Apr 28, 2017

Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster Award Nomination | An award for bloggers from bloggers.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Skin and Satori for nominating me for a Liebster Award. It is a huge complement and I am very flattered. I recently discovered the Skin and Satori blog and it is such a great resource for homemade and natural beauty products.

For those who aren't aware the Liebster Award is given from bloggers to bloggers and is a way to recognize and spread the word about blogs you like. Liebster is a German word and has a number of meanings such as sweetheart or darling. Awarded bloggers answer questions posed by their nominator then select their own nominees and pose questions. So sit back and enjoy learning a little bit more about me and the blogs I'm reading.

So here the questions posed to me:

1. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?


When Hubby and I talk about where we are in life we joke that it's because we've made good life decisions. Now I know we've been set up incredibly well by our parents and our work ethics have brought us along the way too, but sometimes it's all about just making the right decision at the right time.

Financially I think one of the best moves we made was early in our marriage we had an opportunity to rent an apartment that was just over his housing allowance. The rent was $1300 per month and his allowance was $1200. It was a nice loft apartment in a good part of town with a neat complex community. Our other option was a town home that was $800 per month and a little more quirky in a less desirable part of town. We went with the town home and ended up being able to use the housing allowance for rent, utilities, and most of our food budget. That meant that we were able to save more of our income. We could have made that $1300 a month work, but the amount we saved meant we were able to buy a house far sooner than I had predicted. We also have fond memories of the counter top that only came halfway up our legs and fishing off the dock at the complex.

2. When you have a writer's block what do you do to work it out?


I don't usually do anything to work it out. My normal work flow is such that I have a ton of draft posts waiting. Some are no more than a title when an idea strikes. Others are more fleshed out with bullet points or actual paragraphs. If I have time to write but little motivation I'll flip through my draft posts to see if I can get any of them further to completion. I like to keep some posts scheduled so I generally don't feel the pressure of a deadline, but sometimes that's helped motivate and inspire me too.

3. What is your favorite place in the entire world?


Somewhere in Hawaii. I'm trying to pinpoint where exactly. There were just so many places that took my breath away. Whether it was seeing the waterfalls along the Ko'olau mountains after a rainstorm driving on the Pali. Or seeing the Mokes off the shore at Lanikai Beach. Maybe it's the view from the pillboxes or Olomana. I just love seeing the beauty of nature.

4. If you could give 1 million dollars to a charity, which would it be and why?


I'm a little surprised at where my gut instincts took me for this one. I would have thought that an environmental group would have been first on my mind, but instead it was Girl Scouts. I was in Girl Scouts from a first grade Brownie up though a Senior Scout in high school. Yep, 12 years of scouting as a member, and I've been a leader too some since graduating high school. I learned so much in through Girl Scouts that I would honored to give them a million dollars.

When I turned my thoughts to an environmental charity the first two images that popped into my head were a plastic bag and a honu (Hawaiian for sea turtle) so maybe something like Plastic Free Hawaii and the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. That organization that gave me the first reusable bag that would fold up so I could carry it with me and I actually used. They work to educate the community on a number of environmental topics including the dangers of plastic.


5. What is your favorite animal and why?


A cat. My favorite animal has always been a cat. While Maggie and Lexy have definitely have turned me into more of a dog person, I still love Callie. And no, the chickens haven't stolen the top spot either. Besides, they are more livestock for us and less pets.

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me better and now I'd like to nominate some of the blogs I enjoy reading.







My questions for my nominees are:


1. What was your favorite vacation and why?
2. What motivated you to start blogging?
3. What was your first job?
4. What is your favorite food?
5. What is your guilty pleasure?

A huge thanks again to Skin and Satori for the nomination. Be sure to check out her blog! I can't wait to read the responses from those who were nominated.

Apr 26, 2017

Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop 4/26/17

Blog Hop Zero waste plastic free less waste sustainable

A blog party focused on environmentally friendly practices: zero waste, recycling, gardening, homesteading, sustainability, living plastic free and upcycling.  It is live Wednesday at 12:00 am CST through Friday at 11:55 pm CST. 

The Host:

Katy writes at SkipTheBag about her experiences trying to minimize waste, avoiding plastic and homesteading with her garden and chickens. If you love her posts you can follow her here:





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Not sure what a blog hop is? Click here

The Rules:

  • Link up to 3 original blog posts relating to environmentally friendly practices. Posts can be zero waste, living plastic free, sustainability, less waste recipes, homesteading, upcycling or anything else to do with helping out the environment.
  • No links to stores or link parties. Giveaways are OK as long as they are accompanied with a post.
  • Please visit your fellow bloggers: they care about the environment just like you!
  • In addition to featuring the most visited blog, the "most social" person will be featured. It's hard to track, but use the hashtag #WasteLessWednesday when commenting on people's blogs and sharing posts on social media to qualify.
  • Posts will show in a random order.
  • By participating you give permission for any part of your post, including pictures, to be used for party promotion. Don't worry all credit will be given to the original source. You will also receive a weekly email reminder for Waste Less Wednesday. 

Features from Last Week:

Most social:

natural deodorant

Link Up Below!

Apr 24, 2017

Zero Waste Silverware Kit


Plastic silverware and straws are the bane of my existence. It uses a tremendous amount of resources to produce, package, and deliver the silverware to you. Then you use it for one meal and it goes to the landfill where it takes at least decades, but likely hundreds of years to decompose.

The crazy thing is that you find them everywhere. The cafeteria at work, the fast food restaurant, a sit down restaurant, a fair or festival, a food truck, church, a potluck, a party, just about anywhere that food is served there is a high possibility that plastic silverware is lurking.

Straws are even worse! Most restaurants that use metal silverware will still provide straws. I have noticed that the prevalence of straw usage varies by region in the United States. In the Northwest we are rarely given straws, but in the South you'd be hard pressed to find a restaurant that doesn't give you a straw with your beverage.

So what is the solution to avoiding all of these plastic flatware? Bring your own! I almost always am carrying a zero waste silverware kit now.

Here are some options for having your own zero waste silverware kit to avoid having to use plastic. The amazon links are affiliate links. If you click the link to Amazon, I may receive a commission which is used to help fund this blog. The price to you remains unchanged.

1. Metal Silverware in a pouch
Zero Waste Silverware Kit
I purchased this kit off of Amazon. It has a spoon, fork and knife in a neoprene travel case. The knife in the kit is VERY sharp and pointed. You would have no problems cutting anything you wanted with it. The silverware also fits nicely in the pouch so it is pretty compact. There are other versions that have chopsticksstraws, or even a bottle opener in addition to the silverware. 

2. Bamboo silverware
I love that this one has colors on them. It's a fun decoration, but you could also get different colors for different people. They have blue, red and green. This set doesn't come with a carrying case, but this one does.

3. Of course you can always make your own.


When my mom gave me this adorable Vera Bradly Pencil Bag by my mom for Christmas and I immediately knew I was going to turn it into a zero waste silverware kit. A fork, knife and spoon easily fit in it. The straw I had was a little long, but Hubby was able to cut it down to size and now it fits perfectly too. Since it was meant to be carried, it easily fits in my purse. I usually keep a reusable napkin in there too.

As you may recall one of my New Year's resolutions is to take my lunch at least twice a week. So I make sure to throw whatever silverware I'm going to need to eat the meal in the bag with me.

I do want to give a little warning to you. Do not take the knives from any of these kits with you when traveling by airplane. Twice I have lost knives going through security. I keep my zero waste silverware kit in my purse at all times and don't think about it. Well twice I have had my knife taken away. The first time I had an ultra sharp, pointy serated knife so I sort of understood. The second time however, it was essentially a butter knife. It wouldn't hardly cut anything let alone harm anyone. So just remember when traveling to either leave the knife at home or stash it in your checked bag.

What sort of silverware kit do you have?


Pin for later:
Zero Waste Silverware Kit | Why you need to carry silverware with you and what your options are.
Shared on  Happy, Healthy, Green, and Natural 

Apr 19, 2017

Waste Less Wednesday 4/19/17

Blog Hop Zero waste plastic free less waste sustainable

A blog party focused on environmentally friendly practices: zero waste, recycling, gardening, homesteading, sustainability, living plastic free and upcycling.  It is live Wednesday at 12:00 am CST through Friday at 11:55 pm CST. 

The Host:

Katy writes at SkipTheBag about her experiences trying to minimize waste, avoiding plastic and homesteading with her garden and chickens. If you love her posts you can follow her here:





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Not sure what a blog hop is? Click here

The Rules:

  • Link up to 3 original blog posts relating to environmentally friendly practices. Posts can be zero waste, living plastic free, sustainability, less waste recipes, homesteading, upcycling or anything else to do with helping out the environment.
  • No links to stores or link parties. Giveaways are OK as long as they are accompanied with a post.
  • Please visit your fellow bloggers: they care about the environment just like you!
  • In addition to featuring the most visited blog, the "most social" person will be featured. It's hard to track, but use the hashtag #WasteLessWednesday when commenting on people's blogs and sharing posts on social media to qualify.
  • Posts will show in a random order.
  • By participating you give permission for any part of your post, including pictures, to be used for party promotion. Don't worry all credit will be given to the original source. You will also receive a weekly email reminder for Waste Less Wednesday. 

Features from Last Week:

Most social:

Link Up Below!

Apr 17, 2017

Review: Plaine Products Conditioner

Review: Plaine Products Conditioner

My mom used to always say, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." This isn't really a student/teacher scenario, but I was searching for a zero waste conditioner when it nearly fell into my lap.

As you may know I am working on getting my shower plastic free. I now use a shampoo bar and switched to bar soap. Conditioner, however, was a bit more elusive for me.

At first I had just purchased a huge container of conditioner and I didn't want it to go to waste. Then I made a trip to Lush and found out about their conditioner bar. It was ok, but not really what I was looking for. To be honest I haven't even finished the bar.

I then was using apple cider vinegar as a conditioner. It was working fine, but Hubby was not a fan of the smell. I'll say that it doesn't really smell once rinsed and dried on your hair. But it does smell like vinegar while applying it and can smell while your hair is a little damp, especially if you don't rinse it thoroughly.




So I had my eyes and ears out for another alternative. That's where Plaine Products comes in. I was given this conditioner to review and they sponsored the Earth Day Giveaway for their three pack of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I'll also note that links to Plaine Products are affiliate links where I receive a commission if you purchase an item (thank you!), but the price to you remains unchanged (privacy and disclosure). 

Update: Plaine Products has offered a coupon code to my followers for a limited time. If you enter the coupon code: skipthebag you will receive 15% off the purchase price. Hurry and take advantage of this great deal! 


Their commitment to reducing plastic waste from production to shipping is what first hooked me. Their containers are aluminum which can be refilled. This is huge. There is so much energy production surrounding the production and recycling of containers. By being able to refill them this is a huge win. Don't worry, they are cleaned and sterilize them before sending them on their way again. Finally since their containers are made of aluminum they are able to be fully recycled. As you may remember that plastic containers can really only be downcycled

Next their packaging is rather unique. It is made from 95% post-consumer waste and 5% post-industrial waste. That means no new materials go into making the boxes! Since the containers are refillable Plaine Products wants them back. So when they send you a new one, you keep the box and ship back the empty one at no cost to you.




So up until now I've been bragging about how great their concept is, but now that I've been using their conditioner for a little while, how do I like it? I think it is great too!

Their products are vegan, organic, sulfate and paraben free. So all the things you would want in a product. The conditioner smells great and has made my hair happy. I think my hair is looking better than normal with less fly aways. Someone even asked if I'd gotten my hair done. Hubby is probably most excited for the change. He's far more happy with rosemary vanilla mint scent.

One day I thought it was making my hair a little greasy, but it turns out, it was due to the other product that I was using. I had been using CHI Total Defense Lotion to help moisturize and protect my hair. I love that product, but I was feeling guilty since it's plastic. However since using the conditioner I don't need to use it. What a win-win. One less product I need to use and that much less plastic being produced and wasted. 

So I'm now in love with the zero waste refillable containers, their shipping practices, and their products. You should check it out for yourself! 

So there it is a great zero waste option for shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I suggest you try it out!



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