I’m Back!!

I’m back from my “I had a baby” break!  We gave birth to our little girl Annabel Leah Van Der Beek on January 25th.  She’s a piece of heaven.  I can’t wait to share her birth story and photo with you all!

In the meantime I have lots more easy and yummy recipes coming your way.  I also have a few life-changing obsessions I’ll be sharing.  My mattress, water filtration system and home filtration system (I’m a clean air and water addict now), are all worthy of their own blog posts.

Please let me know anything else you are interested in my blogging about.  And for those of you not following my Instagram, I’m so much better with my food posts and such on there.  My username is: vanderkimberly.

Sending you all lots of love!

 

NRDC Green Gifts

Growing up my mom occasionally gave me “green gifts.”  She’d adopt an animal in my name or donate money to an environmental cause.  Even as a kid this kind of gift made me happy and put life into prospective during what had become a very material holiday.  I was flooded with enough other presents anyhow.

So, when I saw that the NRDC had made it easy to give green gifts this year, I just had to share it with you.  I was impressed by the selection to satisfy every animal, earth and ocean lover on one’s gift list.  And for kids it’s always fun to “adopt” one of their favorite animals.  Click here to order!

 

Pregnancy Cravings Talk + Belly Bump Dressing at the GQ Men of the Year Party

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Me and James at the GQ Men of the Year Party

James and I got out for a date at the GQ Men of the Year Party. And what do you talk about at such a party? Pregnancy cravings, of course. People documented my silly speak of needing non-gelatin gummy bears from the UK at 4 A.M. one morning. I’ve since found out that I have options for such a product here in the country (yay! but not helpful for the early morning NEED).  What have been/are your pregnancy cravings?

And why no gelatin you may ask? Gelatin is created by boiling skin tendons, ligaments and/or bones and usually comes from cows or pigs. I’m not really into that. I prefer to use a seaweed derived product, agar agar, (available online and at natural foods stores) for my gelatin needs. Just to confuse you, this product is occasionally marked as gelatin in the ingredients, although companies will usually proudly list it as agar agar.

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Me, James, Jesse Tyler, Weird Al Yankovic, Suzzane Yankovic and Justin Mikita

As for the fun stuff, it’s always nice to have a reason to get dressed up. That said, it’s getting more and more difficult to dress the bump in a flattering fashion.  Last night was all about being creative. I’ve had this gorgeous robe from Agent Provocateur for a few years now that we had a seamstress line and sew up to create my gown for the night.  I paired it with Aldo shoes and a Jimmy Choo clutch. James was in a Todd Snyder wool plaid suit, Tommy Hilfiger shoes and his favorite, Gallant & Beau socks.  Unfortunately, I was ready to fall asleep at the dinner table half way through my meal.  Hot date I am these days.

Tell us about your cravings and give up those baby bump dressing tips below!

9 Ways to Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

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More than 9 million people have been affected in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan swept through the land, killing an estimated 10,000 people.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean drinking water.  Mashable has listed 9 Ways to Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan.  Please help in any way you can so that we can keep the death toll from rising and serve those in great need.  

If you know of other ways to support victims of Haiyan, please leave it in the comment section below.

Halloween Anytime Trailmix

 

When I want inspiration for a kids snack, I often go to the Weelicious blog or books.  She has a fun trail mix with pop corn that I made my own with a few adjustments.  20131030-160628.jpgFor my Halloween Anytime trail mix I used the following:

  • Popped popcorn (please always use organic, as it most often genetically modified and thus a certified insecticide),
  • Goji berries
  • Almonds
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate chips

Get creative and create your own mixtures.  Better yet, put various ingredients into little bowls and let your kids create their own mixture.  It’s fool proof.  It makes a beautiful treat with a little protein and superfood power.  My kids and I ate it right up and I’ll most definitely make more for Halloween tomorrow.

 

 

20131030-160639.jpgLet me know what you think and tell me your unique combinations!

Chipotle Shares Skyrocket With Non-GMO Commitment

Talk of price increases next year lift Chipotle stock as they make a commitment to switch GMO foods for non-GMO foods.  You can read the full story here.

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Robyn O’Brien brilliantly asks on her Facebook page, “At what point does it become the fiduciary duty of execs at the big food companies to dump GMOs, if the jump in Chipotle’s share price to record highs is an indication of how the market feels about this?”

Next up in GMO news is Washington State’s opportunity to follow Connecticut and Vote Yes on prop 522 to label genetically modified foods (read more here).  While Monsanto and Dupont are pouring in millions (read here) to fight against the labeling measure.

The End of Paper Towels?

20131021-161831.jpgThree months ago, before getting on the Zero Waste bandwagon, I had an epiphany about the mindless amounts of money we were spending on paper towels in our household, and the ridiculous amount we were putting into our landfills.  Cleaning up spills, holding an apple, wiping off hands, cleaning the countertops, we used them for everything.  It was time for a change.

Instead of the usual mega order of paper towels from Amazon, I ordered microfiber towels instead.    I thought the best part would be that my order of 36 microfiber clothes was $10 LESS then my usual ongoing order of 15 paper towel rolls.

The results: microfiber towels have been much more effective at cleaning up countertops and spills.  They pick up every bit of dust, and have easily done the job of paper towels better then, well paper towels.  I’ve been tossing them in the wash whenever I do our other towels and haven’t had any issues on running low.  And, after putting up a big fight about my “extreme” ways, it was only two weeks before James looked at me and said, “You know what I don’t miss?  Paper towels.”  Success!

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