So my neighbors started composting

So I guess I'm a composting now? Here's what I've learned

So my neighbors started composting and lucky for me they created a VERY large composting box..which means it’s time to take my recycling and earth-friendly habits to the next level.

To be honest, when they first told me that this box was being created, I didn’t know much about composting. I mean, I knew it cut down on garbage/waste and helped with growing a garden, but that’s kind of sad, basic information, right? After a quick google search I can formally share that “Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost”.

Okay, so how do you do it?

You start by getting yourself a composting bin. My neighbors took care of this for us by making one out of pallets. You can also choose to follow the DIY route, or you can buy one. Then you just start filling it up!

Different websites take different approaches. Some are very methodical (think layering different kind of organic material and putting leaves through a paper shredder), others are a little more natural. We’re heading down that second road, throwing in various items as they become available and taking care of the pile as we go.  The big thing to remember of course, is that the point is for this organic material to break down and create this nutrient-rich soil or compost. As we all know, all waste is not created equal and therefore all waste can not just be tossed in your bin.

Here is a quick list of organic materials you can add:

  • Leaves/grass
  • Fruit and veggies
  • Coffee grinds/filters
  • Tea bags
  • Egg shells
  • Garden soil
  • Newspaper (with no color print)
  • Saw dust
  • Soil
  • Herbivorous animal waste (no meat eaters, please!)

Things you can NOT add:

  • Pet waste
  • Meat scraps/bones
  • Disposable diapers
  • Plastic
  • Synthetic fibers
  • Dead plants
  • Anything with dairy

I also learned that it’s a good idea to keep a healthy mix of the “yes” items above. Most things that I read split this list up into two categories: Green and Brown materials. They break down in different ways and produce different materials. It’s a good idea to water and turn your pile regularly, to keep air flow and discourage any foul odors.

To be honest I’m a little nervous about this endeavor. South Florida is known for an early summer and I’m just going to guess that heat and humidity probably play a rather smelly part in decomposition… sooo wish us luck! If you have tips, please leave them in the comments.. I’m sure I’m going to need them.

 

Photo via ManMade

Last Minute Thanksgiving DIYs

This year Dean offered to cook a little Thanksgiving dinner for us here at home. We bought a little turkey and I’ve been hunting down some recipes for side dishes, but something seemed a little off. And then it hit me: WE HAVE NO DECORATIONS UP. We’re wearing shorts and running around a non-decorated home. Thanksgiving turkeys just don’t seem to fit in. Sooooo we went a little nuts and purchased a Christmas tree early.Don’t worry, we decided to leave the tree TBD (to be decorated) until after Thanksgiving, but it just gives the house such a great smell and the perfect, winter feel. I know everyone doesn’t agree, but I like winter/holiday decorations for Thanksgiving. I think it all kind of fits together.  But if you don’t, have no fear! There are much easier, more “thanksgiving-y” options available to you. Here are some of my favorites.

 

 

simple gold paper garland.

 

Here we have a cute paper garland project. I like this DIY because it’s so simple to put together, but it makes a large impact. How cute would this look strung up on a mantle or across a cute bookshelf?

 

 

 

cinnamon candle

 

Add some cinnamon sticks to common candles! It gives off a light scent, but it’s definitely not overpowering. Most importantly they look super cute! I get compliments on these guys every season (they also make cute and cost effective gifts!)

 

thanksgiving printable

 

There’s nothing better than a free printable! How much easier can life get, right? This quote is offered both as a utensil holder or for your favorite frame.

 

 

thanksgiving ideas

 

Gold paint! Paint a pumpkin or a little turkey figurine, either way it’s going to look a little more elegant and a little more grown up in gold.

 

 

thanksgiving ideas

 

Speaking of gold, how great would these look on your dinner table with a gold candle or a cute cold bow tied around the vase? Such a simple way to literally take your cranberries from you Thanksgiving table right into the holiday season.

 

 

Do you have some easy DIY’s that you’ll use to decorate for Thursday? Please share! I’d love to hear 🙂

4 quick costumes from items you already own

I’m pretty bad at Halloween. I wish I could be that person who has this great costume all put together weeks before hand, but the honest truth is that I’m just not like that. It’s pretty normal for me to put together costumes the week of (night of?) and if you’re like me, take note: less is more. With less 10 days left until the big day, I thought we could brainstorm a little bit. When you’re on a time crunch, the big thing is the classic KISS- Keep it Simple, Stupid, (why don’t we have a nicer acronym?) You don’t want to over do it at all. Use things from around the house and have fun with the character.

 

quick costume ideas- beatnik The Beatnik plan is all about simplicity. Just throw on some black clothes and a pair of sunglasses and hit the road! No hat or turtleneck?? Roll up your pants, grab some white socks and stick your hair in a pony – BOOM you’re Audrey from Funny Face.   quick halloween ideas with items you already have- mimeAnother black and white option? A mime! This takes a little more work as you have to run to the store for some face paint, but I’m going to assume that you already have dark pants, a striped shirt, and red lipstick. Unless you’re pulling something together day-of, I’m going to say that this isn’t too difficult. quick costume ideas with items you already own-workerThis doesn’t really have to be a train worker, the red bandana just reminded me of a conductor, ya know? Anyway. Throw on some “work” boots, wear a lot of jean and put some tools in your pocket. Just like that you’ve become a handy-girl!   Quick costumes with items you already own- RosieRosie the Riveter is my personal favorite. I’ve been wanting to be her for the past few years but I’ve been traveling for work and unable to dress up 🙁 This costume is all about the hair/bandana and chambray. The fun part is that there’s a little guess work involved. From the waist down we have no idea what she’s wearing! I went for a worker girl in jeans look, but feel free to do it up in your own style. People will still get it.

 

Anyway, is anyone else like me and really slow at finding Halloween costumes? What have some of your favorite costumes been?

Adventures in Knitting

You guys may remember that last year I talked about getting my knitting started early… you should probably know that this was a big fail. I finished one scarf last year. Just one! In case you’re unsure, fall and winter should have left me much more time to make many things, but sometimes life gets in the way.

This year I was determined to start early again, and what better time to start than travel season! Yesterday I locked myself up in my hotel room and watched the voice (magical) and the Blacklist (new favorite) and just started knitting in my bed. This may make me sound like an old lady, but does this look like something an old lady would wear?

knitting project

 

I think not. I’m a novice knitter at best, so I stole this simple tutorial from Craft Snob and now you can enjoy it too. Isn’t it cute? I’m so proud that I got something done before the cold weather really starts up. Now the big question is, how many of these headbands is too many?

 

(answer: none)

 

PS- I also had some people ask about buying them… would anyone else think about it if I put together an etsy shop? I’ve been looking for a way to donate some extra funds to a local pit foundation and I think this could fit the bill. Anyone have any experience selling on etsy? Spill the deets, please!

The Easy DIY Candle

Dean and I constantly have a candle burning, so you could just imagine the amount of jars and little vases we have laying around. I guess some people throw away their jars after a candle burns out? Who knew! Growing up we used the freezer method to clean out candle jars and this method actually allows you to hold onto your old wax if you choose. At some point last year I decided I would start saving the tiny candle scraps.

I have a jar filled with scraps of candles that smells like Christmas, one that has more fall/winter scents, and now that my spring/summer jar turned into two jars, I figured it was time to do something with it them. Obviously making a brand new candle seemed like the easy choice.

Easy DIY candle

Supplies:
A Jar
Candle Wick
Wax or Candle Scraps
Water and a Stove

What to do:

Make yourself a new candle from old scraps!

1- Put all of your candle scraps together in a single jar.

 

an easy new candle from old candle scraps!

2- Put said jar in a pot of cool water and bring to a boil.

 

DIY Candle from old scraps

3- And wait for alllll of your wax to melt. You’ll see here that I added a second, smaller jar to the mix. I realized that I wanted to use my candle right away so I chose to heat up a smaller jar so that I could pour my wax directly into it’s new home. I didn’t want the jar to crack under the heat so I decided to bring it to a boil with my other candle.

 

DIY Candle from old scraps

4- Now here’s the tricky part. Take your smaller jar and glue the bottom of your wick to the bottom of the jar. If you’re smarter than me (which now you will be) you should also find a way to get your wick to stand straight up now- before pouring in the wax. I was dumb and didn’t think this through and I had to put those knives on top of my jar to hold the wick in place. You’re not going to do that though. You’re going to tie the top of the wick to something (I suggest a pencil or maybe some chopsticks) and balance said object on top of the jar to hold the wick in place like this picture.

And that’s it! You just hang out and let your candle cool. Once it’s back to a solid candle form, you can just trim the wick and light that baby up!

candle from old scraps!

 

So there she is in all her glory!

Do you save the scraps of your candles, too?
Any other crazy jar hoarders out there?

I’ve got mason jars, candle jars, sauce jars.
…is this something I shouldn’t admit on the web?
..anyone need a jar?

Linking with Sugar Bee