Stuff-dar? and a Holiday Gift Guide.

Shop-dar?  It's whatever we want to call our radar spidey-senses when we're in shopping mode.

After recently moving - granted, we only moved 20 miles away, it still required packing and boxes and moving trucks.  You know what made it hardest?

All the stuff we accumulated in the 13 years we lived in that house.

My own personal shop-dar/plas-dar has been honed by two things: having recently been forced to come to terms with letting go (Goodwill + Landfill) of an utterly shameless amount of "stuff" (loads of it plastic), and a dawning awareness of what "stuff" is doing to the planet (landfills, litter + oceans).

Not sure if Tyler Durden is the original source of this quote, but I'm rolling with it.

Not sure if Tyler Durden is the original source of this quote, but I'm rolling with it.

Now I'm what I'll call "guarded" about what stuff I add to the new house.  When I'm (dragged) out shopping, I'll ooh and aaah over how lovely things are with one eye, while the other eye pictures weary-me packing that thing up (or putting it in a giveaway box) for the next move, and I end up passing nine times out of ten (I use my Marty Feldman Shop-dar Eyes).


I was lucky enough to recently have a birthday, and no one got me anything - just what I always wanted!

And now it's the hollydays, so as we dash about looking for stuff to fill stockings, and little-somethings to give the host, the babysitter, the Secret Santa pick, friends, family, and our children, I humbly (sneakily) hope to plant a teeny tiny "stuff"-seed in your shoppy thoughts.

I'm no Laura Ingalls or Pioneer Woman or Minimallist Minnie.

I have some stuff, and I like some stuff, and I know it's fun to give to others because in the end, it makes us happy.

In a perfect world, we'll pick the best stuff out there, and no one will give the stuff we gave them to Goodwill, or to the landfill one day.

Shopping Local is obviously the best, and by far the most fun.

My personal favorites (to give or get) are things you can eat or drink, or the beautiful, high- quality versions of the really utilitarian stuff.

Gorgeous scissors, because not all of us spend $24 - $79 on scissors for ourselves, but the plastic ones from the office supply store are a visual bummer.

Glass Straws because they are my favorite gift to give of all time.  

Bamboo Toothbrush & Bamboo Travel Case

When I'm ready for a new toothbrush, I lop off the end with the bristles (that much is landfill) and the rest I chuck into the compost.  

"Brush with Bamboo" sells both the cases and the brushes, the one on the right is also bamboo, but sold by Ernest Supplies.

Have you written with awesome pencils recently?  Aren't they so worth it?

A box of beautiful pencils + a for-keeps pencil case + a sharpener = Rad Present (in my book)

Oh right, I have a "thing" about pencil cases.  I'll try to be brief.

Nutshell:  They're too big, and that means that we'll end up putting too much stuff in them, and then they're cluttered and you end up not using half of what's in there, and you're carting around "stuff" you don't need.  It's the American way.

I like a slim, single layer pencil case. Keep everything in it sharp and ship-shape.

Haven't found the 100% perfect one yet, but I'll recommend my two picks here:

#1  The Muji Aluminum Pencil Case (this is the one I use)

Pros: Slim, Makes me feel organized and tidy (two of my favorites), inexpensive.

Cons: I wish it were a little longer - A brand new pencil won't fit inside, so I have to use pencils that have been whittled down/used a bit.  I've also been thinking of adding a piece of felt along the inside so that it holds everything in place, and thus no rattling from within.


#2  The Homework Pencil Case by Present & Correct.

I don't own this one, but hope to try it out soon.

Pros: Looks slim and tidy - not going to be stuffing it with things you don't need.

Won't be rattly/noisy.

Looks like a keeper - something you won't ever replace because it will have a nice patina as it breaks in.  

If that button on the front holds over time, this looks pretty great.

Would like it if they had a vegan version as well... and I know that's a form of plastic - and that's where I often find myself torn...   I digress.

more to come...