Friday, March 11, 2011

Green Site Spotlight: Lush

Today, I'm very excited to be spotlighting one of my favorite green companies:

Here's what they have to say about themselves on their website:

We believe in making effective products from fresh, organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.
We invent our own products and fragrances. We make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients, and tell you when they were made.
We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans.
We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.
We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again.
We believe our products are good value, that we should make a profit and that the customer is always right.

* We also believe words like fresh and organic have honest meaning beyond marketing.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Well, it is. I lost my Lush virginity during my study abroad to London, when all the girls went gaga for a Lush store. After trying out a few of their products, I have to admit -- I'm a little gaga for Lush now, too.

Here are some of my personal favorite products:
The Sex Bomb
Drop this in a hot bath and settle in for a long night with your hunny. This smells amazing, and its fizzy action is really cool. Plus, I love the smoothing the soft petals from the middle all over my skin.

The Tuca Tuca Massage Bar
This violet-scented solid perfume is AMAZING. It smells great, goes on easy, lasts forever, and even makes your skin pleasantly shimmery. 

The Charity Pot
This body creme keeps my skin (the driest of all dry skins) feeling moist and lovely all day long. Plus,
"Every penny that you pay for a pot, excluding the tax, goes to grassroots charities all around the world." So you can feel good about treating yourself to this one!

I love their fresh facial masks, too, but as they need to be refrigerated, you can't buy them online.

I love Lush. I do. I love treating myself to their products and feeling good about it being ethically created and sold. My husband has figured out that no matter what the holiday, he can't go wrong getting me something or other from Lush.

Aimez la terre!
Constance Marie

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Healthful Eats: Pasta and Veggies

Simple Pasta and Veggies

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • Whole grain penne pasta
  • Spinach, frozen or fresh
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • Mushrooms, sauteed
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, fresh or dry
  • Basil, fresh or dry
  • Organic whole romaine hearts
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package
  2. Cook spinach (I like to add a little lemon juice). Fresh would probably be better, but I was throwing together this meal based on what I already had
  3. Dice tomatoes and sautee with mushrooms in olive oil
  4. Combine pasta and veggies in a bowl and toss with red wine vinegar (be generous) and parsley and basil as desired
  5. Serve over romaine hearts

Again, I made this combining ingredients I already had on hand. Experiment with what you have; next time, I would add more mushrooms to mine (yumm) and consider adding some garlic and black olives.

This is a light dish (I'm all about "light" tasting/feeling foods) with a lot of natural, subtle flavors. I loved eating it on the romaine, because after all the pasta was gone, I picked up the lettuce with the remaining veggies, and it made for a delicious little lettuce wrap.

Health benefits: Using whole grain penne pasta is a great way to incorporate some whole grains (instead of refined grains) into your diet, which has been shown to significantly reduce your risk of chronic diseases (read more here). Spinach and romaine are excellent greens to incorporate into your diet, containing lots of vitamins C, K, manganese, folate, and iron, and some believe that spinach reduces your risk of cancer! Tomatoes are also great sources of vitamin C.

Tip: This meal saves great! Make more than what you need, refrigerate, and eat it for lunch on another leaf of fresh romaine tomorrow!

Aimez la terre!
Constance Marie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Green Site Spotlight: Smashion

One easy way that we can all feel good about being green is by purchasing items second-hand. I'm always on the lookout for good thrift stores and consignment shops, but with the coming of the internet age, those of us that live in tiny, tiny towns can do some of our thrifting online!

This post is the first in my series of spotlighting green fashion websites. (Remember, I'm a sporadic fashion enthusiast)

My latest addiction is the online thrifting store, Smashion.

Smashion is an online marketplace where users can buy and sell gently-used clothing and accessories at seriously discounted prices. It's like eBay, but without the bidding and with better clothes!

I've already bought several cheap items on Smashion, including this Hound's Tooth skirt:

(my other items are still in the mail)

Aimez la terre!
Constance Marie

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Healthful Eats: Fruit, Granola, and Yogurt

Yes, I identify myself a lot of ways, but here's one thing you should know about me right now, before we proceed any further: above all, I am an English/writing/grammar nut, and that title comes with a lot of pet peeves. One of those pet peeves is when people use "healthy" when they SHOULD be using "healthful."

Here's a little trick:

  • If something helps you become HEALTHY, then that food is HEALTHFUL
  • YOU are HEALTHY (or maybe unhealthy)
  • The food you eat and the exercise you do are HEALTHFUL or unhealthful, again, depending on what kind of lifestyle you are living
Glad to get that off my chest. Now, let's get on with the first post of my new segment, healthful eats! I'm all about eating things that are good for your body but that are relatively inexpensive and relatively easy. Can I get an amen?

Lately, I have been trying to mix up my usual daily meal fall-backs with some easy-to-do alternatives (as I have been reading that variety is a key to staying healthy and getting key nutrients), and I loved this one yesterday.

Here's what I had yesterday for breakfast:

Fruit, Yogurt and Granola

Stonyfield Organic, low-fat yogurt (I used BaNilla flavor)
Sliced fresh strawberries (blueberries, raspberries, banana, etc can be substituted depending on what's in season where you live)
GetBalance Crunch cereal (an ALDI knock-off of Kashi GoLean Crunch)

This is such an easy, yummy, healthful breakfast, and I made it in probably thirty seconds longer than it takes me to just pour a bowl of cereal (my old fall-back). I also drank water with it, as that is one of my recent goals -- drinking LOTS of water.

Health benefits: Yogurt is a great source of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and protein. Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. The cereal I selected is high in protein, dietary fiber, and whole grains.

What did you have for breakfast today?

Aimez la terre!
Constance Marie

Monday, February 28, 2011

What is This Green Life?

Salut, green friends!

I am Connie.
     book nerd
          travel nut
   wanna-be artist
                       sporadic fashion enthusiast
         lover of all things beautiful
                                         movie junkie
    aspiring writer
                      one of those Mormons
              amateur gardener

I also happen to love blogging and exploring new interests and being all cliché hipster, and This Green Life is my latest project.

I have been pescetarian (a brand of vegetarian that eats seafood and animal by-products) for something like 2 1/2 years. I came from a heavily  meat-eating family -- hunters who like to make venison stew and have a pot roast every Sunday -- but I was never a huge fan of meat myself. It sat a little too heavy in the stomach, it tasted fatty, and it just didn't make my body feel good. So, in the summer of 2008, I decided to give pescetarianism a try, and I committed to trying it for one semester of college (at the time,  I was an English undergrad student at BYU). LOVED IT.

So I stuck with it.

I guess you could say that's how my little interest in eating right and being kind to the earth began. As I got more and more into vegetarianism/pescetarianism, I did more research, which has led me over the past few years to further interests in gardening, eating "kind" foods, and preserving the planet.

So I did what I do -- I started a blog. And here it is.

This blog will be a conglomeration of:

  • benefits of vegetarian or whole foods diets
  • easy recipes
  • gardening strategies
  • ways to reduce our carbon footprint
  • spotlights on green shopping methods
  • links to other green websites
  • and whatever related interests I develop in the meantime!
Keep in mind, I am no expert here -- just your average gal who's figuring it all out as she goes along!

Aimez la terre!
Constance Marie