Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Green Life

I've been wanting to post about this for a while and haven't gotten around to it but was reminded again by someone else's post. I'm pretty passionate about doing all we can to Save the Earth and really enjoy reusing and repurposing things. I'd like to share what we do in our household in hopes that others might adopt some of these as well as suggest more things we can do.

1. Use reusable groceries bags and baskets. We also have mesh netted ones for produce to avoid those little plastic produce bags. Plastic bags can also be recycled if their use can't be avoided. Use reusable water bottles like the SIGG ones or Stainless Steel ones. This one is such an easy change. I have a few reusables that I always have filled up and with me in the car. They keep the water cooler longer too. Travel coffee mugs are another great alternative that saves money too if you make your own pot at home. We have a few of these market totes that I found at T.J. Maxx a few years ago. I'm sure you can find them online for cheap too.

2. Buy local food. This one is so easy in the warmer months since there are Farmer's Markets all around the city offering fresh and delicious produce. Plus it's WAY cheaper than the grocery store. You can even sign up for a CSA and have all your weekly produce, eggs and meat delivered to your door. Here are some resources www.,, and

3. Use reusable plates and cups instead of paper/plastic for parties. We use our everyday dinnerware but you can also by products made of Bamboo if you really want something that you can throw away. Bamboo is renewable so it's a little better on the environment.

4. Pack our leftovers and lunches in glass pyrex tupperware instead of ziplocs or plastic tupperware that has to be replaced. They are also come in handy for microwaving foods at work so we don't have to put plastic in the microwave. Pyrex makes a great set that you can get at Target.

5. Earth Friendly, Chemical Free, Non-toxic soaps, detergents and house cleaners. Our favorite is Caldrea Citrus Mint Ylang Ylang. They have their own version of "comet" and "windex". All of their products clean wonderfully. Also, wash clothes in cold water and wear jeans and other clothes a few times between washings.

6. Washclothes and dish towels for messes. If we do buy paper towels, we buy the unbleached 100% recycled ones from Seventh Generation. They are awesome!

7. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging. If it's too much stuff, share with someone or another family.

8. Lately, we've been buying a lot of furniture and home decor items that are vintage, or repurposed. Not only are they unique but they come with history and no new trees were used to make them. I go to this sale once a month.

9. Buy recycled paper products whenever possible like printer paper, paper towels, toilet paper etc. I've even gotten notebook folders and dividers that were 100% recycled. If you want it, most likely it's out there.

10. Turn lights off when you leave a room and use CFL light bulbs. Also, unplug electronics or power strip when we aren't using them. They still use energy when they are turned off. This one saves a lot of electricity and money.

11. Ride our bikes to the store whenever possible and plan to go to multiple places in one trip to save gas and carpool.

12. RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE. You'd be surprised as to how much you can recycle. We have so little trash that we only put out our trash every other week and it's still not full. We are fortunate that our city gave us enormous rolling Recycle bins that take almost everything except glass. We save up that glass and take it the recycle center a couple times a year.

We have a few herbs that we use on a regular basis, but I'd love to have an actual garden. Once we get the garden figured out, I'd like to compost and water it with a rain barrel.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baby Jags

I'm so happy to announce that my sister gave birth to my adorable lil nephew Sosaia Jagger Hoeft on Wednesday April 22 (Earth Day) in Seoul,, which was actually Tuesday afternoon for those of us in the US. They are going to call him Jagger and I call him Jags or Jaggie. He was 8 lb, 3 oz and 20 inches long. I was super worried as this is the first grandchild in our family and my sis was so far away, but thankfully, they are both healthy and doing well! I just love him to pieces already and can't wait till I get to meet him. Here's some pics from the hospital.

Sosaia Jagger Hoeft

Mom & Jagger

Dad & Jagger

Monday, April 6, 2009


We found out on Friday that my sister Charlotte, the prego one is moving to Italy. i've never been to Europe and Alisha's never been to Italy so we are ecstatic about visiting them and enjoying all the wonderful things Italy has to offer. Instead of doing my school work Iv'e been researching Vicenza. This website is really cool if you click on the photos they have lots of cultural info as well.

If any of you have been there or other places in Italy I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Seoul Sisters

Alisha & Holli at Gyeongbok Palace

Over Thanksgiving Break Alisha and I went to Seoul, Korea to visit my two sisters-Charlotte & Holli.
Seoul is such a beautiful city that is surrounded by mountains. The transportation is super cheap so getting around is a breeze. The weather was perfect and we didn't have to wear a coat most days. We really enjoyed seeing my sisters' schools, apartments, neighborhoods and meeting their friends. Charlotte lives in Itaewon which is the International part of Seoul so we ended up meeting quite a few different people from all around the world. Holli lives in at tiny apartment the size of our dining room and all she has to cook on is a hot plate. Her neighborhood is a traditional Korean one with really cool night markets up and down the streets. I am not a fish fan so I found most of the food on display to be scary and smelly. I'm not really a fan of any Korean food, but I do have to say that the Kimchee over there is delicious.

Fried Foods Cart

Yummy Gelato

Holli's neighborhood night market

Fish for Sale. Gross!

During our 8 days there, we saw lots of sights, met fun people and attempted to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal in a Korean kitchen. We took in the historical and cultural attractions on the city bus that provided english descriptions of each place . Nothing opens in Seoul till 10 am at the earliest and because of the time difference we were waking up at about 6 am and wanted to start our day. One day we headed out on the subway to Seoul Land Zoo. It was a beautiful place but Zoo itself left a lot to be desired. We were the only people there besides a couple eldery men and women who were there to exercise. I like to refer to them as the Zoo walkers, much like our Mall walkers.

Alisha's best friends at Seoul Zoo

We also did quite a bit of shopping. Seoul has some really great markets, including the Dongdaemun Fabric Market and the Namdaemun Market where Charlotte showed us her amazing Flower shop where two dozen gerbera daisies were about $5. I tried some pumpkin soup at a little food stall. It was good but I would call it pumpkin porridge as they put tiny pieces of rice in it. We stopped in at the eyeglass shop and I got a new pair of glasses for $45 and only had to wait 20 minutes for them to make them . Harry Potter kids frames were the only ones that would fit. I love them! After making our way through most of the insane fabric maze, they call Dongdaemun market, I bought some really cute fabrics for these sewing projects I had in mind. I must have forgotten that I don't know how to sew. Ooops! In Itaewon, Alisha got a great deal on a snowboarding coat and pants which will come in handy on our upcoming ski trip. Oh we also visited the Tailor down the street from Charlotte's house so I ended up getting my pants hemmed for $1.80. Can you believe that?? It's about $15 here. I wish I had brought all my pants with me.

Charlotte & Alisha at Namdaemun Market

Flower Market

Cute Buddha

We went to a birthday party that ended with both Holli falling flat on her face and Alisha rolling down a slope with her pants at her ankles in the street. Why you ask? Soju is to blame.

Birthday Party

Somewhere along the way we picked up a visitors guide type of magazine that kept advertising this play called Nanta. I remember hearing about 5 years prior when I visited Seoul with Charlotte. It sounded like it would be similar to stomp but they would use items in the kitchen instead. Everyone thought it would be a good cultural event to check out. We were wrong. We couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous and cheesy it was and I was very happy when it was over.

Seoul is such a beautiful city that is surrounded by mountains. The transportation is super cheap so getting around is a breeze. The weather was perfect and we didn't have to wear a coat most days. It was a great trip that was far too short. We can't wait for our next international trip!

View from Charlotte's Balcony

Motorcycle Delivery

Alisha with super skinny Pepsi can

Alisha in tiny door

Alisha & Aisea at Hard Rock Cafe

Me @ Seoul Tower

View from Seoul Tower of only a small part of Seoul. It's enormous!

Holli looking at North Korea

Alisha & Holli at DMZ

City Lights