Monthly Archives: October 2010

Women Saving the World

A friend and co-worker sent me an article about how the Daili Lama thinks that  Western Women Are Going to Save the World. It’s a brilliant article about how much women control family finances and how our choices are changing the world. She really spells out the statistics about how much women, and I would argue mothers, decide what to buy and not buy.


Part of why I started my blog was to share and connect with other women around the world, because we can’t save the world all by our lonesome, or at least it wouldn’t be as much fun ;-).  I sure how to read some Dads in the process, but the truth is that women make the majority of household purchases.


I also like the article’s “Moment of Truth” section at the end, where it asks us each to make small choices like boycotting bottled water to help reduce oil pollution and global warming.


Do you think western women will save the world?
What steps will you take first?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Home Maintenance

Maybe it’s just because we’re hunkering down for the winter ahead, but it sure feels like home maintenance season to me. When we bought a 1904 home, we knew that we’d have a fair amount of maintenance. Thankfully, it hasn’t been any more than our previous 1920’s house. No matter if your house is a century old or brand new, home ownership requires a commitment to regular maintenance.


Yet when it comes to home maintenance, neither of us are do-it-yourselfers. About the extent of our skills is interior painting, which Hubby used a few weekends ago repainting the bathroom ceiling and trim. But for the bulk of our projects, hiring professionals is necessary. We recently had our energy efficient boiler cleaned and inspected. We don’t use our fireplace more than a dozen times a winter, but we haven’t had it cleaned in the past two and it seems like an important safety project. We’re also getting a bid on roof cleaning/maintenance, since when I had our house evaluated for solar I realized that there’s more moss on our roof than NW firs.


If that honey-do list weren’t enough, EcoMaids staff discovered a slow drip from the back of the upstairs toilet onto the floor. It’s hard to pinpoint why the leak appeared and how to fix it. I have a feeling this repair will make it to the top of the list this weekend, as we’re all tired of going downstairs to use a toilet (reminds me of our starter home!)


In past we’ve hired from a variety of sources. I’ve been happy with ServiceMagic for finding quality professionals. We’ve also had good luck with Craigslist, but I prefer referrals from friends. 


In case you’re ready to start a remodeling project, here is a comprehensive article on green remodeling. The new Home Improvement Products guide for the Healthy Stuff campaign has tested over 8,000 products for toxic chemicals (something the EPA hasn’t even attempted) and you can quickly find home improvement products that won’t harm your family. While we’re eye deep in basic maintenance at the moment, I definitely plan on using this resource.


How do you prioritize your home maintenance?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Pass It On

Lately I’ve started passing on our plethora of baby and kid stuff. A close family friend is due with a baby girl, and we had fun going through Girly’s clothes together. I also gave her our infant car seat, baby bath tub, bouncy chair and baby moses basket. At that point we were overwhelmed by all the stuff in the corner basement room, so we opted to pace ourselves and go through more another time. But it did remind me of the warm sentimental feeling I also got when I gave/got hand-me-downs from family friends as a kid.


I also offered by breast pump to a co-worker of mine who is planning to pump at work, and she’s also very grateful for my generosity.


At some point soon I’m going to try to muster the energy to do some consigning, which apparently has been very popular in Portland. I was only disappointed to see that I missed a big consignment sale


Do you pass it on or sell your kid stuff?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

EcoMaids

I enjoyed the ultimate luxury this past Friday: coming home from a long week to a spotless home. Yes, we’ll finally managed to budget a monthly cleaning service.


I’ve been blessed with a Hubby who loves cleaning, but also cursed with a Hubby who craves cleanliness to the point of being borderline obsessive about it. Even though he pulls more than his weight in the cleaning department, I’ve been fantasizing about a cleaning service for a while, especially since getting our Doggy


Initially I kept telling myself that we could manage without and that it was important to raise our kids with chores. Then finally it dawned on me that even if we hired some help, there would still be more than enough dishes, laundry, yardwork and household projects to teach our kids the importance of contributing to our family. 

So when we recently got over the hump to no longer need to pay private mortgage insurance, we both agreed that getting a cleaning service would increase our quality of life more than anything else. Our first deep cleaning made for a much more relaxing weekend, and something to look forward to right before Thanksgiving!


I’ll share more about EcoMaids, the national franchise we chose to clean our home next month, but in case you decide to take the plunge before then, mention my blog and get $100 off your first four services.  There are also other House Cleaning Services that may be available in your area.


Do you have a cleaning service?
Are they eco and budget friendly?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.