Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Plastic Free July Wrap Up - My Waste Audit

Hey muffins! Today is the last day of July, which means the Plastic Free July challenge officially ends tomorrow. ๐ŸŽ‰ While the month long endeavor might be coming to a close, I will (obviously) continue to avoid plastic as part of my journey towards living a sustainable low-waste lifestyle. As a wrap up for this month, I wanted to share with you all today the plastic waste that I created. ๐Ÿ˜Š Let's dive right into it!

All of the plastic used in July:

Along with these plastic items, there were a few other things that I was unable to collect:
-Hot dog container from work event
-Approx. 12 pads and their wrappers from my period
-Two trash bags

Overall, I think that I did a nice job... But there are definitely areas I need to improve on! First, I really want to strive towards making my period zero waste. As I knew it was going to start the second week of July, I wanted to try out a menstrual cup. I bought the Lena cup off of Amazon and instead of a cardboard box they shipped it in a bubble mailer. ๐Ÿ˜‘ That was a fail and then I also just could not get the menstrual cup to work for me (hence why there are 12ish pads in my total plastic haul). As I mentioned in my Should I Get a Menstrual Cup? post, cups are "easy to use" in theory... But it was just a huge struggle for me. While I haven't given up on the Lena cup yet, it just didn't pan out for Plastic Free July.

I think the second area of improvement would be making my work office more sustainable. Not only did I attend a baseball game event where it was expected of us to eat the food that was provided by the firm (resulting in the hot dog container and Gatorade bottle), but they also only have individually packaged snacks and candy in the office building (which resulted in me indulging in some Hershey Nuggets without thinking about the challenge). ๐Ÿคท‍♀️ As an intern, I felt uncomfortable going against the norm especially at the baseball event... But when I start full-time with the company next year, I will definitely be having a sustainability chat with my supervisors!

What can be recycled or reused:

Not all of the plastic that I collected will be going to the landfill however. ๐Ÿฅณ My local recycling pick up will be able to recycle all of these things, and I will be re-using the Amazon bubble mailer when I move out of this apartment and into my school apartment in August.

What is going to landfill

Even though I grocery shop locally and use my own bags, it seems like a majority of the waste I created was related to food. For the whole month of July I collected 17 stickers from various fruits and vegetables as well as a rubber band holding broccoli stems together at the farmer's market. I was able to find a local health food store that sells milk in glass bottles, but the lid was still plastic. However, I am proud to say that I avoided a lot of plastic packaging by not purchasing any meat, getting bread from a local bakery (and having them put the bread in my own bag), and shopping from the bulk bins. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Overall, I definitely learned a lot of the same lessons as last summer from participating in Plastic Free July. However, I avoided a lot more plastic this year because I held myself accountable to the goals I created at the end of June. ๐Ÿ’š I look forward to this challenge again next summer!!!

How did your Plastic Free July go?? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, July 29, 2019

How to Zero Waste Your Kitchen ๐Ÿฝ️

Hey muffins! It has been a long time since I wrote a "How to Zero Waste Your [insert room here]" post... ๐Ÿค” Previously in this series, I have written about how you can zero waste your laundry room, your bathroom, and even your cleaning supplies. Today I would like to focus on one of my favorite rooms - the kitchen! As I love to cook and bake (plus eat haha), I spend a lot of time in this space. When I started my journey towards living zero waste, I made some of my first habit changes in the kitchen. Hopefully this post inspires you all to make these changes as well! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Dishes, Silverware, Pots, Pans, and Other Kitchen Utensils
-Use what you already have! You don't need to go out and buy "sustainable" kitchen gadgets if you already have perfectly fine kitchenware.
-Shop secondhand. If you are looking to buy a new potato masher, ladle, etc., why not check your local thrift store, yard sales, or Facebook Marketplace? I was looking to buy a silverware holder the other day and found one for only $1 at a garage sale ๐ŸŽ‰ Not only did I save a bunch of money, but I also prevented this product from going into the landfill.

-Acquire unused kitchen accessories from family and friends. A lot of people own too many dishes, mugs, utensils, etc. There is a high chance that if you ask around someone in your network will be more than willing to give you something that is just taking up space in their cupboard!
-Buy new products that are made of sustainable materials. If all of these other suggestions fail, then feel free to buy something new. Try to make sure it is stainless steel or glass (not plastic!) so that it will last a long time and can be recycled at the end of its use.

Storage Containers
-Mason jars! I own about 40 different mason jars in various brands and sizes, and I absolutely love using them to store food in my pantry, fridge, freezer, and for packed lunches. If you all are interested in me writing a post about my mason jar collection, just let me know! ๐Ÿ‘

Goals for my mason jar collection ๐Ÿ˜

-Use the plastic tupperware you already have. Just because your tupperware is plastic doesn't mean you have to give them away after becoming zero waste. The whole point of this lifestyle is to reuse as much as possible, so definitely continue to use those plastic tupperware containers!
-Buy stainless steel and glass containers. I find that the stainless steel ones are lighter to carry around with me, so I use them if I want to take out food somewhere or am taking lunch with me. Again, check around your secondhand options before buying new! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Dish Towels
-Ask around for old towels. There is really no reason to buy dish towels new as no one really sees them... I have a gigantic collection of old dish towels and washcloths that I use for both cleaning and in the kitchen that were given to me by my parents and other close relatives.

Washing the Dishes
-Get a dishwasher if you can. It is actually better for the planet to use a dishwasher instead of washing your dishes by hand, as you save water using the machine. ๐Ÿ’ง However, make sure you only run the dishwasher when you have a full load or that is wasteful!
-Do NOT use a sponge; try rags or a bamboo/wood dish brush instead. 

Kitchen Electronics (coffee makers, KitchenAids, etc.)
-Look on Facebook Marketplace. While you can find a lot of kitchen electronics at the thrift store, Facebook Marketplace is more reliable when it comes to the machines actually working. But, many thrift stores do have return policies in place, so I would still check secondhand stores before buying new.

How do you cut back on waste in your kitchen? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, July 26, 2019

The Verdict on Birkenstocks

Hey muffins! I am not certain if I have ever talked about this on my blog, but I have flexible flat feet. ๐Ÿฆถ This means that as soon as my feet touch the ground as I am walking, my arches go completely flat instead of staying in their typical shape. To combat the negative effects of this issue for my knees and legs, I wear inserts in my shoes that force my arches to stay arched.

These inserts fit in most pairs of shoes, so it has never been much of a problem for me; however, it is especially annoying during the summer months. Wearing sandals and flip flops for even more than an hour would make my legs super sore all night, so I usually would stick to wearing my sneakers and Keds. ๐Ÿ˜’ That is, until I recently decided to see if Birkenstocks were worth the money...

I can remember clear as day in middle school when Birkenstock clogs became all the rage...

Me in middle school

Back in those days, I remember my friends raving about how comfortable they were even though I thought they were pretty dang ugly. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ There is also no denying that they would not let my arches fall, as the hard cork bottom is definitely incomparable to any other sandal that has literally no support. I feel like the style of Birkenstocks have also improved over time, as they actually have a bunch of different options.

I went to a local shoe store and fell in love with the Mayari Birko-Flor sandals in "Golden Brown". They not only look like pretty "normal" sandals, but I also think they go well with the Earth Muffin vibe I have here on Life of an Earth Muffin. After spending $99 on them (yupp - they aren't cheap!), I went home and hoped that they would be worth it...

And they are! While they might not be everyone's style, I absolutely LOVE my Birkenstocks. ๐Ÿ˜Š I wear them almost every single day! They fit almost perfectly (which is weird because I got a size 6 when I am usually a 7.5) and are so comfortable. My feet don't hurt, I don't need to wear my inserts, and I finally get to embrace some sandals in the sunny weather. ๐ŸŽ‰ If you have been thinking about getting yourself some Birks, I would recommend it 100%!

What do you think about Birkenstocks? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Recent Reads and Movie Reviews ๐Ÿ“˜

Hey muffins! It has almost been a full month since my last Recent Reads & Movie Reviews post, so I thought now would be a good time to share my latest and greatest book and film thoughts. ๐Ÿ˜ We have a lot to cover, so let's jump right into it!

Recent Reads
~Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes

As it is Plastic Free July, I wanted to do some reading on waste and what goes to our landfills (as a lot of it is plastic). This book covers so much ground by describing landfills and how humans are addicted to throwing away things. It ends with a chapter on Bea Johnson (author of Zero Waste Home) and how she is able to reduce her trash by being zero waste. The book does an excellent job of laying down the facts with lots of statistical evidence (and charts!), so I would definitely give it a read if you are interested in sustainability.
Rating: 9.5/10

~Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I saw this book as I was browsing the shelves of my library and remembered seeing it on a list of nonfiction books to read... So of course I had to give it a go! Shonda shares her story of how she changed her life around by simply saying "yes" instead of "no". This easy mindset shift is something that I think everyone should try!
Rating: 8.5/10

~Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World's Greatest Art Heist by Stephen Kurkjian

If you haven't caught on from my January and May book review posts, I absolutely love reading heist stories. This book covers the Gardner Museum heist in Boston, where artwork was stolen in 1990 that has STILL never been found or returned. The author was somehow able to get accepted into the underground crime world of this New England city, which allowed him to get the perspective of so many key suspects to this case. While it got a bit confusing sometimes (as there were a lot of people who might be involved with the case), I find it so fascinating that the artwork has still never been returned to the museum. Definitely a must read! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Rating: 10/10

Movie Reviews
~Toy Story 4

Would I say that I was looking for another Toy Story movie? No I was not. But my boyfriend really wanted to see it, so I of course went with him. ๐Ÿ˜‚ While I thought the third movie ended in a good place, I thought this new storyline was quite cute (and extremely clever with the antique store!!). Forky is a hilarious addition to the toy gang, and I enjoyed myself overall.
Rating: 9/10

~A Bug's Life

Surprisingly, I never watched this movie as a kid... Probably because the stink bug at the Animal Kingdom show scared me into never wanting to watch it ๐Ÿ˜‚ However, it was on TV the other night, so I figured I would watch it. The movie is actually really good - I love the hilarious circus bugs and the plot is quite different from other Disney movies from the same time period. It was a good watch!
Rating: 8/10

~Pretty Woman

I also never watched this movie until recently, which should be a sin. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My parents probably never suggested it as it does focus on a stripper... But, it is such a classic rom com! You can't help but enjoy the characters and the romance. A perfect girl's night film for sure!
Rating: 8.5/10

What 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, July 22, 2019

Recipe: Quick & Easy Strawberry "Jam"

Hey muffins! If you follow me on my Instagram (@lifeofanearthmuffin), you might have seen my post where I talked about picking strawberries. ๐Ÿ“ I went to the fields at the end of the season, so I knew that I wouldn't be able to eat all of the strawberries before they went bad. Because of that, I decided to turn a bunch of them into "jam"/sauce, so I wanted to share the simple recipe with you all today! ๐Ÿ˜Š

What You Need:
-2 cups strawberries, quartered
-1/4 cup sugar
-Mason jar (or other container for storage)

What To Do:
1. Wash your strawberries. Cut off the tops and quarter them.
2. Pour the berries and sugar into a saucepan and stir over high heat.
3. Once the mixture is boiling, turn the temperature down to low/simmer and let it boil for 5 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat. If you want smaller chunks of berries, mash them gently with a wooden spoon. 
4. Pour into a mason jar!
5. Let cool on the counter until the jar is only warm to the touch. Do NOT put the hot jar into the fridge or the glass will shatter ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
6. Put into the fridge to cool completely.

This strawberry "jam" contains no pectin in it to make it firm up, so it is more of a strawberry sauce... However, I have found it to be absolutely delicious on top of plain greek yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, and even pancakes. As it takes less than 10 minutes to make, I would definitely recommend! ๐ŸŽ‰

What do you make with your leftover strawberries? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Friday, July 19, 2019

The Weekender's Guide to Bar Harbor, ME ๐Ÿฆž

Hey muffins! As I mentioned in my rebranding post last month, I grew up on the East Coast. My family spent a lot of time vacationing along the ocean, and one of our favorite destinations was Maine. This state is absolutely gorgeous, and I always tell people that they need to visit at least once in their life. ๐Ÿ˜Š You all seemed to enjoy my Weekender Guides to Madison, WI and Fort Wayne, IN, so I decided to branch out and share my personal travel guide to Bar Harbor, Maine! ๐Ÿฆž This town is the epitome of what Maine has to offer, so it is definitely worth its tourist reputation.

What To Do
1. Park Loop Road @ Acadia National Park: Acadia is typically what people think of when they are planning a trip to Maine, and this 27 mile loop hits all of the highlights. There are a bunch of different pullovers with amazing views, and you will definitely see some wildlife!

2. Shopping downtown: I have so many great memories shopping in the cute stores of the downtown. Some of my favorites include the Christmas Spirit Shop, Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shop, and Cool as a Moose.

3. Picnic at Agamont Park: This park is right next to the downtown and overlooks the ocean, so after some fun shopping take a break and enjoy the sights! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Throwback to me at this park as a child

4. Bike or take a horse around the Carriage Roads: The bike paths are all paved, so it is doable for anyone! I personally loved taking a horse drawn carriage around the trails, but if you want to get in the exercise a bike will do the trick.

5. Visit Thunder Hole: This is a classic Maine tourist stop if you want to see the ocean at its finest. Be careful to not get too close to the railing, as the water has been known to pull people in!

6. Hike around Jordan Pond: There are so many trails in Acadia, but this is one of the easier ones. You basically just hike around a pond, so it is perfect for people of all ages.

What To Eat
1. Popovers at Jordan Pond House!: After hiking around the pond, take a break to eat some of Maine's finest popovers. These pancake/muffin/Dutch baby crossovers are absolutely delicious... Such a nostalgic treat for me now!

2. LOBSTER: Duh. You can get fresh lobster all over the place in Bar Harbor, but the most authentic restaurants with the freshest lobster will have huge steam pots out front.

3. CJ's Big Dipper Ice Cream: While it might be a small store, their ice cream is amazing. I remember as a kid getting a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream that was about 80% cookie dough... And I still crave it to this day! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Where to Stay
There are so many great places that you can stay at! First, the coast is lined with a bunch of different hotels and resorts at varying price points. If you are willing to drive in from further away, I am sure you will be able to find even better deals. Acadia and the surrounding area is packed full of campgrounds too if you want to embrace nature to its fullest. Lastly, it looks like Airbnb has a ton of cute cottages that can be rented out, which would be super nice if you are traveling with your family.

Have you ever been to Bar Harbor, Maine? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What is "Fast Fashion"? & How to Avoid It

Hey muffins! The term "fast fashion" has been quite popular these days as sustainability continues to be a focus of the news. When I started my journey towards living low waste last summer, I only vaguely knew what the term meant... ๐Ÿคท‍♀️ So, I wanted to share a quick post explaining what "fast fashion" is and how you can (and should) avoid it. Let's jump right into it! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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What is "Fast Fashion"?

According to the dictionary, fast fashion is "inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends". Consumers are typically drawn to these companies because the clothing at the store changes so quickly; the customer is able to stay "trendy" while (often) doing so at an affordable price. Many of the brands at the mall and other well-known retailers fall into this category. Don't believe me? Here is a list of some prime examples:

*Zara - they are the textbook example of fast fashion... I cannot tell you how many case studies I did on this company in business school!! ๐Ÿค”
*Forever 21
*Fashion Nova
*Urban Outfitters
*Charlotte Russe
*etc. etc. the list goes on! 

Why is it so bad?

Suggested by the list above, a huge percentage of the stores people buy their clothes from are considered "fast fashion". Why is this a bad thing? Here are some reasons that might convince you:

1. Fast fashion isn't actually saving you money - Not only do you spend smaller sums of money more often (which definitely adds up!), the cheap clothes that you purchase don't last as long. This forces you to go out and buy even more fast fashion. Rinse and repeat. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ
2. It is HORRIBLE for the planet - Think about all of the clothes that are thrown away just because they are "out of style" when the next trend is created. Think about all of the water it takes to produce these garments when many countries still do not have drinking water. Think about the amount of fossil fuels it takes to transport these clothes all over the globe. Think about the materials they are made of and the pesticides that are used on these genetically modified plants. Think about the plastics used in the cheap materials of the clothes (you think your clothes don't contain plastic?) that ends up in the earth or the ocean.

3. It supports unethical business practices - Supporting fast fashion often means supporting unethical treatment of labor and resources at the supply chain level. There is a huge trend towards shipping out production to cheaper countries, which negatively affects the business and economy of our own country. This also cuts out jobs in the US. Do you really want to support that?
4. Fast fashion has ruined how we see clothes - I found it interesting that this article points out the fact that fast fashion has lowered the value of how we see clothes. Now that everything can be replaced so easily, we don't take the time to treat our clothes with respect or try to repair them when something gets ripped or broken. That is honestly really sad, as I feel we are all losing a sense of our own style by buying into what the industry says is "trendy".

How do I avoid it?

I will say it right now: avoiding fast fashion is extremely difficult because it is often the only option. Our culture has shifted to the new norm that fast fashion is how we get our clothes... And that needs to change! If you are looking to avoid fast fashion, here are some of my suggestions:

1. Buy less! If you can't give up fast fashion completely, then just buy less of it.
2. Shop second hand. I don't remember the last time I purchased a new piece of clothing in the past year, and my style hasn't changed or made me look any different than I usually would. Try to avoid fast fashion brands at the thrift store too - remember that they are super cheap, so it is better to find higher quality pieces... If you want more of my top tricks for shopping second hand, check out that post here!

3. Buy from truly sustainable brands (but be careful of greenwashing!).
4. Try to mend or tailor your clothes instead of throwing them away. ๐Ÿงต Make them last as long as possible!
5. Donate any clothes that are completely wearable. Even if you can't wear them, someone else will gladly do so (which also means they are skipping out on fast fashion too!). ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

What are your thoughts on fast fashion? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, July 15, 2019

Tough Teeth Tooth Powder ft. Primal Pit Paste!

Hey muffins! After struggling to find a low waste deodorant a few months ago, I stumbled upon Primal Pit Paste and their amazing selection of sustainable products. I have talked about both their Wild Woods Natural Deodorant and Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder in the past, so I am excited to share my thoughts on P3's Tough Teeth Tooth Powder with you all today! ๐Ÿ˜Š

The first thing I obviously love about this product is that it comes in a glass jar. As I am on a journey towards being as sustainable as possible, this is a huge pro for me! The only negative I found about their packaging is that there is a band of plastic around the lid when it comes in the mail. ๐Ÿ˜• While this makes it not fully "zero waste", the jar can be reused or recycled after the product is used up, making it way more Earth-friendly than other fully plastic toothpaste tubes.

I also love that there are only 7 ingredients in this tooth powder: Kaolin Clay, Bentonite Clay, Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Sea Salt, Myrrh Powder, Organic Spearmint Essential Oil. When I started making more sustainable choices last summer, I realized just how many chemicals and un-natural substances I was putting in/on my body. This powder definitely makes me feel good about avoiding those nasty things ๐Ÿ˜

The powder is super easy to use, and the small jar will last me quite a long time! Compared to using toothpaste from a tube, there is a small learning curve to figuring out how to use a powdered toothpaste. Here is what works best for me:
1. Wet your toothbrush
2. Dip the brush into the jar until there is a generous layer of powder covering it
3. Brush your teeth as normal (making sure to leave the faucet OFF as you brush ๐Ÿ’ง)

I was quite surprised how clean my teeth feel after using this product! I am curious to see if my dentist says anything to me after my visit next month... (*Will update this post if she does or not!*) The only downside I have found is that it does have a salty mint flavor that was a bit off-putting at first. However, I got used to this flavor after only a few brushes and it doesn't bother me at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, I have absolutely loved all the products I have used from Primal Pit Paste. This tooth powder is great, and I will definitely continue to use it. ๐ŸŽ‰ What toothpaste are you currently using? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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*The Primal Pit Paste products were sent to me for free, but all opinions are my own. The link to P3's website is an affiliate link. ๐Ÿ˜Š*

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Recycling Plastic ♻️

Hey muffins! As it almost halfway through Plastic Free July, I thought I would write a post about something many people still don't understand - recycling plastics. Even if something has that three arrowed recycle symbol on the bottom of it (♻️), that doesn't mean that it can be recycled (or should be recycled). If you truly want to live a low waste lifestyle, try to avoid recycling completely - it actually isn't as green as you'd think. BUT, I totally understand that there are lots of people who can only recycle instead of reduce their waste, so I wanted to share a quick guide on the plastics you should and should not be putting into the recycle bin. ๐Ÿ˜Š Let's jump right into it!

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The first step in assessing if your plastic can be recycled is to find that recycle symbol on the bottom. In the middle of it, you should see a number between 1 and 7. This number tells the real story, as it tells you exactly what type of plastic it is, which can help you decide to throw it into the recycle bin or not. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Most of the plastic containers you think of (water bottles, dressing bottles, etc.) are made from this type. It is widely accepted by most recycling programs, but make sure to look at your local town/city's recycling guidelines!

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Milk jugs, shampoo bottles, and plastic bags are all this type. I suggest recycling any plastic bags to special drop off places (I know Walmart has them!), as they can clog up the machines in recycling facilities.

Can it be recycled curbside? NO! While many recycling programs do not accept this plastic at the curb, check to see if there are any recycling centers that you can drop it off at... You'd be surprised how many "specialty" recycling places there are! ๐Ÿ‘

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Hooray - drop them in the recycling bin!

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Straws are made of this type of plastic... But we don't need straws anymore after reading 6 Easy Ways to Participate in Plastic Free July now do we? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Can it be recycled curbside? NO! Again, check to see if there are any drop off places!

Can it be recycled curbside? Sometimes - as this is the "other" category it really depends on the product... If you are interested in more details on plastic recycling, check out this handy PDF guide from PBS! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

How often do you recycle? What plastics have you been avoiding this Plastic Free July? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My Jewelry Collection - The Essentials!

Hey muffins! I am a pretty simple person now that I am on a journey towards living low waste, so I wanted to share the pieces of jewelry that I wear most often. I recently went through my jewelry box and donated almost everything that I owed (because I never actually wore most of them!) but these are some of the few that I kept. ๐Ÿ˜Š Enjoy!

~Diamond Stud Earrings: Whenever I wear earrings (if I wear them at all) I always put in studs instead of anything that dangles. I think this is due to the fact that my hair is pretty thick and can get tangled in earrings if I'm not careful... My mom and dad purchased me these gorgeous diamond studs for Christmas last year, so you will find them in my ear about 99.9999% of the time. ๐Ÿฅฐ

~Emerald and Diamond Necklace: Ever since I started wearing jewelry back in middle school, I have always favored dainty pieces that are simple and timeless. My boyfriend bought me this necklace a couple of years into dating, and I wear it all the time. I think the green emerald adds a pop of color to any outfit ๐Ÿ’š

~Cross Bracelet: I am sure that a few of you know that I am a devout Christian, but I don't really talk about it much here on Life of an Earth Muffin. Bracelets tend to bother me and get in my way, but if I am feeling in the mood for some wrist candy this is always the bracelet I choose. ✝️ Last summer, I added an extra piece of chain to it as well so that I am able to wear it as an anklet too!

~Colorful Beaded Anklet: I actually found this anklet on the ground at a summer camp back in middle school. ๐Ÿ˜ If I want to add something cute to a summer look, I always put on this anklet... Definitely has a nostalgic feel to it!

~Promise ring: I basically never left the house without this ring as I mentioned in my Are Promise Rings a Thing? post; HOWEVER, an unfortunate incident with a glove and a snowstorm in February resulted in me losing it somewhere in a snowbank. ☹️ For someone who never wore rings until that point, I still miss it and will definitely need to get another ring soon.

What are your favorite (and most worn) pieces of jewelry? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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Monday, July 8, 2019

5 Zero Waste Sunscreens for the Summer ๐ŸŒž

Hey muffins! With the summer months comes lots of sun which leads to many sunburns (for me) if I'm not careful. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I am about to use up the last of the aerosol sunscreens I had tucked away in my bathroom... That made me think - are there zero/low waste alternatives? And I found that there are a TON of products on the market that have a much smaller impact on the environment. As I assume you won't want to research about this yourself, I compiled a list of 5 sunscreens you should give a try! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

1. Taylor's Elevated - SUN! Natural Sunscreen ($11.99, 2 oz., SPF 30)

This product is not just all-natural, it comes in a glass container that is completely plastic-free (which is perfect since it is Plastic Free July!!). The sunscreen is also made in the US, which is perfect for any of my domestic followers. ๐Ÿ˜Š

2. Butterbean Sunscreen ($12.50, 3 oz., SPF 30)

While this brand is targeted towards babies and kids, there is no reason why an adult can't use a nice zero waste sunscreen too! For less than double the price, you can get a larger 7 oz. container as well!

3. All Good Water Resistant Zinc Sunscreen ($9.99, 1 oz., SPF 50)

This sunscreen only uses 6 ingredients, which is definitely WAY less than those found in aerosols. The container is fully made out of tin, so it could be reused or recycled once the product is used up. ๐Ÿ˜Š

4. Rare Earth Skincare Sun Cream ($10, 1 oz., SPF 20)

Advertised as a "sun cream", this sunscreen will not only protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun but will also give your skin the moisture it needs after a nice long day at the beach. This brand has a lot of other great zero waste products, so definitely check out their website!

5. Not the Norm Shade All-Natural Sunscreen ($4.72 USD, 0.5 oz, SPF 25)

Not the Norm's sunscreen has four different size options and is only made with four ingredients. The product itself is in a tin and is unscented (if that is an important attribute for you!). ๐ŸŽ‰

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


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Friday, July 5, 2019

Recipe: 15 Minute "Leftovers" Stir Fry

Hey muffins! Having my own apartment means I get to cook for myself every day... And I absolutely love that! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ I recently had a few leftovers in my fridge that I wanted to get rid of, so I did a little experimenting and made a "stir fry" type dish. It was SO yummy! As it was simple to make, I figured I would share the recipe with you all today if you need a fast meal for dinner! ๐Ÿ˜Š

What You Need:
-Olive oil
-Diced onion
-1 clove of garlic, minced
-Cooked ground beef (or any other leftover meat ๐Ÿฅฉ)
-Leftover rice (mine was thawed from the freezer!)
-Leftover veggies (all I had were some french cut green beans...)
-Soy sauce
-Salt and pepper, to taste

What To Do:
1. In a large skillet/frying pan, pour in some olive oil and the onions (however many you/your family would like in your stir fry!). Over high heat, cook the onions until they are slightly brown.

2. Add in the minced garlic and continue stirring with a wooden spoon so that the onions don't get too charred!

3. Throw in the meat and continue stirring.

4. Add in the rice and vegetables. If your rice is a few days old, I suggest throwing in a tablespoon or two of water to rehydrate it! ๐Ÿ˜

5. Mix in some soy sauce (no specific measurement; add as much as your family enjoys in a typical dish!). Add a teaspoon of honey for some added sweetness, as well as the salt and pepper to taste.

6. Serve up nice and hot - enjoy your delicious meal! ๐Ÿ˜

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


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