Archive for the ‘Odds & Ends’ Category

I apologize for the lack of posts for a while there. Life has been very full lately and a not-so-friendly blog comment really put this creative outlet on the back burner. Obviously, I didn’t publish the downright mean comment because this little blog of mine is a drama-free zone and a place for me to chronicle the joys of living Up North, the trials and tribulations of renovating our house and our aspirations to enjoy every minute of it.

So please, if I say something in this little blog that is offensive to you- too bad. Keep it to yourself, or start your own blog, but don’t try to bring me down. Appreciating Life Up North is our personal journey and interpretation and ours only. So please, no more drama! I want the blog to continue to be a fun, creative outlet to share our life with all of you.

Enough of this soapbox… now on to blogging and Appreciating Life Up North, of course!

Oh yeah… that’s me in the picture baking cookies the night that our kitchen became functional! Like I said, we’ve been busy!


Read Full Post »

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is Climate Change. You might be wondering (especially since we had a super cold summer and where the heck did fall go…is it winter already?) if global warming is really happening here in northern Michigan. In Traverse City, there is a rather large  indicator that points us in the yes-global-warming-is-really-happening direction. It’s the Bay (you know the big body of water that we all love.) For over 130 years, the Bay had reliably frozen over for seven out of ten winters (in 1874, it was frozen solid from Jan. 13 to May 8, and from 1883 and 1902 it froze every winter) but during the 1990s it only froze three times, and most recently, it froze in 2003 and 2009. So, global warming is happening, what can I do about it?

9 Bean Rows Wk 12 (4)

Consider your impact. Some of the major contributors to climate change is the increase in carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuels. So… shop local. Buying groceries from a local farmers market or fruit stand has a lesser environmental impact than the grocery store who may truck their produce in from California, Florida or Central America. Or even better yet, take the risk with your neighbor farmer and join a farm share and enjoy fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and in-season. Your carbon footprint is minimal when you are eating food that is grown just miles from your own front porch. Grow your own vegetables and enjoy the fruits of your labor and the savor in the first-hand knowledge that your veggies were never sprayed with chemicals.

Also, consider shopping at resale or consignment shops. I’ve read that some clothiers have coined the term ‘upcycled’ instead of resale, which is a great way to think about gently used goods. There are some great finds out there! You just need to be patient.

We enjoy a good cup of coffee and have fallen in love with Higher Grounds fair trade, organic, and shade-grown coffee. Higher Grounds is a coffee bar and roastery located in the Grand Traverse Commons. If you want your java to-go, make sure you bring your own mug because Higher Grounds doesn’t carry paper products. They do, however, have some donated mugs that you may take your beverage away in. We buy our coffee in bulk and have it delivered to our doorstep. They deliver “Beans by Bike” within the city limits by bicycle and had a special bike-delivery system custom built to accomodate their needs! It doesn’t get any greener than that. (They even have t-shirts for sale at the shop that say “I get mine by bike”… how cute!)

Higher Grounds (3)

There are many other local Traverse City area establishments from restaurants, clothing boutiques to speciality stores who are making conscious decisions about how they do business whether they have founded their business on sustainable principles or are changing the way they do business in a way that takes the environment into account. Choose to patronize businesses who share your values and who understand that there is a cost to being socially and environmentally responsible. Make sure you tell the owner that you applaud their decision to go green and let them know that you are willing to pay a little bit more to ensure a greener planet. 

And finally, Traverse City has its own currency, Bay Bucks, which ensures that dollars stay local. With Bay Bucks you can pay a handyman, buy food at the local organic food co-op, pay your cab fare, indulge with some designer chocolates, take a yoga class or hire a lawyer. There’s quite the directory of participating individuals and businesses who accept Bay Bucks as currency.

Yes, you can make a difference to prevent climate change even in Traverse City. Start small at first. Once you’ve made a few trips to the farmer’s market and know the farmers by name, you’ll be hooked. It will snowball from there. Enjoy.

Read Full Post »

Take a stand

I’ll be participating in Blog Action Day on October 15 for Climate Change (so stay tuned for an earth-friendly post on the 15th!) If you also have a blog and want to participate, just register here and then write a pro-environment piece on the 15th! It only takes a few seconds and you will help to spread the word about Climate Change and hopefully make a difference!

Read Full Post »

New pages

I’ve been doing a little blog maintenance and have added a few new pages. The goal will be to continually add information to the pages that refers to content that I’ve already written. The new Porch Envy tab will showcase all of my official porch research and the Up North Peeps tab will contain interviews with northern people.

Blog banter

Also, I have re-thought the 5-posts a week concept. It was becoming a major time committment and I was up way past my bedtime many-a-time just to keep my blog current. So… I’ll post when I have time and not stress about skipping a few days here and there.

Read Full Post »


Hi Blog readers,
I am currently on vacation and won’t be posting again until next week. See you then!

Read Full Post »