Search This Blog

C'est Une Belle Vie

Sometimes a photo can capture how beautiful we as humans can exist alongside nature...

The chair is rusted so beautifully and the aloe is bursting with life...

Eggs are so pure and lovely...

Ah, Magnolias...

All images & inspiration by the amazing blog Simply Lovely

Super Cute Eco Totes!

While NOT BUYING is really the way to go, there comes a time when it's time to update the wardrobe and make a eco-statement! Ditch the leather for a more natural fabric bag. Green Girl makes some pretty spiffy totes. I already can't decide which style I like best.

They come in a variety of patterns, prices and fabrics. Making the choice that much harder...

Support Small Boutiques & Precious Items I Desire

Stop shopping at big name stores, give that up and support small businesses! They've got way more to offer in my opinion, especially when they've got such a great eye for design, style and discovering the undiscovered. I've included some online store links as well as a local favorite...what are your favorite small boutiques and shops, leave the link in the comment section, let's get the word out to support small businesses!

I'm gaga for this knit mobile from Bla Bla, a bit pricey yes, but they make up for it with lesser priced stuffed animals that are super soft!

TWEED shea butter solid lotion bar made with organic shea butter, cocoa butter, and essential oils...oh la la! By Etsy shop PortlandGeneralStore

Hanging plant pot, genius! From Sprout Home

For baby Meyer-Harley, for when she's older from The Little Seed...

One of my favorite shops, Dalaga! It's only a few steps from my apartment, lethal I know!

UB has a new blogger! Meet Kim!

It's not always easy being green...but it certainly is getting easier! I live outside of the city and across the Hudson River with my boyfriend Mark in a cute little brownstone apartment. We have been in this part of Jersey for about 9 months now and have used this time and our location to better eco-fy our lives. You see, we actually both grew up in Morris County and never heard too much about Green living or Eco-friendly lifestyles while we were younger. I have to admit, for a long time all I thought there was to "doing your part" was to make sure that you recycle...but oh man, there is so very much more!
Transitioning yourself to make better, healthier and more eco-friendly choices is a constant learning process. Mark was definitely skeptical and hesitant at first...and sometimes he will still poke fun and tease me, but he's come a long way and has become incredibly open to making these changes in our lives as well. In fact, he recently added "reusable cups" to our grocery list, which prompted us to go out and purchase our own set of reusable stainless steel bottles. A little back story on our drinking water - previously to moving out here we were both use to drinking water straight from the tap. I never really drank filtered or bottled water. Once we moved, we heard from the landlord that many people filter or buy their own - so, as an effort to both avoid bottled water AND save money - we went with a filter for our tap. It has been great! I love not having to purchase water each time we shop and it feels great not to add to the world's never ending collection of plastic bottles. We also had a recent renovation to our bathroom that really made me smile. It's tough sometimes when you rent and some of these choices can not be your own because you do not own the property, but our landlord decided to replace the toilets in our building with ones that use about 2/3 gallons less water with each flush than the old toilets we had. There are 4 toilets in our building...that's quite a lot of water saved! I'm sure he did this in an effort to cut back on water bills - but what a smart way to do so...but, enough about water for now.
We are certainly still in the exciting phase of eco-fication - or let's be honest, I'm definitely the ring leader of this whole lifestyle makeover in our home - but it's something that I've become more and more passionate about, to the point where it just feels right. I witness acts of careless, thoughtless, wastefulness and it just hurts my heart...and I'm not completely innocent myself. If you went back a couple years and told me I'd be saying things like this I would probably laugh at you. But I think one of the huge attractions to me - was that not only can these changes that I make help to reduce my impact on the world around me, but they can actually benefit my own personal health and the health of my loved ones. These are things that you just can't help but feel good about. I'm sure you've all read Lindsay's blogs about produce and the horrible chemicals that can be found in our everyday food. Not to mention the intolerable treatment of factory animals. Because of everything I'm still learning, I started purchasing organic options whenever and wherever I can. Let's face it, this is not always the cheapest way to go, but personally, it's worth it to me. And call me crazy, but I swear I notice a difference in freshness, taste and even the overall health of my body. You just can't beat that. The best part of doing all of this right now is that organic options are more readily available everywhere you look. The closest Whole Foods to me is a good 20-30 minute car ride away, same with Trader Joes. But the selection I've lucked out with at my nearby Stop & Shop really makes grocery shopping that much more enjoyable. Just this week I noticed something new that reminds me again of why we shop there. They had a whole section of their produce department set up with local state produce, from local farms. Jersey Fresh - I snapped a picture really quick of the sign - I'm pretty sure that was the point in which my boyfriend walked away acting as if he didn't know me...

Everything we do is still just one step at a time, but each day they grow together in order to become a piece of the bigger picture... I look forward to sharing more of my adventures and steps along the way with all of you!

That's all for now,
xoxoxo - Kim

Time to Brush Up

I've blogged about the dirty dozen before, yada yada yada....well I thought it's high time to refresh your collective memories, especially since I know a lot of folks are forgoing organics to save some dough. This list is a good way to hold off on the pricey organics and when not to:

*List and description cut and pasted from Lime
1.Peaches. Peaches are tough to grow: insects love them as much as humans do and they find it easy to penetrate the thin skin on these juicy treats. They’re also prone to fungal and other diseases while on the tree, and are routinely sprayed with pesticides and fungicides during various stages of development. If insects can get through, so can these substances. According to the EWG, peaches had the highest likelihood of multiple pesticides on a single sample.

2.Apples. Also very attractive to insect pests, apples are typically sprayed with pesticides and petroleum-based horticultural oil (another insect control; it works by smothering them) at numerous times during their growing cycle. Varieties that are susceptible to fungal diseases are sprayed for that as well. Pesticide residues are difficult to remove as they tend to pool in apples’ dips and curves. Apple stems also wick substances into their cores.

3.Sweet bell peppers. The EWG found sweet bell peppers the vegetable with the most pesticides detected on a single sample, coming in at 11. European corn borers are their biggest threat, but far from the only one, which means that peppers are peppered with chemicals throughout their growing season. Thick skins offer protection from infiltration but also make it difficult to remove pesticide residue.

4.Celery. Celery is noted as a “heavy feeder,” which means it needs a lot of food and water when growing. If toxins are present in the soil it grows in and the water it’s given… well, you get the idea. This crunchy vegetable also tested as a significant source for pesticide residue, with the highest percentage of samples testing positive for pesticides. Tests also showed that pesticides concentrate in the bottom of bunches of celery stalks, where water collects.

5.Nectarines. Like pretty much all fruit crops, nectarines attract insects and are prone to fungal diseases. They’re also thin skinned, so anything used to treat them easily infiltrates their tissues.

6.Strawberries. Strawberries grow low to the ground and sometimes right on it, which makes them susceptible to soil-related issues. And, of course, insects love to munch on them. Growing strawberries conventionally means hitting them regularly with chemicals, including fertilizers, because the chemicals applied to strawberry fields to keep them safe from soil pathogens also kill the good things in soil that could feed them. Strawberries also absorb pesticides through their stalks.

7.Cherries. Like other tree fruits, cherries regularly come under attack by various insect pests, fungi, and diseases, and are sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, and horticultural oils. Some applications begin before the growing season starts.

8.Lettuce. Low-growing lettuce is prone to fungal and viral diseases caused by poor air circulation and excess moisture. Like celery, lettuce plants are heavy feeders, so pesticides in water are an issue as well.

9.Grapes (imported). Grapes in general can develop mildew and fungus problems and are routinely treated for both conditions. The EWG ranks imported grapes separately (and higher) than domestic grapes because they’re also often treated with methyl bromide to guard against fruit fly infestations.

10.Pears. Another thin-skinned fruit that insects love to munch on. They can be sprayed as many as nine times during the growing season for various insect pests.

11.Spinach. Like lettuce, it grows close to the ground, which makes it vulnerable to insect infestations and mildew. Tests also show that spinach plants uptake pesticides through their stalks.

12.Potatoes. Potatoes grow in the ground or just above it; soil-borne pathogens and ground-hugging insects are key issues here. Many potatoes are waxed before shipping, making pesticide residues difficult to remove.


Eco-Fashionista: Organic Furniture?

You want organic furniture? It doesn't get much greener than this.
Apparently this is Pete - in a Garden Tree Chair. Over 20 years ago,
Pete decided he wanted to grow a chair. I mean, I have those thoughts
as well, sometimes, but I normally stick to Basil and Tomatoes. He has
created - Pooktre - the art of shaping trees into pre-determined
designs. The tree people are a little freaky, but pretty rad, non the
less. Makes you wanna re-think getting a hammock, no?

Eco-Fashionista: Flower Power

We all know flower print is all the rage this summer - but artist
Nicole Dextras takes it to a whole new level! She has designed evening
wear out of foliage! According to her,
"It points the concept of environmental art into the realm of the body
as politic and the hegemony of the fashion industry". Red carpet
anyone? You know that this outfit is COMPLETELY organic! hahaha LOVES it!

Image: Made from Camellia Flowers, Lilac Flowers, Yucca Leaves, Laurel Leaves, and Thorns.
Medium Format Photography.

Weekend Reading: Tropical Foods & Your Carbon Footprint

I just read a great article regarding our carbon footprint when it comes to food. We all try to stay local with our purchases, but are we throwing that all away when we indulge in tropical treats such as coffee, mangoes and bananas?

Click HERE to read the article and get a bit more information about your daily eats...


Daily Eco: Shorter Showers

If you cut your shower time by 2 minutes you can save up to 150 gallons of water a month! I know it's hard to get out quicker when it's so refreshing in there, but come on you can do it!


Eco-Fashionista: Follow Your Budda Nose

It's been quite a while since Eco-Fashionista Brett has posted, well she's back and I couldn't be happier to post her first post of the summer!

As one knows living in New York, finding the time to simply sit still
and breath is hard. We "just don't have the time".
But this is the basis of Amy Galper's new holistic beauty line -
Buddha Nose. As a shiatsu practitioner based in NYC, Amy recognized
the connection between the energetic dynamics of shiatsu with the
essential oils of aromatic plants. SO, setting up shop in her kitchen,
she set out to remind her clients that beauty directly affects our
feeling good. Who doesn't want that!!!!!!

Buddha Nose's unique aromatic products include moisturizing salves,
lip balms, aromatic sprays, bath salts, scrub cleansers and essential
oils, and are made with only USDA certified organic and wild-crafted
ingredients and contain no parabens, synthetic fragrances or chemical
preservatives. Packaging is both recyclable and sustainable when

check it out -


Eco-Find: Seahorse Tote!

I have quite the collection of canvas bags, and to be honest I only really like a few of them. They need to be sturdy, big enough and cool enough to wear often. While I am not increasing my stock just yet, I do know a great one when I see one. It's organic and only $22 bucks!

Click for more information: Humble

Fact Shocker!

When it comes to trash....

packaging accounts for 32% of US municipal solid waste

( + My Picks

Just wanted to point out I recently updated 'My Picks' on the right column of the blog, it links directly to where you can pick up some of my favorite products, books and more!

What better time than now to pick up something new to help you eco-fy you life!

Fig + Sage Giveaway! J'adore!

I've been a Fig + Sage reader for months now and I am super excited to share they are giving away delicious organic Aden & Anais baby swaddle blankets, while I am hoping to win myself, I do want to share this amazing giveaway, check out this link for more information!


Weekend Reading

The weekend is here! It's time to sit back at your favorite cafe, sip a fair trade latte and enjoy some weekend reading....

Great article about healthier cows, which leads to healthier meat for you...And of course it's Europeans who have their head screwed on correctly, consciously making the effort to not only eat less meat, but eat healthier meat. Click here!

The title of the post says it all, '20 Green Fashion Designers You've Never Heard Of (But Oh You Will). Click here!

Eco Condoms, yes they are out there. Click here!

From one of my favorite eco-blogs, Fig & Sage, a great new yummy treat to indulge in, for free too! Click here for more details.


Inspire Me!

Inspiration can come in many ways, today it comes in the form of beautiful photos that make me want to buy a house, decorate, travel and have an outdoor dinner party...


30% off Mrs. Meyer's!

I adore Mrs. Meyer's cleaning & household products. I just found a deal to share, 30% off with this code: CLEANDEAL



What A Waste!!

I just got my daily Treehugger newsletter and had to re-post this awful picture. When Kevin and I were in Hong Kong we saw this horrible phenomenon in person, individually wrapped apples and peppers, horrible! If you see this, say something to your grocery about choosing a better supplier, don't give them money!!! Buy fresh and use your own bags. You really don't even need those bags they provide (ok, wet lettuce, grapes fine, but you don't need to bag your avocados do you!)


Nature Inspiration

Bleeding Hearts, aren't they just amazing!

Red White & Green

July 4th is right around the corner, and it's time to make that BBQ shopping list! What better time to start some eco-friendly traditions. Focus on a vegetarian menu or splurge on organic chicken and beef this year. Seek out the grass fed/pasture options. There is no greater way to say I LOVE YOU to the country than to start treating it better, from the beautiful land itself to the animals and people who inhabit it.

Check out your local farm stands for the freshest produce & meats, introduce yourself to the farmer and make your voice heard!

I know this wasn't a huge post, but hey it's a holiday weekend and I've gotta get cracking on my plans!

Enjoy yourself, be safe and have fun!