Friday, April 14, 2017

Books that Changed My Life



Anyone who spends any amount of time reading will have read at least one book that really impacted them - perhaps because it was a book that changed their way of thinking or because it touched on something that was important to them. I have been an avid reader since I was incredibly young, and I have gone through stages of reading different types of books. Right now, I read almost exclusively non fiction where I hardly ever read it before college. I go through phases where I'll focus on a particular topic or author and really dive in, immersing myself, and hopefully coming out of that more knowledgeable.

Some books have certainly been more impactful than others. The Boxcar Children books were huge for me, when I was eight or so; now not so much. But back then, I certainly wouldn't have been at all interested in books about climate responsibility or the nature of disease. Some really important books didn't do much for me (like Frankenstein) - probably because they weren't new thoughts - and some insignificant books really shaped my world view because I read them at the right time.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Zero Waste - How and Why




I find myself becoming more hippie every day. It was never a goal of mine, partially because there are aspects of the hippie lifestyle that I don't condone, but the granola, tree-hugging, natural-living life appeals to me greatly. This is true for several reasons. First, I am a steward of the earth, and I feel that responsibility strongly. Secondly, I love the art of keeping home, and that involves living more slowly, simply, and naturally - at least it does for me. Lastly, I believe it to be healthier and more beneficial for my family. First I adopted the practice of using natural cleaners and hygiene products, then minimalism, then my family went paper free. It seemed natural that a zero waste lifestyle would follow.

What is a zero waste lifestyle? Put simply, it is the practice of eliminating single-use products from your life and trying to limit your waste to infinitely recyclable or compostable items. For us, this meant getting a compost bin for our home, buying local products we can put in our own containers, and limiting the other things we buy to things in glass, metal, or paper packaging. I find it to be a fun process, and we're getting to know our area better as a result.

Because we're doing a no-spend, right now, we've decided to only purchase on a replacement basis, which is what most zero-wasters do anyway. We did make an exception for the composting bin. We've found a local place to get meat and dairy, another to get grains, and we're still looking for options for produce. I'm working through my list of things to replace items like shampoo and tinfoil. I'm deciding what we'll give up instead of finding an alternative or trying to make ourselves.

To me it's an exciting process. I think my husband finds it stressful, right now, though that will hopefully become less as we become used to the new routines. We've been doing it for a couple weeks, and in the past week have only take out one bag of trash. That's pretty good, considering we don't have our compost bin, yet, and are still getting through single-use products we had before this new venture started. I look forward to seeing how it simplifies and betters our home.

If you're interested in more information, you can check out this website. It includes links to videos, if you would prefer that kind of information.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Adventures in Napping



I am a mother of two.

It's crazy to think about, really. Just three months ago, I was chasing a toddler. Now I'm chasing that same toddler with a chunky, three month old baby in my arms. And I love it. My daughter dotes on her little brother, always wanting to be close to him, letting me know when he's crying (as though I can't hear it), and constantly chattering to him while he stares at her, taking in every word. It's incredibly precious.

One thing I wasn't exactly prepared for, after having a new baby, was the numerous regressions that took place in my toddler after her brother was born. I was prepared for jealousy. Didn't happen. I was prepared for aggression. Didn't happen. What did happen were three different regressions, one of which I didn't know could happen: eating, sleeping, and pottying.