Monday, January 31, 2011

Top Three Budget & Earth Friendly Cleaning Ideas and The West End Deli

In my old age of 23, I have picked up some AWESOME cleaning tips that need to be shared with the world. I am always look ing for more natural way of cleaning things that won't make my skin itchy or make my house smell like ammonia.

  1. VINEGAR not only is vinegar great for salads, fries, and and making dressings it is also an amazing cleaner for windows, mirrors, and more. I feel a lot better sanitizing my kitchen surface areas with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water.
  2. BABY OIL  Want to make your kitchen sink look like it came out of a Homes & Garden Magazine? Squirt a little bit onto a paper towel and rub away. Your sink and other stainless steel appliances will look brand spankin' new.

 3. SWIFFER- Buy a swiffer. They are durable and last a long time. But- and here's the moolah saving trick- don't buy the wet/dry pads for it. Use an old rag and BAM your floors look amazing again! Once one side of the rag gets dirty, just flip it over.
Andrew and I tried out The West End Deli the other day on Spring Street in Portland. The store is adorable. The (assumed) owner was super friendly and was rambling off how everything was made in house- she was a doll! She said the only thing that wasn't was basically the meat which doesnt affect my new vegetarian efforts anyway!

 The deli sell lots of different sandwich/salad options, egg wraps, and they also do catering.

In the store, they also have an affordable and great selection of wine, beer, and sake.

Of course, Andrew found a great brew that he gave two thumbs up. It's a Rogue Hazelnut brown nectar ale.

For wraps, I went with the Portabella mushroom and spinach in a wheat wrap. Andrew got the warm sweet potato and provolone cheese in a garlic and herb wrap.

Mmmm, the sweet potato wrap was out of this world. It was simple in ingredients and healthy yet tasted like comfort food. I definitely can't wait to recreate it. Maybe sweet potato, over easy egg, and caramelized onions? We'll see!

My portabella mushroom and spinach wrap was good- but not as amazing compared to Andrew's.

I would definitely reccomend the West End Deli for good sandwiches made with fresh ingredients.

The next post will be about an adventure in Camden, Maine.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Dirty (and not so dirty) Thoughts in My Head

When will the hot water come back on so I can do these dirty dishes?

Whose dirty boots are these in my office? They remind me of a scary movie. Andrew knows not to wear his shoes in the house- so they arent his...;)
My dentist said this is the best gum choice for stanky breathe and dirty teeth. Did I just say type stanky? Is that a word?

Leaving carrots in a cold oven all night will, in fact, make them look like wrinkly dirty ol' carrots. If you were wondering. And if you havn't roasted carrots before, you should do it now!
Will Andrew and I both follow through with our vague (28 days past New Year's) Resolutions?
Have you tried this coffee yet? It is delicious and cheap. Its dirty as Nelly would say...
Did Andrew buy me flowers because he skipped out on the gym Friday.. or because he really really loves me? ;)

Enjoy your Weekend people!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mindful Living

"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child- our own two eyes. All is a miracle" -TNH

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to be More Mindful in Relationships

Do you ever
  •  fly off the handle at the people you love?
  • grow a temper over petty fights?
  • wish you could control your emotions better?
*In my best infommercial voice: *

 "If you answered yes to any of the above questions, becoming mindful may help you stay calm in stressful situations"

Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) can improve your relationships with
  • your hunny
  • your friends
  • your family
  • the slow cashier at the grocery store
  • and even the terrible driver in front of you on your commute to work
After a long day of work, I came home to find the apartment a huge mess. The dishes were piled up in the sink, there were damp towels on the bathroom floor, and the trash hadnt been taken out for starters. Andrew was sitting on the couch watching a football game.

My initial reaction was to let out a LOUD sigh and start whining to him (AKA have an adult temper tantrum). My thoughts at first were "If only Andrew would get up and help me..."

Instead, I counted my breathes until 10 and started picking up. Instead of dwelling on the fact that Andrew was watching the football game, I concentrated on what I was doing in the present moment. Being aware of when your not in the present moment lets you become more aware of what is going on in that moment.

Within minutes, Andrew was helping me clean anyway. Moreover, I realized it didn't take a temper tantrum to get him there.

Mindfulness is all about stepping back and taking in the present moment before you come to any hasty conclusion.

It feels good to not let my blood pressure creep up several points every time something isnt going my way!
"The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing." -Jon Kabat-Zinn


Day 6 of the challenge: Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

I'll start with 7..

1) My real name is Lauren Eliza - but I go by my middle name Eliza! My parents decided they wanted to confuse me change my name to Eliza Lauren but I have never gotten around to changing it legally. Seems like a nuisance.

2) I was on an Oakhurts Milk commercial when I was 6 or 7. My mom and I went shopping ALL DAY the day before for cute and super girly outfits for the commercial. They ended up keeping me in the black and white  striped overalls and red turtleneck I had came in! Haha.

3) I got lost with my best friend in Paris for an hour. It was a scary experiece I will never forget.

4) I was an emo kid in high school! Andrew was too, so I think that is half the reason we get along so well :)

5) My sister is only 15 months older than me and is one of my best friends.

6) My friends live too far away from me and I miss them and think about them every single day.

7) Since New Years, I havnt eaten any time of  meat. I am not sure completely why yet, it just felt right.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Life as a (Sloppy) Healthy Living Blogger Part 1

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

As I near my 67th Post I still havn't gotten it down. I will forever be captivated with the beautiful pictures and always interesting posts from bloggers like Jenna, Emily, and Kath. Will I ever compete with their creative recipes and blog posts?  Who knows. Anyway, this is how a usual blogger day goes in my house:
  • INGREDIENT 1: take a ridiculous amount of pictures to find a good one for the ol' blog. Make boyfriend judge best pictures.

  • INGREDIENT 2: Almost slice into finger approximately 5x because you don't use knife correctly. Oopsies.

  • INGREDIENT3: Ransack all kitchen compartments for ingredients for recipe. Oh, and also decide you want to make your boyfriend fancy panini at 10:30 AM.

  • INGREDIENT 4: No Paper, no problem. The back of a receipt should work just fine for writing down your recipe.

Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Modified from epicurious

4 Cups Trader Joe's Vegetable Broth
2 Pounds Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
2 Heaping Tbsp. Curry (This is a lot- but I love curry! Use less if you want)
1 Cup Milk (I used soy because it's creamier than skim)
Canola oil
S & P

Heat large saucepan with 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, add onion. As onion becomes tender, add broth and boil. Once boiled, add sweet potatoes and curry. After 20 minutes, sweet potatoes should be tender. Using a slotted spoon, transwer all sweet potatoes to food processor. Puree until smooth and then add 1 cup of broth to processor. Puree. Return the mixture to saucepan and add milk and season to taste.

Oh, its -15 in Maine today by the way. This better be the coldest day of the year!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 4 of Ze List

Day 4: My Views on Religion

When I was little, church was a part of my life. My family went to most Sunday morning services.  As the years went by, and life got more hectic with sports, sleepovers, and life in general church became a Christmas Eve only thing. Now we don't do that even more which is okay with me.

I completely believe in karma and being a good person. I don't know if there's an after life and I don't think you know either. I believe in mindfulness --- treating yourself, Mother Earth and others with respect and complete awareness.

Tomorrow, I will have a post on a vegan sweet potato soup and a roasted garlic and cilantro hummus!