LATE: Waste-Conscious Mother’s Day Card

Mother's Day Card

I know, I know! This post is a little late, but here is what I did this year for Mother’s Day. Instead of spending $2.99-$6.00 EACH on Mother’s Day cards for four women, I decided to take out some old crafting paper and my watercolors and get to work!

In the midst of dissertation writing and the end of semester scramble, this project was quite therapeutic and only took me about an hour and a half to do all four.

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Here is what you will need:

1. Paper (recycle/upcycle or use paper you have around the house)

2. Water colors, markers, colored pencils, crayons, whatever you can get your hands on!

3. Pencil and pens

4. Envelope (recycle, or fold your own out of paper)

Here is what I did:

1. Fold paper into the card size of your choice.

2. Use pencil and a ruler or straight edge to outline your text. On two of my cards (one for Corey and one for me), I outlined the word “MOM.”

3. Fill in the outline with a color, shape(s), or pattern of your choice. I chose flowers, vines, and leaves.

4. Once your card is dry, erase the remaining pencil lines.

5. Include a letter or note with your design and send! Viola!

 

Happy Mother's Day

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Waste-Free Lotion Bar

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I used to use lotion bars back in college because they were at all the Farmer’s Markets in Boulder. You could say they were kind of “trendy.” I wasn’t crazy about them at the time, but I was also only using them periodically between regular lotion.

Now that I have stopped buying lotion, and have been relying on my delicious coconut and honey body scrub, I decided to give lotion bars another try.

In all honesty, even after I purchased this one, I rarely use it because my body scrub is so rich and is great at locking in moisture. After my shower, I simply pat dry and go! However, when I do use this lotion bar (on days I don’t shower or don’t use the scrub), it works pretty well!

For those who are not familiar with lotion bars or lotion solids, you simply rub the bar in circular motions on your skin. As your skin heats the bar, it leaves a nice layer of moisture behind where you apply. At first, your skin does feel a bit greasy/oily, but once you get dressed or as the lotion has some time to absorb (about 30 minutes), skin feels soft, smooth, and non-greasy.

These are my favorite bars:

Queen of the Meadows (Colorado)

Bee Bar Lotion: Honey House Naturals (100% women owned and operated/Washington)

Zero-Waste GIVEAWAY!!!

Hello Family, Friends, and Followers!

Have you been motivated or inspired to start moving towards a more waste-conscious lifestyle? Want a chance to WIN a few waste-free essentials?

Yes?

…this giveaway is for YOU!

You can be one of 7 lucky winners of environmentally friendly Bamboo Toothbrushes or equally sustainable Bee’s Sandwich and Kitchen Wraps, two products we LOVE!

I am part of an incredible group and budding movement of Zero Waste Lifestylists, and we are thrilled to host this giveaway in order to get several people started on their journey of living less wasteful! You can enter to win between 5/11 (Monday) and 5/22 (Friday) for your chance at a zero-waste lifestyle kickstart.

My fellow Zero Waste Bloggers who are participating in this giveaway are:

Ashley with Whistle Pig Hollow, Kara with Kara Goes Green,  Andrea with Near-O-Waste, Kimberly with Zanygreenquest, and Inge with Gruenish.

What is there to win?

One of four BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH 4-PACKs (Value $19.99 each, Product details)

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Or one of 3 Bee’s Sandwich Wraps (Value $10.00 each, Product details)

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How to enter?

  • Click the logo below
  • Tweet about the give away
  • or Follow up to 5 Zero Waste Blogs

The more blogs you follow, the higher your chance of winning is!

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Terms & Conditions

Open to Residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected randomly and be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that the blog you won a prize from is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

Each sponsor is represented here with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly.

We will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary.

My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to the blog authors only. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Graduate Stipend + Waste-Consciousness = Manager’s Specials

 

20150420_100001-1Many have asked how Corey and I manage to eat (very well, I might add) on only $100 a week for two people, in LOS ANGELES, CA. Aside from intentionally shopping produce that is in season and on sale, I also am a HUGE advocate of “Manager’s Special” shopping. For those of you who may not be aware of the special magic of the Manager’s Special section, let me explain. Usually grocery stores reserve sections of their meat, dairy, and sometimes bread sections for daily “manager’s specials.” I have also seen entire bins and shelves set up in the back of the store with packaged and shelved items on special as well. What this usually means is that these items have reached their shelf life, or will in a few days. What it can also mean is that even if items have not reached their shelf life, they need to be moved through to make room for other items. Another scenario is seasonal items/holiday items. Like this week, I picked up two boxes of Matzah for $2.50 (Regularly $8.38 for the two). The Matzah is good for the rest of the year, but because the holiday is over, stores are trying to clear it out.

A lot of people are turned off by these sections because they think items are not fresh or that products have gone bad. Rest assured, stores cannot sell products that are not safe for consumption, and most of the time, companies and grocers will date products earlier than they actually expire. For example, the different between a “Sell By” date, and a “Use or Freeze By” date. More often than not, when I purchase meat specifically, I usually have 1-3 days before the “sell by” or “use by” date is even reached. And when I do purchased meat with a sell by date which is that same day, I will bring it home and freeze it right away or cook it that evening. Shopping like this also forces me to be creative, think outside of our usual meals, and try new recipes and new cuts of meat.

This weekend, Corey and I saved a total of $25.48 on our grocery bill by purchasing manager’s special items.  Put another way: we saved over 40% of our total bill!!!!!!

We went shopping on 4/18/15. Check out some of the things we bought:

1. 80% Lean Ground Beef Patties (4) for the price of $3.00 (original price: $6.00)

Use/Freeze by: 4/21/15

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2. Peppered Turkey Lunch Meat (2 packages!) for the price of $1.90 each (original price: $7.58 each)

Sell by:  4/19/15

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3. Chicken Breast (fajita sliced) for the price of $1.84 (original price: $3.68)

Use/Freeze by: 4/19/15 (FROZE)

4. Chicken Breasts for the price of $1.77 (original price $3.55)

Use/Freeze by: 4/19/15 (FROZE)

What does the manager’s special section have to do with waste-consciousness?

When food items are NOT purchased from the manager’s specials sections they get thrown in the dumpsters behind the stores. Plain and simple. Wasted food. Unrecycled packaging. You get the picture. Some stores will even bypass the manager’s special process if people are not taking advantage of sales. Along the same lines, stores will try to sell everything at manager’s special  pricing (rather than throwing it out) if they have a consumer base that is regularly purchasing these items.

Give it a try! Have some fun with it! Save some money!

Corey and I have eaten all kinds of things (mostly meat, though) from manager’s specials and we have not gotten sick, we are healthy, have not died, etc…so there’s that too…

Brushing with Bamboo

 

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Yesterday evening our new bamboo toothbrushes came in the mail! Nothing too exciting to tell you about them yet, other than they work! I also like the idea that these brushes in particular are compostable. However, before I had them to the bin, I plan to use them either as garden markers or tile cleaning brushes.

 

 

 

Price wise, we purchased them in a pack of 4 for $12.00 on Amazon Prime, which IS cheaper than the regular plastic ones we were buying individually at Target.

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Looking forward to trying them out with the new waste-free toothpaste I’m planning to whip up next week.

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Until soon!