Tag Archives: veganism

Friday Favorites III

Something has changed for me lately in the knitting area.  I am suffering from being over inspired.  Yes, I know you all feel so sorry for me. 

I want to make all the socks.  I want to make sweaters for the three of us.  Lately, I’ve been insanely obsessive with shawls.  The problem with feeling this way is that I get discouraged.  I knit so slow!  There’s no way I can knit everything I want to in my lifetime!  Damn my slow fingers! 

Today I’ll talk about the baby sweaters I want to make.  At a knitting group earlier this summer, a friend recommended the book, Vintage Baby Knits.  Most of the patterns are pretty girly, but there are a few really great boy sweaters.  I already made the Dewey Cabled Pullover, but I still have plans to make Rufus, and the Jasper Diamond Hoodie.


This week on Ravelry, I discovered a cardigan for toddlers.  It’s called a Cardigan for Merry.  I LOVE it!  The reversible cable border, the hood, the wooden toggle buttons, what’s not to love?

Photo by annypurls

The pattern is a smaller version of the Cardigan for Arwen.  Growing up, I lived in a home where fantasy books and movies were loved.  I never got into it, but I have seen all the Lord Of the Rings.  I knew Arwen was from that book/ movie series.  Well, I didn’t even think about the toddler sized cardigan’s name.  I thought it was for someone’s child named Merry.  A few days later it dawned on me.  Merry!  The Hobbit!  Ha!  That’s a clever name.  I can be such a blonde sometimes.

Aside from names and stuff, I love this little cardigan and I will be making it for my almost toddler.

As always, I watch movies while knitting.  Last night during a caffeine induced insomnia incedent, I watched Year of the Dog.  I had seen it when it was a new release in 2007, but I wasn’t who I am now and I didn’t understand it.  This time around, it was different.  I think it’s my favorite movie. 

I identify with Molly Shannon’s character so much, what with her being an animal lover like me.  I loved that moment when she found out her friend was vegan, she looked down at her chicken sandwich and she finally understood what she was eating, I’ve felt that.  I’ve had that moment, and it’s not a good feeling.  My moment wasn’t nearly that simple, but I wish it had been.

During the rest of the movie, no one understood why she wanted to be vegan or why she wanted to save all the animals. They just thought she was crazy.  I’m a really sensitive person and I’ve had moments where I’ve felt so useless, like there’s nothing that can be done to help them.  No one around seems to care, and I’m the crazy one for caring.  Unlike Peggy, I have an amazingly supportive husband, so my story was much different than hers. 

I’ve gone to the pound on so many occasions and wanted to adopt every single dog there.  Of course I never actually did it (unlike Peggy), but I would go home and sob because there was nothing I could do.

It ended really well.  I thought it was a wonderful movie and I loved it so much.  I think every animal lover should watch it.

Next week’s Favorites:  SHAWL OBSESSION!



Filed under friday favorites, knitting

Committing to a Vegan diet and other goals

I’ve had a rough few weeks, but now I can say that I’m back!  Life’s back to its regular routine.  I am making some changes though, so I thought I would blog about them.

First of all, I am committing to a Vegan diet.  Indefinitely.  I know there are times when I need to be flexible, but I want to be vegan.  Here are a few reasons why I love it so much:

1. I am actively choosing compassion over killing

2. I feel GREAT when I don’t consume animal products, especially dairy and eggs

3. I don’t have to worry about weight management

4. It makes me happy.

I am undecided about what to do about the animal fiber dilemma.  I’m very torn.  I’m going to work through my stash and then decide later.  For now, I already have it so I might as well use it.  So if I can’t use the word vegan to define myself, I’m going to call myself a herbivore.

Last night I made rice and almond milks, fresh wheat bread, and slow cooked some garbanzos overnight.  I’m very excited that things are going all the way back to the way they were, like when I was vegan the first time.

I need to finish my socks this week.  I had a very difficult time knitting when we had company for the past two weeks.  I’m happy to work on them again.

I’m starting on Day 1 for the 30 Days of Sewing again.  Sewing also makes me very happy, and I just love setting time aside daily to work on it.  It is very fulfilling, and visiting in the Ravelry group is so much fun.  There are so many fun women there and it’s encouraging to talk to them, work through problems, and share our sewing projects.  The group really keeps me going.

I’m going to try really hard to incorporate sign language into the baby’s routine.  We’ve been working on it for a week, and he is responding really well to it.  I feel like he’s understanding what I’m trying to say to him.  I know the key with signing is consistency, so I’ll do my best. 

I know that was very random, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.  I hope everyone has been well.

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Filed under Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, knitting, Meatless Monday, sewing

Birthday Yarn!

My new LYS sent me a birthday card in the mail.  If I brought the card into the store I could get 20% my purchase one day in my birth month.  So- this weekend I bought some new yarn.  Not that I needed any AT ALL, but it’s my birthday.  I got 2 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted, 1 Malabrigo sock, 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca Sport, 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, Some Gingher embroidery shears, and some new tapestry needles.  For some reason I’m always losing my tapestry needles.  My husband put some new ones in my basket and I didn’t even realize until after we got home.  It was a little gift from him I suppose!  He picked out some winners!  Until now I’ve been using plastic and they aren’t very good.  He got me some metal ones that are slanted at the tip.  He really did a good job of picking them out.


I LOVE the little Gingher scissors.  They were expensive but worth it.  Them and the new tapestry needles make weaving in ends fun!

I have had a love/ hate relationship with sewing.  I have struggled with it like you wouldn’t believe.  I want to sew but I have issues and I don’t know what’s wrong.  Anyway, this past weekend we bought a few simple sewing books that are written for the very beginner.  I hope I can read the patterns step by step and figure out what’s going wrong.  I want to be a good seamstress, I really do.  Hopefully I can work through my issues.

I collect cards with Pugs on them.  For my birthday my husband and baby gave me this card:

Derek made me the best cake ever.  He’s getting into chocolate making and slathered my chocolate cake with peanut butter chocolate ganache.  He is so talented and the best husband ever!  I just love him so much. 

The cake itself is vegan, but the ganache is not.  I guess that’s why I don’t call myself vegan, so I can be flexible.  And I think I deserve to cheat a bit too, which is a good thing because I cheated and had veggie pizza for my birthday dinner!  I was such a naughty girl, lol!

Also this weekend we went to Hard Rock Cafe.  Ever since the Beef O’ Brady’s fiasco, I’ve made a habit of asking the host if there are vegetarian options before trying a new place.  The host got all excited and said “I’m vegan and I eat here all the time!”  Then he went through the menu with me and said if things contained dairy and eggs. 

I ordered the veggie burger with no cheese.  Our waiter came back out and asked if I wanted the mayo since I didn’t specify when he took the order.  I was SO impressed with the service we received there.  Most places make me feel like a picky brat by not wanting animal products.  I don’t want to make it a big deal, but as often as I can I want to keep myself from exploiting animals.  Some people stay away from alcohol or pork or need their food to be kosher.  I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal to offer options to everyone, regardless of their beliefs and especially allergies or dietary restrictions because of medical reasons.

Anyway, the waiter made me so happy.  Hard Rock Cafe is true to their slogan “Love All, Serve All.”  And now I love them!


Filed under knitting

Committed to Cloth- an Earth Day Post

Happy Earth Day everyone!  Today is a special day to me because Earth Day appeals to my crunchy side.  While I’m not an eco-nut or anything, I try to live my life in harmony with the Earth.  After all, she is the mother of us all and we need to take care of her.  It’s no secret we use cloth diapers instead of disposable, but there are other things in our household that we have replaced as well.  Paper towels, napkins, tissues, shopping bags, cling wrap, paper lunch sacks, the list goes on.  We drive fuel efficient cars, buy fair-trade and organic when possible, and walk as much as we can.  While we could always  improve, I feel we do our part.  Oh yeah, and eating a vegan diet is by far the most eco-friendly act you can do!  I always tend to forget that, I don’t know why…

Well, in honor of this special day I thought I would share a recent struggle I’ve been having. 

Moving has always been so thrilling to me.  I’m not very social so saying goodbye was never the hard part.  After all, my best friend was moving with me!  This has been one of my favorite parts of being a military wife.  The recent move was not the same.  Our baby was barely 3 months old and I had already established my nest at our home.  Having that nest uprooted was upsetting to say the least.  Not only that, but we didn’t know where we would be living.  I was absolutely terrified of this move.

When we got here, my fears had come true.  There had been a huge influx of people and there was no housing on base and an available apartment was rare.  We searched and searched, and we couldn’t find many places that allowed pets.  We found a place that was very happy to accommodate our pugs, but there was no washer/ dryer hookups.

So I was faced with a hard decision.  Do I keep my washer and dryer or my pugs?  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my little puggies, so it was really a no-brainer.  We would keep the washer and dryer.  Ha!  Just Kidding!!!  We kept the pugs!

The previous month I had been without the washer and dryer and had been washing diapers by hand, so I was familiar with one way of making it work.  But I didn’t want to hand wash diapers for a year!  The washing part was easy, but wringing them by hand was killing my hands and the diapers.  Of course I could take them to a laundromat, but Charlie’s Soap cleans out washing machines and the gunk inside of a commercial washer accumulates on my diapers.  Charlie’s Soap is my favorite, and I don’t like spending $10 a week or more on laundry.

I searched the web for a clothes wringer.  I was thinking of something like one of those hand crank things from long ago.  I found some, but I also came across a great website.  It’s call the Laundry Alternative, and their main focus is to provide an alternative for the apartment dweller and people who don’t have the room or access to a conventional washer and dryer.

I was absolutely amazed!  I ordered the Wonder Wash and the spin dryer (though let’s be honest, I just bought the Wonder Wash to try, but I was truly amazed and excited about this spin dryer).

I was enjoying my new toys and I stayed on top of doing laundry for a good 2 weeks.  But then the novelty wore off and suddenly I found myself in a rut.  Being at home with a small baby makes it hard to do anything but take care of the baby.  It’s so hard to find a minute to myself, let alone to do laundry and dishes by hand.  It only took a day or two and the laundry, dishes, and housework had piled up to where it became a huge burden.

I began doing our laundry at the laundromat and washing the diapers in the tub.  I was so behind that I didn’t have time to rinse the poopy diapers.  Normally you don’t have to rinse breastmilk poo off diapers as a conventional washer has no problem removing it.  But hand washing is another story, and I was letting them sit for days and was dealing with crusty poo and giant stains.

My husband is absolutely amazing.  He works 14 hour days while we’re living here and so on the weekdays all this stuff is my responsibility.  On the weekends we would spend the day doing laundry, dishes and housework together.  I felt terrible because our time together is so valuable and I didn’t want to spend it doing this.

One night after a hard day of playing catch up, I broke down.  I  missed my washing machine!  I would have given anything to have one! I was feeling very sorry for myself. 

The next morning I was sick of my “wo is me” attitude.  I decided to take action and do something about it.  So I did as I always do in this situation and I write everything down.  I wrote down the problems I was facing and possible solutions for these problems. 

The solution was simple.  I needed to make washing diapers the highest priority of my day.  If I could just do that, then my day would be complete and I could feel a huge sense of accomplishment. 

So that morning I washed a days worth of diapers in the Wonder Wash, spun dry them and hung them to dry on the porch and was done by 7:30.  I couldn’t believe I had fixed my huge problem so easily!  This is how everyday’s been now for about 2 weeks!  I just do diapers in the morning, another load in the afternoon and by doing 2 loads a day laundry never piles up.

So here’s a trick I’ve learned.  Rinse the poo off as soon as the diaper is changed.  If I do this then it takes me 15 minutes start to finish for a load of diapers.  That’s it!  A conventional washer and dryer takes hours to finish one load.

The spin dryer is my favorite part.  I put the diapers in without even squeezing a drop of water from them and after 3 minutes they come out almost dry.  I just put them outside in direct sunlight for about 2 hours and they are dry.  With regular clothes it only takes an hour and they don’t have to be in direct sunlight.  I would recommend buying a spin dryer with a conventional washing machine and dryer because it will cut your drying time in half.  This is good for your power bill and the environment!  You would not believe how much water comes out of the clothes!

Well, now my issues have been resolved and I feel great.  I know something else will come up soon as that’s how life is.  But for now I’m completely happy with our laundry situation.  Do I still want for a conventional washer?  Oh yes!  You would not believe how much I miss it, but this is a temporary situation and I’ll have one soon enough.  However, I’ve decided how pointless a dryer is and I don’t believe I’ll ever buy one of those energy suckers again!

Now I just want to point out the benefits of the Wonder Wash.  It is hand powered and you don’t have to use electricity.  It uses a fraction of the water and soap.  There is no agitators so it is very gentle on your clothes.  You can even wash wool in it without it felting!  I think it gets the laundry cleaner than a conventional washer too.  The spin dryer is just amazing!  It uses a tiny amount of power and it hasn’t made a bit of difference on our power bill.  So there are many things about this that appeal to my environmental side.  But like other environmentally friendly things, it’s just a bit more work.

Soon I’ll post a video about how I use it.  But for today, I wanted to share my story and say that I could have easily switched to disposables, but I am committed to a cloth lifestyle.  Also I just want to say that today (and everyday) all cloth diapering mamas can smile to themselves because you are making a huge difference, to the environment, your babies and to yourself.  I hope today you feel satisfied knowing that you have committed yourselves to a cloth lifestyle too.

 Here’s a pic of my new washer and dryer.


Filed under Cloth Diapering, Eco-friendly

Some knitting to do

I don’t have much to update about my diet program.  Last week was very busy, and this weekend I got sick.  Today I missed my workout, but I need to rest and get better.  If I wasn’t breastfeeding I wouldn’t force myself to rest, but now what’s most important is to get well and not do anything negative to my milk supply.  That includes staying away from cold medication, that can cut your milk supply in half or even dry it up altogether.  So today I’m catching up on some knitting and crocheting projects.

Last Monday was Dylan’s 5 month well-baby check up.  He’s doing so well.  He was 18 lb. 12 oz. and 26 1/2 inches long.  He’s a huge baby.  I know I’m not depriving him of anything by eating a vegan diet!  I feel so proud when people comment on his chunky thighs, and ask if he’s breastfed.  Of course I say he is and then I usually get a reply of “That’s so great!  Breastfed babies are always so chunky!”  I don’t know how true that is, but based on my baby it is.

Dylan outgrew his soakers a few weeks ago so I’m trying to catch up and knit him some that will fit.  It’s taken me longer than anticipated, I hope to finish the last one today.  I’ve still been using the old small ones and we’ve had lots of blowouts.  Usually in my lap, all over the Ergo, in the bed, you get the gist. 

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got some knitting to do!


Filed under Breastfeeding, knitting

Wacky Wednesday: Vegans everywhere are giggling

On a recent roadtrip we saw this sign while passing through Georgia.  I think they were trying to say it’s “udderly delicious” but the word “Moo-licious” sounds a lot like malicious.  The vegan in me giggles, because to me this sign says the exploitation of cows for dairy is “Udderly Malicious” or Moo-licious.

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Filed under Wacky Wednesday

Week 1; a review

I have successfully completed the first of 8 weeks for my cleanse.  I have to say, this week was just amazing.  I don’t know if it was working out again and getting all those endorphins, or going vegan, but I felt great.  We had some wonderful food this week, I can’t believe none of it had any animal product in it.

I honestly think most of it was taking the animal product out of my diet.  I was vegan prepregnancy and during that time I felt great too.  I didn’t go all out vegan this first week though.  My husband is into chocolate making and he made his first truffles.  He infused the cream with coffee and it was TO DIE FOR!!  He’s such an amazing chocolatier.  I know it isn’t the best to stuff your face with homemade truffles while on a cleanse diet, but hey, what can you do?

I attended a yoga class this week.  It was great and I was more flexible than I thought I was going to be.  So I didn’t make a total ass of myself, lol.  I have been to a few yoga classes where I did.  My gym rocks, childcare has been great and the baby has just loved it.  I love my hour a day of alone time. 

This week has been the beginning of something wonderful.

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