thoughts on zero waste home keeping

I haven’t been perfect, but I’m still very much striving for a zero waste home and lifestyle. My home is getting there, with a few exceptions and impulse buy/relapses I always regret.

My favorite things about zero waste are supposed to be the lessened environmental impact and cost savings (and they are awesome things), but admittedly my favorite thing about it is how pretty it is. I mean, functional items can basically be on display when they aren’t made of ugly, bright plastic, and I love that. Like my kitchen sink – I leave potted herbs, a crock of dish brushes, and my compost pail right in plain sight at all times, and I think it’s so pretty.

kitchen sink

My home-keeping essentials are all actually pretty beautiful now. I haven’t upgraded our perfectly good broom or dustpan (and won’t until I need to), but this board is home goals that are actually reasonable and responsible when you have a zero waste household. This is what my wish list looks like now: simple and functional items that will last forever.

cleaning tools

I use cloths and rags for cleaning and spills, wooden brushes for scrubbing, and cloth bags and mason jars for EVERYTHING. Originally I thought keeping all these reusables nearby would overfill my cabinets, but I’ve been paring down things I no longer use in conjunction and have plenty of space for it all.

It’s also helped me to define a more minimalist and elegant decor and clothing style. No more style ADD and regrettable purchases- I’ve discovered I truly love living in a space with space, where everything is pretty and functional.


decorating with scarves and pashminas

headwrapOne of the perks, or hazards, of my job, is I am gifted with an excess of souvenirs. I work with – and do lots of paperwork for – people who travel overseas. Many of them bring me back pretty scarves and pashminas, which is so thoughtful! I also am frequently gifted with scarves for holidays and I pick up pretty ones at thrift stores. And as a result I have a LOT of scarves. Somehow I’ve amassed a pretty ridiculous (-ly awesome) collection.

I wear scarves pretty often, and I use them as head wraps. But I have so many pretty scarves and so few places to go these days that I hate seeing them tucked away. The fabrics and colors are so pretty! So I’ve rounded up a few ideas (some that require cutting and sewing for the thrifted ones, but most that leave them in tact) for using and displaying a scarf collection more frequently.

how to tie a scarfMy friend Cassie actually got me a cute book, How to Tie a Scarf, for Christmas. It’s full of fun ideas. There are also tons of tutorials on Pinterest, including how to tie and knot scarves stealthily to turn them into kimonos and vests. Really awesome! There are plenty of head wrap ideas or tutorials on braiding scarves into your hair, too, though I don’t have enough hair or swagger to pull off many of them. I just go for the super simple wrap-styles.

But the ideas I’ve been collecting are more for decor purposes. I love the casual vibe that different patterns and fabrics give off when layered around the house. I suppose you could use any textile for most of these, which makes them even more awesome. I like scouting textiles. They are so versatile. So.. here we go:

I LOVE these huge pillows made from big scarves {plus the link has tons of other ideas I love for scarf-upcycling}.

big pillows - dishfunctional designsSmaller pillows wouldn’t require sewing; you can wrap the scarf and twist/knot the back. The link for this one didn’t work (found on Pinterest), but it directed me to All You.

all youI like the idea of using scarves to cover poufs and ottomans, like these ones: (left from from Urban Outfitters, now sold out; right from Plumo). The Urban Outfitters version is something I’ve wanted to make for a while now. A less pretty “collection” I’ve got going on is 5 gallon buckets (I know, random), and I think with a little creativity I could make a similar ottoman with some patchwork scarves/other fabric.

UO Pouf   Plumo pouf

I use one pashmina as a runner on our dresser top to keep the surface from getting scratched. They are nice for table runners over a table cloth to keep them from sliding.

table runnerThere are lots of images out there for patchwork curtains made from scarves and handkerchiefs, but just hanging one in a window is really pretty and will allow it to be worn later.

windowI loved framed scarves like these, because you can see the entire design. It would be simple enough to switch out, too. (I wish I owned both of the ones below):

framed scarvesYou can hang a scarf on a wall without framing or doing anything special, like below. No cutting into the fabric for the special scarves I’ve got. I love this for the huge silk pashminas I’ve got from the Middle East.

wall hangingStoring scarves in plain view lets them be part of the decor and still keeps them usable. I’ve done this before in the bedroom, but it’s a great idea for an entryway.

hanging scarvesAny other ideas I’ve missed?

summertime – checking in.

How is everyone’s summer?! Mine is just lovely. Highlights: Boating//laying in the park reading//peach bellinis//pink sparkly toes//tree-planting//yoga//eating on the deck//walks//farmers market every Saturday//grilled pizzas and veggie burgers//rose-infused lemonade//spray-painting old stuff to make it new again//camping//house decorating projects//new sunglasses//festivals and crafty vendors//sun-bleached hair//days at the lake//meeting the neighborhood//lots of fireworks//sundresses + headbands//veg cooking//new {to me} county library//hot & sticky skin {yes, I do totally love that}//yard-planning//this song//this book//strange mail from weird places//fresh herbs//inspiring others and being inspired.

It’s been a damn good summer.

And just for fun, here’s my summer covet-list for the remaining weeks. Fun dresses for beating the heat, cute yoga attire, classic khaki shorts, comfy tee, non-leather sandals, and new mirrored aviators to replace mine that broke at the lake! Throw in a concert or 2, a pitcher of margaritas, and a road-trip to round out that list {oh, and an extra couple grand to pay for it all- hehe} and I am one happy girl. {Did I mention daydreaming is my other fav summer activity?}

I hope everyone’s enjoying the sunshine!!

inspiration – outdoors eating areas

What is it about eating a meal outdoors that’s so awesome? Maybe because it sparks memories of picnics, BBQs and summer vacation? Or maybe just because it is just different from the normal routine? Our house and yard are both totally torn up right now with various projects going on, but with the lovely weather the last few days, we have had the luxury of eating on our deck a few times! The deck is seriously my favorite feature of the house – right off the kitchen and covered, it is the PERFECT little spot for enjoying the weather. We made yummy grilled pizza yesterday for the two of us. The night before I grilled burgers for us (Boca for me!) and my brother-in-law’s family and we ate outside.  Our Margherita pizza grilling, mmm ——–>

It’s a ways off, but I have big plans for our yard and deck because I love entertaining! So while it’s rainy today and projects are being put on hold, here’s some inspiration for some outdoor eating/entertaining areas that will make any casual meal outside rock all your senses at once!:

{via Elle Decor}

{Via Remodelista}

{Via Elle Decor}

{Via Suburban Spunk}

How gorgeous are these spaces? They are more welcoming than any room in my whole house! I feel like any of these provide major inspiration for some things that can be done on a dime. Some fairy lights, some planted pots {I can spray paint some I already have}, and how awesome is that teal-painted door in the first photo? I think even in our new-construction home it would be a great idea to paint the back door a fun color.

{This reminds me I really need to do a post on the before of our yard before too much progress happens!}

stuff i heart sunday – vol. 1: braids

Thought I’d start doing a weekly post on what I’m diggin, what I’m Google-searching, and what I’m hacking at home. This week it’s BRAIDS. ♥ I love how effortless but eye-catching braids look.

Those front-braids are so pretty and I’m trying to learn how to do it myself but I need about 4 more hands. I can, however, braid some leather and make a cute bracelet, and enjoy the inspiration. If I can accomplish the front braid I will be sure to post. Those YouTube tutorials make me feel stabby or else that’d probably do the trick.

pretty jewelry stand

So, I have a crap load of jewelry. I pick up little baubles as souvenirs when I travel, I have a magnetic draw to junky jewelry at Forever 21 or Target, and I make my own. I have lots of little stands, hooks, boxes, and cups with jewelry in them. But, what’s another? I love pretty storage, and this one’s soooo easy.

You’ll just need a saucer, a salad plate, and a candle holder that all coordinate. You might already have this stuff lying around unused. I got all these at Savers for $1 each:

Simply glue them together {I used super glue} and once the glue is dry, use it as a pretty stand for some jewelry.

Happy Mother’s Day to my most fabulous mama, and all you other mothers out there.

ruthie sommers

I am probably about 3 years behind on realizing the brilliance of Ruthie Sommers {she designed many of the interiors featured in Domino magazine, so her name was everywhere for a while there}. I was going through folders on my laptop and found all these gems {yes, I am a digital pack rat of stuff I find inspiring, pretty, weird, interesting, etc}. These are all Ruthie Sommers’ designs and I love her eye. I love her eclectic boho-but-glamorous vibe and the unexpected pairings in all these spaces.

Via Matter of Style. Fresh and springy. I love that coral color.

Via Matter of Style. Eclectic and happy. Looks at all those different eras blended together. The picture on the left is one of my favorites of all time because it’s just so funky. Love the rug!

Via In Style Home. Classic but funky. This is so In Style mag circa 2005, given the zebra. I do think zebra is pretty awesome, though.

Via So Haute. Dramatic and sexy. I love the black walls! Hard to carry off, for sure. Those mossy orbs are so whimsical. I love moss.

Via So’Mace Design. Quirky and cheerful. This is a room designed for the sole purpose of eating ice cream cones and cupcakes.

Via Domino {Drew Barrymore’s office}, and Habitually Chic. Statement making. Everything in that picture on the left could be 1940 or 2010. That red hutch is downright presidential. On the left, again with the dark walls, which takes a pretty basic, boring space and makes it totally dramatic.

blah. monday.

I took Friday off to write a paper for class, leaving Sunday morning for things like catching up with old friends, catching up on blog reading, and beginning a fun baby gift project for one of my lovely friends. We also got some patio furniture! Nothing fancy, but I just can not WAIT to start playing in the yard this spring.

This house tour made me so momentarily happy then immediately very depressed that tomorrow is Monday. ): I want to spend time surrounded by an environment that looks like this:

…Not the drab gray cubicle wasteland that is my office space.


Tomorrow might be a day of email catch-up and raiding the office supply closet.