Thanksgiving tablecloth

We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year! This exciting for me since I’ve spent the past 10 years traveling somewhere for Thanksgiving. We are having as much of both our families come as can make it. We will miss the ones that can’t! 🙁 I am providing the turkey, a tofurky (for me!), the drinks, and some appetizers. The various members of my family are bringing and preparing the rest of the meal here. We are excited to have each of our moms bring our favorite dishes that they make!

Since it is at my house, I am also trying to make it as eco-friendly of a Thanksgiving as I can! First, the invitations I sent were made of recycled paper and printed with soy ink. I also got some great suggestions from a pamphlet I got from Whole Foods when we ordered the turkey.

No, I am not “technically” cooking the turkey…I am buying one pre-cooked from Whole Foods. There are several reasons for this. In addition to my own inexperience with cooking meat of any kind, we have a strange mini-oven in this house that won’t hold a whole turkey. Also, the turkeys from Whole Foods were allowed to range free their whole life and fed on vegetarian grains (not chopped-up pieces of other birds. Yes, this is usually what poultry are fed to fatten them by most factory farms. If you don’t believe me, read the book The Way We Eat).

The pamphlet said that using real plates, forks, and glasses and washing them in the dishwasher reduces waste and is more energy efficient. Not that I have anything fancy, we are just using our usual stuff. We only have one set of plate, folks. They are neutral on purpose for that reason. I wouldn’t know what to do with china if I had it. It would be a waste of space for us.

The thing that is really getting me, though, is the tablecloth. I figure I probably need one so that I can clean up the table easily by putting the whole thing in the washing machine. However, I have a weird size of table (54 x 54 square when the leaf to extend it is put in place). The Whole Foods pamphlet suggested that the most eco-friendly tablecloth would be one I could get from a thrift store. I thought that was a great idea! …Until I spend most of Saturday driving around to various stores and so far haven’t found even one tablecloth. The only ones left to visit are those that are more than 30 minutes away. Not only do I not have the time to do that, it really isn’t eco-friendly if you consider all the fossil fuel I am burning on that ridiculous search which probably won’t even yield anything.

I tried Googling “eco tablecloth” and so far haven’t found anything under $50. I am not spending that much on something I am probably going to use once. We are not really tablecloth people.

I have one more idea…I had a tablecloth I bought on sale after Christmas 2 years ago that fits the table without the leaf in it. I am going to see if it still fits the table when the leaf is in.

Midriff issues

I think we can all agree that for a 30 year old married woman, showing any part of my midriff, even accidentally, is just not great. However, I am also a very small and apparently oddly shaped woman. I actually have no shape (think about a board…that is my shape), so I have to buy jeans and pants that sit low because there are no known pants that actually fit me in both the hips and the waist. This causes an obvious gap problem at times. I try to buy long shirts and layer them, but sometimes I still experience issues.

One advantage of having so many pregnant friends is that I have been made aware of the Bella Band. This is a band that sits over your jeans and covers your midriff when you are pregnant so that you can unbutton the jeans, etc, and still be covered in that time between regular clothing and full-on maternity clothing. I think these are super neat. However, obviously I am not pregnant and not planning on being. I found out this week that there is a non-pregnant version of the same thing, they are called JAKS.

But here is the issue: JAKS are around twice as expensive ($38 for one) as the maternity bands that I’ve found. And JAKS come in only 3 colors. Some of the bands come in tons of colors and you can get them in multi-packs ($56 for 3 different colors).

So my dilemna is…is it right/fair for me to buy something that is specifically for pregnancy when I am definitely not? Is that cheating or would it look like I’m trying to be something I’m not? Would I be benefitting from the cool accessories while avoiding the actual pain of the whole pregnancy thing? And is that tacky? At the same time, who has $38 per band? That is a huge chunk of our monthly clothing budget. Comments are welcome!

My purse – Animal Rescue site

Recently, I was looking for a new purse. I live in Dallas so my initial thought was to spend money on a really nice Coach bag. A bag like that is an investment and would last for many years. I have still not ruled that out for a future purchase, but at the time I was bothered by the thought of not knowing how the cows who provided that leather were treated. How do I know they didn’t come from a factory farm? And what about the workers who assembled the bag? Where they paid a decent wage? I couldn’t answer those questions. (if you do have an answer to those questions, please email me! I want to know!)

My friend Millie reminded me of the Animal Rescue web site store, which is a great resource that I would recommend to anyone. Anything you buy from their online store contributes money toward feeding cats and dogs waiting for homes. They also offer organic, recycled, and fair trade items such as accessories, clothing, and gifts. It was here that I found a handbag made out of recycled tire tubes, which was assembled in El Salvador by a woman-owned small company.

It’s funny because the material, being made from a tire tube, is irregularly marked. But it’s surprisingly supple and lined with nice cloth, even with a little key holder and pockets inside. It’s nice and small, and I am really loving it! And I provided 42 bowls of food for animals waiting for homes!

Spare room

The spare room has always been a little weird for us. We primarily use it for an office, but sometimes when people visit overnight they use it as a bedroom. We have never owned a real bed for it, but just blow up the queen size AeroBed mattress. We did combine our two separate filing cabinets (from before we were married) into a single drawer-style which looks a little more like a bureau than a filing cabinet and purchased a simple and streamlined desk for the room.

But, we were still inflating and deflating the air mattress. I had moved my desk into the room when the bed wasn’t out, but what I really wanted was somewhere I could sit and read comfortably while Christian worked at the desk in the evenings, and which could also be used for a bed when guests visit. So, when my friend told me she was getting rid of a daybed, we were excited to take it for free! I spray painted it black to go with the rest of the room and bought a grey custom daybed cover for it. Here is the end result so far:
And here is a shot of the trundle bed and linens under the daybed cover – when the trundle is up and pushed against the daybed it makes a king size bed:
I do think we need some nice bright pillows for it, although I am struggling to decide what color of pillows. Any ideas?
Maybe one day the room will have a few more accent pieces like art or something. For now, I am really enjoying it as a type of couch to read on while Christian is working.

OUTBID in the last 7 minutes

Well, we were outbid in the last 7 minutes of the auction for the Honda Fit. But that is OK. We had set a certain amount that would still be a bargain and we didn’t want to go over that just to win. Also, I have to admit that I was getting some buyer’s remorse over spending that much money. It’s been great to have 2 cars that are completely paid for throughout the last 2 years, and I wasn’t really looking forward to having that car payment, even if it hopefully wouldn’t be for very long. We are still interested in the Fit and will keep our eyes open for one. And we are still looking for a buyer for the Mercedes!