Need something to dress your tresses? I found these adorable headbands, clips and embellished bobby pins at the Eugene Holiday Market that are made by a local gal. Her business is called Leontine’s. You can visit her shop at www.leontines/etsy.com
Partly due to necessity, Bulgarians don’t seem to have the same daily need for hummus as I do, and partly as an effort to use more whole and unprocessed foods I have been hunting down a lot of new recipes lately. Now if you’re into making things from scratch you know that often enough cookbooks don’t have the types of recipes you need. Or if you’re an ex-pat living abroad and can’t seem to get your hands on that Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix, you know what I mean. So I’ve been thrilled with the site www.recipezaar.com. Regular folks submit their recipes and others who try the recipes out rate them and can leave comments. Now there are thousands of recipes and I can search by ingredient or dish name. There’s also pictures with many recipes which I like and the layout of the site is clean and easy to use. Our latest fav’s from this site have been hummus and falafel, but I have also looked up some great cake and bread recipes and soups as well. There’s a good selection of vegetarian and some vegan recipes as well. So try it out for yourself and leave pre-made mixes behind, you’ll be glad you did.
It’s that time of year, when thoughts turn to new life, and it comes time to start the garden. At the moment I am relegated to a few small containers on the terrace, but it is enough to get me through until next year when I have a garden of my own again. I am no expert on gardening, but it is so enjoyable even just to experiment. My favorite local seed company will be the focus of today’s entry. Territorial Seed Company of Cottage Grove, Oregon specializes in veggie and flower seeds, in addition to live plants, tools, and books. They produce very high quality seeds that are not genetically modified. Their aim is to “…improve people’s self-sufficiency and independence by enabling gardeners to produce an abundance of good tasting fresh-from-the-garden food, twelve months a year.” Not all of us live in such a mild climate as the maritime Northwest, but we can all certainly enjoy garden fresh produce, and living a bit closer to the earth. Check out their site: www.TerritorialSeed.com
Etsy.com is an amazing website that is an entry into the world of handmade goods. Artists and designers that make things or customize them by hand have individual stores with the items they sell. And there are thousands. But the amazing thing is how you can search all of these entries. For instance if I want to find a leather belt I can search for the term by keyword, or if I want to support local artists I can search by location. There are so many beautiful things you may spend hours just looking around for fun or inspiration. The prices on things that I’ve purchased from here are amazing, and I suppose that makes sense since you’re buying directly from the artist. If you’re an artist yourself Etsy can be a powerful tool to share your creativity with the world. www.Etsy.com
Today’s entry features a lovely gal who lived down the hall from me my freshman year of college. Her name is Andria Higgins and she has a gift for creating beautiful things. I recently received a matching skirt and handbag for my birthday and had to share her wares with you. She has a stock of items available for sale at andriahigginsdesigns.etsy.com, and has also been known to do custom orders. Happy hunting.
The furniture company Greener Lifestyles believes that “…customers don’t have to sacrifice good design to have a healthy home.” They use natural and sustainable products to manufacture their furniture including: FSC-Certified Wood, Natural Latex Foam, Recycled Polyester Fabric, Organic Hemp, Cotton, & Wool Fabric. Their designs are fresh and modern and they can ship straight to you. Check out their furniture at www.greenerlifestyles.com .
Kiva is a micro-loan network that allows individual lenders to choose businesses from poor countries they would like to fund. It is a great tool that provides stories, journals, pictures, and necessary business information to help people like you and me find great ventures to invest in. The loans are small, and multiple lenders (not donors!) can be contribute. Once the total amount of the loan is collected from individual lenders then the money goes into action. The money is then paid back to the lenders on a predetermined schedule. Access to credit in many third world countries is out of reach for many people. Often times the interest rates are prohibitively expensive. Even people running successful businesses often have a hard time accessing the capital they need to grow. You can lend as little as $25. When you think about it most of us probably have $25 lying around the house in spare change. Kiva provides a great way for people to be connected, informed, and empowered on both sides of the lending process. Check out www.Kiva.org
By the way, the default rate for 4.8 million dollars in loans… 0.1%!