Monthly Archives: December 2008

Day 183:Holiday Laziness and Baking

cakes

No, I wasn’t lazy with my gift giving or my consumerism or my waste reduction attempts.  My laziness is that I have simply been too preoccupied to look at my computer for the past week. So I formally apologize for my lack of postings.

I literally spent Christmas Eve baking up a storm.  I had Parmesan cheese crackers and gingerbread shaped as stars and lining my kitchen counters like an edible galaxy.

I had my first go at making cream puffs which were much easier than anticipated, and I also made some beautiful petit fours (mini, chocolate-dipped cakes).  They fit perfectly into tissue lined egg cartons and made lovely little 6-pack gifts. Continue reading

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Day 175: Squeaky Clean Laundry

boraxA few weeks ago I wrote a review of all the types of laundry soap we had been using.  I also mentioned my bad- towel-smell experience with homemade laundry soap.  Well, I was willing to give it another go, so I went back to the fabulous homemade laundry soap website (here) and tried another recipe (number one) – liquid this time not powder.

This time instead of using Ivory, I used half a bar of Kiss My Face olive oil soap.  I also remembered to use washing soda not baking soda, so that might have something to do with my better results.  The liquid soap takes a little longer because you have to cook it up, but it was kinda fun -like a science experiment. Continue reading

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Day 172: Christmas a Little Early

treeWe had our first Christmas of the year last weekend.

It’s a little early I know, but Grant’s brother’s family is going to Hawaii over the holidays, so we decided to get together when we could.

I had to laugh when, dutifully sticking with the idea of giving experiences instead of  “stuff”, we gave them a gift certificate for a nearby restaurant on Commercial Drive, and they gave us a gift certificate (in the same amount no less) also for a restaurant  on Commercial Drive. Continue reading

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Day 168: Christmas Re-Gifting

My Mom organizes a great re-gifting every Christmas at the school she teaches at.  All the kids bring in stuff from home (with the permission of their parents) that they don’t use any more.  It can be anything from toys to jewelery to kitchenware as long as it’s in new or “gently used” condition.  They collect thousands of items.

Then they have a Christmas sale in the gym.  Each child brings a list of 4 people they are allowed to shop for, and everything is on sale for less than $4.  They get to pick out special surprise gifts for their siblings or parents and practice their money management skills at the same time. Continue reading

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Day 166: The Non-Weigh In

http://flickr.com/photos/dazlambert/

I just found this post (or post title actually since I never actually wrote anything beyond the first line) in the depths of my blog files.

It’s entitled “Day 68: Two Month Weigh In”.  I find that hilarious because, if you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ll realize that I have never, not even once done a weigh in with our trash.

And day 68 was approximately 100 days ago.

You can see I had lofty hopes.  Well, not too lofty as I had obviously elected to weigh in every month instead of every week like some ubber-organized people, but still, much more lofty than what was actually achievable. Continue reading

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Day 163: Free Range Worms

wormsAs I have mentioned before, we have a compost.   Just the plain, out-in-the-back- garden variety.  We don’t do much to it besides throw veggies in and cover them with the occasional handful of leaves.  It’s really only in the past two years that I have bothered turning it or maintaining it at all.

It’s this lackadaisical approach (and our sufficiently large back yard) that has kept my knowledge of indoor worm composting to a minimum.  I’m talking about those small bins, complete with lid and drip tray that are basically the only option for apartment dwellers.  I have always managed to avoid them by inhabiting homes with at least a small square of grass, and hence, a traditional outdoor compost.

Now, it’s true that my compost has worms in it, but those are wild, free-range worms.  Continue reading

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Day 161: Tired Out

bike-hole

I go through bicycle phases.  Sometimes I ride a lot, sometimes not.  For the past few years, I’ve been riding it a lot.  Back and forth to work. . . around town. . . to Mexico. . . etc

Anyway, I’ve had the same bicycle for about 14 years, and last week I got a hole in my wheel.   Not the inner tube, not even the tire, it’s the rim.

The rim of my back wheel where the brakes touch has been getting progressively more concave as the years go by, and as you can kind of see in the photo, I finally wore through it.  This meant, of course, that I had to replace my rim in the middle of our buy-nothing year. Continue reading

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