Bumblebee on Spanish Lavender

In Praise of Bumblebees

It’s National Pollinator Week, and I want to sing the praises of bumblebees. Without them, nothing in my own garden would be pollinated. We do get a few honeybees (we’re sure they come downhill from the hives our Pioneering the Simple Life friends keep), but bumblebees outnumber them by at least 100 to 1. My […]

Petals for DIY Ink

DIY Flower Petal Ink

Yesterday was the first day of summer vacation for my daughters, and it’s already off to a promising start. My rising 2nd-grader slept in until just after 11 am, then promptly announced that she was “so, so bored.” I love boredom as a motivating force – Left to her own devices, she ended up collecting […]

Lemon Rose Sourdough Cake

Lemon Rose Sourdough Cake

This is my favorite sourdough cake recipe yet. The Chocolate Orange version is delicious, but I was craving something lemony. I love citrus cakes and I thought the extra depth of flavor that comes along with the sourdough starter would be wonderful combined with lemon. I searched online and found a few variations on the […]

DIY No Sew Bunting

Balloon-Free Party Decor

or The Joys of Bunting. Back when it was time for my first-born’s first birthday, I brought home a dozen helium balloons to decorate our house. I tied them to the front porch, to each chair around our table, and left the others floating freely around the house wherever the breeze took them. When we […]

First Strawberry of 2013

Berry Thoughts

There are a few things that balance out our traditionally gray, wet early summers here. One of them is the giddy jolt of pure joy we all get when the sun finally comes out and another is the berries. Strawberries, raspberries, salmon berries, thimble berries, red huckleberries, evergreen huckleberries, blackcap raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, salal berries, […]

Beauty, Health, Love

Re-hydration Less Plastic

Re-hydration Less Plastic

DIY Electrolyte Replacement Drink Perfect Whenever You’d Otherwise Drink Gatorade or Pedialyte My oldest daughter came home with a stomach bug the other day. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with the sorrow and laundry that come along with a puking virus, and luckily this one was short-lived. After one miserable […]

Community Connections

Reuse Is My Favorite “R”

Reuse Is My Favorite “R”

Grandma Inge’s tip put used coffee grounds in car you’ll be happier I come by my love of reuse thanks to my Grandma Inge, an artist and world traveler who foraged for materials wherever she went, reused almost everything, and threw very little out. Like so many people who have known war or want, as […]

DIY Crafts & Trash Hacks

Toys Less Plastic: DIY Dollhouse Dolls – Now in Pants!

Toys Less Plastic: DIY Dollhouse Dolls – Now in Pants!

Update: We have figured out how to make our DIY Dollhouse Dolls wearing pants! To make your own, follow the directions in my first post about these here; there’s no sewing required, and except for the hot glue, this is a plastic-free craft. Instead of adding dresses or skirts over the skin-colored embroidery floss-wrapped legs, […]

Food Less Plastic

Agua de Sandia

Agua de Sandia

Watermelon Water is a Perfect Summer Drink This drink is one of many possible varieties of Agua Fresca, and it’s an easy one to make as watermelon is already mostly water just waiting to be slurped up. When we have a watermelon sliced open that we can’t eat before it starts to ferment or attract […]

Grow & Forage

Eat Like a Bee: Dandelion Jelly

Eat Like a Bee: Dandelion Jelly

Bees Know a Good Thing – Dandelions are Sweet This is the time of year when I harness my in-home child labor to make dandelion jelly. I pay my girls 1 cent for each fully opened yellow dandelion blossom they pick from our yard – They might be the one remaining thing worth a single […]

Housekeeping

The Beauty of Compost

The Beauty of Compost

I used to put my compost into a steel canister with a lid that I kept to the right of my dish soap by my kitchen sink. But as we started to grow the majority of the produce we eat, our food waste went way up – All those bean stems, strawberry hulls, eggshells, and […]

Personal Narrative

In Praise of Puffy Clouds

In Praise of Puffy Clouds

We’ve got some famously blue skies here thanks to Perry Como (well, to be precise, right across the water from my own “here”). We don’t seem the bluest blue all that often, but when we finally do, it’s glorious. I actually have another song running through my mind whenever our skies look like this. Way […]

Zero Waste Tips

Plastic-Free Fun & Games: Switch

Plastic-Free Fun & Games: Switch

Looking for a plastic-free game? We’ve got one you can play without buying anything new – You probably already have everything you need right at home, or even in your backpack, briefcase, or purse. There’s no need to buy anything at all, let alone anything wrapped in or made of plastic. Our friends Zann and […]

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