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Lily with Ball

Lily with Ball

 
Mommy Tips
Make-It-Yourself Monday Print E-mail
Monday, 23 February 2009

Ok, so that’s a new category that I totally made up. And this will reveal me as uber-granola mom, but so be it.

I probably make more items around our house than most people; I make our own yogurt (we’ll talk about that another Monday – it’s embarrassingly easy, and so much cheaper, that I have to with the rate we go through yogurt!), my mom makes our bread, we eat homemade breakfast bars, granola, and so on. It’s partly the Martha Stewart in me, partly the cheapskate in me, and partly the environmentally-friendly tree hugger in me. But this is something anyone can make, regardless of your level of cooking skills (even you, A. – you know who you are!) because this requires no cooking, no measuring.

Moms and dads, it’s time to put down the store-bought glass and surface cleaner.


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Shop And Swap! Print E-mail
Friday, 20 February 2009

I organized a neighborhood shop and swap recently as part of my living a life of impact thing, and I have to tell you, it was amazingly fun and astoundingly successful.

I emailed all the mommies in the various mom’s groups in my neighborhood – and my community has several; our close-knit groups are one of the things I love about my area. I told all the moms I was organizing a morning to trade baby clothing and toys, picked a date, and we were off!

The rules were simple: bring even one thing to give away, and you could take home as much as you needed. Clothes had to be in good condition, and toys needed all their parts. And everything was to be free- no cash could change hands. Otherwise, there were no rules. I heard lots of moms say it sounded like a good idea, but I really had no idea if we’d have two people show up or twenty.


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Challenge: To Live A Life Of Impact Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 January 2009

This is usually the time of year when I do a funny blog on new year’s resolutions: I see traditional resolutions as a bunch of needless pressure, impossible standards we’ll never fulfill, and often will blog about “realistic” resolutions, such as giving ourselves a break and accepting our parenting flaws. But this year I seem to see many such articles around already; seems we’re a bunch of highly stressed, pressured people who need lots of people to tell us to take it easy and not put too much pressure on ourselves.

I predict that 2009, with its economic uncertainty and crazy stock market, will be a year of paring down: living more simply, de-cluttering, stripping away extraeneous activities and expenses and getting back to the basics. And while new year’s resolutions have always seemed a bit arbitrary to me, the flip of the calendar is a convenient place to pause and take stock of your life, seeing what worked and what didn’t and vowing to try harder. So I tried to come up with some resolutions.


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Treasuring Traditions Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Yesterday was the start of December, and to mark the occasion people all across the country cracked open their Advent calendars. I grew up using one of the thin paper ones, with little doors you pried open. A scripture verse was written on the back of each door, and a picture from the nativity scene. I used to love opening the Advent calendar, watching the days until Christmas count down even as the scene of Christ’s birth was revealed more fully each day.

The past few years have seen a huge resurgence of Advent calendars, and those devices once the domain of Christians only have been taken over by secular holiday celebrations as well. Now Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel sell wooden calendars, felt calendars, metal ones, all with Christmas tree or Santa decorations. Each day is another chocolate to eat, or a small treat to unwrap, as well as another ornament to hang on the calendar “tree”. And with my apologies to everyone out there who has one of those, these calendars make me sad.


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Conscientious Consumption Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 November 2008

As we hover on the brink of the official Christmas season (though I still can’t believe it’s now considered “late” to start Christmas stuff the day after Thanksgiving!) I’ve been working on my Christmas shopping. Finances are tight everywhere this year, and for the past several months I’ve been working the sales and buying a few things at a time, spreading out the cost.

The problem with this approach is two-fold: first, you can end up picking up several “little” gifts, and have spent your budget without buying anything meaningful, since you don’t see the overall picture as the gifts are smuggled into your house. This can be at least partially solved by using a variation of my famous gift spiral – see earlier blog on that. But second, what you buy in September may not be what your kid is into come December. And you may have amassed yourself a huge collection of Barbie gear, only to find out your child is now in love with Thomas. For example.


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