This is a just for fun post to learn about me and some of my *new* favorite old fashioned habits. 🙂
Since moving away from home I’ve occasionally written home to mom and dad, and now its a more regular thing and my dad writes me back on behalf of them both. I also now write to my sister MaryBeth in Alaska and my cousin Mandi in Massachusetts. Some of my favorite people ever! With Facebook and the internet its really easy to talk to people whenever you want, but there is something SO so special about receiving a handwritten letter or note in the mail that someone took the time to write you. Especially when its filled with hilarious inside jokes and bright colorful stickers all over it (MaryBeth ;)) I keep and treasure every note I get, no matter how unimportant the contents might seem. If any family or friends want a pen pal, let me know, I write back! Getting mail is so great and always puts a smile on my face!
4- Growing a Garden:
This past summer was the first time I tried gardening. I really enjoyed it and had a pretty successful season! My dad had a garden growing up for as long as I can remember, and fresh summer vegetables just can’t be beat. A quote that I love is “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” I’m not sure who said that, but its so true! This past summer I had a container garden since I don’t have my own yard or space for a ‘real’ garden yet. I grew zucchini, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Watching the little seeds sprout in the spring and turn into full plants is so rewarding and exciting. After this past summer, I can’t imagine not having a garden every year.
3- Repurposing/Reusing Things:
Repurposing and reusing things that would otherwise go in the trash is not only creative and fun, but it is useful and can save money too. If we have old clothes that aren’t donate-able, Ryan usually uses them for “shop rags” since those are usually used for messy jobs anyway. I also love saving any glass bottle or jar to store my different homemade beauty products and such. Canning jars are always handy too for storing things like homemade broth. Mason jars are usually about $1 a piece if you buy them new in the store, but save an old honey jar and its free! You can also make cute decorations out of things normally thrown out. This is a photo of a blue-tinted wine bottle that I took the paper wrapping and sticky residue off to make it into a cute vase for my sunflower. 🙂
2- Trading & Bartering:
This is something I would really love to do more of. Trading and bartering your skills, services, or product for another person’s used to be common, but doesn’t seem too common anymore. I design logos and also do food and portrait photography and have loved trading for services with others before. These photos are from a shoot I did with my former hairdresser (I say former because she moved away. :/) We traded a cut and color for a photo session of her and her husband. I think I was extra lucky with this one, because look how photogenic they are! These ended up being some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. I also love to barter with my high school friend, Meghan. She’s an excellent seamstress and makes amazing outfits and photography prop items. She also made table runners for my wedding. (Check Out Her Etsy Shop) I helped her design her logo and I’m also taking her family portraits later this month. Trading and bartering is an all-around win for everyone involved! You both get something you want for basically free. Sure, you’re giving away your own service, but for most people, giving away a service is better than paying for something with money. Its also a great way to network. (If anyone I know has a skill, service, or product and you want to barter with me for design or photo work, please let me know! Even if its something I don’t need right now, I’d love to have a network of people to trade and barter with in the future! Its seriously the best!)
1- From-Scratch Cooking:
This one is probably obvious if you’ve read my blog or know me at all.
Some time, not long after Ryan and I got married I decided we were going to eat healthier- but not in a going-on-a-diet type of way or avoiding carbs or fats, but more of a eat-only-whole-foods-made-from-whole-ingredients type of thing. For me, this just meant to stop buying processed commercially made food and products and to start making my own stuff, the old-fashioned way. As much as I can anyway. 🙂 This doesn’t exactly mean everything we eat is “healthy” as some people think of “healthy”, but its made from whole ingredients and isn’t so processed with preservatives and whatever else goes into that pre-packaged stuff, so it is healthier.
Doing this has made me a much better cook! I’ve learned how to make so many things I would have just bought a mix or box to make before. This not only saves us money, but its better for us, and obviously homemade always tastes better. I love it! Some of the things I used to buy pre-made were boxed side dishes like flavored rice, or scalloped potatoes, boxed muffin and brownie mixes, packets of spice mixtures, frozen hashbrowns and french fries, pizza crust mix and pie crusts, etc. This seemed kind of challenging at first but I got used to it in no time and learned how easy it is to make stuff myself even if it takes just a bit longer. This is still a work in progress and there are still a handful of items I haven’t quite mastered to make myself, but I’m working on it! Convenience food is great sometimes, don’t get me wrong, but most evenings I have time to make things myself- it just takes a little bit more planning ahead. And it doesn’t take that long at all now that I’ve gotten the hang of this. 🙂
What are your favorite old fashioned habits? Does anyone else love letter writing, bartering, or gardening? Does anyone want to barter for some photos!? Let me know in the comments. 🙂