Tuesday, November 27, 2012

co-ops are the best ops

you may not know much about the co-operative movement that's happening in our world, but it's probably best if you get to know about it. these organizations are popping up in different industries, including grocery, fashion, and art, and in every way they are beneficial to all parties involved.

our bag of goodies after joining EastSide Co-op:
includes a book about founding co-ops,
dark chocolate, tea, coupons and recipes!
my first co-op experiences were here in the Twin Cities about 6 years ago when i learned about the place where my sister Erin did all of her grocery shopping. she had moved from Seattle and introduced me to the world of holistic wellness, yoga and local/sustainable food. soon after i realized how awesome Erin's co-op was, i immediately joined the one in my neighborhood in Minneapolis called the Wedge (it's well-known amongst foodies and co-op supporters around the country). yesterday, Trev and i bought our lifetime membership at the EastSide food co-op in our new Minneapolis neighborhood.

co-operatives have grown popular in the past decade with the advent of the local and organic movements, but some have been around much longer. they are perfect venues for small, local farmers and producers to sell and promote their goods. when we buy local we have a great impact on our community and the environment. co-ops provide a space for the producers and also reward member-owners with special coupons, discounts and yearly dividend returns. one year i got a check for $87 from the Wedge!! it's all pretty special if i do say so myself.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

full of thanks

my belly is still reeling from the insane thanksgiving meal i had on Thursday and the following meals on Friday that only added to my fullness. finally, today (Saturday), i am feeling like my body is digesting. now that i am living in the Midwest again, i was able to join my family in Wisconsin for these meals and bring Trevor with me. it's been so great spending time with both sides of my family and seeing how they welcome Trev into the family.
Trev and I at Squaw, 2012

after being in California for 4 years and working every holiday through the winter it's like a breath of fresh air to come back to the Midwest and be with my blood family. i am so lucky to have a huge, warm, loving family here in Wisconsin and also a non-blood family in Tahoe that loves and supports me no matter what.

i am thankful for:
my family
our dog Datsyuk and his unconditional love
good, healthy homemade food
homegrown eggs
the Great Lakes
the ocean
my education
...and much more

even though the holiday of thanksgiving is over we can all appreciate and be grateful for everything in our lives, even the things that challenge us most. it is then that we learn from our past, our mistakes and our surroundings and become content with our world.

practice gratitude and everything else will follow.
my sister Erin and her son Abel

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

multi-use winter accessories

now that it's november in Minnesota, i've been happily pulling out my winter jackets, clothes and accessories. i am a summer baby but i do love layering and feeling cozy when its cold outside.

back in August i found an amazing, handmade vintage crochet shawl at Ragstock for about $6. with a little push and some inspiration from my style guides on instagram (@manrepeller is particularly influential) i put the shawl to the test as a scarf. lo and behold, it is a thing of beauty and warmth worn either way.
shawl/scarf, vintage rings, red nail polish and a recycled
military-inspired black jacket. 

when i get to school after braving the elements and the bus, then i use it as a shawl again to keep me warm in the cold classrooms. i love getting the most out of my money, using recycled pieces year-round!

Monday, November 12, 2012

trial and error

we all make mistakes. some are more costly or more hurtful, or sometimes just a misstep in this game of life. i recently purchased a pair of incredible black vintage riding boots online, only to receive them and find they didn't fit. how could this happen? i measured every angle of my own boots and compared to those listed on the site (Etsy - only the most amazing virtual marketplace ever). i had been searching for a pair of flat vintage boots, since one of the keys to vintage shopping is to keep an eye out.

you like? 

i bought them too soon. i was in a rush to have these gorgeous black boots but alas, they arrived and were just barely too big. since i bought them online from an Etsy seller, there was no chance of a refund. i had already negotiated a better price AND paid $25 for shipping from Canada. i immediately put the word out to my girlfriends, a few showed interest, but nothing serious. i'm hoping they sell to a friend, or i'll have to list them on Etsy again. i could try to consign them, as i'd usually do, but i wouldn't get nearly the same value as if i sold them on my own.

thus, patience is the key. since i'm not completely struggling for money right now, i can wait for the right buyer and price. i'd rather give up less cash than take less. perfect! saving money AND passing on a beautiful pair of boots to the right person.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

betty's election day

today is election day in America! i can't stress enough how important it is that you get out and VOTE, if you are eligible! it may seem miniscule, but it counts. i will not go into my political beliefs here but the more important idea is to be informed and be involved in the voting process. it is our right as Americans!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

our future tiny home

last week Trevor showed me the most AMAZING website that we are now both currently obsessed with: the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company makes teeny tiny, livable houses that are built with no foundation and can be moved anywhere. yes, this is real. it's like my dream of an eco-friendly, sustainable home that requires little commitment is finally coming true! (it helps that i have the man of my dreams by my side to execute the construction of the house, and to get a truck to haul it)

we are already planning which house we will get, but from the looks of them they vary only slightly, until you get to the 'cottage'-sized homes. i know that this might not be ideal for some of you, but personally, the older i get the more i realize how little i really need to get by. now that Trevor and i are really thinking about our future and our life together, its amazing to see how it will all happen! we are fully committed to the environment and our future, more so than being concerned with having a big house and a so-called "perfect" job. we will be pursuing our dreams of self-employment and can still buy a tiny house (call it our 'starter home') without sacrificing credit and going into debt for something more typical.

it's clear to see that climate change is not knocking at the doorstep, its already inside the house and doing its damage. though we may not be able to turn it around completely, at least, if we all do a little something, we can impact the damage and lessen it for the next generation. let's protect our Earth and help keep her healthy!!

the currency of trade

ok, ok, i know i have been absent from posting for a few weeks - but i'm a grad student now and school has pretty much taken over my life! also, my family and Trevor were in town and i was incredibly busy. ANYWAY...

i recently made a connection via Instagram (only the best social media app out there - photos galore!!) with a sweet chica from California who crochets and makes really awesome things. see, part of the magic of Instagram and other social media outlets is the hashtag. i think i'll have to devote an entire post to hashtags and their capabilities another time. so i found this Neena and mentioned on one of her photos of an item that she made that i would love to trade if she liked any of my own creations. lo and behold, we connected again via Etsy and now the trade is in progress! i make her 2 custom pairs of earrings and she crochets me a super adorable cropped sweater vest.
Neena's custom leather fringe and chain earrings, by bohobetty (me)

now that i've found how easy this can be among artisans, i made a note of it on my etsy page so that if other creative people like my jewelry but are tight on cash, we can both benefit by making a trade for equal value. just like that, we eliminated the need for dollars AND we are supporting one another as artists. this sounds familiar, yet not quite mainstream...more on the co-operative model is to come!