10 Simple Ideas That You Can Do To Reduce Waste Around Your House

“If you want to get serious about sustainability we have
to start with our waste.”

 

Waste is a serious problem that impacts all of us. Here’s 2 charts that shows how much the US wasted in the past years.  Could you imagine how much that has increased over the last few years.  How sad is this, when so many people in our world is starving to death?!?!

@http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/26-trillion-pounds-of-garbage-where-does-the-worlds-trash-go/258234/

@http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-glickman/the-true-cost-of-food-was_b_6769352.html

Here’s 2 charts showing how much the world wastes

@http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-glickman/the-true-cost-of-food-was_b_6769352.html

The best place to start, is within our own home.  There is so many different things we can do, to reduce our own waste from recycling & repurposing items & materials, buying less things which means less clutter, & learning new ways to use up everything we have.  You can be as creative as you want, but if you need ideas there is so much out there.  It also doesn’t have to be some elaborate plan, oftentimes simple is better.  Aren’t sure where to begin, here’s
10 simple ideas that you can do to reduce waste around your house:
1. Use a gallon milk jug to water the roots of garden plants without standing there with a hose: Poke small holes in the bottom of the jug and bury it; fill with water for slow and steady irrigation.

2. Place old silica gel packets with personal papers and important documents to protect them from moisture and mildew.

3. Make a bird feeder out of a 2-liter plastic bottle.

4. Pour used bacon grease into a tuna or cat food can, chill until firm, and wire the can to a tree to give your feathered visitors some food. Bacon grease may be gross to some of us, but it attracts bluebirds, crows, jays, ravens, starlings, woodpeckers and Carolina wrens.

5. Missing game pieces instead of throwing away, use game board as a wall decor or coasters, & use the game pieces for jewelry, magnets, decor items

6. Compost everything that you don’t use ****put in a compost chart****

7. Coffee grounds- use in homemade soaps, exfoliate, use in garden to keep ants & slugs at bay, dried grounds used as a scouring agent, in fridge neutralizes odors,

8. Newspaper- lay down while painting, lie our snack cages with, wash windows with, use a layer in garden to help keep weeds at bay, compost,

9. Tea bags- for eyes, insect bites,

10. toilet paper tubes- for crafting, packaging & packing material, nesting materials etc

Additional readings:
Top 10 Ways To Reduce Waste
Waste Less Live More
The True Cost of Food Waste
2.6 Trillion Pounds of Garbage: Where Does The World’s Trash Go?
What are some ways you reduce wastes in 
your home? 


Sharing with:
Create With Joy, The Jenny Evolution,

Motivation of the Day….Febuary 10th

There are some days that I just can’t get motivated.  Today started out that way but thankfully my hubby had the day off and got me to get up & out.  It was lightly snowing all day, with the sun shining at times, making it a great day for a stroll in the woods.  We took Rosco, who has super excited to a trail that we ended up walking about 2 miles on. It was so fun seeing the two of them running & playing while I walked a steady pace.  Fun times.
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What has motivated you today?
Did you get everything done that you wanted to do? 

Moro de Habichuela (Dominican Rice n Beans)

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When I was younger, I stayed in an all Spanish community, where I was the only non-Spanish person around.  The lessons I learned from this experience was life changing.  The pieces of their culture that I fell in love with I took and incorporated it into my family’s daily life like their music, dancing, & food.  Plus it helps my two older ones (who are half Dominican) to connect with a part of their heritage.
True Dominican food is absolutely amazing.  If you haven’t tried it, you are really missing out.  The food is not only delicious but very frugal to make.  The 1st dish I’m sharing with you is a staple food that you can make many different ways depending on which beans you use.  It’s a simple delicious filling meal that feeds a crowd.

Moro de Habichuela 
adapted & taken from: Aunt Clara’s recipe
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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups white rice
  • 1 can 15.5 oz kidney beans (or any cooked beans of your choice)
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/4c chopped peppers ( i used sweet mini ones)
  • 1 pinch of Oregano
  • 1-2 tsp garlic minced
  • 3 fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 tsp chopped Cilantro
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Heat half the oil (2.5 Tbsp) in an iron pot over low heat and add cilantro, garlic, thyme, celery, olives, oregano, cubanela, capers. Cook and stir for a minute, or until the ingredients release their aroma. Stir in the tomato paste.
  2. Add beans, also while stirring, add season with salt. Once heated through, add water and bring to the boil (try the mixture and add salt to taste before proceeding, bear in mind that the rice will absorb some of the salt, so don’t low-ball it).
  3. Stir in the rice and simmer stirring frequently to avoid excessive sticking. Make sure to remove the rice that sticks to the bottom.
  4. When the water has evaporated cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. Wait 15 minutes, uncover, add the remaining oil and stir.
  5. Cover again another 5 minutes. After this the rice should be firm but tender inside. If necessary, cover and leave another 5 minutes over very low heat (if at this point it looks too dry add ¼ cup of boiling water before stirring and covering.

~Enjoy~

Are you a fan of Dominican food?  What’s your favorite dish?


Sharing With:
Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth,

 

13 Ways To Embrace Winter By Keeping It Simple

I’ve never really been a winter person even if I’ve lived in New England a good portion of my life.  Each year, I never look forwards to winter, the cold weather, & all that it brings.  But this year, I was determined to make the most out of winter, embracing everything it has to offer instead of being depressed, stuck indoors, waiting for the spring to arrive.  I know I’m not alone, there are others who don’t enjoy winter.  So here’s some of the things that have made this winter actually quite enjoyable.  It may not be my most favorite season, but it definitely not a time to dread anymore.  Here’s a few ways I’ve embraced winter.
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1. Get the right gear
“There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” ~Swedish Saying
Having the right gear is EVERYTHING.  How can you enjoy the colder months is your freezing?  You don’t need to spend a fortune, just make sure you have good gloves, hat, neck wrap, & warm boots.  Oh and wearing two pairs of pants on really cold days helps a lot.

2. Change your mindset  

Attitude is everything.  Start finding little ways you enjoy about winter and go from there.

3. Admire the beauty of the season
Have you been out looking around, it’s quite beautiful out.  The snow & ice offers such fantastic props for images.  Next time your out, start really looking around, seeing all the beauty that’s around you.

4. Make your home cozy & enjoy the comforts
Fires, candles, essential oil diffusers etc. helps make you house cozy.  Who wouldn’t want to be home if it’s nice & cozy.  Enjoy the comforts of food, warm drinks, reading, snuggling etc.

5. Have a winter bonfire
Who doesn’t love a good bonfire?  Bonfires aren’t just for spring & summer, winter ones can be just as fun.

7. Snuggle up with a good book
Got some reading to catch up on, now is the perfect time.  Make yourself a nice warm drink, snuggle with your favorite blanket and get your reading on.

8. Have a game night
We love game nights at our house.  Wintertime is a great time to have these more often, as we are always looking of ways to have fun with all 5 kiddos, but it’s hard since the ages they are 16-6.  Games is a perfect way for us all to have family time.

9. Exercise @ least 1x per day
No, you don’t need to go crazy or anything, just get out and walk.  I love walking now, so that’s what I will do till spring, then I’m hoping to fix my bike and start biking again.  My stomach can’t handle running, so I don’t ever think I would do that.  Just do whatever you can at least 1x per day.

10. Get outdoors as often as you can……..staying indoors is depressing
Getting out in the fresh air will do you wonders.  Stop barricading yourself in, get out, & embrace the cold.

11. Activities & hobbies ie. snowshoeing, sledding, crafts etc.
Finding something to get up moving, is always great.  Why not make it something fun.  Take up new activities or do something you already love.  It’ll make winter so much more enjoyable.

12. Eat as healthy as possible
The way we eat will affect the way we feel.  Fill your body with foods that it will thank you later for.

13. Host an outdoor party or pot luck
Parties of any kind are fun.  Why not host one at your house?  It can be as simple as you want, just gather a few people together to enjoy each other’s company.

Are you a fan of winter?


Sharing with:
Katherine’s Corner, Create With Joy,  A Life In Balance

What Do You Really Need To Be Happy?

” Real happiness requires less than you think.’ ~Be More With 

What do we really need to be happy?  This has changed over the years, as I grew & matured.
10 years ago it was:
*having designer clothing for us all
*having an overly cluttered house with things that added no value to our lives
*having tons of snacks unhealthy or not
*having two cars
*making money was our #1 goal, which we put above everything else
*having things to impress others
*having as big of a place as we can
*traveling
*diet coke

And here’s what’s important to me today:  
*family time
*making alone time for each of my kids (having 5 is hard sometimes)
*developing better relationships with food….eating healthy
*exercising in any way I can
*volunteer at all 3 schools whenever possible
*exploring different hobbies
*developing my photography skills & accepting jobs that will fit into my schedule
*being home for the children each day
*taking care of myself
*traveling

You can definitely see the shift when compared to one another.
What do you really need to make you happy?   Think back 10 yrs or so, how has this list changed?  

Why I’m Keeping It Real In The Blogging World

“Keeping it simple, helps to keep it real.”

I’ve got a secret to tell you……..I’m not perfect & I’m completely fine with that.  Sometimes I’m like a tornado creating clutter where ever I go.  Sometimes I’m lazy because I just don’t want to do anything.  Sometimes I’m creative thinking up these wonderful plans.  Sometimes I wear my emotions on my face which can get me into trouble.  Sometimes I’m beautiful & it shines through while other times my ugliness takes over.   But no matter what, I’m always 100% me.
When I created my blog, I wanted to talk about my journey towards simplifying my life.  In order to do this, I told myself I always have to keep it real.
There are a lot of blogs out there that are just amazing.  Everything is perfect….their recipes, diy, images, writings etc. You can tell they spend a lot of time & money working on their blog.  I think it’s absolutely fantastic and wish them the best of luck with their endeavors.  I want them to know that their blogs are just beautiful.  But that isn’t how I am and it’s not something I’m able or wanting to do right now.
My blog is far from perfect, but it’s completely me.  If you read my posts, you can get an idea of who I am.  My photos are far from perfect, I write like I talk,  i’m scatterbrained having numerous thoughts running around all the time, I don’t create elaborate dishes instead I prefer simple delicious dishes, my diy aren’t aren’t something that would be on the cover of home & garden magazine but rather something doable for those thrifty shoppers, I don’t spend a lot of money on things I share on my blog,  but the things I do and say are things that is obtainable & doable to the everyone.
When your on here, what you see is what you get.  I keep it real because how could I simplify & live a simpler life if I’m not being real.  How could I write about simplicity when I’m out shopping for dishes to make my recipe look nice?  Instead, I work with what I’ve got.  To me the imperfections is what my blog beautiful.  And that’s why I’m keeping it real in the blogging world.

Do you feel your blog is a reflection of who you are?  Does it reflect where you are in your life right now?