33 years & when your people come through

My birthday was yesterday. I have to admit that I was cringing at the idea of my birthday this year. Not the aging part – 33 is a cool number and a favorite Smashing Pumpkins song (1996 4eva!). But as I’ve been trying to eliminate extra STUFF in my life, and move toward an eco lifestyle, I was afraid that birthday gifts would throw me off track.

I was worried that I’ve failed to convey my zero waste goals to my immediate circle. I talk about it here and Instagram about it occasionally. I am walking that line of always wanting to start up the conversation with people without seeming abrasive or superior or like a weird hippy. I want to be an example, but I don’t want to come across as inflexible or ungrateful! I don’t want to make people feel guilty. Ever. And so, with a birthday looming, I didn’t want to suddenly have to tell people how to shop (or not shop) for me. The idea of that was just too weird.

Well, my family and friends were amazingly gracious, and I should have known. They could write a guide – all my gifts were nearly zero waste! I received Amazon gift cards (so I can buy things I need and download books for my Kindle), beautiful potted flowers, a mason jar mug, a hand crank butter churner, hand crocheted dish cloths and Swiffer duster covers, cloth napkins, a metal tiffin, a hanging fruit basket (from my Pinterest wishlist), and a wooden sign for my garden. Most of my gifts were unwrapped. My sister-in-law wrapped the metal fruit basket in a cloth scrap from her fabric bin. The crocheted goodies were given to me in an upcycled gift bag.

Amazing, right?

Everything is functional and infinitely reusable. Thinking about how grateful I am that my people *get me* makes me a little weepy. A bit silly, I know. But I just appreciate them so much! ❤


30 Day Challenge – Day 11

Well when I started this I thought I’d be able to spend 10 minutes a day hammering out a post-of-the-day, but it turns out I’m either too easily distracted.. or too long-winded, when I do buckle down and focus, so these take me a really long time to get through! Now I’m basically only completing the ones that interest me.

Today’s topic is “put your iPod on shuffle and write the first ten songs that come up.”

Appropriate, since I feel like I’m pretty much on shuffle these days. shuffle

  1. Tegan and Sara – Now I’m All Messed Up
  2. The Cure – A Forest (Tree Mix)
  3. Faith No More – Anne’s Song
  4. Alanis Morisette -Excuses
  5. Beastie Boys – 3-Minute Rule
  6. Taking Back Sunday – Miami {throwback to emo phase!}
  7. Bright Eyes- Pull My Hair
  8. Beck – Rental Car
  9. The Used – Sound Effects and Overdramatics {I can’t believe this song is 11 years old. It still feels new to me}
  10. The Fray – I Can Barely Say {I didn’t even know this was on my iPod}

That actually made a decent little playlist. I would however like to divulge that number 11 was Big Pun so.. I should have stopped while I was ahead.

right now everyday distractions

READING. Just finished Ninth Ward by Jewel Parker Rhodes. Such a beautiful YA novel about a young girl in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Just began The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson. So far so good.

WATCHING. Half the Sky, a mini documentary series that raises awareness of the atrocities happening to women and girls around the world, and celebrates some of the activists and groups making a difference to see an end to the suffering. It’s inspiring and heart-breaking and important and difficult to watch. It’s reinforced my desire to raise a daughter who knows her worth and fights for others.

may every woman(I do not have the source for this – the Pinterest link did not work when I tried to attribute this. But it is not mine; I just really love this. I will try to find the source).


  • To the new Marilyn Manson album, The Pale Emperor. Maybe it surprises people to know I love Marilyn Manson, maybe it doesn’t. All I know is I’m a 30-something white suburban mom and this album has been the soundtrack to my random naptime painting and cleaning stints over this last week. And that’s probably weird. But I think he’s pretty genius and loud gothy industrial rock music makes me feel young.
  • And because I believe in balance in all things, some Mark Ronson techno-pop or belly dancing playlists, both of which Hannah loves.


  • Helping in little ways to get our basement done.
  • Some early spring-cleaning projects.
  • Dejunking (always.. where does it all come from??).

WEARING. Jeans with so many holes in them, my dad said it looked like I was in an explosion. They are my project pants, okaaayyy?


  • My spring garden; looking into a more space-saving way to start seeds that our giant grow light contraption.
  • A trip to Yellowstone in the fall.
  • I am so inspired by the Half the Sky project, I want to help with awareness and doing what I can to support women. It’s time I get involved with a cause. Does anyone have any suggestions for where to start?

What is everyone else into these days?

everyday distractions // american authors – believer

A few months back I got a new ride, and it came with Sirius XM radio, which means I get to hipster-out regularly, discovering new music every day (except that I park it on the 90s alt rock station most of the time.. can’t get enough Alice in Chains and Elastica!). Occasionally I venture off to see what the cool kids are listening to and the other day was totally blown away by the poppy-gem, right when I needed a reason to smile. Perfection.

everyday distractions // “yellow house” by grizzly bear

I love love love my library. Since moving into a new county (almost two years ago now!) I’ve been frequently a new, larger, older library. I get lost in there. I grab stacks of books on whatever subject I’m into, and go sit in a corner to look through a few immediately, hauling several home for later. Lately it’s books on sustainable living and vintage jewelry collecting. And there’s always a new cookbook to glance through. {I’ve got a temporary ban on fiction in my life while I get through my last couple of classes. I have issues setting time limits on myself on anything but non-fiction, and this girl needs to study!}

I also stop by the CD racks and pick up some new music to check out. I still love CDs and the fun of finding new music without it being ruined by things like YouTube comments. Just listening, no seeing, no one trying to influence my opinion while I go through the tracks. At the library, nobody tells you what’s cool. I just pick one up, and absorb an album in its entirety, appreciating it in its rightful context. How very 90s.


This week I have been giving a listen to the album Yellow House by the band Grizzly Bear. It’s beautiful. I particularly love this track.

instagram weekend & october detox check-in

What a great long weekend!! I was fortunate enough to have Columbus Day off {whoop}! I’m only 8 days in one the month of vegan eating// October detox, but it’s been a blast. It has rejuvenated my cooking rut and I’ve gone out for a couple awesome vegan meals. I can’t wait to try some weird ethnic and gourmet cuisine in NYC next weekend. So far I’ve made: apple sauce, butternut apple soup, apple crisp (can you tell we were hooked up with a serious apple surplus?!), smokey black bean tacos, pumpkin spice lattes, spicy hummus, pumpkin cookies, pasta with Field Roast sausage marinara sauce, red beans and rice, beet burgers, lentil and quinoa salad…. phew!

My life’s not ALL food obsessed and it was a great weekend. I felt like re-capping the 3 glorious days via Instagram.

Friday night, hubby and I went to SLC for dinner at Sage’s Cafe, which is an awesome vegan joint. I had the seitan tacos and hubby had the mushroom stroganoff. 😉 This Marilyn mini tag-art was on a wall near the cafe.

Then we hit the much-anticipated (by ME) Garbage show, which was postponed from last April! It was phenomenal. Much like seeing Fiona Apple, this was almost surreal! This band made up the soundtrack to my early teen years when I was just starting to care abut music. When you’re a weird kid, music can be your best friend. And.. I was pretty damn weird. Somehow seeing this band live made me realize I was just cool before my time. 😉

Saturday morning I made a run down to Whole Foods for some vegan cooking staples, and also hit the new Lululemon store. I loved this store window there. “Do 1 Thing A Day that Scares You.” I think that’s pretty damned good advice {and a good 30 day challenge… hmm.. just sayin’!}. (PS: Love my new Lulumon Studio Pants.)

The Whole Foods haul! Lots of goodies for my month of vegan cooking. OH!.. I was also on a fact-finding mission, as I’m writing a paper on Whole Foods services strategy. I know how to party.

In between studying and paper-writing I made that yummy sugar scrub on Sunday. It’s lovely!

Those vegan pumpkin spice lattes! I made a huge batch of the pumpkin mix from this recipe, to make a latte every day for the rest of the week. They are soooo good.

Monday I spent more of the day studying for my Tuesday night Corporate Finance final. But I did manage to sneak out for a few more cooking supplies at the Asian market… and snapped a picture of their awesome front door. 😉 I’m weird like that.

AND got a much needed haircut at the Cherry Bomb Salon in Ogden. Wanted to sneak that in before our trip next weekend. I’ll definitely be going back!

Monday night’s dinner is Tamarind Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes (from the Appetite for Reduction cookbook) and this purple cauliflower I picked up at Whole Foods. So pretty! So delicious! If I had to pick a favorite veggie it just *might* be cauliflower, but purple cauliflower??! WHA WHAAA!!

I hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend and has a great week!! Do tell.

a yoga playlist for your sunday

Beastie Boys – Namaste
Baird Hersey – The Charioteer
Jalebee Cartel – Fade Away
Sacred System – Black Lotus
Beastie Boys – Sabrosa
Moby – We Are All Made Of Stars
Massive Attack – Teardrop – 2006 Digital Remaster
Makyo – Naga – Tribal Dub Remix
Moby – In My Heart
Tricky – Bacative
Sacred System – Amrita Flux
Beastie Boys – Transitions
Goldfrapp – Strict Machine