Gifts from Bend, OR

Live in Bend, Oregon and want to give a gift from Bend, Oregon? Follow my local gift giving series!

Green your coffee routine

Save 23 lbs of waste this year and start using a reusable coffee cup to keep you caffeinated.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's not a pony

You might have noticed my absence over the past couple of months. First, it started out as summer was just full of family stuff and I just didn't have time to sit down and write and then, it turned into something else. Something I needed to keep under wraps for a while. But now is the big reveal.



That is my 12 week ultrasound. I'm having a baby in April though if things play out like last time, Mini-Hindi 2, will be here in March. My absence has been mostly due to the fact I have had awful (in my terms) morning sickness where I am not hungry, the smell or site of bacon makes me want to vomit, I am tired all day, all night and I don't want to get out of bed. I have spent my weekend blogging time napping or just sitting on the couch moaning and groaning for the sickness to go away. Today I went to the doctor and have lost 8 lbs since my last appointment.

We are excited but I still think I'm in shock. Of course, I have plans to be to as natural of a mama as I can be but we do have most of the gear from last time and I might take a stab at cloth diapering again, though I sold all my diapering stuff.

I'm busy working away on our goals in the background and gearing up for October's Eco Challenge where I will be focusing on energy goals. Hopefully, I can get my home monitoring system working. Oh the pressure!

Green plan: Switch to all-natural mascara

Even though my garden was a complete failure (only produced three tomatoes), I have been working on other green goals. One that I thought would be impossible and expensive turned out to be neither.

I have pretty much simplified my make-up routine to just concealer and mascara (I will wear eye shadow, eyeliner and blush on occasion but not every day) and since I switched my concealer a few months back, I was dreading looking for a new mascara. My stand-by has been Mary Kay or everyone's favorite Great Lash by Maybelline. I have long thin lashes that require a lash curler so I need something that helps them look not so thin.

From what everyone was telling me, I was going to have to pay good money for an all-natural mascara. Which was SO not the case. One Friday night, I was shopping without my child and decided to look through the cosmetic aisle at Fred Meyer. I was so exited to see that Physicians Formula has two 100% natural original mascara options that hold the ECOCERT certification (though neither is listed on the cosmetic database). Retail value on the Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara was $9 which was easier to shell out that the $30 I thought I was going to be facing.

I was thinking to myself, this stuff probably isn't going to work well with my long, thin eyelashes --  boy was I wrong. This stuff was better than my ole stand-bys. It does live up to offering big, thick, dramatic lashes as the packaging suggests!

Now my daily beauty routine is natural and I can't wait to try other products through the Physicians Formula Organic Wear line.

P.S. I have no affiliation with any of the products/companies/organizations mentioned in this post

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless Monday: Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

I didn't discover gnocchi until a couple falls ago at a charity event. Since then, it has been a fall staple in our house and sometime this year, I will attempt to make it but in a pinch,  I just pick some up at Trader Joes. 

Since I love to cook and bake, I have started a board on Pinterest called I like to eat. It's been a great place to post recipes I've been dying to try The Cutting Edge of Ordinary's Gnocchi Mac and Cheese. It is super easy to make and oh so yummy! Enjoy.

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

1 pound purchased or homemade gnocchi
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
Basil leaves for garnish, optional (I chopped fresh basil and added it in to my cheese sauce)

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Combine Gruyere and fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Bake gnocchi until they puff and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halloween Costume Swap details for Bend!

Yes, I have been slacking a bit on the blogging. My family has been keeping up with being green and our goals but time for blogging when working full time and chasing around a three year old, has been sparse! 

In my free time, I have been working on marketing (Alissa has been working on organizing) the Central Oregon Children's Costume Swap as part of National Costume Swap Day. We are holding it a week early because we got a great FREE space at the Bend Fall Festival!

Here are the details:

Where:
October 1, 2011
10:30 a.m. 
Bend Fall Festival
Downtown Bend

What:
Join us to recycle your gently used Halloween costumes and select low cost costumes to outfit your kids this year!

How it works:
Swap opens at 10:30 a.m. for those that have previously donated
Open to the general public at 11 a.m. and continuing all day as part of Fall Festival through 6 p.m.

All costumes $10 (proceeds to the Family Access Network)
Donate a costume to the swap and receive $5 credit toward your selection.
Donate 2 costumes and select a new costume free!

What we’re looking for:
Full costumes only – no solo accessories please.
Quality handmade costumes accepted at the volunteer’s discretion.

Costume drop off will be Friday, September 30  from 6-8 p.m. at a yet to be determined location.

Now, if you're reading this and you DON'T live in Bend, find a swap in your area OR host your own!

Special thanks to Green Halloween for developing such an event! Our costume swap has come along way since last year!

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