Giving thanks

A grateful heart is a happy heart. I’m counting my blessings today…

  • Clean drinking water
  • Warm and dry home
  • Amply stocked kitchen
  • Cup of coffee in hand
  • Plenty of books to read
  • 4 days off from work
  • Hot breakfast prepared by my daughter

There’s so much to be thankful for!

I need nothing.

Black Friday deals have no luster, when you take into account what you already have.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Quatchi having Thanksgiving breakfast
Quatchi likes pancakes

Blog your way to change

One of the coolest things about having a blog is how it reframes your life. I started a blog about frugality and suddenly I saw a zillion ways to spend less, save more, and minimize my footprint (yeah, I’m talkin’ carbon). Tree silhouette

Lately (as in for years now), I’ve wanted to take more pictures. My mind would say ‘you should really take more pictures,’ but my body did nothing. So to motivate myself into action, I started a photo blog. Surprise! Lego

Kate’s 365 Photo Blog –  a picture a day!

Some days might be a little challenging. Seattle’s rain is persistent and work is, well ah, time consuming. However, so far I haven’t missed a beat. I find myself framing pictures in my head, whether I have a camera in my hand or not. So cool.

I highly recommend blogging.

Is there something you want to do? 

Get in shape?

Cook more?

Blog about it and see how your life is reframed.

Already got a blog or two? Drop the URL in a comment. I’d love to see what you’re up to. Now, blog on!

Setbacks happen

Setbacks are inevitable. For example, you might…

  • Buy something silly when you’re trying to save.
  • Eat junk when you’re trying to eat healthy.
  • Have an emergency that wipes out your emergency fund.
  • Get injured when you’re trying to get in shape.

Things happen, but they don’t have to stop you.

I sprained my ankle horribly this week, but I’m not done moving. It would be easy for me to give up my triathlon training and sit on the couch. However, I’d rather adjust my mindset to fit my new physical state. Soccer is OUT, but running in the pool is IN. 

Yep, it’s time to switch tracks.

Setbacks happen, but they don’t have to stop you in your tracks. Instead, you might just need to make some adjustments.

Set a mark

After doing triathlons for five years, I didn’t sign up for a triathlon last summer. The result? I didn’t work out much and gained a few pounds around the middle (the muffin top). Without a workout goal my excuses ran rampant, but I did not.

Last week I decided to change things. I signed up for a triathlon in August. Nothing crazy. Just a simple Sprint triathlon with a hilly bike section.

The result? I’ve been swimming and running. No excuses. Now that I have a goal, it’s easy to stay focused. 

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of goals (and organization). I like the flexibility of no goals. But while swimming today, I thought about how specific goals bring results.

Once my nebulous goal of ‘working out’ changed to something concrete, I took action. 

S.M.A.R.T. goals makes things happen: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

So why not set a mark and go for it!

What specific goals do you have? Spending less? Saving more? Make your goals specific and you’ll get results.

Move more, eat less, document progress

New Years is a great time to press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and start anew. It doesn’t matter if you’ve crashed in the past, just reboot and start fresh. Millions of Americans are starting new diet and exercise plans today, including me.

Here’s my plan:

  1. Move more  Nothing big or especially crazy at first, just movement every day. And no Kate, typing doesn’t count. My movement plan is yoga, swimming, or walking each day. I picked these activities because they’re joint friendly (I’m saving myself for my once a week indoor soccer game followed by Aleve).    
  2. Eat less  The secret to losing weight isn’t really a secret. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Simple. So why is it so difficult? <insert excuses here>. My plan is to drink more water, enjoy smaller portions, and eat whole foods as much as possible.
  3. Document progress  Accountability is king. An exercise and eating log will help me stay on track and see my progress.

I’m steering clear of goals like must lose five pounds. Instead, success for me is exercising each day and eating whole foods.

Kaizen is the Japanese principle that focuses on continuous improvement. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, it’s the improvement that matters. Ah good! I will embrace my winter muffin top and begin my Muffin Top Reduction Program (MTRP) – aka “move more, eat less, document progress.”

How about you? What are your strategies for eating less and moving more?

Leo Babauta has created a new Web site to help people create new habits – check out

Look at the Big Picture

I’ve been a busy little worker bee this week, writing all kinds of procedures and bulleted lists for my writing gig.

  • I’ve had my nose to the grindstone
  • I’ve worked my socks off
  • I’ve worked my fingers to the bone

All this work and no play has definitely made me a dull girl. Time for a new perspective.

Time to look at the big picture. The Big Picture photo blog that is.


Inspired by’s Picture Stories galleries and Brian Storm’s MediaStorm, The Big Picture showcases high-quality images that are simply amazing.

Photo collections I’ve enjoyed:

You can see interesting, beautiful, and inspiring images, without leaving your home or buying anything (other than Internet access).

The Internet rocks!

What do you love about the Internet?

Stupid plastic products: The Cooler Dry

There are zillions of plastic products swirling around in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as our North Pacific Ocean

Today I stumbled upon a plastic product called Cooler Dry. Cooler Dry is a piece of plastic you can use to prop open your cooler so that it can dry. The TV spot for Cooler Dry includes marketing drivel like:

“Don’t flip your cooler over, cluttering up your driveway, sidewalk or deck. It’s hard on the hinges. And shortens the life of your cooler.”

Marketing attempts to sell products by solving customer’s problems, even problems that don’t exist. I’ve never been bothered by a cooler drying on my driveway. Should I be? My cooler is completely plastic; no metal hinges that could possibly wear out.

How much for Cooler Dry?

I’m glad you asked! $7.45 for 1 or $14.95 for 3. What a deal!

Well, I’m not buying Cooler Dry and many other plastic products.

There is so much plastic in our world. You could write a blog about our overconsumption of plastic. Oh wait, that’s already being done nicely by Fake Plastic FishLife Less Plastic, and many others. But I must say, the more the merrier. Otherwise, I’m afraid all of our oceans will become swirling plastic garbage patches. 

Just say no to plastic. What plastic product can you eliminate from your life?