1–10 of 32 entries in the category: Recycle

With a bow

June 19th

Recycling

Recycling

Recycling in New Jersey is a pain. I can only imagine the book of rules, no joke, was created as a deterrent. That said, I have yet to find a job and I’ve will happily jump through the necessary hoops to see that these items are sent to the right facility, instead of just carried away with our trash can. This involves tying like items together, marking the junk mail in one bag and the newspapers in another, etc. It doesn’t take long, but I can imagine is a huge hurdle for anyone with little time.

I’ve been laughing lately at the news out of NYC. The mayor controversially wants to enforce a “food scraps recycling program.” AKA: composting. Can you imagine how much compost could be created from NYC in one day? Also: for the international readers — can you believe that this isn’t something we Americans inherently know we are supposed to do?

I’ve seen, and previously owned and broken, the Rachel Ray trash bowl that sits on your counter for compost. Rather that spend the $20 to replace this, I spent $1 on a larger plastic bowl that sits beneath our kitchen sink. In our area, you are not allowed to have a garbage disposal. As such, all food waste that doesn’t contain animal products goes in the green bowl:

Prosecco + pasta

The perks of composting this way:

1. If you live in a humid environment, like New Jersey, this stuff will compost quickly outside.

2. You have to take out a lot less trash, using fewer trash bags.

3. If you are a gardener, this stuff will be gold, especially if you have patience. Add some worms from your local fishing store and watch out. You’ll have amazing humus. No, not pita humus. This kinda hummus. 

4. You’ll get more exercise, especially if you place your composting area wisely a good distance from your house.

5. You will likely think twice about buying sub-par, out of season fruits and vegetables from a big box store that your family won’t finish, leaving you to later compost. The process can’t help but bring you closer to nature — you’ll be begging for the snow to melt so you aren’t digging and dumping your full bowl. And if you are like me, it will give you a deep sense of environmental smugness that is entirely undeserved as a global over-consumer.

The cons:

1. If you have a dog and haven’t spent the time enclosing your compost area, chances are you will have a dog who finds a way to eat whatever he can out of this area. Yuck.

2. You may attract other animals into your compost area. Shoo!

3. More trash. More trash bags. More hauling the dumb trash can back and forth. Urg!

Morals to this story:

New Jersey — I see your recycling laws and I will meet them. Also, I am composting. So there!

The end,

K

 

 

Posted in
Happy Hippie, NJ + NYC, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
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Before + After Week: Dresser

June 19th

About 4 months ago, I bought a bunch of second-hand furniture. A hutch, dining room set, antique mirror and this dresser — painted a dusty rose.

Before + After: antique dresser

Before + After: antique dresser

The dresser is well made of heavy wood, with tongue and groove joints, but needed some attention. The paint was worn and the hardware did nothing for me. Enter Adam and his favorite stripper:

Before + After: antique dresser

Before + After: antique dresser

Before + After: antique dresser

Before + After: antique dresser

Before + After: antique dresser

Before + After: antique dresser

Surprise! There are five layers of paint already on this thing. Let’s sand it down and see what happens…

Before + After: antique dresser

Wait. That’s kinda pretty as is. Or as Adam said, “Someone would pay $1000 for that at Anthropologie.” 

Before + After: antique dresser

I loved the antique barn wood look of this when it was outside. And when I installed the new hardware. And when I lined the drawers. All until I finally got it back upstairs and in place. I’m not sure if it is the lamp that’s throwing me off, or if it just looks too shabby now that I have it in place.

Before + After

Before + After: antique dresser

Am I fugly? Or unique? Hmmm. 

Interwebs, what do you think? Change up the lamp? Repaint the dresser? (The original idea was a bright barn red.) Change up the lamp shade? I’d love to hear what you would do.

Also, many thanks to my trusty sidekick and his stripper. They are quite the team!

~K

UPDATE: I am going to repaint this red. After looking at these photos, I can’t help but think this looks like a Pepto Bismol massacre.

 

Posted in
Domestic Art, Heirloom Homestead, Recycle, Reuse, Style
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Two Turtle Doves

December 21st

Christmas goodies

The culmination of Jars of Renewal — four Christmas baskets filled with homemade goodies being delivered today.

I was reading scripture I’ll be teaching at church this morning and it specifically mentions two turtle doves. Coincidence? Nah. Amazing is more like it.

So, Joseph and Mary had to pay God two turtle doves when Jesus turned 30 days old to officially buy him back from the Lord — per Jewish tradition. Isn’t that fascinating? I didn’t know anything about this until I was researching Simeon and Anna and how to present, once again, a daunting topic to children. Today’s I’m to speak of Anna’s grace.

Christmas goodies

This got me thinking — grace. It’s a concept I’ve only recently begun to understand. How should I explain this to a gaggle of noisy, Christmas-hyped children? I started thinking about ways I experienced grace as a kid, even though I didn’t recognize it then.

  • That immediate sense of relief and joy diving into a cold pool on a scorching day
  • The first time I held my baby brother
  • That breath-taking moment between jumps on a giant trampoline
  • The smell of wet desert
  • The sneaky joy of catching your parents in a private look and witnessing their love
  • The ocean or Grand Canyon for the first time and that moment when you think, “No! It can’t be!”

Grace is easier to understand as an adult — I find myself feeling that spiritual presence when instead of being characteristically impatient, I take a deep breath and keep listening, don’t flip the person off in traffic, stop to speak to a homeless person in need of conversation as much as change.

Here goes nothing!

~K

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Celebrate!, Domestic Art, Faith, Journal, Recycle
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A Caroling We Went

December 12th

Last 2008 Community Dinner

BEFORE: And the commotion begins. I took on a bit too much for this dinner; from beginning to end, it took about six hours to prepare and clean up afterward.

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Aztec squash soup

Aztec squash soup

Turkey chile

Turkey chile

community dinner 121108 038

Buttermilk biscuits

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Carbs o’ plenty

community dinner 121108 047

AFTER: phew.

Last night’s communiy dinner menu included: crockpot turkey chile, aztec squash soup, buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, carrot cake, brownies, homemade hot chocolate with candy canes and marshmallows and a partridge in a pear tree. The prep for this dinner took quite a bit of time, but it was well worth it. There was plenty of food, lots of cheer and even a dozen friends who stuck around to go caroling afterward. We walked through the neighborhood singing a variety of tunes completely off key and completely enjoying ourselves. We agreed the night was well worth embarrassing ourselves when we came to a house where an older gentleman opened the door and his wife, bald from what we guessed was cancer treatment, cheered us on.

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Last 2008 Community Dinner

Last 2008 Community Dinner

We spread a bit of cheer and walked off those calories in the process. I had a lot of fun and am really thankful for my friends. I realized last night as we tromped through the street that I have some incredible people in my life, willing to do the ridiculous to make me happy.

Posted in
Africa, Community, Domestic Art, Earth Mama, Flora and Fauna, Journal, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Public Health, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Uncategorized
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Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

December 8th

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

Jars of Renewal: Spicy Tomato Chutney

A month or so ago, Colleen sent me a sweet package including a jar of her spicy tomato chutney {recipe here!}. She said in her note that this was good on “just about everything.” I am a pretty basic girl when it comes to condiments. I like spicy mustard, balsamic vinegar, salsa, and a bit of pepper. I rarely need anything more — unless it is the occasional dip into the crunchy peanut butter for a bagel.

Once I opened the jar, I quickly realized I was going to need more of this stuff and I was going to need it soon! It was rich, spicy, tangy and just as she said — good as a dip with vegetables, great as a spread on a whole wheat tortilla and turkey wrap, yummy on quinoa, and delicious as a spread with grilled chicken. I was in love.

Colleen shared her recipe and yesterday I managed to get a bit of cooking accomplished. Using a canning book Finny sent me for my birthday, I used a few more of those Jars of Renewal recycled jars and voila — seven more small gifts for the holidays.

Considering both of my forays into canning have been solo adventures, I’m not certain I’m doing everything just right. Also, I really should have read the recipe better because malt vinegar and normal old vinegar aren’t the same. It is still yummy, but it is different than what Colleen sent me. Next time, I’ll follow her words to the t.

I highly recommend this simple and sassy recipe. I plan to partner these with freshly baked loaves of bread and a great bottle of red wine for a few Christmas gifts. I am also quite pleased at the number of jars I’ve repurposed with this little Jars of Renewal project. Yahoo!

If you are looking for other great frugal (yet truly fabulous) ideas for Christmas, check out my other friend Colleen’s great project.

Cheers,

K

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Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Journal, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recycle
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Jars of Renewal: Sweet Treats

November 24th

Jars of Renewal: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

Jars of Renewal: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

Jars of Renewal: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

Jars of Renewal: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

Jars of Renewal: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

Do you have men in your life who you want to treat to homemade gifts but who recoil at the thought of anything crafted? Yeah. I’ve got a bunch of those too. I’ve spent way, way too much time and energy in the past trying to change their minds with felted pencil holders, embroidered pot holders, and even a man bag or two. I haven’t known my audience well.

When J asked me last week if I’d ever heard of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, I knew what the next Jars of Renewal project would be. Jason is the husband of one of my best friends and father to a small cadre of children who I adore. He is also the brains behind the design of this site and worthy of all the tailored spoiling I can muster.

I bought a large jar of roasted sunflower seeds, two large dark chocolate Hershey’s bars and threw them together on a cookie sheet. This then went in the freezer for an hour and then I carefully broke the pieces apart by hand before filling the jars. A simple, salty-sweet treat I’m guessing most men (women, children, monkeys) would love.

~K

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Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Journal, Kitchen Talk, Recycle, Reuse
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Emerald, Lime, Olive, Kelly

November 10th

Fall in DC

DC was excellent; I had such a great time at the Green Festival with Mike and Sam. Let me tell you — these two know how to hosts guests.

The Tuck's home

The adorable Tuck home.

They not only drove me around for three days, set up a hotel room in the city so we could walk and enjoy our time without worrying about driving back to the burbs, and spoiled me silly with chocolates on the pillow, awesome food and gobs of time, but they did so graciously. They didn’t make me feel like a guest, but like someone they’d really been looking forward to seeing and I couldn’t be more thankful. We also spent a night in Georgetown singing Billy Joel songs at a piano bar, surrounded by hot men in suits. (Seriously, DC? Good work on the men. Well-dressed eye candy abounds.)
It was a blast, and I’m pretty sure everyone within a five-foot distance — as far as my shouting voice could carry over the piano — knew that there were no such venues in Maricopa County. Phoenix, we need a piano bar, lots of Billy Joel and more suit-worthy weather.

Green festival, DC

Spicy chicken wrap with local veggie salad: $10. This was about three bites and the one thing I’d change about the festival was the commercial angle. They charged $1 for a cup of water — as in they charged you for the cup and then you used the faucet. Pretty silly.

Felted hippie bag in action

Africankelli bag being rocked at the festival by Ms. Sam.

Green Festival, DC

Books for sale a the fest. I didn’t buy any books. I spent my cash on an ionized foot detox instead. The photos are here, but be forewarned, they are horrifying.

We also heard Marion Nestle and Amy Goodman speak. Nestle is one of my public health heroines and she did not disappoint. Goodman gave me an entirely new perspective of the media. I learned gobs and felt right at home with my fellow Birkenstock-wearing, earth-loving, tree-hugging friends.

Green Festival, DC

My notebook, ready for some Marion Nestle insight…

Green festival, DC

Dr. Nestle, who within five minutes of taking the stage made me reconsider everything I eat. In a nutshell: the US now imports the majority of our foods (and preservatives and pharmaceuticals) from China, India and Mexico — noteworthy because of their lack of quality control in areas such as preservatives and pharmaceuticals. Or so she and the recent dog food/melamine/baby formula scandals would suggest. Scary. Her talk made me sit up straight and think of all the foods I’d eaten in the last two hours that had countless preservatives, most of which probably came from an unregulated source. Yikes. Time to make some serious pantry changes.

In response, we decided not to go out for dinner after the conference. Instead we celebrated with a homemade meal and lots of local incredients:

roasted acorn squash stuffed with turkey, sage and apples

Roast acorn squash filled with apples and garlic…

roasted acorn squash stuffed with turkey, sage and apples
roasted acorn squash stuffed with turkey, sage and apples

Turkey, sage and squash simmering with onion and olive oil.

roasted acorn squash stuffed with turkey, sage and apples

Voila — the perfect meal to end a fantastic weekend. We included local Tarara wine, which was excellent.

There is certainly something to eating fresh, local and eventually vegan.

Three cheers to the Tuckers at Washington DC. I’m smitten.

~K

Posted in
Happy Hippie, Journal, Public Health, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Travel
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Jars of Renewal: Halloween

October 25th

Jars of Renewal: Halloween
Jars of Renewal: Halloween
Jars of Renewal: Halloween
Jars of Renewal: Halloween
Jars of Renewal: Halloween
Jars of Renewal: Halloween

I have two friends who are new moms and have been saving their baby food jars for me. I have a vision of making a path of tea light luminaries through my garden this winter. In the meantime, we are all about celebrating autumn, pumpkins and cooler weather for the time being. $4 later, I have treats for today’s staff meeting. Jars of Renewal recycled jar count: 40+.

~K

P.S. If you are thinking about the holidays, buying small, supporting artisans and local business — check out Funky Finds. Jess does such a fantastic job with finding the coolest handmade stuff online. If you have a second, check out the site and drop her a line. She is a great girl in need of some much deserved support.

Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Journal, June Cleaver, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
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Jars of Renewal: Prickly Pear Syrup

September 12th

How I used the rest of those prickly pear
Ruby red goodness
Marg ingredients waiting
Too sweet for me
Pepto pink margs
this boy loves the prickly pear
Enjoying the margs
Five more recycled jars

I promise this is my last prickly pear post for a bit. I used the remaining prickly pear tunas last night for the latest Jars of Renewal project: syrup! Great in margaritas, other mixed drinks and even on pancakes. Yum.

To local gardeners, a reminder that tomorrow’s veggie class series at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market is worth the drive and $10. I’m thinking a big bowl of oatmeal at Matt’s beforehand is just what the happy hippie ordered.

Happy Friday friends!
Kelli

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Arizona, Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Journal, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recycle, Uncategorized
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Jars of Renewal: Project 2

August 31st

Jars of Renewal Tag

So, you are going celebrating a three-day fabulous summer weekend with a BBQ. May I make a suggestion? Take an hour while the meat is marinating, the beer is cooling and the cake is in the oven to make homemade BBQ sauce. This is a family recipe that I can promise BBQ lovers will not soon forget.

Jars of Renewal: Project 2

My grandfather Trevor has been perfecting his BBQ sauce recipe for years, including many spent in Louisiana where he learned to master gumbo, crepes and a variety of other delicious plates we’ve come to expect at our truly eclectic family table. Plus, it freezes well and is another great way to use up some of those jars you’ve got hanging around — you know, the dusty ones in the back of the pantry.
Double the recipe and you’ll have two great Fall gifts ready to go. Just be sure to leave yourself a couple inches at the top of the jar before you stick it in the freezer. If you decide not to freeze your batch, the sauce will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Enjoy!

Jars of Renewal: Project 2

Pap’s BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 green bell pepper
1 large celery stalk
1/4 white onion
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1/2 can of tomato juice
Cayenne pepper to taste

Jars of Renewal: Project 2
Jars of Renewal: Project 2
Jars of Renewal: Project 2

Directions:
Using a three-sided grater, or your food processor, finely grate the bell pepper, celery and onion. Put the oil in heavy pot on medium-high heat. Add the grated vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add sugar, vinegar, sauce and juice. Let simmer for 15 minutes and add cayenne and garlic powder. Taste and see if you want to kick it up with a bit more of each spice.
Let simmer for 40 minutes. If the sauce isn’t the thickness you desire, add 1/4 cup of corn starch to a cup of cold water and mix thoroughly before adding to sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring carefully. Take off heat.

Adding a dash of liquid smoke is great too!

Jars of Renewal: Project 2

~K

P.S. Big thanks to Miss Colleen for yet another kind, thoughtful and creative logo! Please feel free to download it here and use it for your own Jar of Renewal projects.

Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recipes, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
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