Sunday, January 31, 2010

Newlessness : Day 31


The first month of my REsolution is over! I must admit, 31 days without buying one thing brand new... I'm pretty impressed with myself. Seriously, though, God is right here with me every step of the way. I wouldn't have been able to do it without leaning on Him.

I realized I had a dilemma this morning. Today, the new GreenCraft Magazine by Stampington is on the shelves and begging my attention. I thought, Oh great. I have to find this used, but how do I do that when it just came out? The answer is one that I don't like. I either wait or pay a fortune. Right? Wrong! A few minutes later, I remembered that my business supplies aren't subjected to my resolution rules! I was so happy, I started jumping up and down. I wondered if that was cheating for just a moment and then resumed my celebration. I thought, I'm just really blessed to love what I do!

Until my next epiphany, I challenge you to do what you love!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Detox : Days 2 and 3

Day two was pretty similar to day one. I was off of work that day so I brought meals for the girls at the office. The cleanse started producing "results" this day, if you know what I mean.
Day three started out pretty rough. I did the salt flush, and then another an hour later. I met up with my Dad for breakfast at Panera, only to find out that they didn't have any oatmeal. So, I go over the menu a few times (I'm indecisive as it is) and I finally decide I'll just have a whole wheat bagel. I get back in line, put in my order, and the lady behind the counter says "we don't have bagels". For those of you who don't know what Panera is, well, they sell bagels. I sit back down and look over the menu again. Finally, I just decided on the "power breakfast" with whole wheat toast and an egg white. I order again. This time the lady says "we don't do egg whites..." Seriously? I gave up and ordered the toast with egg and cheese, yolk and all.

After breakfast, things were a little shaken up, and I was pretty sure I was going to throw in the towel, but thanks to my boyfriend and his encouragement, I stuck with it. Of course, I decided to give my skin a little detox attention and pamper myself with a clay facial mask and some of my Juicy Lime Coconut Body Polish in the bath for some extra pampering. I figure I deserve it.
Day four is proving to be an interesting one already, but I'll save that for the next entry.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Detox : Day 1

Day one of the "7 day health detox" is over. I've been drinking some pretty terrifically gross concoctions, but all in all, not too bad. The detox I've chosen incorporates a lot of food, actually. I figure it would be a great one to start with since it is my first. Now, a good friend of mine passed down the recipes before I moved from North Carolina. So, don't ask me where I got this one from... I have no idea. Maybe online, maybe from a book somewhere, it's a toss up. What I do know, is that I've been feeling very energized, and I haven't even had any coffee. Those of you who know me might suddenly gasp at the comment, but to be honest, I've barely noticed.

I've also convinced my coworkers to detox with me, because... well... misery loves company.

Upon rising, we were to drink a salt flush, which is just 1 teaspoon of epsom salts dissolved in a half cup of warm water. Sounds simple, like it might remind you of gargling with salt water. Well, it tastes nothing like that and is not very fun to actually swallow. I chugged it. An hour later, chugged another. Then we had to eat one cup of whole grain cereal. I chose a 7 grain hot cereal made by Bob's Red Mill. Mmm. One of my favorite foods from Bob. So good, and so good for you. I also have his cornbread mix, but that is another blog for another day.
That tasty dish was short lived since we had to follow it up with a citrus flush. This consisted of a half cup of olive oil - yes olive oil - a half cup of grapefruit juice and a half cup of lemon juice. Thank God for the juices. I "shook vigorously" and sipped. Any attempt at chugging made me gag. One of my co-workers loved it - she's an interesting soul.
Then, we had three more delicious meals. Well, we were supposed to have 4, but it didn't quite work out that way.
Around 12 noon we had a turkey salad with cantaloupe and around 3:00 pm we were supposed to have chicken pasta with broccoli. Now, this is where the timing went wrong. I was microwaving broccoli in the kitchen at our leasing office (where we work), not really thinking about the fact that broccoli can be very aromatic. Of course the Regional Manager decided to pay a visit. So basically, we ended up spending an hour trying to drench the place in air freshener while secretly scarfing down our meal. The place smelled like a "sewer" and we didn't finish until 4:30. For dinner, since I was still full and partially traumatized from the late lunch, I had a scrambled egg white and toast, and skipped the barley soup.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Newlessness : REduce REuse REcycle REsolution


I've never quite understood the logic behind making a new year's resolution. I figure if you want to make a change in your life, why not start today? For this reason, I'm not the greatest at making or sticking to resolutions, however, this year, I had a great idea for one. I've been thinking quite a bit about my spending habits and one of my weaknesses is shopping. And then when I'm not shopping, I'm envying what other people have. Sometimes I try to convince myself that I'm just, well, admiring a cut or style and consider it research for my new shop... But, I'm not fooling anyone... not even myself. So, I've quit cold turkey. I've made a committment not to buy one new item for an entire year. I must admit, at first, I thought it was going to be a simple resolution and personal challenge. Here I am, not even one month in, and I about had an anxiety attack when I went to the mall. Okay, I might be exaggerating just a little, but it's definately harder than I thought it would ever be. Since I imagined it would be a simple resolution, I didn't think I would blog about it, but my friends convinced me otherwise as soon as I confessed my struggles with this challenge. I just never thought about how many new things I buy on a daily basis.

Now, you might be thinking
you can't buy everything used. Well, you're right. I've made a few exceptions to my challenge, such as food, some toiletries and business supplies. However, I've found ways in even those categories to cut down on spending and to incorporate recycled items. My business is a great example. With
Bambu Earth, I make a lot of my supplies from recycled materials, such as my handmade plantable paper labels. With Bambu Closet, most of my clothing items are made using recycled fabrics and eco-friendly fabric from other Etsy suppliers who are destashing their unwanted material. And with Bambu Studio, so far, this challenge wouldn't apply since my only supplies are my computer and my super SWEET Photoshop skills.

These categories aside, I've committed to buying only used, recycled items. So, I have to determine whether the item of my affection, sitting there on that store shelf, staring at me with shiny new packaging is something I really
need, something I really really want or just something I kind of want. If, after weighing these options, I find that it is something I need or if it is something I really really want, the hunt ensues. I then have to search out ways to get it without buying it new.

My first challenge was a simple pair of jeans. I've been meaning to buy jeans for a while now. I guess if I were a bit smarter, I would have gone on a shopping spree
before January first (however, refer back to the part where I mentioned that I assumed this to be a simple resolution). Okay, so jeans don't seem like they would be that difficult to find used, right? Wrong. Most people reading this probably don't have a 35'' inseam. Finding name-brand jeans, long enough for me to wear, without being altered, and that make my butt look good? It's hard enough finding those qualities in a new pair of jeans from the department store. I started browsing Craigslist and Ebay listings, and I realized I probably needed to try jeans on before commiting to the purchase. I tried to search brands of jeans that I've owned because I know how they will fit, but I just couldn't seem to find the right measurements or sizes.

Buffalo Exchange

After surfing the internet, I decided to go to a local thrift store. We have a great one only a few miles from my work called the Buffalo Exchange. They typically have some great stuff. If you don't mind sifting through the array of sizes and styles, this is a great avenue for buying used items. Thrift stores in general are pretty good about accepting only clothing that is in great condition and some items even still have the tag on them. Since I was on my lunch break during my visit, I couldn't spend too much time looking around, but I managed to find a few pair of jeans that seemed to be decent candidates and tried them on. One pair of Bebe jeans fit perfectly, were super long so I can even wear them with heels, and had a price tag of just $22!! These jeans easily retail for well over $100. It made me wonder why I hadn't been shopping at thrift stores all along. I've worn my "new" jeans several times already. They are my new favorite.

Until my next adventure, I challenge YOU to go take a gander at your local thrift store and don't forget to comment if you find something extraordinary!