Category: Parenting

Tahoe Trip

I wrote this post back in August, but never got around to posting. Here it is 🙂

Our family recently took a trip to Lake Tahoe. The California wildfires made the views a little hazy, but other than that it was a wonderful trip. Oh, and the baby gets car sick, but other than that, just fabulous. We stayed in South Lake Tahoe and had a plethora of vegan food choices.

We rolled into town around 1pm. After wiping most of the vomit off the seats, our stuff, and the kids we got to relax in the Tahoe keys for a few hours while we waited for the house we were staying at to be ready. It was great. I had a fantastic gluten free, vegan falafel lunch at The Artemis Mediterranean Grill. Later that night we got some insanely delicious gluten free, vegan pizza from Blue Dog Pizza. After that we went shopping at the local grocery store, Holiday Market, and made the majority of our food for the rest of the trip at the house. Holiday Market had a lot of good options, including jackfruit. The only other restaurant we went to was the Vegan Bliss CafĂ©. It’s an all vegan, soy free restaurant and you can make any meal gluten free as well. It was a small place but the food was amazing. I’m so over the “vegan” restaurants that are just tofu with a side. This place had personality, they made their own veggie patties and sauces. It’s a must try.

This was our first trip with a built in baby sitter. My Mom came with us. So I was able to hit the casinos a few times. Loved it. Family outings included a poorly prepared, intense hike in 90 degree heat. Not much water and no map made it interesting. It was nice though because it was just outside the house so we didn’t have to drive anywhere. We had to visit the main lake, so we did that Saturday morning, we got lucky on the parking but it was super crowded. After several summer months of swimming lessons, toddler swim, and a local lake I never actually ventured out on my own. I always had a hand on the baby. At the lake I was able to actually go for a swim. It was amazing. It was cold, but amazing. We weren’t at Lake Tahoe long, too crowded and hot. Someone told us about a place called Angora Lake and we went on a mission to find it.

We hit a taco joint on the way and were pleasantly surprised to see it was close to our house. Just a few miles but about 30 minutes out. We quickly figured out why. It was in the cuts. The road stayed paved but it was a one lane road with lots of blind turns. The best part was when we suddenly found ourselves on a ridge with steep drop offs on both sides. My brother’s girlfriend’s 9 year old started freaking out and I was quietly right there with her. It was beautiful yet horrifying. Soon after we arrived at the parking lot. From the parking lot to the lake is another mile hike. We decided to take the Bob stroller, we knew it was a tossup but went for it. We made it but it was touch and go for a minute. Signs entering the lake post warnings of the plaque. Just in case things weren’t exciting enough.

We get there and this place is amaze balls. Clear water, awesome mountain side and best of all, no crowds. We realized we should’ve just gone here in the morning, but it’s nice to try a little bit of everything.

The trip was great. Got to spend quality time with the fam, lots of good food and best of all… it’s been over 7 days and no one got the plaque :).

Thank you Cards

I bought these gorgeous Thank You Cards from Etsy for my daughter’s first birthday. I looked all over for “eco-friendly” or “green” thank you cards and most of my search came back pretty expensive. We went all out on the party and didn’t want to drop another fat stack for the thank you cards. Etsy seemed to have the best prices while still having a good selection.


The shop I stumbled upon is called FlowerSeedPaper. They have a ton of fabulous stuff. I really liked the beautiful simplicity from this particular set. They have the lovely flower sketch on the front and are blank on the inside. With my budget, I had my sights set on cards made of recycled paper, but this set is made up of 50% recycled paper (envelopes are 100% recycled) and come with seeds imbedded in the paper. How cool is that?! The seeds embedded in the paper are the flowers found on the front of the card. I’ve planted one of the cards, but the shop says the seeds could take up to 6 weeks to germinate, so I’ll update this post if/when they ever sprout 🙂

Had my little helper dig the hole for me 🙂

There is no plastic in the packaging. This set is $19.50 for a set of 15. That comes out to $1.30 per card. Sounds steep but other “green” cards run around 5 to 6 bucks each! If you can afford it, I’m sure the more expensive cards are worth the extra dough. Most display beautiful artwork and are done by hand.

Please consider buying eco friendly invitations/thank you cards for you next gathering.

How to Make a Birthday Party Eco-Friendly

We just had our daughter’s first birthday party and we strived to make it as green as possible.

  • We bought biodegradable cutlery and cups from our local grocery store (Nob Hill Foods).
  • We bought paper plates made from recycled paper from Costco.
  • We asked for only wood toys or cotton clothes.
  • Returned unwanted plastic gifts to Target.
  • We served an all vegan menu.
  • No plastic water bottles! Water came from our filter system using the biodegradable cups.
  • We bought recycled seed Thank You cards from Etsy (cards with seeds embedded in them so when you plant them they grow wildflowers).
  • Saved all of the gift bags and tissue paper to reuse.

Some things cost us extra while others saved us money. So we basically broke even. The biodegradable and recycled plates/cups/cutlery cost more than the plastic crap, as did the seed cards. But we evened out on not buying water bottles, serving vegan food, and loading up on gift bags and tissue paper for future use.

Really annoying that they still make single use plastic cutlery. Ugh. For a few extra bucks you eliminate waste and support a green company.

We’ve been asking for only wooden toys since our first daughter’s first birthday party (almost 6 years ago) and all her subsequent birthday invitations stated “no gifts please”. We’ve just started asking for “no synthetic fabric” (polyester/acrylic/nylons etc). We understand this is difficult for some people, but just by asking you’re making people think about what they’re buying. And we still get the well intentioned plastic toy from friends and family. While super stores like WalMart and Target are super evil, they’re fantastic for returning cheap plastic toys without a receipt. So far they’ve taken back everything we’ve brought them. And by returning these gifts you’re decreasing demand and not having a house full of ugly, annoying, cheap plastic toys that your child will get sick of in a few days anyway.

A vegan menu is super green! Animal products have detrimental effects on the environment. Including global warming (from methane released from factory farming), water consumption, water pollution, deforestation, the list goes on…

Who the hell still buys plastic water bottles??!!? Especially when you have a clean water source nearby. It’s best to always have your stainless steel water bottle filled up wherever you go, but let’s face it, not everyone is doing that. If you’re having a party at a park or someplace without access to clean water, there’s a company called Just Water that make biodegradable water bottles. Much more expensive than regular poison plastic, but much better in so many ways.

I looked around for some kind of “eco friendly” thank you cards. I quickly found that Etsy was going to be my best bet. I found recycled card stock and/or seed cards. I must admit they are pretty expensive, but I found an affordable bunch that look beautiful. They’re seed cards with 50% recycled paper and 100% recycled paper envelopes. I’ll update this post with my review of them when they come in.

Saving gift bags! Are there people that don’t do this? Why? What’s wrong with you? Not only is it “green”, you get free stuff! I’ll admit the tissue paper is a little iffy (it’s all crinkly), but just say you reuse them to be green and not because you’re cheap :).

Happy partying!!