Simple Green Me

Cultural reporter for KUTV 2News and adjunct yoga/meditation professor blogs about wellness, green living, downsizing, simplifying, better travelโœจand more. Offering mindfulness, meditation, goal-setting and decluttering coaching!


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The Giving Season

  
It doesn’t take much to give someone in need a little boost this holiday season. You won’t ever regret it ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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DIY Clarifying Shampoo

  
๐Ÿ™‡ I put a lot of gunk in my hair. My stylist always makes fun of my gross scalp (we are best friends, so it’s cool). She recommended a clarifying shampoo, but hers had so many chemicals in it! So, I made my own, and now my scalp is squeaky clean, and the lack of gunk is making my hair so voluminous! This is my new twice a week ritual.

mix the following in a cup of warm water:

๐Ÿš2 tbl #bakingsoda

๐Ÿบ1 tbl #applecidervinegar 

๐Ÿƒ One drop of #teatree / #eucalyptus #essentialoil, if you have it, for dandruff

๐Ÿ’ฆslowly pour over wet hair while massaging scalp. Rinse completely. Then I used a little Argan oil before I blow dried. 

this has been my most popular post on Pinterest; so let me know if you try it!


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Is AirBnB really better than all-inclusive / resort accommodations? (Hint, YES)

this resort may have cool furniture, but thats the last thing you’ll remember from your trip!

What’s with our attachment to resorts? I swear, we hear the word and instantly conjure images of being fanned with palm leaves while being funneled full of pina coladas. Well, let’s go ahead and reprogram your brain because resorts are your grandparent’s idea of a good time, and not a friend to the experience-hungry traveler (especially with kids) on a budget. Let’s talk about the time I went to Miami, when  my husband and I booked a nice, large-scale hotel – pretty much a resort – thinking it’d be uber-convenient, especially when traveling with a toddler. Imagine being able to eat, swim, get a snack at the gift shop, and access the beach – all within steps of your room in case of the inevitable toddler meltdown! Instead, we found out the hard way that the inconveniences and costs of a resort-style hotel totally outnumber the benefits.

LACK OF OPTIONS

First, we weren’t in love with the food from the resort’s ONLY restaurant. Even if you love the resort’s restaurant(s), you will grow weary of seeing the same waiter fake a smile for you. 

Also, everything is expensive! I felt tangible PAIN every time I had to fork over $5 for bottled water (not even for the jumbo-sized kind, either) at the gift shop. And it wasn’t just the provisions that fell below par; but we also got super-bored of the whole campus in about two hours (a toddler can only climb up and down so many wing-backed chairs). Hey, even while staying at a yoga resort in Tulum – the very definition of paradise – I left campus every day for a change of scenery. We could have done ourselves a huge favor and opted for the following kind of stay instead.
Take a small, boutique hotel like The President; an Art Deco inn right on the main drag of South Beach. We actually ended up eating breakfast here every day because of the cheap prices, the variety of meal/price options and most importantly, the hostel-like vibe. A revolving door of International guests, folks sharing the paper and swapping travel stories…you know, that overwhelmingly awesome vibe that is the WHOLE reason you travel? Anyway, here, breakfast for the guests is included (even the coffee, which would have saved us obscene amounts of money thrown to the Starbucks monster). Did I mention that originally, when I was booking our resort, the option to include breakfast cost an extra $20/person per day? Tell me how much sense that makes when you can get eggs, fruit and potatoes at The President for $6.99? That’s breakfast blasphemy! 

a smaller place in the main area is a better for maximizing time and money

Guests of this smaller hotel eat up yet another treat for both wallet and senses: Dozens of culinary options, in all price ranges, within walking distance. At our resort, to break up the monotony, the only thing we had to look forward to was the food, which was the same style and cost the same $24.95 a head. So, what would happen if we wanted a $3 bagel for breakfast? A $7 sandwich for lunch? A $2.50 scoop of gelato? Sorry! You’re stuck with a $6 cup of gift-shop Hagen Daas (in a flavor you haven’t eaten since the 90s)!

Speaking of gift shops, The President’s nearby convenience store would have been invaluable for diapers/milk runs, a piece of fruit, and  bottles of water that cost $1, not $1 million. And let’s talk liquor stores – crucial! A mini bottle of cheap wine was $12 at the resort. Options are IMPERATIVE when you’re on any sort of budget.

GUARUNTEED  BOREDOM

Lastly, the GROUNDS. The pool was okay but when you have kids, you swim for 20 minutes then it’s diaper change time and either they’re done or you are utterly fried from keeping them from drowning during that time. Same goes for the beach access; it’s convenient, for sure, but don’t let that be the deal-breaker when booking a smaller hotel, because any beach worth visiting also has a public entrance, and it’s usually in the cool part of town, which conveniently allows you to plan other activities around beach time. 

You’re probably shocked and saddened by this news that our ol’ resort fantasy is just that – fantasy. Our hotel was indeed easy on the eyes. Lounge chairs on the beach. Seemingly all the luxe amenities one would need. But there was nothing practical about it. And it felt impersonal. And repetitive. We got the greatest satisfaction (I.e. Keeping our toddler happy for the longest amount of time) by driving to the main drag and taking the baby into different shops and hotel lobbies and parks and cafes. In fact, our favorite day was when we left the hotel in the morning, came back midday for nap time (always plan your day in two halves with a toddler: pre- and post- nap!), then went right back to the main area. We pretty much avoided the hotel like the boring money pit it was. And I encourage any budget-minded traveler looking for economy of experience to do the same. 


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Green Travel Tips with Toddlers

   
When his favorite movie on the iPad isn’t doing it anymore (or you’re just too damn tired of Boxtrolls), reach into your big Ziplock bag full of toddler toys and games. In ours:
๐Ÿ‹100 animals book (it’s like a different book every time!)

๐Ÿ˜chew toys for teething and boredom (Popsicle sticks, bottle dropper, toothbrush)

๐Ÿ˜ถa few secondhand Weeble Wobble toys for play on the tray table

โž•The following games: 

  
๐Ÿ›ข this is a #reused spice jar and some toothpicks. Great for #motorskills! I brought another kind of spice jar to switch it up when he gets bored of one.

  
๐ŸŒฐ then this is a reused, three-compartment cereal/formula dispenser. We got several sizes of pompoms so he could push into the spout. Kept him busy for 20 min! 

So far, so good on our #Miami flight!


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Guilt-free Frappe

 
 ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸGOOD MORNING! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚ little holiday recipe for you…

Guilt-free Frappe 

(Makes 2)

Freeze ๐ŸŒ4 bananas. Cool some of your โ˜•๏ธmorning #coffee in the freezer till at least room temperature, if not cold. Blend coffee, bananas and your fave creamer to taste (I used Silk vanilla creamer – not the ‘even creamier’ kind with carrageenan but the regular – and a drop of #peppermint extract). 

๐Ÿ“๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‡it’s like a morning smoothie, dessert and coffee all in one!


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The Only Solution to Isis

  
So many people ask, ‘what can I do to stop Isis? What can possibly be done?’ Even to a greater extent, ‘should Everyone close their borders to keep terrorists out?’

My proposed solution is to EMBRACE and LOVE the Muslim community – ALL races – here at home, because people who AREN’T disenfranchised, who feel accepted in their community, are less likely to relent to the Isis reasoning that ‘the West hates you; join us! We will give you an identity and power!’ 
We cannot change military actions in the past that may or may not have spawned this terrorist group, but we can change how we treat our fellow Americans; our fellow humans. Disenfranchised people can hurt people. Loved and accepted people usually don’t.


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Is Gum the New ‘Cancer Stick?’

  
Did you know chewing #gum is one of the most toxic parts of your diet, according to MedicalDaily.com. Your average, non-organic gum has been compared to cigarettes, and even linked to #cancer. Think about it; most of the ingredients on the package, you’ve never heard of. That’s a bad thing.

Some of the worst offenders, according to Dr. Scott Graves of ActivistPost.com, are ๐Ÿ’Š #gumbase (which allegedly can include tire rubber and carpenter glue), ๐Ÿ’€ #hydrogenatedoils, and #sweeteners (like #aspartame, #sorbitol and #xylitol) that are altered so much, that nature wouldn’t be able to identify the body. 

I opt for the lesser evil, a local brand called #sprygum, which still has gum base and xylitol but is labeled #nongmo. It’s pricey, so I buy in #bulk and place in a #reused tiny mint #container. 
๐ŸฌWhat’s your favorite better-for-you gum?๐Ÿฌ