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Maybe the key to happiness is to focus less on making moments last and more on making them count.  ~Lori Deschene

I love to read and whenever someone recommends a book, I’m in heaven. So when New World Library contacted me about an advanced copy of You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too, I jumped at the chance.

You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap) is an inspirational blueprint towards a simpler life. The author, Tammy Strobel, combines her research with real life stories and real life solutions. The result is a book that gently reminds you what is important in life and gives you the tools to make necessary changes.

Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills. ~Clifford Odets

Before reading You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap), I felt like we were living a pretty simple life. We try to be thoughtful about our purchases and smart with our finances, so I was surprised at how many new ways to simplify I discovered. This book motivated me to do better for all the right reasons.

Here are a few (of many) quotes from the book that really resonated with me:

Ultimately, “simplifying your life” means being open, vulnerable, and courageous enough to redefine the way you live – because you want to.

How much of your life is dedicated to acquiring and managing your stuff?

The point isn’t to downsize as dramatically as possible, but to do so in ways that improve and enhance your home life and relationships.

I highly recommend You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too and you’ll be able to find it in bookstores on September 18th or online from, Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound, New World Library and Powell’s.

More about the author:

Tammy Strobel is a writer, simple living advocate, coffee addict, and tiny house enthusiast. She created her blog,, to share her story of embracing simplicity. Since then, her story has been featured in the New York Times, The Today Show, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, and in a variety of other media outlets. Her blog is Here is a link to an Oregon Public Radio interview with Tammy and her husband on living in a tiny house:

True happiness consists in making others happy. ~a Hindu proverb

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Simplify, simplify, simplify.Happy New Year!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. That magical moment when we all are able to take a deep breath and begin anew. Take one last look back at the old year and then onward into the new year.

Many people believe that going green takes more money than continuing to do business as usual. That could not be further from the truth. Being green is about living simply, sustainably and thoughtfully.

Here are a few resolutions to add to your list:

1. Clean Green. Next time you go to the store to pick up some cleaning products bypass the toxic chemicals and buy some white vinegar, baking soda and some lemons. Healthier for your family, your wallet and the environment.

Tub and tile cleaner: Use half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub and tiles. I also clean my kitchen sink and counter tops using this method.

Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your oven and spray it with water, making it into a paste. Let it sit, periodically spraying it when it dries. Then wipe off. Your oven will be sparkling clean without the toxic fumes.

Window cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Use a soft cloth or newspaper to wipe.

All-Purpose Cleaner: Full strength white vinegar will disinfect and clean just as effectively as harsh toxic chemicals without harming your family.

2. Stop Buying Paper Towels. According to MaryJanesFarm, Americans go through about 2.5 million tons of paper towels anually, and even the ones made from recycled materials usually end up in landfills. Use organic cotton cloths instead.

3. Buy Less Stuff. All of our homes are filled with stuff we don’t need. There are even TV shows that help us get rid of all the stuff. Let’s start not buying the stuff we don’t need in the first place. Before you enter a store make a detailed list. Before you purchase something not on your list ask yourself where you’ll put it when you get it home. Do you really need it?

4. Take Five Minutes Each Day To Breathe: Or meditate, or pray. Anything that will reduce stress and help you to stop and refresh your body and soul.

From The Sydney Morning Herald: How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Eco Child’s Play
Eco Child’s Play (ECP) is a blog devoted to informing and discussing “Green Parenting for Non-toxic, Healthy Homes”. Eco Child’s Play provides news, information, and opinions on natural, green parenting to help families live more healthy, eco-friendly lifestyles.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at


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