Author Archives: Darcy Cronin

About Darcy Cronin

I'm a Mother/Coach/Blogger/Business Adventurer from Portland OR. My family consists of my Hubby of 12 years, our 8yo Kieran, 5yo Makenna, and 1yo Teagan. I love dreaming about a better future, and making it happen.

Begin

In this mid-week phase (especially after having a sick family including myself last week), I need a little inspiration to get through this week. While I’m more in need of wrapping up lots of tasks, Ben Lee’s Begin always gets me going. 


The video isn’t what I envision for the song, but we each have our own personal spin.


I first got into Ben Lee by listening to Pandora, a great source of free music.


Ben Lee’s Begin video:



What are you ready to begin?


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

Grocery Delivery – is it worth the price?

I’ve raved often of my love for Spud, for our organic grocery delivery service. So, I was dismayed to discover they are going out of business in the Portland area, effective immediately.


Ironically, this past week I had been inspired by Parent Hacks printable grocery list and started a draft of our ongoing grocery list. I had smugly colored all the items that we got regularly from Spud. Yet, before my list was even print ready, the sad news was sinking in…I’m going to be heading to the grocery store a whole lot more often again.


Naturally, they recommended two other delivery options in the Portland area – Organics to You and New Seasons


Organics to You surely has great produce, but they lack the dairy/staples that I’ve grown to love from Spud. The other problem is that Organics to You operates essentially like a CSA – there are no substitutions for orders – if you don’t like brussel sprouts you’re still stuck with them. 


New Seasons is a full service market, but they charge $10 for each deliveryI love New Season’s, but the closest one is a 15 minute drive and I almost always spend more than I expect. I suspect that the $10 charge may be worth the savings on impulse spending.


Update: New Seasons announces that they will soon stop their grocery delivery service


The other problem is that time feels like money, and I have a feeling that I’m going to spending more of my valuable free at the grocery store…


For tomorrow, I know I’m now out of cream for my coffee…


Do have your groceries delivered?
Is it worth the price?


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

Dr. Bronner’s Soap & Film

It may be a bit nerdy, but Hubby and I love a  good documentary. Over the weekend we rented Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox from Netflix. It was a really intriguing film about the legacy of a man, and now a family.


Since my parents were some of the hippies who flocked to his “magic soap,” I’ve grown up on Dr. Bronner’s. I’ve always loved the tingly feeling of the peppermint, and the fact that it’s biodegradable. I enjoy their lotions too, and have the lavender one at my bed side.


I remember sometime in childhood asking my Mom about the religious/spiritual messages on the soap labels…all-one seemed like a unifying belief, but I wasn’t so sure how the rest of it fit together…Dr Bronner’s philosophy blends lots of different truths to create his own unique truth. 


Dr. Bronner lived a fascinating life, and was steadfast in sharing his truth. CIA files labeled him as a “nutty,” although it’s to know if his shock therapy in the “nut house” only made his preaching more emphatic. Disturbingly, he sacrificed his children for his cause, and they grew up in orphanages while he traveled sharing his gospel. I don’t want to give away the whole film, but the trailer is below and you can start to get a feel for the zany scientist/soap-maker/spiritual speaker. 


I also learned some more reasons to love Dr. Bronner’s soap:

  • First to produce a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.
  • Organic and proud of it – they’ve been working hard to keep the standards high
  • Fair Trade – and not just their supply chain – DB’s top execs make no more than 5 times the lowest paid employee, and all staff have health care and retirement plans
  • Advocates for industrial hemp – hemp’s high omegas make it great for soap!

Dr. Bronner’s granddaughter is a mom, and has a blog all about her ways of going green.


As suggested, I use it for both personal hygiene and household cleaning. I have yet to try all of the ways they suggest using it though, and I’m planning to get more adventurous in my usage. If you start using Dr. Bronner’s religiously, I promise you’ll save your family money and promote sustainable and people-friendly business practices.


Here’s the trailer to the film about the magic soap maker:







Does your family use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps?


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

Family Questions for Estate Planning

Wills are the type of task that every parent wants to push off until tomorrow…or next year. We’ve been making progress (slowly, but surely) on our goal of updating our “last will & testaments.” This time we’ve hired a lawyer, and we’re finishing all the estate planning documents: power of attorney, advance medical directive, and a last will & testament.


Our original wills were done on the cheap. We used a will kit software purchased by friends’ parents who helped us wade through the questions and get everything prepared. The beauty of taking on the task with another couple is that we had each other to sign copies (you need two signatures of people not listed in your will). Having your will signed may seem morbid, but we actually signed on New Year’s Day (with Mt Hood in view!) We were just relieved to know that in the case of an awful accident on the way home that our kids would go to our chosen guardian, and we wouldn’t leave family in a lurch.


Speaking of guardians, choosing who might raise your family is often a tough choice. There are lots of different factors to consider, and this article on 10 things to think about when choosing a guardians is very helpful. The number one issue in my mind is family values: who  can come close to honoring your values in raising your kids? Here’s a good perspective on choosing a guardian from The Simple Dollar, you can see just how personal the decision really is. Our lawyer (and friend) advised us to consider whether we want our estate guardian to be the same person and our custody guardian.


In our case, my Twin Sis is a shoe-in for the role (minus the globe trekking job 😉 But life can change quickly, so it’s important to keep tabs on who you choose. We chose Hubby’s sister as “back-up” guardian, since she was the only sibling without a family (but wanted kids!), just four years later she’s married and has two beautiful girls. And who knows, my Twin Sis may go “Angelina” on us and suddenly adopt a tribe of kids from where ever she happens to be in Africa at the moment…stranger things have happened 😉 But seriously, in our case we also trust her manage our estate and raise our kids if need be.


There are some big questions to answer, which is why many parents continue to put it off…


Do you have a Last Will and Testament?
Is it up-to-date?


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