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What Marlowe Eats

I hope everyone had a very happy thanksgiving. Ours was good. We spent wednesday night with Alex's family--- eating a good amount of italian food. We woke up thursday morning to some chilly weather and snuggled in bed, introducing Marlowe to Elf. Alex had to work thanksgiving (no surprise there) so Marlowe and I went to my dads house for some family time, before driving north to Laura's family's house for a good ole' half vegan thanksgiving celebration. We enjoy celebrating holidays up there with the Torbin's. They're good people--- and we're never lacking in carbs or vegan pie options. Anyway, it was a good day and Marlowe and I are very much looking forward to spending the next two days with Alex home. It's been a pretty good week. And just incase you're not celebrating thanksgiving and/or not tired of food--- it's been a delicious week and what marlowe eats is behind the cut..... ;) 

Happy Thanksgiving

There are no better words for this holiday than last years post, my thanksgiving is perpetual. From my home to yours, happy thanksgiving friends. Thank you for being here and part of my life. I am grateful. 

"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite--- only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of my extremities well charred and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession, but enjoyment."   -Henry David Thoreau

The Bell Trick: How To House Train A Puppy! {How To Make &Use A Simple Puppy Bell}

Let's talk about puppy training--- shall we? So this puppy thing--- it was kind of a big shock for the people who know me well. I'm not really a puppy kind of gal. I mean, dogs are cool (obviously)-- but Jerry for instance, was 7 years old when I got him. He might as well of been a puppy though-- because the dog was not house trained in any way. Jerry was actually kind of a nightmare. When I wold move him to try to train him to sleep next to my bed, instead of on my bed, he would just poop! Right there ON my bed! Nightmare. He's crate trained now, but man it was rough. And well, puppies? They can be pretty tough too. Turns out puppies are actually a wonderful cure for baby fever too haha. SO I've already talked about this-- but Waylon was sort of a last minute "oh man, I need this pup-face in my life" decision--- I had planned to get an older dog for the longest time, but things happen and puppy faces can get you! Well, I knew what the reality would be (loss of sleep, extra expenses, and puppy messes everywhere) and I knew the basics of house training a dog (I had been through it with jerry before), and I went for it. Some days have been tough-- but many have been good and definitely getting better! The puppy training, well it's finally starting to come together. Sure, there are still messes occasionally (and the jerkstore dug up part of our garden this week), but he's finally understanding that my rugs and floors are not his toilet. Hooray, Waylon! 
Besides the basic "pick up the dog up and take him outside when he goes potty" training, we've been doing the bell trick. Have you heard of the bell trick? I hadn't until Waylon. My friend Halle actually mentioned it to me a few weeks ago--- and well, it works, our dum dum get's it!

Last Weeks Questions &Other New Tidbits

Like I mentioned last week (in the worlds longest question and answer), I want to start answering more of your questions here in this space. I always answer--- but, you know, this is fun--- and hopefully it'll help to answer some of the random questions you may have too. In general I do always recommend to check out the about/faq section first--- because a lot of the questions I get already have answers there :) 

-is it often that people talk to you on the street, because of your blog?
Actually sort of. Lately, it's been very often. Typically, I usually find that people will message me after seeing me--- to tell me they saw me, instead of saying hi to me in person--- which as a pubically shy person, I totally get this ;)

-what do you do and think about all the plastic? (coffee to go, etc)
It kind of bums me out. I mentioned this before, but in college I took a sustainability course where I learned 90% of the words trash was packaging! Granted this was ten years ago, but still, I doubt the number hasn't changed much. Does that mean I won't get a to go up or a bottle from time to time? No, if I'm thirsty, I'm thirsty, but I do make it a point to save the bottle until I can find a recycling unit--- even if that means Im dragging an empty bottle all the way back home, haha!

-how old are you?
29, but I tell people I'm 30--- might as well get it out of the way now.

-does Marlowe go to kindergarden?
not yet. I've been asked a few times about Marlowe and the whole kindergarten thing. We're figuring it out still. For now, her birthday falls in that weird late period where she's going to have to wait an extra year for school. She's bummed about it. I'm okay with it.

-where are Marlowe's colorful blocks from?
she has a couple different sets of blocks, but THESE are her most colorful ones. (And I actually ordered her more for christmas! THIS set. Shh!)

-where is the swing chair from?
I got mine on sale--- with an additional clearance, because it was missing a piece, but you can find it HERE---- or an even prettier one HERE. Or I love THIS white one.

-I would love a post on artwork and how you find pieces. we have such sad, bare walls and I can never find things I both love and can afford. 
maybe I can put together a post in the future of some favorite pieces I've found throughout the web--- but in the meantime I think the best places to buy (mostly) inexpensive art are: through traveling, thrift stores (yes, really), or making them yourself/having friends make them!

-where do you buy your home decor?
Until recently, most big furniture pieces were thrifted. Now I have my two fancy couches I got on sale, with an additional clearance. If you're curious where a certain piece is from, the best thing you can do is check out my HOME section and click the room you want. I include all the links at the end of each post. I'm going to be doing an updated living room tour in the next week. I've also added a new page to my blog where I'll add some of my favorite home pieces I stumble on. 

-hows jerry handling the new puppy?
very well! surprisingly..... jerry has a very intense napoleon complex--- but he seems to do well with baby animals and animals we careful introduce him to. I think the biggest problem now is that they wrestle a lot--- and I'm scared for both their backs! Jerry has already had major back issues and was put on bed rest for three months--- he's a super old man. But he seems happy and has a new moving, warm blanket that sits on top of him every chance he gets.

-where's the hammock chair from?
amazon. it's THIS one.

-what kind of flooring do you have?
terrazzo in the bedroom. laminate throughout the rest of the house--- there's probably still terrazzo under that too.

-I'm curious about the Cuban oregano. The leaves are so big! and how do you eat it? I'd love to hear more of the tie in between growing herbs and actually using them!
We use it as we would use your typical oregano: chop it up and use it to add flavors to our dishes. It tastes very similar, but with a heartier texture. And yes, I plan on focusing more about herbs and garden produce in general soon!

-my family and I travel full time in our airstream and we just made it to Florida today and the bugs are out of control. We'll be here for the next couple of months touring around and I think I might mentally loose it if I don't find something effective. I don't want to slather my kids with deet, so I'm hoping you're going to tell me THIS RECIPE kicks ass so I can go buy all the ingredients. I'm sure you wouldn't have posted it if it didn't work. I'm just looking for a little advice from a Florida girl like yourself. Is the natural way effective?
Yep! We absolutely use our natural bug spray and love it. You may have to reapply more than tradition bug spray--- maybe? but it does help keep the bugs away! 

-the india trip: is there anything you've bought or prepared already?
A pair of pants! haha. Other than that: I'm filling out forms for my visa this week and also currently debating between a non stop flight or a mid way layover---- all while mentally preparing myself about the time away and the long flights. That's it so far though--- I'm a last minute girl for everything :)

-what advice do you have for gatherings and events as a vegan? Do you make and bring your own food? Do people usually give you a hard time? 
I actually get this question a lot. It really depends on the event. If the event/holiday revolves around a meal/sit down dinner, I offer to bring at least one big vegan friendly dish that I think everyone would love and that Im guaranteed to get full on. I usually recommend this stew since it's hearty, great for all seasons, and travels well. I haven't had any problems with it so far-- typically these sort of things happen with friends and family anyway, right? I think the only one who gives me a hard time is my dad--- who then offers me a glass of "vegan water"

-you're a consistent blogger with so many ideas on how to entertain your readers. But is there anything that you could say about blogging that you've learnt along the way that really helped you grow your blog?
Besides consistency, I think it's super important to just be the most genuine version of yourself you can be. I think a lot of times people just try to mimic these pinterest perfect images they find and lose themselves along the way. Personally, if I wanted to see pinterest perfect images, I'd look at pinterest. The personal blogs I enjoy following are... well... personal---real people.

-I have been personally doing a fashion blog for over a year now and just wanted to ask you some questions or what suggestions you have!?  Was wondering what techniques you use to get such a heavy traffic coming thru and how you got your blog so well known!? 
Suggestions: be authentic, be consistent, have fun. Techniques is a funny word, because it makes it seems thought out and planned--- and while I'm sure people do that, there wasn't any tactics over here. I kept up with my space (again, consistency) and kept moving forward. No careful planning, no strategizing, just lots of blogging and happy people sharing.

-how did you go about getting started networking your blog, finding sponsors, approaching bigger companies?
Networking: not sure. Finding sponsors, well you can check out THIS POST from 2012. I used to do this once a month or every few months as an open call for people who might want to purchase an ad space on the blog. Now I just offer an advertise page at the top where people can purchase their ad spaces if they want--- or request more information on sponsored posts. For approaching companies--- only this year when chatting with another blogger did I realize that people actually did that! Personally, I think it's a bit more work than it's worth most of the time. I prefer to wait for companies to contact me and then I can decide if it's a good fit for myself and for my readers.

-what type of template are you using for your layout?
It's the basic template in blogger, with the HTML tweaked to my liking. I'm in the process of making a few changes though--- and debating on a platform change-- though really, I'm more of a "if it's not broke, don't fix it girl" so it'll probably stay the exact same with new images. 

Speaking of lots of questions.....I was on a few other awesome sites this week! You can check out a home tour and interview I did with Design Mom. Also, another home tour and interview with The Glitter Guide. And a more mama focused interview for The Mama Circle.

PS. Thanksgiving is just a few short days away. Need some last minute vegan holiday recipes? Check out this vegan thanksgiving post with EIGHT recipes to share and love! Alex is working on thanksgiving so we're getting together with his family on wednesday. Then hopefully M and I will see my family on thursday before heading over to Laura's for a vegan thanksgiving. Mmmmm, vegan thanksgiving.

Phew, that was a lot of questions! I hope everyone is having an awesome week! I heard a lot of you guys might get snow! I hope you prepare with hot cocoa :) Happy monday/tuesday/whatever day you read this! Hooray!

*top image by hannah mayo. 

An ohdeardrea Giveaway: Win 1000$ In Gifts!

I mentioned Giftry to you guys a few months ago (or was it last month??)--- and what a great resource it is for gift buying, saving, planning, not wasting, etc. it is! Giftry not only makes it easy to browse through gift ideas, but more importantly categorize the perfect gifts for the people in your life! And what's even better than finding the perfect gifts for the people you love? Letting Giftry purchase those gifts for you! Yes, seriously. Giftry will purchase gifts off the winners’ giftry list up to a value of $1,000 for the grand prize winner, $250 for the 2nd place winner, and $100 for the 3rd place winner!

Want to enter?
CLICK HERE. Enter your email. Once you enter, you’ll receive more entries through social sharing options. That's it!

*You have until December 1st to choose your prizes! That's exactly one week, go! 

PS. If you'd like you can check out and follow my giftry lists HERE. And yes, I'm still adding my favorite (or current) rugs as I find them--- you can see my rug giftry HERE ;) 

Happy Holiday shopping, everyone! 

Easy Tips On Keeping A Clean Home

I get asked a lot of questions about my home-- actually, my home might be the most frequented topic! One of the questions I am asked most frequently (outside of "where did you find that rug?") is, "how do you keep your home so clean?" or "do you have tips on keeping a clean home with a kid?" I think in a world of pretty online pictures it can be hard to distinguish what is posed and what is not--- if you see a picture of me, in my home, in an outfit other than jean shorts-- chances are: I got dressed, knowing I might be in a picture. If you see my home and it's spotless? Well, thats because it's usually pretty damn clean. No certain angles or things shoved behind doors--- I'm not going to tidy it up for an image--- we really do keep a clean house, basically all the time.

I do have a few tips to share in how we pretty easily keep our home clean--- and admittedly, the best thing you can do is be born or brought up with that *urge to clean*--- I myself knew I couldn't live with or marry a messy person-- and Alex, well lucky for the both of us, he feels the same. And perfectly enough, the kiddo now too. And whether it's nurture or nature--- or both, we're still not sure, but at any moment the girl will come up to tell me she made her bed and put her toys away. She's also been using a spray bottle and a rag since the age of one haha :)

Okay, so like most of my How To posts, this is pretty basic with a lot of common sense points--- but you know, sometimes even the most basic ideas are good to be brought up again!
Less Is More, &Things That Make You Happy
The more stuff you have the more likely you are to have a mess. Pretty basic, right? I'm not saying everyone should strive to be a minimalist--- but do keep in mind that it's good to keep only things you really love or need. Everything else is sort of useless. Don't bring items into your home unless ou absolutely can't live without them. And I get it--- there are a lot of decorative items that serve no purpose other than being aesthetically pleasing (my house is full of them!)-- but even with those items it's good to remember: love it or lose it. Alex makes fun of my "tiny collections of things" all the time. It's true. Lots of little houses, or wooden spoons, or linens, or hell, I have a collection of sequins--- but still... I love it all, and it's not over crowding or making a mess, so it stays with us. The moment it get's in the way, I'll be okay with letting it go-- I'm not a hoarder, just a pretty thing collector ;)

This rule is typically more specific to our kitchen, but it does apply to a lot of other things too. We don't like to bring things that don't have a multi-purpose to our space. With the exception of art and collected things, items should be functional---and more than that, multifunctional. I said it earlier this week, on an interview on Design Mom, but you don't need a bigger space, you just need to be smart with the space you have. 

Everything Has A Place
When bringing items into your home, know where it will go--- if it doesn't fit, it's probably not a good idea. You want to know where your things are right? Not be searching for two hours for the thing you put somewhere maybe at some point in time--- organize your space accordingly and keep everything in it's proper place. This will prevent you from counter, table, coffee table, or whereever else you've been storing random things clutter. This rule is especially important for children, especially small children. They're never to young to learn, after you're done using something, you put it back where it belongs. There's no easy way for kids to help and understand how to clean a space if they don't know where things should go. 

Spend a Few Minutes Cleaning Each and Every Day
You don't have to spend hours cleaning your home to have a nice home, but a quick 3 to 10 minute run through and clean up is a good idea. Save the bigger chores for a specific day, run through the little ones when you can. 

Be consistent in putting things back where they belong or in daily clean up times. This again, is important for kids--- kids like consistency, they aren't going to keep up with something if you don't. You'll get in the habit and so will your kid.

Clean While You Work, Maybe. If Not, Clean Before Bed. 
This works for some people, not for others. Alex likes to clean as he goes--- he needs to have a very organized in progress workspace. I'm one of those people where it looks like a rainbow threw up in my space--- usually--- okay, like right now, in front of me. I'll be honest, it's driving me a little bit nuts, but at the same time-- I'm still working and I don't want to clean it right now, so I won't. But it will be picked up before tonight so I can wake up to a new clean space tomorrow. If you can clean as you go, great! If not, then make it a point to clean at the end of the project. Don't start a new project with things you don't need in front of you.

Challenge yourself
I'm a huge multi-tasker. I like a lot of things to work on in front of me at one time. Alex can't clean and talk--- he's super focused while I'm a bit all over the place. We're wired very differently in that way. While I don't clean while I work with most projects, I do like to in the kitchen-- and I like to challenge myself this way. I like to see how much I can get done before the meal is out of the oven or before the water boils-- because really, are you going to sit and watch water boil? No chances are you might be on your phone though, right? Put down the phone and see how much of the dinner mess you can clean before the timer is up. Is the kitchen clean before dinner is ready? Hooray! You've earned a shot! Okay, or wine. Or a good ole pat on the back.

Invest Time - Big Cleaning Days, Priority Making, &Scheduling Minutes
Sure, it's okay to skip a day from quick pick ups if you're absolutely wiped, but just being "lazy" doesn't make your house any cleaner. Consider the few clean up minutes part of a new routine--- cut those minutes out of your tv time, your computer time, or whatever other not super important time you may have. Invest the time in your home. Eventually this becomes part of a new routine and your house stays clean. Clean up a little each day. Are you a morning person or a night person? When are you most likely to accomplish the job. Make it that time. Then have a certain day each week, where you choose to have an extra hour or two to do the bigger tasks. When you want to lose weight, you go on a diet or work out. When you to want a vacation, you save up time and money. And when you want your house clean, you clean it.

Get Everyone Involved
Whoever lives in the home should clean the home. Sure, there's cases where one partner works out of the home and the other takes care of the home-- but even then, all bodies who live and make a mess in the space should help clean the space. Dinner cleanup, making the bed, whatever it is, there no reason everyone can't move a plate or lift a sheet. Really, it's not that difficult. 

Lead By Example
We're not really embedded with the need to clean---- or maybe some of us are actually. I feel like I was--- but some of us weren't and we need an extra nudge. Maybe you weren't, fine. Maybe your kid won't be, fine. But try to be the example you want to see. On days when Marlowe doesn't want to jump up and clean, I offer to help--- by the end of it, it's almost guaranteed she will look at me and proclaim, "look how nice my room is looking! It's so nice!" --- she knows a clean space is a happy space. 

Everyone Has A Role
You know what I would happily skip every single day? Making the bed. Not because I don't love a clean made bed--- because one of my FAVORITE things is actually a nice made bed--- but I just hate doing it. So, more mornings than not, Alex will do it. On the opposite end, Alex is sort of a lazy vacuum-er and I like all rugs to be completely hair free--- so without really deciding it, we've started to pick our jobs based on how much we love or hate an activity. No, no one loves to clean a toilet--- so we're not going to be fighting over that--- but for me, I'd gladly clean a toilet over doing laundry. I don't expect Alex to sweep and vacuum the floors and he doesn't expect me to do the laundry. I'll help fold and what not, but I don't mess with his wash cycles. Not uh, no way. Marlowe knows her job is to help set the table, clean her room, make the bed, and do whatever little jobs are needed. No one complains, we just handle it.

Invest In Nice Things // Have A Home You Love
These were sort of the basic rules in my "how to have a good life without spending money" post--- but it applies here too. If you don't care about your space, why would you bother to clean it? You wouldn't. We all take care of the things we love. Love your home. No matter how old, new, expensive, or inexpensive the things you have are---- if you love the things you have, you will value them and care for them. Love and show gratitude for your space. 


And from the other clean freak: "If you follow those things you should be fine" - Alex

Are you a neat freak? Or a lover of clutter? I've dated some clutter lovers--- while they loved their clutter and I respect their love for clutter, it didn't work out very well ;)
Have more tips? Please share.

On another note: I got a lot of your questions this week! I took notes, I'm answering this weekend and posting next week :) I have a lot of beautiful photos to share and a clever trick or two too. Yay!

photos: hannah mayo photography

Simple Natural Living: How To Fix The Winter Rut / Plants That Bloom Through Winter

So, I have to admit, I don't love flowers the same way that Drea does. Yes, they're beautiful and fragrant, plus many are beneficial for your health and attract a multitude of happy little critters. But, I tend to gravitate towards green and leafy over pretty petals most days. I don't even really know why. However, that doesn't mean I don't break out in a ridiculous happy dance and goofy grin when I spot the first little buds around my neighborhood after a seemingly never-ending winter.

A grey, flowerless winter is just no fun, no matter where you fall on the blossom-enthusiast-spectrum. But there's a loop hole! Some plants bloom and thrive indoors throughout the winter months. A little color and life on your windowsill can make a world of difference when you're hunkered down avoiding the cold. All they need is bright light, cool temps and well-drained soil. So, write these down, take a trip to your local garden center and curb those winter blues!

from drea: flowers, duh. also: I didn't mean to have two back to back garden/plant-iful posts back to back, but it happened. One for my weather and one for yours! Another side note: It was suggested that the cookbook be titled "a plantiful table" but I kept accidentally saying "a plantable table." This obviously works for no one. Yay flowers. Yay plants. And plants ON a table! 

Author & Illustrations by Emily De Nicolais exclusively for ohdeardrea. To see more of Emily's work, click HERE Visit Emily's shop HERE!