A List of Things That I Want and Am Not Buying


I have resolved not to buy anything that I don’t need in order to survive during the month of January. We are halfway through and I’m really enjoying the process. I think through every purchase with so much more consideration than before. The official rule of a spending diet is no shopping- like, no window shopping or internet browsing. I kind of like exercising the power or look but don’t touch here. So here is a list of totally frivolous, unnecessary things that have tempted me.


This mug


This fabric for a quilt or dress that I want to make eventually…

614ak67O76L._SX522_.jpgFile under “unnecessary but fun,” or “emergency sleepover kit:” this set of 11 food-inspired face masks.

THIS SHIRT. Why do I want this shirt so badly?


Chelsea boots.



These stoneware meets tinware mugs! It’s like camping in your kitchen!



Ugh. How luxurious. Rose gold makes everything more… dignified.



I would really like this linen/cotton duvet for the spring. Especially with the bed frame I’m eyeing.


I really want either/or/both this keyring and wrist strap.

What Purchase Will Help You Achieve Your Resolution?

Last year I had a tiny resolution of cutting back plastic waste- specifically, get really good at not using plastic bags. Conveniently, Chicago implemented a 7 cent bag tax as soon as a chose this resolution, so I could really justify my investment in Baggus. I bought 3 small bags, gifted one, and bought a large bag. If I forgot my bag, I bought a new one and planted it in my car or by the door. And we probably used plastic bags a hundred times less than we did in 2016.

I have been taking group physical training lately, and feeling stronger with every week. I was having trouble holding my feet still while holding planks, and I was finally sick of slipping and struggling. If my feet slip every 10 seconds, how can I hold a two minute plank? Enter: Adidas Crazy Trainers. I am so stable and can feel my strength. I was worried that once my excuse of slippery feet went away, I would discover that I couldn’t hold these poses, but was surprised to discover that I feel stronger and feel like I could hold these moves all day.

What purchases help you accomplish your goals? Is it a new cookbook? Leggings that don’t pull or tear during your workout? A nice laptop case or new backpack to make it easier to get to the coffee shop and work?

Homemade Gifts for Every Occasion in 2018

Who else is tired of buying? I have serious consumer fatigue. I am trying to take a break from spending, for my economic health and just my general sanity. Here is how I will navigate those gifting situations where you normally need to buy.


Hostess Gift: Homemade No-Knead Bread


Birthday: To make an easy favorite scrubby face mask, mix together honey, thyme, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

For kids: Did you know you can make your own temporary tattoos??? It looks so easy!

For soul sisters: How fun to make one of these swing dresses together!


Wedding: A homemade blanket or quilt, or a homemade woven pillow.
A packet of seeds with a loving note and personal illustration.

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Thank You: Cinnamon Roasted Pecans


Mother’s Day: Handmade Paper Wreath


Father’s Day: Your top 5 recipes, hand written.


Valentine/ Anniversary: Home cooked meal with a handmade card

Three Gifts for Passionate Recyclers

For all of the eco-friendly, plant based, earth loving folk in your life. Most people in my life fit this category, so I find this is an easy way to fill out gifts. And everybody in a city with a bag tax will appreciate a high quality grocery bag.


These small baggus fold up up to fit in your pocket and are machine washable. Bonus points for the botanical print! I ordered a set of these in January and have used less than 10 plastic bags in the entire year because these are so easy to store and carry.


Complete the set of grocery-ready shopping bags with these reusable produce bags. It’s just one more way to minimize plastic use.


Similarly, I’ve nearly cut plastic wrap out of my life with this bees wrap. This set of soft beeswax wrapping comes in sizes large enough for you biggest mixing bowl and small enough for a hunk of cheese. Using the heat from your hands, the wrap seals against the container as a plastic cling wrap would, but this is easily rewashed and reused. Best of all, if you do have to through it out? It’s biodegradable.


Gold Digging: The Mica Hand

This is a post about fine jewelry,  but you have to follow the trail that led me here. The Chicago Field Museum has this amazing section on Ancient Americas that connects to a vast exhibit on Native Americans. I was trying to rush my dad through Ancient Americas, at least get him through the Aztecs, when I was drawn in by the beautiful work of the Hopewell culture. This group of people lived in the midwest and had an elaborate woodland trade route set up. They were in existence from 200 B.C. to 500 A.D.. This group of people did magnificent things with the materials they received in trade. The first craft that stopped me in my tracks was a collection of hundreds of beads ranging in size from small grape to course coffee grounds. Imagine the work it took to shape, polish, and pierce materials by hand and amass that quantity, bowls full of beads.

As I kept walking, I noticed the icons of abstract body parts, and wondered what the meaning is. Apparently no researches are comfortable taking a wild guess as to why, but the Hopewell frequently traded for precious metals and stones and cut images of hands or thumbs. Here is the piece I was entranced by at the Chicago Field Museum:


This hand is just smaller than a sheet of printer paper, and it was cut as one piece from a single sheet of mica. Notice the bend of the opposable thumb. I wonder if they held the hand or opposable thumb in high regard as we hold the heart or the brain. At that time, it must have seemed that your working hands were the only thing keeping you alive. In their replica of bird talons, they highlight the back claw as a sort of thumb, as well. We would not have evolved in the way that we have without those hands and special thumbs.

After I left that exhibit, I found a pair of silver, native-made earrings in the shape of a flat hand. I was not ready to drop a hundred dollars at the museum that day, but I cannot stop thinking about the hand icons and the beautiful representation in those silver earrings. So, finally, here is a tribute to hands as an icon of strength and ingenuity, or as a symbol of craft and nurturing. A roundup of metallic hand jewelry.


Something I learned while researching this jewelry: Frida Kahlo famously wore and painted herself in a pair of hand earrings made for her by Picasso, and many featured below emulate these. So hurrah for the artists and eclectics of the world.

Additionally, many of these hands are emulating the Hamasa hand, which bears the evil eye and is an icon to promote good fortune in seen in many cultures in the Middle East and Northern Africa.