Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Everyday

Happy Earth Day! 

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations. The day was created in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, series of rallies, and other activities that happened to coincide with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

I heart the Earth so much, I try to celebrate Earth Day everyday. Here's how: 
  • Ride public transportation to/from work as much as possible. I currently ride BART 4-5 days a week. Most days I catch a ride with Rachel (in her Prius - bonus points with mother earth!) to the BART station. Once I'm downtown, I'm able to walk to work. On the days I don't ride with Rachel, I park at the closest station or ride the bus to BART. Either of these options mean that i'm cutting down on my emissions and that feels good. I must admit there are days when I drive all the way to work *gasp!* Sometimes the convenience of having my car out weighs being environmentally conscious.
  • At my desk I have a reusable bowl, coffee mug, water bottle, spoon and fork. I know most people have their own coffee mug, so that's not a big deal. Thankfully in our office it's also cool to have your own plate and bowl. At one point we had someone donate their old Ikea dishware to the kitchen to encourage people to reuse rather than waste paper products. I drink A LOT of water throughout the day, so I can only imagine how many plastic bottles I'm saving by using my lululemon bottle. Reuse, inspiration and hydration? I win!
  • 90% of the time, I bring my own bags. Whether its the grocery store, drug store or even the mall, I make an effort not to take a bag. I carry one of these fun fold up bags in my purse. With all the grocery stores carrying cute reusable bags, it shocks me when people don't use them. If I've forgotten my bags, I always ask for paper. Easy to re-use or simple to recycle. 
  • Make less waste and more compost! Our trash company provides us with a large bin for yard scraps and kitchen waste. It's amazing how much 'trash' is actually compostable. We bought an air tight container to keep on the kitchen counter for the scraps. When it's full we take it out to the bin. The Taber's also have a mini composter in their garage. They use only food scraps to make soil for their garden. It's awesome but smells ....very, very "earthy." 
  • RECYCLE bottles, cans, cardboard, even some styrofoam is recycle friendly. Check the bottom of your products, you may be surprised! 
  • Donate for reuse, rather than throw away. When I moved out of 533 Blair, I was determined not to just throw things away. I pawned as much as I could off on friends. After that I looked elsewhere. Thankfully there is an awesome place in the East Bay called the Depot for Creative Reuse. They accept all sorts of items which they redistribute for a very low cost to teachers and non-profit organizations.
  • Reduce paper waste in the office. As a department, and an organization too, we have made a commitment to use less paper. Within the medical offices we now use Healthconnect (electronic medical records) which has created many efficiencies as well as reducing tons and tons of paper waste. You may have seen or heard the commercial, Emerald Cities talking about this.  Within my office we ask for all of our grant applications electronically. When we have to make copies we print double sided. And we are working on making our grant files almost completely electronic, which will cut down on a lot of our paper waste. Hooray! 
  • When not in use, turn off the juice! Turn off lights when I leave the room and unplug appliances that aren't being used (even when they're off, they're still sucking energy).
There are many people who have inspired me to be more environmentally friendly. It was fun to make this quick list and I'm sure there are things I am forgetting here. I am proud to know that on a daily basis I really am making a difference. Although small, every little bit helps.
 Earth Day Graphics

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hobo no mo'

When I got my first full time job I was ecstatic. Not only was it was the job I'd hoped to get, but I'd got it before graduation and I was finally completely supporting myself. With my first full pay check I made a few celebratory purchases. The biggest and most exciting was this gem: 

 a black hobo Coach bag. 

Classic, cute and a huge treat for my gainfully empolyeed self. For the last six years I've taken this sucker everywhere. Bars, baseball games, work, weddings and more. It's my go-to small black bag. More recently it's been shelved due to it's smaller size. You can only stuff so much into a little bag before you can no longer zip it. You see where this is going, don't you? 

On our recent trip to Portland I tried to carry a little too much and POP, the zipper couldn't do it anymore. With that pop my heart broke a little bit. Even though I haven't been using it as much these days, it's my go-to. I called the Coach store and they told me to bring it in, repairs are free. I dropped it off and $20 later (repair is free, but shipping is not) was hobo less but hoping for the best. 

Today I received a box in the mail with my returned hobo. A nice letter informed me that "after careful evaluation, our craftsman have determined that we are unable to repair your item."


The letter continues..."We understand that you have been inconvenienced by this process and may be disappointed with our inability to make the requested repairs. In addition to returning your original item to you, we would like to offer a 40% discount on your next Coach item."


I know it's just a bag and there are tons of other cute black bags that could just as easily be my go-to. The discount on the new bag helps, but I'm still bummed. I have a little hope that someone can repair the zipper so I plan to try somewhere local. At some point I know I'll have to move on. I've already looked at the Coach website and don't love anything. I may or may not use the coupon, we'll see. I will be on the hunt for a new bag or two (can't hurt to have a black bag AND something fun for the summer, right?). This is the ending of an era of me at the little black hobo. May my next bag be just as cute, join me on just as many adventures and have a little room to zip with ease.

Lemons, melons and pears - oh my!

A few weeks ago my mom came to the bay area for a visit. The moment she booked her flight, I looked into tickets to Wicked. While they are pricey, the rave reviews made me think it was well worth it.  And I couldn't think of a better person to see the show with than my mom.

The first night of her visit was our Wicked date! We had a lovely dinner and drinks in the East Bay before heading to the show in SF. We got into the theater and took our seats. The curtains were drawn, but the stage decorations that climbed the walls surrounding and above the stage increased my excitement. We anxiously read our programs and kept our eyes peeled on the stage as we waited for it to begin. 

To say I was impressed would be a sore understatement. I've heard many of the songs, and knew the basic storyline but I was completely blown away. The costumes, the songs and the storyline, roughly incorporating the Wizard of Oz, were spectacular. 

With so much to pay attention to, it was hard to catch all of the lines, but there were some great one liners. A favorite of my mom's was "lemons, melons and pears - oh my!" And mine was when the "wicked" witch was holding her broom and the "good" witch said "you don't have to fly off the handle!" These are two of many hilarious lines. 

The next morning as we lazily ate breakfast and watched the Today Show we couldn't stop talking about the musical. It didn't take long until we were watching YouTube videos of the original Wicked cast and some of the most famous songs. I can see why people have been more than once, it's THAT good!
The rest of the weekend didn't involve watching YouTube videos, thankfully we got out of the house and had a really nice weekend. We spent time with some extended family, friend and with Brian in Sacramento, took walks and enjoyed the spring weather. Of course we told all the people we spent time with about Wicked - the costumes, the songs and the favorite one liners!

I am so lucky that my mom has come to visit so much. Although it's gotten much easier, I continue to miss home and a large part of that is my family and friends. Having my mom here, or any loved one for that matter, makes home feel a lot closer. So come back real soon, ya hear? I can't promise witches, wands and one liners (oh my) but I can promise a wicked vacation. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

{image via martawrites}

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

hurt so good

i thoroughly enjoy a good lunch time work out. whether it's a walk/run around lake merritt (merely steps from my office) or a good workout at the ol' 24 hr (3ish blocks away). it is so nice to get away from my desk and move my body. i notice a drastic improvement in my mood, the afternoon always goes by much faster and i don't want to fall asleep at my desk - all wonderful benefits.

just as much as i love much lunchtime workout, i love a good post work out stretch and foam roller sesh. it feels like my time to unwind after a workout. i've only more recently used the foam roller on a regular basis. for a long time it just hurt, so i wouldn't use it. having temperamental knees, i've been told that 'rolling' out my IT bands will help with knee pain. true story! my knees still hurt when i run a lot, but the foam roller definitely helps with the tightness that tends to set in. it also seems to prevent my knee from swelling. what ever it is, it hurts so good and i love it! paired with my 'unwind' stretching it's like a mini trip to the spa. that is until i open my eyes and remember i'm at the gym in downtown oakland!

i like the foam roller so much that i asked for one for my birthday. weird present, i know. that's how i roll... 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friends don't let friends...

craft drunk. 

Hilarious Easter card I received from a crafty friend.