Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Far better things ahead...

Words of wisdom on a Wednesday.

 Although there are no words to truly provide comfort in the wake of Fridays events,
 I still want to share this quote because I just can't quite bring myself to do a "real" post yet. Friday hit me hard, as it did most. I found myself retreating inward into a land of thoughts, questions, and raw emotions. Honestly, I'm still processing. I know it will take time.

A few years ago when I worked in a boarding school counseling office, 
our psychiatrist once said how amazingly resilient children and adolescents can be. Perhaps as adults, we can learn to be too--in our own way.

Prayers and thoughts to all who are suffering. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

White bean & kale stew....

I wish I could say that I made this stew on a chilly winter day, but the truth is that its warm here again. Seriously? #freakyweather

This recipe is from whole living mag, which can be found here. For some reason I thought this stew may turn out to be rather bland. It was everything but. Very delicious. Super easy {took less than 20 mins. total} and packed with nutrients! 

The recipe makes 3-4 servings, so I plan to be munching on this for a few meals this week!

Also, on a side note, did you know that kale actually offers more calcium than milk? Apparently, the calcium in kale is more absorbable by the body. Who knew?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter wardrobe inspiration......

*All photos compliments of Pinterest* 

I'm in winter wardrobe wishland today! Maybe because the weather is finally cooler here, or because I just winterized my closet. Regardless, here are a few things I am loving for winter this year.....

1. Classic combos--neutral blouse and black skinnies
2. Fur {faux, of course!}
3. Indie accents
4. Gold accents {& dots, I'm still obsessed}

What are y'all loving for winter right now?

Also, I had too much fun making this little collage. Nerd, I know.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cinnamon Almond Coffee Cake....

A little Thursday treat....cinnamon almond coffee cake! I found the recipe over here
which happens to be dairy and gluten-free. I more or less have to stay away from dairy, 
but have only just recently started to try a low gluten diet. 

Cake turned out delicious! Next time I will probably use a little more flour, 
and less baking powder. 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A few DIY projects......

 This week I finally got around to completing a few DIY projects. Most of them I already had planned to do at some point, but I got swept up in the DIYing and ended up creating a few more, like the sign below.

I love being able to recreate and repurpose!
All in grace sign for our bathroom. Done with chalk on black construction paper. I already had the frame from T.J. Maxx. 
P.S.- I am addicted to TJ's frames, and their lamps, and their mirrors. 
Well, most of their home goods really!

Repainted 3 brown baskets a greyish/brown combo for the linen closet. 

Here are the 2 smaller baskets. There is also a larger one not pictured below. 

Extra bonus that both of these projects took me less than 30 minutes!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gifts that give back....

Mulu scarf from FashionABLE. Creates sustainable business for women in Africa. 

Gold bracelet from Overstock. Handmade by immigrant workers in a 
small shop in San Antonio, TX.

Moisturizing lipstick by Radiant Cosmetics. Helps raise awareness for 
human trafficking and resources for victims. 

Manly scented candles by Man Can. Made inside a real soup can, 
the soup is first donated to a soup kitchen. 

Knit hat by Krochet Kids International. Empowering the women of Uganda and Peru.

Organic baby clothes by Baby Teresa. For each baby outfit sold, 
they donate one to a baby in need.

Eco toothbrush from Smiled Squared. For each toothbrush sold, 
they donate one to someone in need. 

Ok, I seriously had fun finding these products! Just ask the hubs, as I excitedly told him about each product I found. He needs to be educated too, right? So, maybe a few will land in my stocking this year??!!

But, seriously, who knew there were so many companies out there selling great things for such great causes! I love it! 

Also, I must mention that the creator/owner of the Man Can company started his business at 13!!! Anyone else now feel like they are underachieving??

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Simple and natural holiday decorations....

Burlap stocking

Rosemary to spice up a place setting 

Potted herbs  for easy decor

Pine cones and greenery to dress up a simple jar or hurricane

I've actually already put up Christmas decorations from last year, but I want to mix it up some this season. Keep it simple and easy. Maybe even go shopping in the back yard. I may have gone too far, but you get the point!

Also, in other news, I ordered our Christmas cards today! I fell in love with some of the cards on minted but ended up using shutterfly again because I found multiple coupons! The earth may not be thanking me on this one, but my pocketbook is. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A few weeks ago I started juicing! It has been something I have wanted to try for a long time, and I was finally pushed over the edge after I read about Sydney's experience over at The Day Book {one of my fav blogs}. Before reading about her experience, I thought juicing was for those crazy super green people, but she changed my perspective. And here I am, not a crazy super green person, and I am doing it. I am juicing. And guess what, I actually really love it. Good thing because that juicer was expensive.

I'm not going to lie, my first juice was horrible because I decided to make the greenest.juice.ever. But now, I've really gotten the hang of it, and even found myself craving juice when we were away for Thanksgiving. It may or may have not been the first thing I did when we got home. Hmm....

But seriously, it makes me feel much better, especially with my allergy symptoms, and I get a boost of energy. Yay! No more 3 o'clock siesta!

It definitely takes some experimenting and I suggest starting with the fruits and veggies that taste good to you, and as you learn how much juice each will produce you can start to create your own!

Also, I've started using my juicer for creating fresh cocktails! And.they.are.delish!! Extra Yay!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Simple Thanksgiving tips....

As you are planning your delicious Thanksgiving feasts, keep in mind 
these tips to make your meal a little greener!

1. Opt for organic foods
2. Rely on local foods
3. Set out reusable napkins
4. Use organic wine
5. Use your everyday dishes or show off your nice china, instead of paper items

Simple enough, right?!

The hubs and I are headed to the beach with the in-laws for Thanksgiving. I always enjoy some quality beach time with family and friends! Hope you are able to spend time with those you love!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall cocktails...

*The Stone Fence*
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup bourbon {Maker's Mark is eco friendly}
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons maple syrup {grade B}
8 thin slices gingeroot
1 cup seltzer
Full recipe can be found here

*Autumn Sangria*
3 honey crisp apples, sliced
1/2 cup dried canberries
1/2 cup halved dried figs
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon {Trader Joe's has organic options}
3 cups apple cider
4 whole cinnamon sticks
1/2 tbsp whole cloves
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
Full recipe can be found here

*Sparkling Pear & Rosemary Cocktail*
6 or 10 Seckel pears
4 cups (32 ounces) vodka {Square One Organics & Fair Spirits are sustainable}
1 cup sugar
12 sprigs fresh rosemary 
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) pear nectar
4 cups (32 ounces) sparkling water
Full recipe can be found here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Recycled paper holiday cards...

Anyone else have holiday cards on the brain?? I'm trying to get a head start on things and am looking for a more sustainable product this year. I came across the website, which has simple and beautiful holiday cards printed on recycled paper! Looks like it may be slightly cheaper than what I paid last year too--even better!

What companies do you use for a more sustainable holiday card product?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thanksgiving decor ideas....

*All photos compliments of Pinterest

A few Thanksgiving decor inspiration ideas--easy, simple, and eco friendly! I especially love the "I am thankful for..." placemat--lovely and gets you thinking! Never hurts to reflect on all of your blessings. I'm trying to do more of it this month.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


*Image found here

 Welcome to Olive & Gray, a blog dedicated to life and love in style, design, travel, and pretty little {eco chic} things! As someone who has personally experienced the ill effects of the yucky substances in todays' manufactured food, products, and environment, I'm on a journey in living life a little more "green." I might even call myself an eco-flirt! So, join me as I learn and share how to live a life with an eco twist!

On a side note--this adorable little burlap sign can be purchased on etsy over here.