Sugarpear and winterberry

I made a stupid goal for myself last year and I pretty much met it.

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. The very next day…

No.

God, no.

Last Christmas, Christmas of 2018, Chris and Lilly gave me a bunch of fancy soaps. In early spring of 2019, I was running low on them, but then someone put two wrapped, fancy soaps on the anyone-can-take-it table at work.

I took them. I was the anyone who took them.

“I wonder if I can go all year without ever having to buy soap,” I wondered then, because these are the deep thoughts that run through my head.

And do you know I did it? My mother sent me soap for my birthday. I stole soap from hotels that I’d already opened and used, so it wasn’t really stealing. That’s what I tell myself, as I have no moral compass. Anyway, somehow, I managed to go all year without buying soap.

Except for one screwup.

Do you remember when I went to the beach with Lottie Blanco and all of her friends? I don’t know if you’ve ever rented a beach house, but first of all, you could fly to Paris for what it costs to get a beach house for one week at peak season here. Also, they provide you with nothing. Nothing.

You gotta remember sheets. Towels. Pillows. And?

Soap.

It was the one thing I forgot to take with me, so I had to go to the dollar store at the beach and buy one bar of Palmolive bar soap for, you know, a dollar. I’d say spending one dollar on soap all year is pretty good. It practically makes me French.

So let’s all set a dumb goal this year. Something fun and achievable. I don’t know what mine is yet; I was just making up this post as I went along. Let’s see if we can go all year without buying more flour, or without ever paying a toll on the road, or something equally dumb.

Let me know your thoughts.

Soapily,
June

P.S. Chris and Lilly gave me more soap this year. I opened a bar of sugarpear and winterberry this morning, and I have no idea of either of those are really things, but it smells delicious.

80 thoughts on “Sugarpear and winterberry

  1. I am more of a “use it up” person for the past few years as I also have an inventory of food/clothing/accessories/make-up. I have done fairly well so far, helped by the lack of anything interesting in the stores I frequent. I do have an estate sale addiction, however.

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  2. My resolution for 2020 is to remember to tell myself “This is what I want” every time I’m experiencing something that I’m actually miserable or pissed off about. You know: accept the moment/reality etc. so I can quit f’in suffering. I’m so bad at remembering — especially when I’m feeling miserable or pissed off. -Kate

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  3. Stupid Goal: not wash my hair with a commercial shampoo for 2020. I discovered, via not being able to breathe, literally, that I’m allergic to SLS in at least toothpaste. So attempting to cut it out of my hair routine as well. Last wash was on 11/24/19 & I think I’ve figured out a good routine where my scalp/hair is not greasy or smelly but shiny & supple thanks to aloe vera juice & Rhassoul powder. It’s been a process to get here though!

    Goals Inspired By BofJ Comments: 1) every day must get rid of at least one thing, 2) NO lipstick, lip balm, lip treatment, nothing for the lips – I have something like 40 (plus the 4 in my purse) but I work from home, what the fuck am I doing? (for all the people cutting back on their swearing, I’m upping my god damn game in that fucking department!), 3) cut back on shopping, it’s ludicrous

    Bigger Goals: 1) get and stay active in this election cycle, calls/door knocking/volunteering/postcard writing, whatever. I do not want to wake up on 11/03/20 wondering what else I could have done, 2) offer a genuine smile or kind words to a stranger every day

    Unsolicited Advice for Spices + Condiments: Lazy Susan that shit! I have Lazy Susans in my cupboards and my fridge. Not only do they save space but I end up not over buying those items (I make up for it in every other department though!)

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  4. Stupid Goal: not wash my hair with a commercial shampoo for 2020. I discovered, via not being able to breathe, literally, that I’m allergic to SLS in at least toothpaste. So attempting to cut it out of my hair routine as well. Last wash was on 11/24/19 & I think I’ve figured out a good routine where my scalp/hair is not greasy or smelly but shiny & supple thanks to aloe vera juice & Rhassoul powder. It’s been a process to get here though!

    Goals Inspired By BofJ Comments: 1) every day must get rid of at least one thing, 2) NO lipstick, lip balm, lip treatment, nothing for the lips – I have something like 40 (plus the 4 in my purse) but I work from home, what the fuck am I doing? (for all the people cutting back on their swearing, I’m upping my god damn game in that fucking department!), 3) cut back on shopping, it’s ludicrous

    Bigger Goals: 1) get and stay active in this election cycle, calls/door knocking/volunteering/postcard writing, whatever. I do not want to wake up on 11/03/20 wondering what else I could have done, 2) offer a genuine smile or kind words to a stranger every day

    Unsolicited Advice for Spices + Condiments: Lazy Susan that shit! I have Lazy Susans in my cupboards and my fridge. Not only do they save space but I end up not over buying those items (I make up for it in every other department though!)

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  5. Part of my personality is always having extra “fill in the blank” as to never run out. I feel the need to send you soap so you don’t run out either!

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  6. I think I’m safe saying that I won’t buy body lotion or hand lotion in 2020 because I always ask for it for Christmas and Santa’s elves came through in a big way. Was that sentence long enough?

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  7. New Years Day, my 4 adult(ish) kids and I sat down and made a Thing’s I’m not going to give a F%$# about in 2020 list. It was so fun, we each picked one or two things on our lists that we are committed to caring less about and devoting less energy to them. We’ll see how it works out.

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  8. My resolution is to go shopping for useless sh*t all year long.

    Items must make me giddy with possessive delight, must have some element of uselessness or otherwise make my practical ancestors purse their lips and mutter about unnecessary dust collectors, and the shopping experience must be pleasant so that every time I gaze upon my newest tchotchke I remember that nice artist or personable shopkeeper.

    I’m shopping in memory of my grandma, who never turned down the chance to buy a tacky useless item (preferably pink & sparkly). (*Also I think I’m safe doing this because I own almost nothing and my carbon footprint is so tiny I’m practically in stasis.)

    P.S. Belated congrats to you June on surviving the past few months of health carp. What an awful ordeal. I hope you’re feeling better now.

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  9. I’ve had a similar goal lately. I’m terrible about seeing something new and pretty and scent-y or shiny so I buy it and never finish the bottle I already have of the thing. So I have tens of half-used products (candles, lotions, cleaning spray). So far it’s working and my husband is pleased that the shower shelves are less crowded!

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  10. Mine is to keep making an effort to read the books I own and not just library books, since apparently I don’t plan to stop buying them. I read only books I owned from October through December last year — one allowed exception was if my work book club picked something I didn’t have, then I could borrow it. This year, I’m having every other month be a “no borrow” month. #booknerd

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  11. I’m working towards reducing our travel bags. With my husband’s new job overseas, when we travel, we travel far. With each trip, we’ve tried to pare down what we take with us, but it is inevitably too much. And then we usually take extra bags for bringing back things that we can’t get here, which makes us have to lug even more bags through airports and shuttles and hotels. My new goal is carry-on only when going, and checking only our foldable duffels when returning. It’s a mighty goal, but I’m determined!

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  12. Everyone has such great ideas. My goal is to get rid of paper clutter and I have gotten rid of 75%. I already get most of my bills/notices sent to me via email. I will leave most of the mail at the post office and throw it into the recycle bin (after reading it). Scan document images if they are that important to store (taxes etc). Anything else has to fit into a large expanding file.

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  13. I like PJ’s idea of purging one thing from house per week but I really need to go through my pantry and use up all the cans, packages, seasonings etc that my husband cannot seem to find when he makes supper so he just goes out and buys every little thing for a recipe….grrrrrrr

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  14. We’re going to be moving at the end of the summer so I’m still regularly involved in downsizing which thank goodness I started two years ago with my self challenge of getting rid of one item from my house every single day. It could be a shirt, a book, a stack of pads of paper, or even a single pen, but every single day at least one thing had to leave my house in the trash or in a give-away bag. Many days it was more than one thing because it’s fun once you get started. I did it again last year. Now it’s more like one box of something or one piece of furniture or one set of dishes every day.
    Art supply people, I got a large clear plastic bag and labeled it “misc. art supplies, all good” and filled it to the top and donated it. I’ve done that about a 6 times in the last year. (not a garbage size bag, something more manageable.)
    Say, didn’t somebody say Paula moved?

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    1. I did something similar one year – every week I had to get rid of a box of something. Could be a big box, small box, trash I cleared out of somewhere (not regular trash), donated, whatever. It really made a difference.

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    2. I am actually doing this already! My friends and I are having a Favorite Things party, and aside from the gifts I’m bringing, I am also bringing candles and other home decor I no longer I have a use for. But I LOVE your idea and am borrowing it!

      (I also belong to my neighborhood BuyNothing group on FB and you’d be surprised (or not) what folks will come get … free! local! (and less icky than Freecycle can sometimes be — folks tend to flake on you less, bc they are your neighbors 🙂 )

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    3. My actual goal is to celebrate, at least once a week, one of those obscure holidays- national apple day, talk like a pirate day, cuddle day, etc. So far a migraine has sidelined any celebration, but I’ll get back on track tomorrow!

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  15. Wow, I’m really going to have to think about this one. I kind of like the “no f-bombs” idea because I’ve noticed my potty mouth has gotten a bit worse lately. But as far as setting a dumb goal, I’m drawing a complete and utter blank. Oh, perhaps my Dumb Goal 2020 will be to post a random photo of nothing in particular on Instagram every day. Starting today. It’s a dumb AND shallow goal.

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  16. I like the clean out the freezer idea. We have SO MUCH! Maybe, but with work, it is hard for me to plan ahead. Hell, it isn’t the work, it is just hard for me to plan ahead!

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  17. Going to try no new clothes/shoes for one year (inspired by Bye Bye Buy) except for maybe one thing that I have had my eye on for 3 years now and have not found. I replaced my old, worn out solid sweaters last year but ended up with too much spending. That is what happens when you retire and have all kinds of time to online shop. Plus my mom gave me two new jackets and a nice warm puffy vest for Christmas so I really truly do not need any new clothes. Or shoes, or purses.

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  18. I vow to NOT read the Wednesday food flyers until one of my freezers is empty. I see that some meat is on sale and practically hyperventilate, the urge is so strong to go buy, buy, buy. Also, I will not peel off the Kohl’s sticker in hopes of a 30% off coupon. I feel like I should stand up and say, “hi, I’m Linda and I’m a sale-a-holic.”

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    1. Kohl’s is seriously going downhill anyway. Worse quality and weirder selection, which is really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you consider where they started.

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      1. They don’t seem to have any awareness of offering things people actually want and need. I do find some things there that are useful and not too expensive, but they *do* carry a lot of weird things.

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    2. I can’t pass up a sale or a clearance rack. I asked my husband to get sonethibg off a shelf for me in my craft room and he found my stash. I have presents for kids I don’t even have. He saw where I spend all our money, on nothing that I need.

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  19. I love this idea! Great post. Ima gonna start thinking now what I can make last a year…
    I thought of you all last night- my husband was singing and playing his guitar- Bobbi Jo Macallister blah blah blah and when he sang “pass the biscuits please” I started giggling.

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  20. Loved this post today! And I love the new site design too!
    I don’t buy soap – I use body wash and liquid hand soap! ha ha – and here is one of the main reasons that I don’t allow bar soap in my house! ! I bought a bar of soap to make a window easier to open – my dad used to do that – and I put it in the back of the garden tub (that I never use) thinking maybe I would need it again, even though it didn’t really help the issue! Well, I went somewhere and my wonderful baby, Marley, (Australian Shepherd, 55 lbs and at that time, 6 years old) decided it looked like a great treat. Well, he ate the whole thing! I didn’t know what to do but watched him and he pooped it out pretty much over the next several hours. However, the next morning he couldn’t walk! Well it was difficult but I got him to the vet. I guess he sprained his leg a bit when he jumped in the tub to get the soap. So, good grief, I don’t buy any damn bar soap!

    I am also going to try to stop buying tea – I have enough to last a lifetime but I think a lot of it is too old. Does tea get too old?
    And I am with the person who mentioned the food in the freezer! OMG – I have no idea why I have so much food in there!

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    1. I have a dog who also thinks soap is a tasty treat so it’s body wash here as well.
      He likes cardboard, as in toilet paper rolls and merchandise tags. I can’t hide any of my shopping from husband because Tucker brings him the tags!

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  21. My mother was a hoarder so I can’t deal with too much stockpiling. That being said, I should actually burn the candles I have. I don’t have a huge trove, but they could last for most of the year. Not non-stop though.

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  22. I should totally try to curb my cussing but I there is just no Ef-ing way. Life is too frustrating.

    I would like to say that I will not lose my readers (cheaters/granny glasses) and will therefore not need to buy anymore pairs. Just bought a 3 pack at Costco so I hope to make it thru the year. I alresdy have no idea where I stowed the black pair so this plan sounds promising.

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    1. Dollar tree has them for a dollar. Readers that is. And……they are only a dollar. har har

      I think I am going to go for the use up all the food in my freezer(I have LARGE chest freezer). I think if I only buy nothing frozen I could last for a couple of years.
      I am already in mid “get rid of stuff” mode. I hope to get the whole house done in the next couple months,now that I have mom(a woman who had and still does, just way to much stuff) moved.

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  23. Every year I try to whittle away at my tea stash/hoard. And every year I end up with a couple favorites that I keep replacing and all those other 1st runner up teas just sit there taking up shelf space.
    This is the year that I REALLY clear out some teas.

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  24. Craft supplies. I started sorting stuff after my last craft fair and am ashamed of the duplicates of triplicates and well, what all comes after that.

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  25. I thought ahead this weekend and went through my spices cabinet to make sure I had what I needed for a recipe (and thank goodness I checked, because I was short 2 spices I was sure I had) and discovered I have 5 bottles of basil. Apparently every time I make soup, I convince myself I am out of basil. I combined enough to get it down to 3 bottles, but I want to use those up this year.

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  26. I will paint my nails at least once a week!
    I have all this nail polish and love having my nails painted but keep forgetting to do it.

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  27. I doubt I can go without buying anything for a solid year … you guys are amazing! Right now I’m working on adding a vegetable to every meal. I’d say it’s going swimmingly except I totally want to hurl up my broccoli eggs I just ate. GAG.

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  28. Moisturizer. Body, face, whatever. I cleaned out the bathroom vanity and was appalled. Appalled, I tell ya. Apparently every time I was in a drugstore I picked up another bottle/jar/tube. Can easily go two years on this inventory.

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  29. Playing freezer/pantry roulette every day until I get all the old stuff used up. Trying to take out at least one thing a day and build a meal around it. Had broccoli soup last night with some slightly expired broccoli. Night before made fried rice with frozen pork tenderloin from the holidays. We have been wasting so much food with just the two of us!

    Oh, and the cursing thing is a good idea…

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  30. Oh I LOVE a dumb challenge! Yesterday I went though my two freezers and inventoried all the meat that we have stockpiled. We buy all our meat at Costco and with only two of us in the house, it can add up pretty quickly. I pledged to buy NO MORE MEAT until we use up what we already have on hand.

    This year I also cleaned out my stockpile of spices and said NO MORE. I need to use what I have – I’m a bit of a Spice Whore. So my challenge is to only replace spices when I run out and use up all the weird stuff I’ve bought this year. With all the meat I have in my freezer. Spicy meat for me!

    You smell great June! And I don’t think taking the soap you used from the hotel is stealing – they just throw it away anyway. I take all the little bottles they put in the room and bring it home. Our local women’s shelter collects them to put into care packages they distribute. For the price yo pay for a hotel room the least they can do is give you a few free bottles of shampoo! Now my mom used to bring home the towels… THAT’S STEALING. It was so embarrassing to hand a stack of towels to a guest that had “Holiday Inn” printed right on them!

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    1. I can’t pass up a sale or a clearance rack. I asked my husband to get sonethibg off a shelf for me in my craft room and he found my stash. I have presents for kids I don’t even have. He saw where I spend all our money, on nothing that I need.

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  31. I would say I won’t buy any books but I know that is a lie because I already have. Even though I really don’t need any more books. Maybe I will say I will read more books. I have already bought 10 news ones this year so maybe I will say I have to read and then get rid of at least 10 books.

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  32. I’d like to try to not purchase any shampoo/conditioner for the year. I bought liter bottles last year, and then the new Chi Avon s/c and then my sister, who works in a salon, got me two set of s/c for Christmas. My birthday is in June, please take note, and I plan on telling her she needs to get me another gift of s/c.

    In other news, my mother loves smelly bar soap, and her particular favorite is sandalwood. I am admittedly very sensitive to scents, but I also am Santa for her stocking every year. She always loves sandalwood soap in it, so every year I buy it and have to hide in the garage so I don’t gag and migraine myself to death in my own home. And every year when she gets it she wants to pass it around for everyone to smell. I can’t. Hurk. I just can’t.

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  33. I should say jewelry but know I will never stick to it. My beekman’s 1802 soap supply is dwindling. I got my beau hooked on it too now. I could say socks as well, two drawers very full. Makeup except essentials that run out? I do have a bit of a shopping issue as well. I have had to give up so much food I feel deprived. Oh wait, I have it! Clutter! I am moving this year to smaller digs and with my new guy. He hates my clutter and I don’t blame him, so clutter it is. Bring in less, let go of more!

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  34. To look and see if I already have Product XYZ before impulsively buying Product XYZ. So I won’t end up with 12 bottles of sunscreen but never have any razors.

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      1. I have a Condiment Situation to work on. Including, but not limited to, olives, pickles, mustard, honey, jellies, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, and salsas. Mmmmm!
        A delicious goal!

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  35. Body moisturizer – I still have some from Christmas stocking for the past 2 years – so this year will be the year of lubing myself up with the closet supply.

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  36. Socks. I have a drawer stuffed full of them. I went all last year without buying any and will do it again this year.

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  37. I know I should say I won’t buy any clothes/shoes/purses during 2020, but I hate to lie to myself.

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  38. I over did it at Bath and Body this past year! I think I have enough soap for 2 years. Will probably share it with my daughter so will do the challenge for one year!

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  39. I rarely travel and when I do it’s to visit friends and I don’t take their soap.

    Sugar. I have 10 lbs. I bought before Thanksgiving and I don’t need to be baking any desserts this year, so that has to last me. I paid $6 for that bag of sugar. Then I was shopping at Aldi and realized I could have bought 12 lbs. for less than half of what I paid at the high-priced grocery store. I was sooooo put out at myself!
    Tightwad Tee

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  40. Very impressed with your $1 on soap all year.
    Here’s mine: I am not buying ANY makeup in 2020. I have what some might consider a problem. I spent easily $2000 on makeup last year – I work from home, I don’t even go anywhere! Ridiculous. So that’s my resolution. To use up every last drop of what I have and buy no more. Partially inspired by/motivated by Bye, Bye, Buy!

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  41. I am downsizing my curses this year. My f#@k will be fig in 2020. I hope I can make it through the first figging week!

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    1. Oh, I like fig better than the fudge I have been trying to change to! I may need to steal this. My gentleman friend has much cleaner mouth than I do.

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      1. Do you watch The Good Place? They’re not able to curse because it’s basically heaven. A replacement comes out instead. My favorite is forking shirtballs, but I haven’t managed to incorporate it into my daily vocabulary.

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  42. love the site re-design!

    Oof. I have a shopping problem. Really, an Amazon problem. I think of something, I see if Amazon sells it (of course they do), if I can get it for prime (usually), and boom. It arrives the next day. Sigh.

    Since I travel a bit for work, I can probably also say, no soap for me would be easy. (I am sparingly using the Wynn Hotel hairspray I got last June. I ended up with like 8 bottles. I love it. I will cry when it is gone and I have to find another spray that is so light but yet works.)

    I am not a doomsday-prepper. I don’t know that I have enough of anything to last me a year… .

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