The chief enemy of creativity... is "good" sense. ~Pablo Picasso

The Rules

A few questions have been posed regarding 'the rules' - so here's what I've come up with.

Toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, dish soap, etc. are technically "needs" also needed by my husband so he'll get those... and he'll "share". But if he doesn't need it, I don't get it. Although I think I am going to try and cut paper towels out of my life. I have nice napkins that never get used, and I think paper towels are just kind of wasteful.

Giving: "New" purchases will only be made with gift cards. They can only be used towards gifts for others, not myself. This is also in an attempt to use those things up! However, I do like the uniqueness of gifts that are "created" and personal... so most gifts will probably be "created" aka homemade or a mix of both :) I'll have to plan ahead for sure for this one... especially for weddings.

Receiving: Giving and receiving gifts is part of life I suppose. However, the idea of not buying anything for a year is in NO WAY an attempt to get gifts. As you'll read below, there are certain things I get for work anyway... so it's going to happen, and as far as I'm concerned it's just another opportunity to be resourceful! ha
**one in! one out... If a gift comes in - a gift must go out.

New Running shoes. I am training for the Grand Columbian Triathlon so I will need new running shoes. Luckily, I am fortunate enough to work for an athletic company that ensures and requires that I always have good shoes... These two look pretty awesome... Gotta love Neon.


Welcome to the Family my Little purple people eaters

Joy the baker

As I mentioned before... food doesn't count as "new". It's such a wonderful gift and I found someone else who seems to enjoy baking as much as I do, and will probably be able to teach me a thing or two!


digging under the sink

The array of half used lotions and toiletries is making it's comeback today. The bag I use for the gym carries a shampoo, conditioner, and a lotion. The conditioner is out, as is the lotion. (Does it irk anyone else that the conditioner always run out before the shampoo even though they're the same size?) Just to be sure I even put a little water in, shook it up and got out as much as possible.  Here are the two replacements I found under my sink.

Do they even make that kind of lotion anymore at Victoria's secret? You can't tell from the picture, but the bottle looks like it's been to war... The leave in conditioner I picked because I think I remember reading somewhere that it's better for your hair if you swim a lot, which is generally why I'm showering at the gym. Maybe this is a blessing! We'll see...

better website title... would cost me...

So I could get a better website domain name... but it would cost me $17 a year. Kinda goes against the whole idea of not buying anything new for a year huh... ha. Guess I'll stay right here :)

The Sassy Six

Every year six of us from college go on a girls trip. They're inevitably ridiculous, hard to plan, and even harder to explain to the free world. Regardless of what actually takes place during the weekend, I tend to be the sap who wants to make traditions, get all sentimental, and usually write a long love letter explaining how much they all mean to me, which I usually end up reading out loud, and crying (I worry they wouldn't get the inflection right if I didn't read it the way it was meant to be heard)...

And then they're are the gifts. Not "gifts" like presents, but meaningful treasures. At least that's how I imagine how it all plays out in my mind. This year, with my nothingnewforayear idea I started looking through the cupboards.

In the midwest we're raised that any situation can be made right or better with food. Preferably homemade, with real butter, and if baked, delivered warm. Ok, well we were all flying from around the country and so warm pie wasn't going to make it this time...
-However I could ensure some "cheerio" dispositions with some Fruity Cheerios I had in the pantry. Delish.
-Expressing how much I "care"d for them was easy with Care Bear Gummies. (random I know-from TriRock Annapolis care packages)
-To ensure we had plenty of "Power" for the weekend some PowerGel Blasts with caffeine. (Thank you triathlon training)

Throw in some Trader Joe's paper bags and here's what you get...

The snowflakes were actually part of the decor on the bag. The adornments were cut out of a magazine. Ribbon was leftovers. This was just one of them. The fun thing about using what you have is that no two are alike :)

Swim Cap Dress

So my official start date for this project is June 1, but I was thinking about it back in May when I made this dress... Thought i'd share anyway

I like to make things from nothing. Well not, "nothing", but you know what I mean... As I was working at the TriRock triathlon in San Diego last fall I saw a box of "extra" swim caps. They looked so colorful and exciting as they sat under the box beneath my table. I wondered what happened to those extra swim caps, and so I inquired. They were in case people forgot theirs, or had the wrong color, one broke, etc. After the triathlon was over and everyone successfully finished and the swim caps weren't needed anymore - I asked if I could have some of them. My co-workers have learned better than to ask why, they just figure I'm crazy and it's better to just smile and nod. Taking the box of swim caps home that night I immediately sat down and started planning. In my "craft"/junk drawer I found some ribbon. Leftover from a present presumably, it was neon green. Perfect. I started laying out the swim caps to figure out how they could fit together and a few hours later... i had a skirt! I ran into the other room to hold up as I looked in the mirror, and was disappointed. It didn't look right. It needed more oomph. A few days later I headed into AMVETS and bought a poofy underlayer for a wedding dress. Cutting it up and making a tutu out of it would surely make it pop... nope. now you could only see the tutu and the swim caps were lost in the ruffles. I eventually settled on a very simple skirt, not gathered, no tutu. I packed it up and headed to TriRock Annapolis where it would have it's debut. I wore a TYR swimsuit underneath (official sponsor of the race), and running tights (it was cold and rainy) and my signature crazy socks. Luckily I had found this awesome old school bathing cap that really made the outfit come together.

To everyone else, it was a hit. But it wasn't what I had originally envisioned... A few days after the race I ran into the CEO of our company. Someone asked him what he thought of the swim cap outfit... he looked at me and gave me his honest opinion... he thought it was going to be "more". He was disappointed, and so was I. I went home that night determined to turn that frown upside down. 

It's a little heavy, and smells a lot like rubber, but it finally became the swim cap dress I had wanted...

The smell of latex and the disbelief in everyones eyes... proof that "disappointment" was dead. 

Mental Shift

I was unpacking from a trip about a month ago, when I realized that almost every hanger in my closet was already doubled up. Looking at the baskets on the shelves, they too were at capacity.

 Thinking back, it dawned on me that I had recently purged quite a few items, sending a box to my nieces, and a big bag to the Goodwill... and I'm not even a big shopper, in fact I think most people wouldn't call me a "shopper" at all. It seemed however, I had accumulated more than my closet could hold. Upon unpacking my 4 oz liquids from the clear plastic bag, it was overflowingly clear that the basket under my sink was also busting at the seams with half used bottles of lotion, hairspray and various other toiletries I had accumulated during travels, trips to Target, as presents, etc. Like many people, I hope, after half of a bottle of one kind of lotion, I wanted a new scent. Unfortunately, or fortunately I also hate to be wasteful so I just pushed the old one towards the back, surely I would like it again and use it up... those were my good intentions anyway. 

Well, enough is enough. I recently saw a video of a family who strives for "zero waste". They bring glass jars to the grocery store for meat and cheeses, they even make their own toothpaste! I'm not sure I can go that far just yet, but I definitely need to do something.  Growing up in Iowa I was raised to be resourceful. Not living near a big city, it just wasn't always an option to go out and buy the things we needed or wanted and so we were resourceful. Want a slip and slide?... head out to the garage, find that tarp and turn on the hose! Looking back on those days it makes me glad that we didn't have a lot of money because it forced us to be innovative and resourceful and not so wasteful... something I've lost sight of...

And so it has begun. 365 days of no new purchases. Use up the lotions sitting under the sink, and the grocery items before they go bad. Repurpose the stack of wedding cards, extra swim caps, paper bags, and ribbons I have so diligently "saved" for years. And more importantly, resurrect the creative spirit that comes when you challenge yourself.