Change is in the air, I can smell it.

Streets of Santa Monica CanyonWhere are the smells coming from?

The smell of the Pacific Ocean while riding my bike on the w  i  d  e  bike lane of San Vicente Blvd, then zig-zaging down through the unique streets of Santa Monica Canyon, through the tunnel under the Pacific Coast Highway, connecting to the bike path at Will Rogers State Beach.  Coincidentally, this is the beach where Gidget and her “swell gang” enjoyed their weekly beach blanket blowouts.

The Grass Is Always Greener in Your Own Garden

By GreenUp! Community Blogger Monique

The other day my friend informed me that produce labeled “USDA Organic” may only be 70% organic. Rather than spending countless hours researching the validity of this statement or becoming disparaged by our government’s seeming dedication to “middle ground” solutions, I focused on the fact that I am happily & inexpertly growing produce in my rooftop container garden. And I’m in complete control here, so it’s 100% organic, friends, though it’s far from a perfect or large garden by any means. The point is I’m doing my best, keeping it simple, and reaping benefits from my efforts.

Budget Organics: Happy Family, Happy Wallet

By GreenUp! Community Blogger: Monique

Feeding my family healthy, organic, sustainable foods is one of the closest values to my heart. Running a near second is my love of a bargain. So I thought I’d share with you my tricks and tips for organic grocery shopping on the cheap.

First and foremost, stick to buying organic when it comes to the “dirty dozen” and buying non-organic when it comes to the “clean fifteen“. You can even download a PDF or smart phone app listing your organic friends and foes to guide you through the grocery store and farmers markets.

Now that you’re ready to shop, check out my recommendations for these bargains around town. I’m focusing on those that pack a nutritional and taste-bud-worthy bang for each buck spent.

Friday FM Fun & Kimchee Guacamole

There’s no better way to ring in the weekend than hanging out in a cozy-community with a cup of coffee, the Venice breeze, and early a.m. sunshine. That’s why Matteo (a.k.a “Tater”) and I meet our friends every Friday morning at the Venice Farmers Market

This particular market isn’t the largest, and it doesn’t even offer the widest selection of organics, but it abounds in familiar & friendly faces, kids, leashed dogs, feel-good vibes, and an eccentric mix of folks. The market runs from 7am – 11am, but don’t stress about getting there early–there’s free AND adjacent parking. We usually meet our friends at the coffee cart. It’s easy enough to spot; just look for a circle of adult and mini chairs and folks munching on fresh-baked croissants or bagels.

Are you spongeworthy?

My goal for this blog is to share ways to green your life while saving money.  I am taking inventory of my day-to-day activities, from cleaning to grooming to health, and exploring the natural product equivalent.  I realized that I have been green in one area, the real sea sponge in my kitchen purchased from Saint John’s Sponge Company at Brentwood Farmers’ Market about 6 months ago.  My previous sponge was the corporate synthetic version at about $4 for three.  Those sponges would quickly become dirty, smell and fall apart.  I found myself buying new sponges more often than it seemed necessary.

Flowers bloom in time for June Gloom

June Gloom is in full effect in California.  If you are not familiar with that term, June is normally the month where the marine layer (aka clouds) come on shore and stick around throughout most of the daylight hours nearer the beach.  This layer also makes its way to inland Valleys such as San Fernando, which has graciously given us the popular Valley Girl and the saying, “gag me with a spoon” and Santa Clarita the home of Magic Mountain, which some people use that previous term to describe as well.