Three small ways I’m trying to be a better human

 
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For today’s Wellness Wednesday post, I wanted to keep it quick and easy. Here are three ways I’m trying to be a better human to the earth, my community, and myself. Highly recommend all three.

Composting.


I know this is the least sexy thing on EARTH, but hear me out. Did you ever think about the fact that when we throw food scraps into the garbage instead of composting, those scraps waste away in a landfill, and release methane gas into the air?? That means matter that started off as edible/great/renewable ends up in a dead end, poisoning the air and contributing to climate change. And I’m no expert but I can confidently say that the great majority of us don’t think twice about throwing food waste into the trash.

Yeah, real depressing.

But, don’t panic: it’s a preventable, fixable problem. Here’s a quick video from Kiss the Ground that helps explain how composting can help to reduce climate change.

I admit I didn’t know much about composting til moving to California, but what I know now has made me a major believer. SF is a world leader in composting efforts and it is insanely easy to compost here. It’s actually required. Between residences and businesses, SF currently collects 600 tons of compost A DAY. YAH. Pretty staggering! I have this $21 bin on my kitchen counter, and every time I have food scraps I throw them in. Two or three times a week, I take the compost outside and throw it into our city-provided green compost bin. It gets picked up every Monday. THAT’S IT. SF, there is truly no excuse not to do this. And if you just thought “yeah but I don’t want my kitchen to smell or get bugs”, know this: if you take it out as often as you need to, it doesn’t smell and you’ll never get bugs. Really! If I can do it, anyone can.

I know it’s not this easy to compost everywhere, and not every city has invested in providing compost bins to all residences. I wish they all would. But until then, a simple Google search should be able to tell you how to start composting in your city.

[ PS, just cause I love you, Chicago… here are some local specifics for ya - you can drop of your compost scraps at many local farmer’s markets, some of them for free. Here’s a link to a list of locations offering drop-offs throughout this year. You can also pay $20 a month to be provided with a 5-gallon compost bucket, and someone will come pick it up weekly, bi weekly, or monthly. Here’s a link to a list of organizations that offer pick ups in Chicago.]

Checking in on, adjusting, & increasing all those small monthly donations we all set up in a rage at the end of 2016.


Remember when we felt devastated, numb, and utterly hopeless after the 2016 election, and none of us knew what to do, so we decided to set up small monthly donations to orgs that would fight the incoming administration’s aggression & policies? It feels like a good time to check back in on them!

I’ve gone through mine and upped the amounts where I could, and also reallocated some of my dollars to new orgs I’ve heard about in the last year. My monthlies were spread across a few categories: reproductive rights, climate justice, independent media, racial justice, politics, and art. This year I also wanted to make sure that more of my dollars were going towards arts organizations so I looked for new orgs to donate to (helloooo, Elevate Oakland!).

Move.

I am a better person when I’m physically active. I’m happier, more relaxed, less short-tempered, more forgiving, and I sleep way better. I’ve been on a really positive physical trajectory over the past several months and the difference in my daily mood is INSANE. Most days I schedule some time to get in a real workout, but even on days I can’t I try really hard to create a small wedge of time to be physical. Whether that’s taking my jumprope outside and jumping for 10 minutes, or getting off of BART a stop early to add an extra mile or two to my walk home after work, or dancing/lip-syncing in my bathroom mirror before I hop in the shower. They all feel great and make me a better person.

xoxo,

-Marie

Look back at it: the best things I bought in 2018

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, the feeling of writing your 2018 recaps a full week into 2019…. 😂 2018 was a year of awakening and making moves for me, I’m beyond grateful and relieved to say it was overall a very positive year. That’s not to say it was easy - I experienced a lot of growing pains and had to face some of my biggest anxieties head-on early last year. But I feel stronger going into 2019 than I’ve felt in a really, really long time, and that gives me tons of hope. One of my goals for the year is to be kinder/more forgiving with myself, so in that spirit I’m choosing to be okay with posting my round-ups way after they’re actually relevant. Better late than never, right?!

Here are the best things I bought in 2018, in clothing, home & tech, and beauty.

(Later this week, I’ll share my favorite media from 2018: podcasts, books, and music! 😊)

Clothing

 
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Everlane Stretch Denim ($68). I have been yammering on about these damn pants for six months, so I’ll make it quick: they’re phenomenal. So flattering, so comfortable, so inexpensive for how good they are, made in a factory that is LEED certified and recycles 98% of its water. THEY’RE THE BEST.

 
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Express denim jacket w/ floral appliqué (thrifted!! I wish I could link you to it). I love this jacket so very much. I’ve only had it for 5 months and it already holds so many wonderful memories, the way that only a denim jacket can. It served as a great reminder that I almost always find my most precious pieces through secondhanding or thrifting. I haven’t made an official resolution around this, but I am trying to do my clothes shopping secondhand this year as much as possible. More on this effort later!

 
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ABLE Tirhas saddle bag ($150). I’ve never spent more than $50 on a purse so I had a mini freak-out when I first bought this bag. I needed a crossbody bag for Europe that was large enough to hold a journal, a small paperback, my wallet, my passport, a makeup bag, and perhaps a croissant or three. The Tirhas bag was the perfect size, and the leather has started to age in the prettiest way. I still keep some of my metro tickets from Paris and Barcelona in the back pocket, as a good luck charm.

 
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Old Navy red buffalo plaid thermal pajama pants (starting at $10) and top (starting at $6). I wore these for at least three full weeks of December. I even gave two sets of them as gifts to my family. They’re honestly so comfortable, so cozy, and for some reason having a matching pajama set makes lounging around my apartment for days on end feel like a proper, respectable activity 😂

 
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Adidas Stella McCartney UltraBoost Uncaged sneakers ($230, sold out, but maybe available second hand somewhere?!) No joke, these were my first sneaker purchase since 2013. Before that it was was 2007. I’m not a sneaker gal, but I needed something I could get in and out of easily that provided a ton of support - and these were the perfect match. They’re super sleek, which I love, and work just as well running errands as hiking around the Bay Area. I love em.

Home & Tech

IKEA Raggisar organizing boxes ($5.99). These puppies have been on my best things list two years in a row - they’re insanely handy. They’re currently corralling everything from skincare products to underwear to sunglasses in my house. I’ve also sneaky seen them holding trinkets on stands in several Anthropologie stores….hey, they work!

Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer ($15). Surprise: we make a ton of cocktails in our house. And we don’t abide by any of that pre-squeezed packaged nonsense, so we juice a ton of citrus. This little juicer is super powerful and really gets every drop of juice out of fruit - and it has a “dual-gear mechanism”, which is essentially a silver half circle that increases pressure on the citrus, which means your hands have to work less. It seriously works, I love this thing.

Ov Gloves ($24). These are the weirdest, most informercial-y thing in the world but they’re AMAZING. Pulling things out of burning hot ovens is suddenly so much easier.

Bose Quiet-Comfort headphones ($349). I resisted buying fancy headphones for a reeeeeeeally long time - until I bought these I’d never had a pair that cost more than $20 at Walgreens. I finally splurged for a few reasons. 1) I’m a terrible flyer but knew I’d be traveling a lot last year, and I’ve been told many times that having noise-cancelling headphones makes a huge different with in-flight anxiety. (It’s true, it really helps a TON.) 2) I started a new job last year that requires a crazy long commute two days a week, and I needed to make sure I could zone out enough to not freak out over the endless traffic. 3) I got sick of replacing my $20 options every 6 weeks when they broke. These Bose headphones are a game changer. They’re wireless, charge super fast, and cancel out a ton of background noise. The only downside is that there’s no room for a topknot in my hair when I’m wearing them 😂

Aesop Istros Aromatique room spray ($55). My fiancé (*still get excited every time I say that word!!!!!!!!! #nerd) and I got a mini bedroom diffuser, and we spritzed 3-4 sprays of this Aesop room spray in the water each time we turned it on. It smells amaaaaaaazing and sexy and expensive (as it should, at $55 a pop 😂). Apparently spraying it into a diffuser instead of spraying it around the room is cheating a little, but I don’t care - it works great and makes the whole room smell fancy.

Beauty

 
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Shea Moisture Coconut Oil Body Wash & Bubble Bath ($10.99) and Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub ($11.99). I bought both of these around October when the weather started cooling off and I wanted to make sure my skin stayed hydrated/exfoliated. Coconut oil can wreak absolute havoc on my face, but I’ve found that it’s absolutely wonderful on the rest of my skin. I’ve tried the Body Wash/Bubble Bath in both uses and it’s truly lovey - it smells like coconuts and gardenias. YUM. The sugar scrub isn’t aggressively exfoliant, and the combo of raw sugar and coconut oil leaves my skin very glowy and soft. Neither has any sulfates/phlalates/petroleum, and Shea Moisture does not do any animal testing. YAY.

 
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Glossier Lash Slick ($16) and Perfecting Skin Tint in Dark ($26). I’m a self-identified Glossier freak, and I’ve already written about my love of these two particular products, but it bears repeating: if I do absolutely nothing else to my face in the morning, I do these two 20-second things and I feel completely finished. Lash Slick is shockingly lightweight, but also elongates/curls my lashes like crazy. It comes off easily at night, but never flakes or smudges during the day. Perfecting Skin Tint is suuuuper sheer coverage that I use under my eyes, on my nose, between my eyes, and on my chin - that’s all I need. (PS, here’s my link for 10% off your first Glossier order if you’re curious: https://re.glossier.com/bedec6e7)

 
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Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter ($3.99) *disclaimer - I’m linking to Amazon because someone is selling it there, and Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell their stuff online - but just go to an actual Trader Joe’s & buy it. It’s cheaper and you can avoid Amazon 🙃 This stuff smells like COCONUT-Y ISLAND HEAVEN ON EARTH. I can’t even describe it. It’s too much, in a great way. It’s super hydrating and free of a lot of scary ingredients that I generally try to avoid in lotion. It’s $4 and lasts me for at least a month. What’s the catch? Three things: 1) the fragrance, again, is super-charged, and some people may not be into that 2) it’s a little greasy on application, which I love - but again, not everyone’s cup of tea 3) you definitely have to re-apply it every 24 hours. But I do that anyway, so it works for me. I love this stuff!

 
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French Girl Rose Lip Polish ($18) I bought this at the end of 2018 at the suggestion of a super stylish friend, and omgggg am I glad I did. It’s delish. It makes my lips insanely soft and also somehow makes them look bigger, or swollen, or something, lol whatever it is I love it. It has coconut oil in it, so I have to be very careful to not get it anywhere other than directly on my lips since coconut oil breaks out my face - but I still highly recommend it.

What were the absolute best things you bought in 2018?? I’m curious!

xoxo,

-Marie