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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.

                    

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Entries in green (22)

Wednesday
Jun262013

sustainable backyard beginner

This past weekend we participated in the St. Louis Sustainable Backyard Tour. About this time last year I posted about attending the tour. This year when I saw the tour needed more homes in our area, I figured "Hey we have a fun yard, especially one that would appeal to eco newbies". Many of the yards have solar panels, bees, wind turbines...ok maybe not turbines but they are intense!

Our yard offered 5 "beginner" steps towards a more sustainable backyard. The 1st is a standard rain barrel, that I desperately try to disguise with clusters of plants. Because though I love her, she is not a pretty lady.

The 2nd eco project we have is our bokashi compost, which many people were more interested in than I anticipated (and they label themselves granola!). Oh, you don't know about indoor composting? Shame on you (said in a very judgemental tone).

Number 3 & 4 were our upcycled furniture. The wine bottle torches are from the Design*Sponge tutorial, and still one of my favorite patio elements. The pallet table is my internet superstar—my Pinterest one hit wonder.

 

Lastly we have the 5th sustainable element—our sweet hens! Bonus is their coop is made from a doghouse we found on Craigslist. Someday I'll do a full post on how much I love these girls, but for now just a peek.

We certianly enjoyed the 5+ hours of conversating with 50+ strangers, in the crazy summer heat, but it was definitely exhausting. I do like showcasing a yard that appeals to people just starting to be interested in a green home. Sometimes the "greener" lifestyle feels intimidating or you wonder where to start, but these are just a few of the very practical & simple ways to start. And hopefully aesthetically appealing ones too!

Wednesday
Jul252012

my first CSA & recipes

Another adventure I have been holding out on is participating in my first CSA.

Each week we get a "surprise" bundle of local fresh produce. It has been a bit of a challenge to find way of incorporating new-to-me produce. I'd never cooked with a turnip in my life. And I have no idea what many of the greens are, including the upper right bunch (help!). Most weeks I cut up all the greens and mix together to eat in salads all week, which is probably not the best way to eat exotic greens.

A collection of herbs each week. Basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary.

While it has been a bit of challenge to use up the food during a busy week, I am a fan of joining a CSA simply because it forces you incorporate/eat really healthy foods. I am probably not the only one who needs a extra accountability to eat a large amount of vegetables EVERY WEEK. Bonus that it supports the local economy (of course).

Don't forget to follow Kara and Erin (which I posted about here) if you need garden recipe ideas. And below are the recipes that I or a friend have tried and recommend:

Rainbow Chard Pesto

Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

Summer Vegetable Tian

Pasta with Kale & Walnut Pesto

Sweet Spicy Turnips 

Sweet & Tangy Sauteed Collard Greens

I'd love to know if you tried and loved a CSA? Or if you have any great seasonal recipes to try?!

Monday
Jun252012

a sustainable backyard tour

Hello Monday.

Yesterday we took advantage to poke around houses in our neighborhood through The Sustainable Backyard Tour. While most yards weren't too revolutionary, there are a few noteworthy projects from the yards I visited.

Above is a bicycle rack made from an old fence that had been thrown away. I have no idea how many hours went into restoring and constructing, but I was impressed with the final.

Below is the roof of a garage. Learning about green roofs was really interesting. It's like a giant terrarium! Benefits include reducing temperature 50%+, longer roof life span, increased real estate value, better water drainage, and storing hot/cool air inside the structure. Isn't it cool (literally and figuratively!)?

Here's to you having a fantastic week!

Thursday
May312012

lovely bundle {beekeeping}

May is over. Hard to believe. The above inspiration is for my weekend, which includes learning about beekeeping! While I have become extremely interested in sustainable homes as of late, this isn't in my future plans. I just think it's fascinating! Bees are cute/scary/elegant/discusting all at the same time.

Any unique plans for your June weekend?

Image Sources: 1. Mimi Giboin, featured on Remodelista (via Pinterest) // 2. Graphics Fairy (via Pinterest) // 3. Lauren Lemons // 4. Roost < I am OBSESSED (via Pinterest) // 5. Leo Patrone for Kinfolk Mag //

Wednesday
May232012

how does your {herb} garden grow? ::: pt 2

My how starting from seeds takes time. Remember when I posted my herb garden part 1? Just recentely I felt they were worthy of the title garden. And yes, I cheated by adding a purchased lavender, chive, and dill plant. In case you were wondering why everything looks so large and plush.

For garden markers I didn't get too crazy. Popsicle sticks with stamped lettering is all I need for this simple bucket o'herbs.

Anyone else have herb gardens to share?

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Thursday
Apr192012

lovely bundle {planet earth}

Wrapping up the week with some earth day inspiration. Tentatively I'm planning to ride my new bicycle to the park for St. Louis Earth Day to get out and enjoy some great weather. Anyone else have fun plans for the weekend?

Photo Sources: 1. Katie Daisy (via Going Home to Roost) // 2. Jessica Durrant // 3. Paper & Paper Co. // 4. Brainstorm (via Pinterest) // 5. RokinRonda for Society6 //

Wednesday
Apr182012

diy laundry & dishwasher soap {review}

So I've been easing into the homemade soaps movement.  Saving money and avoiding harmful chemicals are the only perks I need to be interested. Bonus being hardly any work (less than a monthly shopping trip). Here are my thoughts on the two recipes I'm using.

Laundry Soap // I LOVE this stuff and couldn't be happier. So much for so little $! There isn't a strong smell to the clean clothes, but that is because I am choosing not to use softener or add scented ingredient.

Dishwasher Soap // So far this is not comparable to store bought. I may experiment with rinse aids to help with residue, but it's also really crusty which makes it hard to dig out. I want to research other recipes, but overall it's still been a good buy.

Both these recipes came from Being Creative to Keep My Sanity. I've also tested a handsoap recipe (total flop), but I didn't use the bar in the recipe so I'll need to try again...when I run out of this gallon of snot soap....which may take years...

Has anyone else had luck with making their own household soaps? Perhaps cleaners???

Tuesday
Apr172012

notable: spring olive

A little love never hurts.

Featured Artist: Spring Olive

Monday
Apr162012

diy bokashi bucket composting

Happy Monday! This coming Sunday is Earth Day so this week will feature earth friendly posts. Today I'm sharing my latest eco venture—Bokashi composting.

why bokashi composting?

No smell. Does not attract insects. Low maintenance. Quick and convenient. Small scale. Bokashi creates a liquid that is steroids for house & yard plants (called bokashi tea). You can ferment ANYTHING, including meat and dairy, dead leaves, paper, etc. Did I mention no smell???

Bokashi mix is also great for eliminating the stink in kitty litter boxes AND you could make an outdoor bin for dog doo doo if you'd like a better way to discard dog waste (do not use this as compost for edible plants).

what is bokashi?

Originating in Japan, bokashi is perfect for urban dwellers with little space because it can be kept indoors. The bokashi mix contains effective microorganisms (EM) that ferment the food, as opposed to letting food decompose. If you are interested in learning more about the biology in layman terms, this is a good read. I purchased my bokashi mixture from this local store for $12. It is also available online or you can make your own bokashi if you are really hard core.

step by step of using bokashi

Here is what composting looks like for me. Once the bucket is made (directions below), you throw in a few handfuls of bokashi and then start a layer of food.

Every time food is added another handful of bokashi is thrown on top, then I use plastic bag to keep it airtight before adding the bucket lid.

I only add scraps every 2-3 days, so in the mean time I collect food in a plastic container that is stored in the freezer.

Once the entire bucket is full (which has only taken me about one month!) it is sealed for two weeks. Note: Because there is this two week gap, we are probably going to make a second bucket. After this point the pickled food will need work (or maybe you can hand off to a gardner you know). Bokashi bucket contents need to be buried underground for 2-4 weeks in order to become actual compost. Once I complete this step I'll update the post about my experience.

diy bokashi bucket

TOOLS // Electric drill.
SUPPLIES // Two 5-gallon buckets (or large tupperware or kitty litter buckets), screen cut to fit bucket, bucket lid, and bokashi mix.

Optional: Spigot, O-rings, and a connecting side.

Take one bucket and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

The spigot goes on the bucket without holes and was slightly complicated. And I'm not sure it's necessary. Once we drilled a hole for the spigot and screwed it into the connecting side, we still had to use calking to seal it for leaks. Do over, I'd skip this. We have yet to accumulate enough "bokashi tea" to use the spigot. Instead, you could lift up the inside bucket every 3-4 days and dump out the tea that has accumulated.

Once finished you have: outside bucket with or w/o spigot, inside holy bucket containing the screen, and then a lid. Rough cost estimate: Buckets $3 ea, used screen free, lid $3, spigot + rings + connector $7, bokashi mix $12, totaling $28. You can also purchase pre-made bucket sets for around $60.

bokashi wrap up

All this may sound really complicated but I promise it is not bad at all. This post is long because I wanted to give a general overview of this composting method. So far I really like using bokashi and it's been really convenient. Feel free to ask any questions about getting started, I am no professional but feel somewhat knowledgeable!

Happy heart the earth week!

Resources used for DIY: Bokashi Blog, Just Like My Nan Made, Lulu-Lenore

Friday
Mar162012

lovely bundle {st. patrick's day love}

To end the week, just a bit more Irish inspiration for you! And I also can't tell you how obsessed I am with this song by fun. Obsessed like back when you made an entire cd of the same song. Oh, jr. high memories.

Anyone have parade or party plans for tomorrow?! Regardless, have a lovely green weekend!

Psst, the LUCKY artwork is a free download!

Image Sources: 1. Jaros Designs (via Pinterest) // 2. Better Homes & Gardens (via Pinterest) // 3. The Crafting Chicks (via Pinterest) // 4. Eighteen25 (via Pinterest) // 5. Larissa Cleveland (via Style Me Pretty) // 6. Gracie Blue Photography (via Swoon!) //