7 Ways to Repurpose Leaves and Celebrate Fall

Fall is the air. As the temperatures cool down, the leaves start turn pretty colors, and people get their rakes out. Raking leaves is necessary because leaves can clog drains, get stuck in the gutters and coat everything. But what happens to those leaves we bag up? Despite the fact that they still have use, most are layered on top of the landfill to buried under layers of more trash. What a waste when there are so many ways to repurpose leaves.

There are so many good uses for the fall leaves. Instead of packing them away in the landfill, we can repurpose leaves and celebrate fall!

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How to Pack a College To-Go Bag

What is a To-Go Bag

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I’ll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it’s important. Obviously, some of the things I present are extreme, but I’m an extreme person. Don’t feel the need to do all these things, every day, but do consider some small changes to help reduce the wasted opportunities of every day life.

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I'll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it's important.

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Motivation Monday- Just Show Up

Is it Good Enough

Sometimes it seems like even if we show up, it’s not good enough. We should be doing something, helping in some way. But that’s not always possible. Maybe it seems like no one wants what you have to offer.  Maybe life has gotten the best of you and all you have left is a dream. That’s all it takes.

My shortcomings lately have been a little overwhelming. I can’t do this and I can’t do that, so what’s the point? It seems like the whole world, one person after the other, has told me I wasn’t good enough. Even when it comes to just volunteering my time and trying to help others, people are simply not interested in what I have to offer. It’s discouraging and lately, it has sucked dry every ounce of hope I had.

Need some motivation to start your week off? Just remember,"No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone not trying."

Just Show Up

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not easy for me to let go. I dedicate a lot of time and energy to being the best I can be, so this constant beat down is a bit too much. Lately, God has given me a serious talking to. Sometimes, the discouragement is deafening and I can’t really hear or understand what he’s trying to tell me, but when He does, the message is always the same. My weaknesses don’t matter. He does not require perfection, He requires me to just show up. The rest is up to Him. People might or might not be interested in what I have to offer, but it’s not my job to make them see my worth. My own job is make myself available for what God has called me to do.

 

Motivation Monday- Be a Diamond

Finding Your Inner Diamond

It seems like being a diamond is easy, right. I mean, they are the hardest substance in the world, but what did it take to get there. I don’t know about you but when I meet someone who has been through the fire and still comes out with a positive outlook on life, I just think they’re the most beautiful person in the world. While I talk with them, I try to soak up all that positive energy and find a way to be just like that. Do I always make it? Not even close. I take life way too seriously when I know good and well that I won’t make it out alive. But sometimes life just keeps hammering away at an unbearable rate. Lately, it seems like one thing after another, but I know it’s just the beginning of something good.

Need some motivation to start your week off? Just remember, "A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure." Henry Kissinger

Are You Being Buried?

Being a diamond is both a burden and an honor. When it feels like life is starting to bury you, just remember that someone is looking for you. When they find you, it will make their day, week, month, year and maybe even lifetime. Sometimes, it’s only for a reason, but then you’ll be able to help someone else. Our struggles that come through life’s dump, is what makes us strong. As I writing this, I was still struggling with the events of my life in past month. I always try to think positively about this kinds of experiences because I know I can help someone else, but then it seems like I’m failing to help people too. I still find it hard to look past my failures and be positive, but I was following this story from the Humans of New York. No matter what you’re facing, this can put a totally different perspective on your life. Their most recent one was a couple, who lost one son from suicide and the other in the war not much later. They had one daughter, but the loss of two sons would be enough to crush anyone. The posts tell a little piece of the story each time, and you think that they’re going to be crushed and let it stop them. Instead they use that to help others. I’ve embedded the posts below, so you can read it for yourself.

The Perspective of a Diamond

These stories have a way of putting life into perspective. I don’t see what happened to them as weaknesses or failures, but it wouldn’t be considered a strength either. They could have been crushed by life, but they decided to rise above and use those experiences to help others.

It seems like senseless tragedies happen everyday, but then comes along a story posted above. Some bad things just can’t be helped, but there are people like those above who have to suffer things that just don’t make any sense. They could have wasted away, very easily and would have never been judged. But like didn’t let life bury them. They became diamonds. They became strong and made the most sense in their situation.

Please, we have the same opportunity to use our tragedy, however big or small it seems compared to this story, to do good for the world. Don’t waste it. Be the diamond someone else is looking for.

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New Directions and Late-Night Thoughts

New Beginnings

New directions are just what you make of it. In the past few months, I’ve been doing some soul searching about what I should be doing with my life. What I’m currently doing is just not working. For the past year and a half, I’ve had a single passion- a passion for reducing our waste in creative ways. I’ve searched for opportunities to pursue this passion to the fullest extent. Over the past year and half, I have also been working on sharing my passion for waste management solutions that don’t include throwing everything away.

New directions can be fun, but also scary. New things are happening at Ever Change Productions, so I'm just taking time to reflect.

I’ve tried to bend every which way, trying to fit into one group or another, with the eventual hope that I can work my way into something I can truly be passionate about but some how it just never quite works out. Any time I think I’m making progress, it ends up putting me back a few steps. When people say they will be there, I show up and they are no where to be found. It happens to everyone, I know, but I won’t lie, I’m getting increasingly frustrated with my life and progress. I need a change.

What Now?

These events and disappointments have led me to do some serious soul searching about what I want to be doing with my life.  It’s no longer about what I think will work, what I think I’ll be able to settle for, but I really want to do.

I love the idea of educating people through videos, I love the idea of Ever Change Productions and bringing positive change into focus in a world of chaos. Another thing I’m trying to do more is publicly admit my short-comings and failures. God has been helping to come to the realization that in helping others, weaknesses are more beneficial than strengths.

Most people, myself included, seem to want the person with all the answers. I like the idea of someone reliable not leading me on a wild-goose chase. Often that comes from the myth that they need to have all the answers instead of admitting that they don’t know and finding someone who does. People only want to hire people with all the answers because it’s supposed to be a surer sign of success.  In the past, I’ve wanted to use this site as a portfolio, which made admitting shortcomings difficult because I don’t want potential employers to see and question their decision to hire me.

But at the same time, a person with all the answers can be unrelatable. I like the idea of people who have it altogether, but with social anxiety I can’t approach them. For example, if I go into an office to receive help of any kind, I don’t want to talk with someone in a t-shirt and jeans, nor do I want to talk with someone dressed to the 9s. Someone dressed to the 9s probably has a lot more important things to do than talk to little ‘ol me.

When I’m at a job, I try to think in that mindset. I receive a lot flack about dressing down a bit, but at the end of the day, I want to be relatable. I don’t want to seem like I have all the answers, but I do want to be the person who helps you find them. But new directions are good, and I am going to try to use that approach in more areas of my life.

When I started Ever Change Productions, I had the goal of finding a partner to help with some of the more social aspects of the business. Also, a partner would have helped cut down the work load. Handling all the equipment, making sure everything is going right and knowing the answer to every technical problem is a challenge for one person. Although, I can do a full video with all the accessories, I just don’t want to. It takes too long and people don’t like the price that comes with it.

Finding Acceptance

But with acceptance, comes new directions. As you can see, I haven’t been able to find a partner and it so it’s time to quit forcing myself to be something else and just accept my situation. Because of my lack of outgoing personality and motivation to keep putting myself out there to get rejected is turning this into a failure. Even though I’m working on the documentary on how to reduce, reuse and recycle in Stillwater, the amount of time it’s taking because I’ve lost the motivation to keep being rejected puts it on the failure list.

New Directions

So I’ve been thinking, what do I have the equipment, passion, knowledge and know-how for? Instead of feeling like I’m going to inconvenience them for taking time out of their busy day, I’m going to help other people add another arm to their business through online courses. There are a variety of opportunities online from just video classes to full coursework accompanied with videos. I am in the process of launching my own series for upcycling and this will be launched at the first of the year. Once I have a proven model, I can team up with other individuals who might be interested in teaching or another financial avenue for their business.

The Future

Also, during my time of searching for new directions, I was given opportunity to start a repurposed furniture business with my aunt. For the past few years, I have been praying for an opportunity to be able to repurpose things for a living and now I can’t think of a better partner. We have so many opposite skills and interests, it’s really the perfect match. We will also be doing to online class series in the future, so stay tuned for that. Although, the website is not ready yet, please feel free to check out our Facebook and Instagram. We’d really love for you to join on this journey. We are selling a line of paint for repurposing furniture, we will also have an online store and blog at www.curbsideoverhaul.com, which will be up September 1.

Again, finding ways to repurpose things is all about accepting the flaws and using them as character for the piece. Just as God shows us love even we don’t have it all together, we also find purpose and love in these pieces despite their condition.

I encourage you to take it easy and give yourself a break, even if you don’t have it all together. Your biggest strength is your weaknesses, it’s how you connect with others and make a bigger impact.

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My Favorite Local Comfort Food

Local is Comfort

My idea of comfort food might be slightly different than others. This past month, a blog group I was in challenged me to write about my favorite comfort food. It’s a bit of a challenge for me because recipes aren’t exactly something I blog about, but I decided to go for it. After all, who doesn’t like comfort food?My favorite comfort food is one made from completely local ingredients. Join me to find out my favorite locally made recipe.

This post contains affiliate links

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How to Find Your Beautiful Treasures

What is Perfect?

Who determines where we find beautiful treasures? Who decides what is useful or perfect? A blogger buddy of mine, Kristin at The Peculiar Treasure, recently wrote a blog post challenging us to look beyond our imperfections in appearance. While we all struggle with insecurities on how we look, she encouraged us to post a selfie or a photo to show our worth has nothing to do with our appearance. I accepted this challenge to find the beautiful treasures, but with my own spin.

It's easy to focus on our imperfections, but instead we should find beauty in the small things. Check out this post on how to find your beautiful treasures.

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So You Think You Can’t Garden?

A Solution to a Pressing Concern?

A small space garden can be a solution to ever growing food scarcity problem. In many areas of the world, it’s hard to have access to enough fruits and vegetables. Whether it’s because the produce isn’t readily available or is too expensive, gardening is a great solution.

About a month ago, I wrote So You Think You Can’t Compost? I was excited that it had such a good response because I really wanted to show that anyone can do it and I think I accomplished that.

Living in small spaces is hard, especially with things like gardening, composting and other sustainable living ideas that might take more space. But it doesn’t mean people who rent, or own small homes with little to no yard are out of the game. So I got inspired to talk about gardening, small space gardening to be exact.

So you think you can't garden? Think again! Start slow and easy with a small space garden!

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Motivation Monday- Find Your Uniqueness

What Makes You Unique

How do you find your uniqueness? The problem with the world is that no one wants to celebrate differences. We’re all afraid that if we’re too different then we won’t be accepted. We create a domino effect because those around us are afraid to show their unique qualities around us.  Some people spend their whole life trying to fit into a box, so they can be accepted, instead of stepping up and solve problems others can’t. That’s such a sad thought.

Need some motivation to start your week off? Just remember, "If everyone would look for that uniqueness then we would have a very wonderful world. " -Michael Schenker

Does this quote inspire you? Download it here.

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Save Green Even When You Can’t Upgrade Appliances

Tips to Save Green for Renters

When you don’t have complete control over your living circumstances, it can seem impossible to save green, whether money or energy. Sometimes making these lifestyles can require more money, or maybe more control over your living situation.
The biggest hurtles to saving green are:
  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning
  • Lighting
  • Clothes Washer
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Refrigerator (if it was made before 2001)
  • Water Heater

All these are pretty difficult to control when in a renters setting or with low income. But with these tips, no matter where you can save both money and energy.

When you don't have control over your living circumstances, it seems impossible to save green, whether money or energy. With small changes it can be done!
This post contains affiliate links. The purchases through these links help grow the blog.

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