Whats your dream bathroom look like?

I only have one bathroom in my house. To make matters worse, its very tiny. This all made me wonder, what would I want in a bathroom? Lots of light for one. Natural light is the best and if I could have privacy along with that big window in the top picture, well perfection! I know the trend is for matte fixtures these days, but I love shiny chrome. Lastly for my big ticket wish, a bathroom that opened up to a pool, would be so wonderful. So whats your dream bath all about?

the greener things in life


i heart green. I have always tried to be environmentally conscious, maybe moving to the US from Sweden made me even more aware. habits that were part of the everyday in Sweden, didn't even seem to occur to people here in America. and we've all hear about global warming and gas prices every day now, and we all know that there are things that we can do to help. but sometimes you need a little kick in the butt. and that's what I got last week, when a .lovely lady. at work introduced me to this short video.

it's called .the story of stuff.

you might have seen it already, but if you haven't, I encourage you to watch it and to share it with your friends and family. it's simple and easy to understand which makes the information accessible to everyone. it shocked me, but more importantly inspired me to do more. and in this case, doing more means using less.

I am sharing this with everyone because the environment and our current situation here on earth is a very important cause to me. and I have the power through this blog to influence others. so, I have made the decision to focus more of my blogging efforts towards .the greener things in life. as I set out to educate myself about greener options for my lifestyle, I look forward to sharing it with you.

below is a good list to start with. .10 things you can do. to save on energy and resources.

10 things you can do

10 Little and Big Things You Can Do

  1. Power down! A great deal of the resources we use and the waste we create is in the energy we consume. Look for opportunities in your life to significantly reduce energy use: drive less, fly less, turn off lights, buy local seasonal food (food takes energy to grow, package, store and transport), wear a sweater instead of turning up the heat, use a clothesline instead of a dryer, vacation closer to home, buy used or borrow things before buying new, recycle. All these things save energy and save you money. And, if you can switch to alternative energy by supporting a company that sells green energy to the grid or by installing solar panels on your home, bravo!
  2. Waste less. Per capita waste production in the U.S. just keeps growing. There are hundreds of opportunities each day to nurture a Zero Waste culture in your home, school, workplace, church, community. This takes developing new habits which soon become second nature. Use both sides of the paper, carry your own mugs and shopping bags, get printer cartridges refilled instead of replaced, compost food scraps, avoid bottled water and other over packaged products, upgrade computers rather than buying new ones, repair and mend rather than replace….the list is endless! The more we visibly engage in re-use over wasting, the more we cultivate a new cultural norm, or actually, reclaim an old one!
  3. Talk to everyone about these issues. At school, your neighbors, in line at the supermarket, on the bus…A student once asked Cesar Chavez how he organized. He said, “First, I talk to one person. Then I talk to another person.” “No,” said the student, “how do you organize?” Chavez answered, “First I talk to one person. Then I talk to another person.” You get the point. Talking about these issues raises awareness, builds community and can inspire others to action.
  4. Make Your Voice Heard. Write letters to the editor and submit articles to local press. In the last two years, and especially with Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the media has been forced to write about Climate Change. As individuals, we can influence the media to better represent other important issues as well. Letters to the editor are a great way to help newspaper readers make connections they might not make without your help. Also local papers are often willing to print book and film reviews, interviews and articles by community members. Let’s get the issues we care about in the news.
  5. DeTox your body, DeTox your home, and DeTox the Economy. Many of today’s consumer products – from children’s pajamas to lipstick – contain toxic chemical additives that simply aren’t necessary. Research online (for example, http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/) before you buy to be sure you’re not inadvertently introducing toxics into your home and body. Then tell your friends about toxics in consumer products. Together, ask the businesses why they’re using toxic chemicals without any warning labels. And ask your elected officials why they are permitting this practice. The European Union has adopted strong policies that require toxics to be removed from many products. So, while our electronic gadgets and cosmetics have toxics in them, people in Europe can buy the same things toxics-free. Let’s demand the same thing here. Getting the toxics out of production at the source is the best way to ensure they don’t get into any home and body.
  6. Unplug (the TV and internet) and Plug In (the community). The average person in the U.S. watches T.V. over 4 hours a day. Four hours per day filled with messages about stuff we should buy. That is four hours a day that could be spent with family, friends and in our community. On-line activism is a good start, but spending time in face-to-face civic or community activities strengthens the community and many studies show that a stronger community is a source of social and logistical support, greater security and happiness. A strong community is also critical to having a strong, active democracy.
  7. Park your car and walk…and when necessary MARCH! Car-centric land use policies and life styles lead to more greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel extraction, conversion of agricultural and wildlands to roads and parking lots. Driving less and walking more is good for the climate, the planet, your health, and your wallet. But sometimes we don’t have an option to leave the car home because of inadequate bike lanes or public transportation options. Then, we may need to march, to join with others to demand sustainable transportation options. Throughout U.S. history, peaceful non-violent marches have played a powerful role in raising awareness about issues, mobilizing people, and sending messages to decision makers.
  8. Change your lightbulbs…and then, change your paradigm. Changing lightbulbs is quick and easy. Energy efficient lightbulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than conventional ones. That's a no-brainer. But changing lightbulbs is just tinkering at the margins of a fundamentally flawed system unless we also change our paradigm. A paradigm is a collection of assumptions, concepts, beliefs, and values that together make up a community’s way of viewing reality. Our current paradigm dictates that more stuff is better, that infinite economic growth is desirable and possible, and that pollution is the price of progress. To really turn things around, we need to nurture a different paradigm based on the values of sustainability, justice, health, and community.
  9. Recycle your trash…and, recycle your elected officials. Recycling saves energy and reduces both waste and the pressure to harvest and mine new stuff. Unfortunately, many cities still don’t have adequate recycling systems in place. In that case you can usually find some recycling options in the phone book to start recycling while you’re pressuring your local government to support recycling city-wide. Also, many products – for example, most electronics - are designed not to be recycled or contain toxics so recycling is hazardous. In these cases, we need to lobby government to prohibit toxics in consumer products and to enact Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws, as is happening in Europe. EPR is a policy which holds producers responsible for the entire lifecycle of their products, so that electronics company who use toxics in their products, have to take them back. That is a great incentive for them to get the toxics out!
  10. Buy Green, Buy Fair, Buy Local, Buy Used, and most importantly, Buy Less. Shopping is not the solution to the environmental problems we currently face because the real changes we need just aren’t for sale in even the greenest shop. But, when we do shop, we should ensure our dollars support businesses that protect the environment and worker rights. Look beyond vague claims on packages like “all natural” to find hard facts. Is it organic? Is it free of super-toxic PVC plastic? When you can, buy local products from local stores, which keeps more of our hard earned money in the community. Buying used items keeps them out of the trash and avoids the upstream waste created during extraction and production. But, buying less may be the best option of all. Less pollution. Less Waste. Less time working to pay for the stuff. Sometimes, less really is more.
information available on .thestoryofstuff.com.
graphics by .jennifer ashman.

where my mind is

: : more longing......refreshing dips in the ocean, old charm, swedish cinnamon buns, coffee and raspberry lemonade on the patio. Sweden is so wonderful in the summertime!!

these photos are from Swedish design magazine .sk├Âna hem. , showing a house in the archipelago outside of Stockholm.

swedish summer [svensk sommar]

: : it's the time of the year again, when I'm a few weeks away from going home to Sweden, and I'm starting to really long for those lazy days at the summer house. this house reminds me of our summer house, a sophisticated version of our summerhouse. I love all the white.

via .style files.

Swedish light

: : wonderful polaroids of life in Sweden. by polaroid queen, .marie ek.

life happens

: : life happens and it's hard to predict what's coming next. I had visualized myself having lots of time on my hands these past few weeks to work on getting our home organized....but have only been left with a few hours here and there. i know I promised pictures, and these are not the ones I visualized, and there will be more, however I won't promise when.

these show some snapshots of our wonderful balcony at the front of the house [there's a second one in the back] where we are currently enjoying all of our evenings. a pretty rose, two lemon trees, a mango tree and some rocks from our favorite new england coastal town makes the balcony our own little garden haven.

below that are some pictures from my spinach risotto making the other night. my new favorite sauce pan, a white beauty, found at a flea market in Virginia. and the cooking mess in our kitchen. by the way, .jamie oliver. rocks! we use his cookbook almost every day .

life also comes with unexpected news every day. first the happy ones, that another one of my best friends is getting married in Sweden. I couldn't be happier for them! almost ten years of love to celebrate there.

then followed by the sad news that my wonderful grandmother [.mormor.] passed away. she was such a joy in all of our lives. I was far from her, but always felt close. we had become even closer over the past few years. she never let me run out of her homemade almond biscotti. they would come delivered in the mail or were brought over by family members. I feel so lucky to still have a whole box left!! I eat them slowly, one at a time, dipping them in raspberry lemonade [hallon saft], because according to .mormor. that was the best way to enjoy them, and I think of her. she will always be here with us, in all the memories we have of her.

Vacation Time

I will be out for about 10 days, going on a much needed vacation to the beach. We are a land locked family and its time my girls see the ocean! Please have a great week and check back soon! (and nope, that is not my daughter in the picture, I found the image online and it made me laugh)

Fuse Interiors

Fuse Interiors is led by award winning interior designer Danielle Mac Innes. Awarded 'Best Newcomer' at Ireland's premier interiors show, Interior Design 2008, she has been widely recognised by the media for her fresh and unique style. Check out her website (under cool find of the week to the right) I love her work!!

Wood Floors

The best thing I ever did to my house was pull up the carpeting and have my wood floors redone. I love the ease and beauty of a great looking wood floor. There are more options then ever now, dark, light, rough looking, and so on. Tons of new materials too. Bamboo is becoming very popular. Check the net for all sorts of wood floor resources.

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