Category Archives: living well

Thanksgiving day wishes

On this holiday, let us give thanks for all the blessing in our life.  Let us reflect on that for which we are most grateful, especially the people and gifts we most take for granted.

If you are moved to say grace or a blessing at the table tonight but don’t have one in mind, consider the (mostly secular) prayers that spoke to me, which I’ve compiled below.

Whatever your traditions are, I wish you health and happiness for you and yours.  Happy Thanksgiving! Continue reading Thanksgiving day wishes

Things I’ve learned so far: The margin

As a (still relatively new) mother undergoing some major life changes, I’ve started recognizing a lot of things about life that had never occurred to me before. They are not earth-shattering discoveries, but they are my major breakthroughs. In this space, I will share with you some of what I’ve learned so far. I hope the thoughts I’ve gathered will inspire you to reflect on what you’ve learned about life (or at least laugh at how long it took me to figure these things out).

The margin (in 4 parts)

Don't cry over spilled milk.  Keep a rag handy.
Don’t cry over spilled milk. Keep a rag handy.

My first two years of motherhood were fraught with unexpected overages, to borrow an apt term from the mobile phone industry. Diapers that leaked, food that spoiled, bills that were higher than anticipated, bills that were never anticipated in the first place, deadlines that took longer than planned, messes that had to be cleaned up, minor disasters that had to be handled, illnesses that required time to rest and recover, and so on. And I got angry nearly every time it happened (okay, every time). I hadn’t planned for this! I had budgeted a certain amount of time, money, and energy (or all three) to take care of {fill in the blank} and there wasn’t enough to cover the latest mishap.

So I ran short day after day, month after month. And then one day wh…..

[As if the universe were trying to send me a sign, my laptop battery died right here in the middle of typing this post – mid-word even. Thank goodness I had taken my own advice on building in a margin and wasn’t counting on publishing this immediately. Geesh! Okay, back to what I was saying…]

One day when I was revising our household budget and I realized there was no line item for the little things we forget about (e.g., Sirius radio – for the traffic updates) and those we can’t anticipate. Let me tell you, homeowner’s roulette is not my favorite game. Which appliance/structural feature/piece of furniture/part of the plumbing system will need repair or replacement this year??? I have no idea. But I’ve finally realized that at least one will, or maybe more. Continue reading Things I’ve learned so far: The margin

$200/month grocery challenge – Part IV

This is the fourth installment of a 5-part series.  Missed the first three parts?  Go here, here, and here

My family and I recently completed a 4-week long experiment in which we aimed to drastically reduce our spending on groceries and continue to eat well, perhaps even better than before.  If you’re curious, here are our weekly meal plans for the month.


While we came in more or less under our $200 budget for eating in (depending on how you account for my seasonal produce projects), eating out was another matter.  We blew that budget, which was roughly $200-300.  Continue reading $200/month grocery challenge – Part IV