For the past several months, I’ve made a significant effort to reduce my plastic usage — and while it’s hard to go completely plastic-free, I’ve found it pretty easy to find reusable alternatives for some every day items that contribute to a ton of plastic waste.

Growing up in California, in a family that loves camping and backpacking to get away from the crowds, has made it easy to see the impact humans have had on our environment — you wouldn’t believe how much plastic trash has found its way into the most remote parts of the world.

But it’s also easy to forget how much plastic you buy and throw away on a daily basis — a bottle of soda here and there, your medication, and even your regular grocery items like coffee and milk! So I thought I’d pull some of my favorite reusable, non-plastic alternatives that I started purchasing to help me remember to waste less, and avoid buying plastic altogether.

shampoo mouthwash floss stashers covers beeswax towels soap producebags

Note on shipping: When it comes to reducing your plastic usage, it’s also a good idea to think about where you get your products. You’ll see some Amazon links in here for convenience, but Amazon tends to send you a large box filled with plastic packaging that isn’t suited to what you’ve ordered. Eco-conscious shops, on the other hand, ship with really thoughtful packaging that uses zero plastic (and honestly, is designed so well, it’ll make you smile).

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These days are crazy.

I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve never experienced anything quite like this — I definitely remember H1N1, SARS and MERS, but it’s almost surreal to go through an international threat like this.

With everyone working from home and social distancing, I’ve been trying to use my extra down time to write more, practice illustrating, and creating art. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ve resolved to take some online yoga classes, pick up meditation, and document the travels I’ve left mostly unwritten in the past year or two — because hopefully when things are back to normal, we can go back to exploring this beautiful world.

In the meantime, a playlist — all of my favorite tunes for the month, to get you dancing, singing, and focused on the future.

We’ve all been there — moving is no joke. And while I recently moved in with my bf (who deferred all design decisions to me, thank god), my former roommate, Emily, was moving into a new apartment with virtually no furniture. While moving can be the perfect reset opportunity to your own style, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly. So she enlisted me to help.

Online shopping gives me life (even when I’m not the one buying things), so I jumped at the chance to help her decorate her new space. Since I’m pretty obsessed with design and decor, helping Em was a treat — instead of decorating one new home, I got to decorate two! So we huddled up and got to work. I filled a Google doc with all the cute things I could find on the internet within her set budget range.

I figured some of these gems would make a cute little graphic, so here are a few of the things I recommended for a classic, light and airy, natural feeling living room setup (plus, some extra splurges that I’d like to get myself).

Her apartment has tons of natural light, and Emily was set on becoming a crazy plant lady (which has already begun, as she adopted lots of large plants from a friend moving across the country). With that in mind, I wanted to include some warm woods, light-colored surfaces, and clean lines to keep things feeling modern, but also cozy and expensive.

The Frame TV, 43 inches, $860 // Bird of Paradise plant (it’s real!), $36
Fox & Fern 12-inch matte white plant pot, $59 // Safavieh Boston Collection flatweave rug in gray, $129 // Set of 6 pear-shaped vases, $37 // Faux marble coffee table, $106
Globe floor lamp, $75 // Belleeze Mid-Century Armchair, $140
Posner TV stand, $309 // Rituals book, $20 // California Living book, $24
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Let’s talk about bread. And let’s talk about life.

For those of you who go way back with me — you’ll already know that Arabic classes took up the majority of my time in college. I met some of my favorite people, discovered my favorite foods, and daydreamed about someday living in the Middle East, basking in the heat and eating my weight in mana’eesh.

But something that we learned early in our intro courses was the word for bread: khubz. And in the Egyptian dialect, there was a synonym for bread — the same word you used for life: aishe.

That stuck with me.

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Having just moved into a new house, I can speak from firsthand experience that figuring out what to hang on the walls can take the longest — especially when you want to share meaningful artwork.

I’ve recently begun buying artwork while traveling — but honestly, I haven’t done it enough! So in a pinch, I love turning to sites like Etsy and Society6 to supplement my artwork. Plus, supporting other artists like myself feels good.

Since I’ve been spending so much time browsing artwork (without committing enough to actually pull the trigger on any), I figured I’d share some of my favorites with you here. Hope you enjoy my alternate names for them 🙂

1. Bull portrait // 2. Sassy tigers swimming in a pool // 3. Palms and fronds
4. Tangello, Limoncello! // 5. Calm mountains // 6. Positano, in pink
7. Le sigh // 8. Sassy yellow lady

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