Friday, March 9, 2007

Dishwashing - Ecover vs. Seventh Generation

So ever since we went green, we immediately changed all our cleaning products. I put pretty much all my products up on craigslist for free, and they got snatched up instantly. I figured this was a better alternative than throwing them out (and down the drain which is a NO NO!) and adding to landfills - plus the people who would use them would probably end up getting new bottles of the actual stuff, so I'm reducing demand, yes? There are other options of disposing your household cleaners through your city's toxic waste removal program. Isn't that scary? To get rid of household cleaners, we need to get rid of them through a TOXIC WASTE program?? That alone tells you that the products used in cleaners are not safe!!

So use safer cleaners.. Seventh Generation and Ecover are the two most popular out there.

Anyway, one thing that I needed was dishwashing soap - for handwashing and the dishwasher. Did you know dishwashers are actually better than handwashing a whole load if dishes? Of course, if your dishwasher is full, and is energy efficient.

So initially, I purchased Seventh Generation's automatic dishwasher soap, and found that it basically SUCKED. I ended up having to do more work before the washing than the actual dishwasher (this is coming from a person who used Cascade Complete beforehand and basked in the barely-rinsing before putting the dishes in). It turned out to be a hassle! So I looked online for more answers, and found Ecover's dishwasher tablets!

I read good reviews, so I bought a box, and just tried it on a load, and I must say, I'm impressed! I did rinse and got major food off beforehand though, and I got into the habit of rinsing dishes when putting them in the sink (now, I just need to train my boyfriend to do the same!). But there wasn't residue and a non-plesant smell like there was with the Seventh Gen. Two thumbs up!

I also read an article in a magazine about the Ecover Aloe Vera dishwashing soap for handwashing - apparently they soften hands the best! I use gloves anyway cause I'm a touching-old-food-phobe. And it keeps my hands nice and clean. I hate wrinkly hands from water. Luckily I already had a bottle of this though! Lemon-scented too - I love the smell!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Harbor Biking

Around Valentine's day this past year my boyfriend and I wanted to go out, and I came up with the idea of biking around the San Diego harbor. It would be a great way to get some exercise, take in the city, and have little to no impact on the environment!

We rented bikes from You can rent a bike for about $30 a day - the only drawback was that the bikes had to be back by 4:30pm - they were actually nice enough to extend it 5pm for us instead. :D

We originally wanted to do the harbor bike route down to Coronado and take the ferry back, but that was a 25 mile ride, and we weren't going to bring the bikes back in time. So the bike shop suggested we bike down to the Cabrillo Monument on Point Loma, which is only 11 miles.

We started biking, and it was a beautiful ride, down Harbor Drive. Watching the life, the harbor and the skyline. It was refreshing - I haven't biked in years, and I loved feeling the wind in my hair!

Unfortunately, we didn't make it down to the monument, instead, we stopped at Shelter Island, had a mini picnic there, watched the boats and biked back. :)

This was definitely a fun way to spend the day - we actually want to buy bikes now! Biking for leisure is totally fun, you get exercise, and you get a different view of the city! I'm so used to driving all around town - especially downtown, that it feels and looks completely different on a bike. It's an awesome feeling and I recommend it to anyone!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Style Me Pretty - Green Weddings

This is something I truly want to do when my own wedding comes around - having a green wedding! With the recent development of people being more eco-conscious, green wedding ideas are popping everywhere! One awesome post in particular is from Abby Jean of Style Me Pretty. All the ideas are awesome! One thing I really want to do when my own wedding rolls around is making my own dress. I might not be the one to sew it together necessarily, but I would love to! My mom is more skilled at that than I am. One dress I love is this Alvina Valenta design.

One of my favorite parts of her post is the Olivia Luca dresses! The website even allows you to create your own dress. Awesome!

I have so many more green wedding ideas up my sleeve, but I'll post more another time. Especially resources here in San Diego!

Trader Joe's Organic Wine & more

I love Trader Joe's. I would go there everyday if I lived closer to one. But I only get to visit one every other week or so because I always end up going to a closer natural foods store. But I try and wait till I hit up TJ's!

A friend of mine told me that their Organic Chardonnay has been recommended to her, and that I should try it first. So we did!

I think this is a recent development with them offering organic wines (correct me if I'm wrong), and I picked up a bottle of the chardonnay yesterday. They also offer Shirah, which we didn't take. The bottle was only $4.99.

Taste - it was decent! Nothing spectacular, but not horrible either. It tastes similar to the popular Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck) wines they are so popular for. For an organic wine, the price can't be beat! :)

Also, speaking of organic treats, I went to Costco the other day to pick up some things, one of which were treats for the pets. I usually get the large bags of dried chicken strips - all natural 100% chicken, which both Mooch and Gromit LOOOOVE. They also sell such things in pet stores, but it's usually $20 for a 1lb tub, while at Costco, it's $12 for a 2lb bag.

Anyway, I was disappointed that they didn't have the chicken strips there, but instead, found this:

Organic chicken treats, with no wheat or fillers! I immediately picked up a box, which is a fairly large box, plus it was only about $12.

Gromit AND Mooch loves the treats! I def. recommend heading out to TJ's and Costco for some awesome finds!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Buy British

I've been fairly busy this weekend - helping with wedding planning, getting my car checked out and fixed, etc! Today, when my boyfriend and I were waiting for our cars to be done, walked around the little shopping center and found a store called "British Foods" And I realized that it was an English import food store! Of course, I had to go in!! And I found lots of fun things. A lot wasn't organic and etc, but I have a blast finding new things!

Rishi Tea, which I've heard good things about. Fairly high quality tea too, it seems - it cost about $20 for one of the cans of tea. I put it down immediately because I can't afford such extravagant teas!!

I loved the way these sacks looked with their little owl eyes! So cute!

This was the only thing the boy and I bought - a bottle of Schweppes Bitter Lemon soda. The cashier lady (who had the cutest accent) told us it was the "most refreshing drink." We put it in the fridge and took a few sips once it was chilled - and interestingly enough, it tastes just like the Dole Lime fruit bars that unfortunately got discontinued! :( - only in all liquid form!

Here are a few more interesting things in the store I took photos of:

I have more I'm going to post hopefully tomorrow! :D

Friday, March 2, 2007

Ki's Restaurant

I love the Food Network, and I love Rachel Ray's show "$40 a Day" and "Tasty Travels." Unfortunately, I hate Rachel Ray. BUT! I watch the shows anyway, because I love to hear about how restaurants do their thing, and I love it when they show San Diego because it highlights places I can visit!

On one episode, they quickly spotlighted a place in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA which isn't far from me, called Ki's Restaurant. On their website, they state:

"...offering an array of food and drinks made from high-quality organic (when possible ) fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, dairy, fresh fish, poultry products and beef."

Of course we had to visit! So we brought our friends along for dinner. I didn't get a decent shot of the outside since it was so dark so the first image isn't mine.

While we were waiting for them I had fun taking some shots. I didn't bring my SLR with me because I didn't want to lug it around, so I brought my little Fuji. :D

The nice view of the lit ocean/beach - I couldn't get a good shot of this

The guys ordered Samuel Smith's organically brewed beer. They said it was decent. They originally wanted Stone Brewery beers (which is local!) but their tap was broken. :(

Instead of bread, they brought out mini muffins, which were sooooooo good! I don't know what kind of muffins they were - they had walnuts and were just so yummy. I could've sat there and just ate the muffins.

I ordered one the specials, which was the seared ahi tuna and wasabi sauce with scallops, potatoes and veggies. The ahi was decent - drier than I like, but the potatoes and the scallops were yum!

My boyfriend ordered the top sirloin steak, which seemed only pretty good since he didn't sing a lot of praise for it.

And our friend ordered the spicy mahi mahi, which is what I almost got. It actually looked better than what I got. I didn't get to try it though, so I can't say.

Overall, I really liked the ambiance, parts of the food were DELICIOUS and parts were okay - overall I'd come again. Maybe next time it'll be for breakfast or lunch so it'll be cheaper!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

DIY Grocery Bags

Making your own grocery bags (or anything bags, really!) is a great way to make it whatever size you want, and whatever fabric you want (recycle!)! I made this bag a loooong time ago, using a thrift store find table linen (or was it a bed sheet?? I can't remember!) and the Jordy Bag pattern.

I obviously made the size of the bag much bigger than a handbag, and I attached the straps differently. I not only use this bag for groceries (which I've gotten compliments on) but I use it for EVERYTHING - a beach bag, a carry bag for Gromit's things when we have friends watch him, a book bag, library bag, etc!!

The best thing? This HUGE bag only cost me about $3 for the fabric and it's lasted for years already!