10 Easy Ways to Go Green at Home

Thank you to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s post and helping me share some of the ways we’re making our home a little more eco-friendly #DEsmarthome.  As always, opinions are 100% my own.

Around our home, we’ve made small changes that make a big difference to the environment and, in turn, our wallets. Growing up in the country created a strong connection to nature for both my husband and I. Our moms were composting long before that became the “cool” thing to do, and reducing, reusing and recycling were just part of farm life. Now, many years later, we embrace being eco-friendly and try our best to leave the smallest footprint on the environment as we can.

Think it’s hard? Not really. It’s about making simple changes both inside and out…

Easy Ways to Go Green at Home

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Green Cleaning Must-Haves {Clean & Scentsible}

I switched over to green cleaning products quite a while ago for environmental and health reasons. I’ve always been a bit of a clean freak, and breathing in those toxic fumes years ago to get a sparkling bathroom could not have been a good thing! If only we could go back to the times in our lives when we really didn’t know any better (sunscreen comes to mind) and erase their effects! Well, that’s just not possible, and all we can do is make better choices moving forward.

If green cleaning products are a new thing to you, you’re going to enjoy today’s post. I think we can all learn a thing or two, and I’ve asked Jennifer from Clean and Scentsible to stop by and share her must-have products.

Green Cleaning Must-Haves | Clean and Scentsible

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Keeping the Winter Blues Out of Your Home

Yesterday, another snow storm hit, and I was so happy I didn’t have to leave the house. This winter, we’ve had more than our fair share of snow, which means cold temperatures and gloomy days- YUCK! To make it even worse, I’m one of those people who’s cold most of the time (in the literal sense) and takes forever to warm up. Thankfully, a snow-covered ground eventually leads to intensely sunny days, making it feel like spring is just around the corner (cue happy dance!). For those other dreary days, when the “winter blues” are most likely to set in, I have my own personal bag of tricks to ensure they never have a chance…

Flowers

Starting in January, I treat myself to potted bulbs and other small plants in bright colors to place around the house. Usually, I pick these up at the grocery store since they only cost a few dollars each, but last for several weeks. Most times, I simply plop the unattractive plastic pot in a ceramic one and top with a bit of moss. Easy peasy!

Purple Hyacinth

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When I’m ahead of the game, I start several pots of indoor bulbs early in the year so I can enjoy a bit of color and green up until the weather turns warm.

Aromatherapy

For Christmas, my husband bought me an ultrasonic nebulizer from Saje. It’s a heat-free essential oil diffuser that purifies the air and releases moisture. Basically, it makes the air better to breathe and gives off an amazing aroma.

aromaom_nebulizer_Saje

So far, my favorite diffuser blend is Liquid Sunshine which smells citrus-y and reminds me of chewable vitamin C. It’s part of the “Happiness” collection, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m drawn to that particular scent at the moment.

diffuserblends_liquidsunshine_Saje
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Birthday Getaway

Hello! It has been a bit of a whirl wind this month, and I must apologize for the scattered posts. As many of you know, it took me a couple of weeks to recuperate from a terrible flu I had over Christmas. That meant delaying project plans and so much more. On Thursday, I had to put everything on hold once again (not complaining) to partake in a surprise getaway my husband planned for my birthday. Yes, it was very sweet and thoughtful of him (just like this cake he came home with on Wednesday night)!

 

Birthday Cake

 

All I knew ahead of time was it involved flying somewhere in Canada (the only option as my passport expired- oops!) and to pack nice clothes. Leading up, I tried to find out a little more (take a bathing suit? need a parka?), but all he’d talk about was the motel (say what?), checking the weather report for Manitoba (knowing it was super cold there), that sort of thing- ha ha, not funny! Finally, when we checked in at the airport, I read ‘Vancouver’ on my ticket and was super excited (and relieved)!

We stayed at the Opus hotel in Yaletown. I’ve stayed there before on a business trip around five years ago, but who knew my husband was actually listening when I said I wanted to go back! If you’ve never been, it’s worth the splurge (at least for a night or two). We were greeted with champagne at check in and a double chocolate cake in our room (my husband told them we were coming to celebrate my birthday). The continental breakfast was one of the best we’ve had, and I couldn’t get enough of the heated tile floor in the bathroom (we are so getting that in our next house). Simple things like a bathroom stocked with L’Occitane products, as well as a fresh water carafe and candy on the nightstand at turndown service won me over. I could get used to that kind of lifestyle!

 

billy-superior-room- Opus Vancouver

 

Located across from the hotel is one of my favorite home decor and lifestyle shops, The Cross.

 

The Cross in Yaletown
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First Home Project Plans for 2014

As mentioned last week, I’ve been working behind the scenes on the blog to bring everything up to date and clear out anything that no longer serves a purpose. It seems like every facet of our lives needs a re-working some time or another, doesn’t it? My birthday is this week (it’s a biggie), and I find myself thinking about what I want to leave behind as I enter a new decade, as well as what has been serving me well and will be carried forward. Getting rid of the old tends to make room for something new, and in my experience, it’s usually a better fit.

As I reflect on my personal changes, I can’t help but think about those I also want to make to our home. Have you ever entered a room and thought, “I really despise that!” It happened to me just the other day when I looked at our kitchen curtains. What worked ten years ago isn’t working now (am I surprised?). It’s time to look at our home with a fresh set of eyes and make some changes bit by bit.

Although we have big renovation plans over the next two years, we’ve decided to start with the smaller projects for now. Our laundry room, powder room and front entryway are all connected (see our main level floor plan below in mirror image to show how our house was built). That’s where the focus will be for the first part of 2014.

 

Our House Plan- Main Floor

 

Our plan is to update each space from builder boring to better reflect our style preferences. I’ve already purchased some new bath hardware in polished chrome to replace the towel bar and tissue holder in the powder room. We’re also adding a new glass shelf (a small part of what we’re going to do, but these details can make or break a room). Other updates will be replacing the linoleum with tile, painting, adding a new light fixture and some accessories.

 

Bistro towel bar- Restoration Hardware
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