Center For Living Peace

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Meatless Monday: Green Smoothie

It’s Monday! You can start the day with this delicious green smoothie which will boost up your immune system and keep you energized throughout the day.

Follow twopeasandtheirpod for the original recipe.

Green Smoothie



  • 1 large orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2 of a large banana, cut into chunks
  • 6 large strawberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup ice


  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses and serve.

Find more great ideas at twopeasandtheirpod.

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The Giving Bag

After the birth Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop” and its resulting mainstream media takeover, we all know how cost effective and stylish stopping at your nearest thrift store can be.  “Thrifting” is now an activity that people of all ages take part in for obvious reasons. However, fashion and dollar stretching alone shouldn’t be the only reasons why we choose a thrift store over any other shop.  It is important to know where your money is going as well. 

Today we are profiling a local thrift store called “The Giving Bag” located in Laguna Niguel.  As its name implies, the entire boutique is centered around the idea of “giving”!  The shop donates a percentage (10-30%) of the selling price of each item to one of its many non-profit partners in the OC.  Therefore, not only is thrift shopping going to improve your wardrobe, as Macklemore told us, but also support some of our favorite charities and non-profits in the area!


The Giving Bag’s Storefront (Image courtesy of Yelp) 

As said before, this adorable boutique already does its fair share of giving, so now what can we do to help out?  In order to allow The Giving Bag to thrive we must donate and supply them with product to sell.  The Giving Bag accepts all new and gently used items in these categories: Clothing (Men’s, Women’s, & Children’s of all sizes, accessories, handbags, jewelry, housewares, artwork, and toys.  It is now time to clean out our closets and recycle our unused items and Give.

Visit The Giving Bag’s website here

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A Vow To Skip Meat On Earth Day

It is Earth Day 2014!  That means for us at Center for Living Peace we are making sure to spread the word about how to celebrate!

While today is a globally recognized holiday, it is important to remember that we should cherish our planet as often as possible.  In our eyes, every day should be Earth Day!  All of our lifestyle choices affect the environment, so a simple change goes a long way. One idea we are highlighting today is the choice to skip meat and instead reach for vegetarian options.   Though this may seem like a daunting task, John D. Sutter in his article “Skip the Meat on Earth Day” explains how surprisingly easy it really is!  


By infusing logic with his own personal experience with vegetarianism, Sutter explains that skipping meat is a simple and logically sound way to celebrate this wonderful day!  Hope this article helps you as much as it did us! 

You can read the full article HERE

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Meatless Monday: Easy French Ratatouille

It’s Monday! We’d like to share this French recipe that is not only delicious, but is also healthy. This amazing stew includes eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers, and ripe summer tomatoes. It yields enough food to feed a crowd, and still freeze for later!

Follow the recipe below at thekitchn

Easy French Ratatouille

french ratatouille

Makes 8 to 10 servings
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 6-8 medium zucchini
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons
  • Extra basil for garnishing
  • Salt and pepper


  1.  Peel the eggplants, if desired, and chop them into bite-sized cubes. Transfer them to a strainer set over a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of salt. Let the eggplant sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2.  Dice the onions and roughly chop the peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic. The vegetables will be cooked in batches, so keep each one in a separate bowl.
  3.  Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large (at least 5 1/2 quart) Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions have softened and are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and continue cooking until the peppers have also softened, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and peppers to a clean bowl.
  4.  Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and sauté the zucchini with a generous pinch of salt until the zucchini has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the onions and peppers.
  5.  Rinse the eggplant under running water and squeeze the cubes gently with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Warm two teaspoons of oil in the pan and sauté the eggplant until it has softened and has begun to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the other vegetables.

    During cooking, a brown glaze will gradually build on the bottom of the pan. If it looks like this glaze is beginning to turn black and burn, turn down the heat to medium. You can also dissolve the glaze between batches by pouring 1/4 cup of water or wine into the pan and scraping up the glaze. Pour the deglazing liquid into the bowl with the vegetables.
  6.  Warm another teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, whole sprigs of thyme. As the tomato juices begin to bubble, scrape up the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add all of the vegetables back into the pan and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bring the stew to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours. Shorter cooking time will leave the vegetables in larger, more distinct pieces; longer cooking times will break the vegetables down into a silky stew.
  8.  Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Just before taking the ratatouille off the heat, stir in the basil. Sprinkle the extra basil and a glug of good olive oil over each bowl as you serve.
  9.  Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months. Ratatouille is often better the second day, and it can be eaten cold, room temperature, or warmed.

Follow thekitchn for more recipes!

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Live Peace with After-School All Stars

Most of you may know Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the most prolific action stars alive. Some of you may know him as the former governor of California. But did you know that he founded and is still head of his own non-profit, After-School All Stars?


His organization targets low income, at-risk youth and provides after school programs to keep kids safe and educated. Their goal is to help these kids succeed in school, find a career they love, and give back to the community. They are always looking to expand, and thus, always looking for help! If this is something that you are passionate about, I advise you to get involved.




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Wind Power Technology Reaches New Heights

Pun Intended.

Altaeros Energies has introduced the BAT (Buoyant Airborne Turbine) in partnership with the Alaska Energy Authority. The BAT is an airborne turbine that is claimed to produce at least twice the energy from the height of 1,000 feet than regular wind turbines. Additionally, the wind turbine is portable and can be moved around to where it is needed most (i.e. rural areas, disaster zones, etc.). Check out the video below.



This is a gigantic step for sustainable energy, and its portability can be an essential asset in disaster clean-ups as well. All around, it seems as if this Airborne Turbine is the future of sustainable energy, and possibly energy as a whole. What alternative energy sources do you think are changing the future of sustainable energy?

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Meatless Monday: Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Pancakes

Happy Monday! With our Meatless Monday recipes, we hope to encourage you to practice healthier eating and also learn about the benefits that come with a vegetarian diet.

This week, we’d like to share this recipe of lemon poppy seed yogurt pancakes! Adding some zest and yogurt will leave pancakes with a fluffy texture and a tangy taste!

Follow the recipe below from twopeasandtheirpod.

Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Pancakes



  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the dry ingredients.
  2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, lemon juice, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  3.  Heat a griddle pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 of a cup of pancake batter onto the hot griddle pan, spacing out the pancakes a few inches from each other. When the pancakes start to bubble up, flip and cook until pancakes are slightly golden brown. Serve warm with butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, or jam-if desired.

Find more recipes on twopeasandtheirpod!

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Live Peace with Pharrell Williams

Now you may know Pharrell Williams from many media outlets. He is best known as the musical artist that worked on this past year’s hit songs, “Get Lucky,” with legendary producers Daft Punk, and “Happy,” with which he set records with his 24 hour long music video and possibly the record for world’s most like-able song. He is also famous for his stylish and groundbreaking hat fashion. Now it seems that Williams is diving deeper into the ocean that is the fashion world, coming back to land only with the greatest and most sustainable of ideas.


News revealed that Williams (and Bionic Yarn, a company that makes fabrics out of recycled plastics, for which Williams is the creative director)  has teamed up with denim clothing company G-Star RAW for their “RAW for the Ocean” line, which features denim jeans made entirely from reclaimed and recycled plastics from the ocean. Check out the National Geographic article here.

As fashion from recycled materials is not a new endeavor, this news still encapsulates a great step forward for environmental conservation. I believe that the hope here is not to completely clean up the ocean of debris (though that would be amazing), but to push for more fashion of this sort. Could you imagine if high-end fashion designers started making clothes out of recycled and/or reclaimed materials?


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Courage is…

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

―Mary Anne Radmacher 


Mary Anne Radmacher, a writer and an artist, conducts workshops on living a full, creative, balanced life, teaches Internet writing seminars. Since she was a young girl, she has used her writing to explore symbols and find meaning. Through her writing, she devoted most of her life to communicating that there is no failure. She emphasizes  there’s only practice, discovering ways that don’t feel successful on the way to discovering what success looks and feels like for the individual. Those who rarely have the courage, as Radmacher says, inspire yourself! And in doing so, inspire others.

Visit her online here. Share with us below, what does courage mean to you?

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Meatless Monday: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Spring has finally come and there is no better time than to have some delicious creamy tomato tortellini soup! You can enjoy an appetizing meal with the benefits of meatless ingredients.

Follow twopeasandtheirpod for the recipe below.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (32 oz) container vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 (9 oz) packages fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (we use Buitoni)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, for garnish, optional


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Use a hand immersion blender to blend the soup (or carefully transfer soup to a blender to blend and return to the pot). Stir in the Greek yogurt until well combined. Stir in the cheese tortellini and cook on medium-low until tortellini is cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Serve warm.

Find more tasty recipes on twopeasandtheirpod.

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