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HELLO!
I'm Andrea Duclos, but more commonly known as Drea. I reside in South Florida with my tiny wonderful family, where we live as simply, naturally and as happily as possible. I've got a big love for simple pleasures, cooking, natural living, veganism, gardening, home and design---- and all things creative and aesthetically pleasing. If you've been reading this blog from the beginning, you know this has been quite a journey that we've have been on. I started this blog as a soon-to-be single mother and spent the first two years of Marlowe's life mostly raising her on my own. My life has changed a lot in that time, and through all the ups and downs, I can only look back and say: I don't regret a thing. While my story isn't perfect, it is my own, and it is real and honest. I hope you enjoy your time here while you take a peek into our little lives with big hopes and dreams.  

My grammar is not wonderful, but my cooking is.

I want to publish a cookbook. One day. 
I'm writing a cookbook. It's going to be awesome. 


Are you looking to reach me? Want to drop in and give a quick "hello!"? You can very simply email me at: ohdeardrea@gmail.com or message me via twitter

Everyday I feel blessed to be part of this community. Thank you so much for all the kind words and positive thoughts you send my way. As you can imagine, things are a bit hectic on this side of the screen, but I do my best to respond to each email as quickly as possible! Thank you for sharing this space with me. This blog and community wouldn't be anything at all without you.

For press, advertising and partnership information, reviews, submissions, featured posts, giveaway inquiries, etc etc please email at ohdeardrea@gmail.com to request a media kit. Would you like to purchase a sidebar ad? You can buy one HERE.

Have a question? Try scrolling down below to the FAQ section first, you might find your answer there! :) 

Thank you!

FAQ  

GENERAL

How did you get your blog to the point it is at? How did you make it grow?
I didn't do much. I started a blog. I joined topbabyblogs, new readers found me there. I wrote everyday. I shared my story and I was honest. I guess people liked that, cause it kinda just took off... even with my terrible grammar (sorry grammar freaks, I know I must drive you mad).

Can we trade ads? 
No, I'm sorry, but I don't trade ads. This is a for-profit blog. I sell ads to aid in supporting my home and family. 

What kind of camera do you use? How do you edit your photos? 
Most of my photos are taken on my good ole' iPhone. Most of the others are taken on a hand-me-down older canon powershot or  I'll use my brother's borrowed camera. Both cameras do very different things-- but I'm happy with both. Camera pictures are edited with different actions and iPhone pictures are usually filtered through VSCOcam. 

Will you be making a cookbook?
YES. IT'S HAPPENING. Read more on the process and whatever else: HERE.

Note: You can also check out my question and answers posts on the blog for even more answers. And you can find one of my most top-viewed post of answers: HERE

ALEX

Is that Alex (Marlowe's father)? Are you two back together?
Yes it is and yes we are. It's been a long time coming and both of us are incredibly happy in our decision. You can see us tie the knot HERE.

Does your husband cook meat when he wants to eat it? 
He can of course, he typically doesn't. He has one to two meals here and one meal at work. I have no idea what he eats at work, but if I ask, her would probably tell me some sort of fried rice with chicken dish. (I should ask). He does have milk, butter, cheese, and eggs on a regular basis at home though. 


MARLOWE

Do you have any suggestions for toys or activities that your child really loves?
Each kid is different for sure, but she loves anything that involves building and design. Think duplos or blocks. Art projects too. You can check out some of our art projects: HERE

What does Marlowe like for breakfast? 
Breakfast is the foggiest meal of the day in this home. Typically we take turns getting up to get her a bowl of cereal and some sort of fruit. If she had it her way, Marlowe would have mango every morning, but typically gets handed a banana.

What are Marlowe's favorite books?
Oooof she LOVES books. You can check out her favorite book post: HERE

What kind of knife does Marlowe use in the kitchen? Is that a toddler knife? 
THIS knife. It works pretty well, it still takes a lot of force to get through harder vegetables, but can slice a tomato like a pro now. 


VEGAN

Is Alex vegan? If 'no', how does that work for your relationship?
No, he's not. He loves all things pork. It works perfectly fine for us. We cook vegan with vegetarian options at home. And we're the weirdos at a restaurant where one person orders the vegan menu and the other person orders a whole duck. He accepts my dietary choices and I accept his. For as long as he (or anyone) cares about food, the quality of it, appreciates it, and avoids fast or overly processed food, then it's a-okay with me. 

I was just wondering how you guys manage cooking in your home when your husband is not vegan? Do you guys just do options for dinner like a vegan and non vegan option? 
I plan on writing a more detailed post soon.

Will Marlowe be vegan?
Yes. (For now). Parenting is often times a trial and run process. I wrote more about my vegan plans with Marlowe: HERE. Basically, she will be vegan until she is old enough to understand where dairy, eggs, and meat come from, then she can decide. If she chooses to eat dairy and meat, it's completely fine with me, but it will be cage-free, hormone-free, and as local as possible.

Why are you vegan? 
I answered that: HERE

How did you become vegan? How can I make the transition? 
I wrote about becoming vegan: HERE. There are a lot of ways to become vegan, not one way will work for everyone. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but once you make the switch, your body will feel better than ever. You can always try a cleanse--- that can typically do the trick.

How do you feel about eggs? 
I'm down with the free-range, farm (or home) fresh eggs. Do I eat them? Err no. But if I had my own chickens, I might. Or maybe Marlowe might. Unfortunately, owning chickens isn't allowed in West Palm Beach. Or maybe during travel to other countries, we might--- depending on a variety of factors. America's chicken and egg farming situation? I don't like it.

Check out vegan posts: HERE.


GENERAL FOOD/ COOKING

You say "butter" and "cream cheese" in some of your posts and recipes, I thought you were vegan?
When I say butter, I mean "earth balance". When I say cream cheese, I mean "tofutti".

What kind of bread do you use for your Things On Toast posts? 
A loaf of sourdough. Is there anything better than sourdough? Alex makes it.

Do you have a recipe for your bread?
No, I don't sorry. I don't make my own bread. Alex is a bread baker. I'm very lucky, free bread for life! But I can recommend a few books with wonderful recipes to follow: My BreadTartine Bread, and Flour Water Salt Yeast :) Alex says he'll be sharing a recipe or two in the cookbook! Yay! 

Will you post recipes again soon? 
I post them from time to time---- all my newer recipes will be going in the cookbook, so look out for that early next year :) 

How do I prepare dried chickpeas?
To be honest, I'm not very good at it! I've tried a handful of different ways--- and the texture is never quite right for me, unless I'm using them in my chickpea patties. Otherwise, I just prefer to buy cans. We do A LOT of things from scratch around here, but canned beans are one of those convince foods I really appreciate. 

Can you really save money living organic?
I don't know if you can save money, but I do believe you can do it without spending more. Buying organics from a place that focuses in selling organics, instead of your neighborhood grocer, will help bring down prices. Buying organics in a place where organic food is considered a "specialty item" will make your bill expensive. Either way, buying local and seasonal food will bring down your cost a lot. 

Do you know any recipes that are high in energy but nutritious?
I think those things go hand in hand pretty often, yes? :) I'd probably do a bean and vegetable dish---- high fiber, high protein, and lots of veg! 

What is "Diet Water"? 
Diet Water originally started as a place to rant about ideas of food... and rave about the benefits of whole foods and healthy eating. It was also a place where I could share vegan recipes and all things vegan related. These posts with multiple sources and links took up a lot of time. Now it's mostly a miss mash of all things food related, with recipes scattered here and there.

What kind of knife does Marlowe use in the kitchen? Is that a toddler knife? 
THIS knife. It works pretty well, it still takes a lot of force to get through harder vegetables, but can slice a tomato like a pro now. 

What are you favorite kitchen gadgets? 
If you look through my recipes you'll see the items we use for each recipe (and typically everyday)---- They're pretty standard. I'll be including a full list in my book, but in the meantime, I couldn't live without a good knife (we have many, I should make a post one day), one good dutch oven pot, and THIS blender works really well for relatively cheap. Oh and one of THESE is a 12$ king. 

Check out food posts: HERE


HOME & DIYS &CRAFTS

Where did you get the curtain/tapestry hanging above your bed? 
I purchased it at a small nearby indian shop. They do not have an online shop. I've inquired a few times if there would be any new shipments coming in, but they said most likely not. Apparently, they are very hard to come by. I've come by a few in my day and sold a few. You can email me, I'll add you to the "just in case" list. 

Where did you get your couch? 
The yellow was thrifted. The older white/blue floral one was thrifted. The newer one is from HERE

Where do you get all your baskets?
Wherever I can find them! 

Where do you buy your rugs?
Everywhere/ whenever I can! If I had to choose two things to hoard for the rest of my life it would be rugs and baskets. I pick up ones I like whenever I randomly find them on sale---really, from everywhere. I've even found some amazing ones thrifting.

Where did you get your swinging chair?
HERE, it was on sale and had an additional clearance due to 'damage'--- winning.

Did you make Marlowe's highchair? What about the cushions? 
Yes! I made the cushions too! You can check out a how-to HERE.

Do you make still make custom mobiles? 
I have a few pre-made ones left. You can find my etsy page HERE--- if I forgot about it and let everything expire (this happens more than not), then you can email me to see what I have, if anything. I won't be making custom ones anymore though! 

Do you take custom orders for other craft and felt projects? 
I did at one time. Nowadays I'm too busy. You can email me to ask, but I probably won't be able to make it happen. 


Who did that big wall painting in your living room?
It's actually not a painting, it's bunches of hand screen printed paper, cut and collaged together to create a face. Alex made it :) 

See my DIY posts: HERE. And home posts: HERE


GARDEN

What are you growing?
A bit of everything. Mostly tropical fruit and a variety of veggies.

Where did you get your hammock?
Colombia! My grandmother bought it for my mother. After years of not being used, my mother handed it down to us :) 

I know you've done a lot of gardening posts, but what about some gardening basics? Like, for the new new NEW people to gardening? I've done a lot of googling and researching and there are so many conflicting articles that it's really overwhelming, and I don't know where to start.
Well, my best advice is start anywhere--- just do it. Yes, there is a science to it--- but a lot of it is also trial and error. Different regions have different pest, bugs, diseases, whatever--- and within regions, you'll have different problems each season--- it's just how it works. I wrote a super basic gardening post a long time ago, that you might find helpful. Find it HERE

Do you have advice on how to plan out your garden/different vegetables/best use of space?
I don't personally have advice, we're figuring out our own space, but THIS BOOK is great for things like that. You could also check out THIS BOOK on companion planting too! 

Can I start them plants from seed outside, or should I plant them after I grow the seeds a little bit inside?
It depends on your region and climate! Typically, yes! It's hot as all hell here in Florida, but we're able to do it under our pergola since it's pretty shaded and dampish.

Which plants need to be able to "climb" (tomato plants?) and which ones can be left alone?
Beans and cucumbers do well with climb support--- but cucumbers can also grow on the ground. Thats what I know off the top of my head, otherwise I would just google if unsure :) 

How many seeds do I use when the packet I get has about a billion of them in there?
It should say on the packet :) You could check out THIS BOOK for more help on seeding. a

Are those tiles real wood or tiles?
They're tiles. 

See more Garden DIY's: HERE
And our yard transformation: HERE 
See yard posts: HERE


FASHION-SCHMASHION

Where did you get your sunhat?
I got it on vacation, but you can order one HERE.

Your high-waisted shorts, where can I get a pair?
HERE. I have 4 pairs. As you can clearly see, I wear them everyday. Because they are amazing, and because I live in eternal summer.

I know you say you don't focus on fashion, but you talk about wanting and buying high quality clothes--- so where do you like to shop? Can you do a post on it?
Good question. I should put a post together on where to get the best basics. At this point, I've had the same shorts for 4+ years, same sweaters for 6+ And for tops, I buy a few new ones a year, usually between 2 and 3. I like to search this sale section, but I'll think about looking in my closet and pulling together a post :)


PERSONAL, HEALTH, & BEAUTY QUESTIONS

Do you exercise?
Currently: no--- I haven't been able to make the proper time for it. I like to do yoga when I can. I do stay pretty active on the day to day though. Read more on my yoga adventures: HERE.

What kind of deodorant do you use?
I make my own: HERE. Some people have said they've developed a rash--- I haven't had one myself, but I try not to put it on directly out of the shower with newly shaven armpits :) It works really well for me here in South Florida. 

I know from your vegan beauty post that you use the Pureology and the Malibu shampoo/conditioner. I was interested in how often you switch between the two and if those two shampoos and conditioners are what you would attest to as being what has made your hair the way it is.
Honestly, no amount of shampoo treatment makes me hair amazing with this hard water. Though those two products, REALLY help. I wash with either or, whatever I grab first. The good thing for me is that my hair is just generally REALLY healthy, I'll assume that to all the healthy oils and fats I eat among other things. My best trick for good hair? Rinsing it with apple cider vinegar. 

How did you make your hair grow so fast? 
I don't know, it does it by itself ;) But again, probably good fats and healthy eating. 

How often do you wash your hair?
Every six days or so, it's thick.

Do you still drink maca?
Nope, I ran out and I keep forgetting to buy it. I should do it now. But before I ran out, I actually switched from every day/every other day to once a week and I noticed I still had the same positive effects. Yay. Read about my maca experience: HERE.  

You drink coffee?
Yes. Every single day.

What is the face-mask you're wearing in your instagram pictures? 
You can see one of the face-masks I use on my vegan body-care post, but I also use a clay mask and this mask.

What kind of sunscreen do you use on Marlowe? 
THIS one and THIS one.

What kind of toothpaste do you use? 
THIS one. Marlowe uses THIS one.

See a complete list of beauty and body care products: HERE See natural living posts: HERE
Note: I'll be updating my body care post soon :)



Please note: This is a for-profit blog. This blog allows me to pay bills and spend more time with my happy family. From time to time, there will be affiliate links on items I post about, where I make a tiny fee from sales purchased through those links, but this will not change or increase the cost of your purchase. On occasion, there will be a paid sponsored post, giveaway, or review, but my likes, ethics, and style will always be much more important than money, and will always come first. You will never see anything that isn't approved, highly recommended, or enjoyed by myself or my family on this blog. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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