Compost Yourself


photo (15)

Notice anything different kitchen-wise from the post two days ago?  Let me help with a side-by-side comparison!

Hiding next to the sink is this little cutie!

photo (16)We’ve started to compost!

What does that mean, exactly?  We now save the majority of our food scraps (and some other goodies) in the above ceramic bucket from World Market.  I chose that particular compost container because it blends in so well with the countertops, and it received excellent reviews online.  Plus, it was only $14.99 to boot!  Can’t beat the price!

Even though it’s small, the countertop bucket doesn’t fill up for a good 3 to 4 days, at which point we then take it outside to put it in our giant composter:

image (49)We’ve “hidden” the compost on the side of the house in a bunch of weeds so that it is not blatantly obvious (it’s not unattractive, but it doesn’t exactly match the house).

image (48)Sidenote: please check out how old that central air unit is!  Crazy, huh??

We went with the Suncast Tumbler composter because of its portability.  When we move out of this rental, we’d like to be able to hose the composter down and move it with us.  Because we were specifically looking for one that could be moved, we were slightly limited in options, and ended up shelling out $98.  However, there are so many composters on the market, and you can find one much more reasonable!  If you live in a house, I suggest looking at making your own out of a few pallets.  Or you can simply buy one of these outdoor composters (hover over each picture for pricing):

And if you live in an apartment, you might want to consider keeping one of these around (they can be kept indoors!):

Basically, the cliff notes of composting is that there are things you can compost and things you cannot.

Compostable items include:

Table scraps

Fruit and vegetable scraps

Chicken/rabbit manure

Coffee grounds

Tea leaves

Grass clippings

Garden plants

Lawn & garden weeds

Flowers, cuttings

Seaweed and kelp



Straw or hay

Pine needles

Wood ash


Corn cobs, stalks

Dryer lint

Wood chips


Non-compostable items include:

Meat, fish, animal fats and bones

Fatty foods (dairy products, sauces, salad dressing, cooking oil)

Newspapers/office paper

BBQ ashes

Dog/cat poo (this is a big frowny face :-( for us…)

Plants that have gone to seed or are diseased

Salted foods

Black Walnuts

Doesn’t it feel good to help the planet?!

Xo, Laura

Did you love this post?  If so, check out the following related links!

4 Urban Composting Ideas (
Maintaining Proper Airflow in Compost (
Organic Composting Ideas You Should Try (
Composting 101 (
Composting is the New Cool (

Greening Up the Joint: Dish Soap

New digs = new resolutions.

In the interest of being healthier and more eco-friendly in our new house, we’ve resolved to switch out all of our household and beauty products with those made with all-natural ingredients.  In the interest of saving money and making it a total lifestyle change, we are introducing each new product slowly, as individual items get used up.  First up, the dish soap.  While we loved the Dawn with Olay Beauty Hand Renewal, we were concerned with the amount of unknown ingredients lurking in the soap.  I mean, what the heck is PPG-26??  (ML note: It looks like PPG-26 can be a moderately hazardous ingredient, causing skin irritation and harming internal organs.  Yikes.  Read more here.)


After very little searching on my part (I’ll admit that this find was all thanks to Mike!), we chose to go with Seventh Generation’s Natural Dish Liquid in Lavender Floral & Mint because it is a USDA Certified Biobased Product (95%), hypoallergenic, and even non-toxic, just in case the dogs happen to get into it.  Not only that, but the bottle is made from 100% recycled material.  And it’s even deliciously scented, to boot.  Winner winner, chicken dinner.

We’ll thoroughly evaluate its cleaning power once we get to the new house, but we can already tell that it’s going to be a match made in botanical heaven.  Have any of you found love with eco-friendly dish soap?

The Beginning

One week from today, Mike and I move into our very first rental house together.


One insanely-in-love couple and two super-loved pooches.


So why this blog? Since we are only renting, almost everything we do to this house will be non-permanent, and/or completely move-able. Having both lived in a slew of temporary homes, we have each been through our own decorating disasters. It seems that the only design magazines and websites out there cater to people who own their homes and can easily rip down entire walls, finish the basement, or put in a pool. But what do you do if you have a landlord? Until now, temporary living has meant ugly living.

Insert Mike and Laura. Makeshift Living is now chic and fun! We intend to help you make your temporary home one that you will be proud to show off. We will be taking inspiration from well-renowned and newbie design sources, while translating projects into easy-to-accomplish Do It Yourself tasks that won’t lose you your deposit.

And thus, our promise to you: Temporary Solutions for a Temporary Home.