Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday


Do you have a written budget?  Do you know where your money goes?  Do you know where your cash goes?  

This Thrifty Thursday I’d like you to TAKE THE $AVING$ CENT$ challenge this weekend.  

For just two days, 48 little hours, Saturday and Sunday, commit to:

1) Spend as little as possible – the goal is to spend zero nadda zippo NO MONEY at all!  This means NONE.  No credit card charges, no debit card uses and no cash.  Try to make meals from what is already in your pantry, frig and freezer.  Find things to do that are free.  Get together with friends and watch a movie that someone already owns.  Spend an evening with friends and do a pot luck where everyone brings something for a shared meal.  Scour the local internet sites and local papers to see what may be available to do for free.

2) Look at your budget and calendar for the upcoming week from Monday, March 4th through Friday, March 8th.  Try to figure out how LITTLE money you can spend this week.  Pack your lunches, walk when possible, make your own coffee at home, carpool… you get the idea.  Be creative, make it a family challenge/goal.  For every penny you don’t spend, keep track of it and put the equivalent in a big change jar or at least list it somewhere.  At the end of the week, you will be amazed at how much $$$ you have $aved!
3) Look through papers and internet sites to see what coupons you can use (not just because there’s a savings involve, either – buy the product because you use it!).  Get your friends involved and have a coupon club for the week and trade off coupons.

4) Look at your clothes and weed out what you don’t wear anymore.  Either do a clothes swap with your friends (including accessories), or donate the gently used items to Good Will or the Salvation Army or the charity of your choice.  If you trade with friends, you can really freshen up your attire and have some “nearly new” outfits!  In fact, while you're gathering your friends together, have a "$aving$ Make$ Cent$" party -- get together and brainstorm on ways to save money!

5) If you don’t already have a budget, create one!  Look at everything you’ve spent in the last year and divide it by 12 to get a monthly average.  If you’re not sure how to do a budget, go to a place like or and use their free tools.  Could you refinance your mortgage to a lower rate?  Call your credit card companies and ask for a lower rate?  Then begin asking the hard questions about what you’re spending your money on, and why, and how could you live BELOW your means so you’ll have things like a savings account, an emergency savings and cash fund, retirement, etc.  Think about your hourly wage, and whenever you get ready to make a purchase (especially those instant gratification purchases), think how many hours you’ll have to work (yes, how many hours of your LIFE) to pay for what you think at the moment that you must have.  Oh yes, and do distinguish between want you WANT and what you NEED – big difference most of the time!

You need to be financially fit as much as you need to be physically fit.  So begin to exercise those restraint and “cents savvy” muscles and TAKE THE CHALLENGE!  

Be sure to post your results here – I’d love to find out how much we can collective save in one weekend!!!!!  And stay tuned for next Thursday as we share results, recipes, ideas and lots of thrifty Thursday thoughts!


Coach Linda

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

What’s your dream?  What one thing would you do if time, circumstances, finances, etc. didn’t have to be factored into the success equation?

Okay, right this minute, write down EXACTLY what immediately popped into your mind – because that was an uncensored, unfettered cry of your heart.

Are you surprised?  Is it something you’ve identified and are actively pursuing right now?  Is it (as the poet Langston Hughes named one of his amazing pieces) a “dream deferred”?  Here is that powerful poem:


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun? 
Or fester like a sore-- 
And then run? 
Does it stink like rotten meat? 
Or crust and sugar over-- 
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Wild women dream.  Wild women have hopes, ambitions, and plans.  But sometimes we don’t always know how to reach our goals.  We see the forest, but not the trees, branches and leaves.  We know what we want the end result/goal/bucket list item to be, but we can’t put feet to our dream, we can’t find the map to take us on that journey.

As a life coach, that’s where I come in – I partner with you to help you identify those heart cries, those unrealized desires that right now are just a castle in the sky, a fantasy… a pipe dream.  Then together we’ll discover ways to put feet to those dreams to get you on the path to achievement and fulfillment.  

Each year we put something off, we grow another year older and it’s left undone, sagging, a heavy load.  If not now… when?

Unlease your wild woman -- start TODAY.  Consider letting me come alongside you and be your coach and cheerleader.  It’s a phone call/text/email away… it’s time you gave yourself the gift of your dreams and changed your life, isn’t it?  


Wellness & Life Transformation Coaching Worldwide
…for such a time as this…

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taste Not Tuesday

This Tuesday I'd like to point you to a very eye-opening article discussing ingredients that you want to avoid putting into your body (or anyone else's, for that matter).  Oddly enough, the Food and Drug Administration has approved these ingredients; however, not surprisingly that doesn't mean you should ingest them.  Thanks to the folks at "Eat This Not That" for identifying and alerting us to these nasty ingredients, some of which have been known to cause cancer in lab research.  Read below or go to the original article at

8. BHA:
This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet. 
 You’ll find it in: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles
7. Parabens:
These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues. 
 You’ll find it in: Baskin-Robbins sundaes
6. Partially Hydrogenated Oil:
I’ve harped on this before, but it bears repeating: Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. That means they can have 0.49 grams per serving and still be labeled a no-trans-fat food. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. The telltale sign that your snack is soiled with the stuff? Look for partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient statement. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat. 
 You’ll find it in: Long John Silver’s Popcorn Shrimp, Celeste frozen pizzas
5. Sodium Nitrite:
Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds. Ascorbic and erythorbic acids—essentially vitamin C—have been shown to decrease the risk, and most manufacturers now add one or both to their products, which has helped. Still, the best way to reduce risk is to limit your intake. 
 You’ll find it in: Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Hormel bacon
4. Caramel Coloring:
This additive wouldn't be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. How carcinogenic are these compounds? A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. 
 You’ll find it in: Coke/Diet Coke, Pepsi/Diet Pepsi
3. Castoreum:
Castoreum is one of the many nebulous “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild. In the food industry, however, 1,000 pounds of the unsavory ingredient are used annually to imbue foods—usually vanilla or raspberry flavored—with a distinctive, musky flavor.  
 You’ll find it in: Potentially any food containing “natural ingredients”
2. Food Dyes:
Plenty of fruit-flavored candies and sugary cereals don’t contain a single gram of produce, but instead rely on artificial dyes and flavorings to suggest a relationship with nature. Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors. The bottom line? Avoid artificial dyes as much as possible. 
 You’ll find it in: Lucky Charms, Skittles, Jell-O
1. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein:
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, used as a flavor enhancer, is plant protein that has been chemically broken down into amino acids. One of these acids, glutamic acid, can release free glutamate. When this glutamate joins with free sodium in your body, they form monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive known to cause adverse reactions—headaches, nausea, and weakness, among others—in sensitive individuals. When MSG is added to products directly, the FDA requires manufacturers to disclose its inclusion on the ingredient statement. But when it occurs as a byproduct of hydrolyzed protein, the FDA allows it to go unrecognized. 
 You’ll find it in: Knorr Noodle Sides, Funyuns

Friday, February 1, 2013

Free It Friday

What do you need to release?  What are you holding onto tightly that is cluttering your home?  Your heart?  Your life? Your future? 

There’s a television show about people who are known as hoarders.  These people may have started as innocent savers/collectors, but something went terribly wrong and now they are so cluttered, surrounded and paralyzed by their own stuff that they can barely move within their own homes.  It’s tragic to watch.  But I’ll tell you what – if you're anything like me, you jump up as soon as the episode is done, take a deep breath start tossing things out because you’re horrified at even the small portion of clutter you may have somewhere!!!  All I need to motivate me to clean is 10 minutes of this show, believe me!

There’s a great cleaning/organizing web called that teaches you how to clean room-by-room and one of the exercises they use is called “27 fling boogie”.  Basically, you set your kitchen alarm for 15 minutes and toss 27 things away.  I began reading this web years ago, and it’s a great site that I recommend to help you begin what can be the arduous and often overwhelming task of cleaning.

Just as importantly as releasing items from your purse, your home, your closet/wardrobe and shelves, however, is the need to release things from your heart.  What old memories are you holding onto that are cluttering the path to your growth today?  What old belief systems are chained to your soul and holding you back from your future?  What past negative life experiences are you still grasping that keep you from embracing the blessings before you today?  What people do you need to forgive and release in order to liberate your own soul and allow you to breath deep into the miracles that await you?  What bitterness, anger and sorrow are paralyzing you and keeping you in their prison? 

It’s time to open those clenched fists… that hard spirit… that bruised/battered and aching heart…

I’m not saying this flippantly or casually, dear reader.  Releasing is one of the hardest muscles in life to exercise, whether it is something tangible or from within.  But until you clear the clutter you won’t have space to breath or live or move into the moment, let alone take the next step on the path of your beautiful journey. 

Today, this is your exercise – begin the process of letting go whatever is holding you captive.  Take that breath, say a prayer, and set it in motion.  Like the old quote says, “It’s the first day of the rest of your life.”  Take that step toward freedom!


Coach Linda