Do New Friends Count?


I think I’d like to amend our project title from A Year Of Nothing New to A Year of Nothing New Materially. Because truth be told, my whole life seems new right now.

I’ve been hanging out with this great, new crew (well, new/old)and they have been so necessary for me in the transition process after a major break up. Its fun to learn about people you are just getting to know. Or people who you’ve known that you somehow now need or are connecting with differently than you had. I love the process. And seeing them and how they see the world: What makes them laugh. What music makes them wanna dance… And its been amazing to hang out more with my friends Cory, Melissa, and Eric. They are old friends, but I’m seeing them and learning them all over again.

Cheers to new things you can’t buy. 🙂

-Courtney

A Thank You to Katie (and Stacey)

I need to thank the Universe for an act of kindness so far beyond it that it extends to whatever other ones there are out there. Two posts ago, I had put up a message (thanks to my mom for the suggestion) asking for help because I’m a writer, and my computer crashed, and I am not in a financial place to purchase a new one, nor could I because of this project.

Katie, a friend of Stacey’s, who I’ve never met but who follows our blog sent me a message just a day later, telling me that she had a computer that she is not using now that she wants to send me. A complete stranger is doing this for me. With a full, generous heart. She wants nothing for it.

With my recent breakup, I am finding myself in a very dark place, the darkest I’ve ever seen. And amongst that darkness this person has reached out and offered help and light. This brings me comfort in a time that is very uncomfortable. This act has reminded me of the goodness in people and how we are all completely connected and must all take care of each other. I hope to return the favor someday when someone needs it. But for now, I need it. And I am learning how to let others help me.

I never thought something like this would come of a new year’s resolution, but am so grateful for the lesson.

Thank you, Katie.

-Courtney

Single with Pilling Panties


Okay…so I’m up against a challenge, cyber friends.

I just found out that my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years is leaving me for one of our friends…shocking I know.

Now, I’m not going to get into the dark, ugly details around that, but I’m finding another challenge that is related to this “not buying anything new project” and my current situation.

Here is the REAL problem:
Panties.

All my panties are worn out and pill-ey. You know how that happens? You are with someone for a long time, and you get comfortable. You don’t think about things as much like having sexy panties or even just ones in decent condition.

Not saying I’m venturing out into the dating world anytime soon, but when I do, I know I can’t be sporting what I currently have in the panty department. Maybe I’ll just have to hold out on dating until 2011 or just keep my pants on. 🙂

-Courtney

Habitat For Humanity – the store


Alright, folks.

My friend Monica told me about another great resource for home goods and I want to make sure you all know about it. Habitat for Humanity, the organization which builds homes for families all across the country has these ReStores that accept donated goods for resale. While every ReStore is a little different, most focus on home improvement goods—furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances. These donated goods are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price to help local affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities.

Now, while I recognize that some of this stuff is new and wouldn’t work for this project, I believe a lot of it is refurbished or used. The store I went to had all these beautiful old windows and doors. Used furniture and appliances. And it was all really affordable. So the next time you are looking to make a home repair, check it out.

To look up a location near you, http://www.habitat.org/cd/env/restore.aspx

-Courtney

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I know, it’s been over two weeks since my last post.

Let’s just say I’ve been distracted by the nice weather.

Here’s what you’ve missed:

The Good: A few weeks back I took a solo trip to NYC. The purpose of the trip was to attend the second part of a yoga adjustments workshop at Jivamukti. The workshop was fabulous. The weekend ended up being about practicing-lots-of-yoga-eating-rich-foods-&-drinking-good-wine. (A bit contradictory? Yes. But, as any yogi knows… it’s all about balance!)

But I digress. I did not bring this up because of what I did in NYC. I’m mentioning the trip because of what I didn’t do. I did not step foot into any type of retail store. Not The Strand. Not the ginormus Apple store on 5th Avenue. Not lululemon. None of ‘em. And it was an utterly satisfying trip. That’s progress my friends.

The Bad:
We bought paint. Eco friendly? Yes. Used? No.

(Full disclosure: I picked the colors. Brian paid.)

The Ugly:
By mid-May our house will be crawling with construction crews installing new wood floors, carpet, seven new windows, & exterior siding.

We went as “green” as possible (even choosing carpet derived partly from corn).

Brian signed all of the contracts and wrote all of the checks, but I would be lying if I said I sat idly by while he chose the products. Truth be told, I was very vocal throughout the selection process.

Is this cheating? Maybe. Okay… Probably.

However, in this case the long-term investment in our home won out over the Y.O.N.N. project. Consider this my confession. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

~Stacey

Living with a Piece of Hollywood.



I’m finding that there are so many things I wouldn’t have discovered had it not been for a Year of Nothing New. When Mike and I moved in together, we only had a bed, a sofa, and a dresser. Our roommates from our previous house had supplied all the other furniture needed. Mike and I figured we’d just pick up the other things we needed: a kitchen table, a coffee table, a rug, and a desk at thrift stores or on craigslist.

So, I was trying to find a rug on craigslist, and I saw a posting for a gently used “rug sale” and thought I’d go check it out. I google mapped the sale location and showed up the next day to 20th Century Props in North Hollywood. That’s right. A prop house where film and tv shows go to rent items. “Cool!” I thought.

Sadly, the prop house is closing at the end of April because business has been bad since the writer’s strike. Amazingly, for me however, everything is on sale and open to the public for purchase. The gentleman at the desk had me sign in and gave me a clipboard to write down whatever I was interested in, which would be priced later on. Basically, you just write the number code on the item’s tag and take it back to the office and they price everything for you.

I took the clipboard and I entered the store room: Rugs. Tables. Beauty Parlor Chairs. Taxidermy. Lanterns. Bathtubs. Hardware. Chairs. Umbrella holders. Etc. Etc. There was even a row of old telephones (most of which I was informed still work.) I took a very long list back to the front office and walked out with a really cool 1950’s kitchen table, rug, and some awesome bookends. I had wanted even more, but these prices were a bit higher than my local thrift store.

I never would have known a place like this existed and I’m becoming much more aware of what’s out there. Who wants a boring table from Ikea when you can get a piece of Hollywood??

-Courtney

Dirt?

I bought dirt.

To be more accurate… I bought (in bulk) topsoil, mushroom compost, and mulch. I had a moment of hesitation over this purchase while pondering the question: Does dirt count as something new? And along the same line of thinking: Do flowers, plants and/or vegetable seeds/starts count as a new purchases?

I came to this definitive conclusion: No!

Which is good news for my garden. I welcome opposing opinions but here’s my reasoning:

• Buying dirt, seeds, plants, or flowers are all natural and, although cultivated, are not manufactured products
• I am resolved to only purchase products that are organic and from purveyors who take care not to harm the environment through their development or sale
• The vegetables and herbs grown in my garden will be used to feed my family’s bodies and the flowers to feed our spirits

(OK… that last point is a little cheesy, but I’ll sleep well tonight knowing that I’ve stayed true to this project while doing two of my favorite things: playing in the dirt and beautifying my environment!)

~Stacey

10 cents off


I realized something today. Part of Stacey and I’s commitment to this project is to bring a travel mug with us when we visit coffee shops instead of using the disposable cups they give you. Just another way to lessen waste. I can’t say I’ve done this every single time I’ve gone to Starbucks, but I am getting back into the habit with it. And I realized something today. If you bring your own mug, Starbucks gives you 10 cents off your coffee purchase. Now, wooptie-woo, 10 whole cents, but really its a nice gesture. And if you put all those 10 cent discounts together for all the coffee purchased from people who bring in their own mug, I’m sure that is a chunk of change for a cooperation as large as Starbucks. That made me feel good about going there today. That they are thinking about the environment. Think about doing the same!

-Courtney