Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Children's School Storage

Lately I have been touring some new homes with a friend of mine. All of the homes have theses huge mud rooms with cubbies and tons of storage. I thought I would share with you my solution to storing children's excess STUFF if you are space challenged. I bought these lockers from a yoga studio I taught at when they closed and it was the best $100 I have spent. Each family member has their own locker with one to spare. Book bags, shoes, and coats all fit nicely with out all the clutter lying around the house. The children love the excitement of having their own "big kid" locker. Another great feature is that they are magnetic, the perfect place to display art work and awards. If you don't have a huge mud room these fit nicely against any wall without taking up a lot of space. Be an "earth helper" and find some used ones as I did!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another Use for Used Coffee Grinds

Most of you already know that coffee grinds are a great way to boost the quality of your compost but how about using them as an exfoliant? Well, one of my favorite eco-experts, Danny Seo, thinks they do a great job as a body scrub. So after drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee I though I would give it a go. I decided to mix some Dr. Bronner's with the grinds to make a nice paste. I have to say I feel like I just stepped out of the spa, buffed and smooth as a baby's bottom! I have also heard that the caffeine component is great for cellulite, who knows? After stepping out of the shower try using some coconut oil to moisturize, another great all natural idea. Side note: save your shower cleaning till after you do the scrub

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Antique Market Find

One of my favorite mindless pastimes is to browse the local antique market. Most of the time I just look and enjoy the peace that goes along with the stress free window shopping. But on Monday I found a little something I could not resist. This old window frame with chicken wire was the perfect place to display art work and pictures on our kitchen wall. I am still trying to properly hang it but here is an idea of how it looks so far.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mano Caliente?

After years of killing everything I planted I think I finally have a semi-green thumb. My window boxes are in full bloom with help from the staff of Abide a While Nursery. So you might be wondering what the title of the blog means. My sweet sitter speaks Spanish and told me today that I have "mano caliente", or "hot hands", the spanish version on having a "green thumb". Grandma, if you are watching I have finally arrived!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

As you all know I am a huge fan of Mrs. Meyer's and after last years honeysuckle spring cleaning line I was wondering how she could beat it. I love the smell of fresh rhubarb and have loved admiring it's beauty at the local farmer's market as well. My mom used to make strawberry-rhubarb jam every spring and we would eat it all winter. When the last jar was gone we all looked forward to hitting the strawberry patch in the spring. Check out this yummy addition to Mrs. Meyer's collection, a cleaning product that actually makes scrubbing a joyful experience. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May - August is the time to win! My friend Grace of Sam & Bellie has just launched a giveaway. Each week she will feature a new designer of children's products. The products will be reviewed and then one lucky individual will win the item, no strings attached! I have hopped on board to review some of the products as well. The first being, Mom Spit, and no-rinse cleanser for hands and face. Check out her site and sign up! 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

In-House Recycling Center

It would be nice if we all carried every recyclable item straight out to the blue bins the the garage, but not likely. Laziness often takes over and it ends up in the trash and therefore a landfill. Easy solution, an in-house recycling center. One for paper and one for plastic and glass. This is a great way to minimize your trash and maximize your recycling. I used to have a wire basket on my counter that we would fill up and take out at the end of the day, definitely not a clutter free option. Recently during a trip to
Ikea I picked up these great bins that stack. I bought two and printed off signs to designate paper and plastic. When the bins get full the kids take them out to the garage and empty them into the blue bins.  If space is an issue keeping two cans under the sink is an option as well. 

Organizing your Appliance Manuals

Here is a great way to organize appliance manuals so you have them nice and handy in the kitchen. Purchase a file box big enough to hold all your manuals. Pull out your trusty label maker and start filing. Here are some sample categories: small kitchen appliances, small electronic devices, washer/dryer, ovens, home fixtures, just to name a few. While you are at it get rid of any manuals you no longer have an appliance for, and by all means send in those registration cards! Happy Filing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Patio Gardens

Do you need a huge yard to have your own garden? No! I started small and am already excited but the results. I have included some pictures from my patio garden. From lettuce to tomatoes all my organic veggies are looking great don't you think? I have a wide variety of herbs as well. Parsley, rosemary, basil, sage, and mint looking delicious ready to eat. I purchased the small starter plants from the local farmer's market and used compost from my compost pile as well as organic soil the fill the pots. Any suggestions for other veggies that
do well in pots let me know. 
I am ready to expand to a raised bed very soon! 

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ideas for Storing Laundry Soap

Looking for a stylish, efficient, and simple way to store your laundry soap? Check out my personal soap jars to the left. I like to purchase my soap in bulk to save on packaging (more eco-friendly) & money. With the jars you always know when you are running low so you can pick up more when at the market instead of running out just for soap. They are also more pleasing to the eye then boxes of various detergents lining your shelves, ick. The final perk is you don't have to lift the whole box up to get a scoop out, here you just open the top and scoop out what you need, efficient and easy. 

Create an "Idea Book"

Lately I have been working with clients who can't seem to part with magazines because of one article, picture, or recipe.  I help them to create an "idea book" that way they can save all these ideas in a binder and recycle the rest, minimizing clutter and maintaining order. Here is how I do it. Take a binder ( I love the
Green Room Eco brand from Target) use plastic sleeves to hold your pages and dividers to separate categories. Some of the categories in my book are: green living, home ideas, crafts, good things, kids. Every time I add something new I usually can purge something else. Say good-bye to the magazines from three years past, an "idea book" is the clutter free way to go. 

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Are you a Locavore?

What is a locavore? A locavore is an individual who primarily eats food grown locally and within a certain distance from their home. This is a movement sweeping our country for many reasons. One being to support our community farmers. Another reason is food grown locally travels less of a distance to arrive on your plate. Why does this matter? Several reasons: less travel means fresher food, less preservatives to maintain the freshness, less gas to fuel the trucks/boats/planes to get the food to the market, & overall this is healthier for you and the environment. The first step to becoming a locavore is checking out your local farmer's market. The Charleston Farmer's Market is a great place to meet your local farmer's and try all their yummy treats. The market meets at Marion Square on Saturdays from 8-1 pm. Pack your canvas bags and head to the market! Join the movement!