Sunday, January 31, 2010

DAPHNE DEAREST, DO YOU RECYCLE?

This fall, Cam & I got really in to going to the farmers' market here in Kerrytown in Ann Arbor. There's no better way to spend a Saturday morning than browsing through all the fresh produce, and I love knowing that all the fruits, vegetables, meats, and baked goods came from within driving distance, so everything is super fresh. The farmers' market also allows you the opportunity to actually talk to the farmers about the crops, and I think it's cool to be more connected to the foods that you're putting in your body. Plus, here in Ann Arbor, many of the farmers are concerned with using sustainable farming practices, so their is a wide variety of organic fruits and veggies. Shopping at a farmer's market is also a great way to put money back in to the local economy (which a great thing in Michigan!), and it also allows you to shop in season and encourages you to incorporate different veggies into your meals--Cam & I became big fans of butternut squash are and brussels sprouts thanks to the farmers' market! Ok, I could go on for paragraphs about how much I love the farmers' market (and how fortunate I am that we have such a great one here in Ann Arbor!), but I'll stop myself, since it isn't even the real point of this post! The reason I wanted to talk about the farmers' market is because when you go to it, generally, you going to want to bring some kind of reusable tote bag to take home your produce, because it's fairly counterproductive to go buy fresh organic veggies, and then bring the home in a plastic bag! So, I had been on a search for a cute, eco-friendly tote...Anyway, after one unseasonably warm November Saturday morning at the farmers' market here in Ann Arbor with my mom and sister, we wandered down to walk around Main Street, and on the way, I spotted the most adorable totes in the window of Kilwin's Chocolates! (so random) The totes are made by Planet Saver Sacks out of LA and feature Lichtenstein-esque artwork on the front (which is why I fell in love, I'm a huge fan of Pop Art) with facts about recycling on the back. The bags are made in the United States and are screened with water-based inks. I picked out the tote where the dark haired man is asking the blonde, "Daphne dearest, do you recycle?" to which she responds, "For you darling, anything!" This SO reminded me of Cameron & I, because from the beginning of our marriage, he's always been very insistent about the importance of recycling. At first, I was a little bit resistant to jumping on board the green train because I saw his views as a bit extremist (I'm sorry, I'm from the Midwest, recycling newspapers and pop cans is about as far as we go!) However, as time has gone on, I've started to change my opinions. This paradigm shift has come out of both a desire to honor my husband's wishes, as well as a result of me becoming more well-informed about what an impact human wastefulness can have on the earth. The back of my tote says that the average American can save 6lbs of glass in a month, which is fairly incredible to think about, considering that if Americans were to throw away that glass instead of recycling it, it would basically never break down in our landfill, essentially trashing our Earth for the next million years. Originally, I bought the tote to bring to the farmers' market, however, it's so roomy and adorable, that I ended up using it as my gym bag, as it easily fits in my workout clothes and running shoes! So, I guess I'm still on a hunt for a farmers' market tote, but I'm glad I have a bag for the gym that's fashionable, functional, and educational :)
*Note: I'd definitely recommend buying the tote online, Kilwin's charged me twice the price on the website, grrrr...

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Lunchtime Essentials

Most days of the week, I bring my lunch to work, and while this allows me to bring more nutritious midday meal options (along with saving money!), brown bagging it can get rather...boring. So that's why instead of wasting paper lunch bags which will end up in a landfill, a reusable lunch tote is a much more ec0-friendly (not to mention much cuter) option. I recently picked up the Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote from BUILT, and as corny as it sounds, its helped to make bringing a healthy lunch that much more exciting! It's the perfect size and it's made out of neoprene (so it kind of feels like a wetsuit), which allows it to stretch to accommodate any oddly-shaped containers. It's also machine washable and keeps your food insulated for up to 4 hours! It comes in a variety of different colors and patterns, and BUILT actually makes a few different size lunch totes (along with some other really cool products). I chose the plum Micro Dot pattern, and picked mine up at Whole Foods here in Ann Arbor, but I know they also carry BUILT products at Bivouac and REI, along with New Seasons out in Oregon.

Another eco-friendly product that's a constant fixture in my lunch bag is my stainless steel water bottle. One of Cameron's biggest pet peeves is when people buy bottled water, and at first, I thought he was making too big of a deal about it, but the more I learn about how wasteful they are, it's convinced to me solely use my reusable one. I had previously been using a light pink 27 oz Klean Kanteen, but I recently found this adorable 20 oz peacock feather water bottle by Earthlust and it's become my new everyday water bottle. I love peacocks or anything with peacock feathers, so when I saw it I just had to have it. But I actually really like the fact that it's fairly small, that way, I can just throw it in my purse and always have it with me, which makes it super convenient to stay hydrated throughout the day! I found it at a new store here in Ann Arbor called Organic Bliss, on Liberty between 4th and Main, so if you're ever in the area, I encourage you to check this store out because they carry a variety of great, natural products!

Welcome to my blog!

So...I decided to start a blog (obviously). This is something I've gone back and forth about doing for a longgg time now, but have always decided against...until now. This blog is the evolution of a new year's resolution I've seemed to make every year since I was a little girl--that I want to be consistent in keeping a journal of what's happening in my life. Every year on Jan. 1st, I'd open up my little journal or diary, with grand intentions of one day looking back as an old woman at this record of how I was feeling as I grew up. So there I'd sit in my pj's and I'd start to write and write...and write. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to talk A LOT, and this lack of brevity carries through to my writing, meaning that what would start out as a simple journal entry would turn into novellas about my day that would be pages and pages long. So needless to say this new year's resolution would usually get abandoned in less than a week, as I found I didn't have hours a day to devote to keeping a journal. However, the desire of wanting to write down my thoughts never really went away. So it's no surprise that I thought about starting a blog when Cam (my wonderful husband) and I got engaged in Sept. 2008. I ultimately decided against it, as I didn't think I'd have enough time with working 60 hrs a week in sales and planning my wedding (which was, in retrospect, a good decision!)

But now that they honeymoon is over and we've comfortably settled in to newlywed life, I still had this nagging urge to start a blog, which got me thinking, what do I really want to say? Why do people even blog in the first place? And I think it comes back to my desire as a little girl to keep some kind of record of what's going on in my life that I can look back at. So with the start of a new decade, I decided that if I was ever going to jump on the blogging bandwagon, the time is now, as 2010 is going to be a huge year for Cam and I! I feel that a blog should be a space to share your little slice of life, and I am extremely blessed for the life that I have with Cameron as a young newlywed, and I'm loving every minute of it! I want to use this blog as a way to keep everyone up to date on what's going on in our lives, which will be especially important as we prepare to out of Michigan later this year! (*Those of you who are my friend on facebook know that I tend to be an over-sharer in my status updates, and I'm hoping this will be a more meaningful way to share what's going on in my life!*)

However, I don't want this blog to simply be a diary, rather, I also want it to be a place for me to share things that I come across in my day-to-day life that I think are worth sharing! I love to shop, and often come across new products that I fall in love with. This blog is a way for me to get the word out about these little things I've found that make my life better in hopes you'll love them too! And being that starting this blog was one of my 2010 resolutions (and January's not over yet, so it still counts right?), I'm hoping it will be a way to share more about our resolution for 2010 as a couple--to lead a lifestyle that's both more healthful for us and for the planet! So in addition to my shopping finds, I want to share about my discoveries of things that are helping Cam and I to lead a more fit, nutritious, and eco-friendly life, in addition to sharing about our other interests like traveling and keeping up with arts & culture.

So I hope you enjoy this peek into my life as a young newlywed, and bear with me as I get used to blogging! (And I promise that most of my future posts won't be as long as this one!!)

Photos: Our wedding in Ann Arbor & honeymoon in Jamaica, June 2009

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