10 Ways to Think Outside the Proverbial Gift Box

I love the holiday season! That includes scoping out the neighbors’ holiday lights on the way home each evening; listening to holiday music in my office; gathering with friends for our annual HoliDaly party; sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree each night; and introducing K-bear to Santa, There is simply so much to enjoy!

What I don’t enjoy? The commercialism; the onset of Christmas in stores before Halloween candy has been handed out; the endless ads luring us to buy this and spend on that. I enjoy choosing gifts for my friends and family, but I prefer that those gifts that enhance our local community, celebrate local talent, provide to hard-working folks, or upcycle items in some special way, rather than simply put money into the pocket of another large corporation. Continue reading

A (Re)purposeful Weekend

I came home sick on Monday with an ear infection and a throat that felt like it had been sliced with razor blades. Apparently traveling through airports, hosting parties, and caring for a sick toddler finally caught up with me. But there is an upside to this.

I got to hang out all afternoon in our new master suite. With no husband or child. Just me, my peppermint tea, and a couple of dogs happy for the opportunity to cuddle up.

Barring some carpet in the closet and a long punch list, construction is nearly complete. All I needed was the “nearly” part and we eagerly moved in. But there was some serious space to fill.  Continue reading

Blast from the Past … or How I was Reminded of my Recycling Roots

Once upon a time, in a former life, I spent six months studying and living in the great country of Australia. There, I turned 21, fell in love, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and climbed Ayers Rock, among many other unforgettable adventures. I also made friends with a fabulous group of guys, all Brits. We had some good times together. Continue reading

More Green for Less

I’ve had a few requests for posts lately from friends on how to “go green”  on a budget.

OK, it was from one friend, but who’s counting. Plus, she has great intentions and is supporting a family of five on one income. So it’s a valid request and one I think we can all benefit from, regardless of our income or the size of our family.  Continue reading

Fifty Bucks is Fifty Bucks

I love Craig’s List. Mostly because I am the most frugal person I know and it tends to yield “free” money and the best of bargains. However, I also I love the idea of keeping things out of the landfill that others would find useful.

Take for instance a single vanity we bought in 2003 for our first house. We were broke so I’m sure it was the least-expensive-but-still-nice-looking-vanity that Home Depot sold. Continue reading