Saturday, May 28, 2011

fair trade coffee

Next time you buy coffee, purchase Fair Trade coffee. 
A bit more expensive to be Fair Trade Certified, but you will be helping the current crisis local farmers are facing across the world. 
In recent years, coffee prices have plummeted and are currently around $.60-$.70 per pound. With world market prices as low as they are right now, a lot of farmers cannot maintain their families and their land anymore. The drastic fall in coffee prices means poverty and hunger for thousands of small producers in Latin America. Meanwhile, major coffee companies have not lowered consumer prices and are pocketing the difference. By cutting out such "middleman" and going Fair Trade, you are purchasing from companies that promise and deliver these farmers a fair price for their labor. 
The United States consumes one-fifth of all the world's coffee, making it the largest consumer in the world. Yet few Americans realize the struggle that agriculture workers in the coffee industry face. Many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are much less than the costs of production, forcing them into poverty.
Fair Trade assures consumers that the coffee we drink was purchased under fair conditions. To become Fair Trade certified, an importer must meet stringent international criteria; paying a minimum price per pound of $1.26, providing much needed credit to farmers, and providing technical assistance such as help transitioning to organic farming.

Across the country, there are over 100 companies that have licensing agreements with TransFair to offer Fair Trade Certified coffee. Major companies include Starbucks, Tully's, Peet's, Equal Exchange, Diedrich, and Green Mountain. 
To learn more about this crisis, read this Fair Trade Foundation Report
To see a list of companies that are are Fair Trade Certified, click here
To purchase Certified Fair Trade products, visit your local Trader Joe's or Whole Foods today!
For more information, visit

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A weekend of Sacraments

On Thursday had dinner with our priest and found out that Chris & I are the new poster children for the Pre Cana program @ Holy Name: Check it out :)

Saturday we went to friends Nicole + Jeff's wedding ceremony @ the Tiffany Celebration Garden:

& Reception @ the Chicago Illuminating Co......(SO MUCH FUN):

& Baby Tristan's Baptism on Sunday:

Parents & godparents

Becoming a child of God 

Playing with fire


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Veggie Lasagna

A lot of people wonder what you can eat as a vegetarian, or really, how good any of it can be?
So, I thought it was a good idea to add in some food posts - inspirations, photos, and step-by-step instructions on how to make some yummy & healthy dishes. So get ready for some kick-ass recipes for hungry girls who want to stop cooking crap (and start looking & feeling good!)

First up is my veggie lasagna. This one is seriously so delicious, feeds about 8-10 people, and it's great as a leftover & freezes great too. It's also awesome because you can literally throw anything in the sauce you want. Below is the actual recipe, but you can alter it however you want....if you have leftover peppers, eggplant, scallions, etc. you want to get rid of - chop them up & throw 'em in.

Total prep time: 30 minutes. Bake time: 1 hour

What You'll Need:
- lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 can mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 zucchini
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 pinch brown sugar
- salt & pepper
- 1 pack frozen chopped spinach
- 1 container low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons basil
- 1 bag (about 3 cups) shredded cheese. I usually use an Italian blend - mozzarella & parm, but tastes good with whatever.

1. Cook lasagna noodles & set aside. (You only need to cook 6 noodles).
2. Chop large onion and zucchini.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in chopped onion, can mushrooms, garlic, & chopped zucchini.
4. Add in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, brown sugar. Salt & pepper to taste.
5. Reduce heat and simmer.
6. Microwave frozen spinach until cooked and squeeze out excess water. 
7. Blend cottage cheese, spinach, 2 eggs, and basil until smooth.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Spread 1 cup sauce on bottom layer.
10. Layer noodles, spinach/cottage cheese, sauce, & shredded cheese. Repeat.

11. Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon basil and bake for 1 hour.
12. Bon appetit!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

I had an awesome First Mother's Day. Minus the fact that I missed my best friend's bachelorette weekend getaway in AC. (Love you Laur). But we had an absolutely gorgeous day and all the tulips were in bloom throughout the city - my favorite part of springtime in Chicago B)
I got this coveted new clutch from my darling husband :)
We went to the 9am church service down @ Willowcreek while Honeybunny played with his fellow church babies in Promiseland. The Mother's Day message isn't posted yet, but here's a good one from this year's Family Series for you to see how amazing they are. After the service we picked up Landon only to discover that he graduated from the infant non-crawlers to the infant CRAWLERS. My little baby turned into a crazy mobile child almost overnight....I feel like only yesterday he was our tiny little swaddled burrito, unable to move at all.
The rest of the day was open to whatever I wanted to do. So we went biking along the lake, Honeybunny in tow.

ready to go biking for the 1st time!

Honeybunny holding tight to his frequent rider card

getting situated in his "Tag Along"

& it begins...

A few videos from the start of our excursion:

we biked all along the beautiful Lake Michigan

Buckingham Fountain

takin' 5

stopping to smell the flowers

the view from the planetarium 

A mumma goose with her bebe ducklings on Mother's Day

& the papa

Exhausted after the bike ride, I took a much-needed nap while Chris helped Landon make me the most adorable and thoughtful Mother's Day card ever. I woke up 3 hours later to the smell of my signature thin crust, pepper, onion, & olive pizza from Pat's......


I love being a mom :)
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