Category Archives: self reflection

How to Live Beyond Your Means

How to Live Beyond Your Means

I found this wonderful and totally of-the-times self help book up at my camp in the Adirondacks. There is no shortage of obscure and strange antiques up there. I’m hoping to make a trip up there in the next couple weeks and I will be sure to photograph some of it for you. But, for now:

How to Live Beyond Your Means

Gorgeous Title Pages

How to Live Beyond Your Means, c. 1945 by Margery Wilson


  1. I Want More, Don’t You?
  2. Just Ask for It!
  3. More Friends
  4. More for Your Time and Postage When You Write
  5. More Fun Out of Life
  6. More Health for the Same Amount of Care
  7. More for Your Time and Effort at Home
  8. More Accomplished
  9. More for Your Reading Time
  10. More for Your Money when you Entertain
  11. More Happiness for the Love You Give
  12. As I Was Saying —

Word Suggestions for Letters

I have been watching Mad Men non stop since I found it on Netflix, and I find myself wishing for some of the civility and politeness.

All the advice is pretty straightforward, but some of it is really good! I’m enjoying reading through it. There are lots of step by step instructions on how to run a home, which are definitely words to live by. “Make your house a home and you will save a lot of money!”

I am in the process of “tightening the belt” before school starts. I have shaved down a lot of my spending, including shopping around for new car insurance, a different phone plan, switching to the streaming only netflix plan (first world problems!), cutting down my driving and eating out. Also, I am NOT allowed to go to Target. Somehow I can not get out of that place without spending $50-100.

Does anyone have any great ideas to save money?

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Filed under books, inspiration, self reflection

Going Green

On the Radio.

I listen to NPR sort of compulsively. It is tuned in on my clock radio, and plays quietly throughout the day and during naps. This morning I woke up to Prime Time, which is actually an AARP show. It is always awesome. This is what I heard upon waking up:

Since 1907… every bit of plastic that has ever been produced is somewhere on our planet, either in our atmosphere through incineration, in landfills if its been buried or if it has been disposed of irresponsibly or by mistake it ends up in our oceans or ends up in our natural environments. So every bit of plastic that has ever been produced is somewhere out there. Plastic lasts forever, we use it for a very short period of time, so it’s no suprise that these fingerprints are turning up all over our natural environments.

These are things you know. Right? We know that plastic doesn’t go away. But the idea that EVERY PIECE SINCE 1907 is still here is shocking.

(god, that image search was super depressing. “plastic trash island.”)

These gyres are the unseen consequences of our disposable culture.

Consumerism necessarily distances the consumer from the consequences of their consumption, and stewardship has been lost in our culture. I encourage you to look beyond the hipster esthetic associated with Etsy and thrifting and think about the environmental impact. Challenge yourself to use more vintage, second hand and re-purposed goods. If you are like me, you will find satisfaction in looking around your house and realizing that not only have you minimized your waste, but that you have created a beautiful and eclectic space filled with one of a kind items.

Here is some inspiration to get you started:

Wood Serving Bowl from HannahBellaMemories

Heart Measuring Spoons by BeehiveKitchenware

Seven Deadly Sins by trixiedelicous

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Filed under environment, green, home, inspiration, self reflection, vintage

Keep on Keeping on.

I don’t know how to even begin this post.

Colin and I broke up last week. Nothing really happened, it was just a time/priorities issue. Anyway, it is making me re-asses my approach to this year. The following was my resolution list from January that I posted to my Tumblr.

2011 To-Do List
  • maintain exercise schedule (5-6 days a week), including strength training
  • run a 5k with Colin!
  • pay off jeep
  • buy new computer
  • get a road bike. Ride it to work all summer
  • yoga, at least once a week
  • maintain focus on Wandering I Vintage
  • acquire health insurance
  • join a recreational sports league
  • cook more
  • read at least one book a month. And I mean a serious book. (Myth of Sisyphus, Discipline and Punish, finish The Female Eunuch)
  • visit Mac in Nashville
  • go at least one other place I have never been.

This list was written BEFORE Colin and I were dating, and as I’m sure you know things (schedules, priorities etc.) change a lot when you get into a relationship.

Between Colin working heavy hours at his Mon – Fri job and my four, sometimes five days a week waitressing (which means late hours, getting out between 10 and 11pm) we really had some scheduling issues.

So a lot of these things (like Yoga, gym, visiting Mac and reading) did not happen. Ce la vie. So, I thought after a very weird, vaguely depressed and directionless weekend by myself I need to re-focus.


2011 (revised) To-Do List:

  • make diet and exercise a top priority
  • pay off jeep
  • buy a new road bike
  • return to school
  • acquire health insurance
  • develop and maintain new friendships

I’m on the way towards a lot of this stuff. School especially. But I need to get back to working out and taking care of myself more.

Wish me luck!

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Filed under inspiration, self reflection

I am from…

My friend Megan (you can find her HERE at her blog, or on Twitter) has been doing a “Getting to Know Me” series on her blog. I really admire her dedication to her online presence and her excellent writing so I thought I’d go right ahead and rip off one of her posts. She calls it the “I am from…” exercise. It is something they do in City Year, and we do similar things in NYPIRG. Actually, there are a lot of stuff from NYPIRG that I worked with and developed that Megan has shown me may have cross-platform potential. More on that later. Now…

The premise is simple. Basically you take five different categories and write down 4-6 lines that match up under that category. It doesn’t have to rhyme, it just has to be true for you. (I’m going to modify this a little to include product from Etsy, thereby rendering this blog post relevant. I high five myself here.)

I am from (sights, sounds and smells)

freshly cut hay

rolling hills

sustenance gardening


(home hatched chickens)


I am from (familiar foods)

home made popcorn in recycled paper grocery bags

pear tart

natural peanut butter from the food co-op (in one gallon buckets! what what!)

mint chocolate chip cookies

(hand picked berries)

I am from (familiar phrases)

In my family, this is all there is:

I am from (music from your childhood)

Laurie Anderson


Frank Zappa

(Talking Heads)


I am from (ancestors)

nowhere! (adopted)

(I just realized this was an entire post that was cat free, so I’m going to go ahead and plug some cats right hurr)

So, where are you from?

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Filed under buds, self reflection

Antarctica, Nesting, and Urban Gardening.

When I work on the shop online, I like to put a documentary (or two or three) on in the background. It provides much needed relief for the tedious process of photo editing, or re-tagging, or even just making treasuries.

Today I chose “Encounters at the End of the World,” which is about Antartica. It has its’ overly artsy moments, as they all seem to do. But the thread through it is the idea of impermanence. They interview the man who runs a green house, supplying food for the scientific community (which is all “towns” are in Antartica). He talks about how many of the people who populate these communities come to be there, and he says several things that I find striking. He says that they are at the bottom of the earth. That everyone else has ties to something and they don’t, so down they fall to the South Pole. He talks about PhDs doing dishes, and linguists drawn to a continent “with no language.” There is also an interview with a Slavic expat who has been living on the South Pole for years but still keeps a pack with him ready in case he ever needs to leave at a moments notice.

This is all very interesting to me. I have always led a life with little ties. After I left home for college, my parents moved to Italy and rented our house out, leaving me effectively rootless. For several years after that I bounced around owning very little. Basically a plastic box of clothes, a mattress, a cat, a geriatric dog and sometimes a car. Oh, and an inexplicable amount of books. Everything was in a milk crate, ready to be turned up and put in the back of a truck. After the dog passed away, it was no holds barred. The cat, Edward Teller, was well trained to be flexible. I used to take him in the car with me like a dog on errands. I would take him when I visited places, knowing if I let him outside anywhere he would come back. We moved 9 times one year.

It was exhausting.

Things are very different now. Lief calls it “nesting” and it most certainly is. I still probably move much more often than the average person. Maybe I will always be that way. I don’t know. But I have been in this apartment almost a year (literally a personal record, since leaving my parents house) and though we are talking about moving again sometime between now and October, it is only towards the purpose of settling down even more.

The question is, are we moving BEFORE or AFTER my garden!??

It is March, which means both that I have recently suffered a birthday and more pleasantly, it is almost time to start seeds!

I have had a garden for the last 3 summers (even though I have had to move several of them…) and it is one of my most valued pleasures. I like to grow heirloom plants exclusively if possible (something else I owe to Etsy) because I value bio-diversity AND deliciousness!

Last year the garden was kind of a failure (due to my lack of time and attentiveness, an enterprising ground hog, my 90+ year old landlord who hadn’t even heard of some of the stuff I was planting and who “weeded” most of it, and her caretaker who planted generic seedlings on top of my beautiful sprouting leafies!!! ARGH) and I am determined NOT to repeat that mistake. Not only is it incredibly gratifying to work the ground, but the ability to provide food for yourself and your family (or in my case, Lief and Colin) is absolutely joyful.

Here are some of the things I have been dreaming about from seller TheBearFootShaman whom I bought many seeds from last year. If you love tomato salad, I REQUIRE you to invest in the heirloom tomatoes… They are becoming very trending and you can usually find them in local greenhouses as seedlings. I have not yet conquered starting tomatoes from seeds…

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Filed under garden, self reflection