TGIF

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Best part of the week: I had a really good week! But I think the best part was feeling on top of things. I scheduled every hour of my day on Saturday to make sure that I got everything done that I needed to do for the week so I could enjoy the Halloween festivities and not feel super stressed out. Staying on top of things really helps reduce stress... who knew?!

Worst part of the week: I've been struggling with coming up with just the right balance in my life and this last little while I've been feeling pretty thinly stretched. I don't want to complain because so much of it is great and I'm so happy with where I'm at but there were times this week where I didn't totally nail the balancing act and I felt rundown and a bit depleted.

Something I'm grateful for: My cozy space. Moving back home in March meant trading in my beautiful apartment in Victoria for a garage-turned-games-room-turned-bedroom in my parents house. Although it was hard (and definitely still is sometimes) I have a really great room that's taken on a whole new feel over the last few days as I've fallified it and made it feel even cozier. Living at home could have meant being in a tiny bedroom upstairs right across the hall from the rest of my family, but instead I got a big cozy bedroom with a fridge, a couch, an entertainment system, and lots of space to work, so for that I am very, very grateful.

Something I'm looking forward to: my dad's band is playing locally tonight night and I'm going with my boyfriend, my sister, her boyfriend, her friend, and her friend's boyfriend and I think it's going to be really fun! I'm looking forward to listening to some great tunes, watching people dance ridiculously, maaaaaaaaybe participating in some ridiculous dancing, and spending the night with some pretty rad peeps.

7) Do you have any pets? Yep, 2 - a cat named Elphie (after Elphaba from the musical Wicked) and a dog named Finn (his full name is Finnigan Winston but good luck getting him to listen to that, actually, good luck getting to listen to much...)

That's it from me this week folks! I hope you have a great weekend and if it's snowing where you live, be sure to bundle up, and if it's scorching hot where you live, please send some warmth up my way!

TGIF

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Well it's officially been over a month since the last time I blogged but the last four weeks or so have been a serious whirlwind. I had final exams followed by final projects followed by the passing of my gram and now the start of a new term at school. So to say that my life has been feeling pretty hectic would be a bit of an understatement. I've also been sick twice over the last three weeks so that's been a major bummer. All the craziness has also meant that photography and blogging in general has been sitting on the back burner. These photos are from 2 weekends ago when I spent the Thanksgiving weekend on the island with my boyfriend and his family.

Best part of the week: Going back to school meant getting to see my buddies again! I missed them for the week we had apart and it was so fun to sit next to each other and laugh and complain about learning. This program would be so much worse if they weren't in it.

Worst part of the week: The worst part of this week has been still being sick and having to deal with the remnants of all the stuff that's happened over the last few weeks. 

Something I'm grateful for: In hard times it becomes really apparent of just how much I have to be grateful for. But for the past couple of weeks I've been feeling really grateful for all of the memories I have with my Gram. From eating her famous homemade cinnamon buns to sleeping under the stars to picking up my preordered Harry Potter books, Gram really made my life so incredibly special. And for all that she gave me, including the material goods as well as the memories and experiences, I will be eternally grateful.

Something I'm looking forward to: I don't feel like I'm looking forward to much. It might be the serious lack of energy, the crappy weather or just my headspace but there isn't really anything that's got me stoked.

471) Are you allergic to anything? all the things. Not actually but it sometimes feels like it. I'm 100% allergic to cats and dogs and horses and other fury creatures and dust and pollen definitely get me sniffly. In terms of food, although I don't have allergies per say, I do have a lot of sensitivities that can make life slightly more challenging than I'd like...

Apologies for the quiet, folks, it's been a go these past few weeks and a break from writing and photography was in order. Hopefully things will calm down and return to something closer to "normal" and we'll be back to our regularly scheduled blog content.

Happy weekending! Stay warm and stay dry!

Zero-Waste Lunch Ideas

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If you've been reading for a while you'll know I'm trying to live a more conscious, sustainable life. This has meant a few things for me, one being trying to produce less waste. 

Being in school full time means I don't spend much time in or near a kitchen (not that I did before...). While I don't always succeed I have been trying to pack a lunch or at least a bunch ofsnacks to get me through the day. With the exception of my granola bar - don't even try to take away my FibreOne bars - my lunches are pretty much entirely waste-free, and this is how I do it.

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One of the first things I made when I got my sewing machine earlier in the summer was this bento bag. I used this tutorial to make it and I absolutely love it.  That being said, it's slightly on the small side so if you're going to make your own I recommend cutting your fabric a few inches larger than the pattern says to ensure you have enough space to pack your lunches.

The mug cozy is also something I made and have used a ton. I created the pattern by modifying a pattern for a crocheted bowl and it's just the right size to fit a mason jar into. The thing I really love about it is that unlike other mug cozies I've seen, this one fits entirely around it so you never have to worry about the jar falling out. 

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On top of the mason-jar-turned-to-go-mug I use my Cuppow lid. I love this thing. The one I use is designed to fit on any standard mason jar but they also make lids for wide mouth mason jars too. People make fun of me for drinking out of a sippy cup when they see me using it but hey, it works brilliantly and lets me conveniently drink out of my jar whenever I want to.

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Inside my packed bento bag you'll find cotton pouches filled with snacks and a sandwich as well as small mason jars holding fruit, veggies, apple sauce, yogurt, or other foods that need a bit of extra protection/seal-age. On good days I also remember my spoon/fork...

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Inspired by a post I saw a post on Reading My Tea Leaves about reusable pouches and plastic baggy alternatives these cute little cotton pouches were also recently made using my sewing machine. I followed this pattern but just used scrap fabric I had around to make the pouches all different sizes.

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Now before you laugh at the snacks I'm about to suggest let me just say that I have a sensitive digestive system that makes experimenting with adventurous and flavourful foods not very fun. So with that in mind, here are a few of my favourite [simple] snacks to pack for a day at school:

  • Cheerios & Craisins - so plain, so tasty, and you can share with any toddler you encounter throughout the day (but only if you know the toddler please)
  • Trail Mix - this can be made as simple or as fancy as you like. I personally love the Kirkland trail mix from Costco but it's also fun to make your own custom mix with different things you pick out in the bulk section of the grocery store.
  • Fruit Salad - to reduce spillage and leaks, this is definitely a snackyou'll want to pack in a mason jar
  • Crackers - rice crackers, saltine crackers, wheat thins, those other crackers that you break in half to make the perfect cheese and cracker sandwich... any cracker will do!
  • Veggie Based Salad - a greek salad can go into a mason jar super easily or you can pack your salad elements separately and combine them all together when you're ready to chow down.
  • Pasta - pack leftover pasta dinners in glass containers, pop them in the microwave when you're ready to eat and boom! there's lunch.
  • Baked Goods - I could probably live off of blueberry muffins, orange-cranberry scones, chocolate cake, and chocolate chip cookies.
  • Sandwiches - I'm a PB&J kinda girl, have been since kindergarten, but you probably have your own grown up sandwich flavour that you'd prefer to pack...
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I'm far from perfect when it comes to doing this every day and I'd say the thing I struggle with the most is remembering my mason jar to go mug.. But I'm trying. Do you have any tips for packing a zero-waste or low-waste school lunch?