Friday Faves

Who’s got exciting plans for the weekend? I’m off to Canmore again and hoping one of my friends from high school will be joining me. It won’t be a total girl’s weekend as such, but I imagine there’ll be a fair bit of 80s music and nachos in my immediate future. Wherever your plans take you, I hope you have a good one! Here are some links I love this week.

Friday Faves

The highlight of my week was covering an NHL playoff game. This article was super fun to write.

This has got to be the simplest, most decadent spring dish ever! Boursin pasta with fresh peas.

My grandma used to tell me they had nothing to smile about back then. The real reason old people never smiled in pictures

The cutest bachelorette party decoration

I’m making a mental note to do this. The impact of a positive response

Hilary Clinton to nation: “Do not fuck this up for me!” 

Finished House of Cards? Amazing Netflix movies you’ve never seen

This dirty blonde had fun on this cool site to quickly find your ideal hair colour

While the topic is heavy, this article is very light and a must read for anyone living in a me, me, me! society. The Moral Bucket List

Do you ever worry about how safe your household cleaning products are? The dirty on getting clean.

DYI: How to Make Shabby Chic Containers

My sister is one of the most creative people I know. She’s one of those who can paint, draw, sew, you name it, she can do it. What’s particularly great about having someone like that in the family, is knocking them off – in the copying sense of the word, of course. She lives on a farm and came across a bunch of old glass jars. What did she do? Why she painted and distressed them and now they look completely adorable in her mudroom. So, what did I do? I copied her! Trust me, if I can do this project, anyone can.

Supplies

I bet you have most of the supplies lying around your house. Here’s what you need:

  • Old glass jars (sometimes referred to as Mason jars)
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Newsprint
  • Nail file or sand paper

glass containers

Where to find the glass jars? Old people and farmers tend to save glass jars for god knows what reason. Offer to help clean out their basement and when you come across some, offer to recycle them. Of course, you could tell the truth, but then they might suddenly envision a project everyone knows they’ll never get around to, and could possibly want to keep said jars them for themselves. If that happens, hied yourself to a Wallmart. Gruesome, I know, but big box stores sell these jars to people into canning and preserving. And don’t forget, there’s likely a salsa and jam jar or two lurking in your fridge..

bottles of Craft paint

And a note about the craft paint. “Craft paint” is not a brand as I originally thought when my sister told me that’s what I needed. Craft paint is simply paint you use for doing any craft. Duh!   

Method

  1. Wash and dry your jars and lids.
  2. Spread the newsprint on your table. Work over this space or risk your spouse getting very annoyed.
  3. Give the outside of the jars two coats of paint, letting it dry between coats. Be sure to paint the bottom and go most of the way up the rim (but it’s not necessary to paint all the way up).
  4. Also paint the lids if so desired.
  5. After your second coat is dry, take your nail file or sandpaper and scrape off as much of the paint as you desire for a suitable distressed look.
  6. Fill jars with homey things like wild sage you’ve gathered yourself. Failing that, put any old thing in them.
  7. Snap pics and post to Pinterest! While you’re there, follow me!

craft project on newspaper

There you have it! A crafty project for non-crafty people. It’s also a great project to involve the kids in. I reckon any ankle-biter over the age of four could do this quite easily.

shabby chic craft project

Help needed! Can you recommend any other easy crafts for not so creative people like yours truly? Please let me know in the comment section below. My daughter and I totally appreciate it.

5 Green hotels for Earth Day

This Wednesday, April 22 marks Earth Day’s 45th Anniversary. Now I know all about the three R’s (that’s reduce, reuse and recycle), but admittedly, it’s not something that comes top of mind when planning travel. Sure, I notice when hotels ask you to hang up your towels so they don’t wash them unnecessarily, but I always thought that was more of a cost saving measure than one born out of a concern for the environment.

Eco-tourism is all the rage and it’s trendy for restaurants to be all local, organic and slow (in more ways than one), but what are hotels really doing? A little research revealed there are actually loads of green certified hotels that are doing their part to protect the planet. In the spirit of Earth Day, here’s a look at 5 of the best of them, should you be so inclined to join the green team and make your next trip an eco-friendly one. 

Turtle Beach Resort, Barbados

Turtle Beach Barbados

Perched atop the warm, white sands of Barbados’ south coast, the all-inclusive Green Globe certified Turtle Beach resort is making strides to reduce its ecological footprint. Earth-friendly practices include utilizing native plants in the resort landscaping to limit the introduction of invasive species, using an ultra efficient solar water heating and inverter technology system, and opting for recycled supplies like biodegradable and compostible trash bags. New initiatives will include capturing rain water for re-use and switching in-room shampoos and soaps to all-natural Aveda products.

Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater, Florida

Sandpearl Beach resort

Recognized as Florida’s first Silver LEED Certified resort, the Sandpearl Resort is rooted in a dozen sustainable practices to keep the natural beauty of Florida’s Gulf Coast ecosystem intact. These practices include installing a geothermal pool heating system that cut costs and energy, chilled water air-conditioning to provide long-term energy savings, as well in-room energy management systems that adjusts the temperatures in unoccupied rooms to reduce energy waste. Additionally, a vertical garden was recently installed in the organic fine dining restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf, to provide guests with freshly grown herbs and micro-greens in their organic dishes and cocktails.  

Ecoventura Galapagos Islands

galapagos boat

Cruising through the Galapagos on custom built mega-yachts, Ecoventura is a SmartVoyager-certified operation committed to minimizing the impact of tourism on the Galapagos Islands by protecting the environment and bringing guests face-to-face with the islands’ famed wildlife. Sustainable practices include serving locally inspired gourmet cuisine to reduce the risk of introducing foreign plants and insects to the ecosystem, and operating two unique itineraries with small group land embarkations. One vessel has even installed 40 solar panels and two wind turbines to minimize carbon emissions. Hit up this floating hotel if you’re keen to experience personal animal encounters with Darwin’s legendary wildlife, while working to preserve the region.

Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel, Haiti

Modern Hotel lobby

In an effort to support local businesses and sustainable practices, the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel sources many of its needs locally through community partnerships. It also incorporates a number of eco-friendly design elements including solar panels for heating water, energy-efficient light sources, room occupancy sensors and disperse control faucets. But the ecological elements don’t stop at the design — hotel suites offer locally branded bath products, which are packaged entirely out of recycled materials and feature all-natural ingredients like oil, herbs and nuts native to Haiti. By working with local producers to reduce carbon waste production, the hotel aims to reduce its energy consumption by 2% per year.

The Palms Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach, Florida

The Palms Hotel Florida

Focusing on health and total wellness, The Palms Hotel & Spa puts environmental awareness at the forefront of each guest experience. Through a comprehensive “Inspired by Nature” program that includes green initiatives for reducing, re-using and recycling, plus beach clean-ups, this oceanfront resort has been recognized as the only hotel in Miami Beach to be awarded by Green Key Global with a 4 Green Keys rating. The Palms also won the Sustainable South Florida Award by the Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Silver Level Green Leader Certification, and The Green Award from The Real Estate Council’s 2nd Annual City National Bank Better Beach Awards.

I’m curious, have you ever stayed at a green hotel?

Friday Faves

What are your plans for this weekend? I’m determined to get back into hot yoga and am going to a spring spruce up at a friend’s house. There’ll be fab clothing and accessories, plus a professional brow waxer! On tap for this week’s Friday Faves: gluten-free laughs, old Hollywood beauty secrets and the reason jerks show up in your life. Hope you enjoy them, and your weekend!

Friday Faves

Elizabeth Taylor shaved her face every day! 15 Old Hollywood beauty secrets you won’t believe

5 Fake productive things you’re doing that are a waste of time

Where to apply blush and highlighter based on your face shape. (Can someone please tell me what my face shape is?)

Spring mantra: Be happy, be bold and wear statement earrings

A friend sent this to me. I hope she doesn’t think I’m a jerk! Why jerks show up in your life

I wish I knew this a few years ago. How to talk to young girls

The best! Take a tour of Reese Witherspoon’s insanely beautiful L.A. home.

Forget wall decals, what 9,000 Post-It Notes can do to blank walls

So good for a laugh. How to become gluten intolerant

While we’re on the subject: Gluten-free art museum.

Image via AmyAtlas.com

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I often think my weeks are boring and my weekends even worse. Of course, this isn’t true, but I’m the sort who needs a daily does of perspective. I occasionally keep a gratitude journal, but I tend to fall off that wagon after a few days. My new solution is to take five pics each week of things I’m proud of or grateful for. I’m hoping my remember self will look back on this week and see all the good. My current, crabby self sees a week with a permanent headache and work that didn’t get written. Here’s the nice bits that stood out.

Gratitude pics

It’s embarrassing the number of times I gasped at Kurios, the new touring Cirque du Soleil show. Truly fantastic.

canmore dog park

Buddy loves being a wild dog in Canmore. This is the town’s lovely off-leash park.

distressed mason jars

I got crafty! Take an old mason jar, some craft paint and viola.

anniversary flowers

I was a bit bummed I didn’t get flowers on my our anniversary, but they showed up the next day.

beauty ampules

I love, love, love using the ampules I picked up from Barbor Beauty Spa.

Chinese acrobats picture via JournalMetro.com

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