How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up The Fabulous Life
by Natalie P. McNeal
This book chronicles the year in the life Natalie P. McNeal as she pays down her debt and tries to live more fiscally responsible. That may not sound like a big deal, but for a young journalist living and working in the social hotspot of Miami, it was difficult for a self-described "promiscuous spender".
Each chapter corresponds to the month of that year, starting with January, showing the amounts of her current credit card, car loan, and student loan debt. I will admit that it was pretty satisfying to see that number start to decrease as the year went on. To help her stay honest in her quest, she started a blog now known as Frugalista.com.
Granted, I personally didn't learn any new tips from this book as I live moderately frugally, but it was interesting just reading about McNeal's experiences. For someone who shopped incessantly (learned behavior from her Mom), took full advantage of Miami's nightlife, never cooked at home, and traveled quite a bit, cutting out those things made quite a journey for her. Not everyone makes these types of changes without being pulled into it kicking and screaming (see vH-1's series You're Cut Off). McNeal's tales of cutting back on salon visits, shopping from her own closet, and getting comfortable in her kitchen aren't anything we haven't heard before, but her positive attitude while jumping full force into this project was refreshing.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Posesby Claire Dederder
Because I long to be a yogini one day, I am fascinated with people's stories about how they came to practice yoga and how (or if) their lives changed.
Claire Dederer, a freelance writer living in Seattle, started taking yoga after she threw her back out breastfeeding (!!!) her young daughter. Although she definitely is a product of the "crunchy" Northwest - kids in a co-op preschool, having the right organic diet - she had no desire to practice in a yoga studio with Tibetan flags and incense burning. She just wanted relief for her back.
I loved that she visited several different studios and teachers piecing together the perfect practice for herself. And each chapter is named after a specific yoga pose which Dederer then relates to some aspect of her life. For example, the chapters on Child's Pose (there's more than one) have her reflecting on her childhood and choices her parents made for her. Mountain Pose is the perfect opportunity to talk about the year that she and her husband and children spend living away from Seattle and their friends & family atop a mountain outside of Boulder, Colorado.