Hibernation is officially over! (Soon, soon.)

handstand

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written. Much has happened. Life’s been radically evolving, as it always does, and I’m finally finding my footing again.

To everyone who’s written emails and tweeted tweets asking about the status of this blog, encouraging me to keep going, thank you.

I almost gave up. I almost threw in the towel and wanted to start all over again. But as soon as I began zeroing in on what exactly I wanted to write about, I realized it all came back to what I’ve been interested in all along: simplicity, minimalism, adventure, living within our means, giving back to the world.

Things are going to change ’round here (like branding and the “mission” statement), but it’ll all generally stay the same.

Winter is over! Spring has sprung. Newness abounds. Hibernation is over.

I’m back into excited, empowered creation mode, and ready to start rolling out some updates.

A thrifty hippie RELAUNCH will be May 1st. So please, stay tuned! And to those of you who have stuck around through the silence, all I can say is thank you.


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a few of my favorite things: 10 winter essentials

Okay, so it isn’t technically ‘winter’ yet, but let’s face it. It’s December. It’s dark. It’s freezing. It’s frosting. It’s winter.

winter

I’ve always loved this season, but have discovered that with age comes a distinct dislike of all things cold. The days are short. The trees are bare. The mornings are frigid. Help!

Daily life can adjust drastically between seasons. Here are some of my essentials to get through a dark, cold winter in fairly chipper spirit.

1. Tea. It’s great all year, but it’s extra necessary now. At least two cups a day—green or matcha in the morning, chamomile or other herbals at night.

2. Books upon books upon books. Get that library card if you haven’t already. Some of my favorite recent reads: The Desire Map; Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking; The Architecture of Happiness; A Room of One’s Own.

3. A good friend. Fun summer weekend adventures turn into long winter discussions over dinners in diners. Or pubs.

4. Oil & lotion. Yup I got some, super dry, itchy skin, like the rest of ya. Been getting into this Aura Cacia Grapeseed Oil this year. I also enjoy this EveryDay Coconut body lotion, which was founded by a Togolese native as a way to generate funds to help community projects in his home country and other West African nations to reduce poverty and gender inequality. Moisturizer with a conscience!

5. Water. Drink up. I know this is super hard to believe, but as the air gets drier, we need more fluids to stay hydrated. I like to slip a dash of organic cherry or lemon juice in my glasses to keep it fresh.

6. Indoor workouts. Some (crazy) people will run outside all winter. I can’t do it. So, take it indoors: yoga; workout DVDs; Youtube fitness stars; Groupon & Living Social deals; etc.

7. A morning routine. Maybe it’s always healthy to have one, but it feels even more essential in winter. Wake up early, with the sun, and start your day right. Mine typically goes (starting at 6:30 AM): 1) Water 2) Get moving—200 ab crunches, 30 push ups, 3 sun salutations, whatever else feels good 3) Read 4) Reflect/meditate 5) BAM. Ready for the day. Now get pretty.

8. A new initiative. Whatever you’re passionate about. Whatever you feel is calling you at this moment. Maybe it’s organizing a volunteer event. Or consulting on the side of your day job. Or starting a blog (hey, do it, and tell me!). Or taking that philosophy class you’ve been meaning to.

9. Candles. I know it’s not the most eco-conscious thing you can do, but I love ‘em. I typically buy soy candles, but I just read that there can be some unstated downfalls even to those labeled ‘pure soy.’ Your best bet is a pure beeswax candle, which can actually do some pretty cool things for your health. Read about it here.

10. A fun trip. Hey. Yeah, you. Get outta town! I’m sneaking off via train for Boston this week, and it’ll be a much-needed change of scenery. It doesn’t have to be far, just go! Explore. See something new. Meet some peeps. Leave the car at home and train or bus it up.

P.S. Cats always help.

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Skip kids, save the planet? An email from Dr. Mora

Recently I read this article in the New York Times, where scientists predict that by 2047, our coldest years may be warmer than the hottest years in the past, which would lead to a host of serious environmental problems.

Chilling. Freaky. Deeply disturbing. Maddening. Disheartening.

So I emailed one of the researchers from the article, Dr. Camilo Mora, who specializes in global conservation and threats to biodiversity. And I asked him: If there was one thing I could do to help, what should it be?

Skip parenthood, save the planet?

Much to my surprise, Dr. Mora actually responded. Within 10 minutes: (!)

Some how, in a way I do not know yet, we need to make people aware of how serious this problem is and for them to take action. If you find out this way, please let me know.

Best,

Camilo

Okay. I’ll get working on that, but in the mean time, I wondered, what actually is, in his opinion, the most pressing issue of our time? He replied again:

I think overpopulation. We need to make people understand that we need to have less children. Everything else will be hopeless. I doubt we will ever give the comfort of our lives over climate change, so the alternative is lets convince people to have less children.

Dr. Mora also shared one of his recent, unpublished papers (and I was getting ridiculously school-girl giddy by this point). I skimmed through, but already knew I agreed with Dr. Mora’s theory.

It makes sense—more people = higher demand for food and water, increased carbon emissions, declining natural resources, etc. etc. The earth’s decreasing ‘supply’ simply cannot meet humanity’s growing ‘demand.’

This is one way we can truly make a massive difference. It’s bigger than paper towels, people. Maybe we’re already on our way to smaller families? Studies say especially smart women aren’t reproducing, fancy that.

Thoughts? Is having no kids or maybe just one something you would be willing to do? On Dr. Mora’s initial response, how do you think we can increase awareness of the need to honestly reduce our environmental impact and spark true action?

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