7 Small But Important Money Tasks to Tackle

Tend to your finances | Happy Simple Living blog

Dear friends, In the coming week, let’s review some important details related to our finances. These are some suggestions: 1. Lock Everything Down In both the online and physical realms, …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

It Pays to Take Care of Yourself

Dear friends, All the money in the world won’t buy good health. For any of us who have ever experienced an injury, pain, or sickness, we know how it feels …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Day 23 and 10 Free Ways to Nurture Your Health

All the money in the world won’t buy good health. For any of us who have ever experienced an injury, pain, or sickness, we know how it feels to wake …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

A Mini Money Diet to Begin the Second Half of 2015

Today begins the seventh month of 2015, a fact that amazes me. For those of you who participated in the January Money Diet, it’s been 181 days since we first …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Holiday Must-Haves

Here’s a festive item every Jewish household will want for Hanukkah:  a blinking window dreidel, er, draydel. By the way, if you’re starting to think about the New Year and …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Frugal Home Security System

Have you discovered the fine work of Louisa Antonia Maria Capossela, also known as ‘Big Lou’? Louisa lost her husband Carmine a few years ago, and as a single mom …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

The Joy of Giving from the Frugal Kitchen

We all have our favorite cookbooks — books we actually cook from, books with stained, dog-eared pages and good recipes that come out the way they’re supposed to and make our families happy. Years ago I bought such a book, “Once a Month Cooking.” The authors’ premise is that by carefully planning, shopping and preparing, you can make a month’s worth of meals in one day — saving a significant amount of time and money in the process.

While I’m still working my way up to the all-day cooking marathons the book promotes, I often do mini-marathons and stock our freezer with a week’s worth of great meals. So you can imagine my excitement when I was at an event for the Colorado Authors League a few years ago and ran into one of the book’s co-authors Mary Beth Lagerborg. Right then and there I became one of her biggest fans and groupies.

Mary Beth generously agreed to guest post for us today, and I think you’ll enjoy her thoughts about how thriftiness and a generous heart can co-exist in the kitchen:

The Joy of Giving from the Frugal Kitchen

Frugality gives us a heady sense of accomplishment. We’re creatively using our resources. We’re realizing that we really can spend leaner and cleaner.

But frugality takes a hard edge if we pull back from giving.

When we visited my husband’s grandmother in her vigorous years, she always had spritz cookies on hand for us, to serve with coffee. Later, in a retirement home, she invariably saved cookies off her meal tray, wrapped them in a napkin and stored them in her bedside table so she would have something to give visitors. When I unwrapped that cookie I wanted to slip it discreetly into the trashcan – but I knew that it was important to her to know she still had something to give.

A meal is a simple, valuable gift – whether it’s

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Garden Dreaming – Part II

Juddie's garden in Melbourne, Australia
Another view from Juddie's garden

Today, we’re very fortunate to have Juddie from Flightless Boyds in Melbourne, Australia guest posting about gardening. Her blog is one of my favorites; whenever I visit, I feel like I’m on a mini-vacation. The fact that we’re in different hemispheres is vastly interesting; it can be -10° and freezing here in Colorado, and I’ll click on Juddie’s blog and learn that she’s dealing with a heat wave and it’s 44° C (111° F) in Melbourne. Along with her generous gardening photos and musings, she posts about vintage illustration, design, food, and whatever strikes her fancy. You must visit. But first, read about her garden dreams…

Where the wild things are

How wonderful to be asked to write about my dreams for a spring garden! I’m a horticulturalist who dreams about gardens every day, sometimes planning additions to my own small inner-city plot, at other times wistfully imagining the landscapes I could create in vastly different conditions of climate, scale, and circumstance….

I live in Melbourne, in south-eastern Australia. Our climate is warm and dry, sometimes likened to that of California or the Mediterranean coast. We’ve had to adapt to the devastating effects of more than 10 years of drought; water is increasingly scarce, and gardeners preparing for spring planting must do all they can to ensure the survival of garden plants and wildlife through the searing heat of long, arid summers.  Temperatures in summer in Melbourne will often exceed 40 deg. Celsius; dry northern winds blow like a furnace across the landscape for days on end, and the watering of gardens using the municipal water supply is forbidden by law*.

Despite the difficulties presented by our climate,

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Garden Dreaming – Part I

“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.”  ~W.E. Johns, The Passing Show Here in Colorado the days are short and the ground is frozen, …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.