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Hello Beautiful People!
I am so excited and glad to be speaking to you again about my community care experiment. This project has really brought a lot of focus and joy to me in the last month, along with feelings of accomplishment.
As this global pandemic drags on I’m clinging to these good vibes for all I’m worth right now. So come, join me! Let’s go on an accountability journey and see what I accomplished and what I learned in February. If you missed the first post, find out what I’m doing and why right here.
Feeling A Connection To My Community
I have been pretty starved for human connection lately. I’ve worked remotely for five years now, so zoom meetings were my standard at work. Once the entire world moved to Zoom, it really changed the way that I connected to friends and family and I can’t wait for in-person events again in the future.
With that being said, my commitment to no longer purchase goods online from big box retailers has already filled my heart with some genuine human interactions. I’m a bubbly person with a weird sense of humor and I’ve recently found great joy in my local bakery.
I’ve developed a new Saturday morning tradition where I pop in, buy a honey wheat loaf sliced, and the absolutely most delicious bacon and cheddar scone warmed up that I eat in my car. I typically buy my partner a little treat as well and have the BEST exchanges with the women who run the counter. We laugh, we smile with our eyes over our masks, I crack jokes- it’s wonderful.
Similarly I’ve found that the women who run the local thrift stores are pure angels. At both stores I’ve had the kindest exchanges while checking out and it’s a balm for my soul, not to be dramatic.
At the end of my last blog post I laid out some goals that I wanted to try to achieve in February, let’s see how I did?
- Purchase locally sourced in-season produce from the farmers market
- Check Out a Local Bookstore that’s been on my list forever
- Source a local version of my hair mask that ran out
- Thrift for containers for Zero waste food
- Buy some bulk food items
- Source one to two kitchen appliances used
Okay, let’s start with the food goals. Y’all. All the things are happening! I mentioned that I had been feeling inspired to buy bulk food items and make more foods from scratch.
I did that! I thrifted some mason jars and other glass containers (and stole some from my mom’s basement) and I stocked up on lentils, split peas, rice and the list goes on. I went to our local farmers market and picked up some spices and produce, which was very fun.
I also really tried to find a Vitamix second hand, but those things have a VERY HIGH resale value. I actually found that I could buy one cheaper using a mix of credit card points and a gift card from our wedding we forgot about, so I did end up going to my local Target and buying one new.
With my new Vitamix I made my own hummus and it was GLORIOUS! It’s the BEST hummus I’ve ever had. I love super smooth hummus and that’s just what I got. I also made home made peanut butter, and have rekindled my smoothie obsession.
Okay, so if you read our February best books post, you know that I had a bad reading month in February. So I just didn’t feel justified popping into a bookstore with all my unread books staring at me. So I’m moving my pilgrimage to McIntyre’s Books back until I get a little more caught up.
My “escapism” recently has been wholesome content on YouTube. I’ve recently found “thrifting” YouTube. I’m fascinated. I’ve always been so intimidated by buying clothes at a thrift store because there is so much stuff, in various conditions and sizes and it feels daunting to sift through it all.
After binging a years worth of Taylor Made Style videos… I finally felt brave enough. I decided to start with the smallest thrift store I knew so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed…. and I had fun! Shockingly. I ended up buying some great pieces and even found a pair of Vera Wang booties!
During the last year I found a new love of house plants (as I know many of us have!) It was my habit to buy new plants off Etsy, but I was having a rough weekend and thought some new green girls would cheer me up… so I went to a local plant shop and picked up a few plants.
It was so rewarding to get out of the house and walk around and see the plants and pick my favorite, rather than just waiting for them to arrive in the mail! All of the plants I bought in February are THRIVING now, and a few are releasing new leaves like it’s their full time job.
As per usual I think I was trying to do too much too soon. I had made myself a big list of all the things I wanted to do, and I have a full year to do them! I don’t need to check my entire list off in one month. That kind of is my MO though, when I decide I want to get into something I jump in both feet.
The second lesson I learned was to just do your best. Some things I just couldn’t find at a local small business, so the change I made was to buy it from a local chain retailer so at least that store could stay in business and keep my local economy chugging. This mainly pertained to some of my skin and hair care items.
Also… holy cow. The packaging. Not having online packages arriving every week has really cut back on the packaging that we are recycling. Small changes do make a difference.
I am LOVING this experiment. I like the challenge of it. I like how friendly it is on my wallet. I like that it’s making me reconnect with the world and my community after being so isolated. I love eating something I made from scratch. It’s been grand. In March here’s what I hope to do:
I would LOVE to hear from y’all. What other foods should I make from scratch? What are the tips and tricks you’ve learned to be more sustainable? How is everyone holding up now that we are a full year into this global pandemic?