Easy Ways To Eat Humanely

Lots of my friends are vegetarian an even vegan,  and I even though I eat meat, I care, like they do about animals being treated humanely.  Our family works hard to make smart choices and buy food that is humanely raised. Living in  the country surrounded by local small farms makes it easier for me, but you don’t have to live rural to eat humanely. You do, however, need to know how to figure out what IS humanely raised! It’s not as easy as you’d think!
I was glad to see that the ASPCA isn’t just about dogs and cats. They hey also focus on farm animal welfare, working to improve conditions on factory farms and create a more sustainable and healthy food system.
They have all kinds of resources to help you on their website to choose humanely raised foods, like:
I want to be sure that the food that I eat is raised in a way that I can support. I’m glad that there are resources that I can use to help us while shopping to make kind choices.  Do you know where you food comes from and how it was raised?    Have you ever explore your food origins?  Let me know in the comments!

Using GoodWill To Make The Holidays Affordable And Bright

I am excited to be partnering with Goodwill to help show ways to make the Holidays brighter, save money, and  support my community. Goodwill reimbursed my costs for shopping and craft supplies

Like many teens, I’m on a super strict budget, but I have  a list of people that I want to give gifts to for the Holidays.  I have a very good friend who lives all the way across the country but we are connected through our love of One Direction- specifically Harry Styles. I wanted to give her something stylish and personal, so I decided to make it, and I headed to Goodwill to get what I needed. I needed a perfect jacket!

I’ve been buying clothing from thrift stores and remaking them into cool clothing for myself for a while, so I knew what to look for. I snagged the PERFECT Denim jacket and headed home to making it awesome with some fabric paints, stencils and my creativity!

I got a great jacket for only $12.00- a fraction of the cost at a store!   Using stencils made it so much easier!

I love the way the jacket turned out, and I know that she will, too!

Ally Del Monte

I also love that while I saved money buying what I need for gifts at Goodwill, I’m also supporting their mission to give back to the community. That’s why I love shopping at my local Goodwill store this time of year – because I know I can find a good bargain, and also support a great cause. Did you know that 87 cents on the dollar of every purchase from a Goodwill goes towards local job training opportunities? It’s easy to find your local store- just go to the Goodwill Website.  You never know what treasures you will find there, but you can be confident you’ll be helping your local community! 

Here are some things to know about Goodwill:

  • Goodwill provides job preparation, skills training, education assistance and support services to millions of people each year who are facing challenges to finding employment.
  •  Every 23 seconds, someone gets a job through the help of Goodwill.
  •  Goodwill is an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator of the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice. Through its entrepreneurial business model of collecting and selling donated goods, Goodwill helps communities extend the life of usable items in environmentally sound ways.
  • ·Goodwill functions as a social enterprise by creating 25 jobs per brick-and-mortar store, generating essential revenue for mission services, and providing a direct solution for donors and communities to the issue of sustainability regarding unwanted goods.

I know that she’s going to love the jacket and she’s going to love that I made it just for her.  I love that I’m able to give her something that is perfect for her-  while helping Goodwill help others in my community.

Do YOU have someone special that you want to make something personal for this holiday season?  Tell me about it in the comments!

We Need Employers Who Care About Mental Health, and to Plan For When They Don’t.

Have you seen the exchange between Madalyn Parker, and her boss, Ben Congleton?  She sent an email to her team saying that she was taking a few days off to take care of her mental health.  She was open and honest about it.  He boss’ response astonished a lot of people:

Her boss was supportive of her need to take care of herself- including her mental health.  As a person who struggles with anxiety and depression, the support of someone who recognized that taking care of yourself mentally is just as important as taking care of yourself physically is astounding Not every boss is like that.

Mental health is still stigmatized.  I know that a lot of people wouldn’t hesitate to call in sick to a job if they had a flu, but would try to soldier through having an anxiety attack.  I know. I’ve done it.  There is sympathy when you’re physically ill, but annoyance when you’re mentally ill.  I know, I’d dealt with it.  I had a slight recurrence of Conversion Disorder as I was dealing with the death of my Step-Grandma, and when I called in sick to work, I was chastised for not coming in.  I wasn’t able to use my legs well, and was walking with a walker, but it was made very plain to me that missing work was not only inconveniencing the manager, but my co-workers as well. In fact, I was told that they were going to  “reassess my employment” if I continued to miss work. I had missed ONE day.  However, the co-worker who had recently had an accident wasn’t shamed for calling in.   I felt terrible about missing work, but I couldn’t WALK.  After talking to my psychiatrist, my parents, and thinking about what was best for me, I quit that job.

I quit because I felt that taking care of my mental health was worth more than a job that was making me sick with stress. I was lucky I was in a position to quit. I live at home with my parents, I have another job managing the social media for my local animal shelter, and I had firm grasp of my finances.

My parents taught me from a young age to be careful with my money.  I usually have a budget and know what I can spend, and how much to save. Of course I blow money, but I am also  saving for a car, travel, and concert tickets.  I use a site, Feed The Pig.org , that has a budget planning and ways to help you reach goals.  For instance, I use a Goal planner to save money for a car, while putting money away in an emergency fund and still having cash to go out and have fun.   I also used it’s credit card calculators to see if was the right time to get a credit card.  It wasn’t.

Knowing that I had an emergency fund to fall back on while I looked for another job is what made it easier  for me to decide to take care of myself.  Just as I planned on ways to take care of my mental health, I also planned on ways to take care of my financial health.