When we started the farm share, it prompted thoughts about where lots of the things in our lives come from, not just our food. The farm share was such a no-brainer--local food, fresh and in season, great variety--that we started looking for other realistic, thoughtful, and simple changes we could make. We got rid of our paper towels and paper plates; we started using reusable shopping bags; and I made an effort to shop locally and buy handmade (if you get presents from me, I'm sure you've noticed my Etsy addiction.)

Not that any of these things are "save the world" grandstanding and we are absolutely not "all or nothing." Big cookout in the backyard with friends and kids? We went disposable. And sometimes the best gifts do come from Amazon and Anthropologie.

But these were really easy changes, and we're finding that we like them. Eschewing paper towels and plates means that I actually use the linens and china we got as wedding gifts instead of leaving them in a drawer. Reusable shopping bags are a lot stronger than plastic and easier to carry than paper. And I love finding and giving things that were handmade by an artist or craftsman.
So I was thrilled when I got an email from our friend Courtney announcing her new endeavor: Beauty Fully Used. Courtney believes that simplifying makes way for creativity and enjoying the beauty of nature. Her line of paper goods are handmade from recycled papers -- the Spring Cleaning cards are my favorite (today) -- and she's a fantastic resource for useful details about recycling and clever ideas for organization that don't require spending a month's salary at the Container Store.

Not that I'd be tempted to do that.

(I love you, Container Store!!)

Ahem. Anyway, the results are really lovely: realistic, thoughtful, and simple. Just how we like it.

All photos courtesy of Simply Give.