28 July 2010

Lesson Three: Setting Up a Recycling Center in Our House

 (from the Martha Stewart website)

I've been wanting to set up a recycling center in my house since we moved in. Frankly, I'm ashamed it's taken this long to get it done. I got this idea from none other than Martha Stewart. She suggests putting together several wide, interlocking bins to create your at-home recycling center. You can even put these bins on rolling castors to make them easier to transport to the curb, or in my case, the car since my town doesn't offer curbside recycling. Each bin should be labeled with what goes in and you can even post a list of what can and can't be recycled nearby.

I finally got my rear in gear and picked up some bins. If you want to be even more green, find some used on sites like Craigslist.com. I would have loved to go this route but since I've put this off for far too long, I just went out and bought some.

Sterilite 29308001 3-Drawer Wide Cart with See-Through Drawers and Black Casters, White 

This is not exactly what Martha suggests but it was the only thing I could find at Target. Sterilite 3-drawer bins are a decent price and come with optional wheels. The ones I picked up are not as wide, which I am not happy with, but they will work for now. When I find the perfect solution, I will repurpose these bins for closet storage (another thing I desperately need).

Do you have a home recycling center? What do you use?
Goal #70. Set up a recycling system - Completed

27 July 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral!

From the Machs Grun website: According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University and environmental activist, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems.

The company has paired up with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for each blog that writes a short entry about being carbon neutral, for free! One tree can neutralize the carbon emissions from one blog for 50 years. Thanks to Machs Grun and the Arbor Day Foundation for making this blog carbon neutral.

26 July 2010

Lesson Two: Balancing Work-Home-School-Family

I finally did it. I invested in a smart phone. Up until now, it was an entirely unnecessary expense. I was completely opposed to buying an electronic device with all those fancy apps and functions I would never use. However, since I've recently started my own business, I knew I had to give in. I broke down and bought the HTC Aria and I have to admit, I love it.

HTC Aria Android Phone (AT&T)

This phone is amazingly functional. I love that I can sync it with all my Google business apps. I receive my business e-mails directly on my phone and most importantly, I can keep my schedule up to date, no matter where I am. As the most unorganized person on the planet, this is incredibly important to me. I want to achieve balance in my life. Having started a business and being on the verge of birthing a child into this world, balancing my work-home-school-family life is more important than ever. So, forgetting the completely materialistic aspect of owning a phone like this, I am really hoping it can help me achieve this goal.

Goal # 16. Create and use a daily schedule - In Progress

I've started this goal by putting in my part-time work schedule from Foot Solutions into my Google calender. I then added Game Night, which is every Wednesday with my husband's family. I added in the appointments I already had set up with clients and my pre-natal and chiropractor appointments. I then synced all this information to my phone as well as Microsoft Outlook so I can access it all wherever I am. Next, I'd like to make some sort of hourly break down of how I plan to spend my days. How much time should I dedicate to school work, my business, cleaning and organizing my home, spending time with family? Over the next few days I plan to attempt to figure that out! Wish me luck :)

25 July 2010

Lesson One: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

Have you ever heard of the 101 in 1001 challenge? Here is a synopsis from the website Day Zero:

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

I've made these lists several times and have completed many tasks because of them. I have never made it to the end of my list before I let life get in the way. In order to accomplish these lists I'm going to blog about them. I am hoping this will be enough inspiration to keep me going!

What does the list have to do with turning myself into a domestic goddess? Everything! My idea of a perfect life is giving equal amounts of time to myself, my home, my family and my business, which I run from home in order to spend more time doing all of the other things.

If you're interested in making your own 101 goals in 1001 days list, I suggest checking out Day Zero for inspiration and a place to organize.

24 July 2010

Course Syllabus

I am completely in love with the idea of homemaking in the traditional sense. When someone loaned me a copy of Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home, everything I was trying to do around my own home started to make sense. My husband could not understand why I wanted things positioned a certain way around the house, or why I made a list that thoroughly described how I wanted each thing around the house to be cleaned. I didn't really understand it either, except that I wanted it that way. After reading that book, I realized I was sliding into the role of homemaker. It came naturally to me to want to do these things. What didn't come naturally was the knowledge or the organization. The want-to is all here, the know-how is not. Hopefully this blog can help me get there and stay there.

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home 

I want a place to share some of my recently gathered homemaking knowledge. Martha Stewart has filled me up with all this information and I feel like if I don't write it down, process it, share it, I may not put it to good use. It will just sit in a dusty filing cabinet in my head and never be useful to me.

I'll also occasionally use this space to talk about Martha herself. I am completely in love with the woman. She is a genius and I absolutely look to her as a role model. Some of you may not understand why but I intend to fully explain that, all in due time.

I also want to display my home throughout its transitions. We bought the home in semi-decent condition; the previous owners did beyond their fair share of trashing the place. It's 2600 square feet make for a difficult home to clean and keep organized but I'm up to the challenge. I want to show our home as it takes shape into something beautiful. Join me as I embark on one of the craziest ventures of my life :)

23 July 2010

Welcome to the Conscious Family!

con-scious: 1) perceiving, apprehending or noticing
with a degree of controlled thought or observation;
2) capable of or marked by thought, will, design or perception

family: 1) a group of individuals living under one roof
2) a group of people united by certain convictions
or a common affiliation

Welcome to The Conscious Family! For the purpose of this blog, I will be using the definitions of conscious and family listed above. A short intro into my life: My husband and I bought our first home in Independence, MO. It is a 1928 Colonial Revival home that sits on two lots and needs a lot of work. We are expecting our first child and also take care of my 15-year-old sister. We're interested in attachment parenting and I believe in living a healthy, natural lifestyle. I've also recently started my own business planning weddings and am taking business classes. My husband is in the Army, currently deployed. I'm starting this blog to talk about the challenges I'm facing keeping all aspects of myself equally balanced while trying to achieve a green life and start a conscious family. I will also use this space to do a series called "Lessons in Domesticity" in which I will discuss all the things I'm doing to try to turn myself into a domestic goddess. I want to have a place to showcase my home as it (and I) transform into what I feel it was made to be.