Thursday, October 27, 2011

Going Loco. I mean, LOCAL.

Blog, I have failed you. I've meant to write, I really have, but life is just SO busy at the moment. I'm exhausted, I'm stressed, I'm stresshausted. It began last year, TWO springs ago. March of 2010. We started a six-month renovation on our old house. It really made life hectic. And then, as that project finally wrapped up, I took on a nearly full time volunteer position through the school year. After that, our second huge renovation project started on our new house, and that is finally finishing as we speak. But, on top of everything, we're in the process of moving, and doing it OURSELVES. This has been a ton of work, but SO worth it. Although we're now in the new house, I feel that we have about 2-3 weeks left of the move. I need to pack, move and clean the old basement and garage, and then give the whole place a squeaky clean shine. It's a a lot but I'm feeling super grateful and I COULDN'T be happier in our new home. :)

After the move is said and done, I still have Jon and Noah's birthdays in November, AND we're hosting Thanksgiving! I think it's going to be a little hectic through the holidays. I can't wait to get past everything and just relax.

Now for some really fun stuff.........Presenting the Uber-Fantastic, It's almost freezing cold winter.....................RUBYJUPE*!!!!

I've been meaning to tell all of you about a WONDERFUL new product called RubyJupe! My friend Danielle and her business partner, created the most brilliant skirt EVER. It's a zip on, insulated skirt that comes in three perfect lengths to keep you warm all winter long. It's great for those chilly fall and spring days too. I have so much more to say and I need to give the lovely RubyJupe it's own formal post, but this little preview is for now. More to come soon! Just think of all the ways you could stay toasty. Wear the RupyJupe alone with tights, or over a comfy pair of leggings, or even with your jeans when you know you have a LONG stand ahead of you out at the freezing playground. I like it because RubyJupe is a nicer alternative to old yoga pants, but still super functional. It's really a great product, offered by equally great ladies! Take a peek for me and please, spread the word! :)

I have so much. Sooooooooooooooo much to tell you about the new house. I just don't have time. I have to run over to the old house now, and run an errand, and come back, unpack some more, run to Noah's school to help out, cook dinner, help with homework, pack tomorrow's lunches, get the kid ready for bed. Too much running around for one day. It's also our TEN YEAR TOGETHER anniversary! Ten years ago, Jon and I went on our very first date. It was thai food, and a Halloween party. I wish we had time to go out and celebrate tonight. Having kids and a house changes everything. Wow! I'll write more about the new place and other things later on.

In the meantime, I wanted to quickly tell you about my mini-adventure earlier in the morning, and my plans for things to come.
(By the way- I just realized that I'm sitting in our new kitchen, on the little bench, pulled up to the big farm table. It's cold and rainy outside, and I'm in here with a cozy knit sweater on, eating some corn chowder left-overs that I made for a potluck last night. The church bells are being played over at St. James, we always get songs. Farm table, sweater, corn chowder, old-timey wallpaper. It doesn't get more quaint than this. Yay for quaintability!)
Where was I? Sorry. So this morning, I kind of hit my breaking point. We've been moving for a week straight. Jon has worked incredibly hard. I really really appreciate it. There have been many a late night putting silly furniture together or hauling boxes around. I for one am beyond exhausted, both physically and mentally. I need a two-day nap. So this morning, after Jon and Noah went off for the day, and the beds were made, dishes done and clothes ironed, I decided to take some time for myself.

For the past week, it seems that I've been living in my own little mini-world. I've virtually only gone between the new house and the old house and Noah's school. Save for a trip to the grocery store and Target and the potluck. I need to get out.

There is a blog called "She Shops Local" that I've really admired for some time. It's wonderfully written by Anna Herbert, who lives in the gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside near nailsworth. I can only imagine how lovely it must be to live in the English countryside. It is a dream of mine, spending some time roaming the Cotswold's. Eeek! That sounds perfect. Anna's blog is now mostly a food blog, which is fantastic in it's self. But- one of the first focuses of the blog was Anna's challenge to shop locally whenever she can. I was hooked from the moment I began reading. How fantastic! Here is her first post, with the rules of Anna's adventure.

Once we bought the new house, I knew that we had to support local, to help keep this beautiful little city going. So, similar to Anna, I started to congeal in my head a challenge: I am to shop locally whenever I can. Right in town. AND, to walk. (This is going to be a pain in the winter huh!?) I'd love to blog about it too. I just need some more self-discipline.
Can you imagine, in 1868, walking around town in all that snow!? I hope Ann, the woman who lived here at the time, at least had a horse or a little carriage.

Today was my first venture out. It was a bit misty, but I kept thinking to myself, LOOK at all the gorgeous trees outside! Look at them, reds, so vibrant, but soft at the same time. And the yellows, they're practically golden! I can't miss all of this, and I truly need some fresh air.
So, I put on my cozy sweater, and some warm tights, and a pair of brown boots and my down coat. Then grabbed our little polka-dot shopping cart and my plaid umbrella.

Oh the air. You really should have been there. You should have smelled it. Woodsmoke. Whoever was burning leaves and old twigs made my morning. It's such a great smell.

So on my list I had three objectives: One was to buy a birthday gift for an unmentioned person in our family, because I want this to remain a surprise. Also, I needed to stop off at the library to pick up a couple books for Noah and I. And finally, I wanted to pop in at our local coffee shop for a very much needed coffee and some friendly conversation.

I bought said secret birthday gift, which I can't discuss now. And although I meant to hold out for a coffee until the end of my outing, I had realized that it was nearly 10:30am, and I had yet to have a drop of coffee all morning. It was time. Our local coffee shop is Biggby, but our town boasts four places to choose from. We have the obligatory Starbucks, an independent shop called Zuma, which gets a youthful crowd next to one of the movie theaters, and then Commonwealth. Commonwealth actually roasts their beans in-house. Each cup is a work of art. An expensive work of art. Reclaimed barn wood floors, meticulous design, giant giant windows, bringing the outside in. It's every upscale hipster's Paradise. It's where aging hipsters with jobs go, because they can afford it. We naturally gravitated to Biggby. It's delicious, down-to-earth, fun, and most of all, run by the very nicest crew of people ever. :)
A brother and sister team, Joe and Rose, own this Biggby. They're great. And every single employee has been nothing but smiles and friendliness and great for chats. In fact just this morning I talked with two of the girls working behind the counter. I'm so bummed that I can't remember their names, but one told me about her cousin's Vegan/Localvore/Low-Carbon impact blog, and the other passed along her King of The Hill screen shot Tumblr. Awesomeness.
One of my very favorite Biggby peoples is "Mama Biggby". That's Bianca, Joe and Rose's Mom. She helps out sometimes, always makes me laugh and gives the best hugs. :)

After a cup of house brew, and some blog discussions, I rolled out. A couple blocks over it was really neat to find this reproduction painting hanging on an empty wall. Apparently this is part of the Detroit Institute of Art's program Inside| Out. It is SUCH a great idea, bringing art out into the communities to foster interest in the arts, and with the DIA. Neat, huh!
Next I went to our library. I was going to check out some of these books for Noah and a couple for me. Unfortunately, I was unaware that they open at 11:00 on Thursdays, and it was just after 10:30. The rain was starting to come down harder, and I thought I should make the two block dash home.

It was such a nice little break. I'm very excited for this new challenge, to shop and walk locally whenever I can.

Well, there's those church bells again, they ring every hour, on the hour, and the half hour. Who needs a watch when you have bells!? Time for me to go and keep on keeping on. See you guys soon.

xoxo,
Lauren
P.P.S. I am telling all of my friends to honk when they drive by. (We live next to a very popular cut-through.) Today I heard two random honks, and just a bit ago another random honk. So, "Hi!" and thank you! Lol. :)

*I was not paid or gifted in any way for the review of this product. I just like it that much and wanted to spread the word on a neat, new idea!

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