Adventure Day: Pawhuska, OK

I feel so dadgum lucky that Pyro Man and I have had a few weeks off together! He's embarking on his own adventure in pursuing a second degree and wouldn't you know, our breaks don't actually align together very often. BUT, summertime is a different story! 

With these weeks free we've been spending our time together doing fun things! It's like a light bulb went off in my head: Hey! We don't have to work all the time. We can just do things that bring us some joy. Who'd a thunk it, right? It's been so lovely and I'm soaking in every minute I have with him. I don't think there could have a been a better way to spend my time, really. 

So far we've done matinee movies, ice cream trips in the afternoon, walks with the pup, fishing excursions to Lake Arcadia with a stop off at Pop's and of course, our garden work. Last week I had a wild hair to take an adventure day to a place I've been dying to go ever since it opened: Pioneer Woman's Mercantile Store

 Who's had coffee and who hasn't? 

Who's had coffee and who hasn't? 

Ever since I found her website, thanks to a casual mention from a friend, I've been obsessed. That woman pretty much got me through grad school and I'm not joking. I read her blog religiously, I'm talking every day. When I ate breakfast in the morning, I practically studied her first cookbook and then I tried out her recipes on my friends. In short, I became a fan girl, big time. 

I was fascinated with her life, as was half the world, and I loved her wit, humor, and down-to-earth personality. All the colors in her kitchen, all the delicious recipes with butter and flavor, it was everything I wanted to have in my own some day. I'm still fascinated with her today, almost ten years later, and I still love her recipes, products, blogs, pictures and whatnot. So, going to visit the mecca of her world, the Mercantile Store, was bound to happen. 

I made a deal with Pyro Man that if he took me to the Pawhuska we could go snagging for spoonbills afterwards and in no time flat, my trip was planned! It's about a two hour drive from the city and it's beautiful right now. We popped in a podcast and coasted out early in the morning to beat the crowds. 

First stop, the deli! I know lines can get long and the wait can be bad, but I was hoping a Wednesday in the middle of May might hold in our favor, and it did! We were able to get seated right away and have a nice long lunch in her gorgeous dining area. Here's where I would show you gorgeous photos of her wood cutout flower wall and the coffee bar and even the dining area...but I was too interested in this: 

Come on! This is heaven on earth! Pyro Man had the chicken fried steak half order with fancy mac 'n cheese while I had Ladd's Favorite sandwich (it's undergoing a name change) with her classic mac 'n cheese. Deciding between her nachos, the chicken fried sandwich, her lasagna or anything else was tough! We each enjoyed her sweet ice tea in those giant glass jars which Pyro Man thinks we need around the house. I'm all in. 

We skipped dessert but checked out her bakery upstairs. The room up there is gorgeous with tables and chairs, sofas and wingback chairs to sit in. There's a beautiful view of the area around town through giant windows and it smells like a heaven, sugar and vanilla and coffee. We each treated ourselves to something, me the new chocolate cupcake with the marshmallow filling and Pyro Man the traditional snickerdoodle. And they were divine! 


Downstairs in the actual Mercantile store, there is so much to see! I must have circled the whole room about twelve times before I actually picked up a basket. She carries quite a few of her own items and a ton of different nicknacks for men, women, children, and they're all cute and fun. Her walls are lined with shelving that has all sorts of beautiful plates, dishes, glasses and what have you. She also carries a number of salt & pepper shakers that are really unique. My favorite was the BBQ salt & pepper shaker

As I'm going back through, I'm wishing I had snapped a few more pictures of what I liked! There's so much and I just kept talking it in, going back through the counters and humming along to classic country tunes. Even Pyro Man found a few things he really enjoyed! 

I had some restraint and only walked away with a couple of ceramic strawberry baskets, a Mercantile hat, magnet and a special wrapped gift for Mom. I think she would love this place so another trip is definitely in order! Plus, the tours for the Lodge weren't happening and that's something I'm dying to go check out! 

 Super happy with my loot and the whole visit! 

Super happy with my loot and the whole visit! 

When you drive two hours to someplace, I think it's a shame to just hit one particular highlight and go. We were curious what else was in Pawhuska so we pulled up Trip Advisor to see. We attempted the Swinging Bridge and yes, it does swing. Essentially it's a hanging bring strung across a large creek. When you step out on the planks, you can immediately feel the bounce and sway of the bridge. I feel like I was in an Indian Jones movie and clung to the chainlink fencing on either side. I made it halfway across with sweaty palms and feet, heights are just not my thing, but it was fun to try! Pyro Man made it all the way across and back, even he got a wee bit nervous. 

We checked out the local Pawhuska museum which was charming. It's a one story building full of memorabilia, stories, pictures, and information on local town heroes. Pyro Man enjoyed the encased guns and military information while I tend to gravitate towards dishes, stories, and of course, the clothing. Learning a little history of where you are, I think, gives a little more heft to your visit and allows you to appreciate the place you are a bit more. Occasionally there's not time for that, but why wouldn't you find out more about a spot if you have the time? 

We had fun tootling around the town and yes, we did go snagging and by "we," I mean Pyro Man. I sat out with him for a bit, getting my vitamin D intake and then went to read in the car for the last twenty minutes. The sun was out and not a stitch of shade anywhere! I have a nice watch tan line now! 

If you've been thinking of going to the Mercantile, do it! The food is ridiculously good and if you're a fan of her cookbooks, you already knew that! There's something for everyone, it's fresh, and the prices are just right, not too expensive, totally affordable. There's even a coffee bar if you want to stop in for a treat and a cup of joe! The items in the shop range from kitchen doodads to clothing to soaps to kids toys. There's a lot but it all fits together beautifully! Eclectically chic and totally Pioneer Woman The employees are lovely and helpful with everything, including other sites to see in the area--we're eager to come back and try the newest Pioneer Woman store, her pizza shop! 


If you couldn't tell, I had a ball and geeked out the whole time! Plus, I got to spend a day with my man--truly, couldn't get any better! 

 Yeah, you can totally tell I'm still cheesin' from the day and Pyro Man is just hanging in there like a champ! 

Yeah, you can totally tell I'm still cheesin' from the day and Pyro Man is just hanging in there like a champ! 


Life Lately - Episode 2

Oh goodness, where does the time go! School wrapped up two weeks ago for me, which I can't even believe. I feel like it's taken me that long to actually unwind, but there's been plenty to do! 

So what's been up lately? I took some time in Texas for several days. I did a two day show intensive--I'm really excited to choreography A Chorus Line at a prominent performing arts school in Dallas this August! Pyro Man and I celebrated Mother's day several times over traveling around the metroplex visiting all of the mothers in our lives. We've got some pretty special moms, sisters and sister-in-laws included and it was lovely to spend time with them all! 

I had a birthday! Yay! Another year on this earth, I think that's a pretty big gift if you ask me! I got to spend the day with my handsome husband, got a massage (best. gift. ever.), shopped a bit, and ended the day with a glass of wine and home grilled steak. In short, it was a perfect day. 

Other than that I've been spending time with a friend plotting her next production number--that's been a lot of fun to dream up! We're going into the studio today and see what magic happens. Pyro Man and I have been spending a lot of time together, so needed and so good. Even under the same roof we seem to pass each other during the year so our trips to Home Depot, time in garden and outdoor excursions have been a soul recharge for us both. Life can get busy and conversations are all business but this down time, it's just laughing and genuine fun and that's important to get back to after a stressful semester. 

There have been books read (The Snowman was an excellent choice!), dinner dates, friend chats, Penny walks, and plenty of chores done. I made myself take these two weeks of rest because I know I needed it, but that familiar feeling of a niggling to-do is in the back of my brain, all the work that's coming up is starting to weigh on me. 

I've been plotting out my schedule from now to December which might seem gross, but is actually helping me a ton. I can feel and see the busy that's coming down the pike and I don't want to get caught in a cyclone of stress again. So today I'll go in and start working, breaking down all that needs to be done and making a timeline. A little at a time each day will actually make it easier to digest and allow me the time to do the fun things I want to do, need to do to feed my soul. 

So that's life lately--a whole bunch of trying to unwind my brain and body, getting more sleep, catching up on reading, and quality time with my husband. Pretty sure it's the best way to spend time after a long and full spring season! 

I also realized two very important things in trying to find photos from the last two weeks: 1) I don't document my adventures near enough and 2) I miss so many opportunities for pictures with the people I love. So, summer resolution? More photos of real life, not just my dinner plate! 

Happy Monday, y'all! 


Life Lately - Episode 1

Ya'll. We're just about to the half-way point of April which means we're that much closer to then end of a semester which means we're that much closer to my birthday. I mean, by that logic, my birthday is practically tomorrow! 

Well...maybe not, but it all feels like it's happening so soon! I always love this time of year. It's a time of change, a vibration that hums all around me. Quite literally I feel the change in the air, the cool breeze mixed with the warm sun and it stirs my soul into thinking there's something coming around the corner. I just absolutely love that! 

In the midst of this seasonal change, I have been busy (read: buried) with grading and projects for work per usual at this time of year. The slow down comes after grades are due and then I gear up for summer work and fall preparation. To help me focus on those important to-do's, I've stepped back from technology a little bit and that's actually been really easy and really hard at the same time. 

My hand just reaches for the phone or the mouse just clicks on a new tab for facebook and before I know it, there are precious minutes gone. But then I can get engrossed in something so completely I don't even feel the need to scroll. I'm working on finding a better balance with that. 

OK--so! In the midst of grading and avoiding social media binges, what the heck have I been doing? Well, there hasn't been much time for a whole heck of a lot lately, but I've been trying.

I started reading Cultivate What Matters and enjoying every word. I really like Lara Casey so much and find her really inspirational. Pyro Man and I have been watching our little garden grow in the garage, waiting for this crazy Oklahoma weather to calm down for a moment so we can plant everything outside. We're going to get hit with another freeze this weekend...Mother Nature. 

I finally picked my afghan project back up--I've got a ways to go on all my granny squares but I find the work easy to do and very calming at the end of the night. Making time, even a small amount, for the things that bring me joy has been just a practice lately. 

So, that's life lately--nothing spectacular, completely ordinary. Sometimes I wish I had a jet setting life, traveling all over and constantly busy with amazing fabulous projects. Who doesn't want some adventure in their life, right? That's not my season right now and it's perfectly okay. This season is about letting go of the phone, enjoying the now, and making time for all those things I want to do, but couldn't because I lost it to scrolling. 

Here's to more living and less scrolling! 

Happy Friday, ya'll! 


Spring Time Gift

Ah, spring time! My favorite time of year! I do love a good fall day and all that comes with it, but there's something about spring. It's a time to refresh and begin again! Flowers are everywhere and the weather warms up beautifully! That is, unless you've been living in the north east and then you're been enduring some serious winter snow lately. Sorry, y'all! 

Yep, spring time is definitely my favorite time of year. Then again, it's also one of the busier times, too. We just got out of our week long spring break and are back at it again and dear readers, it does not slow down one bit between now and May! Even though I know every spring is like this, I was still in a bit of slump this week feeling as though I'm not retaining anything. It's going so fast! 

While my to-do list is long and it's packed with many things that take time, there's something that keeps sneaking into my day to day and sucking away time. On top of that, it's teaching me to whizz through things that I normally savor like reading a good article and taking time to study and look at something. If you guessed social media, you would be correct!

Sometimes I can't believe how sucked I get into staring at a screen and how much I use it as an escape or reward myself with it as a break. It bothered me so much I decided to see how I do with a few changes this week: 

1. I deleted the Facebook app off my phone. I don't really use Facebook so much as scroll and honestly, I much prefer Instagram. If I'm mindlessly scrolling on something I don't use or care for, why do I still have it? Out goes the app and the temptation to waste away a good ten minutes multiple times a day. 

2. Phone stays stored when I'm busy. If I'm working, it can live in out of sight. I don't need to carry it with me to every room in the house and I definitely don't need it in my hand all the time. It just needs to be near by and ready to pick up a call or make a call, that's all I really need. 

3. I'm going to make a conscious effort for checking in. I don't think I'll give up social media 100% any time soon, I do enjoy using it when it's intentional, but I do think setting a timer would help me immensely. No more random check-in's, I'm going to set a specific amount of time to enjoy it and let that be it for the day! 

4. Slow the heck down! When I scroll I truly feel like sometimes my fingers just keep scrolling and my mind is not processing things that I'm seeing or reading. It's like unconsciously eating endless chips and salsa--consuming copious amounts of material without even realizing how much I inhaled just leaves me feeling way too full and in disbelief. "What do you mean I ate three baskets of chips?!" I have no clue what I saw or what it said, butI looked at it...I think. Nope. No more. I don't like that habit and I don't like that I can feel skimming creeping into other parts of my life. Nope, nope, nope. Time to start reading and slowing down--there's no rush or need to see it all! 

I'm giving myself a week to try these things and see how I do. Forming habits takes more time but I think baby steps is what I need right now because good grief, this habit has been practiced for way too long now. 

I love getting to read people posts and see everyone's life through pictures, but when I do it multiple times a day, it's too much. Then my subconcious is telling me checking in on other people's life is more important than living my own. I don't believe that's my intention but I find I'm losing time I would rather spend on doing things that bring me joy or working towards my goal or dreaming up my next step all because I'm constantly checking in. 

It's time to get my time back. Perhaps less little interruptions will add up to a whole lot more time spent savoring what's not on my to-do list! 

Does social media steal away your time, too? What are you tips and tricks? 



Spring Break Tunes!

It's officially Spring Break! It always seems like forever until this one week of heaven shows up and I am ALWAYS happy to see it come! 

We opened and closed our spring show last week--what a whirlwind and what a wonderful joy it was! I'm so lucky to work in a department that let's me explore my creative ideas on stage. Each year and each show I continue to grow and fine tune my process and every time I say a piece is my favorite only to find it trumped by the next one. But in all honesty, my absolute favorite most dreamy piece I've created to date was my spectacular "Fireflies" piece. It will always feel like magic to me and I hope to goodness I can reset it again someday! 

This Monday is a slow start for me. I slept in until 10:00--who am I?--had a late breakfast, took care of some adulting to-do's and now it's laundry and a little work. I know, working the first day of break but I've got to get a few things done to enjoy the rest of the week. 

Lately I've been turning off the podcasts and turning up the tunes. Thanks to my pal, Elizabeth from Loops & Belles, I've been living for her special playlist these days! I thought I'd whip up my own for all my driving and road tripping this break (And yes, Elizabeth, I stole some of my favorite songs off yours because they made me so happy!)! 

If you're hitting the road or coasting on a plane this week maybe these songs will bring you some vacation jams, too! 

Happy Spring Break, Y'all! 

What are some of your favorite songs to listen to in the car? Best album for a road trip? How about the song that makes you dance around the house? Share and comment below! 


Bloom & Grow

We plotted our garden this week, finally! I have to give my Pyro Man so much credit when it comes to our garden dreams. He's really good about making those things happen--I can dream them up and design them in my head, but actually making it happen seems like the hurdle I always miss. 

This year we ordered our seeds from an online store called Pinetree Garden Seeds. They sell heirloom seeds which is pretty awesome and we loved the variety they had in stock so we took a chance and ordered a bunch of different vegetables and flowers. All we had to do after that was plant them! 

Into their little dirt pod they went...


We're trying for roma tomatoes, golden yellow cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, and another round of cucumbers. I had gorgeous sunflowers and zinnias last year so we bought a different variety to try. Strawberry blonde sunflowers and cherry & ivory zinnias, cut & come again zinnias, and Pyro Man wanted to try Dahlias. I also picked up a packet of pink perfume lavender. 


Now all we do is water, wait, and watch for them to grow! I still want some herbs, but we're going to wait on those until April or May, pick some of the already grown bunches from Home Depot. I love having cilantro in the garden for homemade salsa and basil for homemade pizza. Even some rosemary is nice for a roast chicken dish or just to break up in your hands. 

 Our little grow station is out in the garage. Grow, babies, grow! 

Our little grow station is out in the garage. Grow, babies, grow! 

I always wanted a nice backyard with a garden I could go and pick things from, but it took me a while to enjoy and appreciate the actual planting process. My family spent many of weekends shopping for plants in the spring, cleaning up the flower beds, and laying out new pallets of grass. It honestly did not interest me then. I had rehearsals to get to, homework or projects to do. 

The end product was always stunning. A ring of color around our giant tree in the backyard. A gorgeous carpet of emerald green laid out from backdoor to fence. A decorative display of fresh blooms on the picnic table. Yes, the result from a Saturday's worth of hard work was incredibly beautiful to see and I loved it. The finished picture I loved. It was the work to make it happen I would skip... 


What a metaphor for life right? If you want something to grow, you have to put the work in and tend to it. Just dreaming about it won't make it happen and if you don't work and water your dream, well, then it won't grow to it's full potential. Time and care and hard work really do make a difference. 

When Pyro Man and I got married, he thought it would be great to decorate our apartment balcony with plants. Before long it was covered in flowers, herbs, and baby avocado trees he grew from seeds. He loved it and he helped bring me into by learning what to plant and how and then taught me. When we got our little rental house he pulled out a dog run and built a giant salsa garden and boy howdy, how it grew! We had some many plants that flourished and it was beautiful to see. 

I just love seeing the garden flourish and grow--it's my favorite thing to go out and see what's coming up next and what's sprouting or is ready to be picked. It's like magic, something new you didn't see before! 

It's one thing to dream about something and quite another to make it happen. I'm so glad I have a partner who dreams with me and helps me to get the ball rolling. I can't wait to see what our little garden will turn out like this summer, but you can bet I'll be enjoying the fruits of our labor to the fullest extent!  

 Gummy worms seemed like the appropriate garden plotting snack. 

Gummy worms seemed like the appropriate garden plotting snack. 

Who else does the garden thing? What do you like to grow?


Dream a Little Dream

It never fails that when things get busy I begin to day dream. I dream all about downtime, freedom, rest and what that looks like. 

Sometimes it's a cozy cabin tucked away in a forest, close to a river I can walk to and sit by with a town down the road that's cute and has great food. 

Sometimes it's a beach where I can walk the water line, shoes in hand, hat on my head and shades on my face. I can literally hear the waves and feel the sun and sand. For a minute, I feel like I can smell the salt from the water. 

Today, it's Paris. No, I've never been, but I want to sit in a beautiful park and just listen to people speak. I want to find a chair at a cafe window, enjoy a cup of coffee and look out at beautiful buildings. I want to walk up and down the riverside and enjoy some deliciously fresh bread. 

Whenever I do this, day dream a little, I can take myself anywhere I want and I put myself in a complete state of relaxation, satisfied in my imaginative world of all I can see, hear, taste, and touch. It slows me down. It makes me feel calm. It gives me a moment's peace to get back to the busy. 

I don't know about you, but I'm going to live in my little day dream here for a minute, give my little brain and heart a break before diving in all over again. If you care to join, by all means! I'll help you--here's a beach for you to runaway to! 

 Charleston, wishing I were visiting you again! 

Charleston, wishing I were visiting you again! 

What's your ideal destination for vacation?


What a Week!

Whoo-wee! What a week! Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, VALENTINE'S! Not to mention a million deadlines that came up this week, too! It was fast it was furious and it was ca-razy, let me tell you!

I'm out for a judging gig--ready to see some fun dancing this Saturday and hang out with one of my favorite competitions! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I'll see you round next week! 

    It’s an early start—definitely going to tank up on some coffee!
          Happy Weekend, Y’all! 

What's In Blue Blazes: Shrimp Etouffee

My sister calls me up a couple weeks ago and says, "I've got it! I know a series you can start on your blog!" I'm thinking, okay, this could be interesting! Hit me!

She then tells me she's named her new Le Creuset Blue Blazes and she thinks it would be hilarious to post about all the dishes I make in my own blue Le Creuset calling it "What In Blue Blazes!" We laugh about it for a bit, but then she stops laughing and says, "No, I'm serious. It would be awesome."  A few days later she starts a shared photo album with the same title and uploads all her blue dishes so far. I mean, this lady really IS serious. 

So Big Sister, this is for you! The very first installment of...

What's In Blue Blazes! 

It's Mardi Gras tomorrow! Heeeyyy! Time to get our Cajun on and ladies and (maybe a few) gentlemen, I am proud to say I have real Cajun roots I'm tapping into for the day! My mom's side of the family is from South Louisiana and we can go generations back all the way to Acadia. I don't think we can get any more authentic than that, folks. 

So, in the spirit of this fat Tuesday celebration, I've got a simple shrimp etouffee to share! Mom passed this one to me, but the recipe was submitted to our '93 family reunion cookbook by her cousin, Lisa. Just to give you a little background, Lisa was a neat lady. She was a teacher--y'all, I come from a family of teachers so when I say it's in my blood, it really is. She taught English and art and of course, was an artist herself. She raised chickens and loved bird watching, but most of all she loved her family. 

Sadly Lisa passed away almost two years ago and while I did not get to know Lisa very well, I do remember her driving her parents, my great Aunt Lou and Uncle Jeff to my wedding. I remember seeing her cut up the floor and laugh and have a wonderful time with the family. Those memories mean so much. 

What's wonderful about food and recipes is that they can call to mind the people we knew, people we love, people we miss. So while I might not have many memories with Lisa, I have this recipe and it always calls her to mind. To me, it will always be Cousin Lisa's Shrimp Etouffee. Without further ado, here it is: 

Cousin Lisa's Shrimp Etouffee

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 can of Rotel 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Parsley (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soupt
  • Peeled, deveined shrimp

Sauté butter, onions, bell pepper, celery, Rotel and garlic. Let it all cook slowly for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add lemon juice and parsley then stir and add the can of mushroom soup--mix all well! Add shrimp and cook until pink, just about 15 minutes. Or you can use cooked shrimp, just add and heat through at the end. 

Makes 6-8 servings. 

I serve it up over  rice and mais, yeah, you've got yourself a good meal! It's really easy, incredibly delicious and sure to be a hit with a crowd! 

Any Cajun food lovers out there?What are you favorite Mardi Gras meals?


40 Days of Swapping Out

Hey-o! If you missed the first part to this two part post, check it out over here. Otherwise, let's dive in! 

We know that what we do on a day to day basis has some effect on something somewhere. Whether that effect happens immediately in front of us or somewhere else in this world beyond what we can see. What I want to do is make a change here in my day to day that I think would help something I believe needs attention.

For a couple years I've been making tiny adjustments to be more eco-friendly (If you just eye-rolled, you may want to go ahead and click off now.). When I first started listening to podcasts a few years ago, I found myself tuning in to so many shows about the environment, recycling, nature and it's needs, chemicals in products, and bees. I heard so much about the bees. We've got to save those little guys! 

Little by little I started adjusting things in my day to day. I started reading shampoo and face wash ingredients. I found myself being more adamant about recycling in my house (I'm looking at you, Pyro Man, and your Dr. Pepper cans). Household cleaners started making me think a little more before I sprayed. And by the way, what does happen to the plastic makeup wipe bag when you throw them away? I'm pretty sure they don't disintegrate... 

It's not that I didn't grow up with Captain Planet or wasn't aware that littering was bad or knew that we needed to take care of planet, etc. I know all that! It's just that I didn't realize how much on an every day basis I was throwing away cardboard and plastic, adding up to landfills and oh yeah, probably impacting those buzzin' little bees in some way. What about what I'm doing to myself? Does my makeup really have that many chemicals in it? What exactly is happening when I heat my meal in a plastic container? Those are what chemicals used in this food I'm ingesting? 

And it bothers me. It really does. There's a lot of things I can do without getting too crunchy. I'm still shaving my armpits and wearing deodorant, y'all. I don't have to buy chickens, build a compost and starting living by candlelight to make a difference either. So here's idea:

For the next 40 days I'm going to try to swap out my daily use of plastic products. 

I'm making a few small changes around here to start and it's going to get uncomfortable in some ways and it's going to take some work. What I'm hoping is that what I do is make some habits at home that help in some small way to keep our world from being trashed. There are a few small things you can try if you want to tackle this challenge, too! 

1. Cut back on plasticware. That means no plastic utensils, no plastic plates and no straws. Something about watching that straw pulled out the nostrils of the sea turtle reeeaaallllyyyy disturbed me. 

I've ordered some stainless steel straws to use at the house and I can throw one in my purse for eat out meals if I need. I also picked up some utensils from Target to keep in my office for my lunches and I've already got plates up there, too. Problems solved on that front! 

2. No more plastic bags. On a scale of 1-10, this is probably a 5. I already use green bags for groceries and thanks to my friend, Meredith, I have these awesome produce bags, too. What I'm talking about is those small plastic baggies for lunches and chips. Ziploc and Glad--I love you, but it's time for a break. 

I like these reusable bags for sandwiches and chips for lunches. I'm going to try these instead, less expensive. We thaw out chicken in bags so that's going to be a habit to kick. We have plenty of tupperware and lunch boxes so we're not wasting there, but my tupperware is getting old and cracking. I'm wanting to replace with glassware like this at some point. If you really want to go green, I think the Bee's Wrap Paper is really cool but good grief, that stuff is pricey and not necessary right now! 

3. Grow a Garden. This one isn't really that difficult, just takes some time. We like having a garden in the backyard and last year we planted sunflowers and zinnias which brought about a ton of bees. I really liked that and I felt like it served two purposes: helped those buzzing bees  come around more which in turn helped our garden grow more and BONUS: it added a lot of beauty to the backyard! 

This year we want to start planting our flowers early by setting up a grow station in the house and I've got a lovely mix of flowers I'm planning to plant.  I'm hoping this will make it easier to plant then when the weather warms up and help bring about more bees this summer. 

Think about what you use on a daily basis and how much those plastics pile up for just one person. I tracked myself one day to see exactly how many products I touch that end up being thrown--Keurig pods, toilet paper rolls, sugar packets, wrapping around bottle tops, and more. There's a lot. What happens to all that when we dump it in the trash? How can we clean up after ourselves a little better? 

I think these beginning small changes will challenge me to be more conscious and that's ultimately what I want: to make conscious choices with what I buy and what I use and in how those decisions affect the world. What can I do to leave my place better than how I found it?

If you're wondering if these three points are all I'm doing, the answer is no. There's a lot to be done outside of the home, but this is just a starting point. Hopefully all of this will help me be more mindful in other ways, too, and with research, learn a bit more about how to be more environmentally conscious.

What do you say? Want to try and go plastic free with me? Got any advice to help me out? Go ahead and share it in the comments below! 

If I'm totally candid, I have to say this entire idea has sprouted from seeds planted by my friends, Meredith and Kathleen. You sisters certainly lead by example and I'll be picking your brain about so much more during this journey!