New Urban Habitat

Simple, healthy, and sustainable city living
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Hopeful Weekend Links
April 8, 2010 by newurbanhabitat

Beginner’s Guide to Seasonal Eating — Delicious Living Magazine

Idle Pastime: In Off Hours, Truckers Pick Up Stitching – Wall Street Journal

Meet the Radical Homemakers — YES! Magazine

The Ceremony of Making Bread — Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op

Cycling Provides a Break for Some With Parkinson’s — New York Times

Chance of a Lifetime — Utne Reader

Posted in New Urban Habitat, Simple Living | Tagged Hopeful Weekend Links, Simple Living | Leave a Comment »
April 7, 2010 by newurbanhabitat
Last week, I told you the story of our rainy days in the color red. Well, the sun finally came out. It feels only fitting to tell you about it in the color yellow.

I hope the sun’s shining wherever you are too.

Posted in Family life, Nature | Tagged Family life, Nature, Spring, Sunshine | 4 Comments »
7 Cheap Ways to Spend a Weekend Afternoon
April 6, 2010 by newurbanhabitat

1. Visit a new neighborhood.

Get on a random bus and see where you end up. Or bike to a neighborhood you’ve always wanted to explore. Once you’re there, just wander around.

2. Grab your camera and go for a walk.

Decide beforehand what you want to snap photos of – flowers, tree branches against the sky, the color purple. You might be surprised at how differently you look at everything, even on a familiar walk.

3. Discover a new food.

Visit the produce section of your grocery store or your farmer’s market and find a fruit or vegetable you’ve never eaten. Then find a recipe for it. Last week, we tried yucca-root quesadillas. (They were good, but a little bland. Next time we’re going to spice them up a little more.)

4. People watch.

Go to a bustling part of town and just sit or wander around and enjoy the spectacle of your fellow townsfolk. My favorite people-watching spots: the college campus, the library, and just about any coffee shop.

5. Visit open houses.

Check the real estate listings in the newspaper and on Craigslist and visit some open houses. Pretend you’re picking out some new digs, or just find out how other folks live.

6. Find a free event.

Go to a lecture. Attend a book reading. Go on a group nature walk. Or take your kids to a story time or free play.

7. Watch a sporting event.

Go to a little league game or a high school sporting event. Bring a picnic. Root for a team. Cheer.

What’s your favorite cheap way to spend a weekend afternoon?

Posted in Simple Living | Tagged Exploring, Saving Money, Simple Living | 7 Comments »
Simplify Your Medicine Cabinet
April 6, 2010 by newurbanhabitat

So maybe you read this post and simplified your personal care? Now how about your medicine cabinet?

The other day I realized that I haven’t taken any kind of medication in three years, because I was pregnant and then breastfeeding. I’ve had a few mild illnesses during that time. But I was able to treat all of them with simple home remedies.

I like treatments that are safe, effective, and require ingredients that most of us already have in or around our homes. (Of course, this probably goes without saying, but it’s usually wise to talk to a health care provider about more serious ailments or symptoms that don’t improve with home care.)

Here are a few of my favorite simple remedies:

Sore Throat or Gums

Mix a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of salt, and gargle and swish it around your mouth
Mix 3/4 cup warm water with 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide and gargle and swish it around your mouth.
Nasal or Chest Congestion

Use a Neti Pot. Never heard of one? You can find out where to get one and how to use it here.
Do an herbal steam. Boil a large pot of water with a handful of Eucalyptus, Thyme, or Rosemary Leaf, or all three. Pour the water into a bowl, and put it on a table. Sit with your face about a foot away from the water and drape a towel over your head. Relax and breathe for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The Common Cold or Influenza

Drink Hot Ginger Garlic Lemonade.
Take Elderberry Syrup.
Go out in the sun, if possible. (If it’s not sunny, you might try taking a Vitamin D supplement. You can read more about the connection between Vitamin D and colds and flu here.)

Sip on Ginger Root Tea.
Sip on Peppermint Tea.
Stimulate the acupressure point on the inside of your wrist. You can learn how to do that here.
Bug Bites or Bee Stings

Make a poultice of Plantain Leaf. (Plantain is a common weed that’s probably growing in your lawn or somewhere nearby. You can find out more about it and how to identify it here.)
Apply Aloe Vera Gel.
Muscle Aches or Joint Pain

Apply St. John’s Wort Oil.
Apply Arnica Oil. (Both St. John’s Wort Oil and Arnica Oil can be found in the health and beauty section of most health food stores, often in combination.)
Cook with Turmeric

Mix Turmeric with Honey and apply to outbreak overnight (will temporarily stain the …