I’ve been spending some long overdue quality time with Hubs this holiday season, so this post comes a day late for 2018. Looking back on our projects of 2018 has made me realize how much I’ve turned into my mother’s daughter. It’s a strange thing to think all your life that you’re nothing like your mother then suddenly come to the realization that you have more in common than you ever thought.
My mom was a prolific indoor and outdoor gardener. For years I didn’t have much of an interest in growing indoor plants – or a green thumb for that matter. Now every available light source in our house is stuffed with plants. Albeit, succulents are easy to keep alive, so if you don’t have much of a green thumb either, give them a try! They’re so lovely to look at and make a home even homier. You can’t really consider your nest feathered without house plants 🙂
I was inspired to re-plant some of my succulents into this succulent display when I came across this set of ceramic planters at the thrift store.
A few years ago, we replaced all our kitchen appliances with Energy Star appliances and are reaping the benefits of energy savings. However, we still have a set of washing machines that my grandmother purchased for me over 20 years ago when I was still single. Given the sentimental value, and the fact that they’re still going strong, I don’t have the heart to replace them. Unfortunately, they are energy guzzlers; my 1990s electric clothes dryer, for instance, use at least 17 percent more energy than those produced today.
Since air drying our laundry will save on energy costs, we couldn’t wait to try our MULIG drying rack. Even though there’s only two of us in our household, given the age of our dryer, we estimated that air drying could save us up to $125 a year, which is better off in our pockets!
When we renovated our basement and built a brand new laundry room, it gave us the perfect space to set up the drying rack so we could lay our clothing out to dry.
If you’re looking for a last minute, but fun and easy, ornament to do with the kids, look no further than Instructables. I used their blank template and our Birdz of a Feather logo to create this polyhedral paper craft ornament. You need nothing more than a printer, some paper, a piece of string or ribbon and craft glue to make your own.
As you saw in Part I of Waste Not Want Not, in trying to live a more a sustainable lifestyle, it’s important to us to reduce food waste. In Part II, we’re taking it another step further: along with reducing food waste, we’re reducing water and excess packaging waste.
In creating a sustainable lifestyle, it’s important to us to reduce our food waste. In this first part of a 2-part series, we’re showing you how we’re getting meal planning and inventory tracking organized. We’ll even provide you with a printable meal planner to help you with your own food waste management goals!
On today’s Sustainable Sunday, we’re cooking up batches of chicken stock to keep on hand as the cold weather settles in (we usually freeze it). Nothing could be better than a steaming bowl of hot chicken soup to keep warm on a winter’s day!
‘Stocking’ up the freezer
Homemade pesto is the payoff after we previously showed you how to set up an indoor herb garden! My personal favourite herb is basil and we use it in a lot of dishes. It’s not only great as a pesto, but in a bocconcini, tomato and basil salad. As you’ll see later, we also love to use it to simply top a burger.
You might be tempted to pick off a leaf or two as you need it. But if you make a habit of doing that, you can leave the plant looking spindly and sad. The key to producing more basil, and keep it lasting and looking good, is to prune. Pruning will foster full bushy plants. To ensure that you are not going to damage the plant, wait until it has at least three or four sets of leaves and is about 6″ to a foot tall before the first pruning.
Basil leaves grow on opposite sides of the stem. Cut the plant 1/4″ above at least two sets of leaves (where the scissor icon is pictured below). The leaves left at the top of the stem will grow out to become branches. Once the branches bear a few sets of leaves, again, just cut them above a pair of leaves and the plant will re-grow.
The scissor icon shows you where to prune the stem so you can pop it into some water!
We love herbs but they are typically sold in such large bunches that they end up spoiling before we can finish them. Under those circumstances a living herb garden makes perfect sense! But let’s face it. Canada really only has two seasons: winter and the month of July. The perfect solution for us was to start growing our own herbs indoors! Growing our own will not only curtail our current food waste, but provide a ready source of nutrient rich, flavour-packed herbs year-round!
Find a Sunny Window
We have the perfect sunny spot in a window that faces South to grow herbs successfully! With the help of Ikea’s SATSUMAS plant stand and VILDAPEL plant pots, we got busy setting up our little herb garden.
Planning the upcoming renovation for my Mom’s accessible shower has proven to be a time consuming process and my time for DIYs has crawled to a standstill. Over the course of the next few Sundays, we’re going to be filling in those gaps. Welcome to the sustainable living series we’re calling Sustainable Sunday!
The Sustainable Living Project
Remember seeing similar stripes on BoF a few weeks ago? Well, wonder no more about what we created with them. We’re finally ready to show you the second makeover of our Singer sewing table: a Hudson’s Bay point blanket inspired desk – helped out by an Ikea hack along the way. That’s a lot of DIY influences for one upcycle!
If you’re a visual learner and would rather skip the tutorial, head to the bottom of this post to watch the video.
When we found this vintage Singer sewing table at a local thrift shop (missing the treadle and band wheel), I couldn’t resist the challenge to repair the veneer and breathe new life into it! I had two very distinct visions for it – so we’ve upcycled it twice! We’ll have one reveal for you today and another – more unique one – next time.