Five simple things

January 19, 2018

Hello.

I've been reading a lot of random blogs this week and blogger's resolutions for the year. I see a lot of them posting about wanting to change their eating habits and some sort of diet they're trying now-Whole 30, 21 Day Fix, The Raw Food Diet, Weight Watcher's, Paleo Diet, etc. The list goes on. Some of these bloggers have tried these diets in the past and are trying them again, or using the new year as a chance to start a different diet. The problem with these diets is that none of them offer lasting changes. In my experience, the only "diet" that you need is to eat less calories than you burn. Meaning, don't eat over your daily caloric intake and burning off your daily calories each day. It's the one and only approach that has and will work long term.

There isn't any plan, diet, pill, or magic that is going to help you keep pounds in check other than your plan to eat less than you burn. That's the magic solution and overall it will be a lasting approach to weight loss. Here's the key points to this plan: Eating less processed foods (most processed foods come in some sort of box), make more food at home (you can whip up a quick meal in a matter of moments), snack on fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains (honestly, it's the only snacks you should be popping into your mouth), keep processed sugar to a minimum (I hate to say it, but it's true). Treats are just that, treats. If you're eating them daily, or more than once, or twice a week, they aren't a treat. These are the key points we've been following in our house and have had great success. Of course, we are an active family, so weight gain isn't so much an issue with us, but keeping and staying active will not only help you shed extra pounds, but it will help you keep sickness at bay. I believe the two weeks we were under the weather could have been worse had we not been active in our lifestyle and helped out immune system.

Now that our house is on the mend and we are all feeling at least 90% (silly cough) we are already planning our weekend. We have a lot of road trips we've spent the last two weeks planning out. I am really excited to share these trips with you and hopefully, these road trips posts will influence you in wanting to visit Oregon, or plan a road trip yourself.

Here are five simple things that made my week.

1. This lantern.

There is an amazing antique store here in Lebanon, Oregon, and I love browsing their many rooms full of great vintage goods. On a recent trip there looking for a typewriter for The Bean I spotted this vintage lantern. It was hanging over the checkout counter and I scooped it up. I think it looks lovely hanging in our little vestibule.

2. This vacuum.

We test drove several vacuum cleaners this week and agreed on the Miele C1. Such a great vacuum and with our "almost" carpet-free home, it works wonderful on bare floors. 

3. First aid.

We've been on a hunt for awhile for a metal, first aid box and finally found one. I'd like to say that we found it at the same antique store, but we didn't. This one we picked up on one of our road trips this past year. It will eventually hang in our kitchen where it is easily accessible. 

4. Homemade vanilla.

This week another vanilla bean was added to the homemade vanilla vodka-making it a total of three. We'll check it in month and see where we are. See that jar with the red lid? Picked that jar up at our local co-op to place the first vanilla bean in and I've been using it ever since for v-beans. The smell in that jar is heavenly!

5. Swedish dishcloths.

Mightnest this month was Swedish dishcloths. These are a game changer. Grab next month's Mightynest here.

A few more things (What I've been reading this week):







Have a great weekend!

Going waste free

January 17, 2018

We have gone down to a smaller trash can in our house in order to help reduce our wasteful habits. There is so many things that contribute to waste that all of us take for granted every day. I am having the hardest time cutting the habit of buying milk and cheeses in some sort of plastic. The local food co-op here sells milk in glass jars, but the cap on top is made of plastic. So either that goes into the recycle bin, or I find another way to reuse it. I hate plastic. It's one of the many things, including Styrofoam, that I honestly can't find a reason why it even exists. In the 1800s, and even the early 1900s, there wasn't plastic-there wasn't even tape. People will argue and say that plastic has helped a lot, but there has to be another way before depending on plastic. Plastic and Styrofoam are not for the environment. Period.

Our smaller trash can has been a change for us. The first week was embarrassing, to say the least. 
The poor can was stuffed to the brim with things that couldn't be recycled. Meaning, it was all waste headed straight for the landfill. I had a thought of, maybe some of that could go into the recycling: The plastic takeout container, the paper coffee cup, the plastic spoon from some random stop for ice cream. Unfortunately, that thought came as the big blue garbage truck was dropping the can back on our green-ish lawn. How upsetting. And how stupid we had been bringing those wasteful items into our home in the first place. So from that point on we have made it our mission. A pact, so to speak, to reduce our waste. 

I'd like to say we have another theme for the blog, like a Waste-free Wednesday, or something just as catching, but the thing is, I want to be waste-free every day of the week. Waste-free Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc. You get the point. My only issue is, in order to go completely waste-free there are certain things we have to make a decision on and we just aren't there yet. I love milk, and I love cheese. I love dairy anything, but until we can find a way to get around the plastics issue with buying those items we have to accept the fact that this isn't the 1800s, or even the 1900s and some plastic has to go to the recycle bin after we consume it. 

Here is a working list of items we've stopped using and their replacements. Maybe this list can help you go waste-free too:

1. Paper towels-Cloth napkins
2. Plastic-wrapped toilet paper-Paper wrapped version.(Cardboard rolls get used for seed starts in spring)
3. Paper cups-Say no to disposable and use your own. All you have to do is ask.
4. Take out containers-Bring our own reusable containers instead.
5. Plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles-We recycle everything, if it can't be recycled, we don't buy it, or use it.
*One more item that might get a nose snub is the reusable cloth pads. I've been using them for several years now while supplementing the cotton/plastic pads. This year I hope to be less dependent on the cotton/plastic ones and rely on the cloth ones more. The ones I like are from here.

It's no easy task going waste-free and those around you that aren't going waste-free might make it more challenging, but don't lose sight of what your goal is. It's so easy to get into a routine and lose track of what bad habits we've let ourselves get into. Start like we have and make five simple changes and when those become routine, add a few more. Making simple changes is what it's about. 
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