Don’t Budget Like a Dieter

Spent too much on Christmas shopping? New Year’s Resolution: Spend less!

Ate too many holiday sweets and savory treats? New Year’s Resolution: Eat less!

But wait… we all know where the belt-tightening road leads. You tell yourself “no, no, no…” every time you see something fun you’d like to buy or something special you’d like to eat. And at some point you break. You just can’t handle all those “no’s” any more. So you binge — you go on a shopping spree and break the bank, or you eat a huge juicy burger and break your diet.

But what are you really after? Is it to follow a strict diet and lose the proverbial 10 pounds? That could be really oppressive. Or is it simply to be healthier? Probably, yes. In that case, why not start saying “yes” to all the delicious healthy things you can eat?

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When Budget Meets Reality

This coming new year, one of my resolutions will be to eat out less. Living in San Francisco it’s hard not to be affected by the “slow food” culture at work here, but for me eating out less isn’t about saving the environment or making sure that animals are treated fairly. I just miss cooking.

I spent my college years in Southern California which among its many benefits can also boast to be the home of “Henry’s” a grocery chain that prides itself on sourcing its produce from local growers. If you’ve ever been to a Henry’s, you know it’s something special. Ripe local produce, bountiful grains, delicious snacks, I fell in love with food and cooking because of Henry’s.

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One Family’s Gift-Giving Journey

Last week, as Steve was thinking about how to budget for the holidays, our conversation quickly turned toward what we think gift-giving is really all about. Why do we give gifts? I think of gifts as an expression of love, but if that’s true, why is there so much worry and stress over giving and receiving gifts?

In my family, we’ve talked about what it means for us to give and receive gifts about 20 times in the last 21 years — and come up with just as many answers. As a large and growing family, what it has meant for us to give and receive gifts has changed over time. We’ve done small gifts, large gifts, alternative gifts, and even no gifts, all in search of a way for us to keep the love in our gifts, without getting lost in a pile of more stuff that no one needs.

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