Gifts from Bend, OR

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Green your coffee routine

Save 23 lbs of waste this year and start using a reusable coffee cup to keep you caffeinated.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Green plan and goals for 2012

I had grand plans for 2011. I had a long green list which in the back of my mind, I knew would take two years to accomplish You can view what progress we made by looking at what's checked off on that list.

Here is the remaining list of green goals I'm looking to accomplish in 2012
  • Earn the natural baby badge on Practically Green
  • Switch to compostable trash bags and liners 
  •  Recycle my old computer 
  • Plant a tree or bush 
  •  Install one low-flow shower head
  • Use a home-energy monitoring device to track electricity usage 
  • Install one low-flow faucet 
  • Upgrade my vehicle's fuel-economy by 5 MPG 
  • Buy a bathroom product made from renewable materials
  •  Install LEDs or CFLs in 10 light fixtures 
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean my driveway 
  • Bring hangers back to the drycleaners 
  • Track my trash for one week 
  • Get an energy audit 
  • Install smart power strip to turn off TVs and computers completely 
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room 
  • Wrap a gift using used wrapping paper/boxes/bows/ribbons
  • Send e-cards for holiday 
  • Switch to LED holiday lights
  • Buy organic yogurt added
  • Switch to reusable training pants 
As for last year's resolutions, I stuck to most of them. I didn't learn how to make tamales, nor did a do a craft each month (more like every other month). I lost 15 lbs but then gained it back within 20 weeks of being pregnant. I didn't figure out my career path but came more and more to appreciate my job (even with its up and downs). The one thing I am disappointed in was not finding time to blog or engage in social media, personally.

The problem, I'm a working mom and there is some guilt with being in front of the computer and neglecting my son. My husband was pretty awesome and a couple times a month, would push me out the door to work on my blog at a coffee house. There were times when I just felt like my son (and husband) were a little more important than writing up our latest green goals. I took naps with my son instead (esp. the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy) or we read books or enjoyed a movie. 

This year, I decided to not come up with so many resolutions but come up with ones that will make a meaningful impact. So in 2012, I resolve to:

Have more friends over for dinner. More often then not, my focus is on my job and family which means friends come more of acquaintances. Since I love to cook/bake, I'm going to have more friends over for Sunday dinner. 

Take a parenting class with my husband. I haven't talked much about it but my son had a rough year. Because he had a pacifier for so long, that delayed his speech so in September he started speech therapy. With becoming more vocal (and also being a three year old), he definitely has found his voice and is testing boundaries. We've discovered that our parenting styles are not on the same page and that has confused my son so starting in two weeks, we're taking a three month long parenting class through Lil B's speech program.

Enjoy maternity leave. 

Not fall asleep in my son's bed each night.  After dropping the pacifier, Lil B has either fallen asleep in our bed and moved or I have fallen asleep in his bed. I need to cut the cord before the baby comes or we're going to have big big problems.

Eat more meatless meals. I got this awesome cookbook for Christmas with that goal in mind.

Get the baby room ready by Feb 1. I'm due in April but we have furniture to assemble and clothes to go through. 

Buy used over new for the new baby girl. I've been hitting up our local consignment stores for clothes and items. 

Organize and purge. My closets are still a mess!

OK, that's it for now. What are some of your goals/resolutions?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Creating holiday memories: baking with your child

As I mentioned, I have very fond memories of helping my mom bake cookies so this year I sought out holiday cookies Lil B would love to participate in making.

One of the best I have found is one that involves square pretzels and Hershey's Hugs. It's the perfect combo of sweet and salty and my co-worker proclaimed them "crack." It's easy for my three year old to follow the directions on but I had to watch him as he'd eat a pretzel, then eat a hug and then put them on the cookie sheet. This involved a lot of handwashing as you could imaging.

Sweet and Salty Pretzel Hugs
found on Pinterest

bag of square pretzels
bag of Hershey's Hugs

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line parchment paper on cookie then place pretzels on the sheet. Then top with Hugs. Bake for 2.5 mins until the chocolate is glossy. Remove from oven and press down melted Hugs with a square pretzel.

Creating Holiday Memories: Pick out ornaments from the Goodwill

Setting up our tree was a magical experience for our three year old this year. I was quite disappointed last year when he wasn't too interested in any of it but this year, but I could see it in his eyes this year. He enjoyed filling the tree with ornaments. He's enjoyed making cookies. He's obsessed with Rudolph and Frosty and wants to watch the Polar Express every night. He can't wait to find "Chippy"every morning.

After setting up our tree, Lil B noticed we didn't have an angel or star and talked my husband into going to the store to get one. My husband had remembered a story about our local Goodwill on the news talking about how they have an over abundance of Christmas decor this time of year. While I rested on the couch (this baby just zaps my energy), they headed out and came back with this:

My son loves the color purple and glitter (what kid doesn't?) and I thought it added a nice touch to the tree.

This will definitely be a holiday tradition -- buying a used ornament each year for the tree from the Goodwill. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My mother's pecan sandie recipe

One of my favorite activities to do with my mom as a child was bake Christmas Cookies. One of my favorites were her pecan sandies (aka snowballs, Mexican Wedding Cookies). I still have and treasure her hand written recipe without the directions on how to put it together. I make these every year and get requests on handing down the recipe so I thought I would share it with my readers (with directions).

Mary Lu's Pecan Sandies

1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup pecans, chopped fine
Powered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until smooth then add water and vanilla until combined.  Add 1/2 cup of flour at a time on low with mixer until all added. Once combined, fold in pecans with a wooden spoon. Chill dough for 1 hour (her recipes says 3 hours but I have never chilled it that long). 

Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet on parchment paper and bake for 20 mins. Once cooled, roll in powered sugar. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meatless Monday: Stovetop Mac n Cheese

I realized last week, I have talked about this before but never posted the recipe. My go to mac n cheese is a Martha Stewart classic: stovetop mac n cheese. Mac and cheese, from viewing my Meatless Monday archives, is a winter staple in our house and one that is guaranteed to be lunch and leftovers throughout the week.
Sometimes I will mix in frozen peas at the end to make it pretty and to get our vegetables in. Sometimes I make it with elbow or shells or whatever is on hand. Getting the noodles done at the same time as the sauce can be tricky.

Stovetop Mac n Cheese
From Everyday Food

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt
4 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound small shell pasta or elbow macaroni
4 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.

Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk; add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainy when a small amount is rubbed between two fingers, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes (FYI, I usually skip this step. The one time I did let it cool, it quite didn't coat the noodles like I wanted). Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chippy is up to no good

Brian and I have been having fun with coming up with inappropriate things for Ben's "Chippy" to do. Most of this scheming takes place during nap or bedtime so Ben is unaware that Chippy is tainting Santa's cookies and hot cocoa with laxatives! Ha!

It's all part of Baby Rabies Inappropriate Elf Contest. When it's time to vote, I'll let you know. I hope I win that iPad!

Chippy spikes Santa's Cookies and Hot Cocoa with laxatives

It's rare that I show you my twisted side since this blog is mostly about our green journey but I sure did have fun coming up with inappropriate but PG-13 ways to portray Chippy. Now I must put him back where he was this morning not to fool Ben.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Five

Thank goodness it's Friday.

  • This morning I was told "I hate you" for the first time by my son. He was mad because he wanted to wear his Oregon Ducks jersey for the third day in a row to school. My husband had to work early and the shirts were dirty and I had to make him wear something else. Halfway to school, he threw his shoes at me.
  • This baby is really starting to move a lot. She is really craving double chocolate cake donuts with sprinkles.
  • Lil B is mostly potty trained but can't quite get #2. Any advice? 
  • My husband and I are entering the Inappropriate Elf Contest. His entry was The Shining but I think "step one, put a hole in the box" is probably the winner so far or maybe "wrong pole, Skippy."I have until Sunday to come up with mine.
  • I'm glad the weekend is coming though I need to wrap gifts, get boxes off to grandparents in the mail, bake more cookies and find sometime to blog.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lifehacks: DYI Microdermabrasion

Want that fresh faced glow without spending a lot of dough? Take three parts baking soda, one part water and mix into a paste. Apply in a circular motion and then rinse. Thanks Pinterest!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Creating Holiday Memories: free or low cost ideas for holiday fun

I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by a large family at the holiday season. It's something I often feel guilty about with my son so I try to make the holidays (and well, the rest of the year) special for him.

This Thanksgiving, we spent it potty training my son (more to come on that someday). It meant staying indoors and keeping him occupied with activities. First up, we made one ornament for the tree, which I was completely surprised he was totally into.
We spent most of the day following a three year old and making sure he made it to the potty but we had turkey dinner around 4 pm and since Lil B didn't take a nap, he feel asleep at 5:30 pm.

The next day, we spent the evening watching the annual Bend Christmas tree lighting.  That's when I got to thinking and crowdsourced one of my favorite mom sites, Bend Moms for Moms and asked the question "What are the best holiday activities to do with your kids in Bend?"

Here are just a couple ideas from the forum:

  • hunt for a Christmas tree in the national forest (cost $5)
  • decorate the tree
  • watch a local Christmas parade (we have two I can think of)
  • watch a tree lighting
  • pick up a few pinecones, glue sequins on and you've created a mini Christmas tree
  • make homemade ornaments
  • walk or drive and look at Christmas lights
  • go to the Reindeer farm (we have one in Redmond)
  • string popcorn for the birds outside
  • pick a name off the tree of joy and shop for a child in need
  • go sledding, skiing or snowshoeing
  • make Christmas cookies
  • go ice skating
  • search for the Elf on the Shelf
  • make paper snowflakes
  • go to the Goodwill and pick out used ornaments
  • Address holiday cards as a family
  • make a gingerbread house
  • watch Polar Express and drink hot chocolate
  • watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • attend a holiday party

My friend Alissa also clued me into this site which has tons of ideas to make these into an advent calendar.

What are your holiday traditions? I would love to hear them. I'll also be documenting the ones we do as a family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meatless Monday: Polenta with Rustic Marinara Sauce

photo from
This dish was so tasty, we forgot to take a photo. Oops. Polenta is easy to make. It's as easy as picking up a bag of Bob's Polenta and following the back directions.

Sometimes we once the polenta is molded, we'll either cut into wedges or circles and eat it cold or grill it on quickly on our grill pan.

Since it's easy to make, I usually don't mind making this quick marinara from Martha Stewart. It's so good, you'll fool your friends into thinking you spent all day slaving over it.

Polenta with Rustic Marinara  Sauce
Adapted Bob's Red Mill/Martha Stewart

2 cups water
Salt to taste
1/2 cup medium-grain yellow polenta
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Heat water lightly seasoned with salt to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated.

Lower the heat to a low simmer, add the butter and allow the polenta to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Finish by stirring in the cheese and salt to taste.

Spread warm polenta evenly in an 8x8 pan. Put in the refrigerator and let cool until firm.

Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
red-pepper flakes, pinch
two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes with juice, crushed
2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a pinch of red-pepper flakes over medium until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes with juice, crushed; season with salt and pepper. Cook at a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

To assemble, flip 8x8 pan over and cut into wedges or use a biscuit cutter and cut into circles. Serve cold or grill (brush with EVOO) in a grill pan for 2 mins per side. Top with marinara sauce.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lifehacks: Nutella hot chocolate

Who doesn't like Nutella? It's been a staple this whole pregnancy for me so I was pretty excited to see this super easy recipe for Nutella hot chocolate on Pinterest.

The directions are mix 1 cup milk, 2 spoons nutella in a saucepan. Heat medium. Blend with a whisk until frothy.

Believe me, it's amazing!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meatless Monday: Spinach Mac and Cheese

As you may already know from my various Meatless Monday posts, mac and cheese is a staple around our house. Getting my three year old to eat vegetables is a challenge so there are times we need to be sneaky about it so when I stumbled upon this mac and cheese in Everyday Food, I cried with joy!

This mac and cheese is easy to make BUT it was definitely missing something -- maybe Dijon mustard?  When I make it again, I will add a teaspoon or two for sure.

Spinach Mac and Cheese
adapted from Everyday Food


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, room temperature
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1-2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
2 bunches curly- or flat-leaf spinach (about 1 3/4 pounds total), trimmed, washed, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips
5 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (2 cups)
3/4 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions


In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and cook until translucent, 6 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden and has a slightly nutty aroma, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, add 2 cups milk. Add remaining 2 cups milk, raise heat to medium-high, and whisk until smooth; season with salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce comes to a boil, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 13 to 15 minutes.

Add spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted, about 2 minutes. Add cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Five

I'm going to attempt to write up a Friday Five each week so here goes:

We woke up to the first snow of the season. I waited to tell Lil B because I knew he would want to go outside and sure enough, he ran and put all his snow gear on and played outside for 20 mins before school. The drive to work/pre-school was super slick. Probably the worst we've had in years.

Since finding out I'm having a girl, I've been obsessed with tea party sets and play kitchens. I would love to make something like this:

 I'm debating cloth diapers. Sarah from Practically Green put a great thought in my head. Hybrid diapers! Anyone use them and have an opinion?

My husband worked nights this week so I spent the evenings entertaining a three year old. After work, we enjoyed trips to the library. I'm happy that Lil B gets the concept of his favorite Eric Carle books "living" at the library.

I have been really worried about Lil B's speech delay until last night. He and I had a whole conversation before he fell asleep (in bed with me) about the library, painting and drawing pictures and waking up to snow. I understood about 90% of what he said.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lifehacks: Freezing green onions

Another Pinterest find! Freeze green onions and then store in a water bottle!

When ever I get green onions in my CSA, I can't use them fast enough without going bad until I saw this post on Pinterest.

How it works? Chop your green onions, then wipe off excess water with a towel or paper napkin. Let air drawn on a sheet. When dry, line a container with a napkin and them put the green onions in the container making sure it's air tight and toss in the freezer. After a few hours, remove and store in a water bottle! When ready to use, shake the onions onto your desired dish.

For more on freezing your green onions, check out

Feel free to follow me on Pinterest too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to get your three year old to sleep in their bed

My son was a champ at going to bed --that was until back in May, when we took Lil B's pacifier away. Taking it away meant two weeks of going to bed at 10 pm with me in our bed. Somehow, that routine stuck and I began to get a little grumpy because that meant my normal quiet time to myself from 8-10 pm was spent watching Wow Wow Wubbzy and then constantly telling Lil B "shhh, quiet time, go to sleep." My husband tried to take turns but Lil B only wanted me.

Because our son had his pacifier until he was three, it didn't help with his speech, so in July when we were told his lack of speech was contributing to a tiny behavior problem (because he would try to tell us what he wanted but would get frustrated that he couldn't) we started working with a speech/behavioral therapist. As soon as it started (and also the change in preschool also helped), his tantrums stopped (though he has some from time to time, like a normal three year old).

When we found out that a baby was on the way, we decided to move Lil B from his room to the guest room and have him help us decorate it. We all agreed on a theme: the ocean. With Lil B having ownership in the artwork,  where his bed went and decor -- it eased the transition of sleeping in our bed until he feel asleep to going to bed in his own room.
Grandma made Lil B an ocean quilt. He loves it.

Lil B picked out the wall decals from Etsy
The fish lava lamp aquarium was a surprise from us.
He loves it.

Another trick, making a going to bed timeline:
We follow this starting at 7 pm each night and it seems to be working (except the potty part -- that's the next thing we'll be working on). The weekends we do let him stay up later but for the most part, he's in bed at 8 pm and asleep by 9 pm. Let's hope I don't jinx it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meatless Monday: Lentil Curry

We've grown to love lentils in our house since starting the meatless Monday journey BUT this baby (which is a girl, by the way) has let it be known to stay away from the yellow curry. My husband loved this dish and pretty much ate 80% of what I made but I blame the baby as I usually love yellow curry!

Lentil Curry
from Everyday Food

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), stemmed and separated into florets
1 cup brown lentils, picked over, well rinsed, and drained
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with juice
Coarse salt
Plain low-fat yogurt, for serving (optional)

In a nonstick Dutch oven (5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes.
Add curry powder; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in sweet potatoes, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and their juice, and 1 1/2 cups water; season with salt.
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover, and cook until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with yogurt, if desired.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lifehacks: soak apples slices in ginger ale or lime soda

It always killed me to purchase those individual bags of organic apples from Costco. They are expensive and I hated throwing away that plastic bag. Then I saw this pin on Pinterest and it has changed my life!

Thanks to Muffin Tin Mom, you don't have to buy those individual bags anymore.

How it works: slice the apples and soak in ginger ale or lim soda for 10 mins. Viola! Ready for your lunch!

Got a tip? I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Lil B and Brian's new father/son activity

While I'm working away on blog content, Brian took Lil B to the bowling alley for the first time. It was a hit (and I'm sad I missed it)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Green plan: Sell something on Craigslist

With a new baby coming in the spring, we have to give up our guest room/toy room to make way for Lil B's new room (more on that later). Even though my husband didn't want to, I talked him into selling our couch hide-a-bed that guests used to sleep on when they visited. He was quite attached to it but we had to make some tough choices and he finally parted ways with it.

If you don't know how Craiglist works, here are some tips:

  • To sell your product, make sure you are very descriptive.
  • Use photos. Nothing annoys me more than when someone posts something and doesn't include a photo.
  • Research the market price of your item. Hide-a-bed couches were going for anywhere from $75-$200 in our area so we posted it for $100 and we got $100 for it.
  • Clean the item. If you can't clean it, then maybe the Goodwill is your option for getting rid of it.
  • Post on Saturday or Tuesday. When researching for this post, I discovered you can relist every three days and it seems the general consensus is that people like to browse on Saturday.
  • Make sure you're not alone when someone comes to look at an item. Just a general safety rule and I always make sure when I go to look at something, someone is with me as well.
The folks that bought our couch recently relocated to Bend with nothing so it was nice that our couch went to a good home. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pan-fried squash gnocchi

Add caption
Oh hey, it's me, Shannon. I haven't posted in a month and trust me, it's been killing me as much as it's been killing you.

This baby has turned me, an healthy eater, into the pickiest eater of all time. Nothing has been really tasting good to me. Chocolate Halloween candy -- turned my nose up to it.  My dad takes me out to a fancy dinner in Portland -- I get a salad (while my dad had salmon and my husband had a steak). I have been craving the strangest things: Taco Bell, salad with bleu cheese (yes, I know, I'm NOT suppose to eat that), the yummy pretzels at Deschutes Brewery. Thank goodness, Soupcon always has something for me to eat.

When my dad visited last month, my husband made some comment about how our CSA was going to waste because I just wasn't up to cooking. Yes, I hate to admit that but at the time, my lettuce, beets and other stuff was basically worm food. My dad put a big dent into my lettuce and carrots because how the heck could his daughter WASTE such awesome organic veggies. Who have I become?

The good thing about some of my CSA veggies, the squash has a long shelf life. Then I started to struggle ... what do I do with two acorn squashes, two delicatas and a green pumpkin looking thingy? I roasted them all and scooped out the insides for puree.

Usually, as my co-workers would tell you, I overdose on making stuff with pumpkin and squash by Halloween. This year, that has not been the case. So I sifted through my pumpkin recipes in search of some inspiration for the pounds of puree I had and I found the perfect dish: Pan-fried squash gnocchi by Steamy Kitchen.

As you may remember, making gnocchi was one of my goals for the year so I dived into the recipe and boy, was it easy and amazing. In fact, I think I'm going to make another batch and freeze it for later.


Pan-fried squash gnocchi (she used pumpkin but I used acorn squash)
adapted from Steamy Kitchen

serves 4-6

1/2 cup skim milk ricotta
1/2 cup squash puree
1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (use a microplane grater) (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting (see sifting tip above)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh sage, plus more for garnish
shaved parmegiano reggiano for serving (use vegetable peeler)

Preheat oven to 300F

1. Combine ricotta, pumpkin parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop or you can still do this in the bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading.

2. Dust a clean, dry surface with a generous sprinkling of flour. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1″ diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1″ pieces.

3. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan with just 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add a few gnocchi – enough to cover surface but not touch each other. Fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turn and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi, place on large baking sheet to put into oven to keep warm. Repeat with rest of gnocchi.

4. When all gnocchi is finished, discard butter/oil in pan and clean pan with paper towel. Heat pan on medium heat and when hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the fresh sage. Let the sage brown and sizzle (but not burn) for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Remove the sage and discard if you want (or keep it in to eat — as many people in the comments below like to do!) To the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and whisk. Let simmer on low for 1 minute and pour over the gnocchi.

5. Serve with shaved parmegiano reggiano and a sage leaf for garnish.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Using the lost and found on Craigslist

My son gets attached to things. He's mostly attached to his blue blanket and Mumble the Penguin but he also likes to rotate out a thing or two.

A few months ago, he started carrying around a stuffed animal Rainbow Trout he picked out when we were at the Oregon Coast. He took that thing everywhere -- well, that was until it got lost somewhere at the park.

I still don't really know what happened. My husband and son went to the park to ride bikes around the Deschutes River and the fish never came home. Since I know how much this meant to my son, (I will admit, I cried because he never lost anything plus I'm pregnant and I'm emotional) I posted an ad on Craiglist in the lost and found section describing the fish and how much it meant to my son, hoping someone would find it and get in touch with us.

In the meantime, my husband called the High Desert Museum to see if they had a stuff rainbow trout and if they would waive the fee so my son could come in and pick out a new fish. They had similar fish and welcomed us in to the gift shop without paying for a visit.

Sat down and explained to Benjamin that his trout swam away and we were going to go pick a new fish out. We lead him over to the stuffed animal fish and he picked out a brand new Brown Trout. He didn't even shed a tear about the missing Rainbow Trout.

I didn't hear anything for days but some responded that they had a smaller, similar fish in their Goodwill pile and would love to pass it along to us and also included a stuffed animal salmon. Now, "Brownie" has two babies to sleep with at night.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe

Courtesy of Betty Crocker
September starts soup time in our house. This year, I decided that I would make a big batch of soup on Sunday to enjoy as lunch throughout the week as well as part of dinner on during the week. I call it Souper Sunday!

My first soup, I made meatless, mainly because I still can't stand the smell of bacon. It was super easy ... throw everything in a crock pot and leave it! And even though the directions didn't call for it, at the end I pureed half of it. We enjoyed this on Monday as dinner with a nice piece of crusty bread.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe
modified from Betty Crocker

1 bag (32 oz) frozen southern-style diced hash brown potatoes, thawed or 32 oz or diced russett potatoes
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion (from 12-oz bag), thawed or one onion chopped
1 medium stalk celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 carton (32-oz) veggie broth broth
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 bag (8 oz) shredded American-Cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)


1. In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water.

2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.

3. In small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's not a pony

You might have noticed my absence over the past couple of months. First, it started out as summer was just full of family stuff and I just didn't have time to sit down and write and then, it turned into something else. Something I needed to keep under wraps for a while. But now is the big reveal.

That is my 12 week ultrasound. I'm having a baby in April though if things play out like last time, Mini-Hindi 2, will be here in March. My absence has been mostly due to the fact I have had awful (in my terms) morning sickness where I am not hungry, the smell or site of bacon makes me want to vomit, I am tired all day, all night and I don't want to get out of bed. I have spent my weekend blogging time napping or just sitting on the couch moaning and groaning for the sickness to go away. Today I went to the doctor and have lost 8 lbs since my last appointment.

We are excited but I still think I'm in shock. Of course, I have plans to be to as natural of a mama as I can be but we do have most of the gear from last time and I might take a stab at cloth diapering again, though I sold all my diapering stuff.

I'm busy working away on our goals in the background and gearing up for October's Eco Challenge where I will be focusing on energy goals. Hopefully, I can get my home monitoring system working. Oh the pressure!

Green plan: Switch to all-natural mascara

Even though my garden was a complete failure (only produced three tomatoes), I have been working on other green goals. One that I thought would be impossible and expensive turned out to be neither.

I have pretty much simplified my make-up routine to just concealer and mascara (I will wear eye shadow, eyeliner and blush on occasion but not every day) and since I switched my concealer a few months back, I was dreading looking for a new mascara. My stand-by has been Mary Kay or everyone's favorite Great Lash by Maybelline. I have long thin lashes that require a lash curler so I need something that helps them look not so thin.

From what everyone was telling me, I was going to have to pay good money for an all-natural mascara. Which was SO not the case. One Friday night, I was shopping without my child and decided to look through the cosmetic aisle at Fred Meyer. I was so exited to see that Physicians Formula has two 100% natural original mascara options that hold the ECOCERT certification (though neither is listed on the cosmetic database). Retail value on the Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara was $9 which was easier to shell out that the $30 I thought I was going to be facing.

I was thinking to myself, this stuff probably isn't going to work well with my long, thin eyelashes --  boy was I wrong. This stuff was better than my ole stand-bys. It does live up to offering big, thick, dramatic lashes as the packaging suggests!

Now my daily beauty routine is natural and I can't wait to try other products through the Physicians Formula Organic Wear line.

P.S. I have no affiliation with any of the products/companies/organizations mentioned in this post

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless Monday: Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

I didn't discover gnocchi until a couple falls ago at a charity event. Since then, it has been a fall staple in our house and sometime this year, I will attempt to make it but in a pinch,  I just pick some up at Trader Joes. 

Since I love to cook and bake, I have started a board on Pinterest called I like to eat. It's been a great place to post recipes I've been dying to try The Cutting Edge of Ordinary's Gnocchi Mac and Cheese. It is super easy to make and oh so yummy! Enjoy.

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

1 pound purchased or homemade gnocchi
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
Basil leaves for garnish, optional (I chopped fresh basil and added it in to my cheese sauce)

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Combine Gruyere and fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Bake gnocchi until they puff and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halloween Costume Swap details for Bend!

Yes, I have been slacking a bit on the blogging. My family has been keeping up with being green and our goals but time for blogging when working full time and chasing around a three year old, has been sparse! 

In my free time, I have been working on marketing (Alissa has been working on organizing) the Central Oregon Children's Costume Swap as part of National Costume Swap Day. We are holding it a week early because we got a great FREE space at the Bend Fall Festival!

Here are the details:

October 1, 2011
10:30 a.m. 
Bend Fall Festival
Downtown Bend

Join us to recycle your gently used Halloween costumes and select low cost costumes to outfit your kids this year!

How it works:
Swap opens at 10:30 a.m. for those that have previously donated
Open to the general public at 11 a.m. and continuing all day as part of Fall Festival through 6 p.m.

All costumes $10 (proceeds to the Family Access Network)
Donate a costume to the swap and receive $5 credit toward your selection.
Donate 2 costumes and select a new costume free!

What we’re looking for:
Full costumes only – no solo accessories please.
Quality handmade costumes accepted at the volunteer’s discretion.

Costume drop off will be Friday, September 30  from 6-8 p.m. at a yet to be determined location.

Now, if you're reading this and you DON'T live in Bend, find a swap in your area OR host your own!

Special thanks to Green Halloween for developing such an event! Our costume swap has come along way since last year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lifehacks: how to keep berries from molding

image via Food Lush
Are you on Pinterest? It's such an awesome site and very very addicting. You can follow my pins and boards, here.

It's a great place for inspiration, ideas and solutions to problems like keeping your berries from molding. The magic trick via FoodLush? Vinegar!

"When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted I find you can't taste the vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and I've had strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. "

I tried this trick and it indeed works! I was worried the berries would taste like vinegar but they didn't!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The only pie crust recipe you'll need

When I lived in Nebraska, some of my Sunday's were spent watching my Grandma Marie make dinner, desserts from scratch. One of my favorite memories was when she taught my cousin and I how to make pie crust. It is a great crust but it includes Crisco and vinegar -- and you have to cut it with a fork or a cutting tool. I like my homemade foods easy and that pie crust, was not easy.

Over the years, I have gotten lazy and just bought ready made crusts from Trader Joe's. That was until I was introduced to Martha Stewart's pate brisee via We're not Martha (isn't the cupcake pie idea, awesome?). The main reason I like this recipe --- it mixes perfectly in a food processor!

It's marionberry season and I headed down to my favorite produce stand, Paradise Produce (using my Zing Deal)and bought almost two pounds to make this Oregon classic.

Marionberry Pie
from Sunset Magazine

Make the pie crust (makes two 9 inch crusts)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

The filling
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 pounds (6 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen marionberries or other blackberries (for frozen, measure, thaw until somewhat softened, and use all juices)

Preheat oven to 375° with rack on bottom rung. On a lightly floured board, roll larger disk into a 12-in. circle. Loosen with a long metal spatula, gently roll around a rolling pin, then unroll into a 9-in. pie pan (if dough cracks, press back together). Fold edge under, so it's flush with pan rim, then crimp. Chill 15 minutes.

Roll remaining dough into an 11-in. circle.  You can either make a lattice design or roll over the crust whole. If you roll over a whole crust, make sure you make some slits.

Stir together cornstarch and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add berries with juices and toss to coat. Arrange evenly in pie shell. Lightly brush pastry cutouts with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Arrange cutouts over filling.

Bake pie until filling bubbles and pastry is golden in center, 55 to 60 minutes (up to 1 1/2 hours if berries were frozen); if edge starts to get dark, cover with foil, and if pie starts to bubble over, put a rimmed pan underneath it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meatless Monday: Watermelon Gazpacho

Remember this guy? His name is Steven and he is the chef/owner of the best food cart ever, Soupcon (pronounced soup sawn). He is where I go to lunch sometimes 2-3 times a week. It's a deal ... for $5 you can get soup and a sandwich based on the seasons and they are usually pretty healthy.

This summer he's been showcasing chilled soups. I am not a fan of chilled soups and usually, I will get a hot soup and sandwich but gosh, it's been hot out and everyone and their mother has been bragging about how awesome his watermelon gazpacho is. I don't like gazpacho. I made it once and ended up throwing the whole thing away because I just couldn't get into it.

After weeks of resisting, he finally talked me into trying his watermelon gazpacho and it was life changing. Heck, all of his soups have been life changing because before I met Soupcon, I was a chicken noodle soup gal. I also was not a fan of tomato soup and he totally converted me on that one.

He was so nice to post the recipe on his site so I'm going to share it with you because it's THAT good.

Watermelon Gazpacho
by Soupcon

2 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
23 oz. tomato juice
1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 peeled, seeded cucumber, roughly chopped
5 C. chopped fresh tomatoes
2 oranges, 2 limes, 2 lemons, zested and peeled
1 C. orange juice
1 1/2 C. olive oil or olive oil blend
1/2 C. chopped mixed herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley, thyme)
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne or chili powder or mexican hot sauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 or 2 chipotle chiles (optional)
1 med. size seedless watermelon. small diced
salt and pepper to season

Combine all ingredients except watermelon in container and let marinate overnight in fridge. In blender, puree marinating mixture, add chopped watermelon, season and serve cold.

*variations can include different levels of spiciness, different amounts of certain herbs and/or spices and also some other vegetables added to the soup after it's been blended such as red onion, cucumber, jicama, orange segments, etc..... Also, season generously. Chilled soups need it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My garden is a failure

Yesterday my husband told me he wanted to make fried green tomatoes with the two tomatoes on the vine. My response? There are only two? Really? You see, I don't claim to have a green thumb so the garden has been all Brian's, who in the past, has had no problem with gardening.

Gardening in Central Oregon is tricky. Our growing seasons is short and you really have to baby your stuff. We took a gamble with the Topsy Turvy and only got two tomatoes. My neighbor Kevin, he wheels his tomatoes in and out of the house moving from shade to sun and puts them in the garage each night. His tomatoes are flourishing!

So how is the lettuce? It's growing but I think they are getting too much sun. Notice the brown? We are going to try to move them this week to the other side of the deck and see if it helps.
Our herbs? They haven't grown much ... What are we doing wrong?

The only thing that may be flourishing is the green onions but we'll see. 

I knew I would have some failures on this journey but boy, what an epic one! I would love some advice. Maybe gutter gardening isn't for us!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Meatless Monday: Tomato and Grilled-Bread Salad

Tomato and Grilled-Bread Salad
This summer I have been a little obsessed with panzanella. As I have gone through my cookbooks, I come across several recipes I'd love to try.

This one comes from Everyday Food magazine and the cookbook Great Food Fast and I also get to use my handy dandy grill pan that fits over two of my gas burners.

This recipe is great for tomatoes that your forgot you bought at the farmer's market (oops). I'm waiting for some leeks because there is a panzanella I'm dying to try that involves leeks!

Tomato and Grilled-Bread Salad
from Great Food Fast


1/2 pound country bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Heat grill to medium. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.

In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things I hate buying: toothbrushes

What do you hate buying? Well, my top five include toilet paper, tampons, toothbrushes, razors and diapers.

A while back, I talked about Preserve Toothbrushes and how I thought they were pretty cool. Then I discovered they have a toothbrush subscription for $13 a year. Hello, sign me up!

What does the toothbrush subscription entail? You can pick how often you get the brush and the firmness of the brush. The kicker, not only are the toothbrushes:
  • Powered by recycled yogurt cups™
  • Handle 100% recycled #5 plastic; bristles new nylon
  • Easy-to-grip curved handle
  • Tiered bristles for gentle, thorough cleaning
  • Completely recyclable after use
  • BPA free
  • Made in the USA
(info courtesy of Preserve)
the other cool thing ... Preserve will send you a mailer so they can recycle the toothbrush! 

The husband was pretty skeptical about it but after a week of using his new toothbrush, he proclaimed he  loved it! Now if someone would come up with a razor subscription that would be amazing!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to my blog! Goals update

Can you believe it's been a year since I've started this blog? Either can I! I have learned so much.

You may have noticed that I haven't talked about my New Year's Resolutions in a while. I have to be honest, I think I bit off a lot more than I can chew so I'll give you a bit of an update on this now:

Change up my iPod in the Jeep. I have been really trying with this one. Bright Eyes in currently in the Jeep but the Honda houses the Wilco Sasquatch show MP3. It might take me removing Wilco from my ipod to listen to other stuff.

Attempt one craft project a month. haven't really done much of this. oops.

Cook or bake one recipe a week from my stash of cookbooks. Once my CSA came, we've been really trying to use recipes from Everyday Food more often or just things we come up with. Will pick this up back in the fall.

I will attempt to make homemade gnocchi and tamales.
Not done yet.

I try to attempt making different varieties of homemade breads. Warmer weather means not baking bread as much. Will pick back up in the fall.

Get outside with my family once a week. Definitely getting outside more!

Get healthy. I have lost 15 pounds in the past year but I do need to step up the working out. It's been slow but I'm OK with that.

Work on my green plan. Thanks for Practically Green, I am working on my 2011 Green Plan

Save money. $0 money saved. Sigh, must get on this one

Ask for experiences, not gifts.  Took my husband to Salem for his birthday!

Buy/sell used more used items. Have been pretty successful with this one. Got a weed wacker!

Play with my son more.  Successful with this one. A three year old WILL keep you busy.

Date night once a month with my husband. Need to work on this one. Our new pre-school does offer a date night sitting and we have taken advantage of it.

Be grateful. Helps keep the negativity away.

Figure out my career path. Still working on it.

Engage more in social media I won't be going to BlogHer and my husband and I agree, I need to carve out time to write. I have tons of ideas but I'm just not putting fingers to the keyboard on them.

Buy less stuff. Really doing good with this one!

Organize my closets. need to get on this one

Attend a music festival with my family. Does Munch and Music count?

All right, things aren't as bad as I thought they would be. I am going to revise my green goals. Some of them, like buy a used car, won't happen this year but since I make the rules, I can do what I want, right? I think the lesson learned ... maybe pick a few goals and stick to it. Right?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Green plan: Drive on a short trip (less than 400 miles) and give an experiential gift

My trusty 1997 Honda Civic
The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is there are many short day trips within hours. The beauty of the Pac North is all my favorite bands like to tour around the area as well in the summer which means ROAD TRIP!

Last spring, I was pretty excited when three of my favorite bands were playing venues less than 400 miles from Bend .. Wilco, My Morning and the Avett Brothers.

 After a long long winter, I ventured to Columbia River Gorge wine country with a friend and then onto the Gorge Amphitheatre for the Sasquatch Music Festival to see Wilco with a different group of friends.

When I asked her if it was OK to take my trusty ole '97 Honda instead of my gas hog Jeep Liberty to save gas money, she thought it was a good idea. Gas in the Honda will run me $30 a tank (used to be a lot lower before the prices went up) versus $60 in the Jeep.

Highlights included standing in close quarters for 7 hours so I can get a spot front row to see Wilco, wine tasting at my favorite winery, Waving Tree and catching up with my friend Jo Ann.

Total mileage: 600 miles from Bend, OR to George, WA with stops in Arlington, OR and Ellensburg, WA.

Next up, another friend really wanted to see My Morning Jacket at Troutdale's Edgefield. This venue is one of my favorites. If you book your hotel when tickets for shows are announced you can usually snag a room at this venue. This historic site offers a few dining options, a brewery, winery, distillery and plenty of bars open late all on the same campus. It's the perfect adult amusement park and perfect for your morning hangover. Don't ask me how I know this.

Total mileage: 300 miles from Bend, OR to Troutdale, OR (eastern suburb to Portland).  

My husband turned 39 last week. Geez, he is getting old! When it was announced that the Avett Brothers were playing an outdoor show in Salem, OR the day before his birthday, I decided to give him an experiential birthday gift of tickets to the show. Plus, it was like killing two birds with one stone for my Practically Green plan.

A friend offered to watch our son overnight so we enjoyed wine tasting, dinner before the concert (TAPAS!) and drinks after the concert AND we got to sleep in the next day and go out to breakfast without our three year old sidekick!

Total mileage: 300 miles from Bend, OR to Salem, OR

With all these trips to concerts happening this summer, the Honda has a new name -- the concert car. Make fun of my old car but it only has 115,000 miles and runs like a champ. It may not look too pretty and it's small but it's sure easy on gas.

Learn more about my green plan goal of driving on a short trip 400 miles and less on Practically Green.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meatless Monday: Thin crust pesto pizza

This summer has been full of lazy, easy dinners. I have a jar of pesto in my refrigerator that I use to spread on sandwiches (I hate mayo) or mix with pasta for a quick dinner.

The other day it occurred to me that I could probably spread it on pizza crust and it would probably taste amazing and I'm right, it does therefore a Meatless Monday dish is born.

Thin Crust Pesto Pizza
1/4 Pioneer Women Pizza Crust
Mozzarella cheese
Arugula (optional)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll out pizza crust as thin as possible and fork holes into the crust to keep it thin. Top with desired amount of pesto. Top with desired amount of cheese. Bake for 8-10 mins. Top with arugula.

See, wasn't that simple? What do you do with you jarred pesto?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Green plan: Use a swap site

Little boys, especially growing three year olds, go through a lot of clothes. I've been pretty lucky that I've been given hand me downs for my son since birth and haven't had to spend much money on items for him. Each season I take inventory on what he needs and doesn't need and keep a ColorNote in my phone in case stores have a big sale or if I am at the consignment shops.

As of late, he has plenty of 3T shorts and jeans/pants, in fact, he's can still fit in most of his 2T shorts because he's a skinny bugger. What's he's lacking is long sleeve fall shirts/sweaters and even pajamas.

Enter ThredUp, an online swap exchange for kids clothes, toys and books. How it works is you sign-up and pick a box for $5 (plus $10.95 shipping), then list a box and then when someone picks your box, you send it. It's easy to sign up, especially if you have a Facebook account already.

I found out about ThredUp through a recent deal with Plum District, a discount site offer deals for moms. They were offering get two boxes for the price of one and of course I couldn't pass up the deal so I joined ThredUp, browsed  and picked two boxes that included mostly long sleeve, fall shirts.  Within a week, my boxes arrived! I was so giddy!

ThredUp bounty
Twenty items! Clean, in good condition and exactly what my son needed, all for $15! They were tightly rolled in a USPS priority box.

Here are some tips on picking out items:

  • Boxes come either mostly tops, mostly bottoms or a mix with icon for what season they would be suited best for
  • Sometimes it will list if there is a specialty item such as a costume, shoes or holiday outfits
  • Read the description very carefully. Good listers will include the brand names, sizes.
  • When in doubt, ask questions.
Tips for listing:
  • Be descriptive as possible.  List the name brands and color schemes.
  • When stuffing the box, roll the items neatly in the priority box
  • Once you list it on ThredUp, make sure you let your social networks know too
I listed my box but haven't had any bites on it! Happy swapping!


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