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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thrift Store Shopping For A YEAR!

Trying to save the planet has put a huge damper on my wardrobe.


Before going "Green" I used to LOVE going shopping and getting new clothes! Now I can't pick something new off the rack without these thoughts running through my head:

- How many pesticides were sprayed to make this?  Did you know that cotton is considered the world's dirtiest crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health

-  How much water did it take to make this?  Did you know that it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular ol' blue jeans?

-  Did kids and/or adults have to endure hours of work in a sweat shop to make this?  Did you know that according to laborrights.orgthe official inductees of the 2010 Sweatshop Hall of Shame were: Abercrombie and Fitch, Gymboree, Hanes, Ikea, Kohl’s, LL Bean, Pier 1 Imports, Propper International, and Walmart?


-  Were animals hurt to make this?  You might already know about the abuse animals have to go through to make fur and leather, but do you know about the animals who suffer so you can have wool, cashmere, angora, silk and down?  You can read about it hereGlobal Action Network

Let's just say that my shopping trips never end with me buying much.  Good for the earth, animals and my wallet, not so good for my wardrobe.  After years of empty shopping bags and a closet full of organic t-shirts from Whole Foods, I have decided to try something new.  

This year I am determined to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside without buying any "NEW" clothes.  It's time for me to stop putting a label on what I think a "GREEN" person should look like

How am I going to dress up my life without buying any new clothes for a whole year?  

The thrift store!
Did you know:

The Salvation Army is a non-governmental relief agency and is usually among the first to arrive with help after natural or man-made disasters.

Goodwill's numbers for 2011:
  • People served through employment and training programs:  4.2 million
  • Mission services provided: 107 million
  • People who earned a job with Goodwill’s help :  189,000
  • Estimated total earnings of people who earned a job with Goodwill’s help: $2.95 billion
  • Personal and family support services provided: 10 million
  • Total revenue generated by Goodwill organizations: $4.43 billion
  • Total revenue spent directly on programs: 82 percent
  • Total number of donors (includes repeat donations): 79 million
  • Total number of retail stores: Over 2,650 and an online auction site, 
Retail sales for Goodwill in 2011: $2.59 billion!  That's a lot of money to help people in need!

-  The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Centers are 100% funded from the proceeds of the Family Stores, allowing them to be self-sustaining.

-  The Salvation Army is deeply committed to the modern-day fight against human trafficking (for sexual and labor purposes) and forms of commercial sexual exploitation innately linked to sexual trafficking.

The Salvation Army provides Group homes, emergency shelters, and transitional living centers for people in need.

-  The Salvation Army's red Kettle at Christmas brings in millions of dollars each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless.

 Go to their websites to read more about all the good they do:
Shopping at the Salvation Army or Goodwill helps a lot more than just the environment. After doing research on thrift store shopping, I was in total awe by the amount of people they help.  I love the idea of not buying anything new, giving to people in need, saving money and stocking up my wardrobe all at the same time!    

After telling my husband about my idea of not buying anything new for a year, the first thing he said was, "What about all the people that NEED the clothes?  Aren't you just taking from the poor?"  My response to that is.......... I have NEVER seen a thrift store that was out of clothes!  Usually the racks are so packed its hard to look at what is there.  I also always bring any clothes or furniture we don't want or need back to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  It's like I am paying to borrow it for awhile. :) 

You might be thinking, "Isn't shopping at the thrift store dirty?"

Do you remember the bed bug outbreak at Juicy, Hollister, Abercrombie, and Victoria's Secret?
Do you wash your new clothes when you get home?
I always come home from the thrift store and throw all the clothes into the washer and dryer before wearing them.  The dryer will kill any bedbugs or other living creatures that may be lurking in the clothes.  If the clothing item is dry clean only, you can get Dryel bags that can be put in the dryer before you wear them.

* There are a few items I won't be buying at the thrift store this year:  underwear, bra's, bathing suits, socks and shoes.

I hope this has inspired you to shop more, save more, give more, and WASTE LESS.  Don't be "green" for green for your kids, and their kids, and their kids, and their kids.  We only have one Earth, let's not wait for someone else to clean it up. 

My year of not buying any new clothes began on Feb. 14th, 2013.  I will keep you updated with my awesome finds!  Please join me in my year of shopping, giving, sharing, saving and loving. 

Alone we are weak, together we are strong!

Here are some pictures of Brandi rocking her awesome thrift store buys!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Granola Bar Recipe

My kids like to snack, so I try to provide them with heathier, non processed options. I make them these granola bars often but they never end up the same bc I always add new things.This is one of the ways we like it, feel free to add what you and your family likes to the mix.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C wheat germ or ground flax seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C chips-chocolate, peanut butter, butterscoth,white chocalate  (choose your fav or do all)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 C health bar morsels (optional)
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1.                       Preheat the oven 350*. Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2.                       In a large bowl, mix together: oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, chocolate chips, health bar and salt. Mix in honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands if need be until well blending. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
3.                       Bake for 30-35 mins until golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

Thats it! You can add raisins, nuts or anything really to this recipe. Its a base recipe that I throw together and add whatever I have in the cupboard. I really like to add toasted coconut into the mix! So yummy!! Hope you and your family ENJOYS!!
                     Happy Snacking!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kids Masterpieces in the TRASH

With my first born I kept EVERYTHING! No one picture or craft project was not saved. By the second child I started to keep my favorites. Even then the papers and sparkly craft projects were taking OVER!  I then started just writing their names and age on it then taking a picture. I allow the masterpieces to stay on the fridge so the kids can feel proud of them before
                                 I THROW THEM AWAY!!


Sounds like a horrible mom, but in fact it saves me from being a crazy hoarder living in piles of piles of paper, glitter, pine cones and popsicle sticks!

Here's what I do:
After the work of art (if hangable) graces us with its awesomeness on the fridge, I have the child hold the artwork and I take a picture! This way you can see the age that they made it. I also just take a picture of the art in case I want to put it in rotation on digital frame. It looks like framed art! That way we can enjoy it all the time without having to hang 100 pictures a month. You can also use the pictures to make a photo book of your child's finest work or written letters on an online program like shutterfly or snap fish.. I love reading the kids work and seeing how their handwriting has changed as well as their spelling. I still save a select few, but not many.

 My Two Cuties Briarlyn & Jalen

That's it! A clutter free life just minutes away. Its better to live in the now anyway and really what are you really going to do with all those papers?? Would you really want bins full of your old work growing up as a child? Maybe to see it, but really what would you do with it?? So, take my advice and snap shot it and MOVE ON!! Be careful though, because at first when your child sees you throwing away an art project...... they may get a 'lil hysterical, so make sure you explain it to them first or do it when they are not looking! HAPPY DECLUTTERING!!

written by Brandi


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