The Friday Feedback Forum

October 1st, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

Oi! First things first, I bet you’re wondering where I’ve been. Well! I’ve been here, desperately trying to blog, fighting with eMonsters on the back end of the site. Many apologies, but at least it’s all in the name of awesome changes.

And now, may I present the most epic Friday Feedback Forum EVAR!

Did you know that today is World Vegetarian Day, which is the kickoff to World Vegetarian Month? Yippee! So hug a vegetarian, and maybe this month, consider the meat-free option. When you do, everybody wins!


Recently I put a call out for designers, asking for help with badges and buttons. The first creations are starting to roll in, and it’s so exciting! These beauties come from Eric over at Dire Graphics. Thanks so much Eric! And to everyone else, please feel free to take! Paste! Disseminate!


The Northwest Earth Institute is doing an Eco Challenge this month, and they’ve invited Bonzai readers to participate. Anyone is welcome to play along, no matter where you are. It’s similar to our monthly missions, but you get to choose whatever you want to work on. Check it out!


If a challenge ain’t your thang, how about a contest!? The super awesome Miss Natalie, who wrote Waits’ most favorite book, is having a rad big kid coloring contest over at Thora Thinks. You should TOTALLY do it. You could win a Thora doll (So cute! I wants!!!)


So what’s on your agenda this weekend? I’m super excited, which brings me to my favorite part of the FFF. Love Lists! Tell me tell me three things that currently have you on the edge of your seat with anticipation! Mine :
1. The Walk For Farm Animals. Soooo fun, and such a great cause! I can hardly wait. If you’re in Portland please come out tomorrow! And for the rest of you, check out that link. There’s events happening all over in the next few weeks. Such a great way to do a little good, and to connect to your community!
2. Getting respite from my day job and refocusing my creative energy into Bonzai. So much to do and I’m so thrilled to do it!
3. Teaching Waits how to clap. He doesn’t get it yet, but someday he will. And it will be amazing. I love to watch his brain bloom!

Hooray for the weekend! May you make it shine!
Oh, also, you know – leave feedback and stuff. Ha!

  • Beens

    I’m in the wrong time-zone so it’s already the 2nd down under, but funnily enough today I made a conscious decision to cut down on meat and animal products (I know in my heart I won’t ever be vegetarian or vegan, but small steps, right?). Coming from a family of butchers, that’s a big step for me!

    Love list:

    1) The little creative cafe I found on my walk this evening. I’m going to paint a mug for my coffee tomorrow
    2) Spring days by the lake
    3) The mint I bought a couple of weeks ago growing rapidly and generally kicking ass

  • Laura Louise

    I’ve been vegetarian for 2,5 years so this year I’m trying to go (mostly) vegan for the vegetarian month. I’m having trouble getting rid of cheese cravings. I can’t find a decent jar of peanut butter in this food forsaken land. I’m probably going to make my own peanut butter as it seems the only thing that could substitute cheese for me.

    Love list:
    1. Ralfi. I’m dogsitting the most awesome tiny dog ever.
    2. Drawing. I found some inspirational artists and this gave me the boost I needed.
    3. Aloe Vera gel. It’s good for so many things. If only it was a bit cheaper here. I’m growing my own aloe too, it’ll be ready to use in about 5 months.

  • Elizabeth

    1. My small, mid-western university is getting more and more veg*n friendly and I am beyond excited about it. I even found Primal Strips vegan jerky in one of the small, campus run markets :)
    2. Very soon (in about an hour, actually) I will get to spend some time with some of my best friends, drinks some mimosas, and go to our school’s football game.
    3. I’m becoming very inspired lately and I just feel like I’m bursting with creative energy. I can’t wait to see what comes out of it.

  • Meghan

    Love list:
    1. My husband
    2. Chopin preludes
    3. chocolate

    I read (okay, skimmed, but I am going to read) the article you posted on facebook about probiotics. To make a fairly long story fairly short I’ve been having stomach troubles since early July, to the extent that I have lost 10-12 pounds. My GI dr. suggested probiotics (and I was already taking some) but wasn’t super specific, because I told him I was already taking some. I should have asked more specifically, because it seems like there are kind of a variety of probiotics out there. I have American Health milk-free acidophallis (OR HOWEVER YOU SPELL IT!) Rainbow Light’s stuff looks pretty good. I just don’t know what kinda bugs I ought to buy! Do you have any thoughts, or do you not need to think about it ’cause you get your beasties naturally? :-)

    I loathe yogurt, but I could be convinced to put soy yogurt in smoothies if I had to. I’d rather just take a pill though, ha!

  • Dana

    1. Trying to invent my very own veggie burger. I decided to go Vegan a little while ago, and the first thing I noticed is that my favorite burger has egg in it…. So now I am inventing my own!
    2. Just hanging out with my husband :-)
    3. Things (Like my perfume and deo) that smell like lavender. I just love that smell…

  • windycityvegan

    1. Planning my family’s two-week trip back home to Chicago. I see many meals at Karyn’s Raw in the near future!

    2. Pumpkin coconut ice cream – I made a batch this morning, it was the perfect recovery snack after my long run.

    3. Taking my daughter to the library this afternoon – she totally ‘gets it’ and is every bit as excited as I am to spend hours in the stacks and bringing home a huge satchel full of books for the next week.

  • Catnip

    We’re going to family night at Fog Willow Farm tonight. :-) Yay for twilight hay rides and watching Charlotte’s Web while being mugged by a goat for popcorn.

  • Kate

    Please, share your child’s adventures in clap-learning. I would love to see this.

    1. Improv Comedy Troupe Auditions in T minus 1.5 hours!
    2. My first lazy weekend in a long time
    3. My 2nd dog (was a foster) slowly becoming normal. It’s so awesome to watch him grow into himself!

  • windycityvegan

    @Dana – Flax goop is what I use in all my veggie burgers (the sprouted chickpea one in Heidi Swanson’s cookbook is sooo good). Just simmer 2 tsp flax seeds in 1/4 cup water (to equal 1 egg) until desired consistency. It gets thick pretty fast. Bonus is that you can just add the seeds into a burger along with the goop.

  • erosan

    @Dana: you could try recipe… I have not tried that specific recipe, but I love the site and its bento-meals weekly organizer, and this is definitely on my will-try-someday list.

  • erosan

    not much to love comes to my mind immediately, since I am super sick and having “issues” at work, and also my dog wrecked my garden recently… so excuse me if my list sounds cliche-ey or too bland. My love list comes from things that will cheer me up when I’m down…

    1. My Girlfriend whom I LOVE.
    2. My baby, to be born by Jan 1st (maybe late December)
    3. Food/cooking late at night, which always cheers me up.

    Hope everyone else is doing great.

  • Meghan


    I’m glad I’m not the only one with a cliche-ey or bland list! I’ve been sick a lot lately, and I’m super stressed about trying to buy a house and dealing with school and am just not loving life as much as I sometimes do. So it was GOOD for me to make a list, but yeah, not much love is coming to mind immediately for me either!

    I hope things start to turn up for you!

  • Meghan

    (I mean, I’m not glad ’cause like… I want someone else to SUFFER but… well… you know what I mean. maybe.)

  • erosan

    @Meghan: No worries, I know what you meant ^_^ Hope things get better for you too!

  • Rebecca

    This is really 3 separate posts but I’ll condense into one…

    First, something that really got my goat: While in Whole Foods the other day there was a rep from a company sampling their product. They said it was vegan and then began listing off ingredients including honey (!). When I pointed out that honey is not vegan the lady argued with me saying that honey was a “product”. I proceeded to write the company to inform them of their rep giving out misinformation. Geesh! Although it makes no difference to me personally, as I do not abstain from honey, it really got under my skin knowing how many vegans/vegetarians and those with food allergies have to go through this kind of stuff on a daily basis!

    Next, trying to instill at least a like for the area I moved to (I have become quite the hermit) I took a fairly lengthy drive up to Colorado’s Elk Fest. Basically for a week or two in October the elk make an annual rutting trek THROUGH the town. Setting up camp on streets, golf courses, football fields and the like. Crazy! Not sure how much the elk enjoy throngs of people gawking at them but, hey, they keep coming back year after year. Very interesting indeed.

    Lastly, I thought I’d throw this out to all you enlightened and oh-so-helpful lil’ bonzais. I am having a really difficult time finding balance and peace in my life. Although it is just me (no significant other, kids, and friends have basically gone by the wayside as they are all getting married and going AWOL one-by-one) I just never feel relaxed and as if there are enough hours in the day. Even if it is the weekend I still feel as if I have too much to do. Granted, some of this is that I juggle 3 different jobs, 2 of which are freelance so the hours are not conventional–both a blessing and a curse. But I just feel stressed out 24-7. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with me living in a semi-new place and having ‘friends’ on the other side of the country who never even bother to call me back. I am probably just trying to “busy” myself from thinking about that stuff too much (which I do). But still, can anyone relate? suggestions?

    As for 3 things I am looking forward to:
    1. crisp, but not too cold weather
    2. trying out my brand-new Health Master blender that I scored for $50 instead of $200—woot!
    3. sleep…always sleep! oh yes..and finally doing a dog yoga cd I ordered with my number one pupster!

  • Dana

    @ Windycityvegan and erosan: thank you for the tips, that sure helps a lot!

  • erosan

    @Rebecca: Well, if you feel like you don’t have enough time to do stuff, I think there are only 2 ways out…

    Be more productive/efficient to do more things, or get more time.

    Organizing yourself better could help… I swear by David Allen’s ‘Getting things done’(GTD). Exceptional method and not very hard to learn by surfing the web (although you could give the book a try). With his method, the first thing you do is dump all your projects and tasks into a list. Having it on writing will clean your mind. Believe me. Knowing that somewhere there is a list of the things you need to do gives you ease of mind.

    Or, if you want to have more time, you could do biphasic sleep. Basically instead of sleeping in one block at night, you do 2 smaller blocks of sleep throughout the day. You sleep 1.5 hours in the afternoon, and 3 or 4.5 hours at night (1.5 hours is the average duration of a sleep cycle, so you are trying to maximize the amount of rest you get). It may sound weird to sleep like that little at night, but it is AWESOME. I’m a biphasic sleeper and if your work schedule lets you get away with it, it’ll give you extra time and a boost to your energy levels (at least it did for me).
    Steve Pavlina is probably the most famous english speaking blogger to do it:
    You could read my experience with biphasic sleeping here, but its in spanish:
    and the blog:

    If you are feeling radical, you could also try my utopia (i’d love to do this, but I just can’t see it happening soon :D):
    The 6 days week (28 hour day)!

  • Donna Mae

    1)Everyday I look forward to going home after work,seeing my kids and great boyfriend. Who is leaving me for a year for new adventures in AK way to soon.
    2)Look forward to winter and all that comes with it.
    3)To having my own adventures and learning/trying new things/ideas.

  • Cary M

    1. my amazing little girl; 3 months.
    2. Tempt hemp ice cream!!!!
    3. cuddling with my husband this rainy October day.
    4. feeling thankful that I’m not sick.

    I’d like to see more fashion inspiration please and more pics of Waits.

  • Sayward

    I love hearing all the steps people are making towards veg diets. Even ‘baby steps’ are so big and so brave. I know it ain’t easy! And from so many of you guys, YAY!

    @ Laura Louise – Avocado is an excellent cheese sub!

    @ Meghan – Yeah, honestly I don’t know a ton about specific strains, but I do know that people swear ‘different bugs for different needs’, so it may be worth checking into. As for brands there’s a ton of options but most importantly I’d just make sure whatever you get is refrigerated and enteric coated. And yeah, food is best. Yogurt is great in smoothies . . . coconut kefir is better! Kombucha is great for rebalancing gut flora. And of course kraut, kimchi, pickles, etc. You need to start fermenting lady!

    @ Rebecca – Did you see this??

    @ erosan – Ooh I want to hear more about biophasic sleeping! I’ve been interested in this for quite some time. How long have you been doing it? I know Steve Pavlina didn’t keep it up after his trial, so I wonder how sustainable it really is. But I work from home so I have the flexibility . . .

    @ Cary M – Fashion coming soon! Fall always brings more fashion. =)

    And yes, more Waits!

  • erosan

    @Bonzai: I’ve been an on and off biphasic sleeper for a couple of years now. First time (the experiment) lasted for around 8 months, then I had to go on an extended work trip where my schedule changed and after that I was not sleeping the nap… so I was sleeping a total of 4.5 hours a day (I don’t really recommend this. Although you can manage, you do feel a bit unenthusiastic throughout the day). That lasted 4 months and I was back to biphasic: nap in the afternoon (1.5 hours) and my main block of sleep at night (4.5 hours).

    Whenever I’ve stopped has been for work-schedule related reasons and I always find myself craving those naps that seem to go on forever (you feel like you rest a whole night’s rest in 1.5 hours) and the boost in my energy levels that comes with it.

    All things considered, I’ve been a biphasic sleeper for somewhere around 2 years now…

    Now, I decided on the non-extreme schedule (total of 6 hours sleep a day) but I tested the schedule a lot as part of my first experiment, and once you get used to it, I’m happy to report that you can skip a nap, go to bed late or take the nap at a different time once in a while without real consequence.

    And I’ll let you in a secret: its an integral part of my ‘survive the first days of parenthood’ plan. Mommy will take care of the kid while I take the nap and then I can take care of the baby until I go to bed at 3am. I think that’ll save us some of the ‘headaches’ of having to wake up through the night to see why the baby is crying.

  • Sayward

    @ erosan – Very interesting stuff! And I think you’re right, being a practiced biophasic sleeper will be a HUGE advantage as a new parent. But I wonder if it’s practical past the newborn stage? Waits sleeps through the night every night and naps unpredictably through the day. It could be hard for me to keep a set schedule. Hmm . . .