7 Things I Don’t Buy for the Holidays

The day after Halloween, one of our local radio stations switched to 24/7 Christmas music. The day after Veteran’s Day, our nation’s flag was replaced with wreaths all around the city. It’s not even Thanksgiving, yet Christmas trees are on display at the mall and holiday music is playing throughout stores. Instead of getting me into the “holiday spirit,” it’s getting me disappointed in the commercialization of our holidays. While I love giving my children gifts for Christmas, here are 7 things I don’t buy for the holidays.

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How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Where did 2018 go? Every family has its way of making this gustatory holiday meal come together. Usually everyone has their own special dish that they bring to the table. In our family, my voluntold contribution to the spread is mashed potatoes. As everybody knows you can’t have Thanksgiving without them. Here is how I have perfected the most important part of any holiday meal (sorry turkey). The perfect mashed potatoes and green beans. Continue reading How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Affordable Mental Health Treatment

Happy Veterans Day! Today we recognize those who have served and protected our country, many of whom incurred physical and emotional pain as a result of their sacrifices. And they’re not the only ones who struggle.

Many Americans are living with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic symptoms, substance abuse, shopping or gambling addiction, or adjustment to illness or other life stressors. Please don’t feel you have to go through it alone. Money should never be a barrier to receiving mental health services. There are a number of free or affordable resources. Here are a few. Continue reading Affordable Mental Health Treatment

Soup Up Your Life!

During the Fall and Winter months my family enjoys a hot, satisfying pot of soup at least once a week. But canned soups are full of sodium and quite frankly aren’t that tasty. We’ve been making our own soups for years. We were spending $6 a week on broth alone. Then we learned the trick of saving vegetable scraps to make our own stock. This has shaved $24 a month off our grocery bill! It’s also healthier and more flavorful. Here is how we make our broth, as well as our healthy, cost-effective soup recipes.
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Preventing Burnout

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care month. This month, the work of psychologists, social workers, nurses, caregivers, and others who provide high quality care to patients coping with serious or life-threatening illness is recognized.

As a psychologist working with palliative care patients, I’m often asked what I do to prevent burnout at work. Here are some suggestions inspired by minimalism for preventing burnout. Most of these tips can apply to anyone, regardless of their occupation. Some of these I’ve been doing well, others I need to work on.

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Save Money, Save the World

How did it ever become okay to use something once then, throw it away? The answer: great marketing because it makes companies money.

Companies make more money when they are able to sell a product every week, month, or year than if they only sell it to you once. In addition to the financial cost, there is also the cost to our planet. Most things I used once and threw away will still be on this earth long after I am gone. This is not okay. Become a hero for our planet and save money by saying no to single use items.
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Chili Cook-Off

Every year at the Fall Festival the PTA holds its ever-competitive chili cook-off. Last year, a close friend asked if we were going to try her “chili.” We felt compelled to not only try out her creation but to purchase a sampler platter so we could vote for our favorite. As it turned out our friend’s “chili” was the only one that was even remotely edible. So this year we decided to forgo the sampler platter and jump into the fray of the PTA chili cook-off! Continue reading Chili Cook-Off

To Sell or Donate?

I get giddy over community yard sale day. Just as I love looking into people’s grocery carts, I also love walking around my neighborhood and looking at all the stuff for sale that people let into their lives that’s no longer of use. I actually get disappointed when I miss this day. But this year I tried something new. Instead of donating it, I tried to sell stuff I don’t need. How did it go? Is it better to sell or donate?

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