This month my daily health challenge is to not eat any added sugar. Foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit and plain yogurt, are okay but nothing with sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even Stevia or sugar alcohols (a newer sweetener common in protein bars and all those high-protein ice creams). I knew that would eliminate a lot of foods but I was surprised by just how many! In the week before the challenge started, as I started reading food labels in earnest, it was disheartening to realize sugar is in e v e r y t h i n... Read more →


Little things I'm so glad to have done. Clockwise from top left: fixing a broken picture frame, organizing my makeup, simplifying our key ring, hanging a jewelry organizer, installing a flagpole bracket. Does fixing a broken photo frame have anything to do with overall happiness? I'm starting to think it might, at least for me. Little to-do list items tend to clutter in my mind. I think this is a result of being a details person and from my love of efficiency. I notice the little things as I go about my day: I see that the door out to... Read more →


January was a good start to my year. I hope you are having a good one too! If it hasn't felt like the energetic and fresh start you wanted I am also an advocate of February being the new January. Some years you need some time after the holidays to collect your thoughts and feel ready to dive into a new year. I am loving my daily health habit challenge. In January I did 10 pushups every day. This month I'm not eating food with added sugar (with one exception: dessert on Valentine's Day when Chris made dinner reservations for... Read more →


With January, routine and weekly rhythms returned along with school days for the boys and work days for me. It feels really good. I've also been experiencing a deep satisfaction with our home and daily life. I think the completion of our front yard and our post-Christmas organizing/decluttering are big contributors. As I walk through the house I can sense the tidiness and organization. Even if toys are strewn about and laundry is waiting to be folded, I know everything has a home and serves a purpose. Chris reminded me that just a few months ago I said I felt... Read more →


On my desk right now: + potted succulents that are doing well but have a few gnats – tips on getting rid of them? Trying to let the soil dry out really well. + Tommy John underwear that started fraying that I need to return + masking tape holding my computer charger in place (need a better solution) + old hard drives to be destroyed + Trader Joe's wool ball diffuser (with eucalyptus oil) + portable phone charger to be put away + Democratic National Committee survey to be completed and returned + papers reminding me that Dash needs to... Read more →


After years of dreaming about it we finally have a modern and water-wise desert front yard! Here's what our front yard looked like before: Not terrible but to me there was no personality. Although we've been wanting to replace our grass and get trees for just about as long as we've owned the house (almost 10 years!), the cost of the project kept it from being on our priority list. But a couple of years ago we decided we were tired of watering grass that wasn't even that healthy looking and paying someone to maintain it. Plus, we felt eager... Read more →


The celebrated poet and Pulitzer prize winning poet Mary Oliver passed away last week. Even if the name Mary Oliver is not very familiar to you, you have likely seen excerpts of her poems floating around the internet. Perhaps most notably are the final lines from her poem "Summer Day": Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life? Poetry has always felt unapproachable to me, at least until I heard an interview with Mary Oliver on the podcast On Being. I had one of those "driveway moments" where I sat in... Read more →