Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Month: April 2009

Everyday Green

It’s Earth Day – and everywhere you turn you are reading or hearing more news about the environment and what needs to be done…sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all & wonder can you really do anything. While I won’t ponder the great “green issues” in this post, I thought I would share a few of the green happenings in the Artisan home.

Artisan Family Sigg Socks

Water…Water…Everywhere – I always seem to have a bottle of water with me – I’ve had an assortment of plastic water bottles but for the most part they never seemed to “take” as far as always being used – many times the disposable plastic water bottles were in rotation. Last summer I made the switch to aluminum bottles and find that they are now constantly in use. When I bought a Sigg bottle for me, I also picked up bottles for the Artisan family. When I was in the ‘Ville in July, my knitting project was a “sigg sock” for each of us. I grabbed the dishcloth cotton, size 5 needles & knit (k2, p2) a 36 stitch tube.

Bag Lady – I’ve always joked about being a ‘bag lady’ – I have always had quite the assortment of totes & continue to add to them. Within the last year, I have put the bags to use and transitioned away from plastic bags when out shopping. My reusable shopping bag ‘collection’ began with the big blue Ikea bags several years ago and then the Trader Joe’s assortment – but has expanded with great bags from Meijer’s (that have a clever bottle pocket in them) and more. Some of my tote bags are also in the mix – I always have a collection in the trunk for when I’m out and about. A couple of unexpected perks of using these bags – when I get home, stuff gets put away more quickly because I want to empty the bags out & have them ready to go again; also, taking 2 bags into the grocery store is a great way to shop for just the right amount of groceries.

A Green House – Other green things are part of the household routine as well: since the city added recycling bins to our trash pick-up most of my trash each week goes in the blue bin – in fact, my large trashcan in the kitchen is now for recycleables and the “other” trash is the much smaller can; as light bulbs burned out in the last year they have been switched over to CFLs & I’ve seen the power bill drop; dead batteries are gathered in a bag & dropped off at the library when I make my frequent visits to rotate through books; baking soda & vinegar are the basis for most cleaning in the kitchen & bathroom these days; and more…

What about you? What Everyday Green items/actions are around your home?

A Bit of Spring

A little over two weeks ago, I escaped the Chicago winter for my own bit of a spring break – it was time to head down to Dallas to spend a long weekend with my favorite little girls (& their mom)! After what has seemed like an interminably long & white winter and everything surrounding Grandma’s final months, the timing was “just right” – maybe that’s why this year’s spring weekend in Dallas seemed even brighter.

Beautiful Tulips!

On Friday, we made our annual springtime trek to the Dallas Arboretum – this was the 25th anniversary of the Dallas Blooms spring flower spectacular. Everywhere you looked, there were blooms in all shapes and colors. In addition to the flowers, the special exhibit was 16 storybook houses designed by local firms – each was a unique interpretation of a childhood story.

Storybook House Detail

Miss Butterfly received a “grown-up” camera for Christmas & had a great time capturing the Arboretum from her viewpoint.

A Budding Photographer

Beyond the blooms, the weekend was filled with all sorts of ways to recharge & renew. The girls were filled with imagination in everything that we did.

Silly Girls

The new swingset/playhouse in the backyard inspired playtime to save 2 princesses from a wolf – in addition to me reading to the girls, Miss Butterfly read to me – playtime & a picnic at the park – and lots of play in general. I always bring some sort of craft project with me & this time it was some spring themed paper strips for the girls to make paper chains – by Sunday afternoon, Miss Butterfly’s chain was more than 19 feet long. Per “tradition” Maya & I had girls nite out one evening – a mani/pedicure, some shopping (including some fun jewelry finds) & enjoying “the band” on the patio at the local wine bar was a perfect combination!

 M'Amy & the girls

(more pictures here)

As is always the case, before long it was time to pack up the suitcase (Miss Doodlebug sat on it to help me close it up) & head back home to Chicago. While Spring has yet to fully appear in here in Chicago I’m glad for the few days of springtime fun with my favorite little girls!

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