Hello friend. It is a currently a balmy forty-two degrees Fahrenheit where I am sitting in good ol’ Oklahoma. I am not exactly sure what happened because yesterday afternoon I took a nap with the rattos in the hammock on our back porch. It was sunny and warm yesterday, but this morning I had to grab a thick winter coat, again, out of the back of the closet to go have coffee with friends. We are apparently going to have a fourth winter this time.
Because it has been nice on and off for a while now, I have been able to do some spring time things. Here’s my round up of things I cannot get enough of right now as spring is trying to decide if it actually wants to stay for good.
Note: I am not sponsored by anyone or anything. I just think this is really good stuff.
- Calli Creative Duotip MarkersI am so stoked that I found these. Last week, coming back through Tulsa on the way home from OKC, my best friend and I stopped at Michaels because we just wanted to be surrounded by craft supplies for just a few minutes. The day had been extremely draining as we were advocating for education at the capitol. There was some kind of spring craft week sale going on and each day was a different special. Papercrafts were 50% off and they were including pens in that sale!These pens come in a pack of ten and are double ended. One side has a square felt tip for calligraphy and the other side has a teeny, tiny tip like Le Pen, which I adore. I am working on a new hand lettering project with them right now and I adore them. Bonus: Michaels has a 20% coupon right now on anything online right now.
- Thug Kitchen 101If you have never used a thug kitchen cookbook, you need to fix that today. This miiiiiight not be the cookbook you want to use when teaching your kiddos how to use the kitchen, but there certainly is a unique style to the writing. I had no idea until I actually read through one, but all the recipes are vegan (read: no meat or dairy and conducive to a healthy lifestyle). Their goal is to make real food that is good for you and to teach people to stop relying on take out and the drive through. The recipes do not sacrifice flavor for health. I’ve made the sweet potato al pastor recipe and the pollenta puttanesca recipes this week and they are to die for! I’ve got my eye on that beer chili mac recipe. Bonus, you can eat and feel good about the food as fuel and not something that makes you feel worse after eating it.
Psst… here’s a link to find it on amazon. I’ll make a small profit if you decide to get it and buy it from here -> Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck
Okay this is a weird one. This is not a thing per say, but I feel like you should know about this is if you don’t already. Aldi’s is a German grocery store brand that has locations here in the US. Their prices are low because of their buying processes. They keep lots of inexpensive store brand items in stock all of the time, but they get some specials every week for really good prices that they pass on to their customers. They have great prices for produce and get low prices on miscellaneous home items. I found a desk there last week for $40. SCORE! The only drawback is they are usually in bigger communities. I have one in my hometown, there is one in Fort Smith, Arkansas where I grew up, and I know there are some in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If making a trip to an Aldi’s is a feasible thing for you to do a time or two a month, I would definitely recommend it. The prices and the quality are worth it. If you can’t go regularly then at least try to go around Christmas. Authentic German chocolate and marzipan are tradition in my family. German chocolate IS the perfect coworker gift.
4. Sprouting seeds in plastic baggies
I am firmly committed to not using disposable plastic whenever possible. I take a reusable water bottle to everywhere and use silicone bags in my kitchen. However, when I saw this idea, I decided it was worth buying a small package of zipper bags.
Consider the dilemma of planting seeds in your garden, you actually have no idea how many of those seeds are going to come to fruition. You might have one spot with 5 seedlings that need to be thinned and one spot with none.
I really wish I could remember where I found this idea on the internet so I could credit that beautiful genius, but the idea is just that you put a wet paper towel in a baggie and then put your seeds on top. You have to make sure you seal a little air in them and it creates a tiny greenhouse just for your seeds! I actually used cheesecloth in mine because I don’t keep paper towels in the house and I had leftover cheesecloth from a craft project. I didn’t actually take pictures of this one because while each bag of seeds has one or two that have begun to sprout in the last 96 hours, it is not too impressive looking just yet… but the fact that I will be able to transplant the successful little ones is pretty dang sweet.
5. Magid Tote Bag
This was a little just because gift from my mom and dad. Secretly I think that as a teacher they don’t believe I can buy myself non necessities… don’t tell them I said that. In all honesty though, this is one of my favorite bags of all time. It is big enough to carry everything I need without being ridiculously huge. It is neutral without being boring. The best part, in my hippie little opinion, is it is straw and faux leather. No animals were harmed here. Style can have a heart. (Pssst… It’s from TJ Maxx so it’s affordable. HECK YEAH!)
6. Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo
This shampoo was a happy little find at Walmart a while back. I am definitely a raccoon person and the pretty bottle caught my eye. Then I looked at the name… could it be? An affordable cruelty free shampoo at Walmart? Recycled plastic? Goal of an decreased carbon footprint? It sounded too good to be true. I tried the murumuru butter and rose shampoo for color treated hair (because I dye my hair weird colors like grape and maroon) and it is very hydrating and smells amazing. Rose is such a terrific springtime scent.
I actually used it last weekend before I dyed my hair. You have to wash your hair and then get it dry before you put the dye on. I washed it that morning and let it air dry while I ran some weekend errands and it was still soft without having used conditioner. Normally not using conditioner or styling products leaves me with scarecrow straw head. I am still working on the industrial sized bottle of conditioner I got in the fall, but I will definitely be trying out their conditioner when I run out.
Bonus tip: I have bad issues with scalp flakes due to dry, sensitive skin. It doesn’t matter what product I use. I have combated that by adding lavender oil to my shampoo bottle and using a silicone bristled shampoo brush. Hello flake free scalp!
and last but not least…
7. Pacifica Crystal Foam Sparkling Clean Face Wash
I loooooooooove Pacifica. They are a vegan and cruelty free cosmetics and beauty company, so I’m all for it. I actually learned today that they will send you a prepaid shipping label to send empty bottles to them for recycling! This is a business model I can get behind. I could do an entire post about my favorite Pacifica products.
They have recently released a new *crystals* line that harnesses the power of crystals and aromatherapy. While, I’m still pretty on the fence of the benefits of crystals (using them as meditative objects to help focus and practice mindfulness, I’ll buy… not sure on the rest of it…) I am a big believer of aromatherapy. Scents are powerful to us as humans. I cannot smell Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine without being instantly transported back to middle school and its innocence and happiness. The combination of lemongrass and watermelon smells so happy. It is a great pick-me-up when you’re trying to wake up in the morning or trying to make yourself wash your makeup off when you just want to go to bed. It is definitely giving me some summer vibes… I just hope the weather around here gets those vibes soon too.
So what do you think? Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Is there some other spring thing that all of us in internet land need to know about? Put it in the comments. I want to hear your ideas on how to make this spring the best one eva!