blue jacket with buttons

Handmade gift ideas for tweens and teens

Those of you who have been following along with the 12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas series probably began your Christmas shopping weeks ago. For others, these final days of November (especially Black Friday here in the United States) are when the inertia and adrenaline of the holiday shopping season kick into high-gear. As I (read more…)

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painting of the world

Hosting overnight guests: 10 easy tips to help your visitors feel welcome

Because I’ve got another big book deadline looking me in the face this week, I thought it apropos to republish this post from October 2008 about hosting overnight guests in your home. With the holiday season fast approaching, most of us either have guests headed our way, or we’ll soon be guests ourselves. As you’re (read more…)

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girl playing the piano

10 clutter-free gift ideas for kids

This morning, our four year old daughter told me, “I don’t want a bunch of things for Christmas. I just want one thing: a pogo stick.” We are constantly cutting back on the number of toys and parts and pieces that are so often underfoot in our home, so the approaching holiday season has me thinking (read more…)

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vegetables

12 green and frugal lessons from my mom

As I try to simplify my life, spend less and focus more on sustainability, I am often reminded of the way my mom used to do things. We’ve come full circle, in a number of ways. It seems like every new thing we do to save money or the planet was being done by my (read more…)

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happy couple

The art of listening in relationships

It’s safe to say that most of us are interested in the quality of our lives. But what we may not remember are the following two ideas: The quality of our lives depends largely on the quality of our relationships. To a large extent, the quality of our relationships depend on the quality of our (read more…)

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