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.

Living in Bliss

I bought the The Geography of Bliss  at Powell’s for my nomadic Twin Sis, conveniently for our birthday. She was kind enough to pass it along to me, and I finally finished reading it this past weekend.

The author, NPR correspondent Eric Weiner, has a humorous writing style even though it’s research-based non-fiction. Plus, happiness research isn’t exactly the toughest subject to delve into.

Without going into a full review, I would highly recommend the book. He writes about the American trend away from happiness, despite our amassed wealth and stuff. While money is important to have a decent standard of living, research shows that money itself does not make a country or oneself happy. 

Without giving away the punchline, it’s no surprise that trust, gratitude and social connections are the genuine bliss breeders. Here’s a brief video where Weiner describes landing in Iceland in the middle January. I reminds me of my Twin Sis’ high school exchange to Finland where she saw the sun once during the entire month of December!

Where is your happiest place?

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

Blessings Count

At the end of a long work day, it’s far too easy to fret about something that’s really inconsequential. So, I try my best each day to count our blessings: small and large, practical and silly, past and present.

I appreciate that we can afford our mortgage, even if our house certainly lost value when the real estate bubble burst. A 60 minutes interview discussed the unprecedented trend of Americans walking away from mortgages.

I am thankful still being a dual income family in a time when I personally know people who are being laid off.

I am grateful for our family’s health, and the fact that potential lactose intolerance is our biggest health challenge to date.

One significant blessing is that my family can experience magnificent forests and recognize the simple beauty of diverse ferns.

I’m eternally grateful for the curiosity and imagination of our children, even when it waylays my efforts to get them bathed and tucked into bed.   

What blessings do you count?

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

Budget Template!!

Our budget template has been several months in the works now, what with my Twin Sis traveling all over Africa and me just trying to managing a family and a new blog venture. You likely aren’t quite as excited as us, but I know that a few of you have been eagerly awaiting our new budget template.(hosted by Media Fire)

First, I must give the bulk of the kudos to my better half, since she’s the Excel genius who really crafted the template’s stellar formatting. I’ll only give myself credit for tailoring it to meet family budget needs.

I’ve used various budget templates over the years, originally simple self-made ones and then a few found online. Yet, none of them quite did the trick for me, and one of my biggest frustrations was not being able to see each month at a time and how the months blur together visually. This budget template helps draw your attention to important things, like when you are over-budget the font turns to red . The final page also shows you your averages, which is really key to understanding and changing your financial priorities.

Despite the bell and whistles, the template has been created with you our user in mind. You really don’t need to know Excel to be able to plug in your family budget info and watch it do the tallying for you!

Please post comment if you download, we’d love to know that our time and effort is helping you meet your family finance needs! We’d also like to continue to improve the template, so your feedback is important to us!

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

Great & Grand Green Mamas

Happy Almost Mama’s Day!

I’ve shared inspiring Green Mama stories all week, but I’ve been saving the best for last. My own Grand-Mama and Mama inspire me daily, and help shape my green ethics and family values.

When I was a kid I remember thinking that our Grandma was a bit extreme in her frugality, and I bet that I rolled my eyes back in junior high when she insisted that I patch the holes in the knees of my jeans.  

Despite having a prosperous nursery business, she’s never been frivolous in her spending.  While influenced in part by her experience as a young woman during the Great Depression, frugality often contributes greatly to reducing ones footprint even if that’s not your primary intent.

Our Mama has quite the green roots .  She lived in the most sustainable of ways, by moving off the electrical grid for a decade, where I was fortunate enough to spend my youth.  She knows what it is like to live off the harvest and lightly on the earth. She was even a Green Mompreneur in her hippie days, and actually had a small business where she sold handmade leather garments – think moccasins, buckskin jackets.

Decades later, she now teaches home economics at a small school, where she’s led an effort to become a certified Oregon Green School . She’s not only a very Green Mama , but a leader in her community.

Aside from my own Green Grands and Greats in my life, there are many other that inspire as well. I was thrilled to find a Hippy Grandma Eco Love blog! Check out the Green Grandma’s blog for a taste of how to Live Green & Live Smart. 

Was your Grandma Green?  Has she taught you how to live more lightly on the earth?

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

Global Green Mamas

Oxfam is helping unite “Sister on the Planet” who are working together prepare for climate change. They’ve posted four stories of Global Green Mamas who are shining beacons of hope in the face of intense environmental challenges.

Sahena’s story:

Martina’s story:

Muriel’s story:

Ursala’s story:

It may have become cliche, but I still believe in the mantra “Think Globally. Act Locally.”  Thinking globally reminds us that we are all connected, as humanity and with Mama Earth. 

Do these Green Mama story move you to act?

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