Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 package (14 1/2 ounces) firm tofu, drained, cut crosswise into 6 slabs (about 3/4 inch wide), each slab halved horizontally and cut into triangles
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, stalks trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch rounds, florets separated into bite-size pieces
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cashews, toasted  
 Thank you Martha Stewart ;)

Do you have a favorite tofu recipe to share? 

Here's to Broken Paver / Cracked Concrete Upcycling!!

So, we finally moved into our new house about a week ago. I have been very busy to say the least. Spring is upon us and I'm hoping to make my garden dreams a reality.

While cleaning out a plethora of broken pavers we decided to make a path between where we would place our vegetable beds. Granted, it's not the sunniest of locations but surely lettuce and nasturtium will survive... That's a lot of lettuce I guess, I'll think of something - barter or what not.

My first inclination with the broken pavers was the trash - I'm ashamed of myself, but I'm not going to lie. Come to find the US actually has a number of recycling companies that specialize in recycling concrete. Who knew?
**Recycling one ton of cement could save 1,360 gallons water, 900 kg of co2**

Makes sense with the dire state of landfills. But, that's not what I choose to do either. Likely my broken pavers will be stacked for some sort of bed edging. Love the second pic below.

I'm not the biggest fan of broken stone paths, I like them sure, but I'd like a more modern symmetrical look for my yard personally.

Here are some ideas for those broken pavers. 
 
Love one and have no broken pavers? Check out Craigslist Free or Freecycle, you're bound to find someone aching to rid their yard of broken pavers. 

Upcycling for Cats

I love upcycling and I LOVE my cats,
so I decided to browse today and share some upcycled finds especially for our feline friends. 

First up, check this guy out! Loving his  
Upcycled kitty mat!
Brought to you by Design Sponge.

What You’ll Need:
1. cardboard boxes (all sizes, all kinds, at least 5 medium size boxes)
2. masking tape
3. exacto blade and ruler
4. decorative paper, fabric or paint
 - I will have a lot of empty boxes soon ;)



I feel as if I've seen a lot of
Vintage Suitcase Beds recently, Oh pinterest.. but I still love 'em and hope to make my very own one day soon - hopefully once we move into our new house I can craft craft craft!
This one is from a very cute etsy shop Atomic Attic.

                                                                                   Last, but not least for today are these ubber cute  
                                                                                 Menswear Mice.

They feature tweed suits, jacket linings, corduroy, cotton velvet, and ties.

Sometimes I feel like cat toys are pointless to buy.
Don't get me wrong my cats aren't deprived but half the time they prefer the packaging, or would rather play with a wad of paper or stuff found around the house. - I say this as my cat Thompson is eyeballing my valentines balloon.
Plus they are designed to tear or break and are more than not made in China with who knows what chemicals... not something I really want my cats to carry in their mouths.

That said these are too cute not to make. 

Seems like a trip the the thrift store is in order for these guys. Thank you Martha Stewart!


What are your favorite upcycled finds?

Eco -Tip Tuesday : Target those Light bulbs!

You may or may not have heard about the US Congress debating whether or not to make incandescent (common) light bulbs illegal to sell in order to phase the wasteful bulbs out. 

Either way, we are all aware that they are energy wasters esp. compared to their florescent and led competitors. Compact Florescent bulbs use 75% less energy than a typical incandescent bulb.


By using a fluorescent bulb over its life time of 10000 hours. You will save:
10 light bulb changes
$40.50 in electricity costs
$3.50 in bulb replacement costs
$44.00 in total PER BULB!
Reduce greenhouse gas produced by power plants by: 691 pounds of carbon dioxide

Also reduced is the resources needed to make the 10 bulbs saved.


So, what are we to do? The answer is easy! Replace your bulbs!


But, we all know I love to upcycle so I wanted to share some awesome upcycled light bulb projects to help you get inspired!



 Create your own unique and eco-friendly flower vases. 

 - Safely tap through the bottom of the bulb
  - Remove interior
   - Adhere bulb to flat base
    - Fill and Enjoy!








Living Light bulb Terrarium! There is a great tutorial on Etsy.


Or, perhaps you could create 
a light bulb chandelier!
What are you planning to do with your old light bulbs?

Getting Ready To Downsize!

My husband and I should be closing on our first house this week! I am very excited!

While it will be our first house, we are downsizing somewhat from the rental house we are in now - - down to 940 sq. ft. We wanted to stick to our ideals of simplifying our lives, and living eco-friendly.

Eco-Friendly Benefits of a Small House:
  • Less Energy Consumption - easier to heat and cool
  • Fewer Resources - to build and maintain.
  •  Smaller Footprint - conserves "green" space = more grass and plants.
  • Less space = More responsible & Fewer Purchases.

    There is a detached garage (planning to fix it up for my musician husband), so that will help, but I have been preparing myself for the move. 

    On Christmas Eve we took car load to Goodwill, and another after the New Year.  - - Who knew we had so much?

    While our new house isn't this small - Here are some of my favorite small homes:


     
    What are your thoughts on down-sizing?

    Holiday Party Menu w/ Winter Cranberry Sangria

    I recently hosted a small Holiday Gift Wrapping party with lots of ribbon and bows and wanted to share my favorite drink recipe and holiday menu with you. 

    Winter Cranberry Sangria
    1 bottle sweet red wine - should have made double
    3 cups lemon-lime soda
    1 1/2 cups orange juice
     2 cups fresh cranberries
    That's eat, easy right?
    A splash of Cranberry juice, or pinch of cinnamon would be perfect here too.

    Wrapping Party Menu:
    * 2 cream cheese balls  - one covered in raspberry chipotle sauce the other rolled in cheddar and almond. Both were served with sesame seed infused crackers.
    * Chicken Pigs in a blanket (haven't eaten mammals in years).
    * Veggie tray with broccoli, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing. -Perfect holiday spread.
    * Cubed Gouda - my Fav.
    * Spice Cake mini cupcakes drizzled with vanilla.


    It was important to me to keep the menu filling, since the party was hosted during dinner time, yet finger foods so that my guests could wrap and eat at the same time.

    What's your favorite holiday cocktail?

    Browsing Etsy for Upcycling

    Found an awesome treasury today featuring a number of different upcycled mediums.
    What is your favorite?