Friday, July 01, 2011

Starting a New Conversation

Haven't heard from me in a while, eh? I'm still around. I have a few musings about life in my household rattling around in my head. Bear with me until I can capture those. In the meantime, I invite you to join me in a new conversation. If you've ever wondered about what it takes to be satisfied in life, if the thought of counting what you have and watching what happens when you reach "enough" interests you: join me. We'll be talking about the in's and out's of living a life of contentment over at:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An Awesome New Book!

I'm excited to introduce a new book to you today. I've been reading it for the past few weeks and have been encouraged to keep taking steps toward living my dreams. First, hear some words for you today from author, Kathi Lipp. Then leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams
– in the next 15 minutes

by Kathi Lipp

Is there a dream that God has given you, but you are waiting until the kids are grown and you have money in the bank before you get started?

You may not be able to enroll in a month long pastry making class or take a week off of work to get started on your novel, but today you can take three little baby steps to making your dream a day-to-day reality.

1. Go Public with It

It’s a little scary to tell the world what you want to do when you grow up—but this is one little step could get you closer to living your dream than almost any other. Plus—it takes very little time and you don’t have to raid your kid’s college fund to make it happen.

When you gather up all your courage and tell your best friend, “I want to learn how to paint,” suddenly she remembers an old art book she has laying around she would love to give you, or her friend from church who teaches art classes. The people you know and love want to be a resource. Give them the privilege of being a part of making your dream happen.

2. Join an Online Group

This is one of the simplest—and cheapest—ways to start exploring your passion. Find out who else is talking about restoring antiques and listen to their conversation. Start by Googling your interest along with the term “online groups.” You will be amazed with the number of people who want to talk about the proper way to care for 1950’s lunchboxes as much as you do.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Pray

I remember the first time I put an offer in on a house—I wanted it more than I had wanted almost anything else in my life. While I knew that I had dozens of other people praying on my behalf, I was too scared to pray.

I didn’t want God to tell me no. I was afraid to pray until my co-worker Kim asked me (in a loving, kind way), why I didn’t believe that God wanted His best for me. Don’t be afraid to pray—as with anything amazing in my life, the path is never what I expected, but it has always been obvious that God’s hand has been on it the whole way.

The Me Project - 21 Days to Living the Life 
You’ve Always Wanted
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN-10: 0736929665, ISBN-13: 978-0736929660
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Paperback: 224 pages, Retail: $12.99

Book Summary
(San Jose, CA) Has that rush to make (and break) New Year’s resolutions already waned? According to Daniel Pink, author of 
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, taking small steps every day will not only help you stay committed to your goal, 
but will also help you ultimately achieve that goal when obstacles come up. Author Kathi Lipp wants you and your friends to live out those dreams—and have some fun along the way.
As women, we forget the goals and dreams of our younger years. The busyness of everyday life gets 
in the way. To-do lists replace goals. The Me Project provides women with fun and creative ways to bring back the sense of purpose and vitality that comes with living out the plans and dreams God has planted in our hearts. Kathi Lipp’s warm tone and laugh-out-loud humor motivates women to take daily steps toward intentional goals. The end result? We get back our lives and enjoy living in the confidence of a purposeful life in spite of our chaotic schedules.

This handy guide coaches women to do one simple thing toward achieving our goals each day for three weeks. A woman experiencing the exhilaration of a rediscovered life offers more as a wife, mother, friend, volunteer, career woman.
Finding the balance between living day-to-day with purpose while pursuing the passions God has placed in our hearts is a delicate pursuit. In this refreshing, insightful book, 
Kathi lays out a doable plan that makes sense and helps make our God-given dreams 
a reality. Never stop dreaming, because women who dare to dream do make the world 
a better place.
—Jean Blackmer
author of MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering
Publishing Manager, MOPS International

Author Bio
Kathi Lipp
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website:

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$62 value

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Expiring Soon

If you live in Chicagoland and haven't heard about it yet, a certain food store chain was just put on life support. My prediction? They're not long for this world. In fact you might say they're past their expiration date.

Oh wait. That's the food they sell. Ironically, last month this particular chain announced that they would no longer be accepting expired coupons from customers (they were one of the last chains to do so). Now it appears that instead, they're selling expired food to customers.

Honestly? This is scary stuff. Things are changing rapidly in the relationships between retailers and consumers. With the Internet empowering the masses through aggregating of information and deals, retailers have been scrambling to find a new business model. And in some cases, the backlash toward their customers has been disappointing. This story seems to be yet another instance of customers being jerked around and played for fools. Only in this case it's downright dangerous. How many people have been unknowingly sickened from eating expired food that they just purchased from the grocery store?

I will say that we've had one or two instances in the past year where food that I presumed was "fresh" because I'd recently bought it had a funky taste. I've not been one to inspect expiration dates on anything other than milk - until now.

The expired food incident will not be the cause of the company's demise. It will simply be the final blow to an already weak and failing enterprise. How am I so sure? On any given day the parking lot of my neighborhood grocer in this chain is generally wide open, while their competitor across the street has a jammed lot. After this news, any remaining loyal customers may be leery of shopping there. Me? I'd been mostly avoiding it due to hastles I'd had on every single trip I made there. Now? I won't risk my family's health by shopping there.

Disclaimer: I have not independently verified the allegations purported in the linked blog post. At this point, with the grocery chain in question rapidly working to remove any possible expired food, the opportunity to verify is gone. It has also been brought to my attention that consuming past date food is not as serious as I have made it seem (although selling it alongside fresher food without calling it to customer's attention I still believe is bad business). And I don't agree with those bringing the allegations that food only weeks past it's expiration date should be called into question the way older products are - some of what they pulled off shelves crossed the line to make a point. That was unnecessary.

I also want to acknowledge that I have allowed my own personal dealings with one location to color my perceptions of the company as a whole. I do know for certain that there is at least one store in this chain in the Western Suburbs that works hard to satisfy their customers and treat them with due respect.

I'll leave you with an official statement from the company in question regarding the expired food allegations: "[Our] customers rightly expect they will find only high-quality, fresh products at all of our stores."