zero-waste kitchen: could you live like this?

A friend of ours posted a link to this Sunset magazine video on her Facebook page this week and we’ve been thinking about it non stop. It’s a tour of a zero-impact kitchen by Béa Johnson’s (her whole house is like this but it’s the kitchen that is most inspiring). Not only is it clean, modern and and bright but every drawer and cabinet is filled with smartly-used glass jars filled with locally-grown food. I love the idea of no-impact living, but I think it’d be really hard to pull off unless you lived in the right place. My dear friend Henny tries to maintain an uber green lifestyle and is constantly pulling out re-used produce bags from her backpack when we’re in stores. I oblige when she’s with me, but on my own I only remember our grocery totes about half the time. We bring them in and then forget to put them back in the car! What about you? Could you imagine living a no-impact life? Or perhaps just having a zero-waste kitchen? Here are some tips from Béa’s Sunset feature, below:

1. Get rid of your trash can. Everything goes either into the recycling bin, or it gets turned into compost. If you can’t do one of those things with it — eat it!

2. Pillow cases work in the freezer. This Californian buys a week’s worth of baguettes, cuts them in half and freezes them in pillow cases for the week.

3. Make your own orange juice. We can do this. We have a juicer we never use!

4. No more plastic containers from the store. Bring glass jars, hit the salad bar and bulk aisles, and stock up. Granted, cashiers at Whole Foods might do this, but I can’t imagine our local grocery store pulling it off.

P.S. Béa has a blog!
P.S.S. If you feel a little insecure after watching this video, and after recently learning that French women are better moms than us, you’re not alone. Sigh.

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meet catherine nolin: our etsy artist of the month

As part of our newly freshened up Shelterrific design, we are going to be featuring an artist a month on the site and in our header. This month’s artist is Massachusetts-based Catherine Nolin, whose work we fell in love with via her Etsy shop. With ornately decorated rooms, wallpapers, patterns, and fancily-dressed ladies, they conjure up fantasies of tea parties in grand estates. Our favorite, however is Tree of Life, which you see on our header, with its exotic birds and flowers.

We asked Catherine to tell us a little about her work, and her where her sense of decorating flair comes from.

Your work features a lot of elaborately decorated rooms. What inspires them?
When my parents did a big living room makeover it made a big impression on me as a 8 year old. I remember being involved in the process looking at swatches of fabric, carpets, and paint colors. When it all came together it was quite a thing. When I create an interior I am pulling together all those elements and I just love it.

What’s your favorite room in your house?
My favorite room in my house is the living room. We painted the walls a dark olive which was risky but turned out to be the perfect backdrop/ canvas for all the eclectic furnishing we have collected over the years.

How would you describe your painting style?
I don’t quite have a name for my style although some have said contemporary realism.  I am very inspired by Matisse, Vermeer and Hopper to name a few. I learn something everyday when I paint.

For more information about Catherine Nolin and her work, visit her website and Etsy store.

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seen on downton abbey: edwardian-era bar cart

I made it through the first two seasons of “Justified” on DVD in time to start watching season three on FX. Now I’m doing my best to get caught up on “Downton Abbey.” While it’s hard to compare a series set in Harlan, Kentucky with one set in North Yorkshire, the writing and acting on both is exceptional. On “Justified,” it’s usually the outside shots that capture my fancy. Big craggy rocks, mountains, sweeping shots of fields. But on the Abbey set? It’s all about the interior. Although I could live in the library with the floor to ceiling shelves and layered rugs, the set piece that really caught my attention was the table used as a bar. When bar carts are all the rage, it’s funny to see the same idea (sans wheels) in a period piece. The only requirement, it seems, would be finding a table that was slim enough without being too tall. An Edwardian table on Ruby Lane for $4,500 and a less ornate table on eBay for under $400 look to be the perfect fit. Of course, if you decide to go the Abbey route with your bar, plain old bottles will never do.

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feeling groovy pets: peipod beds

We love our pets here at Shelterrific. What we aren’t so fond of is boring pet furniture. The good people at pEi Pod have come to our rescue and created a stunningly modern, cool pet bed. Who needs a floppy, brown cushion when you can have a neon, egg-like pod that looks like something straight out of Twiggy’s (or Zoolander’s) apartment? pEi Pods are customizable- choose your egg color and bed cushion-, highly durable, safe, and crafted from recyclable material. Smaller dogs, cats, and even bunnies will love pEi Pods because they’ll have a warm, cozy little cave to snooze in. You’ll love pEi Pods because of the style points you’ll instantly earn by having it in your living room. –Katie D.

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how’d we miss this? spaghetti hot dogs!



Good old Facebook, the place where I (disturbingly) get more and more of my first news reports, and where a friend just hipped me to this hilarious hot dog dish, which a Livejournal thread), but there’s a great post and photos at Filth Wizardry, where they take it to the next level with carrots and ham. Would you make this dish for adults? How would you serve it? — Mary T.

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