Photo Friday | Thawing Out

This week has definitely thrown me a little off-kilter, with a day and a half out of my office and cooped up in my house. This ice storm definitely comes in second place to December's snow day, because that didn't quite wreak as much havoc.


While it might have looked like a winter wonderland outside, it was anything but once our hot water pipe froze and then burst. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to a warm bath this evening now that our pipe has been replaced.


One of the more random events of the ice week/cabin fever was getting outside Wednesday afternoon to check out the ice situation and spotting this little pup walking down the street alone. We took him in, I cuddled him a lot, and we checked around with neighbors to see if anyone knew who he was for.

After a trip to the vet to learn he's not chipped, we managed to catch his owners driving down the street looking for a lost dog. The reunion was incredibly sweet, and we got to meet two more of our neighbors. Here's your Wednesday afternoon with a side of all the feels.


With the temperatures getting back up to what we're more used to this weekend, I'm ready to give our heater a break and get some fresh air! We've got a few house projects to get back to, and I've got a girls night planned with my high school friends. After wearing my same few sweaters and thick socks all week, it'll feel great to put on something different.


What do your weekend plans consist of?

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La Cuisine de Maman | Styrofoam-Free

When the temperatures dip outside, that means one thing to Cajuns: it's gumbo weather.

This winter has seen its fair share of prime gumbo weather, but one of my favorite days was back in December, the day before it snowed.

I was getting together for lunch with my friend Liv, a fellow 705 member and an advocate for zero waste journeys, before she and her family moved to Colorado. I suggested meeting up at La Cuisine de Maman, the restaurant located inside Vermilionville in Lafayette.

Photo courtesy La Cuisine de Maman Facebook

The restaurant is known for its homestyle Cajun cooking and seafood buffet (which I haven't tried out yet!), but to me it's known for something else - it has transitioned away from Styrofoam to-go containers. Thanks to the Bayou Vermilion District, who operates Vermilionville, the restaurant switched to using compostable bagasse containers in late 2016.


The day we got together, it was cold and rainy outside, the perfect day for some comfort food.

I immediately opted for a bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo with a side of potato salad. Liv ordered shrimp and grits. We both ordered "water no straw" and grabbed our own stainless steel straws instead. It was fun to have a friend to talk about green lifestyles and zero waste efforts with for most of a lunch date.

Photo courtesy La Cuisine de Maman Facebook

One thing I didn't realize much about La Cuisine de Maman is how affordable it really is. My giant bowl of gumbo (which I was too hungry to take a picture of, so this is from their Facebook page) and potato salad were seven dollars total. SEVEN! I feel like most restaurants in this town now charge upwards of $12 a bowl, not including the potato salad.

Oh and how satisfying that gumbo was. I've already eaten lunch today and I'm salivating over the thought of eating this gumbo again.


Another way the restaurant cuts down on waste is by using cloth napkins.

Photo courtesy La Cuisine de Maman Facebook

If you're in Lafayette, or you're traveling through the area, take a quick detour for lunch to La Cuisine de Maman. It's just across the street from the airport, and you don't have to pay the Vermilionville admission fee in order to dine in.

Help support this locally owned restaurant with a commitment to sustainability and reducing waste! Sign up for their email list to get the daily restaurant specials each week.

And if the weather permits, pay the admission fee and check out Vermilionville.


VISIT

300 Fisher Rd Lafayette, Louisiana 70508 | Website | Facebook | Instagram
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Photo Friday | Winterizing Your Home

The cold is back in South Louisiana, and we're bundling up again! Dax has it right - wrapping up in a blanket and staying in bed all morning to stay warm.


After last week's arctic blast, I wrote a column for the Times of Acadiana on ways you can winterize your home to make it more energy efficient, which helps you conserve energy and save money.


Check out the article to get the full list of tips, and stay comfortable the rest of this winter!


http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/entertainment/2018/01/09/ways-winterize-your-home-comfort-and-savings/1005582001/

One of the ways I share in the column is using these simple drawstring pouches to cover pipes, and we use some of our scrap rags as well.


Lined thermal/blackout curtains are also helpful for keeping heat inside the home and cold out.


You can bet I'll be conserving my own warmth and energy this weekend by wearing my comfortable thick socks and loading up with blankets, just like Dax. 

Happy weekend, everyone!
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Why Balloon Releases are Bad for the Environment

Balloons can be found everywhere, from birthday parties to baby showers, photo props, weddings, visual signage, place markers, and releases at memorial services. But while they seem like a necessary accessory for a celebration, they actually become harmful litter across the planet.


Via Pexels

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Photo Friday | Organic Skincare

I am very much a Chapstick/lip balm addict. I always have at least two in my purse, one at my desk, one on my bedside table, and like three in my bathroom.

So when I visited the John Masters Organics shop at the Ala Moana shopping center in Honolulu a couple months ago, I couldn't resist picking up a tube of their organic lip balm. This one is raspberry flavored, which hooked me instantly.


What I didn't expect was just how soft it would make my lips feel. There's nothing I hate more than a rock-hard tube of lip balm that doesn't do anything to soothe chapped lips - and this one is exactly the opposite.


It's got a permanent spot in my purse, where I use it way too obsessively.

My other little treat-yoself purchase at the shop was this Rose & Apricot Antioxidant Day Creme. As I mentioned to the employee, now that I'm in my 30s, I'm trying to focus more on taking care of my skin. This creme is lightweight and silky feeling, so it's perfect as the first thing I put on before makeup in the morning. I can't handle thick, pasty products on my skin.


With this week of freezing cold weather and running our heater more, my skin has been extra dry, and this creme helps to give a layer of moisture in the mornings.

As I started to write this post, I realized I had never looked up these products in the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, to cross check just how good they are for my health. Both products are listed under older formulations, but they still earn great ratings. The lip balm earns an overall score of 1 (the highest score) and the day creme earns a 2.

I'm looking forward to investing in more organic and vegan-friendly skincare this year as part of my journey to taking better care of my health. Do you have any favorite organic beauty and skincare products?

This post is NOT sponsored - I just love my treats!
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My 2018 New Year's Resolutions

It's a brand new day and a brand new year. I'm looking forward to this fresh start, and renewing my hope that this year will bring us prosperity and answered prayers.

As I mentioned last week, I started a brand new notebook for post ideas and inspiration, now that I'm to the end of my current notebook. I'm excited to start filling these (100% recycled) pages!


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