going green isn’t always “aesthetic.”

I’ve had quite a few people message and ask me questions about this topic, and so I want to be very transparent.

In the zero waste community, I feel like there’s a lack of trueness in what it actually means to live with less waste. When our family first started out at the beginning of last year, I was overwhelmed and thought I needed to purchase all these new items : stainless steel food storage, bamboo and metal dishes, glass bottles, matching napkins and rags and towels, bamboo toothbrushes, and even thought the only option was to go vegan.

At least on Instagram, a lot of the accounts I follow seem to focus on the “aesthetics” of living zero waste rather than placing the importance on the purpose of what it means.

I’m writing this along with photos to show what it probably looks like IN REAL LIFE for some of you, specifically those of you who are just starting out or live in a state where taking care of our earth is not on the to-do list (ahem, Oklahoma).

C L E A N I N G

I still have quite a few cleaning supplies in plastic bottles that are considered “toxic.” And I am going to use them all up. I’m in a weird state right now in the sense that I am making the switch to producing less trash as well as using cleaner products throughout my home, but also trying to switch to a *minimal life, owning as few things as possible. Which looks like this : a mix of “green” products which I buy or make as I run out of the products I had before, and not a moment sooner.

As shown in the picture above, my “mopping” looks like tying an old rag or an old tshirt around my broken Swiffer, and spraying Thieves all over the floor. I don’t have a pretty straw/bamboo broom, I have an old plastic blue one that works just fine. I don’t make homemade vinegar cleaner every time I need to mop yet because I have plenty of cleaner that I need to get through first. My cleaning rags aren’t super cute and don’t all match. They’re cut up old T-shirt’s and old rags with frayed edges, some with holes.

Our family also still buys trash bags, we just fill them a lot less often. But if you’re doing really good with producing less trash, use paper bags instead.

G R O C E R Y  S H O P P I N G

Zero waste grocery shopping in Oklahoma. Wow. Barely even a thing. When I read other people’s blogs or posts over them grocery shopping at farmer’s markets year round or going to the store with their mason jars to fill up, I get really discouraged. I take cloth bags for bulk (made out of old pillowcases, so they aren’t that pretty) and reusable bags, which for me doesn’t mean the pretty market bags (aka the $80 one at local shops that says “OKC”….dream bag) or matching mesh bags that you see on zero waste accounts. It means ugly totes that I’ve been given or had for years, but refuse to buy anything new because….. well, zero waste. Which is what it’s about!

Last time I went to the grocery store with jars to fill in bulk (which is not possible for most small towns in OK unless they drive to OKC or somewhere related), the cashier looked at me like I was growing another head. Which happens a lot to me when I bring reusables, whether its a bag or a cup to a coffee shop. Going zero waste is really hard, but it doesn’t make it any easier when it’s a foreign concept to others in your state.

H O M E  D E C O R

When decorating your home, it’s so easy to go overboard. We want the latest and trendiest, and we want to stay relevant. So after dropping a few hundred dollars, you take it all home and then a few months later, you find out you aren’t relevant anymore and need to redecorate!

My advice is 1. Find out what your own personal style is and 2. Buy quality and classic pieces that will last forever or get used to the idea of thrifting. I do not recommend thrifting bed frames, and always thoroughly check wooden furniture.

Clutter makes most zero-wasters cringe which is why minimalism and zero waste sometimes go hand-in-hand.

Choose furniture for your home that is functional yet simple. That way they have multiple uses and can be used in any room. Plants are a great way to decorate your home. For those who usually kill everything (me), there are plenty of plants that are really sturdy and can adapt to all kinds of environments. Bonus of owning these : a lot of them naturally purify and cleanse the air in your home! English ivy, Aloe Vera, Sansevieria, eucalyptus, and ferns are all really good ones. Books, vintage dishes, and decor made from local artists (calligraphy, macramé, pottery, canvas art) are also great options.



My main point is to not get discouraged! Comparison is a thief of joy, and can make you want to give up or quit. Making the smallest changes in your day to day make a difference. Give up buying paper towels and disposables. Try to remember your grocery bags when you go to the store, and if you forget, opt for paper bags. When you shop for clothes, either thrift them or try and buy 100% cotton. Invest in steel, bamboo, or glass straws (usually no more than $12 for a pack) so you can refuse plastic straws. You are doing a great job, just keep on keepin’ on!

 


*minimalist – not a fad, actually a really hard lifestyle choice

in the links are a few of my favorite makers that I know would make something absolutely beautiful for you to cherish in your home forever!

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setting intentions for 2018.

I’ve never been one for making resolutions. The whole “new year new me” thing made me roll my eyes. Why would people wait until the next year to start something? Just do it now!

Having a baby changed my mindset on this a little bit. It’s really easy to put things on the back burner when you get busy ; life gets busy, whether we want it to or not, whatever stage of life you’re in at the moment.

I’ve started and given up on many things the past year and a half, and decided 2018 was a PERFECT time to change that. I really don’t have “big” goals by the world’s standards, but these are just things I want to personally accomplish for myself.

  • Read 6 books.

I used to read all the time, and now it’s really hard for me to keep my focus on a book. I miss reading. I miss the imagination it takes and the feeling of accomplishment you feel when you read the last page.

I chose the number 6 : one every two months. It’s reasonable and I don’t think I’ll be setting myself up for failure this way. Not sure what books I’ll read yet, probably will all be fiction because FICTION. If you have recommendations, send them my way!

A well-read woman is a dangerous creature.

  • Travel with Holland.

2017 was the first year Aaron and I haven’t gone anywhere, and it really bothered me. To me, traveling shouldn’t be some fad or an excuse to say “look where I went!” It’s crucial to be able to get out of our comfort zones and meet new people + see new places. There’s an entire world that can be seen. Honestly, because we aren’t caring for it the way it should be cared for, there won’t be much time to see the beauty that is the Great Barrier Reef or Joshua Tree or Big Sur or Kilimanjaro. I want to enjoy it while I can!

Traveling with Holland is something I dream about, and hopefully we can go to just a few places this next year.

  • Wear less makeup.

Before I go on, I have nothing against makeup. If you enjoy doing your makeup in the mornings, girl, go for it. You do you. I never really learned how to do the foundation and bronzer and highlighter and all that, so I only do eye and lip makeup. I just don’t really find enjoyment in doing my makeup and it feels more like a chore.

I have this “resolution” because there are days where I don’t feel pretty if I don’t wear mascara or lipstick. THEREIN LIES THE ISSUE.

sidenote: As women, we should do things because we enjoy it, not because we feel bad if we don’t. This includes but is not limited to : haircuts and colors, piercings and tattoos, eyebrow plucking, body waxes, shaving, weight loss. We’re taught from an early age to always look pretty, and it’s honestly complete and total BS. If you want to shave your armpits because it makes you feel good (not “less insecure” or “look good“), then shave those pits. But if you have razor burn every time and it’s a pain in your butt, then let those hairs fly in the wind, girl.

ANYWAY, in 2018, I want to feel just as good leaving the house without makeup as I do with.

  • Don’t make impulse purchases

I’m usually very good about this but the past few months, I come home and go “why, just why?” If I don’t need it (major major emphasis on that word), then I don’t want to spend my finances or time on it. Both are precious and shouldn’t be spent on “things” just for the sake of a trend or a craving (they really shouldn’t have candy by the checkout registers).

  • Spend less time on social media… a lot less time.

I think we can all agree that more than half of the reason we post on social media is for vanity purposes. There’s honestly no bigger reason and I’ll never be convinced otherwise. Endorphins are released every time we get a “like” and we get on this mini high. It feels good! More often than not, the community of it really does help me and I’m grateful for how it connects people. For me personally, I’ve found myself over editing pics, spending too much time writing a caption, or doing things simply for the “aesthetic” of it. It almost doesn’t feel truthful. I hate that I even admitted all that but it’s true. I don’t want to escape into my phone anymore or feel like everything I do needs to be validated.

That being said, I want to allow myself to delete anything I feel like I need to. Because the world is all about social media, I’m always scared I’m going to miss out or people won’t be able to get ahold of me, but I think those are excuses. It really is time to live simply + slowly.


This next year, accomplish something for no other reason than that you want to better yourself for you. 

Walk into 2018 like…

be generous with your life.

Never suppress a generous thought.

This year has been one of GROWTH. That’s really the only word sufficient enough to begin describing what we’ve gone through as a family. Some of it has been really hard, but even out of the hard times, I’ve learned more than I ever have about what holds value in life and what doesn’t.

After reflecting on this year, the one lesson that stuck out to me the most was this :

If I’m not giving, in every sense of the word, then what’s the point?

At the end of life, I want to say that I gave all that I had. 

My time, finances, love, all of it. 

If a generous, kind, selfless thought pops into my head, I never want to push it away.


So here’s some Friday encouragement :

Start creating selfless habits. Do things for others. Surprise your best friend with her favorite ice cream. Buy the groceries for the struggling mom in front of you. Give the homeless man standing by your car your last $5 dollar bill (or even better, buy him lunch). Go out of your way to spend time with the person you’ve tried making plans with for months. And do it all quietly. As the saying goes, beautiful things don’t ask for attention. Generosity will end up becoming a second language.

Anytime someone has blessed me, whether it was sending an encouraging text or buying my coffee or surprising me with a gift, it’s always come at the perfect time. And the perfect time is ALL THE TIME. If someone is having a hard day, you can make it better. If someone is having a good day, you can make it better. There’s no wrong time to be a blessing.

Giving doesn’t have to be hard. You’ll realize very quickly how little you can and should live with. Putting others before yourself fills you with much more joy than “stuff.” And honestly, everyone can afford it, whether that means our time or our finances. We just have to be willing to sacrifice our own wants and desires more than our instincts are used to.

Give not because you expect anything in return. Give not because you want anyone’s praise.

Give because kind acts bring others joy. Give because you love people so deeply that you’d do anything for them. Give because you want to see hate eradicated. Give because you realize you are not your own, you are His, and so is everything you have. Give because we are called to.

skincare / aromatherapy favorites.

Before I got pregnant, I never really cared too much about my skin or my body at all. I didn’t ever really deal with acne growing up, and also never learned how to use makeup. That led to bad habits that have been hard to break. I never researched the products I used, and I rarely EVER washed my face before bed and sometimes not even in the morning (all my college roommates can attest to this… I’m disgusting).

NOW post-baby, I am learning about this new body I’m in and want to take better care of it. Not even necessarily just physically, but especially mentally and emotionally. Which is where aromatherapy comes in as well.

These are a few of the products I’ve been using the past month :➕Cardigan roll-on from Twinkle Apothecary This is one of my FAVORITES. With notes of coffee bean and cedarwood, it’s like just putting on fall everyday. I bought it for myself but its worked out great as a gender friendly scent because my husband uses it too.➕Citrus Rose Serum from The Wild Sprout I won this as part of a giveaway and I’m so glad I did, because I never would’ve thought to buy it otherwise. Anything skincare related with “oil” in it kind of throws me off because my skin is already oily. But I’ve been using this as massage oil and it’s one of the best forms of self care I’ve tried.➕Yoga Mat Spray from Twinkle Apothecary I actually bought this for my husband. He practices yoga way more than I have been lately, but we both love the smell so much that we use it as body spray. What’s so great about this and all products that are made with natural ingredients, is that they have multiple uses.➕Deep Relief roll-on from Young LivingThis product was a stretch for me to buy because of the price, but I’ve dealt with migraines a lot the past year or so (almost positive it’s hormonal), and wanted something that would bring relief that didn’t mean me taking pills every day. I do have to apply it pretty often, but when I do, the pain subsides almost immediately. It was worth the money! ➕Lip + Cheek Tint from Twinkle Apothecary Thiiiiiissssssssss. I told myself I wouldn’t buy any more makeup until I used up what I already had (eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick). This little sample tin came for free when I purchased some Christmas gifts, and so far I love it. Lipstick has been my one weakness as far as makeup goes and my favorites are the deep burgundies and purples. This tint is creamy and smooth and the prettiest color. I’m excited to try the other tints too!

Johnny Depp (my first love) movies : ranked.

JOHNNY FREAKING DEPP.

An interesting character to say the least. Whether you love him or hate him (kind of like Taylor Swift), you cannot deny that he is one of the most talented actors of the 20th-21st century. He becomes every role he plays, which is probably why he is so insane honestly.

I posted Instagram polls for a few hours with a few of his movies to see which one was my following’s favorite. I was incredibly surprised/not surprised at all at the answer.

Let’s get into the top 3 (according to the polls) movies real quick.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: tied for 3rd place

If you didn’t learn the dance moves to each oompa loompa song, you are lying. Straight up. I honestly didn’t expect this one to do as well as it did because as much as I love the way he portrayed Wonka, I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions about how he played that role.

Alice in Wonderland : tied for 3rd place

One of my all time favorite stories made into a movie with Johnny as the Mad Hatter?!!! THAT’S A BIG YES FOR ME. Your favorite part was him doing the Futterwacken right? Because same.

Edward Scissorhands : second place

This movie is personally my favorite of his so I probably would’ve ranked it first BUT I was so happy that others like it as much as I do! It makes me want to have a watch party during Christmas. I love not only his sweet-natured character, but also the way the movie was filmed. The colors, the shots, the music, the cast… WINO(NA) FOREVER (right, Johnny?).

Pirates of the Caribbean 1-5 : first place

….. what.

After I was thinking about it for awhile, and I do mean awhile, I realized that this franchise was one of the more popular so I can see why it was ranked first. It’s just that more people saw these films than maybe some of his older ones. They really are great movies, with an amazing cast. And Captain Jack Sparrow is like a household name. I’ve definitely dressed as him for Halloween one year. So I understand.


Other movies that were up to vote – ranked in order from most to least popular by my followers :

  1. Sleepy Hollow
  2. Crybaby
  3. Sweeney Todd / Secret Window (tied)
  4. Finding Neverland
  5. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape / Donnie Brasco (tied)
  6. Benny & Joon
  7. Nick of Time

He obviously has many more films, but the ones in this post were some of my favorites. If you haven’t seen any of these or you’re just obsessed with him to the point that you have a pillowcase with his face on it, do the following:

Call in to work + run to OnCue for your favorite snacks + plop yourself in front of the TV for the next 24 hours to watch as many of these films as you can fit in.

Suggestion ~ Watch Finding Neverland for a good, ugly cry ; Follow that with Benny & Joon or Crybaby ; If you want to see an incredibly talented Leonardo DiCaprio and wonder why the friggin crap he hasn’t won more awards, watch What’s Eating Gilbert Grape ; Then depending on whether you want to crap your pants, or you want to appreciate your loved ones a little more, Secret Window or Nick of Time.

self care ritual.

Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of people talk about what their daily routines are, and lots of people discussing their anxiety, stress, & depression.

I’m not saying in any way that a self care ritual will completely take away your negative emotions or “fix” anything at all, but the past few months have taught me that taking care of yourself is crucial. Spending time on YOU isn’t a selfish act, it’s actually necessary if you want to pour positively into the people around you.

What you put into yourself will manifest into every other aspect of your life. I know for me, PPD still rears its ugly head on occasion and I have to make every effort to tell it “I’m stronger than you.” I just want to encourage you, if you’re feeling burnt out or stressed or like you’re starting to fall into a dark place, do something that brings a little light back. Even if it’s something small. Here’s some examples of what I’ve been doing this month to care for me.

Pictures shown below !

  • Taking a hot shower + wearing my husband’s flannel pj pants
  • Treating myself to apple butter rosemary cinnamon lattes OR a good ol’ chai
  • Using my Twinkle Apothecary products
  • Making homemade coffee scrubs on my face before bed
  • Rewatching Gilmore Girls – an episode a day … OKAY sometimes 5 episodes
  • Stitching something every week and giving it away

Self care is self respect.

women : inspiration > competition.

It’s weird to me that women compete. Not that men don’t, but with women I feel it’s magnified and personal. We tend to see other women as a threat and it’s difficult to applaud when good things happen to them. So why is that? In a world where women still struggle for basic rights, why do we spend so much time seeing a contender in one another instead of a support system?

For this post, I decided to turn to two of the ladies in my life to ask that exact question.

(I was going to just use little excerpts of what they said but both made really valid points so I’m taking what they said word for word ; you can tell they’re both gifted writers.

Bailey:

This question is really hard for me to articulate an answer for because I feel there are so many contributing factors. I don’t think it has anything to do with women being more catty, competitive, or vain than men; I think it has everything to with our society and culture placing unrealistic expectations on us. We are expected to look, dress, speak, act, and do things a very specific way. “Don’t be shy, but don’t be obnoxious, either. Cover up your flawed skin, but don’t wear *too* much makeup. Lose some weight. Eat a burger. Quit being lazy and get a job, but don’t put your kid in daycare.” The expectations are absurd and exhausting. We are, from a very young age, criticized for who we are and for not measuring up. We are being taught by our society to examine ourselves thoroughly for any physical or personality “flaws”, and this self-analysis carries over into analyzing our fellow women. We have never been taught to accept ourselves as we are, to be unique, so we go with the grain of everything we’ve ever known and we subconsciously ask other women and girls to fit into the same box that we’ve been asked to fit into.

Kelsey:

I think the root of it all is insecurity in our own identity, as well as jealousy. We look at successful women and think “okay, apparently I must look like that, sing like that, dress like that, etc. in order to have the same success she has.” But success isn’t by any means easily defined. There are many roads to get there, and even more importantly, it’s not a limited resource! That’s the thing I always try to remember: just because others have found joy and success doesn’t mean I can’t too. So why not celebrate with women in their accomplishments because one day it might be my turn or your turn, and that’s something to be excited about!

Writing over this topic really convicted me and forced me to search my motives and my thoughts towards the women around me. And just like any other harmful thought, they won’t just go away or cease to exist. It will take every effort to take captive those thoughts and meditate on the goodness of each woman you come into contact with. Celebrate with them, pray for them, encourage them, stand with them, LOVE them.