- 91 :: taking in the beauty of these zero-waste shelves...because zero-waste is beautiful
- 92 :: breathing deep here, because sometimes this warm, green place doesn't have the tomato plants i'm looking for...but i still leave smiling
- 93 :: returning what doesn't work right away...because someone else will actually use it (+ the refund is nice too)
- 94 :: eating those well-preserved veggies that were still going strong two weeks out
- 95 :: trying a creative rearranging before buying something new...because sometimes that is enough
- 96 :: using ginger as a zero-waste tummy tamer (for nausea + cramps)
- 97 :: snacking on whole foods...because it's best for our bodies + the planet
- 98 :: composting what we can from his completely spent wallet
The other day, I mentioned my simple grocery list + was asked for a little more detail. I didn't originally share the specifics, because we all like to eat differently...and also because I'm not sure I have this whole nutrition thing dialed in perfectly. I try to focus on appropriate portions of mostly plant-based, whole foods that are in-season, package-free + as local as possible. I'm also aware that simplicity is key for me right now. So...please take this only as an example of how I'm approaching my grocery list + not a recommendation of how to eat, k? :)
As a starting point, I thought through what each of the people I feed eat throughout the day. I am happy to eat the same thing for breakfast + lunch every day. My partner has a choice of two things for breakfast + two or three things for lunch (*). Our daughter eats what she likes.
Our current list looks like this:
B: coffee + breakfast bite
cereal or oatmeal*
L: fruit + granola + yogurt
leftovers or pb sandwich or rice noodles + veg*
D: veg + grain + protein
(bowl, pasta, salad, soup)
tea + fruit or smoothie
The above list is written on one side of a notecard. On the flip side of the notecard, I wrote a loose list of things that supply these meals. There are specifics like oatmeal + peanut butter...and more general things like in-season fruit + in-season veg which can be chosen according to what looks good on a particular trip to the store (which provides variety in our meals).
This is my current list of items:
This list covers the staple things that ensure we can make + eat real meals at home. Things like tea + spices that run out less often can be written down for a specific trip.
I've made my grocery lists in various ways over the years, but this is probably the simplest system I've used. It involves decreasing some expectations for more complicated meals + variety, but this is exactly how I want to eat...so it's working for me. (Of course, I can always accommodate a craving too.)
All of which leaves a little time for sipping chai on the porch of a favorite coffee shop on my day off instead of doing chores all day. :)
I try to keep the amount of furniture in our home minimal. I like simplicity + we've moved enough to know the benefits of "less" intimately. :) A lot of consideration goes into adding anything to our collection of things. Is it necessary? Will it be useful? Is it lovely? Is it multi-functional?
My partner + I felt that it would be useful + lovely for each of us to have a spot to set a drink in the morning or evening next to our bed. We had an idea of what I might like our bedside tables to look like, but was having a hard time finding something similar.
Last weekend we decided to try making our own bedside tables. Tackling a project together sounded like a really nice way to spend part of our day off...and it was. These dark, winter, pandemic days can seem monotonous + uneventful. The motivation for this project was not only to create useful furniture, but also to create a memory together.
We had the home improvement store cut the boards for us and then sanded, glued + nailed the pieces together in the living room. It was a simple project that was so much less expensive than any other option we considered...and...we actually really like the way our tables turned out! It feels pretty luxurious to have our drinks within reach. :)
These bedside tables are lovely + functional + have a story built in too.
It's not uncommon to have a conversation mentioning climate change, during which a person attempts to end the conversation with a rhetorical, "But what can we do about it?" Well...how much time do you have? ;)
It hit me the other day how many choices I make in a day based on what's best not just for me, but for all of us...humans, plants, animals + planet. Surely, I could think of one for every day of 2022...right? Yikes...here goes trying. :)
I've been on a quest to know enough for years. It's still not always easy or second nature. I'm not sure why it seems to be human nature that we are always looking outward for more. Maybe it's a sort of survival instinct...to keep looking for more food so that we don't starve...to stay vigilant about the state of our shelter so that we don't freeze or bake in the sun. I don't know why, but I sometimes have a hard time staying in a state of awareness about enough. I tend toward looking around my surroundings + wondering how I can make things better.
There are a few things (that we can surely live without...we have been for years) that could make our lives just a little bit lovelier. My partner + I have been spending time in our bedroom in the mornings + in the evenings. I have avoided bedside tables that tend to collect clutter, but it would be nice for him to have a place to set a drink on his side of the bed. It would also be nice to have a light that we could turn on at the switch when we enter the room + that illuminated our room enough for reading in the evenings.
I have collected some images of bedside tables + lights...and it's these images that attract my desirous gaze. I don't like feeling wanty or lacking, so those feelings remind me to look at the elements we already have with appreciation + admiration for how they serve us well. We have lovely laundry baskets. I love their golden color, their beautiful texture + their large size that keeps their contents out of sight from my perch on the bed.
We have a lovely bed with a comfy mattress atop a sturdy frame. The bedding is made up of so many textures + shades of white. I love how sunlight + shadows play off of them. The soft layers have been collected over decades + each repaired rip + stain just makes it more ours.
I love the green plants that were each started from the first plant we brought home to this house. The stones + rocks + shells that sit on the window sills remind us of adventures we've had...of deserts + mountains + beaches we've walked together over the years.
We have so much that is so good. And we have each other. We have love...ragged, tested, chosen love. Ahh...that's better. :)
My partner's pillow was getting a bit flat again. It was so nice to have a way to revive it...rather than dumping this one + buying a whole new pillow! Our pillows are from Avocado Mattress. The organic cotton outer is filled with organic latex + organic kapok (both of which are natural materials). What a great way to use up the latex scrap that surely must come from Avocado's latex mattresses...zero-waste!
When we need to, we are able to refill this natural stuffing to our liking. I love that these pillows are adjustable...no need to guess which fill level you want when confronted with all that choice in the pillow aisle. Rather than adding fluff to the pillow, one could also remove some if it was too fluffy upon arrival. We've had our pillows for years + mine truly is the best one I've ever slept on.
We eat out of these lovely bowls every day. They hold anything from pastas to soups to grain bowls to big salads. To me, they make every meal taste better. :) We treat them with extra care, because handmade ceramics can be a little bit more delicate. Everyone washes their own bowl, dries it + puts it away after they've finished eating. (yay!)
The other night one of the bowls got chipped. I went online to see if Ariele had any more in her shop. They were sold out online, but I decided to reach out anyway. It wasn't long before one was in the mail. And this chipped bowl makes a great spot to float a few of these flowers that are still beautiful three weeks later.
I love my little collection of functional, beautiful ceramics...just enough...used + enjoyed every day. Holding them, I feel connected to an artist + her work...and also to the earth that they are made of. Thank you so much, Ariele! The new bowl is a little different from my original three + I love it that way.
I've been looking for a bed frame for years. When we moved back to the states from overseas, we bought the cheapest mattress we could find. It came with boxsprings which we put on the floor. We slept that way for almost a decade.
Our backs were begging for an upgrade, so we finally bought an Avocado mattress which we love. We bought the most basic model + would not change a thing. Avocado mattresses are organic, non-toxic + made in Los Angeles. Ours is the most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on. We put our new mattress on our old boxsprings. (It's important not to just put a mattress on the ground where no air can circulate, because mold will grow.)
Another few years passed as I tried to choose a bed frame. I try to make these big choices well...so not only was I prioritizing style, but also fairness to those who made it + to the planet. We needed a sturdy frame that would hold us + our heavy mattress. I wanted a minimal looking frame with a low profile. I was looking for a bed frame that would be the last we ever buy + that can be a daunting thing. :)
A few of the choices I kept coming back to include:
Some things are worth the wait.
There are less of us in this house most days lately, and it suddenly feels waaay too big. (I'm not sure why smaller houses are so hard to find.) I've never wanted to have a spare room to fill...to heat or cool...to live into. We don't need a sewing room, a guest room or an office. But an empty room is just too sad, so a few collected bits + pieces (gathered from other rooms) are bringing a little life to this space that has embraced so much of one particular, precious life. I'm going to try to keep this space quiet + contemplative...a space for stretching into ourselves...moving deliberately...breathing deeply.
And of course she's more than welcome here too!
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time