An eco-friendly dog birthday party

Yes, you read the title right. An Eco-friendly doggie b-day party happened a few days ago for the Nickster’s 8th birthday.

What made it eco-friendly and why am I having a birthday party for my dog? Good questions.

I’ll start with the why. I never had kids and totally missed out on the fun of having little rugs rats running around, excited and on over-drive from a chocolate cake sugar buzz. Now that I’m a dog mom, I get to invite my friends over for wine and cake and get to see a bunch of excited pups run around barking and chasing each other. Close enough.

And how did I make my fete eco-friendly? In so many ways that I’m excited to tell you about.

Here are the top ten:

  1. The (super elegant) crystal stemware I used is from craigslist
  2. The beautiful turquoise bowls were from Salvation Army
  3. The chocolate cake was vegan
  4. I asked for the plastic to be removed and re-used when I bought the flowers
  5. I picked some of the flowers from an abandoned lot
  6. The (people) menu was vegan
  7. The only gifts allowed were edible, ie. treats
  8. I asked that guests didn’t use packaging for the gifts
  9. The wine and sparkling wine were local, from the Okanagan
  10. The napkins were from the Salvation Army

And, with all of this eco-friendliness, the party was still very chic, and very easy on the budget. Simple is elegant, easy on the earth and cost effective too. xo



As a child, I picked root veggies and salad greens out of the backyard garden for dinner. I became obsessed with The 100 Mile Diet when it hit the bookstores a few years ago. I haunt Farmer’s Markets and every summer I use almost every square inch of my tiny balcony to grow herbs and veggies. I think it’s safe to say that I love local food.

Why do I love it? It’s fresher, tastier, healthier and I believe safer than food that’s travelled a long distance to sit, covered in chemicals and preservatives, indefinitely on our grocery shelves. Have you noticed how conventional fruit seems to last forever now? It just doesn’t go bad and that, my friends, is not a good thing. You never know what the corporate food giants and that evil empire, Monsanto, are up to when it comes to tampering with our food supply. And a preservative doused piece of fruit or vegetable that lasts a month does not do a body good. So, in my book, fresh, pure and close to home is always best.

Vancouver has a number of restaurants that are committed to local, sustainable and cruelty free fare and one in particular, a restaurant named forage , seemed to be popping up everywhere I turned. On twitter, facebook and in local magazine articles, there is forage. Alway with a rave review. How it is that I’ve never been there, I thought as I read yet another glowing recommendation.

Luckily my lovely friend and fellow foodie, Sandrine was celebrating her birthday last weekend so I invited her to a Forage (or For-aw-sh, as she says in her beautiful French accent) brunch and off we went to finally experience a meal at this Vancouver hotspot.

Sandrine’s birthday brunch consisted of a yummy cheese frittata for her, Two Rivers turkey sausage hash, free run eggs and local root veggies for me and a kale salad that we shared. All so delicious and the kale salad dressing was especially spectacular. I mean I really like kale but this dressing made the dish taste sublime. I couldn’t tell what was in the dressing but it tasted sweet and champagney and I had  to find out. To make a long story short, I got the ingredients and guestimated the amounts to come up with the recipe below. I had never heard of champagne vinegar before and now I am hooked. This, I think, would make any green salad extra special…

Forage’s Champagne Dressing

  • 2 T shallots
  • 2 T garlic
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 T blue cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend ingredients together and voila! A fresh, delectable dressing a la forage.