this week, No.6

sunset california winter

a little slice of what’s been lighting me up this week:

I love keeping this little pinch tin in my wallet for on the go eating.  Just keep refilling.

I recently bought this chic linen shift dress in their clearing out sale.  What’s better than an easy pull on dress with pockets?  Plus, it’s ethically made in California.

“I am not a zero waster + other misconceptions about zero waste” an excellent, quick read.

Finished this book, now currently reading this collection of essays on food.

The kids have been loving this fun history podcast, Forever Ago.

Speaking of podcasts, this episode of Live Planted on composting 101 is (black) gold.

Very much into this quick lunch lately: boil black lentils with salt and perhaps a few bay leaves until tender, adding a big pile of chopped chard the last few minutes of cooking, stirring and letting boil until the chard is wilted down and tender.  Drain and toss with good olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, chile flakes, maybe some chopped parsley if you have it.  Packs well too, tastes good hot or cold, takes very little effort to prepare.  I’ve been roasting simple potato wedges to eat along with.

peppermint tea on high rotation to stay cozy and hydrated.  To keep it low waste, I buy looseleaf tea in bulk, then use one of these in my cup.

this week v.

kids Carmela vincent

Hi friends!  How’s you Sunday going?  I’m just over here watering my plant babies, organizing and rearranging things, and heading to the library to pick up new books for the week.  I’ve got a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove and some nice jazz floating around.  It’s a good day.  I’m grateful to be alive.  Here’s some little things from my week:

making a murderer // I canceled our Netflix about a year or more ago, but recently reinstated it so I could watch Season II of Making a Murderer.  I just love anything mysterious/crime related.  Netflix, on the other hand- I’m ready to delete it again.  It’s just such a time suck for me and I find it difficult to set boundaries around it.

soup // Joel + Vin hit the market on Saturday while I slept in, and they brought back an amazing head of celery with tons of dark leafy greens attached.  When I get celery like this, I love making this excellent celery + wild rice soup, which utilizes the greens as pesto.

ebook // still working on the ebook of recipes, still absolutely loving it.  I’ve got a while to go, but this week I’m working on writing the recipes for a creamy + spicy tomato soup, mushroom stew, panang curry, tahini maple dressing, and photographing them.  The most challenging part has been measuring.  Because I hate to measure.  But it’s a good lesson in patience.

doula work // I attended an orientation/interview for a doula training program at a hospital here and will attend the workshop in December, and be on the floor by January.  Beyond inspired and grateful.

low waste cleaning // I did this little roundup of all my staples for low waste cleaning, find the post HERE.

zero waste cleaning

Carmela’s birthday // Carmela turned 10!  I can’t believe it.  What is time?  Ten years in the blink of an eye.  Mamas (and papas), hold your babies tight and give them extra kisses.  Even when you feel like you’re in the trenches, wiping butts and noses, dealing with tantrums, having no time for yourself.  The day will come when that will seem like the sweetest time in the world.  She chose to go to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, an amazing science based place where everything can be handled, touched, and explored.  We stopped by The Butcher’s Son in Berkeley, an all vegan deli, which I highly recommend if you’re in the area or passing through.  They had the Beyond Italian sausage in bulk there, plus just about anything  else you could think of, veganized.

ritual // everything has been so, so busy lately.  The last few weeks have felt like I’ve hardly had a chance to breathe.  I’ve let go of some of my usual grounding rituals and am really feeling pulled to return to them.  This week, I will return to getting to bed earlier, early morning journaling, and body movement.  Without these, (especially going to bed early/waking up early) I feel frazzled, immediately waking up to hit the ground running.  Read a post about re-centering HERE.  I also am craving outside time- a hike, trip to the ocean, getting out into natural spaces, receiving that special type of healing from Mama.  Not sure that I’ll get that this week, with the smoky skies and red sun from the devastating fires here in California.  It breaks my heart to see my beautiful state ripped open, raw and hurting, over and over again from the blazes.  Here’s how you can help if you feel called: HERE.

vegan Docs // after wanting a pair for years, I finally picked up a pair of vegan Doc Martens.  My old leather ankle boots have almost bit the dust, and I’ve really been enjoying the Docs.  They’re great quality and so comfortable.

vegan doc marten boots 1460

math + literature // this book caught my eye on our teacher’s bookshelf at one of our homeschool meetings.  It pairs literature with math, basing exploring a problem on numbers involved in the text of the story.  I thought it’d be great for Carmela, who detests math but loves reading.  We’ve been so enjoying it so far, and Vin has been joining in, too, using the example of Madeline: “12 little girls in 2 straight lines” to find out how many girls were in each line?  Here’s the book for 4-6 grades if you’re interested (they also have other grades).

homeschool math

savory breakfasts // still very into savory breakfasts, especially as the weather just finally shifted this last week from hot to arctic (for me anyways, certified cold hater).  I just don’t want anything that’s not HOT in my body, especially in the morning.  Nothing else appeals.  The kids have been loving steel cut oats (I cook a la Zero Waste Chef method HERE) + I have been eating soups, leftovers, and sautes.  Yesterday, I did leftover steamed kabocha squash + leftover broccoli sautéed with tempeh, calabrian chiles, garlic, and a drizzle of tamari.  Delicious, filling, nutrient dense and took less than 5 minutes.  The day before, leftover lentil curry, rice, and lots of cilantro + lime.  Read more about savory breakfasts HERE.

savory breakfast

I hope you all had the perfect weekend for you.  Enjoy the extra day off if you have it!  Treat yourself to a nice pot of soup to eat all week, or a nice hot bath.  You deserve it.  LOVE YOU xx

this week iv.

 

pumpkin patch vegan kids

October is almost gone, can you believe it?  I can’t.  Fall is well underway, although here in northern CA it’s only chilly in the early morning and late evening.  I still haven’t packed my cutoff Levi’s away for next year.  This week I pulled out the slow cooker, we went to the pumpkin patch, and watched A Nightmare Before Christmas, and ripped out our summer garden to make way for winter plants.  I’ve been working really hard on the recipe ebook and it’s very rewarding work.  If I didn’t have kids, I think I would literally lose track of time and work all day on it.  Although my eyes are hating me.  Maybe I need those blue light blocking glasses I’ve been seeing on everyone?

I’ve also been really contemplating letting go.  It seems like that in fall, nature gently encourages us to shed what we no longer need.  For me I’ve been really diving deep into the reasons why I do the things I do.  Anytime the answer is, for something outside of myself, I really evaluate that.  For example, the term “flattering” for clothes.  Sometimes I feel like I get caught up in the feeling that I need to look attractive.  Which can mean many things, but I’m letting go of the need to dress a certain way.  As a teenager and young adult, honestly, the way I dressed was in order to elicit a look of sexual desire from others.  I found comfort and attachment and validation in feeling desired in this way.  I’m not ashamed or anything and not saying that doing so is wrong.  Just looking at it and contemplating whether or not it was actually ME.  Which it wasn’t.  Really, I just wasn’t whole enough to dress the way I authentically wanted to.  So I went through my closet and reevaluated what I was wearing because I liked the way it made me feel vs I liked the way it make others view me.  I’m done with restricting clothing and sold a lot of pieces that I felt fit into this realm.  Similarly, bras with underwire.  Anything that I’m itching to get out of at the end of the day should be an automatic no.   I bought a loose linen dress that is anything but “figure enhancing”- it actually makes me look bigger- and I love that.  It’s architectural, theatric, loose and comfortable, easy to move, kneel, squat, sit, bend, play in with my kids.  So, I invite you, in this season of fall, to similarly examine your choices is life- the things you do, say, watch, read, think, follow- and without judgment, examine honestly WHY you do them.  Is it because your authentic self wants to?  Or is it because you felt for some reason you needed to.  Then, I invite you to think about the concrete steps you could take to move more towards what YOU want.  To uncover a little more of your true wants, needs, desires, joys and bring them back into focus.  I invite you to work towards wholeness.

Beaton linen dress alabaster ethical clothing

linen dress from ethical woman run company BEATON (one of 2 pieces I added to my fall/winter wardrobe- sounds funny but I live in CA and its so warm still and can be layered easily).  I’ve worn it almost every day.  Speaking of, check out THIS POST.

notes from this week:

zero waste workshop // if you’re local and want to come to my zero waste workshop, click HERE for more info and how to sign up.  Looking forward to it immensely!

miso + corn chowder // this slow cooker chowder from Heidi Swanson took me no time at all to make, is loaded with flavor, and was almost completely hands off.  Recipe HERE.

instant pot // I’ve been waffling on getting an Instant Pot for a year or more, but I’m kind of anti-appliance- I like to keep it minimal in the kitchen.  After talking to so many people about how its life changing, and then reading The Plant Paradox where it states that pressure cooking beans removes almost all of the lectins, which can irritate people with autoimmune disease, its on my list.  Hoping to find one secondhand though!

papier-mâché pumpkins // we went to the pumpkin patch yesterday as a homeschool group and got a few pumpkins, but I thought it would be fun to make a big papier-mâché one that we could store and use for years to come.  We did a similar project making a large apple years back.  Here’s an inspiring post.  I used repurposed chicken wire as the base instead of a plastic ballon, which makes it more sturdy, too.

halloween // speaking of seasonal pleasures, here’s last year’s post about how we navigated a low waste halloween (doing it the same this year).  Here’s another excellent post with ideas (read the comments too!) from @simplylivingwell- love her account.  And for good measure, if you’re curious, here’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and Valentine’s.

call me by your name // I’m late to the party here, but I finally got my hands on a copy of this movie via my local library, and it’s still haunting me with its beauty.

ojalá // this song on repeat.  goosebumps every time.

book club // how have you guys been enjoying Gentle Discipline?  I’m currently on the chapter on lying and wow.  Shifting my perspective so much.  Parenting is so hard and I definitely fail a million times each day just like with anything in life, but I’m always acknowledging my mistakes, reconnecting with my kids, finding the root of the thinking, forgiving myself, and moving forward.  Book club post is HERE in case you missed it.

dates // It’s date season and I bought myself a big case of Medjools.  SOOOOO gooey, the best treat ever.  Sometimes I eat them with celery which is a divine salty sweet combo.  Also celery + red grapes is another favorite.

core challenge // I’m on day 5 of the core challenge that was put on by Ali Kamenova last year.  I did it last year around this time and thought it would be fun to revisit since I usually do leg heavy workouts.  I’m seriously feeling it.  Using a pullup bar instead of the dip station for hanging leg raises and such.  Whew.  The core is so important for us to remain strong, flexible and supported as we age.  Don’t neglect it.  Find the free challenge HERE.

Love you + enjoy your weekend

xx

Amanda

this week iii.

palo Santo

Hello everyone!  I wanted to pop on to share a little about things that made my week!  I hope you guys had a beautiful weekend.  This weekend I indulged in this fall energy, roasted some squash, whisked up a dressing or two for the week, hit the farmers market and stocked up on high vibe produce, and my partner gifted me a beautiful day without the kids.  A friend and I went to San Francisco to check out the MOMA, and it was beautiful!  We brought our packed lunch in our tiffins and water bottles so no waste was created except for the ticket (sticker type).  For more info on zero waste on the go, this post may be helpful!

dry brushing //  as colder fall weather creeps in, I’m religiously dry brushing to bring more circulation to my body.  This looks similar to the one I use (picked mine up at a local store)

broad room // this beautiful womens collective space had its soft opening Thursday night and I popped by to check it out.  So cute and the best energy, rooted in womens empowerment and community building.  Definitely check it out if you are a Sacramento local creative, and here’s a link to their kickstarter if you want to back them!

adaptogen tonic // Sun Potion had a fall sale on their ashwagandha a couple weeks back and I picked up a bottle, and I’m loving the ease of use since it’s powdered.  I was previously using the bulk whole herb form and steeping it in my infusions as I felt the need.  I find it’s particularly soothing and restorative for stress.  It’s also immune fortifying and hormone balancing, and has been a long history of being used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine. I blend with a few gooey dates, caffeine free rooibos chai powder, nut milk or coconut butter and sometimes some turmeric for a soothing afternoon or nighttime drink.

I QUIT // my freaking job you guys!  A passionless 8 years in a soul sucking restaurant job and I finally did it after getting down to the root of why I was holding on so tight here.  Self worth + fear were the main ones.  So over the last month(s), I worked through that shit, released it, and finally followed the hit of intuition telling me “do it” and jumped.  Thanks for all your lovely messages of support.  Hopefully I can serve as an expander for those of you also contemplating a bold move out of a toxic environment.

bill nye the science guy //  I used to watch this show all the time as a kid, and as a supplement to our homeschool routine the kids have been LOVING watching ones that pertain to what they’re curious about.  Watch for free on YouTube (search bill nye) and there are so many!

podcasts // if you guys are into crime podcasts, Black Hands was RIVETING for me and seems appropriate as the spookiest month comes rolling in (warning- super creepy).  For kids, Brains On! and Circle Round have been our favorites the last month.

cookbook // I’m so late to the game, but I finally got a copy of CAP Beauty’s cookbook/lifestyle book High Vibrational Beauty and I LOVE it so much.  Beautiful photos, rituals, recipes- finally a cookbook that approaches health and beauty holistically.  Check if your library has it!

recipe // I’ve been loving delicata squash lately- you leave the skin on- just cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Cut crosswise into half moons and toss with a little coconut oil and sea salt.  Try doing half squash and half red potatoes for a satisfying combo.  Roast at 400 till tender- stir once so they flip and cook evenly- and then after they come out of the oven, while they’re still hot, toss in a large bowl with finely minced garlic and rosemary or parsley.  So good on top of kale salad, quinoa, sautéed greens, or with chickpeas.  I made a large batch so as to have some leftovers.

susan meiselas //  I was especially moved by an exhibit at the MOMA on Susan Meiselas, an American photographer documenting a wide range of subjects, including war, human rights, domestic violence, and strippers.  The photos were beautiful and intimate and deeply touching.  Here’s a beautiful set of photos she documented of a group of girls in the mid 70s growing up in Little Italy… “Meiselas captured portraits of the girls in an uncontrived state, removed from the artistic traditions of the male gaze….she turned her lens on her subjects’ early experiences with womanhood, and the parallel shedding of innocence.”  I’m glad to be introduced to her work.

If there’s one thing you do this week, carve out some time for you and you only.  Even if you’re a mama, even if you think you don’t have time.  Even 15 minutes.  Enlist your friend, partner, family, neighbor to watch your kid(s)/do the dishes/take the reins on whatever you need for a small period of time so you can walk, meditate, journal, take a bath, yoga, breathe deeply, whatever you need absolutely alone.  It’s so worth it and will let you take on the week with a little more grace.  YOU ARE WORTH IT.  Love you guys xx

this week ii.

passionfruit

We ate and harvested our very first passionfruit from our vine planted a few years ago.  So rewarding.  Variety is Nancy Garrison, and I bought it at Redwood Barn for my local friends.

So excited to see the Rene Magritte exhibition at SF MOMA next week.

Currently reading this gentle parenting book and loving it.  An easy, insightful read that offers example scenarios too, which I find so helpful.  I’m really trying to grow this year as a parent.

The next zero waste class/meeting is coming up on Wednesday, September 26th at 6pm at Sac Yard in Sacramento, CA.  RSVP here + to see more details.  Hope to meet you guys there!

Fall is here, and time to make a batch of fire cider.  This is a time honored tradition that aids immunity, circulation, and digestion in the cooler season when things slow down.

Scored the past season, sold out everywhere sweater of my dreams secondhand on Ebay, my first addition to my small winter wardrobe this year.  From the ethical brand DÔEN.

Started my period last night and stocked up on my staples: chocolate, shiitakes and beets- I literally crave them every time.  Plus this red curry or something else soupy and spicy.  Done and done.

I’ve been implementing the idea that the way the world shows up to us is a mirror to what’s going on inside that we need to work on.  For example- something triggers you to get angry, sad, anxious, worried, jealous- looking inside before pointing the finger out.  What in us is making us feel unworthy, threatened, fearful, small?  And getting down to fix that thinking, CBT style- recognizing that our thoughts aren’t facts, therefore enabling us to fix the behavior.  I actually tried this this week especially on anxious feelings in busy places or other social situations- my usual triggers- and it was really effective.  I really love love love psychology, alway have- it’s so fascinating how our brains work.  I hope to be a therapist someday along with being a doula haha.  So many things.  Basically I just love helping people I guess.

Try this booty class over the weekend.  Guaranteed deeeeep workout.

Hope you all have the best weekend xx