Oops – Cheers to 2018

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How does one hit publish and have an entire post disappear? Of course this would happen to me. Especially considering getting here has been a struggle given the chaos of the holidays with a big dollop of new baby who prefers to sleep attached to me. I’ve called it my “maternity leave” and am finally coming out of the smog since our journey to see the giant sequoias filled me with fresh air and a fresh perspective.

The holiday hangover was real this year. Theodore arrived early November and then the chaos of the holidays hit. I was bound and determined to not let it get to me, but a mix of hormonal uncertainty and holiday anxiety is not really a recipe for success. I absolutely voted with my dollars, but issues like wrapping paper, battling the awful plastic fight with those horrific gifts from family that refuse to respect our lifestyle, resisting the urge to buy more things because it has been ingrained in my head since I was a wee tot, and making sure that that capitalist Santa guy was bringing my kids enough “stuff” haunted me.  I did manage to find everything on the big guys list used and no one new the difference. For the 26 kiddos on my list I purchased books from our local bookstore and opted for some jammies made of soft organic cotton and not made in China. For wrapping paper I made reusable fabric bags from scraps of fabric left over from old projects, this was a bit ambitious and I’m not sure I can recommend this for a new mom next year.  We also hosted a vegetarian nearly gift-less Christmas Eve and it was quite lovely. We didn’t master the art of refusing, still having a hard time convincing my husband on that one, so in our bathtub you will find a peeing plastic baby doll and a plastic singing tea cart in the box in our living room (I keep trying to trade that one for something less hideous). How do people avoid these things? I can’t imagine Jess Brown, Simone LeBlanc or  Erica Tanov deal with singing plastic hideousness, what is your secret???? (these are my lifestyle crushes in you are unfamiliar 🙂 )

2018 Started out better than 2017 ended though. We had to cancel our vegetarian new years brunch due to a kid with a horrifically high fever, but soon after we jumped in the car and found ourselves in an amazing coniferous forest filled with emerald moss, eggplant bark, rusty needles, and the most amazing trees I’d ever seen. I didn’t realize this was a bucket list item for me, but it totally was. If you haven’t been, go, go now!  The kids loved it too. Don’t get me wrong there was a fair share of four-year old complaining, but once we discovered the trees and gave them the space to actually play amongst them Missy’s daughter screamed out “there’s so much to do here!” while running in and out of a hollowed tree. We might be doing something right after all. Fingers crossed.

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I felt incredibly small standing next to these ginormous beings. Standing there looking up I couldn’t help but be perplexed that my small self could have a greater and devastating impact on the environment to the point of harm of these spectacles. That hardly seems right and fair. It really put into perspective how important it is to change. I’ve gotten so many questions about whether or not I will continue on this journey and honestly there is no way I could ever go back. I will never shop the same, or eat without consideration of the journey but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much last year and feel I can only go forward from here. We plan to continue our 2017 resolutions but take them a bit farther and continue to add to them. For example  instead of just giving up beef I am becoming a ceremonial omnivore. I am only eating meat on special occasions and exploring the world of vegan cuisine. The native people didn’t eat meat everyday and neither should we.

More items to tackle in 2018:

Finally build that curated closet, once my waistline goes back to normal of course 🙂

Putting all the investment research to play, and donating to more organizations that are truly doing their part in action and education.

Getting more political. This I am least excited about, but last year I learned this is the most important one, so alas here I come.

Continue to instill these values in my kids. This may be the most important one.

Hold my community accountable. Why are the public schools not composting? Why are there only trash receptacles at the park? Why are some places still giving out plastic bags? Come on, we call ourselves a “green city” but really??

Shop less, but when I do shop shop small. Period.

Make this process more beautiful. Being more ecologically minded doesn’t have to be granola and frankly it won’t appeal to the masses if it is. How can I make these everyday small steps be Pinterest ready? If its beautiful more people will join in. #jarporn

And the list will keep growing and growing. In 2018 we must keep moving, time is running out. Will you makes some changes for the better this year? Will you join us? You don’t have to make your own laundry soap, but maybe instead of buying Tide in plastic you can change to something eco-friendly in cardboard? Or even better hit up the bulk section? If we all make small changes it makes a big difference, don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Please.

One Little Person

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As I sit here on my first day of maternity leave at 39 weeks pregnant knitting a linen washcloth, I feel compelled to write. I have little news or exciting bits to share just a level of anxiety ease – yes a total oxymoron. Ease about being pregnant and having the opportunity to put my feet up, and anxiety about the future and what bigger steps I can take as I get ready to bring an innocent child into the world. A discussion about Missy’s climate conference experience has got me perplexed about what I am really doing and how I am really contributing. Some themes echoing over and over of ideas like supporting small but what is really needed it seems is big action. Can I really make a difference? Is refusing waste really making an impact? Is it really worth it to choose the hybrid or electric vehicle over the conventional? Is dragging my singing dancing bumping into to everything and everyone 4 year old to the farmers market really worth the craziness? Will writing a letter to a company, a neighbor, and/or a representative really create change? Will less beef be the answer? Continue reading

Saint Benoit Creamery

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Saint Benoit makes amazing yogurt and milk that comes in glass bottles that you can either return (milk) or reuse (yogurt) with metal tops. We love them and buy them constantly, its great to have a product that is responsible so we don’t have to go without. I strongly encourage you to try them!

However, there is one thing that we complain about. Continue reading

Back to School

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First day of school 2016

I used to love back to school shopping when I was a kid. The stationery store was so exciting with all the binders, dividers, specialty pens, and notebooks, oh my! Nerd alert. Then there was the clothes shopping! My Grandma loved to take us back to school shopping. I’d try on oodles of clothes and she would help me accessorize each outfit properly. Then we’d have lunch at some charming place or another, I usually got the caesar and lemonade, she would always surprise me. It was so fun, in a ladies that lunch sort of way.  Looking back I can see how wasteful it was and I was, though. So this year I tried to be really strategic about how I shopped for back to school for my daughter.  Continue reading

Thoughts on Sustainable Design

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Today I had a long long long meeting at the design center with a little time for sourcing afterwards. I popped into one of my favorite showrooms Holland & Sherry and stumbled upon these gorgeous green chairs. Thinking they would be perfect for client I asked for the details only to be pleasantly surprised to find they were vintage and upholstered with the company’s line of responsible wool fabrics. I swooned, took a bunch of pics, and then went on my way. As I walked from showroom to showroom I really got lost in the idea of sustainable and responsible design. What does it truly mean? Why does it seem so sterile? Is it really unattainable? There seems almost to be a negative view of “green design”. They (meaning the companies pushing it) seem to push a very modern, simple, aesthetic that can read somewhat granola-esque. The problem is that this aesthetic is not for everyone, in fact it includes very few people. Most people want a warm inviting home and that definition looks very different to everyone. From ornate to minimalist sustainable design should reach us all and there is no reason it can’t.  Continue reading

How to Wash Dishes Palm Oil Free

FullSizeRender 2How to wash dishes you say? Get real, who doesn’t have their own method? Well my friends if you try your old method with dish soap sans palm-oil you may be unpleasantly surprised and give up. I know, this has almost happened in our kitchen several times this year. In fact how to do dishes correctly has been a hot topic of debate in our house lately, especially since I am not the dish fairy, but I suddenly need to tell the fairy how to do his job….yikes. He is the dish guy, he’s been doing them for so long, and he is not too keen on change, but the new method really works. It provides sudsy goodness, cleans, and uses less water, win win win! We’ve saved about $100 on our water bill so far! Reason enough. Continue reading