HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY Bonzai Aphrodite!

February 1st, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration

And what a year it’s been!

This little site has done a lot of changing since her last birthday. And like all things, she will continue to evolve. In that evolution, I feel like a lot of my stricter boundaries are breaking down, with a loss of formality that I find liberating. I see a transformation from a mostly professional endeavor, to a more personal, shared experience. I imagine less structure. I imagine more intimacy. I’ll probably post less frequently. I know we’ll have a lot of fun!

And speaking of that, I had so much fun putting together my 20s retrospective, that I thought I’d do the same for this last year here on Bonzai. So without further ado, here are some of the highlights from our second year:


In February I finally found my vegan White Whale – the perfect rich and creamy Alfredo sauce. I shared my carpet cleaning recipe and my liquid dishwasher detergent recipe, both of which are superstars in the DIY home cleaning repertoire. We learned how to make newspaper seed pots for the upcoming planting season, and I was nominated for the rikrak Handmade Olympics. At the end of the month, 9+ months pregnant, I put the site on baby watch!


At the very beginning of March I went into labor. (!!!) A few days later I introduced you to my first son, Waits Rebhal. I took a few weeks off from blogging, popping in at the end of the month to say hello and welcome in the spring with the first Farmer’s Market!


I pretty much disappeared into motherhood – and who can blame me?! However, I did post an important Mini Mission that’s really worth a visit if you’re a relatively new reader.


In May I returned to the blogosphere refreshed and impassioned anew! I posted a kombucha hack for growing your own mother, just in the nick of time before the elixir was pulled from store shelves all across America. I shared my new natural hair regimen and my new favorite green beverage. And somehow, despite my sleep deprivation and a newborn to cuddle, I managed to start the 2010 [micro] garden!


In June we took on our toughest MMM yet – facing our demons – and I was awed by the bravery of so many readers who met this challenge with complete self-awareness and honesty. On the lighter side, Waits became a super model and I concocted the weirdest spaghetti sauce ever (delicious!). At the end of the month, due to reader demand, I posted my very first baby-related article, on low-impact child rearing.


With summer in full swing the micro garden was chugging along and I also introduced my potted herb garden. I wrote an epic two-part piece on my adventures with cloth diapers (part I and part II). Finally, and most importantly, I shared my latest (and current) passion for probiotics, in an article entitled “Eat Your Beasties!”


August 1st marked my joyful 2-year Veganniversary, which we celebrated with a picnic. In the kitchen, I explained the importance of soaking nuts, grains, and legumes, and I posted a tutorial on how to make DIY alt milk. Inspired by the Farmer’s Market I began my RAW 101 series with a post on pasta, and I continued the cultured love with a recipe for homemade vegan yogurt. At the very end of the month I asked you to tell me 3 random things that made you happy, and thus the Love List was born! (still going strong ever since!)


September was official “Get Out The Bonzai Month” – we had our first annual shareholder’s meeting, I updated my commenting policy, and the Bonzai Aphrodite Amazon Store was born! I continued my culinary alchemy with recipes for sauerkraut and fermented pickles. I took you on a tour of the henhouse and I wrote a love letter to autumn. Also, Waits dressed up like a duck.


In October I finally formally introduced my dogs, and then I introduced our first merchandise – the Mini Mission Wall Calendar! I grew my very first pumpkin, and played with it all sorts. Waits started crawling so I made some baby knee-pads/leg warmers, then at the urging of readers I added a big kids version of leg warmers (and arm warmers!) too. And with clothing on the brain, I defined my style direction for fall 2010.


November marked Vegan MoFo, and I eased up on my blogging [or I tried to, pretty unsuccessfully] as I took on a new big project. Waits and I squared off with a spaghetti squash. I pondered people’s relationship with food and I cleared up some confusion on icky-sounding ingredients. At the end of the month I was honored to offer my perspective as a work-at-home mom at galadarling.com.


In December I said goodbye to my garden and welcomed in the winter. My vegan taxidermy was received with mixed reviews, but everybody loved my overnight oats in a jar. The end of the month was all holidays and hiatus, but I did offer a sneak peak at healthy vegan travel days.


In January I presented my definitive vegan cheese report – a post that was 2 years in the making. I said goodbye to the Farmer’s Market (sad!). I pledged to share more of myself, and in true Sayward fashion I jumped in feet first with an in-depth portrait of my 20s. Last week I turned 30, and celebrated in part by sharing 30 of my most favorite little things.


Last night I spent an hour and a half tediously composing this post (a billion links, blargh!), and then come 1130pm, completely out of nowhere, my computer up and shut down. Almost all my work disappeared! It was gone, lost into the ether (which is why you’re getting this post this evening instead of first thing birthday morning). All I have to say is . . . Welcome to the Terrible Twos???


  • http://elilaiann.blogspot.com Carissa

    Oh my goodness, I am new to your site, but loved seeing your journey! You have done and been through so many great experiences being vegan and your baby is beautiful. God bless!

  • Kate in SB

    Yay! Happy birthdayversary!

  • http://thegreengeek05.wordpress.com Courtney

    Happy birthday!! I am so grateful for this blog. Heck, it inspired mine! Looking over your retrospective reminded me, THANK YOU for the posts about brewing your own kombucha and making your own SCOBY. As soon as kombucha came back on the shelves I grabbed a bottle of original. Now I just need a big jar to brew it in. For now it’s chilling in the fridge. Thank you!!!

  • http://facebook.com/amandoid Amanda

    Amazing blog! Excited to be here for the evolution! :]

  • Charlotte

    Happy Blog Birthday

  • http://www.windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    Happy Blog Birthday! This is one of my happy places, so glad I found your site.

  • http://exoticdonkeymeat.com Kate

    I love your blog Sayward and thank goodness you are dedicated! I just wanted to let you know I’m sipping on my FIRST EVER green smoothie, and I never would of done it had I not met you! Keep it up, no matter how frequently you post :)

  • Minna

    This retrospective thing is so cool! I’m gonna start doing this for every birthday or “milestone” in my life :)

    And I agree with Kate! Doesn’t matter how frequently you post as long as you post! You know you keep us inspired.

    Happy birthday, dear Bonzai Aphrodite! (Funny how in my head, Bonzai is almost like an abstract living thing.)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    Thanks everyone!

  • Kathryn

    Wee, Happy Second Birthday to my favorite blog! Reading this post reminded me about all the awesome things I can do, and I’m so so excited to move into a house next year to do them!

  • http://wwwmelissalehman.blogspot.com/ Melissa L.

    Happy 2nd Birthday Bonzai Aprhodite!!! You have inspired and challenged me in so many ways!

    Thank you!

  • Moira

    Congratulations on BonzAph’s two-year anniversary!

    It’s about time I showed my ‘face’. I came across your blog when I was googling for a good flush. After reading your cleansing experience, I was hooked! Your blog keeps me entertained during my waking and yawning hours of booking it. And yes.. the flush was amazing. Although I haven’t committed to the seven-day challenge yet.

    If I can request an entry.. I have a nice little plot out front of the house that I’m dying to dig into. But I need a bit of guidance as I have no idea what to do. How did you get started.. how much dirt, what kind of dirt, when to plant the tomatoes, chard, zucchini, lettuce, etc…

    Many blessings for the new years (in so many ways.. 2011, 30th birthday, BonzAph 2nd year anniversary, Chinese Lunar New Year, Vietnamese New Year… )

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Moira – Welcome to the site, and congrats on the upcoming garden! The reason I haven’t done a post like you requested is because that information is so site-specific. It will vary (A LOT) depending on where you live. My best advice is to Google your city (ie Chicago) or region (ie Southern California) plus ‘planting schedule’. You’ll be able to get good information that way. Also your local nursery will be a great resource and they’re usually quite enthusiastic and happy to help. =)


  • http://bluknotsoriginals.blogspot.com @tishushu

    I completely appreciate all the work you have put into this site! As a fellow vegan, I love having a community even if it’s folks I haven’t met (yet). If I weren’t a starving ex-student (Just graduated in Oct with my Bach. of Science in Electronics Engineering in true nerd fashion with LED earrings and wire braceltes, lol), I’d donate more. But the interviews are picking up, so look for donations soon! :)