Monday, July 21, 2008

Eco-friendly Decorating: The Paint Selection

Preparing to move into our new house has my decorating juices flowing. I love the possibilities that come along with creating new spaces. I'm excited about the challenge of making this house a home that's suited for the way our family lives life.

With possibility comes responsibility.

The me of 5 years ago, would anxiously await the newest edition of Pottery Barn and "want" for everything on each glossy page. Because it's easy . . . and pretty . . . and easy. Don't get me wrong - I still love when a new Pottery Barn comes (they're one of the few catalogues immune to our attempt to stop our junk mail), but now I look at it for ideas.

I want to make different choices with this house. I'd like to find second-hand furniture and repurpose it, purchase items made from sustainable products, and use products that promote a healthy, safe environment for our family.

One of the first jobs to tackle in the new house is painting. There's border. Lots of border.

I've decided to use YOLO Colorhouse paints. I love their natural color palette of 40 hues.
YOLO Colorhouse is formulated without VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These compounds are the solvents contained in most paints that evaporate and contribute to the depletion of the ozone. VOCs are also a part of the stinky odor in paint that is offensive and continues to off-gas which contributes to poor indoor air quality. YOLO is certified with the Green Seal® which means it's an environmentally responsible product.

Check back in to see the colors I chose for the kids' rooms from the little YOLO line.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rescue, Resell & Recycle

I wasn't far along in the packing process, when I realized it was going to be impossible to pack up our whole house with boxes from the liquor store. Liquor boxes are great for smaller items and books, but how in the world were all the kids' toys going to fit in such small boxes? They have a lot of toys. Let's just say I had a small addiction to Fisher Price Little People toys a few years ago.

I'm also not fast enough to benefit from any of the free packing materials posted on Freecycle. We did discover Trader Joe's has some great sturdy boxes for smaller things, but the dilemma of packing all the larger stuff still existed.

I caved.

I hung my head in shame and went into a Home Depot. I bought boxes . . . . and bubble wrap . . . and foamy things for packing dishes. A few days later, I learned about a company that rescues truckloads of quality used boxes from large companies. inspects and sorts the rescued boxes by size and shape. They create "kits" and resell boxes through their website. They offer free shipping and guarantee delivery in 1-2 business days.

Pretty cool. I need more boxes, but I'm not going to buy any. I'm going to get creative and work with what I have. You better believe I'll be easing my "green guilt" by putting everything up on Freecycle when we're unpacked!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Mohawk

Feature Friday: Simple Mom

I'm amazed by all the talented bloggers out there. I've decided to showcase a new blog each Friday. They won't all be "green", but they'll definitely be resourceful!

Today, I bring you
SimpleMom. Toblerone is a stay-at-home mom currently living overseas with her two small children and husband. She's also a language student and a part-time graphic designer. I'm inspired by her ability to run a household in an organized and simple way.

SimpleMom focuses on the mom who needs an extra nudge of motivation to manage her home in a productive and balanced way. Yes, that's me - she's speaking directly to me!

Toblerone covers a wide variety of topics all focusing on the practical side of simplicity. Be sure to read her tips for productivity, ideas on money management and feel free to download her home management notebooks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Three R Thursday - 13 Of My Favorite Green Bloggers

There are lots of great green blogs out in the blogosphere. The following are some of my favorites and daily reads. I'm always finding inspiration from these women and look forward to reading about their latest challenges, finds or rants.

I'd love to add to my list. If you know of any green blogs I didn't mention (including your own), please let me know.

Green Bean Dreams
Green Bean is a smart lady. I enjoy reading her posts, and I walk away a little smarter each time. She wrote a great post about
letting go that helped me gain a little perspective.

OrganicMania is your guide to making sense of healthy green living. She has done most of the leg work for you. I faithfully read all her posts pertaining to saving on
organic food.

Mindful Momma
A thoughtfully written blog exploring what happens when we are more
mindful of the things we do.

4. Crunchy Domestic Goddess
She had me at the title of her blog. Amy is
passionate about natural childbirth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, gentle discipline, recycling, green living, organic foods, informed health care decisions and other things considered crunchy/granola/earthy.

GreenStyleMom is down to earth and proves that eco-friendly living can be fun and stylish. Read about her co-housing experiences and check out what she does in her spare time.

Crunchy Chicken
Crunchy is such a dedicated green blogger. It's hard to pin point a couple of things to highlight from her blog so I suggest you go over and read EVERYTHING. Okay, if everything is not realistic make sure you check out some of her challenges, book clubs and her
Goods 4 Girls program.

Eco 'Burban
A witty blogger who is making practical steps towards going green in the suburbs one plastic bag at a time. Read about her
local summer challenge.

Chile Chews
I'm new to Chile's blog and have been lurking for awhile. She has a great Quit Now Challenge going on now and recently held a Cut the Crap challenge to help motivate people to declutter their lives.

Surely You Nest
MamaBird had mastered the combination of humor and green living. Read about the
green party she planned for her daughter's fifth birthday.

Simple - Green - Frugal
I have learned a lot from SGF's blog. She is extremely practical and has great ideas for living a more simple, beautiful life. Be sure to read about her "
No Graze Days of Summer".

11. EnviroMom

EnviroMom is a great resource for green living. Even though it caters to locals in Portland, OR, I've found it very helpful and informative. Be sure to read about their
One Can a Month Challenge.

12. Fake Plastic Fish
Read the inspiring list of
plastic-free changes Beth has made. She is also leading the campaign for Clorox to take back and recycle Brita water filters.

Allie's Answers
Allie's blog proves going green doesn’t have to be complicated. Her
tips can help you simplify your life and save you money.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm Over at Blissfully Domestic Today

Come visit and read about "greening" your workout. Take a look around, there are some great women contributing to this site.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Feeling So Blessed

I'm walking around lighter than I've felt in awhile. The house hunting was starting to take hold, and I was feeling a little blue. It seems as though the search is over. After a little negotiating (and maybe a few tears on my part), they accepted our offer!

I feel so blessed. There are so many positives about this house. I was just reading through my house wish list and it's unbelievable how much this house has to offer.
  • the lot is wooded and private, but still in a neighborhood
  • each of the kids will have their own room
  • there is a bathroom in our bedroom and it has a tub and shower
  • the laundry room is on the first floor
  • there's not a mud room, but a very large coat closet and a 2-car garage
  • great closet/storage space
  • a 2-story foyer that's going to be so much fun to decorate for Christmas
  • the most manageable yard ever - right now it's pretty much all wood chips, but we'll definitely plant a little grass somewhere
  • a wonderful screened in porch that Bob has already claimed as his
  • great public schools
  • a little pool and playground (this was a bit of a compromise, but hopefully we'll be able to join a swim/tennis club next summer)
  • there's a pantry in the kitchen
  • Bob's commute is a lot shorter so we'll be able to see him more
The list goes on and on . . . . and the kicker . . . . it has an apartment in the basement with its own bedroom, bathroom, full kitchen and laundry room. It's the perfect space for my mom and after all these years of her wanting to move close to us, she's going to be able to. I can't tell you how much that means to me.

We're also just minutes away from my sister-in-law's mother so when she comes to visit with my nephew, Zeke, we'll be able to visit a lot!

I know I'm gushing, but I'm just so happy.

I really want to thank our agent who worked so hard for us and was kind and patient. How often are you able to find a great house and walk away with a good friend. I hope to spend more time with her now that we'll be closer. If you're ever in the market for a house in the Annapolis area - I've got a great agent for you!

Bob is going for the home inspection on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll have pics for you - be prepared for wallpaper and lots of interesting border!

Yeah! Thank you all for your encouraging words and thoughts, they really helped! I'm going to be pretty busy the next few weeks, but I'll be sure to pop in and tell you how "un-green" moving can be!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I've Got Nothing

I'd love to write something witty and clever, but all I have going on in my brain right now is finding a house. The situation was starting to look a little bleak, but we finally saw a contender yesterday. A house I feel sure I can make a home.

We're taking our moms for a second showing and plan on putting in an offer today. It's a little out of our price range so I'm praying they will consider it. Hopefully, I will have some news by the end of the week.

On a totally different note, I'm now a contributing writer over at Blissfully Domestic. If you know me it's okay to chuckle about the "domestic" part . . . . Bob certainly did!

I'm writing for their Green Living category - go visit and read my first two articles on picnics and eating organically. If you have any suggestions for topic ideas, please let me know.