack of magazine clippings I rip out at every chance I get; AND I actually make use of it which is far more than I could ever say about Facebook.

That is it, so here’s to going green… and loving love.

P.s. I totally ate AWESOME this week, in lieu of my fail last Monday, and have a pretty rad menu planned for next week too!… aaaand Sundays are my new posting days.

Monday Five:

02/06/2012 § 5 Comments

EAT HEALTHY

What I actually ate!

Let’s just start with the fact that I failed miserably at this week’s task. Therefore I’m adding it to my current week’s task (aaaand then for the rest of my life hopefully, ha.) It has been a roller coaster of a week and we ended up actually eating 4 nights of take-out and 1 night of eating out… which is no where close to all of the wonderful, healthy, homemade meals I had planned on preparing instead.

Don’t we all know how tough this is… as much as you try, as much as you want it… its damn tough.

“Snack consumption by children has increased 300% from 20 years ago.” – EMM. That statement alone should resonate somewhere.

Not that this is the most important reason for eating healthy, but I’m getting married in September… and I’d like to trim myself up a bit for it. It may not be the best reason, but it’s certainly some great motivation to start, don’t ya think?

In all honesty the reason I’d like to eat healthy goes right back to my first Monday, “What Matters Most.” I want to eat healthy because I want to stick around, and I’m going to make Jeff eat healthy ’cause I want him to stick around too. Diabetes runs in my family, there is a pretty darn good chance of me getting it at some point. However, diabetes is one of those diseases that you can help prevent by having the right diet. Now I am not a doctor, by far, so don’t go quoting me on anything… but there is definitely a link between what you put in your body and certain diseases. Eating right certainly won’t promise me I’ll have a disease free life; but if I can do something that might help… why not? Same goes for Jeff; his father passed away far too early. I think of what he, and his family, must have went through when that tragedy happened and my heart sinks. Of course selfishly I want Jeff to eat healthy and take care of his body because I, myself, want him to stick around… but then I think of when we have children. I don’t ever want our children to go through what he went through, I want them to have as long as they possibly can with their father… I want to drive our children nuts together when we’re 80.

I’m also a huge believer in being conscious of what you put in your body. What I mean is all the crap that doesn’t really need to be there, that’s in most of your commercial foods. The simple fact of the homemade marshmallows I made a few weeks ago. I know exactly what went into them,… there were no preservatives, no random chemicals, no crazy words that I can’t even understand…. and that’s something that I appreciate. I’m not saying I go crazy and buy everything that’s organic, or that for every single food purchase I get down to the nitty gritty and figure out where it came from… but I do try to be aware. This coming spring we’ve decided that our main household priority is our backyard… which will include a raised vegetable garden. I’m not going crazy this year though, we have a TON of work to do back there… so our goal is to get it all ready to go for next spring. This year whilst getting everything prepared we’re going to try some container gardening and a pretty sweet herb garden (’cause I use a ton of herbs and spices.) I bought a book not long ago all about organic gardening, so we’re going to read up and do our best to be bringing in yummy veggies by next year. I imagine it will be a great feeling… grow it, pick it, cook it; and knowing everything that went into it during the process.

Okay okay, so in light of this week’s task… here are a few of the healthy and yummy meals I wanted to prepare but didn’t… dubbing this as a FAIL week.  Also included are some delicious looking recipes (some for summertime too) via Pinterest.com and all the wonderful websites they originated from.

Spinach and Ricotta stuffed shells.

I apologize for these first two photos and their not-so-stellar quality…

Chicken stuffed with Zucchini

Courtesy of Skinnytaste.com via Pinterest.com

Kiwi Pops

Courtesy of Ohdesserts.net via Pinterest.com

Baked Mozzarella Sticks... 'cause I'm a sucker for anything mozzarella..

Courtesy Skinnytaste.com via Pinterest.com

Corn on the Cob! Who doesn't love it?

Courtesy of Pinkpistachio.com via Pinterest.com

With all of that said and done, I am off to find something healthy for lunch…. so here’s to not giving up.

(Just as a quick note… I’m still fairly new at this whole blog awesomeness so I’m not entirely sure on the protocol of using photos that aren’t originally mine, so if any of these photos are yours and there is an issue of any sort please let me know. Thanks.)

Monday One:

01/09/2012 § 12 Comments

WHAT MATTERS MOST

My first Monday, oh how exciting….. This one is actually quite easy. What matters most, that is my goal.

A bit of information, before I continue, about  the layout of each week. Each page in my EMM book is split into three sections; Facts, Take Action Today, and You Matter. In a nutshell it begins by offering astounding, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes appalling, sometimes endearing facts to motivate you towards the second section. Take Action Today is the section that really gives you your task for the week, broken down. Finally, each page rounds out with the You Matter section which essentially reinforces why and how this particular task is making a difference somewhere or in some thing.

Without any further adieu… What matters most.. to me:

1. My Loved Ones – My fiance, my family, friends, pets etc. It matters to me to spend time with each of them and make the effort in my relationships. I don’t ever want to wake up one day and realize I don’t really know the people closest to me, or for that matter that they don’t know me. It’s quite a crazy thing getting older… how you’re life experiences inspire change that you are hardly aware is happening… how you’re priorities shift ever-so slowly with each passing day. So here’s to starting new friendships, rekindling old ones, and appreciating the people (and pets) I have.

2. Health – Mine, yours, everyone’s. Again, as  time goes on and your priorities start to shift.. certain things just become more important than they used to be. Being there in the aftermath of loved ones passed, close-calls, even new births, are all things that make you want to take stock of your own health and well-being. How long do you expect to be around? How are your life choices affecting your health and longevity? I’ve seen and experienced more than I care to in loss at my ripe age of 25… I want to stick around for quite a while… and I want my loved ones to as well. So here’s to exercising… walking my dogs… learning to cook in ways that healthy food still tastes AWESOME… and to sticking around in general.

3. Ambitions – I have certainly got a lot of these. Which in and of itself is one of my many downfalls. My downfall is that I very much lack in follow through; this is something I’d quite like to change. However ambitions are important in general to me.. I would rather I have a magnitude of ideas and flaky follow through than no ideas at all. So here’s to opening a bookstore, writing a novel, starting a foundation… and here’s to the desire to want to do them in the first place.

4. Passions; New and Old – I love to read. I love to write… I love to do a lot of things, and I don’t ever want to lose that. As much as I enjoy spending time with my fiance and my family, I think it’s equally important to have things for me. Don’t get me wrong here though, I enjoy even more so when I can revel in my passions with those I love… but there’s just something about curling up in my bedroom corner with a book I just can’t put down and a steaming cup of hot chocolate next to me. As stated, passions new AND old though…. I don’t ever want to stop wanting to learn things. I’d like to take guitar lessons…or a cooking class. Something I’m not too great at but I just might fall in love with. So here’s to not ever being the boring version of myself… here’s to loving what I love, and the fun of figuring out what I hate.

5. Inspiring Change – Call me corny, call me whatever you like… but I don’t want to leave this place knowing I haven’t even tried to inspire change in it. There is a whole world outside beyond my busy street, and I don’t want to forget that. I’d like to start a charity, I’d like to support a charity; more than one in fact. One thing I’d like to do, I’ve wanted to do… is the walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It is something that hits very close to home, and I want to share and support others in their battles with everything that comes with it. With that, here’s to never forgetting the bigger picture… and here’s to helping when and where I can.

AFSP - my inspiration.

What matters most? It can seem like such an easy question, and in theory it is, but there is something quite revealing about taking a few moments and truly evaluating what is most important to you; realizing that maybe your weeks aren’t as filled with these things as much as you’d like them to be – and deciding what to do about it. I encourage everyone to do this; whether you’re doing Every Monday Matters or not.

Anyway, there is my list… those are the things that matter most to me. Believe me the list goes on, and on, and on… but (to reference one of my absolute favorite movies) these are the lucky few, my top 5.

And here’s to finishing my first Monday.

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