Category Archives: abundance

Global Gratitude

After writing about the importance of asking for more money , I feel the need to reflect on how grateful I am for gainful employment and a gratifying career. It’s important to remind myself just how rich Americans are in the global picture, and how fortunate we are to have such a high standard of living.

Where do you rank on the global rich list ? I found this brilliant site where you simply input your salary and it ranks your global wealth.

I double majored in International Studies and Environmental Studies, and recall first learning about colonialism and the so-called Third World. Here’s a quick video from a Princeton professor who discusses the need to reframe the global economy to meet the needs of the poorest billion people. Don’t worry, it’s not overly academic.

How do you help your children understand just how lucky they are to have fresh vegetables and comfortable shoes? I found a very talented graphic who created some genius graphics from the statistics about what the world would look like if it were a village of 100 people. I am definitely going to save this for the day when my kiddos ask me to explain the inequality of the world.

Do you feel rich?
How do you get global perspective?

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

Preserving Primer

Canning, and food preservation in general, is finding its way back into busy modern lives. Whether you preserve your own backyard harvest or simply store up the fresh farmer’s market flavor for a colder season, food preservation is both more sustainable and more economical.

Unfortunately, there’s also good reason to can for your family’s health. Many commercial canning companies line cans with an epoxy resin containing the BPA chemical .  I’ve known for several years about the potential harm from BPA laced baby bottles , but it was only this past winter that I realized that all my handy tomato cans contained BPA.

This has renewed my motivation to become a confident canner. I’ve only dabbled in canning really, but have fond memories of making blackberry jam. I was eager to do more than just freeze this past summer, but with an infant the learning curve seemed too steep. 

So, I’ve been educating myself lately, well in advance of the harvest peak. A month ago I attended a lunch brown bag at the library, then gleaning some wisdom and recipes from my mom’s group, and an evening class on “ preserving the harvest .”  The most important thing I’ve learned so far is not to be intimidated! If you preserve in smaller batches it doesn’t take as much time as you’d think. Make it part of your lifestyle and have fun with it!

I also checked a few books out from the library  Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys & More

There will be more posts throughout the summer on food preservation, and I would love to exchange ideas with other newbies, dabblers and veterans.

What are your favorite foods to preserve for your family?

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

Green Giving

I don’t know about you, but I always find it a challenge to buy gifts for adults. T here are lots of great green gifts out there for grads and dads, but honestly I’m not sure if they really need any of them.   What do you give someone who has everything?

This year I decided to give my Dad and Father each a micro-loan through Kiva. You can give true gift certificates, but I wanted to be thoughtful about it so I chose.

For my Father, I found a woman in El Salvador, Ana Vilma Gomez, who needs funds to support her kitchen that serves traditional meals. I was actually looking for someone with a bee-keeper business since my Grandfather kept bees, but she came up when I searched for honey and seemed like the right recipient for my Father since he traveled through Central America before I was born.

For my Dad I found a mechanic from Bolivia named Luis who is building his business with his wife. I liked is hard-working profile and how he poised to prosper if he can secure a relatively small loan.

I wrote about Kiva and posted a video that you can check out too.

Have you given a loan/gift of Kiva?
Use this link to lend your first $25 for free!

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

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.