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Archive for the ‘friday 5’ Category

Primele Calligaphy Stamps

  1. Primele’s Calligraphy. These Calligraphy return-address stamps are amazing! I’m not sure how long I’ll be living in my current place, but you’d better believe once I’m living in a more permanent residence, I’ll be ordering one of these stamps.
  2. Hands down the best fresh juice available: Evolution “Incredible Vegetable” or “Organic V”. It’s a beet and carrot vegetable juice that’s better than any ‘juice bar’ juice. I won’t even insult the juice by comparing it to that awful, salt-laden V8.
  3. As I mentioned in my previous post, the book “Eating Animals” has been a life-changing read for me. So much so, that it deserves another mention.
  4. Trendenser. I have absolutley no idea what’s written in this blog because it’s Swedish, but the pictures are enough to keep you mesmerized. It’s the perfect recipe: white floors, white walls, Eames chairs.
  5. Letter from Steve Martin.

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I watched the chilling undercover footage recorded during an investigation exposing Conklin Dairy Farms workers sadistically abusing cows and young calves. The owner, Gary Conklin, isn’t taking responsibility as he himself is shown 1:25 minutes in the video taking part in the abuse, but one worker has been fired and is currently in jail awaiting trial. As horrific and disturbing as the video footage is, I think it’s important to watch– at least whatever you can stomach– because turning a blind eye doesn’t help the situation. More disturbing are the varied abuses running rampant in factory farms across the country.

The video combined with the book that i’m reading called ‘Eating Animals’ are changing my life. Although, I eat meat rarely– always teetering on vegetarianism– this is officially my last day as a “meat-eater”. Two generations ago, our food came from family farms. Today, upwards of 99% of the meat consumed in this country is from factory farming– it’s a corrupt, inhumane, sad, disgusting industry that deserves absolutley *NONE* of our support.

Choose wisely.

My Top 5 focuses on humane choices for your pantry. I’ve done a bit of research and whether or not you choose to go vegetarian, you can still make better choices and support the less than 1% of farmers who are working hard to do the right thing. Although, this list is fairly San Francisco-centric, I found all the resources through Google, so use this as a stepping stone to find similar farms and establishments in your area:

  1. The Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit small farm advocacy group, showcases ethical family farm producers and exposes factory farm producers and brands that threaten to take over organic dairying. The dairy report, a web-based rating tool, includes a scorecard that rates 68 different organic dairy brands against a set of criteria to true organic standards.
  2. Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco focuses on local, organic, and non-genetically modified food.
  3. Truly Free-Range Eggs: Pasture-Raised.

    The author of Eating Animals, Jonathan Safron Foer, states that if there’s one thing you can do to get started in the right direction of not allowing these corporate factory farms and the abuses to proliferate– it’s to not eat chicken or eggs. Chickens are the most abused of all farmed animals, and yet they are completely unprotected under US federal law. Confined to live in areas no larger than a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 printing paper; no food in the nation produces more suffering than poultry.

  4. The Institute for Fisheries Resources has started a Web site called Local and Seasonal Seafood Program that lists local fishermen by region. IFR acts as a conduit to connect the seafood eating public with local commercial fishermen who can provide fresh, high quality, healthy, sustainable seafood.
  5. Visit Farmers markets. Get to know the farmers in your community and support them.

+1 Resistance to the destructive trend in modern meat, dairy, egg, and seafood production is mounting. Factory farms may once again become farms.

Incorporated in 2007, Farm Forward is a nonprofit advocacy group at the forefront of pragmatic efforts to transform and implement innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farm animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture. Confused as to what type of meat to buy? The Farm Forward website has plenty of information to get you started in making informed food choices.

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top 5: moving boxes

I’m moving back to San Francisco this month (expect a URL and business name change soon) and since my life is full of packing and sorting and organizing boxes, my Top 5 this week is devoted to the same.

Dingbat Press Printable Moving Announcement

  1. These darling printable moving announcements almost make me happy to move. Head over to ‘Love. Obsess. Inspire.’ and click on “Free Printable Goodie” to download and print.
  2. Real Simple’s Moving Checklist saves my sanity when I start freaking out about EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO.
  3. Tapeswell, the purveyors of decorative packing tape, help make moving less…. blah.
  4. Plastic Loose Fill Council. Visit their site or call 800-828-2214 for the nearest packing-peanut drop spot.
  5. How to pack everything you own in one bag. I wish!

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top 5: knitting

Spratters And Jayne Design

I started knitting six years ago after taking a class in San Francisco at the Urban Knitting Studio. It was great to learn after talking about it for close to a decade. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and I haven’t knitted in two years! With this lengthy hiatus, I’m really excited about getting back into it. As my previous post talked about “BALANCE”, I believe it’s important to replace the daily grind with a creative interest. I’ve been totally awe-inspired by a few projects and I wanted to share them as my Top 5. They’ve whole-heartedly inspired me and hopefully they’ll inspire you to break out the knitting needles again– or pick up the craft for the first time.

  1. Spratters & Jayne. The cowls and lapels are to die for! This is my next project; a beautiful chunky knit lapel.
  2. Wool and the Gang. The Wool and the Gang site was recommended to me by a friend of mind in Los Angeles, and the instructional videos are the best I’ve ever seen. Her accent and the music are so charming.
  3. Who would have thought to knit your own cleaning tools? Pretty dang brilliant, if I do say so myself. Using scrap yarn to knit a Swiffer cover. Or if crocheting is your thing, this blogger created Swiffer sock covers and dish scrubbers (Japanese Tawashi). According to the site, the Swiffer covers work better than the cloth covers you can buy and they’re totally washable/reusable. Anything that involves less waste is always a good idea.
  4. Knit graffiti. The world can always be a prettier place.
  5. Another beautifully amazing inspiration are the big, chunky knits from Gile Deacon’s AW07 line. Where can I get yarn like that?!

Plus 1: Of course, you have to keep all your knitting supplies and needles organized and ready to go when inspiration strikes you.

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EcoBags Produce Bags

  1. Eco produce bags. I’m pretty religious about bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. The consumption of plastic bags at my house is almost ‘zero’. However, I’m not happy to report that I still use those pesky plastic produce bags from time to time. When it comes to getting fruits and veggies from point A to B, plastic produce bags do a good job of keeping produce separated as well as keeping them together. I do reuse plastic produce bags and I recycle them, but my goal is to remove them from my shopping trip altogether. I was happy to find EcoBags to help me in that process. The Produce Bag Set comes with three different sized bags (small, medium, and large), so you can keep your potatoes together with other potatoes and separated from fragile fruits. Made of unbleached cotton, these bags are lightweight, easy to care for and will help eliminate your reliance on plastic produce bags when you’re at the market.
  2. Reusable totes. “Chic, inexpensive and compact, Envirosax eco-friendly shopping bags carry the message of re-use to a world ready to embrace a brighter ecological future.”
  3. Grocery list. ZipList is a free web-based service that lets you manage your grocery list in one central place from any web browser or mobile phone. Creating a shopping list has been widely recognized as one way to save money at the grocery store. By sticking to a list, you’ll reduce impulse purchases and keep from picking up items that already fill the pantry at home. Store your shopping list online and share it with family members, so they can add their own items or check off items from the list that have been purchased to avoid duplication. You can even assign importance to an item so if you have a limited amount of time or cash, you can pick up just the critical items.
  4. Shopping cart. Living in the city, walking to the grocery store and lugging groceries home is a part of life. Even when living in “car-loving” Los Angeles, I often walk to the grocery store instead of driving. Foldable shopping carts are up for the task and are great for farmer’s market and flea market trips.
  5. Say “NO” to bottled water. On your next trip to Costco or any mega supermarket, take a look around at people’s shopping carts carrying cases of water. It’s ridiculous to see people wasting money on bottled water. I see families of five or more buying multiple flats of water. I guess the bottled water industry did a great job of making us afraid of the water that comes out of our faucet. What people don’t realize is that city water is regulated far more intensely than any of the bottled water companies. The Environmental Protection Agency oversees municipal water quality, while the Food and Drug Administration monitors bottled water; in some cases, EPA codes are more stringent. In a nutshell, you’re wasting your hard-earned money if you’re buying bottled water. Not to mention an accumulation of plastic waste. If you don’t like the flavor or taste of your city water– the “off” taste of tap water is chlorine– if you refrigerate it in a container with a loose-fitting lid, the chlorine taste will be gone overnight.

    And if you’re buying bottled water because you love the portability, I would suggest Klean Kanteen containers. I use them for work, the car, roadtrips, the gym. I like the design of the Klean Kanteen bottles because the wide opening makes them easy to clean and they’re made from food-grade stainless steel– a metal superior in both strength and safety that contains no harmful chemicals or toxins.

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Organize Closet

  1. Keep two boxes in your closet. One box for ‘Donations’ and the other for ‘Tailoring’. It’s an “as-you-go” sort of organizational trick where you make decisions about an item while you’re getting dressed. If you happen to try something on and it doesn’t look or feel right. Decide right then and there– Can the item be tailored? Or does it need to be donated because it doesn’t fit or it’s outdated? Once the boxes are full take them for donation and/or tailoring. Do not hang the item back up without making a decision first.
  2. Sort like with like. Hang coats with coats. Dresses with dresses. Shirts with shirts. You get the idea. It makes it easier to find items and allows you to mix-and-match separates easily while you’re getting dressed in the morning.
  3. The 12-Pair Shoe Organizer. Stackable, compact, and fits shoes perfectly; even heels and wedges. Grab multiple shelves and either line them side-by-side or stack them two high. You could get really OCD and have one for casual shoes; one for heels; and another for sneakers. The top of the shelf is a flat service which is perfect for boots.
  4. Hang a full-length mirror over your closet door or have a mirror hanging near your closet. It’s an essential part of putting together an outfit.
  5. Keep two open boxes on the top shelf. One for random clothing accessories such as scarves, gloves, broaches, etc. And a second box for belts. Never underestimate the power of accessories to transform a wardrobe. I’ve found that keeping accessories within easy reach allows you to grab a box and have fun adding the finishing touches to your outfit.

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Hindsvik Plywood Room

  1. Plywood Flooring and Bed Tutorial. I really love the simplicity of the headboard and side tables.
  2. Homemade soft pretzel recipe.
  3. Inkjet refills. I just had my inkjet cartridges refilled at Costco. Brilliant service that only costs $7.99!
  4. Eco nail polish. Sheswai lacquer is FREE of formaldehyde, toluene, and dbp’s, making it less toxic. 
And the caps are made from sustainably harvested wood, grown on family owned tree farms.
  5. Use Seafood WATCH for ocean-friendly seafood recommendations.

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