Holiday Wreath Inspiration : Foraged, Eco-Friendly Christmas DIY

It’s the First of December! Which means I can now unapologetically start preparing for Christmas and winter time festivities without getting odd looks from people.

This year I’m dreaming of a GREEN Christmas (not that we every have snowy white Christmases here in Southern California). By that I mean I want to be more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious when I celebrate this season.

I’m starting off this December with some wreath inspiration. I love the smell of a classic pine wreath, but I wanted to get more creative with my decor this year. I’ve decided to make my own holiday wreath by foraging for the foliage. I’m using the term “forage” rather loosely; I’ll be going to parks, parking lots, and even my own front garden in search of suitable greens. When looking for my materials, I’ll be keeping a few things in mind :

  1. USE WHAT IS AVAILABLE : I am not going to lament over the fact that I don’t have a Douglas Fir in my neighborhood. Instead of looking for purely “traditional” greens, I’ll see what I can find in my neighborhood and work with that.
  2. FIND DIFFERENT TEXTURES : I want this to be a fun, festive, and playful wreath. That means I’ll need different kinds of leaves and maybe flowers and berries. I’ll play around with thicker, sturdy leaves as well as airy, delicate ones.
  3. HAVE FUN WITH IT : I want to use this wreath making time to help get me in the holiday spirit. I won’t get caught making sure what I make looks “perfect”.

Here are some wreaths that are give me giving me major inspo. Enjoy!

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My Christmas Wishlist : 2018

I think I’ve known for a long time that I’m a hippie at heart; I care about the world at large and my environmental impact upon it. Within the last year or so, I’ve really tried to be more intentional with my lifestyle and reduce my impact on the environment. It really is a journey and change has not come overnight, but I’m learning to form better habits. I get most of my clothes secondhand, I buy fruits and vegetables without plastic packaging, I make my own basic hand soap out of castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is magic), and when I do buy new pieces I want them to be well thought out and intentional.

This year for the holidays, I really want to emulate what I’ve learned through this journey and try to have a conscious, sustainable Christmas : plastic ribbon and glitter shall not pass through my threshold! But that also means I want the gifts I give and receive to be conscious and meaningful as well.

Here are some things I’ve been putting on my wish list : they’re all things I would have been willing to buy for myself, but I would not be opposed to receiving one of these in a (recyclable) box under the tree!

For the home

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  1. Handheld Vacuum : Ok, so I know a vacuum isn’t on most people’s wish list for the holidays, but I would be elated to get one for Christmas. This Teeny Tiny Hand Tank Vacuum is so so cute (Yellow Submarine anyone?), and has a washable filter, so no disposable bags to worry about.45414527_914264708963058_3479548603762590963_n
  2. Stasher Bags : I first learned about these plastic baggie alternatives on Alli Cherry‘s Instagram; it seemed like the perfect alternative to “single use” baggies and they’ve been on my wish list since then. To be honest, I already bought myself a handful of these Stasher Bags during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend but I still wanted to include them on my wish list since they’re something I’ve been eyeing for so long.81goVMMnTtL._SL1500_
  3. Reusable Tea Strainer : I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do love a good cup of tea. I’ve slowly made the switch to loose leaf tea and have been wanting a tea strainer like this for my tea set up. Bonus : they can still be used for coffee, if you’re a fan.Untitled design (7)
  4. Boba Straws : I’ve got a small collection of stainless steel straws that I love and use often (no plastic straw please!). But I can’t use them for a boba tea (aka bubble tea) treat. These fit the bill perfectly, and come with a cleaning brush!nut_milk_bag_1024x
  5. Nut Milk Bag : I’ve “borrowed” (i.e. will probably never give back) my parents’ Blentec high powered blender that they weren’t even using; it’s great for making smoothie bowls, blended soups, and creamy vegan cashew sour cream. I’ve wanted to get into making my own vegan nut/seed/oat milks and need some kind of fine sieve bag like this to make nice and creamy (not) milk.saikai-crescent-moon-1_2
  6. Bottle Opener (that doubles as art) : This lovely crescent moon bottle opener is one I’ve been eyeing for a while and would love as a gift. But something like this or this are equally beautiful and look great left on the counter or on a bar cart.

For myself

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  1. Ethical, responsible, eco friendly jewelry : I want to start building my collection of intentional and quality jewelry; sustainability and ethical practices are important to me and I want to support brands that align with my values. Brands like Mejuri and Soko fit the bill, and they carry beautiful investment pieces. There are so many wonderful brands out there, but it’s important to do your research to make sure that the companies you buy from provide quality pieces as well as align with your values (fair trade, fair wages, safe working environment, recycled materialsF…).Leaf_Shave_All_Variants_1_900x
  2. Reusable Razor : I already bought this pivoting head razor for my boyfriend as a Christmas Gift (psst, don’t tell him!), but one for me would be great too!Untitled design (10)
  3. Anthropologie Ring Holder : I completely fell in love with this ring dish from Anthropologie : it’s functional + beautiful, a winner in my book!Untitled design (8)
  4. ANYTHING from Object Enthusiast : Her Instagram feed makes me want to buy all of her beautiful handmade ceramic items. I love love LOVE the berry tray and arch dish, but honestly I would love anything from this lovely shop. Bonus, supporting a small business is always a win!29718253_1955885844741097_7567086073168265216_n(1)
  5. White Sneakers : Comfortable, stylish, and with a lighter impact on the environment : these cream colored sneakers by All Birds have been on my wish list for a while and would be a great addition to my more intentional wardrobe. Mountain-Lake
  6. Decomposition Notebook : A play on the classic black and white marbled composition notebook, Decomposition Notebooks are made of 100% post consumer recycled paper, so it’s friendlier on the planet. And they come in the cutest patterns.

Are you trying to have a more intentional, eco friendly holiday? What’s on your wish list? I’d love to know!

Cheers!

Wardrobe Challenge : a week of second hand clothes

What trendy millenial isn’t into thrifting? It’s a cheap, environmentally friendly way of shopping for new (to you) unique items that often times help support local causes and charities. Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

This week I wanted to challenge myself by only wearing things that I’ve thrifted or received second hand for an entire week. This challenge idea came up after watching Annika Victoria’s video where she only wears items she’s made for the week. I currently have 1 item of clothing I made (well, upcyled is more accurate) in my wardrobe, but I decided a thrifted clothing challenge would be just as fun and hopefully enlightening.

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For this challenge, I can only wear thrifted/second hand clothing items (shirts, pants, dresses, etc), hats, and bags. I’m not including shoes or jewelry in this challenge (mostly because I don’t have any of these items thrifted in my wardrobe currently).

From this challenge I hope to gain an appreciation for the clothes that I’ve thrifted or gotten second hand, and maybe learn a thing or two about my personal style. Overall it’ll be fun to challenge myself and see what outfits I put together.

Do you love to thrift? What are some of your favorite thrifted pieces? I’d love to know!

November Vibes

October was a big month for Jose and myself : we moved into our first place together!

It feels like we’ve been apartment hunting for ages, but I’m so happy with our new digs. It’s a cozy space with lots of natural light and cute details from the 50’s (i.e. matching butter yellow tiles in the bathroom + kitchen). Naturally, my mind is filled with ideas on how we can decorate the space. Jose is giving me pretty much full reign of how we decorate our new home, but I don’t want it to be a space that only appeals to my taste. I want it to be a happy blending of styles that we can both appreciate.

That being said, I do find myself being inspired by more pastel, muted tones and soft colors. Dusty pink, marigold yellow, sage green, natural wood tones…my eye has definitely been drawn to these colors and I would love to incorporate these hues into our new space. But I also want to contrast these soft colors with some more impactful ones : dusty pink looks great with a touch of black, and sage green is nicely contrasted with some deep forest green. It’s all about finding harmony within contrast.

 

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November will be a month of many intentions : adding our style to our new home, working on my creative endeavors, building up my online portfolio, and preparing for the holidays! I’m excited to dive into this month and get some work done.

What are you vibing this month? I’d love to know!

 

Can You Compost Q-tips? : household waste you should be composting to reduce your impact

I wouldn’t exactly say I was “successful” at Zero Plastic July, but I has helped to make me more aware of my environmental impact. New habits take time to form, and I’m not going to beat myself up for not being “perfect”, but I do want to consciously strive to be better. Small steps can lead to big changes.

Looking at what I throw away has been a great way for me to figure out where I can make changes. I’m looking into reusable alternatives, but while I make the switch, here are some things that should be composted instead of tossed in a landfill :

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  1. Q-tips + Cotton Balls : Q-tips and cotton swabs are definitely biodegradable, as long as the stem is made of paper or wood. Avoid ones with a plastic stem, which are neither compostable nor recyclable. There are reusable options for cotton balls + cotton rounds (I want to try my hand at making some like these). But while you’re using up your single use supply, composting is a great way of disposing of them!
  2. Pizza Boxes : Ahh the pizza box debate. Many cardboard boxes do have a recycling symbol on them, however soiled cardboard cannot be tossed in with regular recycling. Food stained cardboard, especially greasy pizza boxes, should be composted.
  3. Pet Fur + Human Hair : Composting is great way to take care of fur trimmings or hair that you pulled from your hair brush. They may take longer to biodegrade, but the compost heap is a better alternative than the landfill.
  4. Paper Towels, Napkins + Tissues : Paper can usually be recycled up to seven times. Each time they’re recycled, the fibers in the paper become shorter, until they become too short to be recycled again. Paper towels and napkins often are the last stop in the recycling chain, so composting is a great way to stop them ending up in a landfill. Cloth napkins and towels make a great reusable alternative to “single use” paper options.
  5. Paper Towel + Toilet Paper Cardboard Rolls : I like to use the cardboard rolls as little seed pots for growing veggies, since I can just plant the whole thing in my garden. It’ll biodegrade, become part of the soil, and reduce the risk of transplant shock.
  6. Coffee Grounds + Filter Paper  : Plants and worms love coffee grounds! Add them to your compost heap or directly to plants for a boost of nitrogen. Although unused grounds are acidic, used coffee grounds are neutral and so won’t affect the pH of your soil. Put your filter papers in the compost too, while you look into reusable filter options.
  7. Food Scraps + Stale Bread : Most people know that food scraps (carrot peels, apple cores, banana peels, onion skins…) are great additions to your compost, but stale bread belongs there too!
  8. Spent Flowers : I love having fresh flowers around the house, but be sure to compost that bouquet when they’re past their prime.
  9. Chopsticks, Skewers + Toothpicks : Provided these are made of bamboo or wood, they can be added to the compost heap instead of the garbage. They’ll take a while to break down though, so be patient.
  10. Period Blood : This might be a little hardcore for some people, but menstrual blood (collected in your reusable silicon menstrual cup of course) is a great source of some key nutrients for plants.

What do you add to the compost? Let me know if there’s anything I missed that make great additions to the compost heap.

Insta Inspo : plant vibes

Call me trendy, but I have this thing for houseplants. I’ve always loved plants and the outdoors since I was a kid (just ask my mom!), so my infatuation for houseplants is no big surprise. I’m so happy that plants are becoming not only an acceptable addition to your home decor, but also a source of planty pride (#plantspiration #crazyplantlady #plantsofinstagram).

Here are some of my recent favorite Instagram saves that have got me green with envy.

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What are some of your favorite planty Instagram posts?

Plastic Free July : week 1

Week 1 of the Plastic Free July Challenge has come to an end … and surprise surprise, I didn’t exactly eliminate plastic from my life. I’ve caved a few times and gotten some plastic items that I know aren’t exactly on the “acceptable” list. I used a plastic fork at a restaurant; one of my coworkers gave me a granola bar in a plastic wrapper; I bought a bottle of face moisturizer in a plastic bottle; I used plastic dental floss; I had tofu that came wrapped in a plastic container. There have been mishaps in this challenge, however I don’t want them to overshadow the successes! I haven’t gotten a single plastic water bottle, or bought a bag of chips, I haven’t used a single plastic straw, and I’ve avoided (most) foods wrapped in single use plastic.

The challenge continues into Week 2, and there have been things I’ve learned that I think will make the rest of the month easier. Here are some of my plastic free favorites that I’ve been using almost everyday:

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metal water bottle : metal thermos : metal straw : plastic container : reusable produce bag : cutlery set : reusable tote bag

Sure, some of these items are plastic. However, this is what I had on hand and I am using and reusing them them, while reducing my single plastic usage. I’m not going to allow myself to feel guilty about using what I have, and going forward when it’s time to replace these items I know I will go for more durable and plastic free options.

How’s your Plastic Free July going? I’d love to know!

Cheers!