Posts filed under ‘Around the House’

Thrifty LOVE

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Yesturday was a beautiful sunny day. Cool and crisp but the sun…oh the sun…it was so nice to see you. The sun called me outside and I ventured  down the hill to the local thrift store to see what was in store.

I love thrifting. I love looking through all of the items that people have decided to pass on and wondering what the story is. I love that this is recycling…the whole someone elses trash is my treasure type of idea. I love finding just the right item. I have a running list of items that I’m on the look for. I tend to only buy things that I have an immediate use for (and a place for) in my home. Today was such as day.

I remember when I was younger my mom had a pasta maker and we would make pasta together. It was magical to watch the dough transform into noodles and then to cook an eat our delicious creations. Today I found a barely used Atlas Pasta Maker very similar to the one my family had. It was also on for 50% off and cost a whopping $7.

I know what I’m going to be making my sweetie for Valentines!

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February 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm 2 comments

A New Year

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Is it already half way through Janury? Really? 15 days into the new year? I feel like we’ve been on holiday forever. The Holidays themselves were busy – filled with travel, family, celebrations and lots of yummy food. We played in the snow, decorated, made gifts for family and friends, warmed up by the fire, drank egg nog latte, stayed up too late, watched too much TV, snowshoed in the mountains, went skating, read many books and started more knitting projects.

2008 is shaping up to be an interesting year. Focusing on taking time for me to recharge and find balance in my life. So important when you are living life with a little one and thinking about adding to the family. A big trip is in the works…I will talk more about this when it’s solidified but I am busy filling in passport forms, reading travel books, planning and hopefully very soon booking flights.

Highlights from the past month:

New handmade play kitchen. An amazing gift from Grandma & Grandpa.

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Annual trip with friends to Brackendale to watch the eagles.

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Little E’s first time on skates:

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Getting inspired by:

January 15, 2008 at 7:04 am Leave a comment

The Knitting Season

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My first sweater off the needles – a baby cardigan (Daisy a free pattern from knitty) for a close friends first little one…and onto the new a felted bowl from this great book I have on lone from the library. 

Autumn, my favorite season, has so many sights, smells, sounds and tastes associated with it. I’m thinking of the leaves crunching underfoot, the beautiful abundance at the farmer’s market, pumpkin pie with whipped cream or the crisp cool air in the morning that gives way to our last few glorious sunny days. One thing I was recently reminded of is the touch of autumn. To me it is that of the knitting in my hands. The cool air brings with it the start of knitting season and has me reaching for my knitting bag and casting on a project or two.

I’ve started to take inventory of our hats and scarves and mittens. Who needs what? What can we pass on to friends and family? What have friends passed onto us? Where are the gaps? My project list quickly gowns as we all need a new hat and perhaps some warm wool socks. The little one has requested a sweater for herself in her favorite color (purple of course) and I will hopefully have enough yarn for a matching hat. 

Handmade gifts for family and friends are being planned as I think to the colder days of winter and look forward to the rhythmic clicking of needles and the feel of the wool in my hands. 

September 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

Things I LOVE – All Natural Home Cleaning

I’ve talked here quite a bit about the things we’ve done as a family to reduce our impact on the environment, but one thing that I haven’t touched on yet is the one thing that I think is essential for both frugal reasons and environmental ones. Now I don’t really love cleaning my home but the task is made much better while using all natural cleaning products. I’ve used store bought green cleaners for years – good for the environment but not the pocket book. I always use much less than what the manufacture recommends.  The product last a long time however it feels like I’m always having to buy more and with living on three floors I’ve been looking for something more economical that I can have on each floor. In terms of store bought green cleaners I’m partial to the Ecover line of products and am still using the Seventh Generation laundry detergent to wash our clothes. 

Recently I have made the switch to DIY cleaners made from recipes containing Dr. Bronner’s, lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar, my favourite essential oils and water. The cost is dramatically less, its fun mixing up the solutions and best of all they work. My home is clean and there are no toxic chemicals or nasty smells…mostly you smell a light lavender-vinegar scent. The little one loves to help and has her own spray bottle and cloth.

Surface Cleaner:
2 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
10 – 15 drops of lavender essential oil
Fill bottle almost full with warm water
add 2 Tbsp of Dr. Bronner’s

Glass Cleaner:
1/2 cup vinegar
10 – 15 drops of lavender essential oil
Fill bottle almost full with warm water
add 1 Tbsp of Dr. Bronner’s

Bathroom Cleaner:
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Baking Soda
10 drops of lavender essential oil
Fill bottle almost full with warm water
add 2 Tbsp of Dr. Bronner’s

September 7, 2007 at 3:51 am 1 comment

Greening My Kitchen(ware)

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No, I’m not painting my kitchen green…though that might be a nice change. I have been working to replace many of my not-so-environmentally friendly kitchen items with items that are more “green” and healthier for my friends, family, community, and ultimately the earth. This is an ongoing process as I am not greening my kitchen overnight. I’m scouring local thrift stores for second-hand alternatives and at the same time purging the unhealthy items as I go.

Cookware
The first to go was all my Teflon™ coated pans. Why oh why were these in my house in the first place???

It has been reported as far back as 1997 that tetrafluroethylene – a major component in Teflon™ – causes “carcinogenic activity” in rats and mice. Apparently this chemical doesn’t leach into foods from cookware but to be on the safe side I am getting it out of my kitchen. You can read more about this here.

I am moving to cast iron for my cookware. I have found a few second hand cast iron pans and love them. Don’t be scared by the idea of having to season your pan, it’s actually really easy. For my baking needs I am moving to glass dishes such as these new ones and these great vintage ones.

Glass, stainless steel, and cast iron are all tried and true for safety. In fact, cast iron can add needed iron to your diet.

Reusable Kitchenware
Durable, reusable and longlasting kitchenware will significantly reduce my consumption of resources saving us a great deal of money (getting items second-hand only adds to this cost savings). The following are some ideas for reusable and longlasting items to use instead of disposable kitchenware:

  • Reusable Coffee Filters – I love my reusable filter that I have been using for over 6 years. Yes, it gets washed. Paired with my favourite organic fair trade coffee makes for a great morning ritual.
  • Cloth towels and napkins – I’ve mentioned this one before. To cut down on excessive washing we share one napkin (the family napkin) during casual dinners with the hubby and little one. When we have guests everyone is offered there own.
  • Glass baking dishes – I’ve found a number of these at my local thrift store.
  • Cloth bags for shopping – don’t forget to take your produce bags too!
  • Reusable lunch and water containers – Love the laptop lunch bento box and Kleen Kanteen for the little one. I am enjoying my Sigg water bottle.
  • Glass or stainless storage containers – I’m working on replacing my vast Tupperware collection with glass storage containers and stainless steel bowls with lids
  • Rechargeable Household Batteries – are there any other kind!

Any other suggestions or ideas for me?

August 29, 2007 at 9:18 pm 2 comments


About


I am passionate about reducing my impact on the environment and am learning to live simply and live green. I am learning the age old arts of home food preservation and cooking from scratch. This is yet another eco-blog and a place for me to really channel my passions for writing, photography and sustainable living.
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