Post 67…

This week I received a long-awaited investment. The Sustain Yearly magazine created by a few lovely ladies in Denmark finally arrived and I am beyond thrilled to own this beautiful piece of literature.

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After learning about the Sustain Daily movement a couple months ago, it did not take long before I was completely and utterly enthralled by everything their Danish team is doing. This magazine encompasses a kind and honest approach to real-world problems being tackled by beauty and elegance. Just like the title describes, each page goes through articles, recipes, and interviews to get you through a full calendar year of sustainable and ethical choices.

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SaveTHe This the first publication made available in English to an international audience. Originally the concept evolved in Danish but quickly grew in popularity and has now officially launched their first annual edition.

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I have taken the time to savor each page, article, and image. Unlike most things in 2018 that are consumed at rapid rates and praised for binging, this little beauty is my new coffee table book for the next year. The edition going through all four seasons with guides to sustainable living, recipes, and Nordic lifestyle.

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The opportunity is still available for you to get your magazine here. Unfortunately, the content is predominately in Danish, but with a little help from technology, it is simple to keep up with all the latest news.

-xx

Post 66…

It is a gloomy morning outside my windows. The clouds are thick letting only a dim light filter through the moody early hours of the day. Looking at pictures from last week in Stockholm, I am reminded of Spring’s arrival. The warm sunshine left my cheeks sunkissed after a full day of wandering Swedish streets. Although my time there was too short to bare, it was just enough to taste a different world and leave the everyday scene.

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My husband talks about how each city has its own smell. An individual fragrance to each part of the world. It is a sense I have tried to refine in recent years while traveling. Opening up to experience the world around me and be a witness with more than my eyes. My natural instinct is to listen to the sound of a city. The new noises and notes played by the people and nature combined. Stockholm sounds like cobblestone roads combined with the sing-song language that is the rhythm of the Swedish tongue.

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Another conversation I have when traveling is whether or not I feel “abroad”. As an immigrant for nearly three years, I suppose I live in a constant state of abroad. So when traveling around Europe the sensation of distant lands versus comfortable places varies on a scale. Stockholm falling somewhere on the scale of a large overwhelming populous to settling in a comfortable neighborhood corner.

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-xx

 

Post 65…​

A bucket list item was scratched off this week when I visited the city of Stockholm Sweden. On an overnight cruise, kindly gifted from my mother in law, I embarked on a very Finnish experience locals call “the booze cruise”. While my journey did not include as much booze as some of the other free-spirited teens, it did include breathtaking views of the sea.

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While spring air temperatures are still frigid, it does leave a glacial surface to the ocean water. A sight only appreciated for the chilly context in an image. While others enjoy taking a polar plunge between sauna sessions, my comfort zone will be at a distance only using my camera zoom to get in on the freezing action.

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From the inside of the ship, you can see small islands passing and the setting sunlight. On occasion, another ship will pass in the distance only to make for some sense of depth on an otherwise isolated journey across the Baltic Sea. Traveling has its perks, no matter what shape it comes in, and I do appreciate the views of being out on the ocean with only the wind and water to keep you on course.

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Post 64…

Recently I became a member of the Finnish Public Library. To my understanding, my new library card allows me to have access to any library within the country. Such a large opportunity seemed overlooked my first couple years as a resident here, and I am eager to make up for lost time.

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The Rikhardinkatu Library is closest to my apartment. It is a beautiful building and a visual treat to explore the many halls. The spring light has returned to the city, and since there is still time before the warmth follows, these cozy corners will be my preferred place to stay. Like a cat basking in the beams of light, I receive so much pleasure enjoying these views.

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My first batch of books included The Collected Poems of Allen Ginsberg, You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski, and finally Hystopia by David Means. The latter is a novel and it has been an interesting change of pace for my traditional scientific sociological interest. It is a fiction piece based on American culture in the mid-west post-Vietnam war. Novels are not my favorite, but from time to time it is good to read something different from your natural attraction.

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Taking the time to be a member of the library has been a humbling way to grow roots deeper into the neighborhood. The benefits are plentiful in that I am able to enjoy reading without hoarding books and producing waste. This is also an opportunity to save money whilst enjoying the tangible experiences of reading. I also like the fact that I now have a cute little tangerine colored library card in my wallet. It is simple and may not add much to my resume, but to me, these little things mean the most. So I will continue to enjoy the smell of old books, watch my coffee table change from season to season with various titles, and continue to take advantage of what city life has to offer.

I made a few notes whilst sitting in the library today to prepare for this post, and I don’t believe much editing is required to express what I felt:

Although most of what fills the shelves here is foreign to my native tongue, the bones of any library can be comforting. I feel like I belong here.

-xx

Post 63…

This week I want to inspire you to get started with your spring cleaning. Cleaning is one of my favorite things, second to organizing! It takes an objective mind and a disciplined approach to sustain, but a little organization and the occasional tidy can go a long way.

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One way to do this is a 10 Minute Tidy. This is a trick my friend told me about when she would nanny for small children. If a kid can do a 10 Minute Tidy, then so can an adult. You have time, you can do it today. Set a timer on your phone and be amazed how much you can accomplish in a simple moment dedicated to cleaning up your space.

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If that’s too much, another way would be to stop what you’re doing (yeah stop reading this post) and start cleaning everything that’s around you. Simply be where you are, if it is your desk, your couch, your bedside table, or even your car. If you’re in your car please drive responsibly. All you have to do at this point is tidy everything around you. Remove trash, organize objects, and find some method to your madness.

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Also, a way to improve the home is giving it a good purge. Without taking on more than you can handle, pick one category or area. Clothes, papers, desks, surfaces, plastics, or kitchen are all good themes to start. Pick one, spend some time just getting deep into your things, and decide what is necessary, temporary, or unessecary. Collect what you don’t want or need, and turn around to recycle or donate them, immediately! This last step is critical. All too often we get halfway through projects and don’t finish the entire task.

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My final tip is to invest in an organized home. This doesn’t mean you have to go to get generic plastic tubs, but simply find a routine that works for you. For me, standard paper boxes are a perfect way to store all things big and small. At all costs, I avoid a junk drawer. These spaces, no matter how small, are the black hole of a home.

May everything in your home be beautiful, functional, rather at best, both!

Post 62…

So some of you may know that my new year’s resolution was to start making steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle. This has been an interesting resolution because unlike previous goals, this transition has pushed me to rethink almost every aspect of my life. The original concept was developed for businesses to be less linear and more circular with production. Now, people are taking action into their own hands, and homes, to become more conscious consumers and users.

It is nearly impossible to stop all waste in a single moment. It takes time, practice, research, and discipline. Fortunately, the more you educate yourself, the better you are at developing these skills. The switch is simple in my opinion, but it requires a dozen tiny changes to your daily life.

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 The first image above and one of my favorite substitues to plastic, it is a dish scrubber. It is a beautiful wooden design, with only small metal pieces of hardware to hold it together. I also use a bar of soap versus a plastic soap dispenser to clean my hands before and after cooking.

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The second switch is package free beauty products. After waiting for certian items to products to go empty, I switched to purchasing package free items from Lush. Another aspect to zero waste is slow shopping. Do not purchase items for the sake of buying it, wait for the need to arise and then make a new more concious investment. After trying a few of these I may never go back to the packaged items, they are just that good!

From left to right, deodorant, hair mask, and facial cleanser.

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A great switch for me has been the wooden toothbrush. I really enjoy this brand and even though it does have a little packaging to get from production to your home, it is all 100% recyclable. At first, I doubted the durability of a biodegradable brush, and really cringed to think about paying 7euros or more at the local organic store. But after waiting for a sale, and later receiving a couple as gifts, I am fully stocked for the next year or more! Seriously, these brushes are amazing. Unlike plastic brushes which lose strength, the Humble brush has stood the test. As for someone who has always had a difficult relationship with dental care, this is huge upgrade!

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Lastly are the small reusable produce bags.. In many grocers, it is required that the customer weigh the items first before checking out. Instead of grabbing a cheap plastic bag, why not make the easiest switch ever to these little mesh pouches. Add the price sticker on the tag and off you go, back home to make yourself a lovely meal, with little to no waste involved.

Now as a disclaimer, I am not perfect, and my home and lifestyle still have a long ways to go before being 100% zero waste, or even 50%. I will say these small changes have made a huge shift in my motivation. Even with a couple small changes, I feel more conscious, more proactive, and enjoy the smaller details of my routines. So, now is the time I will encourage you to make the switch. Next time you are in need of a plastic object, reconsider and invest in a more sustainable option.

-xx

Post 61…

There is nothing better than sharing a warm meal on a cold day. In my case, a very cold week (below -20c as a matter of fact). Regardless, Fat Ramen is simply the place to be, no questions asked!

In other news, I will be spending the rest of the evening with my husband, and celebrating his 29th year. After a delicious meal and a bottle of wine, I am content and looking forward to enjoying the weekend ahead.

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