Cold Brew Coffee + fresh mint simple syrup


Summer is here for me in spirit and weather, just not officially according to the calendar. Nevertheless, it is still time for cold brew coffee sipping. The best thing about cold brew coffee is how easy it is to make and it can just be ready and waiting by morning! All I have to do is reuse or compost the grounds and rinse my bag out to dry.


If you want a super special summery treat, you can make a mint simple syrup easily, too!

I feel lucky because I’ve been growing mint for years but it never really came back and I’d have to buy new plants, but this year it came back in full force! There’s always a warning about planting mint in the ground because of how much it spreads, but who doesn’t want a whole bunch of mint?


To make syrup you’ll want about 1 cup of mint, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of water. Simmer in a pan for 10 – 15 minutes, turn off the heat, and let the mint steep in the syrup until cooled. Bottle up in whatever jar you’d like.


For cold brew coffee you’ll only need a few items, and those can vary based on what you have. The only true needs are coffee grounds and water and something to put those into.

I have been putting coffee grounds into a cloth bag that sits in the water. You could simply use a french press, or even a mesh strainer for when you are ready to drink the coffee. That’s what I used to do and it works fine, there is just more sludge and grounds in the brew.


I use about 1/2 cup of grounds in a jar that holds about 4 cups of liquid.

Pour filtered water over the coffee grounds and place into the refrigerator.


It may seem like it’s not infusing very well at first, but it will turn out great by morning.


This dark brew looks much tastier and is ready to drink!


I’m kind of particular about my coffee. Hot coffee requires a dash of half & half and absolutely no sugar, but cold brew is nice with just a touch of sweetener, some half & half, and a couple of ice cubes.

In this case, of course, I used the mint simple syrup and it is a divine treat!


The syrup will keep for at least a few weeks, and probably a couple of months if refrigerated.

Peace and love,


Sugar Cookies with Naturally Dyed Frosting + a Zero Waste Classroom Party

Taking inspiration from Going Zero Waste, and a few researching hours later, I decided to have sugar cookies and hot chocolate for our Christmas party at school.

I wasn’t going to make these cookies nor frosting vegan because I would have to make enough for 45 students and I wanted them to have more traditional cookies without the fear of a nut allergy happening in my classroom. Our Kindergarten is full day, but only every other day so I have two different classes. I actually had 2 holiday parties. 😉

I used this cookie recipe and this frosting recipe. One batch of cookie dough was plenty, but two batches of frosting were required.

The only ingredient I needed was matcha powder and luckily found it at my local herb store in bulk because I knew I wouldn’t need much. I used turmeric for yellow / gold, beetroot powder for dark pink, and matcha for forest green.

I took the easy route with hot chocolate by simply buying chocolate milk in glass from a local dairy. I needed 2 gallons, so 4 bottles total. Also, I found some beautiful Christmas mugs and placemats for the party at a thrift shop, but I would also use them if needed at other times throughout the school year.

The chocolate milk was placed into my crockpot and set to warm so that it would not be too hot for my Kinders.

We listened to classic Christmas music and I finished putting string through their ornaments. They marveled at the big black discs of music! My family always busted out vinyl for Christmas and it’s still my favorite tradition. I would like to find more kid friendly tunes à la Charlie Brown or Rudolph and Frosty music albums.

The best way to avoid waste and also avoid owning too many drinking vessels and utensils is to work in groups at different table stations and then rotate so each child eventually gets to all the stations, but just not at the same time. After I mixed the frosting, they decorated their cookies. I did pick up some colorful sixlets in bulk for their cookie decorating table.

They saved them so we could all eat them together and so I could get a picture of them with their decorated cookies.

The stations:

  1. Decorate cookies
  2. Fun and simple holiday math page
  3. Drink hot chocolate from the glass mugs
  4. ELA iPad app of my choosing

It’s important to have the other stations be independent and engaging so I can focus my energy on the station that needs my help the most. I simply wash the mugs as the students finish drinking and have them ready for the next group of kids. It requires work, but with upfront planning, it can be extremely successful and fun!

They stood in front of my holiday board and had their picture taken by me using my Mamiya RB67 and peel-apart Fujifilm. They had a blast!

Do you have any zero waste party or general classroom tips?

Peace and love,


Zero Waste: beverage edition

This post is all about beverages! I’ve posted about zero waste wine as well as homemade ginger beer, which are also zero waste, but I will not write about either of those again here.

I’ll start where our days might typically start: coffee and tea!

I was super into this coffee maker from France that I found on Etsy because it includes all parts that you’d need to make coffee and it’s kind of fancy. 😉

The ceramic parts are just like a typical coffee / tea pot. The stainless steel parts nest inside the pot and have tiny holes on the bottom as well as a press. I had a picture of that detail, but it has vanished.

I am showcasing this amazing Moomin mug I found at a thrift store because I love Moomin and graphic stories in general. Moomin Mama is reaching for some delicious coffee here.

All I need to make coffee is fair trade coffee that I buy in bulk and grind at the store, half & half from a local dairy in a returnable glass bottle, Salam coffee pot, hot water, and a mug.

Now onto tea time, because I don’t discriminate when it comes to hot beverages of choice.

This teapot has been with me a while. It was thrifted, and I realize it’s not necessary to have a coffee and a teapot, but I do.

This day I was enjoying earl grey that was bought in bulk, and then scooped into a tea ball. It’s a mesh sphere that closes upon itself and I don’t remember from where it came, but I have it nonetheless.

I like herbal tea without milk, but I really enjoy having milk (dairy or nut) in my earl grey cuppa. I also like honey, hence that giant coconut oil jar featured in the background that is filled with local honey.

This tea time was extra special because I drank my hot tea out of a mug that I made in pottery class and stirred it with a spoon my brother-in-law made, and, of course, it was all trash-free.

Next up: work beer, aka lunch champagne, aka kombucha.

The same place I get bulk tea also has kombucha on tap, and they allow me to fill whatever size I like, which allows me flexibility with the container I choose. My sister gave me this apple juice bottle and it works really well for kombucha because it still makes a tight seal. It’s perfect!

Last but not least is real beer!

This klean kanteen growler jug is great for beer! It keeps beer cold as well as holds the carbonation in. The beer does get less carbonated towards the bottom, but knowing it created no trash keeps me happy. Both of these beer photos crack me up! One is like a fall modeling shot and the other has a frantic kitten running through the frame.

She’s Hummingbird the Queen of the Cute Universe and the Very Best One.

Anyway, back to the golden ale…

There’s a place nearby that has a vast amount of beer on tap and it’s not uncommon to get beer in a growler nowadays. It is not cheaper to get beer in a growler, however, but I do find beer that I would never find in a store, so I suppose it’s a toss up.

Happy imbibing!

Peace and love,