No Spend Community (Bloggers, Share Your Posts Here!) And Week 1 Wrap-Up

No Spend Month Dollars Count

First things first: have you done the Own Your Financial Numbers Challenge yet? That might be the most important thing you do for your financial health this whole month, so if you’ve put it off, go do it. No really, we’ll wait. It’s that important. Phew. Okay, now that that is done, how ya feeling? Pretty solid? Glad [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Own Your Financial Numbers

My spreadsheet software came preinstalled with various financial planning templates like this. Yours might too.

As I recall, Oprah, in one of her less-svelte periods, talked about “owning her number.” As in, admitting publicly that she weighed 200 pounds. Owning Your Number is not being scared to really look at your starting point. It’s about getting past denial. I consistently find the philosophical fundamentals of financial fitness and physical fitness are the same. One deals in [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Wrestle More Money Out Of Your Largest Appliances

2011House_3ALL_lg-1

Once I was visiting my in-laws in Central California. We were driving through what used to be Ag Land but is now, inexplicably, where people who work in San Francisco live. I say inexplicably because this area is about a 90 minute to two hour drive from San Francisco depending on traffic. People explain why [Continue Reading...]

Stop Leaking Money and Start Valuing It with No Spend Month October

Is This Stopping You From Owning Your Home?

It’s time to whip your finances into shape. Money is the band-aid we place over up the gaping flesh wound that is thoughtless, unsustainable consumerism. The wound isn’t healed just because you smack a $20 on it every few days and absorb more blood. If your money is busy covering up some financial wounds, No [Continue Reading...]

Half-Ass Earthquake Proofing The Pantry

Earthquake Proofing the Pantry (3)

“Nice shelves loaded with glass jars full of home-canned food, Erica! Now, don’t you live right on a fault line or something? Aren’t you guys in Seattle just waiting for an 8.0 earthquake to turn your whole city into rubble? What’s your plan for those jars of tomatoes, then, huh?” Yes…I know, I know. There [Continue Reading...]

Zombies vs. The Joy of Canning: Motivation in the Productive Home

Blanching Tomatoes

“Hey, we were planning on getting together later today, right?” I asked my friend. “Yeah, but after dinner.” “Can we push that back to later in the week?” I was exhausted from Can-o-Rama and the idea of a social commitment after dinner was more than I could handle. “Sure. What’s up?” “I’m pretty tired. I [Continue Reading...]

Three Book Giveaway: Build The Life You Really Want

Lisa Kivirist (1)

An advertising agency in Chicago used to pay Lisa Kivirist one big paycheck. Now, hundreds of people pay her lots of very small ones. All these little paychecks – over a thousand last year – allow Lisa, her husband John and their son to live the life they want: rural, sustainable and meaningful. People write [Continue Reading...]

By Popular Demand: Pressure Canning Planning Sheets For Low Acid Foods

Pressure Canning Planning Sheet

A few of my readers mentioned that a planning sheet for low-acid foods to go with last week’s Canning Planning Sheet would be pretty useful. Ask and ye shall receive, Gentle Readers! You’ll find this on the downloadables page paired up as a two-page PDF with the (Water Bath) Canning Planning Sheet, so if you want both you [Continue Reading...]

More Organized Food Preservation: A Canning Planning Sheet

Canning Planning Sheet Thumbnail

I’m a bit late to the game this year in terms of laying out my canning goals. But, with the majority of the summer harvest still to come on in this area, it’s not too late to make a game plan. For a canning overview, I like to list out my canning projects by type (jam, [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Honeybee Democracy – For Beekeepers And More

Honeybee Democracy

Thomas Seeley’s fascinating Honeybee Democracy has received press in some unusual circles for a book about insect behavior. Everyone from homemade mead-makers to The New Republic has weighed in with glowing reviews on this study of honeybee swarms. The reason for this broad appeal is simple: Seeley does an excellent job describing the how and why of honeybee group decision-making, [Continue Reading...]

The $332 Fantasy Facial (Or: An Anthropological Expedition to the Mall)

Makeup Store (5)

“If you get nothing else, please, please just get the moisturizer,” the overly plumped and overly plucked sales-cultist implores me. “You know, these are the years that really count for your skin.” The moisturizer is $75 for a two-ounce jar. The jar, it must be said, is a very pretty sandblasted green. It’s worth at least [Continue Reading...]

Lunch In A Jar: How Mason Jars Can Make Your Brown Bagging Easier

Mason Jar Lunches (4)

Do you run short on reusable, environmentally-friendly containers when you are packing lunches? In the, “this may be too obvious to be a blog post but may also change your lunch hour for the better” category, I’d like to talk about using your stash of mason jars for things other than canning (or margaritas). Like brown [Continue Reading...]