Bonzai v. 2.0; MMM # 23 Round-Up; The Next MMM’s “DIY December”. Oh Also, OMG Coconut Oil For CHEAP At TJ’s!

December 5th, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

Let’s start with the important stuff: HELLOOOOO coconut oil! This is just a friendly heads-up, from one food geek to another, that Trader Joe’s is now carrying cold-pressed extra virgin organic coconut oil. And, it’s about HALF the price I’ve seen anywhere else. YAY!


In other news, hey look! Does something seem a bit different to you? That’s right, we spent the weekend cleaning up and making improvements, and I really hope you like them! I already adored the overall look of the site, so I really didn’t want to change a whole lot. Just a few tweaks for the better, like:

1. The content area has widened from 475 pixels to 600 pixels. Yay, bigger pictures!

2. Our tagline – “Socially Conscious, Totally Fabulous” – has been added to the header. I love love love this!

3. The side bar has widened to match the content area (and to accomodate having two ads side-by-side, which is the most unobtrusive way to include two ads)

4. The side bar has been polished up: social media links are all easy to find (omg who knew I was such a social media whore??), Bonzai Store/Amazon Store/Wish List/Tip Jar links have been streamlined, & basically it just looks so much mo’ betta!

5. The fonts for the navigation buttons, and for post titles, have been updated. I think they’re so much prettier this way.

I hope you like the new Bonzai, but I’m also totally open to your feedback or constructive criticism. Please let me know what you think!


MMM # 23 Round-Up

Last month I took on the challenge of tackling my inbox. It’s pretty much the bane of my existence, and a constant source of stress. So I made a plan: each night, I wouldn’t go to bed until the inbox was dealt with.

And how did I do?

Well, at first it went very well. I started the month with a deficit, an enormous backlog of unanswered comments and emails left over from Vegan MoFo. But for the first few weeks I was able to stay on top of new comments/emails, AND I began to slowly chip away at the mountain.

Then, I went on vacation. And . . . it all sort of went to hell. Damn!

In California I was focused on seeing friends and family, and really allowing myself to relax. And though I totally thought I would be able to get my work done, I failed . . . miserably!

That’s okay. I learned!

I learned that prioritizing email-answering as the first thing I do right after Waits goes to bed, is not as much of an imposition as it seems. I learned that cleaning out my inbox never takes as much time or as much emotional energy (this is the hard part for me, honestly, since I really try to make sure that my answers are the best and most thoughtful that they can be) as I expect. And most importantly, for a few weeks there, I learned how great it feels to have a clean inbox.

So I’ll try again. It fits with my New Year’s plan this year, which is all about communication (more on that another time), and I hope to have really made it a habit within the next few months.

Alas, for now, I still have that whole backlog to deal with. Oi!


DIY December

I’m not going to host a book club this month, or an organized mission either. It’s the holidays, and people are already busy and stressed-out enough! However, I encourage you to look through the MMM archive, or choose something totally unique, and try out a little mini-mission of your own! It’s a great way to catch up on a mission you may have missed, or to finally find the time to start that one thing you’ve been meaning to do.

Me? I’m attacking my teeth. Oral care, baby! Dedicated flossing, oil pulling, natural whitening techniques, and I’ll be investigating the concept of remineralization (ahhh Sarah!!!!!!!!). I look forward to sharing all my results and finding with you guys!

So what about you guys? What will you be doing for this DIY December?

And now, I’m off to address my inbox. BONZAI!

  • jill

    Coconut oil…I get mine (virgin, organic) by the gallon, we use so much. I paid $37 last month for some. (for 16 oz…scaled down, it’s $4.60, I think). Do you know about Azure Standard? They’re located near you. They’re not quite that cheap for coconut oil, but still a good deal. I get a lot of our food from them (they deliver to a lot of the U.S.) I used to use UNFI, but they don’t deliver to real people where I am–just Whole Food$ and such.

    On an unrelated note, we got the Shred DVD from the library. I let my kids watch a video today (the first since last winter?!?) They had no interest…but when I put on The Shred, they were fascinated. Picture a 1 and 3 year old working out in the name of building playground muscles.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve heard of Azure Standard, I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for the heads up!

    Also, that’s so sweet about your kids doing the Shred. Sounds adorable! =D

  • Annie

    I’m going to get rid of all my perfectly usable yet unused clothes in my closet and other such stuff and donate them to an inner-city shelter/center. Clutter is horrible, so is the thought of people going without. Problem solved!

  • erosan

    I knew there had to be a good reason why the MMM was behind schedule. Totally worth it.

    I really like the new design. I will miss the font on your social media links (the green buttons with the white text) and maybe the fact that the new layout feels more… off center (even though it is not). Then again, I absolutely love the switch to sans-serif on the header menu and post titles.

    For archive purposes and for anyone who didn’t pay attention, the blog used to look like this:

    See? Improvements all around.

  • Anonymous

    Yes flossing! I NEED to work on it…I did do pretty well on the email challenge though so I now know I can make a decision to do something and stick to it!.
    The new Bonzai looks great, really clean and easy to read and navigate.

  • natashia muna

    oil pulling – just wiki’ed it, and I have to say if you can swish oil around your mouth for 20 minutes (!!) a day, then hats off to you! I can’t wait to hear how this one pans out….

  • Abigailjmorrison

    Wow, thanks for the TJ’s tip! I found your blog through googling homemade dish soap. Thanks for that too! I was planning a trip to TJ’s last night and didn’t make it. Now I’m glad I put it off so I can scoop up some of that coco oil. :)

  • Moira

    I wasn’t perfect on this challenge either – with the holiday and all. But I’m making up for it now and logging in eight+ hours on some days this week. :)

    I have to admit, your previous layout used to fit perfectly in my small web browser but not so anymore, so it does appear off-center. But I’m sure all you people with 21″+ monitors are quite happy right now :)

    I will also say that I liked the font from before just because too many fonts on a webpage boggle my eyes, and you have at least three now! Plus I’m sans-serifed out from my previous job. Nonetheless, your site is beautiful, lovely, bonzai-tastic. As with anything new, it takes me a few days to adapt to changes.

  • Ginger Baker

    AH! Thanks eronsan for the archive view link, it helped me figure out what it is about the new design that felt NotGood to me. The tagline included in the header is great, *however*, I noticed that in the older version you had a white “box” offsetting the opacity of the bubbles behind the header, which made the header easy to read. Now that you don’t have that, the contrast between the header and the background bubbles is not that great, and the header (especially the smaller font tagline) gets a bit lost and hard to read.

    I may give oil pulling a try. Definitely, getting back to regular flossing MUST be on my list. :/

  • Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    Love the updates look. My mini mission this month is to update my blog too! Oil pulling? I consider myself a dental hygiene connoisseur and I’ve never heard of it! Good luck with your December mission.

  • Fran@BCDC

    I love updates! I need to do that on my site, but I don’t know anyone who knows how to do it! Gotta find someone!

  • veronika

    completely unrelated to things you discussed in this post, but i have a food question…
    i remember you used to post a lot of food descriptions where you used sprouted lentils and such.
    are you still on that kick, or moved away from it for some reason? not doing raw so much these days? or just not mentioning/photographing it?
    i dipped my toe in sprouting, liked it. thanks in advance!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I still soak all my grains and legumes. I try to sprout, too, but sometimes I don’t remember far enough in advance.

    I go way down in my raw consumption during the colder months. It just feels very natural to me. I’ll never be 100% cooked, or probably even as high as 80% cooked, honestly – it just makes me feel blah. But I do go down to probably 50-50 in the winter months. For example, I just had lunch that was a big bowl of raw spinach topped with raw soy sauce (nama shoyu) and nutritional yeast, with a scoop of cooked quinoa and a scoop of cooked black eyed peas, all topped with half a raw avocado. Um, it was REALLY GOOD. =D

    I definitely think soaking and sprouting is a part of properly preparing grains and legumes, whether they will be eaten raw or not. So yeah, I’m still an advocate of that!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It’s an Ayurvedic method and it’s pretty out there, but I just have this feeling that it’s going to work. I’ll let you know!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks for the feedback, this is really great!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks so much Moira. This is great feedback. I actually agree about the fonts – I’m going to reconsider that.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Your welcome, and welcome to Bonzai!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve done it twice now and yeah . . . it will definitely take some getting used to. =(

  • Sayward Rebhal

    THANK YOU! That is rad. =)

    Also, omg I just rediscovered that DM from Twitter, which got totally lost. I’m going to talk to D and then email you, yes?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Wonderful win-win!

  • erosan

    Are you awesome or what?

  • erosan

    I still see the logo just fine… same as in the last version… only the box that contains the text and menu is larger and the “shadow” of it is smaller. Could it be perhaps that the CSS update broke the way your browser shows it? Because it looks fine on Opera 11…

  • Sara Howie

    Hey! Website problem: is there supposed to be a big gap underneath the “about” before “hey, I wrote a book”? I’m running chrome and that’s what I’m seeing. Maybe there are supposed to be ads there and I’m not seeing them?

    ALSO! Please update us on oil pulling! I’d love to know how it works out for you!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yes, that’s where the ads are! Weird I’m on Chrome too and I can see them. Anyone else having this problem??

    Will definitely update on oil pulling at the end of the month. So far: gross but kind of fun, possibly already working . . .

  • Annie

    I have the AdBlock Plus extension in Chrome, and couldn’t see them either. If you also have AdBlock Plus, You can right click the icon in the address bar and select disable to see the BA ads :)
    Unfortunately, I can’t see an immediate way to always allow ads on BA permitted, but I’m sure some tinkering around will get that sorted.

  • Annie

    Ok, yep, with AdBlock Plus in Chrome, left click and de-select “enable in this site” and then BA ads will always show up.

  • Ginger Baker

    Oooooh slick fix! Lightening the background bubbles worked great imho. Much more readable now! :D

  • Sayward Rebhal