Monday, September 16, 2019

My Tips & Tricks for an Armpit Detox 💪

Hey muffins; Happy Monday! To start this week off right, I want to share my tips and tricks for dealing with an armpit detox... Now some of you might be asking, "What the heck is an armpit detox?", so you definitely came to the right Earth Muffin! Let's jump right into the post!

What is an armpit detox?
An armpit detox is a detox for your armpits (duh! 🙄) that often occurs after switching from an aluminum based deodorant to a more natural deodorant (such as the natural deodorants from Primal Pit Paste). When using products that contain aluminum your body is prevented from perspiring, which is why they are often labeled as "antiperspirants". After switching to a deodorant that lets you sweat, your body isn't used to it... This results in the armpit detox where you might notice excess sweat and smell coming from your pits as you sweat out the gunk/toxins that have been sitting in your armpit for months and even years! 😷

My Experience with an Armpit Detox
When I switched and started using Primal Pit Paste's Wild Wood deodorant, I (surprisingly) didn't experience much of a detox. I maybe had more sweat than usual for a few days, but nothing too crazy. I did however notice my body actually sweating in the pits for the first time in my LIFE, which was such an interesting thing to think about.

natural deodorant for armpit detox

Tips for Surviving Your Armpit Detox
If you make the switch to natural deodorant, you might experience a much longer detox than I did, so I thought I would share my tips to help you mitigate the sweat and the smell!

1. Pick a time that works the best for you - Don't try to make the switch when you have a lot of presentations in class or know you will be wearing a lot of tank tops. I think winter is probably the best time of the year for a detox, as you can wear a shirt under a sweater to catch any excess sweat or smell!

man sweating

2. Dab away the sweat often - You will find yourself sweating more than usual, so feel free to use some toilet paper or tissues to dab away the sweat often. I would do this whenever I went to the bathroom, as it is an easy thing to do while sitting on the toilet (sorry for the TMI haha).

3. Reapply when necessary - Feel free to reapply deodorant if you feel like the smell is getting particularly bad... Just make sure you don't over do it so that your armpits turn white or it rubs into your clothes. You wouldn't want a stain!

4. Let your pits have space – This process is completely normal, so let your armpits detox all the gunk! I would avoid wearing any tight-in-the-pit clothes to prevent from even more irritation. #freethepits!

5. Have a back-up smell blocker – If you are super concerned with the idea of slightly smelly pits, double up your odor blocker by using body spray, perfume, essential oils, etc. Please don't use too much though, nobody wants to smell you from a mile away!

6. Make sure the scent of your natural deodorant works for you – Some body odors don’t mix well with certain scents, or your body odor might smell similar to a scent. If you aren't liking the smell of the first product you try out, don't give up and try again! It is really a trial and error process until you find the deodorant that works for you. 😊

pinterest graphic about armpit detox
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Have you had an armpit detox before? What are your tips for making it easier? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, September 13, 2019

Can Thrifted Clothes Really Be "Trendy"?

Hey muffins! I have talked a lot about thrifting here on Life of an Earth Muffin ever since I started my journey towards living sustainably; in my opinion, it is honestly such a great way to de-stress. I have heard a lot of reasons why people don’t thrift:

“Ew, you don’t know where those clothes have been”
“Save those clothes for people who are less fortunate”
“Thrift clothes are out of style” 
“Secondhand clothes remind me of my grandma" 

The “thrift clothes can’t be trendy” logic is not logical at all; in fact, secondhand clothes can be quite fashion forward if you know what you are looking for! Just look at what is “on trend” right now – a lot of styles have been inspired by looks from the 90’s, the 80’s, and beyond. While not everything you find at the thrift shop will be fashionable, many pieces have so much potential! ✌️

How Can I Style Thrifted Pieces in a "Trendy" Way? 
One of the easiest ways to figure out how to style a thrifted piece is to do your research beforehand. If you know that you love the styles of Forever21 or Urban, take a look at their website to find a piece you are looking for. 

Say you are searching for a plaid blazer. I looked on Forever21's website this morning and found a huge selection of these in the fall fashion category - so plaid blazers are obviously on trend right now. 

After picking out the staple you are searching for, figure out how you would style it if it was in your closet. This can mean doing some more research online or even raiding your closet for pieces that can be paired with it! 

When you head to the thrift store, all you have to do is look for that specific piece (in this example, the plaid blazer). If you can’t find the exact thing, be a bit creative and try multiple sections and/or stores. When you successfully use some of my thrifting tips – ta-da, you have found what you are looking for! AND you already know exactly how to style it – and what do you know, thrifted clothes can actually be trendy! 😃

How do you style your thrifted clothes? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

How to Zero Waste Your Airplane Flight ✈️

Hey muffins! After branching out from my "How to Zero Waste Your [insert room here]" series into topics like periods, I thought it would be fun to explore traveling. As I recently took a trip to Washington D.C., it seemed like the perfect time to share my tips for being low waste on an airplane. 😊

Note: flying on a airplane is not good for the environment. It is actually one of the worst things to do... So, there really isn't a "zero waste" way to fly; however, if you must fly these are tips that you can use to mitigate other waste at the airport and on board.

1. Book an airline that uses online boarding passes – You won’t have to worry about printing your ticket or losing it along the way! Just make sure your phone is charged up to be scanned through security and the gate. Delta has a great app I use, but I am sure many other airlines offer this lovely feature. 

2. Bring your own water bottle – People I talk to are often unaware that you can bring your own water bottle through security (just make sure it is empty when you go through!). Airports have water fountains near the bathrooms, which reduces the need to buy plastic water bottles in the airport or to get a beverage during the in-flight food service.

3. Be prepared with some snacks! – Again, you can bring snacks through security! For my trip to Washington D.C., I brought along some pretzel sticks in a reusable sandwich bag. 🥨 I was able to refuse the snack mid-flight and even have some leftovers for my layover. While I didn’t have enough space in my bag to bring as much food as I could have, at least a few snack packages were saved!

4. Bring your own ear buds/headphones (noise cancelling is recommended!) – You can usually purchase cheap, throwaway-able ear buds on flights, but save your money (and the planet) by bringing your own!

5. Don't check a bag; bring a carry-on! - Even if you have your own luggage tag, your checked bag will still get adorned with some extra stickers and tags that are unnecessary. Save that waste by packing light and bringing only a carry-on. 🧳

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What do you do to reduce waste when flying? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, September 9, 2019

Recipe: Pierogies + TWO Fillings

Hey muffins! After adventuring into making my own tortillas last summer, I decided that I wanted to try and make other doughs by hand... And I found a lot of success with this pierogi recipe! 🥟 These are an amazing meal prep food as you can freeze the whole batch and take out the portions needed for dinner. 😊 Along with the pierogi dough, it is essential to have a tasty filling. I have two favorites included in this post: traditional Polish cheese potato and non-traditional broccoli rice! 👩‍🍳

Traditional Cheese & Potato Filling
What You Need:
-1 cup mashed potatoes
-1/2 cup shredded cheese (I like cheddar!)

What To Do:
1. Prepare your favorite mashed potatoes - I suggest making them pretty chunky!
2. Mix the cheese into the potato mixture and pop into fridge until you are ready to fill the pierogies.

Broccoli & Rice Filling

What You Need:
-1/4 cup diced onion
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-Olive oil
-Salt and pepper
-1/2 cup broccoli (finely diced)
-1 cup cooked rice
-1/4 cup cheese

What To Do:
1. Prepare your favorite type of rice. When finished cooking, set aside to cool.
2. Drizzle olive oil into a saucepan. Cook onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent.
3. Add broccoli into pan. Cook for about 5 minutes (until the broccoli is tender). Season with salt and pepper.
4. In a small bowl, mix together rice and broccoli mixture. Let cool.
5. When the filling is fully cooled down, add in the cheese and mix until combined. Set aside until ready to fill the pierogies! 🎉

Pierogi Dough
What You Need:
-2 cups flour
-1 egg
-1/2 stick of butter (softened)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup milk
-Tortilla press (optional, but HIGHLY recommended as it makes the process so much faster!)

What To Do:
1. Stir together the flour and the salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Cut in the butter until it gets crumbly.
3. Add in the eggs and milk; stir with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. I find that kneading the mixture by hand at the end is the best way to make sure that the dough is fully mixed. 🙌
4. If you have a tortilla press, pull a small amount of dough off and press until flat. Place a heaping teaspoon or so of the filling in the middle and fold over. Seal the edges by either pressing with your hands or a fork (I like the look of my own hands!). Put onto a floured baking sheet.
5. If you don't have a tortilla press, roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut into circles. Fill, seal, and place on tray. Note: I definitely recommend using a press, as it cuts the pierogi filling time in half! This recipe makes about 30 medium sized and 40 small sized pierogies, so it will take some time regardless. 😋
6. Put the tray directly into the freezer. After an hour, take pierogies off the tray and store in an airtight container.
7. To cook: boil water and plop the pierogies in for 3-4 minutes (they will float to the top when they are ready!). You can also throw them in a pan after boiling to fry in some oil and get that nice brown color... I personally think they are best just boiled but are definitely tasty either way! Enjoy!! 😊

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What dough should I try next (I am thinking homemade pizza??)? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, September 6, 2019

Simple Ways to Show Some School Spirit!

Hey muffins! The school year has started, which means it is time for my absolute least favorite sport: football. 🏈 While it might not be my personal fave, football season means it is time to bust out some team spirit as schools/colleges get hyped for game day. Here are some of my personal ways that you all can use to show some school spirit! 🎉

1. Find some vintage "school pride" pieces - Many college campuses sell super overpriced gear, so I suggest checking out the thrift stores around the area to see what you can find. If members of your family also went to the same school, try raiding their closets as well! 😊

2. Hydro dip your shoes - I have been seeing a lot of hydro-dipping videos on my Facebook feed recently, so you might want to hydro dip some white shoes to match the school colors! While this might take some time, you can definitely rock the shoes on non-gamedays too.

3. Paint your nails - This is especially easy if you live in a dorm, as you can ask to borrow from a neighbor if you don't have the perfect school color. Painted nails are quick and easy, and they are perfect for all your spirit finger needs! 😉

4. Wear a bow (or DIY one!) - As football days can often be long and hot, I usually wear my hair up in a ponytail and throw on a huge bow that has the team colors on it. Making your own bows is a super fun DIY (I will probably be writing a post about how to do that at some point), so it would be a great activity to do with some friends!

5. Add a pop of color with your eyeliner/eyeshadow - Nothing screams school spirit more than an eye makeup look dedicated to your school colors 😍

How do you rock team spirit on gamedays? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Recent Reads & Movie Reviews 📙

Hey muffins! As another month has gone by, I thought I should update you all with what I have been reading and watching recently. Spoiler alert - I haven't actually read or watched as much as I usually do for my previous Recent Reads posts... But I still wanted to share my thoughts before I forgot my reviews, so I hope you all don't mind the shorter post! 🤷‍♀️

Recent Reads
~The Kindness Diaries by Leon Logothetis

I found this book when I was randomly searching through my local library and thought it would be an interesting read... And it was! Leon traveled across the world (yes, world!) with just his yellow bike. He relied on the kindness of strangers for food, shelter, and gas to continue the journey. 😯 On this journey he met so many people from across the globe, and he would give gifts to those that needed it the most (ex. he paid for the college education of a homeless man and bought a cow for a family in India!). While some of the gift giving sections did come off like he was bragging about how much money he could give away, the book was very inspiring overall. I definitely want to see the documentary that was filmed during his voyage!
Rating: 9/10

Movie Reviews
~Sixteen Candles

Just like in my last movie reviews post where I revealed that I had never seen Pretty Woman, I had also never seen Sixteen Candles until recently. Honestly, I wasn't a big fan of it. I know the kissing over a birthday cake scene is iconic, but there were a lot of questionable moments in the film. Especially the rapey comment made by Jake when his girlfriend Caroline is drunk in his car... I don't think I would watch this film again if I was searching for a classic rom com.
Rating: 4/10

~A Date with Miss Fortune

The trailer for this film was randomly in the recommended section of my YouTube feed, so I decided to watch it when I had a couple of hours free last week. It was actually pretty hilarious! The plot is your typical girl and guy fall in love but have trouble staying together (in this instance because of a disapproving fortune teller). 🔮 I'm sure that I found parts of the film funny because they were so cheesy, but I have definitely seen worse. While I probably wouldn't watch it again, it was still a fine movie.
Rating: 7.5/10

What books and movies have you been reading and watching lately? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, September 2, 2019

The Weekender's Guide to Washington, D.C.

Hey muffins! As you could tell from @lifeofanearthmuffin, you will know that I recently spent a few days in Washington, D.C.! While I wasn't there to be a tourist (I was attending an accounting conference for my graduate program), I did have some extra time in the evenings to do a bit of exploring... So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to write another Weekender's Guide post 😊 Let's jump right into it!

What To Do:
1. Walk around to visit all of the monuments - I'm talking Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, etc. There are SO many cool monuments to visit! There is quite a bit of walking involved to get to all of them, so you might consider taking the Metro. If you are going to ride the subway, you will need to purchase a Smartrip card for $2 and then add money onto the card depending on the price of the fare to each stop. The Metro machines can be quite complicated but there are always nice workers ready to help! 👍

2. Hit up museums - Many of the museums are FREE, so I would definitely recommend checking out as many as possible. You can see some amazing things all the way from Dorothy's ruby red slippers to space ships. There's a lot of history to learn!

3. Take a double decker tour bus - If you don't have a lot of time, consider taking a bus tour. The one I went on was during sunset, and we hit a ton of monuments in only three hours. Such a great way to see the city!

4. Take a picture in front of the White House - It is surprisingly smaller than you think it would be.... 📸

5. Hit up The Player's Club (1400 14th St NW) - If you are looking for a cool night life scene, I suggest this club. There is a sky deck, pool tables, games (pin ball, etc.), and even a whole shelf of board games. As someone who doesn't drink, there were plenty of other fun things to do.

What To Eat:
1. Buredo - This place has sushi burritos!! Literally two of my favorite foods morphed into one - how could I not eat there? 🍣

2. Georgetown Cupcakes - I used to bake cupcakes all the time, so it was a blast from the past to go into a cupcakery. While I now think cupcakes are overly sweet (I'd definitely prefer a cookie), this was one of the more tasty cupcakes I have tried!

3. Picnic on the Washington Mall - The Washington Mall is absolutely gorgeous if the weather is nice, so I recommend buying your favorite dishes/snacks at the grocery store for a fun little picnic! Plus, this can be much cheaper than eating out. 🙂

Where to Stay:
1. Homewood Suites by Hilton (1475 Massachusetts Ave NW) - I stayed here and it was really nice... And it wasn't as expensive as some of the other hotels around. It was a 15 minute walk from the White House, so you definitely can't beat the location!

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What are your favorite things to do in Washington, D.C.? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, August 30, 2019

It Ain't Easy Being Green 💚: What I'm Currently Struggling With

Hey muffins! My journey towards living zero/low waste began over a year ago, and I must admit: I am still struggling to make some changes in my life. 😓 Some of these changes are ones I am reluctant to make but a fair majority are ones that, due to circumstance, I am having a hard time making in my life at the moment. When scrolling through the homepage of my @lifeofanearthmuffin Instagram account, I only ever see the amazing accomplishments of others in the zero waste community. While social media does allow people to only post what they want you to see, it is often frustrating that their journeys to living sustainably look easier than mine. Today, I wanted to get vulnerable with you all to share my current struggles with “going green”. 

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I think the first major thing I am struggling with is how inaccessible sustainable products are in the city I am living in for my masters program. While I could drive an extra 20 to 30 minutes to get to a bulk store or place orders on multiple websites, I am on a tight budget as a grad student and don’t want to put any extra miles on my car if I don’t need to. Plus, the city I am in is an expensive place to live, which means that the prices on sustainable goods are much higher than they should be because people have the extra disposable income to spare (but I sure don't!). This results in me shopping at the closest grocery store and making do with what they offer, which is usually buying things in cardboard and the largest size possible. And that sucks! As you all saw in my plant-based grocery haul, I was used to absolutely acing sustainable grocery shopping – now, I have to resort to packaging to get some of my essentials. It almost feels like I am backtracking in my journey.

My journey has also been tough recently due to the fact that I share my apartment with a roommate. When you live alone (like I did this summer) you are able to buy the things you want… But now I need to make compromises in terms of things we share (such as cleaning supplies). My roommate is absolutely amazing (I love her to death!), but there definitely is a tradeoff to living sustainably when you aren’t living alone.

While I do feel like I am taking a small step backwards in my sustainable journey, I do know that when I finish this program I will be able to hit the ground running again. The city I am moving to is the same place I have interned at these past two summers, so I know that there are places nearby where I can buy sustainable products at fair prices. I also will be living with my boyfriend next year, and even though he is not as on board with the whole zero waste thing, I know that he will let me buy the things I want and do the things I want to do.

Overall, I hope this post goes to show that living a sustainable lifestyle has its ups and downs. When you feel like you have finally made some progress in a certain area, other parts of your life might force you to not be as sustainable as you like. And that is totally okay! As long as you know what your end goals are, the sustainable journey can take as long (or as short) as you want! I hope that by sharing my own struggles I have inspired you all to continue on your own sustainable journeys.

What have you been struggling with recently? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Fashion: 1st Day of School Outfit Essentials Fall 2019

Hey muffins! My first day of school is just around the riverbend (yikes!), and I am definitely not prepared to start studying again. 😬 I am, however, excited to bust out some of my fall fashion essentials that haven't been worn in quite some time. Even though I personally didn't go back to school shopping this year (because your girl owns way too many clothes already), I wanted to share the cutest first day of school outfit essentials that I have seen in stores and online for fall 2019! 🥰 Let's jump right into it!

*Levi Denim Jacket (Ragstock, $35) - Ragstock is an Ann Arbor classic, but I love that you can purchase their vintage and recycled clothing online if you don't have a store near you! Denim jackets have always been a back to school classic for me and getting a vintage one for $35 is hard to beat. 🙌

*Plaid skirt (ThredUp/ASOS, $18) - This skirt gives me major Clueless vibes, and I personally love to rock a nice plaid on the first day of school (probably because I had a uniform in middle school 😅). You could definitely dress a skirt like this down with a jean jacket or go full out 90's with a blazer!

*Black flats (Rothy's, $125) - After buying myself my first pair of Birkenstocks (and falling in love with them!), I have been more interested in shoes... Flats are one of my go-to shoes for school, so I would definitely get a lot of use out of these! Plus, they are made with plastic waste(!!), which is just incredible.

*Barrettes (Etsy, $8) - The barrette trend is all the rage currently, and I love how this barrette in particular has the moon phases on it. 🙃 Ready for science class everyone?

*Kanken Mini Backpack (Fjallraven, $98) - These backpacks are everywhere... And I love that the company has a huge focus on sustainability! While I won't be purchasing one (as I have been using the same backpack since senior year of high school), these are a great way to look cute at school. 😊

What are you going to be wearing on the first day of school? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, August 26, 2019

My Tips for Scoring on Facebook Marketplace!

Hey muffins! As many of you already know, I recently moved into an apartment for grad school... While I wrote an exhaustive list of everything to pack in a recent post, I surprisingly did not have everything on that list when I moved in. 🤔 Moving to campus this early is awesome because many students are just about to move out, which means Facebook Marketplace gets a lot more listings! My roommate and I were able to find some great deals on Marketplace (including a super nice dining room table for only $45!), so I wanted to share my top tips for scoring big with you all today! 🎉

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1. Only start looking when you are able to pick up/purchase - When I knew we were looking for certain pieces of furniture, I started looking on Facebook a week or so before we were set to move in. People will definitely not wait for you to pick things up and will just sell to someone else, so don't even bother looking until you are able to get in the car and go get the goods.

2. Keep watching the "Recently Added" feed - People post things all throughout the day, so make sure you never miss a listing that you will be interested in!

3. Jump fast with offers- If you are even remotely interested in the listing, contact the seller as soon as possible! Getting some clarifying information will allow you to make a decision before the item is either sold or you buy it. If you know that you would like to buy it, immediately message the seller and ask them when they would like you to pick it up so that they don't sell it to someone else!

4. Be wary of making counter offers - Items that are extremely popular, low-priced, or recently listed will sell quickly, so don't even bother trying to get a discount... The seller will just give it to someone who is willing to pay full price! However, if the item has been on Facebook Marketplace for awhile feel free to do some negotiating!

5. If you message a seller and decide not to purchase, let them know! - This makes the selling process so much easier, so don't be a ghost 👻

6. Don't buy everything - There are definitely some amazing deals on Facebook Marketplace (I saw some lady selling a 50 piece Tupperware set for $5!!), but that doesn't mean you should purchase it all. Especially if you are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, take care to think if a) you really need the item and if b) the item is built to last.

7. Make sure to clean everything - Just like I mentioned in my tips for thrift shopping post, wash/clean the items you purchase right away. These items are still secondhand and can be from someone's basement, so make sure there is no dirt or dust before you bring it into your home. 😊

What have you bought off Facebook Marketplace? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, August 23, 2019

Recipe: Quick & Easy Cauliflower "Rice"

Hey muffins! Does your cauliflower ever start to brown before you have the chance to make it? Never fear - this quick and easy recipe is perfect for cauliflower that is just starting to get a little brown around the edges! I love to save food waste by finding ways to turn vegetables into tasty meals, and this cauliflower "rice" is the perfect side to any meal. 😊 Let's jump right into the recipe!

What You Need:
-Head of cauliflower
-1/3 cup diced onion
-Olive oil

What To Do:
1. Rice your cauliflower - be warned, this does get messy! You can rice the head of cauliflower in one of two ways:

a. Grate your cauliflower using a cheese grater. To make sure it doesn't get soggy, I suggest using the thicker/bigger grate. 

b. Finely chop the cauliflower. While this is the method I used (as I don't have a grater), it does take much longer. 

2. Pour a little bit of olive oil into a skillet to coat it.
3. Over medium to high heat, stir the diced onions around until they are translucent and soft (this should take about 5 minutes). If you do not stir the onions they might burn, so make sure you are watching them! 
4. Pour the cauliflower into the skillet.
5. Season (to taste) with salt and pepper until the cauliflower is soft.
6. Serve hot! Enjoy 😃

What is your favorite cauliflower recipe? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How to Zero Waste Your Period ❣️

Hey muffins! While my "How to Zero Waste Your [insert room here]" series was originally supposed to only focus on certain rooms of the home, I really wanted to write about periods today (don't ask me why 😆). I have tackled everything from the laundry room to the kitchen in this series (read all of the posts here!), but periods happen every single month for 50% of the population... That is a lot of waste that can be avoided! Here are some great ways for you to mitigate your own waste during that time of the month:

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1. Menstrual cups - After going through the pros and cons of a menstrual cup here on Life of an Earth Muffin, I decided to purchase a Lena cup for Plastic Free July. If you read my Waste Audit at the end of the challenge, you will know that I struggled to get the cup to work for me... But menstrual cups are definitely one of the best options for a zero waste period! I am continuing to try out this cup, and I am extremely hopeful that I will be able to make the switch eventually. 😊

2. Reusable pads - Just like reusable diapers for babies, these cloth pads can be washed and washed again and again. 👍 Disposable pads are often filled with chemicals, which can make your period smell unpleasant (it isn't actually supposed to smell ladies!). You can purchase these reusable pads on many websites, but Amazon and Etsy both have a bunch of options for cheap prices.

3. Period panties - While these are more expensive than the other options (as you will need to purchase a few pairs to last for your period), you might want to make the investment. 🤔 I don't know if I would personally like to "free bleed", but it definitely would give you the freedom to not have to worry about your period during that time of the month!

4. Reusable tampon applicators - This is obviously not completely zero waste as you would need to still use tampons, but reducing the plastic of an applicator per each tampon is definitely a win! 🎉 This is similar to a menstrual cup as you would need to wash/sanitize it after each use to keep it bacteria free.

How do you try to reduce your waste on your period? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, August 19, 2019

The Ultimate Grad School Packing List

Hey muffins! I am officially moved into my apartment for grad school! 🎉 While I have quite a bit to unpack still (ugh), it feels so great to have survived yet another move in. As I recently made a post about the 7 Things You Don't Need From That College Packing List, I thought you all might find it interesting to see my packing list for grad school! This list is similar to my Studio Apartment Packing list from last summer, but there were definitely more things I needed to bring this year 😊

-Pots and pans
-Baking sheet
-Dishes (set for 4: large plate, small plate, bowl, mugs)
-Random tea/coffee mugs
-Silverware (set for 4: fork, spoon, knives)
-Knife set (1 chef knife, 1 serrated knife, 1 paring knife)
-Cooking utensils (whisk, wooden spoons, etc.)
-Can opener
-Lots of dish towels and rags (sustainable!)
-Cloth napkins (sustainable!)
-Dish soap
-Dish rack and drying mat
-Pyrex mixing bowls
-Tupperware (glass, metal, or plastic)
-Measuring cups
-Oven mitts
-Stainless steel colander
-Mason jars and lids for bulk food storage (sustainable!)
-Reusable produce bags and canvas bags for grocery shopping (sustainable!)
-Reusable snack bags
-Lunch box
-Dining room table and chairs

-4 towel sets (towel, hand towel, wash cloth)
-Bath mat
-Shower curtain and curtain rings
-Hand soap (and holder if needed)
-Toilet paper
-Feminine products
-Safety razor (sustainable!)
-Shampoo and conditioner bar
-Hairbrushes and hairspray
-Hair accessories (elastics, bows, etc.)
-Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss
-First aid kit

-Bed frame
-Bed risers
-Mattress and box spring
-2 sets of sheets
-Throw blanket
-Clothes and shoes (obviously haha)
-Drying rack
-Laundry detergent (I use the Eco Egg!)
-Dryer balls (sustainable!)
-Laundry basket/hamper

Living Room
-TV stand
-Wifi router

School Related
-Desk lamp
-Notebooks and folders
-Laptop and charger
-Pens and pencils
-Dry erase calendar (and dry erase markers)

-Succulents and plants!
-Wall decorations
-Box fans (if you don't have AC)

Pin to read later!

What did I miss on this list? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, August 16, 2019

My Life in Memes 😂

Hey muffins! For today's post I want to focus on memes. Yes, memes. I have had this idea for a post for a long time now, so I figured it would be the perfect post for a Friday. 😆 Whenever I am sad or feeling down or just need a chuckle, I love to browse my meme Pinterest board. There are a couple of memes that can never fail to get me to laugh, so I wanted to share them with you all today! As it is going to be a shorter post than usual, I challenge you all to comment your favorite memes below to spread the joy, happiness, and silliness 🥰

Not really a meme but I'll just leave this here 😂

What are your favorite memes? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

7 Things You DON'T Need From that College Packing List!

Hey muffins! Whether we like it or not, back to school season is upon us! It seems like everywhere I look there are advertisements for school supplies and lists for college packing. 🧳 As I have lots of experience packing for dorm/college life (and am currently in the process of packing for grad school!), I thought that I would share the things that you don't actually need from those college packing list... Let's jump right into it!

1. Coffee machine/Keurig - This might sound surprising but there is really no need to have your own personal coffee machine. ☕ First, the dining hall (and a million other places) have all your coffee needs covered. Second, you aren't going to wash your own mugs as often as you think. Third, you are going to forget to order more filters, K-cups, etc. While it might seem like a necessity, it definitely isn't (and I can guarantee there will be multiple people on your floor that will let you use their machines if necessary!).

2. Iron and ironing board - Do you really think college students iron their clothes? I'll let you in on a secret... They don't. If you are searching to iron that fancy shirt for an interview or something, most dorms have irons that you can check out.

3. Hole punch - Before my freshman year I went a little crazy on the school supplies... But you really only need the essentials! Any kind of library, study space, school building, etc. will have hole punches, staplers, paper clips, you name it. I do enjoy having my own stapler, but a hole punch just for your room is not necessary.

4. Foam mattress topper - College beds aren't actually as uncomfortable as people say they are. I survived without ever buying a topper for my bed, and I know my boyfriend stopped using his after a semester. So, you might want to not buy one until you actually get to try out your mattress!

5. TV - I think it is not worth it to have a TV in your dorm room. For one thing, there are TVs in a lot of the common areas which will allow you to make some new friends when watching The Bachelor or Food Network 😉 Plus, your room is going to be tiny which makes it difficult to arrange it in a way for both you and your roommate to have easy access to it. Lastly, you won't have a lot of time to watch TV anyway with studying, social events, etc. Embrace college life and don't spend it watching a screen!

6. USB drive - When writing this post I was looking at a bunch of college packing lists (including the one I wrote a few years ago). I thought it was funny that USB drives are included on most of them... Short and sweet: you won't need one.

7. Alarm clock - It is so much easier to ditch the alarm clock and just use your phone's alarm in college. I bought an alarm clock and only used it to display the time, so it was basically a waste of money.

What other things do you think aren't necessary on those college packing lists? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, August 12, 2019

Plastics I Refuse to Give Up - Reflection on PFJ

Hey muffins! Plastic Free July has come and gone, and I'd definitely say that I achieved my goals of producing as little plastic waste as possible. 😊 Now that I have had about half a month to reflect on the plastic free challenge, I thought it would be an interesting post to share some of the plastics in my life that I will NOT be giving up on my journey towards living zero/low waste (at least as of now). As I mentioned in my Misconceptions About Living Zero Waste post, many people still produce some sort of waste and that is totally okay! So, here are the plastics that I personally refuse to give up at the moment...

1. Face wash - As I mentioned in My Zero Waste Successes and Failures post, I had been using Proactiv to control my sensitive skin in the past. I have since switched off of it after it literally bleached my shirt, and my skin is now on a huge detox adventure which is just great. 🙄 I am now using Lush's Herbalism as face wash, which does come in a plastic tub. However, the tubs are made from recycled plastic and can be returned to the store, so I don't think it is that terrible to refuse to give up this cleanser.

2. Milk - I was so excited that I was able to find milk in glass for Plastic Free July, but as you all saw in my Plant Based Grocery Haul it was $5 for a half gallon!! For a graduate student on a tight budget, that is pretty unreasonable when you can get a full gallon for $1-2... So I plan on switching to milk in jugs (or almond/coconut milk in containers). Hopefully the city I live in will eventually get cheaper milk in glass!

3. Greek yogurt - When I first started becoming interested in sustainability last summer, I read a bunch of zero waste books. Many of them contained recipes to make your own yogurt... But I just don't have the time for that right now. Greek yogurt is a huge staple for me, so I buy it in the largest size possible and then recycle when it is empty. Maybe some day I'll learn how to make it myself. 🤷‍♀️

4. Toothpaste - While I absolutely LOVE my Tough Teeth Tooth Powder from Primal Pit Paste, I can't seem to justify the $11 + shipping cost now that I am going back to school. ☹️ I will definitely be switching back in the future though, and Primal Pit Paste products are still some of my faves!

5. Birth control - If you have been following Life of an Earth Muffin for a long time, you know that I use the Basal Body Temperature and Cervical Mucus Methods as natural birth control (please feel free to check out all my natural birth control posts here!!). While these methods eliminate the need for plastic pill containers, I will still never give up other forms of birth control (ex. condoms) when I decide to become sexually active. It seems like a little plastic waste is totally okay if you are trying to prevent a baby (which comes with even more plastic waste!)...

What plastic waste do you refuse to give up?? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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