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3 Household Ethical Alternatives


As some of you may know, sustainability, slow living, and ethical industries are significantly important to me. As a relatively young human, I have been exposed to plastic all of my life. Plastic is everywhere, and I never gave it a second thought because I never had to, or so I thought. Everyday things like sandwich bags, tupperware, toothbrushes, etc, all are made of plastic, and while I knew this, I didnt automatically think 'PLASTIC' with red flashing warning lights... I simply continued to use plastic products into my adult life as I had been raised. Though there are certainly plastic products which we cannot yet avoid easily, there are definitely some good alternatives available nowadays which are both ethical and sustainable. I have recently integrated 3 of these alternatives into my daily routine and household.

The first change I have made in my household is using jars for storage. I have always had jars around, but I have slowly integrated them into my pantry storage. Jason and I purchase most of our 'dry food' from bulk barn where they have plastic bags and plastic containers to hold and contain the items. We have began to take jars to bulk barn and put our dry items in them rather than in plastic bags! Most of our spices, grains, beans, nuts, and things of that sort are now kept in jars. I used to buy items at bulk barn using the plastic bags they provided and then would transfer the items in to jars once home, but I realized that it was such a waste of plastic and quite unnecessary in the first place! Most bulk barn locations are familiar with using jars in store, so there has never been an issue for us.



I grew up using dryer sheets in the laundry, I love the smell of freshly dried laundry and I thought dryer sheets were the only way to get that fresh scent. A few months ago I heard about dryer balls made out of wool and I thought it was genius. I began to read up about them online and learned that they never deteriorate, meaning that they will last for many many years. Not only are they made of a natural material, but they are intended to last a lifetime. I purchased mine at Pure Earth Organics in Red Deer. In order to maintain that fresh scent that dryer sheets give, I have put a drop or two of essential oils onto the dryer balls and that has created a similar, if not better effect than dryer sheets! Lately I have been using eucalyptus oil, but citrus, and lavender oils have also created a wonderful fresh scent. I have been loving using the dyer balls and I am so happy to have integrated them into my household.
You can also find dryer balls on Etsy, or Amazon, though I prefer to support the smaller businesses on Etsy : wool dryer balls.




Lastly, Jason and I have transitioned into using bamboo toothbrushes. I had seen them online several times, but I always found that shipping them was so much more expensive than we would have liked - that deterred us from making the switch earlier than we have. Recently I was in Pure Earth Organics and found these gorgeous toothbrushes. Not only are the toothbrushes completely ethical, but the packaging is as well. I have found that they feel completely normal, and brush as well as any other plastic toothbrush that I have used. We will definitely continue to purchase and use these!
You can learn more about these ethical brushes here.




I am always looking for new ways to integrate ethical practices into my life so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!
Thanks so much for reading, 
Madison xx


Lets Recap


Its been way too long. So much has changed in my life these past few months, resulting in my lack of time management! Because of this, blogging has taken a back seat. I am slowly finding my way back to blogging so I figured the best way to get back into it is to recap what has happened in these past few months.

1. I got a job. YAY!

I am working for a photography company which specializes in school photography. You know those school portraits that are in yearbooks? - yeah that's what I do! I can confidently say that it is not my most favorite job in the world, but it is still very rewarding and I get to make children smile everyday, that is pretty darn cool. I am also very excited to be working in the field of photography, even though it is completely different from what I do as a photographer, it is good to have the experience. This job is temporary, so we will see what the next few months bring once my contract is over! For now I am happy to be back working and in a somewhat stable routine.


2. I turned 22.

Yes, I am getting older. 😉 Some days it seems like I am actually a 30 year old girl boss with aspirations, getting sh*t done, and other days it feels like I am a 16 year old with nothing but dreams, both terrified of and in-love with the world at the same time. If anything though, I am happy to be where I am at 22; university graduate, very much in-love, mother to a dog full of personality, working towards being fully sustainable, and chasing my dream of being a photographer.


3. I have started my own photography business!

Finally, I have gone ahead an taken the plunge into the world of photography. As of now, I am specializing in couples portraits, blog portraits, senior/graduate portraits, and family portraits! I have been photographing people for several years, it feels good to finally have an online space/business to share it all. I have gotten several 'official' clients since my business has gone live, and man does it feel good! I think it is important for me to remember that this is something that I have always wanted to do, on my own. Sometimes I wonder if people think I am doing this because of my recent 'career change' - this is not the case, and I don't really believe the 2 to be connected in any way. This is something I have been wanting to do for so long now and I finally am doing it. CRAZY!

p.s. check out my website www.madisonjamiephotography.com and book a session with me. 😘


Now that things in my life are feeling like they are back on track, you will probably see many more blog posts in the future!

Thanks for reading this post, and look forward to those in the future.

Madison xx

Roasted Chicken & Caramelized Potatoes


Roasted Chicken & Caramelized Potatoes

Yes, you read that right - Caramelized Potatoes! If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life, I would chose to eat these. This is, in my opinion, the best way to eat potatoes and I am so excited to share this recipe with you!


Roasted chicken is a staple in our household, and lately we have been eating it once a week! It is such a delicious, easy, option that is super filling and usually lasts for a few days. The chicken always turns out juicy, the potatoes caramelized, and flavor is well rounded and beautiful! I could eat this forever.


One of the most important requirements for this recipe is a heavy bottomed enamel pan or pot. I get the best results using my Cuisinart 6.6 L enamel coated cast iron pot. It is large enough for the whole chicken, potatoes, veg and everything else. 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425.

First, slice the baby potatoes in half and put them cut side down into the pot. The size of your pot determines the amount of potatoes that you will need. This will create a sort of 'bed' for the chicken to rest on. It is crucial to place the potatoes cut side down, as that is the part which gets caramelized. Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over the potatoes.

Next, peel the onion and cut it in half. Slice two rounds from center of the onion and place both of them in the middle of the pot on top of the potatoes. The chicken will sit on top of these onions and infuse it with flavour. Chop up the rest of the onion into large chunks and set aside. 

Peel and slice the carrots into 2 inch chunks. If the carrots are really thick, slice those chunks length wise to allow for even cooking.

The butter mixture is the most crucial step in making a moist chicken. Take the butter and place it in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon juice and Dijon to the butter and start to mix it all together with a spoon or fork. Add a splash of olive oil, the paprika, and the garlic powder. Continue to mix together the ingredients. Finally add the chopped rosemary and sage. If you have garlic scapes, feel free to chop them and add them to the butter mixture as well. 

Now it is finally time to deal with the chicken. It is best to use a fresh chicken, but also fine to use frozen. If you are using a frozen chicken, it is extremely important to make sure that it is fully thawed - It may take up to 3 days for a chicken to fully thaw (in the fridge) from frozen. I usually take the chicken, place it in the sink and pat it dry with paper towels. After I am satisfied with its dry skin, I place it back on a paper towel lined plate and begin to stretch the skin open with my fingers. On the top of the chicken you will see the two breasts - it is this skin you want to lift and open up. It is easiest to do this from the cavity side of the bird (if this makes no sense, I am sure you can find a tutorial on youtube). Shove half of the butter mixture into the breast and spread it around. Once it is under the skin you can spread it and move it around from the outside of the skin. Once half of the butter mixture is inside the breast, take the chicken and place it in the pot on top of the potatoes and onions. 

With the chicken in the pot, it is time to put a few of the onion chunks into the chickens cavity along with a dollop of the butter mixture. Then place the carrots and remaining onion chunks around the chicken. The final step is to take dollops of the remaining butter and place them among the vegetables and then spread the remaining on the top of the chicken. 

Roast the chicken un-covered for 2 hours.The olive oil and butter caramelize the cut side of the potatoes, and it creates the most delicious texture. The chicken will be juicy and moist, flavorful and delicious! Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before serving! 

I hope you enjoy this delicious meal!


 

Thanks for reading,
Madison xx