Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby Cage

New post!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finding "It"

 How do you find a "high quality of life and a low standard of living"?
And what do those things mean?

I guess if I were to loosely define them it would be like this.
High Quality of Life: Days that I enjoy living. Seeing my family frequently. Hanging out with friends. Doing meaningful work. Being Creative.

Low Standard of Living: Living well within my means. Being satisfied with what I already have. Growing some of my own foods and herbs. Making things for my family. Not contributing to the capitalistic/consumer American "dream". Teaching my children that there is MUCH more to life than stuff.

And while those things are all well and good, how do you achieve these things? I can't just quit my job without affecting our financial status, which would really affect our ability to do some of the quality things we enjoy. Like traveling to see family. I don't have the time to cultivate some of the habits and talents that I wish I could due to our time constraints. I have my priorities and we focus on not stressing a lot in our house.

While there are a lot of fun things we could do that would keep us busy (and I sometimes miss those things) I am really enjoying placing a priority on staying home and living a very quiet life. So far... SO good.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus...

Every morning I get up, throw some clothes on, brush my hair (if my coworkers are lucky), slip on a pair of shoes and go wait for the bus.

When I was a kid, I really didn't look forward to riding the bus to school. And in high school that was just out of the question. I'm not sure why I felt that way, but I don't like buses. Unless they were taking all of us on a cool field trip.

These days, as we are carless, our transportation is limited to these:

We walk to church.
We walk to 3 different grocery stores.
We walk to restaurants to go out to eat.
We walk just to walk some days.

For everything else there's the bus.
We ride it to work and back
We ride it to visit friends and family.
We ride it to various stores that are too far away for walking.
We ride it to the farmer's market.

These forms of transportation make me feel very urban and green. I'm using a public service and a god given ability instead of spending up to $4/gallon on gas. My wallet is really appreciating it. Some arguments against public transportation is that it's not convenient. It's smelly and there are weird people riding it. It comes at odd times and it's faster to just drive where you're going.
I can use the combination of walking and the bus system to get me almost anywhere. Sometimes there are less than desirable people on the bus, but you can find that everywhere too. Any inconvenience can be handled by good planning and timing.
Riding the bus is saving me hundreds of dollars a month. Making me(and my wallet) a little greener.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Green Thumbprint

I purchased tiny little herb starter pots at Target for a dollar each. I wrote about them here.

But over the last week I've been carefully watching them for progress and.... voila! I have some green growth as of Friday that looked like this:
If you look VERY carefully you can see the tiny tiny sprouts.

And after our short day and a half away... they look like this!

 Yes the parsley is a bit disappointing so far. Hopefully in the next day or so it will really start sprouting.

Also: as you can see in the right side of that photo up there, I bought a bigger pot.... for MINT!!! I love mint.  We'll see if I can keep that alive as well. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sunflower Market

In my last post I mentioned that we have a new store in town. And I am loving it! The prices for the majority of the organic foods are about where they usually are, but the non-organic produce (I'm really not that picky.) is super well priced usually. Also they have some lovely baguettes for only a dollar!

But the point of all of this is to say that yesterday we walked to the Market, picked up some ingredients, went home and easily tossed together a very tasty salad. Plus of course the obligatory hunk of fresh baguette. Delicious!

I really am loving the weather that is allowing me to enjoy walking instead of enduring it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I've been thinking more and more about where we get our vegetables.
There's a new Sunflower Market just down the street, and they have great produce. But as a kid growing up, my family had a HUGE garden. That I hated. I hate weeding. I dislike pickles and tomatoes and mushrooms and lots of things. Not because they're particularly nasty... I'm pretty sure it's just a lingering fear of really hard work in the hot hot Texas sun.
So I've been wishing I didn't live on the second floor... and have zero room to grow plants with very little daylight. However... I've been toying with the idea of a gutter garden/planter boxes. Maybe some herbs...

Okay. Back to reality now. We spend quite a bit of our monthly budget on food in this little household so I've been thinking more about CSA's. I know there are quite a few options in our area. I just have to pick one. I also have to remember that it's worth it.

Because I really do prefer super fresh veggies to store bought. They just ARE better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eating Local

So for Valentine's Day on Saturday (I know it's today, but the weekend is more convenient, dangit!) Peter and I decided to do the traditional standby of dinner and a movie. If you want to read about the whole thing, go here.
But as this is all about buying responsibly... I'm going to talk a bit more about the restaurant we chose.
The Copper Onion.
Now I've been dying to go ever since I saw it almost a year ago. And whether it was because of time, travel, $, or just plain forgetfulness we hadn't gone yet. And we eat out. A lot.
The restaurant is nestled in downtown Salt Lake. It's right next to a theater, a parking garage, and in the bottom of a business tower. With all that around it, they've still created an extremely homey and inviting ambiance.
I'm thinking we're going to have to go back and actually sample the dinner menu, as we were there for brunch. But the thing I'm actually trying to get to is this.
Their restaurant is not a chain. It's local. It is a small business and a small restaurant. It is supporting people here in my town and I really like that in a restaurant.
I also like that they tell you where they get most of their product. When they can they have locally sourced whole foods. They support local farmers and producers.
It is a little more expensive. The portions aren't huge and that helped us eat responsibly. We didn't need to eat our weight in pasta. Though I would have liked to!
Here's a review with some photos from a local food blog...
And next time we need a nice place to eat out... This is it.