There are so many ways to celebrate this beautiful day dedicated to mother earth. How about examining the small things we do and finding ways to reduce our impact?
Before baby Max was born I read all about cloth diapers. They’re adorable, eco-friendly and cheaper in the long run but I haven’t made the switch yet. The moms I know suggested waiting until baby is two months old because newborns are so tiny the fit can be hard, plus they go more often than older babies. The jump to cloth is expensive at first as the diapers are a bit of an investment, but they pay for themselves after a few short months. Here are a few links that give all the essential tidbits for cloth diapering:
How to prep cloth diapers
Why cloth diapers
What’s a wet bag?
If I use cloth diapers it only makes sense to use cloth wipes. My mom made me a bunch when she came to visit. I haven’t switched all the way, but they are very useful for little messes as well as in place of a wash cloth in the tub.
The start of our project, click here for how to make them (it’s so easy!)
As for what I am doing now…trying not to buy stuff I don’t need. I didn’t go crazy with the baby registry and I tried to find larger items on Craig’s List and in local consignment shops. I also bought gently used maternity clothes. Coincidently what’s good for the earth tends to be good for my budget!
There are so many little decisions we make that can really have an impact on taking care of our planet. Click below to read last year’s posts about Earth Day:
Our Splendid Planet
Saturday Morning Sanskrit: Asteya
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Will you make any changes in your life?
My latest obsession is the mason jar. It brings to mind a warm barefoot summer afternoon and reminds me of the days when life was simple (I don’t know exactly when this simple life existed or who enjoyed it, but a girl can dream). There’s just something about a mason jar that
screams whispers uncomplicated and easy as pie.
Iced tea last summer in Montana
Last night I was browsing through Ikea (on a romantic Valentine’s Day date with M picking out closet designs for our new place) when I spotted these SLOM jars, which come in various sizes and shapes:
They’re perfect for storing pasta, grains and nuts. I plan to snap up a bunch as soon as we’re moved in.
Homemade spicy chai
A few inspiring mason jars from the blogging world:
Homemade body butter (I made this recipe with rose and lavender essential oils. It was my first go at homemade lotion and it smells amazing, however it’s greasier than store-bought stuff and takes time to soak into my skin. I’m still adjusting, but the jar sure looks cute.)
I mentioned this adorable herb garden before, but that’s because I really LOVE it!
A do-it-yourself light at one of my favorite websites
Organizing a craft room
48 Homemade Gifts in a Jar…cupcakes in a jar sound amazing!
10 things to do with them, including spray painting for a modern take
What are you obsessed with these days? Have you made any crafts lately? What do you think of mason jars?
Just for fun I’m sharing some pics from our new home project (we bought a house in Jersey last October…hoping to be in by Christmas. But as anyone who’s ever taken on anything to do with construction or remodeling knows, these things tend to drag on a bit longer than expected). We hope to move in by the end of this month…
The project’s start
The kitchen area
From the back
Men hard at work
anxiously patiently awaiting the day I can move out of M’s bachelor pad and get to work decorating (the fun part in my eyes).
What are you patiently waiting for?
Last spring my friend had a make-your-own-lip-balm party. It was loads of fun and inspired this year’s gifts for my friends.
Coffee bags from a craft store decorated with rubber stamps, tags from Staples
Jars and labels also from a craft store
I tried out various recipes and ended up with a few favorites:
Mocha Spice Sugar Scrub
Moisturizing Shea Butter Body Scrub
Lavender Vanilla Body Oil
Lavender Mint Foot Scrub
Most of these recipes can be made with items from the health food store and your kitchen. Lip balm is another story. I ordered the ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs. This recipe for minty chocolate lip balm from Crunchy Betty is amazing (I skipped the honey). Yummy!
A one for me, one for you gift
It’s incredibly easy to make your own scrubs and they smell so heavenly.
Have you made any beauty products at home? What are your favorites? Have you ever given or received homemade gifts? What were they?
One of the best things about New Jersey is the fact that New York City is just a hop, skip and a jump away. Last weekend M and I went for a last-minute trip to see the store windows on Fifth Avenue and get a little home decoration inspiration from ABC Carpet & Home.
I’m loving these colors right now
And these sheets
Of course I found a few titles to add to my reading list
Crunchy and soft in all the right places…nothing compares to an authentic NYC bagel. I swapped my usual cream cheese for avocado, tomato, cucumber and sprouts. One word: Yum!
Sand snowflakes in Union Square
Where do you find decoration inspiration?
I adore Anthropologie, West Elm, old copies of Domino Magazine (I know I’m not the only one with a sacred stack) and of course ABC.
Cheerfulness is the very flower of health. ~Proverb
A few things that made me smile this week:
Loads of fresh veggies at Sweet Tomatoes
Memories of watching the sunset with my 8-year-old nephew
Yoga and lunch at a Chinese buffet with one bestie
Followed by organic wine with another
Finding inspiration in the natural-looking decor at the Bohemian Hotel in Celebration, Florida (not where I stayed, just a walk-by)
What are you smiling about this week?
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~Henry David Thoreau
Movers came on Friday to pick up boxes and furniture. Those of you that have packed up a whole house know there’s a lot of work to be done before the burly men get there. Although all the advice I’ve read says moving is not the time to clean out the house I decided to go for it anyway. Number 2 on my 30 Before 30 List is: Simplify my living space and clear out the clutter. Last week my best friend/NYC fashion expert helped me go through my closet. There was some eye rolling from him and some pleading from me, but eventually we had three piles we both could live with: keep, give away and sell.
The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go. ~Steve Maraboli
Buffalo Exchange: I love recycled fashion
The end of day one: a pair of mocktails
As if the closet wasn’t difficult enough…the next thing we tackled was the basement. Up until this year I was an inner city school teacher. Due to lack of funds most teachers provide their own supplies. Camilo helped me go through an entire first grade classroom and pack it neatly into 10 large boxes. Talk about being grateful!
Kitchen odds & ends
I hand over the keys to my place in Philadelphia tomorrow morning and for the next few months I’ll be staying at my boyfriend’s house in South Jersey. We are remodeling an old house on the water that isn’t quite livable yet. We’re hoping to be finished by Christmas, and I’d love to be completely organized by then!
Sweep away the clutter of things that complicate our lives. ~Henry David Thoreau
Are you organized? What do you do stay simplified?
It’s been a busy couple of days as I started a new part-time job at a wellness center. I’ll be teaching yoga and helping out with a few other things. On my way home from work today I stopped by the farmers’ market in Hammonton, NJ. It was the last one for the season and the theme was Cruisin’ Main Street. There were flashy cars, live music and all types of vendors. Since I’m a city girl, I forgot to take pics of cars (I prefer trains) but I sure did enjoy drooling over all the delicious summer veggies.
Who could resist that description?
First signs of fall
Beautiful hand embroidered potpourri sachets
For the most part I like to keep it simple in the kitchen, but there are a few items I’m dreaming of…
1. a mandoline slicer
(Pic from Williams-Sonoma.com)
Mandoline slicers range from $20-200 in price. I don’t know much about the different types but I do know you can make lots of really cool veggie dishes like beet chips or carrot and zucchini salads. (Yes, talented cooks may be able to make thin even slices or matchsticks but my culinary skills are lacking a bit)
2. a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle
Which is better? I want to make my own condiments like gomasio.
3. an ice cream maker
Along with this cookbook
4. a vitamix
Some call it a blender but it costs the same as a flight to the Caribbean (where I could enjoy plenty of blended drinks). But with a vitamix it’s possible to make cashew cream, almond milk and even homemade peanut butter. Time to start saving!
5. a rice cooker
I’ve heard tales about how a rice cooker simplifies things. And since I’ve definitely burned my fair share of side dishes…
Do you own any of these items? Which are worth the cost plus their space in the kitchen?
Earlier today I held a yoga/vegan potluck party at my place. We started with a yoga practice and ended with food and games. It was lots of fun and a great way to spend time with friends.
A pre-party snack
I made mayonnaise-less macaroni salad with apples and arugula. I found the recipe on one of my favorite blogs. I also made a summer succotash from this cookbook.
Sun dried tomato relish: garlic, olive oil, basil and thyme
Avocado butter: dash of hot sauce, lime juice and avocado in the food processor
Homemade yoga trivia
The prize box: odds and ends from around the house
Another homemade yoga game: pull a question from the jar. Everyone answers. Vote on the best answer, that person keeps the card. The person with the most cards wins a prize. Sample questions:
Have you ever had a crush on your yoga teacher?
Describe your most embarrassing yoga moment.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve practiced yoga?
If you could pick anywhere in the world to do yoga, where would it be?
Have you ever been hit on while doing yoga?
I think this party makes me officially a yoga dork. Have you ever played any yoga games with friends?