Thursday, November 29, 2007

Green Smoothie Anyone?

Today I discovered the green smoothie. No this is not a follow-up to green week. Apparently its a very tasty way to get all the nutrients out of green vegetables without all the chewing work. I do like veggies but this looks like a really cool way to consume them! I have to admit that it looks nasty...but "they" say that it tastes great. I just want to tie a red bow around the glass in this picture and make it holiday appropriate.

Supposedly if you mix leafy green veggies in with a smoothie you won't taste them (very much). I found several variations of recipes on the internet. Basically you make a smoothie with whatever ingredients you want (fruits, spices, supplements, milk, water, yoguer, sherbet) but you add a handful of spinach leaves or some collard leaves. If you're really interested in keeping in super healthy then obviously you can't use the milk or the yogurt.

Some recipies are like this:

a banana
big handful of baby spinach
one lime, quartered and peeled
couple of sprigs of fresh mint
three slices of fresh ginger
handful of either mango or pineapple
Toss it all into a blender, fill about halfway with water and blend for a good couple of minutes.

And other recipes are more simple:
2 collard leaves
water to consistency

But I think I want to try something like this:
2 bananas
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries, blackberries or strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen peaches or mango pieces
1 cup orange or pineapple juice (sub water or milk)
juice from half a lime
collard or spinach leaves

What would your recipe be?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'd rather be...

...doing 10,000 other things than be at work today:

1. cleaning my house (yes I like to clean my house)
2. playing with my dog. I love him.

3. baking glorious Christmas goodies.
4. designing and mailing my own wonderful Christmas card.
5. working on the 2 quilts 6 bags and 1 pillow that I am in the middle of.
6. getting a hair cut like this one:

7. cleaning my car inside and out...maybe just in, I can't justify a car wash in a water shortage.
8. playing Wii with Brooks.
9. reading the conference Ensign
10,000. doing my laundry (I'm serious, I'd rather be doing laundry and dishes!)

I took a walk downtown for lunch today and saw this man on one of those long arm trucks standing in the man-bucket decorating a massive Christmas tree with bows and snow flakes and all sorts of shiny things. I wish that was my job! Today I listened to Christmas music on purpose for the first time this year....I'm really excited to spend Christmas at home!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

4 States 3 Days

We are lucky to have good friends like The Flynns who invited us to come and spend Thanksgiving with them. We spent Wednesday night in Cartersville GA at the Flynn's house and drove up to Chattanooga, TN Thursday morning for Thanksgiving. We even brought Zibby with us. He was pretty good in the car and had to have his nose right up near the front seats the whole though he was really interested in where we were going.

Thanksgiving dinner was at Aunt Hilda's house. She was the sweetest southern lady I have ever met.
Here we are with sweet Aunt Hilda

It was so cute the way she set the tables for dinner. She had the most beautiful china and her real silverware was beautiful! The food was delicious too. I loved the way everything was basically a casserole....squash casserole, broccoli casserole, stuffing casserole, sweet potatoes like casserole (YUM!). The deep fried Turkey was especially yummy too!

We were only able to stay in Chattanooga for dinner because we had made previous hotel arrangements in Asheville, NC. After dinner and delicious desserts (the pecan tarts were my favorite), we took a brief tour of Chattanooga and hit the road for Asheville. Chattanooga is definitely a place we plan to go back and spend more time. Here is a shot of us down on the river front:When Olivia found out we were leaving she was so sad. She seemed so heartbroken that we were leaving and even told her mom "it's not fair for people to leave." I'm not sure if it is 4-year-old drama or if Brooks and I are just awesome. I love this picture of Brooks hugging Olivia.

It was only about a 3.5 hour drive to Asheville. Friday morning we went to see the Biltmore house. The Biltmore house is the America's largest home AND it was built in the late 1800s! Ever heard of the Vanderbilt family? This is their house. Go here to read a brief history about it. What an amazing place! I can't even put it into words. Seriously I hope you followed the link to the history of the house. If you are ever in the area you must must go see it (they won't let you take pictures inside so...).
4 acres of flooring!

Exterior of the grand staircase

Is the south supposed to be warm? It was FREEZING! As you can see, we were not prepared for the cold, no coats, no gloves! It was probably about 35 degrees...

While in Asheville we visited this grand hotel called the Grove Park Inn. It looked very...Swiss or Scandinavian or something. Hopefully someday we can go back and stay there instead of the Days Inn. At the Grove Park Inn there are gingerbread houses on display as part of the National Gingerbread House Competition. I had no idea there was such a thing. They were awesome.

Are you only counting 3 states so far (GA, TN, NC)? Well.....We had to drive through the edge of South Carolina to get home :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We thought this was pretty cool!

It wasn't until Katie pointed it out that I noticed the guy in the black coat that refuses to enjoy the show. If you notice, he keeps his back turned the entire time and at one point even puts in his head phones! Everyone else on the bus/subway is rocking out but I guess he is just not amused. As Bonny's mom would say "what a stick in the mud".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm Thankful For Hamburgers

First off, I (Bonny), am a hamburger lover. Some close friends of mine are very aware of this, but for others this might be news to you. Being a burger lover I have been on an unofficial quest to find the best burger (or my fav) here in Athens. I need a place to go for an awesome burger because unfortunately there is no Crown Burger in Georgia...our South of the Salt Lake Valley for that matter. So....I think I might have found it!

Ever heard of 5 Guys Famous Burgers and Fries? I hadn't until we moved to Georgia. Five Guy's has been voted "Best Burgers" for the past five years in Washingtonian Magazine, were rated number one "Bang for the Buck" in Zagat Survey and The Washington Post calls them "the Willy Wonkas of burgercraft." In addition, since expanding outside of the DC Metro area, Five Guys has won the Annapolis Magazine's reader poll for Best Fries, Richmond City Magazine's reader's choice for Best Burger and the Fredericksburg Star's Simply the Best Award for Best Burger. Apparently they have good burgers! 5 guys just opened 2 restraunts in Athens and we had to go check it out. How could we NOT? So here is the menu - kinda reminds me of In & Out:

I ordered the Cheeseburger and Brooks got the Bacon Burger and we shared a large fry. As you can see on the menu they have some interesting toppings. The *weird ones are upon request only except for Sauteed Mushrooms. Anyone else think sauteed mushrooms is weird for a standard hamburger topping? We were obviously rookies at ordering food at 5 Guys. While you wait for your order you enjoy cracking open some tasty peanuts at your table. We loved our burgers! In the photo below you see the spatchula with two patties on thing we didn't realize is that unless you order the "Little" burgers (see menu above) you're gettin' 2 patties! I'm not generally a double person (unless it's a Big Mac...I know, gross...but I think they are soooo tasty) so next time I will for sure order Little.

Soooo....5 Guys is pretty famous here in the East...hence the name. Curious to see their locations? I couldn't copy the image in this post but check out their store locator map. It seems to me that somebody to the West of the Mississippi River needs to get a clue. It seems that every city boasting ownership of a 5 Guys restraunt has also named it Best Burger! or Best Fries! or Best something! Check out their press attention here. They cook their french fries in 100% pure, no cholesterol peanut oil. Hmmm....that sounds less bad for me! Also, their hamburger meat is fresh and you can totally tell when you eat it!

Hungry anyone?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Georgia vs. Auburn

So this past Saturday my Georgia Bulldogs took on the Auburn Tigers in good old Sanford Stadium. This is one of the biggest games for both teams during the season, and a win for the Dawgs meant a share of the SEC east lead. The seniors on the team called for a complete blackout, which means that all the fans wear black shirts, which can be seen in these next two pictures.
This next picture is of the team during their pre-game warm ups. They wore their traditional red home uniforms.

After the warm ups the team went back to the locker room for the last couple of minutes before kick off. This set up one of the most exciting moments of the game, the team came running out of the tunnel in black uniforms. The stadium erupted with cheers, and it really pumped our guys up! Here are a couple of pictures from the game.

Oh yeah my Dawgs won! 45-20, which sets us up for a BCS bowl, if we can win the rest of our games! The sign on the big screen says, "Knowshon can not be stopped."

P.S. This is where Uga the Bulldog lives.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Last Day of Green Week Tips #5 & #6

Some people do some awesome artwork with recycled items. This one is my favorite that I know of. And these two pieces are ones I especially liked. Crafted from found objects/recycled materials, including piano keys, broken china, license plates, rusty tin cans, electrical wire, bottlecaps, and other miscellaneous items these butterflies are about 6 feet tall!

Tip #5 Need to clean up your yard? Choose exercise over emissions: leave the leaf blower behind and pick up a rake; forget the gas-powered lawn mower and purchase a manual push or electric mower.

In addition, do your household cleaning safely. Many common household cleaners contain toxic solvents, fragrances, disinfectants, and other ingredients that can pollute the air and cause respiratory, skin, and other reactions. If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 28-ounce petroleum-based dish washing liquid with a vegetable-based product, we could save 82,000 barrels of oil a year? This is enough oil to drive a car over 86 million miles! Vegetable-based cleaning products are becoming readily available in supermarkets across the country, particulaly those that specialize in natural foods. Learn about vegetable-based cleaning products you can buy, recipes for cleaners you can make at home, and more tips on green cleaning. Before you clean out your garage and cart everything off to the dumpster, go to to find out where to recycle, donate, and safely dispose of many of your possessions.

I did a little web research on non-toxic household cleaners. Most cleaners are a bit more pricey than the "bad stuff." Man, it's expensive to care! I'd recommend checking your local supermarket for non-toxic cleaners. Just because it says "natural" doesn't mean it is non-toxic.

If you don't want to make your own cleaners (me me me!), here are a few links to cleaning products you can buy:

Tip #6 Replace 60-watt incandescent light bulbs with an equivalent 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Compared to standard incandescent light bulbs, one compact fluorescent light bulb saves an average of $35 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. That means that if you change 30 light bulbs in your home, you can save over $1,000.

Additionally, a compact fluorescent light bulb:
Uses up to 75% less energy
Lasts up to 12 times longer than a conventional bulb
Stays cooler
Has the same quality of light

We have tonse of these bulbs in our townhouse thanks to the previus tenants. I think when we move we'll replace them all with cheap bulbs and take them with us!

I've also been meaning to share these photos...a few weeks ago we had the kitchen faucet replaced. As you can see on left, the old one was just that, old. It leaked really bad. I almost had to get out a wrench to turn it off. Rather than fixing the leak we just replaced the entire piece of junk.

Follow up from yesterday's tip:

Last night on my trip to the grocery store, I actually remembered to take my reusable sacks. But, in my rush to get inside I left them in the car. I am proud to admit that I realized I had forgotten them and went back outside before I even started my shopping.

PHEW! That was a long post. Thanks for reading for Green Week! I hope someone out there was motivated to do at least one thing green.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Green Week Tip #4

Tip #4 Purchase a canvas bag or two and bring it to the grocery store to avoid using their plastic or paper bags.

I got a pair of bags at my local grocery store for one dollar each! They are huge and we can usually fit all of our groceries in just two bags. The biggest challenge is remembering to take them to the store with me! I always feel so good when I use them!

Check your local grocery store for bags or use a bag you already have....perhaps a simple canvas bag like this one. Or even something like this pretty wicker-like bag. Looks to be straight off of the streets of Paris or something. Or make a bag...I have ideas flowing like crazy!

In addition, take your plastic grocery sacks back to the store to be recycled!

Plastic bag facts:
1 trillion used worldwide annually
110 billion consumed in the US annually
Can take up to 1,000 year to decompose
Plastic bags pollute the eco-system

As a follow-up from yesterday, I went home and scoped out our drafty window situation. I already knew it was bad but it's actually worse than I thought. All of the windows in our (old) place are slingle paned glass on metal tracks. Most of them are so old and abused that they rattle on their rails or they are even just resting or leaning against the rails. About 3 inches separates these crappy single panes from old fashioned-looking wooden windows divided into 6 smaller panes. These windows open and close vertically. In some cases one of the six panes is missing, as in the window behind the couch, thus explaining the extreme draft. In our bedroom I found one of the wooden windows had a gap where the top of the lower window meets the bottom of the upper window...big enough to poke my finger through. To make it worse, the single paned glass on the other side wasn't glass at all!....only a screen! No wonder our bedroom is freezing. Needless to say, today we will be visiting a local hardware store to see if we can find some of that shrinkable window plastic. We haven't turned on our heater yet and when we left our house this morning it was only 58 degrees! I've had enough. And the thought of turning on the heat just to let it all flow out my crappy windows....NO WAY!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Green Week Tip #3

Did you know that the color green is said to be the most restful color to the human eye? No coincidence, green is my absolute most favorite color. I like green so much I have to try really hard to to buy green things. Check out these inspiring uses of green in home interiors. How delightful!

Tip #3 Save money and natural resources. Did you know you can save on your heating bill and save energy with two simple measures? (This tip from Green Team Tips. Check out their site of TONS of other great tips!)

If you're able to program your thermostat, set it to a lower temperature at night and while you're away during the day. Otherwise, just turn down the heat before you go to bed and before heading out for the day. Before assuming you will be too cold, just test it out—put on a sweater, reduce the heat by a couple of degrees for one week, then see how you feel. Honestly, who doesn't love to snuggle up in sweats, a hoody, and fuzzy socks!

Another easy way to save energy and money is to seal up windows, gaps around air conditioners, and other cracks with some inexpensive products found at most hardware stores. Unroll "rope" caulk (made of putty and sold in a long coil) and press it into the gaps, or apply heat-shrinkable plastic sheeting to your gaps with double-sided tape and shrink it to fit with a hair dryer. I'm seriously going to try out the plastic sheeting!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Green Week Tip #2 & Ideal Bite

Tip #2 By allowing more natural light into your home, you can lower the use of electricity; artificial light adds up to almost 15% of the home's total electricity.

Some of us really can't do anything to change the amount of natural light coming into our houses. I LOVE natural light and when we have our own house it will have lots of it! Something "fun" that we love to do is try to see how much we can get our utility bills to decrease each month. It's great when the provider includes a bar graph of your usage! I know it sounds silly but its a very exciting time when we see that our bill has gone down by ten dollars! Try it!

Ideal Bite is a great website that offers bite-sized ideas for light green living – ideas for real people who lead busy lives and want to make small changes that add up to big results. Their Daily Tips cover everything from biodynamic wine to eco-pet products to organic cosmetics. The secret sauce? A spoonful of “incremental environmentalism” combined with a keeping-it-real attitude.
This is a cool website and their design is so fresh and awesome looking!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Green Week

If you haven't already noticed, this week is green week at NBC international. It is also green week at Brooks & Bonny's blog! This "event" is inspired by the Georgia drought and the worsening conditions of Georgia's water supply. Two weeks ago, Brooks and I bought over 24 gallons of water to store in the event that water is rationed.

Each day this week our blog will feature a green tip as well as any other interesting information or links about going green, conservation, reusing, or recycling. Please feel free to comment about your impressions, experiences, ideas, etc.

Tip #1 Take a shorter shower. In doing so you will save water and the energy it takes to heat it which in turn reduces carbon dioxide emissions.