Not sponsored :: I just appreciate so much of what this big brand does. :)
Ikea is a great place to get some exercise on a really cold or hot day. It's a great place to go for a lamp that uses energy efficient bulbs, a natural fiber rug or an all wood chair. Ikea is also good for a few other things...like an ice-cream cone or a crazy, loaded veggie hotdog served without any plastic.
It's where we take our spent batteries (the ones we were using before we started using rechargeable batteries) + compact lightbulbs. (SO glad to find a place to take these!)
If Julia is along, it is a place to buy bulk candy (+ to look for free unpackaged samples). We bring our own cloth bag, of course. ;)
Ikea is the place I found my new favorite plant for $2. Oh, + I also found the solid wood shelf brackets that I went for. ;) Thanks, Ikea.
Not sponsored :: I just appreciate so much of what this big brand does. :)
Our lives are made up of moments...most of them quite mundane. We shower, prepare meals, eat meals, brush our teeth, sleep...over + over again. When we are raising children, we wash hands, change diapers, feed them, read to them...over + over again. Children, however, also have a way of pointing out things they have never seen before. We stop to watch a ladybug meander across a leaf. We admire a unique stick or stone. It's the noticing that makes all the difference.
We set out this morning to stretch our legs + to enjoy the sun + breeze on our regular walk route. Every bit of the way is familiar + yet...there is something to notice every time. A new sort of mushroom to stop + admire, a woodpecker to match with its drilling sound, the way the shadows play in the leaves overhead + this magical spot. Right here between the school + the houses. Just in this spot the grasses have grown long + wild with all the rain...the trees cast dense shadows...and the sun dances with the breeze blowing blades. Cottonwood fluff floats in the air. Birds sing their morning conversations. We stop + take it in.
Our lives are made up of moments...most of them quite mundane...and yet...there is magic just waiting to be found...and noticed.
Lots of zero-waste chatter seems to focus on tools like beeswax wrap, wooden dish scrubbers + glass straws. To me, zero-waste is not about a new set of things to buy. It's about a whole new mindset. It can be tough to remain focused within this new mindset, when the world around us bombards us with advertisements + social media full of people looking cute in their new outfits + coworkers discussing their new cars.
I feel that zero-waste essentials are less things than practices. Practices that focus our minds on truth...connection to our planet...the goodness of simplicity. If we are raising children, these practices inform their young minds too.
I love visiting the ocean + the desert, but I don't live near them. We've lived in lots of different places, and each has its own beauty. There are trails to be found, yes, but there are also just neighborhood walks that provide connection to place + creation. Our walks have allowed us to notice yucca plants in New Mexico + snowdrops in London. Sunsets + cloud scapes draw us outside often where ever we find ourselves.
Getting into nature is about the most transformative thing I can think of in my own life right now. It feels like the most amazing cathedral (no manmade fortress could compare). There is grounding + connection + wonder under the tree canopy...at the edge of the ocean...between the boulders. Control is not mine here. Significance gains perspective. I emerge reborn, cleansed, energized.
Somehow I often require a reminder to prioritize the simple things...to notice the simplest things...to stay in the moment...and to act accordingly in the rest of my life. Nature provides a reset...a motivation...a passion to work toward as much harmony as I can muster with this glorious planet. Zero-waste (+ the fairdare too) depend more on motivation + passion than anything.
Getting into nature is not a ground breaking idea...simplicity never is. ;)
blouse + short jumpsuit + sandals + baseball cap
for canyon exploring + beach walking
Eight days in October in California with only the things that fit into a backpack...were amazing! In short...I didn't miss a thing + felt prepared for all that we did. Thirteen pieces of clothing (including shoes) were more than enough.
I loved that I had just a few choices that layered + mixed well. I could change a bottom or layer a top for different activities, temperatures + locations.
Once we arrived (+ it was only 10am), I changed out of my sweater, tee, jeans + trainers (it was a record low at home)...and into my short jumpsuit, block print voile top + sandals. The temperatures were in the low 70s F to mid 80s F during the days + dipped into the 60s F in the mornings + evenings. There were a couple of mornings that were cool enough to wear jeans with my blouse before changing into shorts, but most days I just wore a lightweight, loose blouse over my shorts jumpsuit with sandals. I washed the jumpsuit in the sink + hung it to dry overnight once. (It helped to bring lightweight fabrics that I knew line dried quickly.)
I bought a swingy jumpsuit that I wore one hot day. It was cool + breezy during the day and layered well under my tied up long-sleeved tee for an evening spent watching the sunset on the beach. I also bought a hat (which was on my list) on our first day there + it came in very handy. My cashmere sweater was the most (unexpectedly) perfect layer even over shorts at the beach in the evening.
When we hiked or worked out, I could wear my tee, leggings + trainers. I changed out of the leggings + into my block print pants post-hike. The tee + tank were easy to wash + hang dry. The tank could be worn as pajamas + with leggings for lounging. I wore the tank, shorts + long-sleeved tee to the beach the day we headed home. Closer to departure, I traded the shorts/sandals for jeans/trainers + added my sweater.
I don't know how easy that is to follow, but it gives a little peek into how I was able to happily wear thirteen pieces so many ways + for all situations. No regrets! :)
I love that moving toward zero-waste gives me opportunities to use my creativity. There's nothing mind-blowing here...just a simple way to pack my toothbrush + deodorant without using any plastic.
This method works well on a few different levels. Both my toothbrush + deodorant get used right before leaving + consequently get packed a little damp. Wrapping them in breathable cotton allows them to get a little air + to dry. The wrap keeps them clean, and the above positioning works well for daily use (+ allows for drying between uses) at our destination.
In case a little more explanation is helpful...I placed each piece at the corners of my scarf...began rolling each one toward the center...and tied the loose ends together. There are so many creative uses for a scarf! :)
It's no secret that I'd love to live in a little(r) house. We'd have less environmental impact (heat, AC, building materials used), less to pay for, less to fill, less to care for. We tasted this simpler life for a few days in Colorado last week. What an idyllic setting this charming abode enjoys...mountain views shaded by towering cottonwoods and surrounded by green pastures.
Jo's favorite spot to hang, journal, + read after days spent exploring...birds singing, goats bleating, and donkeys braying nearby.
Friendly (and adorable) neighbors.
I love to have access to a space to make our meals while on vacation...but I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. We eat things like vegetables + hummus, bread + cheese, fruit + chocolate. The compost + recycling we make is easily saved + disposed of in town.
Here we were able to pop some popcorn + watch a couple movies (Moonrise Kingdom + Synge Street). We don't have TV at home, so it was a treat. And even though the screen was a novelty...everyone chose to spend the other evenings reading. :)
The newspapers on the wall were from 1939 + 1940 and were found in the flooring during renovation. The girls slept on the (they said comfy) sofa bed. Unhurried mornings are a treat. We like to explore + adventure, but it's sweeter when there's no rush.
A few lessons learned from living (for a few days) in a little house.
-It's great for a few days...but if we wanted to do it with our family of four...
-An extra bedroom for the girls = must. Everyone needs a space of his or her own.
-Closets (or armoires) would be very important. Just a few items laying around seem like clutter .
-One bathroom demands patience +/or careful scheduling.
-Less stuff is really, really important.
-A place for everything + everything in its place.
This amazing spot is available here.
We took a little road trip to Boulder last week. It had been a long time since we'd been there, but it used to be a regular day trip when we lived in Denver years ago.
A mix of mountains, town, + country make it a pretty great destination...especially for a short trip. I'll admit that my plans didn't always pan out...prices might be higher for meals than expected, hikes might be closed off because of falling rocks, or a museum might disappoint, prompting a text from Mr. Tribe asking if we'd seen the exhibit including three trash cans labeled with their purposes (not an exhibit, but may have been better than some of the pieces that were at the time). :)
Anyhow...here are a few things I would recommend in Boulder:
A drive up into the mountains. The Peak to Peak scenic byway is amazing.
A stroll up + down Pearl Street. Lots of local + not as local shops to peruse. Some of our favorites were:
-Cedar + Hyde. One of those shops where I see brands I don't usually get to touch...like Homecore and Rachel Comey...yeah, like that...but, I found a lovely little ceramic pot to bring home. Yes, I bought a little pot in Boulder. ;)
-Fjall Raven. Where this lovely lady was repairing someone's worn shorts right in the shop!
-Patagonia. Their initiatives are always inspiring (+ did you see this serene beauty surfing in the catalog? Transporting.)
-Boulder Book Store.
-University Bicycles. Rentals + a parts vending machine.
-Buffalo Exchange. Found Julia a Patagonia fleece for a steal.
A hike (or climb).
-Red Rocks Trail at Settler's Park (pictured here). 1 mile loop.
-Eldorado Canyon State Park's Streamside Trail. 1 mile loop.
-First + Second Flatiron Hike. 2.6 mile loop.
-Boulder Creek Path. Paved.
-Longer and more difficult hikes here. Just remember that the altitude matters.
Something good to eat.
-Rayback Collective. A food truck venue where the locals meet to socialize, play games, + eat tasty fare from a rotating choice of food trucks.
-Ideal Market. Boulder's Whole Foods. Bulk fruits, vegetables, and bins full of granola, nuts, + such.
-Sweet Cow Ice-cream. Handcrafted on site with local ingredients.
-Farmer's Market. Fresh + local produce. Live music. Food tents.
-Alpine Modern. Coffee shop with a lovely patio.
-Dushanbe Teahouse. Built in Tajikistan.
-If we had more money to spend, I would have loved to try a couple of the more expensive spots like The Kitchen which is has a focus on green practices + local produce. This is not really a novelty in Boulder, however. Green + local are pretty easy to find. :)
Slightly off the beaten path.
-Innisfree Poetry Bookshop + Cafe. Jo was in her element.
-Common Threads. A bit more upscale thrift. Jo found a Patagonia jacket at a great price.
-Dairy Arts Center. Check the schedule for an interesting event or show.
-Neighborhoods. Communities like the one above feature small housing, efficient use of land, + community gardens. A dream.
-Transportation. It seems as if everyone bikes or walks in Boulder. Bike lanes + buses are everywhere. If a city like this, where it snows in the winter + gets hot in the summer can inspire living like this...why can't mine?
-Waste. Compost bins are easy to find. Recycling too.
-Bike park. This pump track got Mr. Tribe's juices (+jealousy) going. ;)
The emphasis and value placed on the outdoors is palpable in Boulder. This is a place where sustainability is at work. So many of the movement's principles are being embraced and moving forward. It is easy to want to pick up and move...to join what is already happening there, but I know that each of us has a job to do right where we are. How much more of a difference can I make as one of a few rather than one of the chorus.
Thank you for the inspiration, Boulder. We'll be back!
Art museums have excited my head and my heart for almost as long as I can remember. After having my girls, I tried to cultivate a love of art museums in them too. Today we live in a place with an amazing art museum...and it is free...what a gift! Each time we go, it's like visiting old friends. I always say that I never dreamed that I would live in a place with such an accessible art museum...and also that I am so glad that I have two girls who enjoy it too.
One of the ways I've tried to encourage the enjoyment of art museums is to focus our visits a bit. We don't need to see everything at once. I love that our museum is free, because we can stop in for an hour to take in the new photography exhibit...or we can make a trip to study + sketch the Egyptian pieces, when we are studying ancient Egypt.
When the girls were younger, we might use one of the scavenger hunt pamphlets to guide our tour...or study an artist whose work I know is in the collection before making a trip.
We've had the privilege of visiting a few truly amazing art museums. Here are some of our personal favorites:
-Musee Marc Chagall in Nice, France :: one of our favorite parts of the trip :: pure beauty
-Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence :: Vence, France :: a church, not a museum, but full of Matisse's work :: gorgeous
-Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Sante Fe, New Mexico :: an exhibit showing Andy Warhol flowers beside O'Keefe's was spectacular
-Tate Modern in London :: we went especially to visit Matisse's Snail and it did not disappoint
-V & A in London :: one place I knew how to find on my own :: seeing the quilt exhibition with my sister was especially memorable
-National Gallery in London :: a frequent part of our weekends while living there
-Milwaukee Art Museum :: we saw an amazing Degas exhibit there when the girls were tiny ballerinas themselves
-Chicago Art Institute :: Tuesdays were free day + I visited as often as I could
-Denver Art Museum :: this was a real splurge during our poor grad school days
I'd recommend any of these...
...and now I would love to see:
-Museo Frida Kahlo
-Musee de l'Orangerie + Musee d'Orsay in Paris, of course
-the Georgia O'Keeffe :: Living Modern Exhibit
J + J + J
We are a tribe of immigrants. Yes, we Americans...but also this little tribe of four. There is usually not much reason to talk about it, but this weekend pushed and pulled at things that run deep. Mr. Tribe is a permanent resident with a green card, and we brought our Julia to this country through adoption almost exactly fourteen years ago.
This weekend I thought about how Mr. Tribe was detained when we arrived in Chicago from the UK. It was probably about an hour of uncertainty and bewilderment. What if it had been days or weeks? I wondered what would have happened if we were told that our daughter was not welcome in this country when our plane touched down. Things can apparently change in the time it takes for a plane to fly from one part of the world to another these days.
Our hearts go out to those caught in a cruel, sudden web of fear and hate. Refugee families boarded planes with hearts full of nervous hope and disembarked into a nightmare of uncertainty and confusion. Others who thought their road to resettlement was about to begin find themselves back in the limbo they have experienced for years on end already. Ninety days is a very, very long time (and noone is saying that this will all be over in 90 days). It is the exact amount of time we spent living in my wonderfully generous and compassionate sister's family's home after our visas were unexpectedly denied in the UK. We were told we'd have to leave 5 days before we needed to be gone. The four of us left our home in London and arrived in Chicago believing we'd be there for three weeks. Day after day, we made inquiries into the progress of our visas. Days stretched into weeks, and weeks stretched into three months.
Uncertainty is a gut wrenching soul suck.
Our lives were put on hold...and for us it was only three months. We had family and a home country to come home to. We did not have employment, health insurance, transportation or friends, but we knew the language, had a bank account, and a place to sleep. I can't even begin to imagine the terror and loss and pain and death and peril that these refugees have experienced. They have gone through years of vetting too.
I've been helping Mr. Tribe study for his citizenship test. One of the questions asks why the first colonists came to America. An answer is: "for religious freedom". Another question asks two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy. One of the answers is: "publicly support or oppose an issue or policy".
Our tribe spent this weekend making and writing postcards to our Congressmen. We stood with fellow compassionate souls at the International Airport. It felt like a tiny something.
Refugees are victims of war. Please don't make them victims of our fear.
Everyone deserves a home.
I didn't buy anything during this field trip, but I know exactly where to find quite a lot of things should the need arise! :) Just look at all that package-free goodness! One of our favorite places to explore has to be an art supply store. This one is employee owned + full of so. much. possibility.
j + j + j
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time