Nourish Your Mind, Feed Your Soul

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A mini getaway for me in the mountains to recharge. Although icy conditions are making the skiing slightly less enjoyable, it’s  always nice to get out of the city to clear your head. This blog is about living the whole-Istic lifestyle and that means mental wellness as well and as part of my mental well being, that means trying new things, getting away from the everyday and for me, getting into nature. I am blessed that I live so close to the wonderous beauty that is the rocky mountains and even if it’s just for a quick day trip, it’s always well worth it.

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Four Cookbooks I Love Right Now

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For as long as I can remember I have loved to create with food. Each day I used to come home from school and watch Giada De Laurentiis and the Barefoot Contessa, in that order. If I missed Giada, it was always a huge let down. I was always fascinated by how simple they made cooking look and their creations were always so beautiful.

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My Favourite Target Finds

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While Target’s stay in Canada was relatively short-lived, I was definitely one of the people on the side of sad to see them go. Generally I am not a huge fan of big-box stores but I always managed to get some great finds at Target that I wasn’t able to find elsewhere.

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5 tips for reducing toxins in your home

IMG_0066People often consider the air pollution outside but the air pollution that can occur inside your home is one that might be less thought of. Here are some things that can be done to remove toxins from your home and life.

There are so many tips but here are a few simple ways to make quick changes to reduce toxins.

1. Green up your cleaning products

Many people seem to think that if something doesn’t have a strong bleach or chemical smell  it won’t be able to clean as effectively. However, there are many ways to clean your home without using harsh chemicals.

Vinegar is a very effective cleaner. I use it frequently for various cleaning in my home. It can be combined with hot water and an essential oil in a spray bottle to create an effective, non-toxic, pleasant-smelling all purpose cleaner. According to an article on davidsuzuki.org, vinegar is an effective disinfectant.

“Acetic acid or white vinegar is a great disinfectant. It also acts as a deodorizer and cuts grease. And you can tackle household bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and other “gram-negative” bacteria with vinegar. Gram-negative bacteria can cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis.”

There are even some vinegars that are dubbed as cleaning vinegars because they have a stronger concentration of acetic acid.

Vinegar, combined with baking soda can also be used to unclog drains in place of Draino for a more-green option.

This site also offers some really great tips!

Many everyday kitchen items that can be used to clean and disinfect like lemon or tea tree oil.

There are also many green cleaners that arent “green washed” and they can be bought at your local health-food store or even some major big box stores carry them in their natural sections.

Some of my favourite natural cleaning brands:

Method

Seventh Generation

NatureClean

Norwex

2. Buy a plant, or two, or three… 

There are many plants that can do wonders to improve your homes air quality. We know that they take in the carbon-dioxide and other harmful toxins but they can also help keep the right amount of humidity in the air.

According to Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) some top plants to purify the air are:

  • Aloe
  • Spider Plant
  • Snake Plant
  • Golden Pothos
  • Red-Edged Dracena

Check out their full list and here.

3. Choose glass over plastic 

It is really important to try to use glass over plastic as much as possible. Certain plastics do not do well heated up and can leach into your food. Also, don’t re-use plastic forks from take-out too many times, or at least don’t put them in the dishwasher if you’d like to use them again. I personally avoid using plastic as much as possible and I never reheat anything in it.

4. Purchase eco-friendlier furniture or buy used

Furniture can release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde. To avoid these compound from being released into your home purchased used furniture, eco friendly brands or let the furniture release the VOCs before bringing them into your home. This article does a great job explaining the risks to your home and health from VOCs.

5. Avoid air fresheners, candles and other deodorizers that spew chemicals into the air

Everyone loves a fresh and clean smelling home but there are better ways to add scents to your home than using commercial chemical filled products. Also, opting for beeswax or soy based candles instead of candles filled with chemicals (the label usually says what the candle is made of) will help to reduce the indoor air pollution while still providing the scent and ambiance that you are after – my go-to candle brand is Woodlot. Additionally, purchasing a diffuser and diffusing essential oils can be a great way to deodorize your home while improving indoor air quality.  Salt lamps are also a great way to help improve indoor air quality.

4 tips for using paisley in your home

design (2) I absolutely love paisley. I think that is is timeless pattern that can be done really bold or subtly in clothing or as an accent in home décor.

(Written in 2012)

Paisley has been used as a pattern on clothing for centuries, mainly in shawls. Today the pattern is still popular in home décor and fashion.

Jenna Davis, an interior design consultant at Ethan Allen in Calgary, says that paisley is still very popular. She recommends paisley as a fabric choice to her clients.

“You either love it or you hate it.”

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