Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reminder: Earth Hour

Tonight is Earth Hour. I want to encourage everyone to participate. It is a global movement where by citizens are asked to turn off their lights for one hour (See my other post on Earth Hour). If one hour in the dark doesn't sound too appealing to you, try to create something fun for yourself to do. Turn off all the lights and go walk around your neighbourhood and see how many people turned out the light, enjoy a true candle light dinner with someone you love, head out to the local park or beach and star-gaze, soak in the bath by candle light, have an old fashioned game night (cards or boards or maybe charades?) with the lights out. Be creative, you might be surprised how fun and relaxing it is to be in the dark.
Word of caution: even though your city won't be turning the street lights off, if you are heading outside for Earth Hour please make yourself visible; wear light colors and reflective material. Also, in light of my cousins accident with candles, please practice candle safety too. Please put candles up off the ground and well away from any edges they could be knocked down from.
So remember, Earth Hour begins at 8:30pm and continues until 9:30pm but you never know, you might be having so much fun you might forget to turn the lights back on!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Green Tips: Transportation Tune-up

The fact is that we all need to go places and we need to go further further from home. These green tips will hopefully help you to make green choices when it comes to transportation. If you are living in Canada the government offers a tax credit if you purchase a monthly transit pass. All you need is the pass and the original receipt, to receive your credit. If you are looking for incentives for green transport (other than a healthy environment of course) check with local and national government to see if they offer tax breaks or rebates.

1. Whenever possible take public transit. Not only does it save you carbon emissions but it will actually save you money (gas, parking fees, tolls and maintenance fees).

2. Get a bike. Great for the environment, your wallet and your health. When I lived with my parents it took me 12-15 mins to drive to school and then 6 dollars to park and 7-10 mins to cycle to school and 0 dollars to park. It was great! You might enjoy it too.

3. Walk. Even if you can't walk the whole way, try driving part way and walking the rest. Things are closer then you think, if you have the time try walking :)

4. Maintain your vehicle. Well maintained cars use less fuel. Keep your tires properly inflated, change your oil, tune up your brakes, fix all leaks and rotate tires. Don't use your car as storage, a heavy car uses more gas. Remove any roof racks to reduce wind resistance and improve gas mileage.

5. Buy fuel-efficient vehicles, it will save you money in the long-run. If you live in the climates for it, try a vespa or motorbike. Hybrids are quiet and fuel-efficient. Calculate how much you spend on gas and maintenance for your current vehicle (or older models of the cars you are interested in) and compare to a hybrid over 5 years. The savings might surprise you. But remember, car-free is even better than a hybrid.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just What I Needed

Back in September, my MIL gave me a gift certificate to the Organic Spa (thank you Terri). I decided I would save it until we were done with the major work on the house. So last month I made up my mind that I needed a day at the spa. After looking through a whole bunch of boxes the gift certificate was found and it was time to go be pampered.
Today was the best day ever! I had never been to the spa so I didn't know what to expect. I woke up not feeling great and about 20mins into my manicure I started feeling dizzy and sick so I had to wash my face with cold water and take a deep breath. Once I went back to the pampering I got a lot better. I had the Free Your Spirit package which included a manicure, pedicure, massage and facial. After being rubbed with various oils and lotions I was so glad it was all organic. I can't believe people allow other spas to rub chemicals and preservatives into their skin. It all felt great and smelled awesome.
If you can, I recommend visiting an Organic Spa. I feel calm, relaxed and completely rejuvenated. If you are in Victoria, visit Free Spirit Botanicals for information on the Organic Spa

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Laugh

Someone emailed me this video and I was so grateful for the laugh. At first I was really worried for the beaver (the last thing I needed to see was a beaver getting hit by a car) but it was so funny. I think I find it even funnier simply because I am Canadian (adorable that he speaks in English and French). Anyways, it made me laugh so I thought I would share the laughter. Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Feeling a Little Blue

These past couple days I must say I've been a little blue. I've just not been sleeping well or been feeling well. It's hard to laugh and smile when you feel exhausted and unhappy.
I've also been a bit lonely. Many of my friends are moms and they have little time for socialization. My best friend lives in Prince George and my other good friend is completing her thesis. My sweetie's been really busy with school work so I haven't seen much of him either.
So I've been trying to keep myself busy so I don't think about all this stuff. I've been reading some books, watched a couple movies and trying to sleep. (I have also been catching up on some Jon and Kate plus 8 classics). I'm hoping that now that my sweetie has handed in a major project, he will have some more time to hang out. He really makes me laugh and I like being close to him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grosgrain GIVEAWAY!!!!

Baggu Grosgrain Guest GIVEAWAY!!!!
For a chance to win a designer eco bag click on the link above. I love all these giveaways.

Another great giveaway. These necklaces look totally gorgeous.

Green Tips: No-Brainers

These green tips are some no-brainers that we all should know and practice but I think some of us need some reminders.

1. Don't litter. This includes cigarettes, gum, tissues, and dog dropping. If you miss the trash can, please go pick it up, if a wrapper falls out of your pocket, please pick it up and just be considerate.

2. Save water. Don't leave the tap or shower running. Don't run the washing machine or dishwasher unless it is FULL. And don't over water your garden or leave the sprinkler running or water your driveway.

3. Save power. Turn off the lights, don't leave your heaters or air conditioners on when you aren't home, and put electronics on a power bar so you can turn them off at the wall instead of leaving them on standby.

4. Cut back on waste. Use re-usable containers for food and drink, try to buy things in minimal packaging, compost organic material instead of trashing it and recycle instead of throwing it away.

5. No more greenhouse gases. Walk, cycle or take public transit, don't leave your car to idle, drive efficiently, switch to a clean barbecue and switch to a clean method of heating your home (natural gas, bio-oil or electric).

Simple tips but important ones and I will admit that I have left the heat on or let a tissue fall out of my pocket but it is good to remind ourselves to do these little things. We all need to our part and it's easy if you try :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Weird Weather

This morning when I woke up I was delighted to see some sun shining through my window. So when Jon and I decided to go walk around downtown, I thought I would put on some capris. Big mistake! As we were driving downtown (which is maybe a 20 minute drive) it started to rain, then hail! By the time we had parked the car the hail had stopped but now it was almost gale force winds so we decided to stop and have lunch and maybe wait out the weather. As we were eating, the sun came out and we were delighted. However, after we had paid our bill, the rain was back. So we got in our car to head home and then.....the sun comes out. All I can say is that global warming is a bitch. I was really disappointed that we couldn't spend some more time wandering downtown and checking out the French Festival. When we got home I went out in our backyard and discovered that the weather had been far worse overnight then I had realized. Our trash cans we in our neighbours yard, the wind had ripped the cover off our barbecue and knocked around all our deck chairs. When we have days like these I have a renewed drive to help the environment and do my part to reduce these affects of global warming. Help me out and do you part too. More easy green tips are to come!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

On Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 pm turn off your lights for one hour - Earth Hour and support the biggest event for action on climate change.

Earth Hour is a global lights-out phenomenon, led by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) that will bring together millions of people from around the world in a united effort to show each of us can play a role in the fight against climate change!

When we did Earth Hour we actually found ourselves bored so we have decided we are going to make something of it this year. I thinking either we will walk out to the beach and look at the stars (hopefully enough people participate so that we can some more stars) or have a small Earth Hour party. I encourage you to get involved too. Have a candle light dinner, go for a walk and see how many people turned off their lights, try playing some good old fashioned games in the dark or maybe spend Earth Hour in a candlelit bath. Be creative and have just might get hooked on the darkness.
(I don't know what's going on with the video, it is having size issues. Hope you can still see everything ok)

Another Giveaway

Enjoy Birth (which is a great blog) is giving away a copy of Labor of Love by CaraMuhlhahn (who was interviewed in The Business of Being Born). According to the review in the blog, it is about Cara's journey into midwifery and her experiences as a homebirth midwife.

I would love to read this book. As an aspiring doula and possibly midwife (yes, I am considering it), I would love to read this book. I feel like a sponge lately, I want more and more information.

If you would like a chance to win this book visit

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blessingway Beads

I got my order of Blessingway Beads in the mail today and I LOVE them. They are motherhood beads and I was going to give them as gifts but I'm may have to order more for myself. The OM mama is a little chipped (not her fault, the mail service is pretty rough) so maybe I'll keep that one ;)

She has a ton of other great beads that are all motherhood themed. You can view her online store on Etsy here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green Tips: Trade it Up

Green living is something that is a common theme in communities here on the west coast. Green living is also really important to me personally. My father taught us to make environmentally conscious choices from a very young age. I would like to share some tips in a series of green tips that hopefully we all can try to accomplish in our lives in an attempt to make a bigger impact on global warming. These tips are all about trading wasteful happens for green ones.

1. Buy a reusable water bottle (BPA free) and if needed, a water filter and kick the habit of buying a bottled water when you go out. If you have a habit of forgetting try buying a second water bottle and leaving it in your gym bag or car for when you get thirsty.

2. Buy a reusable travelers mug for your morning coffee or tea. As a bonus, many coffee houses offer a small incentive if you bring your own mug.

3. Get or make yourself some reusable grocery bags and say no to paper or plastic, this is another situation where you can earn back a little bit of change for using your own bags.

4. Ladies, buy some reusable cloth pads or a diva cup and get rid of your need for plastic pads and tampons.

5. When getting take-out bring your own reusable containers (but call ahead to ask if this is permitted, some places aren't on board with this). It will save a ton of garbage!

Simple changes like these not only reduce waste but also boost your savings but reducing cost and earning you little refunds that add up over time. Good luck!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Today's Forecast: Global Warming!

This morning, March 7th 2009, I woke up to this. As beautiful as it is, yesterday was warm and sunny, the blossoms were out and it was lovely. Today it is cold and everything is white. Just goes to show that global warming is very really and affecting us right now. We need to cut back and take care of our planet. Or things like this will happen more and more and only get worse. There are many places in the world were this is a reality and it's spreading like a disease. It is fixable but we need to restore the natural world.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A few giveaways!

Kathy at Woman to Woman Childbirth Education is giving away a copy of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy: A Photographic Guide for Mom and Those Who Help Her. I haven't read it yet but I would love to have the chance to read this book and share it with all the mommies I know! Click here to enter! Giveaway ends March 20th.

Win a free
Bumgenius 3.0 Diaper! This is a valuable All-In-One cloth diaper that you can use for yourself or give as a gift to someone expecting a baby! Go check out Hot Belly Mama's Blog for details on how to win this wonderful All In One Cloth Diaper. Hot Belly Mama will announce the winner on March 30th, after her 30th birthday!

Here is the direct link to her blog:
Good luck!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Title

I decided to change the title of my blog today since there was some confusion regarding West Coast Addict. I'm not an addict (except maybe to my location on the planet) and I think people were misunderstanding my meaning. So I've changed it to Life on the West Coast for now until I can think of something a bit more catchy.

Baby Sign

Baby sign is something I've been familiar with for about 6 years now. My cousin started using it with her daughter from about 8 months on and continued it with her second child. And while my sign vocabulary is very limited, it was great for understanding what the child wanted when they wanted it. It eliminated the awkward moment where you are holding someone else's child and they are asking for something like a bottle using their own little code word of bubs or boo or whatever and you can only stand there and guess if they want their stuffy or a pacifier or mom or what. It also eliminated that frustrated crying that the child inevitably starts when they don't get what they want because I don't know what they want. exhausting.
Yesterday I spent the day with a friend of mine who has a 2 year old and a 1 month old. The 2 year old was shy at first so I spent a good 2 hours snuggling the baby (which thrilled me to my toes, I love when they are that small. He slept the whole time mostly and made the cutest dreaming faces, I didn't want to give him back). Finally the older son came around and wanted to play and to my delight he knew baby sign. It was so lovely to communicate with less barriers. It really affirmed my decision to baby sign with my children. It just opens the lines of communication earlier in life and helps jump start intellectual development. And there is the added bonus that if they ever come across someone who is hearing impaired they can moderately communicate with them as well.
If you are interested in Baby Sign check out for more info.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Finally a Good Movie

So after a whole bunch of really disappointing movie rentals, we went to the theater and saw a great movie called Coraline. It is a youth film from Disney but I think it is fun for adults too. It is a great story and is amazingly done in some excellent stop-motion animation. Coraline is also the first stop-motion animation movie to be done in 3D which only adds to the magic of the film.
The story is about a young girl who gets relocated to Oregon when her parents move for work. When she becomes bored with her new life and her uninterested parents she explores her new house. One day she discovers a door to another world where she meets her "other" mother in a world that seems perfect. But is it? I won't say anymore, I don't want to ruin it. I highly recommend this film to anyone.
A word of warning though. Even though it seems to be a kids movie is it pretty creepy and children under 11 or 12 may find it too scary so please be aware. I've pretty much said to my friends with kids that if their children could watch the Nightmare Before Christmas without being afraid then they should be fine in this film.
On a final note I would recommend skipping the following films because to be honest I wanted my money back: Blindness, Miracle at St. Anna, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Tropic Thunder.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring is just around the Corner

We had a gorgeous day here in Victoria today. It was so sunny and warm. I actually sat outside in the sun in a sun dress and sandals and knitted.
It's almost confusing. It snowed here last week and has been sooo cold and windy, so when I woke up and saw the sun outside my window I didn't know how to dress. But it had to be around 10-12 degrees outside. It felt good to bring out my deck furniture and walk around the yard. I have some really beautiful purple crocuses and some lovely snow drops. It felt so much like spring I smiled all afternoon and I am so excited for more days like these.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Working on the Knittin' Skills

Up until now I have had very basic knitting skills. Basically I could make scarves and that was it. So today I bought myself a knitting book and some double ended knitting needles. And now.....I can knit in a circle! It took me a while to master having 5 needles going at once but it looks good. However I'm thinking I'm going to get a set of the circular knitting needles and see if that is easier. I was going to make fingerless gloves but now I'm thinking I may just go for it and make a little set of baby pants. We will see how it goes. But I am feeling quite proud that in one day I learned a totally new skill.
I've already set my sights on another skill I want to master (even though I haven't really mastered the other one). The book has instructions on how to do a cable knit, so I think that will be my next task. It does however seem to require yet more tools so we will see how the funds are when it comes time to try it.
Anyways, I will post pictures of my masterpiece when it's done. Feel free to give advice if you have some; I'm always ready to learn more.