Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Something a little different

Love Notes by SuzanneThis blog will be a little different from my usual travel stories but I felt that it was important to share what I am doing as I am seeking everyone's help in creating more awareness for a project that I am part of.  First, let me ask you this.....

who do you know that struggles with self-esteem issues, self-confidence issues or has some health issues that they are fighting to overcome? Who do you know that would benefit from strong words of love and encouragement? These are the women that we are hoping to help with this project I am involved with. 

I am working on a project to empower 1 million women this year through beautiful notes of unconditional love and empowerment. Imagine - we can change someone's life by gifting these beautiful notes to them, which they will receive every 3 days for an entire year – all for less than the cost of one cup of coffee!

How can you help with this project? 
  • You can purchase these beautiful notes for yourself and others you feel would benefit from a gift of these notes. 
  • Also helping to spread the word about this project by sharing this message with people in your circle of contacts is especially helpful as well. 
  • Please go to this link to help support our project and use this link to help spread the love:
You know not everything we do in this life needs to have a monetary value sometimes the payback comes just from knowing that we are helping and empowering others through our actions.  I am excited to be working with my sister-in-law on this project to touch the lives of as many women as possible. Please share this blog and/or our link to help us share the love and create more awareness for this project.

Thank you all for caring and sharing.

Love Notes by Suzanne
#empoweringwomenglobally #lovenotesbysuzanne #feelthelove #sharethelove

Friday, February 2, 2018

Igloos and wineries - what a combination!

We're living another adventure, this time in the wine valley of Valle de Guadalupe where we are experiencing living in an earth bag home. We have friends who strive to live a more simple lifestyle incorporating as much "off the grid" living as they can create here in this idyllic setting. As I sit writing this I am overlooking the beautiful valley and green rolling hills on the other side. We are just over the hills from the ocean and Ensenada so it's not unusual for the valley mornings to start with a fog cover that slowly burns off to reveal yet another beautiful day. 

Our friends are creating an eco-friendly rental property, Hacienda Eco-Domes, for others to enjoy this experience and have luxury accommodations to relax in after a day touring the many wineries in the valley or a day in Ensenada.

Let's talk a bit about earth bag homes. They are literally constructed with long bags filled with soil and then stacked coil style to the ceiling. As you can see from the images the bags are circled around all the way to the ceiling. If the bags are left exposed to the sun for too long during the construction period they can begin to decompose. To safeguard against this they are coated with a red sealant. Once the sealant has dried the walls are coated with cement and then it gets painted. In this property the owners chose white paint. As Canadians we joke that they have created igloos in Mexico. Depending on how many rooms you want you just simply construct adjoining domes. 

This property is using recycled grey water for the exterior watering of the decorative outdoor plants; they are collecting rainwater from the roof and processing it for use; as well they use solar power so they are self sufficient with their power supply. 

They are always considering further ways to be self sufficient such as the current conversations floating around the table about adding a wind turbine to the property. Rather then just getting power during the day with the solar panels they can be creating power 24/7 by utilizing the power of the wind. 

When it comes to water it is always an important concern as this is a desert region so rain is sparse. They are also looking for additional means of water collection. We've been having interesting conversations about "fog catchers". As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog there is often fog in the valley in the mornings, which means lots of humidity in the air. The use of a fog catcher basically involves a fine mesh being mounted on a frame and when the fog touches it the tiny droplets of water within the fog are "captured" by the mesh and as enough accumulates it falls into the reservoir below the mesh and then it is processed for use. The image shown is an example of a fog catcher being used in Morocco.

In keeping with self sufficiency they have begun preparations on an elaborate vegetable garden with everything from white and red swiss chard, tomatoes and herbs to a fruit orchard consisting of oranges, lemons, limes, olives, figs, peaches, plums, apricots, pears and pomegranate.  They are currently constructing a hydroponics river that naturally flows through the property that will be stocked with edible fish. The water will then flow to the greenhouse where they will grow hydroponic lettuce to provide to the local organic restaurants. There will even be a chicken coop which will provide fresh eggs daily. 

So construction continues as they prepare to offer a unique experience to those wishing to explore the wine region of Valle de Guadalupe. Expected launch of their rental units is Summer of 2018.