Keeps Getting Better

“It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.”
– Wendall Berry


I really enjoyed writing my midweek inspiration last week, and am inspired to do a weekly reflection on a quote. Quotes will be graciously gathered from my friend, the Wise Word Bandit. Without knowing it, we both started our blogs within a few weeks of each other, so we’ve been cheering each other on in our quests to become successful bloggers. I’ve certainly enjoyed getting daily quotes from her, and hopefully my reflections on them will help you in your our own personal growth process…


Before Hubby and I were married the best compliment he ever gave me was telling a friend that “I make him want to be a better person.” This pretty much sealed the deal for me, and continues to make me want to be a better wife, mother…..


I look to lots of people to become a better person, and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my “inspiration” posts.


Who helps you be “better”?


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

Yoga @ Home

I’ve always been a bit of a hermit when it comes to practicing yoga. I took two college Hatha Yoga courses to begin to understand the philosophy and approach to whole body health. Yet, my goal was always to practice in the privacy and comfort of my own home.


My strategy was two fold. I was a poor college student, and wanted to get the most personal benefit from all my student loans. I also felt like I would stand a better chance of creating a life-long practice if I didn’t have to leave my home and rely on teachers for instruction. Somehow I also channeled my future busy-mom lifestyle, and knew that yoga would become wellness touchstone.


I haven’t gone entirely on my own though, since I mostly practice with audio/video instructors. My all time favorite CD is Shiva Rea’s Yoga Sanctuary. In just a 30-40 minute routine, and I feel toned and fit. I’ve also picked up a few GAIAM DVDs to switch things up from time to time, and I have great yoga deck that I picked up at a neighborhood yard sale. I used another prenatal deck that has some very affirming meditations, and Shiva Rea’s prenatal DVD during my pregnancies. I’ve probably spent about $100 over the past decade.


I think my strategy has paid off, because I was astounded by a quick calculation: I’ve saved about $12,000 in the past ten years! ($5 per class 4 times a week)  I’ve also saved on yoga attire, and can hardly believe the price of yoga attire. I’m kind of in disbelief that yoga outfits now cost over $100…I’m still using my college pajamas!


Despite the substantial savings, I certainly think that classes would be fun and may some day  prefer to practice socially in a group. There’s a new Lotus Seed yoga center in my neighborhood that I would like to check out, but for now doing yoga at 5:30 while Hubby walks the dog works best for me.


Do you practice yoga?
Do you prefer classes?


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



Darcy’s Utopia

When I started dreaming about writing this blog about a year ago, I was both inspired and terrified. The idea of putting my experiences and family values up for public scrutiny was pretty intimidating (not to mention the time commitment!)


So, I made the decision to post under the alias “Green Mama” as both a way to show solidarity will fellow aspiring eco-mothers, and to avoid the potential sting of personal criticism. Thankfully, I’ve heard only a wealth of positive feedback and am now at ease as a “blogger.” But the one request I have gotten is to share my identity, and at this point it feels more comfortable and genuine to share all of myself with you.


My name is Darcy. I know that most of my so-called “readers” are friends and family, so this may not be a big surprise to you. But regardless of whether we actually know each already, I hope my openness will bring us one step closer and create a connection to support us both in our journey to sustainable abundance.


As a young adult I read the British novel, Darcy’s Utopia, and fell in love with the heroine’s unapologetic philosophy on life. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of her values, but I did relate to the idea that we each have the power to envision and create our own utopia. Here’s to us each creating our own utopia…


One last note, my original “About Us” post still stands true. Although my partner and Twin Sis has been stationed in Africa since May, so we haven’t had a chance to really expand the business side of this blog. If you have any tips, we’d appreciate your advice. First we need more regular readers…


If you enjoy my blog, please post a comment and share with a friend!


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

Bicycling Culture

With the last Sunday Parkways of the summer coming up, I’d like to share about bicycle culture. Bicycling is a way of living with a history, traditions, and trends that signal social change is shifting gears toward sustainability. 


There’s a strong biking community in Portland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance now has over 5,000 members! When I first moved to Portland in 2000 I bike commuted from Ladd’s Addition to North Portland and would see a handful of bikes daily, now 2,745 commuters now ride along N Williams and Sunset magazine even profiled this hip place to bike!  


Bicycles had a thriving history before car culture took over. I love this article about packing 6,000 bicyclists on a ferry from Seattle-to-Bainbridge, which also talks about the history of bikes in the NW.


Having lived in Denmark, I know that Portland has only scratched the surface of the depth of bicycling culture. Bicycling is like second nature in Denmark. Like most Danes, I had two bicycles, one at each train station. My headmaster rode to school in a suit, stilettos are not uncommon either. Girls with unbelievably short skirts pedal. One of my best vacations ever was spent biking around the fairytale island of Bornholm. Danes aren’t selfish though, and are ready to share their love of cycling worldwide through their Cycling Embassy. If two wheels make you gush, check out Copenhagenize – “for the love of bicycle culture.”


Lastly, I’d like to share about a fun new bicycle book called Joyride, it’s getting some great press and hope to read it before too long.


Does your family bicycle for fun? 
Do you bike-commute to save money and reduce your footprint?


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