Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Peter Deitz: How I Make Time for What Really Matters

I'm super excited to present the first post in my new guest post series: Making Time for What Matters.  Look for posts in the coming weeks from Emily McKhann, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Rachel Cole, Tiffany Moore, and more!

Peter Deitz is a blogger, microphilanthropy advocate, and aspiring social entrepreneur. He is currently making time for what really matters while keeping an eye out for new projects to plug into, or initiate.You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdeitz

Time management is one of the toughest skills to hone as aspiring social entrepreneurs, activists, and creative professionals. Curiosities abound as do tough choices on how and where to direct our attention. If not managed properly, our schedules can dictate our peace of mind, instead of the other way around.

At various points in the last several years, I have all but lost a handle on my schedule, resulting in zero peace of mind, and the complete failure to make time for what really matters (in my case, time with friends, meaningful work, regular sleep, creative reflection, and random hobbies).

A few moments come to mind in which I deliberately re-hinged. Below are the strategies I deployed to improve my time management skills.

The Self-Imposed Blackout Strategy
- I have found that one of the quickest and most effective ways to make time is to blackout chunks of the day or week when I am devoting myself to a single task, or no tasks at all. When the goal is making time for activities outside of work, this normally takes the form of shutting down my laptop and all personal electronic devices. Sound familiar? Yes, airline protocol has something to teach us all.

The I Paid for It, So I Make Time for It Strategy - This strategy for making time may sound crass, but I have found that it can be very effective. For instance, earlier this year, I knew that I wasn’t cooking enough at home, or eating nearly enough vegetables. So I signed up for a 30 Day Nutrition Challenge. I paid upfront for a month’s worth of grocery lists, tasty recipes, and nutritional tips delivered electronically by the Living Kitchen Wellness Group throughout the month. Since I had paid for the e-course, I found that I was more inclined to go through the steps necessary to stock my kitchen and prepare the recipes. By the end of the 30 days, I had regained the habit of cooking at home, and added a few recipes to my repertoire.

The Change Everything Strategy
- In the rare situations where taking control of my schedule seemed insurmountable without major life changes, I began by sketching out on paper the activities that I wanted to be making time for. In my case, I drafted a yearly and weekly schedule, and then reverse engineered the changes I would need to make in order to pursue these activities. In each case, it took several months to implement the change everything strategy. But I succeeded in making time for the big and small things that mattered to me at that moment, including something as seemingly insignificant as setting up a DIY worm composting system.


How do you make time for what matters?

Flickr photo credit: Tuscan Kale Chips uploaded by

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Meatless Monday: Sushi Roll Salad, Waffles and Pinterest

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see my past Meatless Monday posts by clicking here.

This week I made my first homemade waffles with a heart-shaped waffle maker (fun!).  I used the "Old-Fashioned Chelsea Waffles" recipe from Vegan Brunch.  It called for 3 T of barley malt syrup, which gave the waffles a unique and yummy flavor.  You can view the recipe on Google Books.

Another new recipe I made this week was the "Sushi Roll Edamame Salad" with "Green Onion-Miso Vinaigrette" from Appetite for Reduction. This was tasty, but it took awhile to make.  If you already had leftover rice, and made the dressing ahead of time, it would cut your prep time significantly. I would make this again, but only if I had a chunk of time, and more than two people to feed.  It makes a lot, and isn't that tasty as a leftover.

Last night I set up a Pinterest account. Pinterest allows you to create and share virtual pinboards One of my "boards" is Vegan Aspirations, where I've pinned recipes I want to try.  If you want to follow the board, my profile is

What yummy meatless dishes did you make last week, or want to make this week?

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

7 Ways Writers Can Give Back

Sometimes I think that how I volunteer, or give back has to be BIG and dramatic, like going on an international volunteer vacation, fundraising thousands of dollars, or starting a nonprofit. Anyone else feel that way?

Thing is, if I'm honest with myself, I know that the most sustainable way for me to
make the world a better place is by using skills I love, like writing and teaching, which can be quiet work. Yesterday I brainstormed a list of ways writers can create positive change:
  1. Volunteer as a copywriter, or grant writer for a nonprofit.
  2. Write a story for your community newspaper, or blog.
  3. Write a novel, play, poem, essay, blog post, or article about a cause, issue, inspiring changemaker, or movement.
  4. Be a mentor, or teacher to other writers.
  5. Write an op-ed.
  6. Write your Congressperson.
  7. Write a letter for Amnesty International.
What other ideas should be included in the list?

Flickr photo credit: Vintage Underwood Number 5 Manual Typewriter by Michael Dolan.
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    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    20 Ways to Be a Generous Blogger

    “[A] gift is something that is given. You don’t own it. The world does. The world is asking you to use it. You don’t get to say no, no matter how much you may want to.”

    Friday is Have Fun, Do Good's 6th anniversary, and my 42nd birthday.  After six years of blogging, and teaching others how to blog, I've been playing around with the idea of what it means to be a "generous blogger."

     The generous blogger . . .
    1. Sees her blog as a way to serve.
    2. Commits to sharing her gifts and talents through her blog regularly.
    3. Writes posts that are of service to her reader.
    4. Uses her blog stats to figure out how she can create more posts of value for her reader.
    5. Writes posts that make her heart sing.
    6. Is mindful of her time online.
    7. Is mindful of her reader’s time online.
    8. Reads other blogs as often as she would like to be read.
    9. Loves her blog just as it is, and doesn't compare it with other blogs.
    10. Is grateful for her readers no matter how many, or few there are.
    11. Appreciates other blogs as they are, and doesn’t judge.
    12. Mentors new bloggers.
    13. Practices "link love" weekly.
    14. Leaves love notes in other blogs’ comments.
    15. Shines a spotlight on other people's work through interviews, profiles, guest posts, and mentions.
    16. Writes about others as she would like to written about.
    17. Makes it easy for readers to subscribe to her blog.
    18. Makes it easy for readers to share her posts with other people who might need them.
    19. Understands that marketing is also a form of service. It helps people who need her blog to find it.
    20. Knows how much to give, to receive, and to keep for herself. 
    What do you think it means to be a generous blogger? Why, or why isn't it important to be generous online?

    Download a free Generous Blogger Poster, and subscribe to the Juicy Blogging eNews to hear about upcoming blogging workshops. You can also view upcoming workshops and trainings on my website,

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    11 Highlights from BlogHer '11

    Last week I spoke at BlogHer '11, a gathering of over 3,000 women bloggers.  Below are some of the ideas, events and people that have stayed with me this week:

    1. Puppies!  

    One of the conference sponsors had an exhibit area with 10+ puppies running around.  I held one little dachshund, Paprika, till my arms hurt. (Photo by Green LA Girl)

    2. Teaching The Essential Blog Content Development Workshop

    I loved co-facilitating the Essential Blog Content Development Workshop with Elizabeth Soutter of Da Momma: Motherhood is Not for Wimps, and Julie Weckerlein of Julie and Martin.  Even though we'd never met before, we made a good team.

    You can read a liveblogged transcript of the session on  I'm pretty sure an audio recording will be available eventually.  Julie has some good photos from the session in her post, And My Water Didn't Break at All.

    Photo of Gwen Bell by Joel Longtine
    3. Unplug, Unfriend, Unfollow, Unwind: Is That Sacrilege? with Gwen Bell

    As I mentioned in my post, Taking Back Your Time: Is Unplugging the New Green? I think that unplugging and limiting internet and tech use is an upcoming cultural trend, so I was thrilled to see that one of the sessions was Unplug, Unfriend, Unfollow, Unwind: Is That Sacrilege? with Gwen Bell.  You can read a liveblogged transcript of the session on

    My 5 takeaways were:

    • Checking email, Twitter and Facebook constantly can be "insecurity work."
    • What are you giving up by being online so much?
    • What needs are you trying to fulfill for yourself online that could be better met offline?
    • Having a ritual, practice, or totem can help you be more conscious about your online time.
    • Handwritten letters are magical (I discovered this during my Daily Have Fun Do Good Practice: Move, Play, Reflect, Connect). 

      4. Leveraging Your Blog to Build E-Products for Sale

      Tara Mohr, Megan Auman, and Tara Gentile led a fabulous session about Leveraging Your Blog to Build E-Products for Sale.  I took pages and pages of notes, but I particularly liked their words of wisdom for people (like me!) who sometimes have trouble asking for money in exchange for their products and services:
      • The more money you make, the more good you can do.
      • You can serve more people if you are fueling your work with funds.
      • Charging properly for your work gives you a sustainable way to work on your passion.

      5. Connecting with friends

      Hanging out with Siel/Green LA Girl
      One of the main reasons I go to BlogHer is to connect with old friends and to make new ones like:

      6. Together Counts' BlogHer 5K

      I ran the BlogHer 5K with Siel/Green LA Girl, which was a real milestone for me, since I've been Embracing Resting this year after injuring my toe.

      7. Book Recommendations

      I jotted down lots of ideas for books to read. Have you read any of these?

      8.  Being in one space with over 3,000 women writers

      Many of the women I talked with found the size of the conference overwhelming, but I found it inspiring to be in one space with over 3,000 women writers who have found a medium that lets them express themselves and connect with others.  Pretty awesome.

      9. Plane ride with Julie Daley

      Julie Daley of Unabashedly Female and I shared a lovely non-stop 90-minute conversation during our flight to San Diego. A real treat.

      10. San Diego

      It wasn't until I stepped off the plane into sunshine, soft winds and palm trees that I realized, "This isn't just a conference, this is a vacation!"

      It was my fifth, and favorite BlogHer conference, largely because of the location.  The San Diego Convention Center was light and airy.  You could even see the sky and trees from the dining area.  Because the Marriott (where most of the attendees stayed) was close by, people could escape from the conference hubbub, and chat with people by the pool.  Lovely!

      11. Vegan food options

      Every meal and break had a vegan option and a gluten free option.  Maybe this is normal for conferences nowadays, but I thought it was pretty special.

      If you'd like to check out a BlogHer Conference, I've listed a few below, and I'm sure that there will be more (e.g. BlogHer Food, BlogHer Business) scheduled for 2012:
      Full disclosure: I was a Contributing Editor for BlogHer from January 2006-May 2010. Sometimes BlogHer syndicates posts from Have Fun, Do Good.

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      Monday, August 08, 2011

      Meatless Monday: Adriano's Udon Stir Fry

      Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see past Meatless Monday posts here.

      This week's recipe was created by the hubs and me.  He cooked and I wrote down what he did. While I'm a recipe follower, he's a recipe creator (and everything he makes is delish!)  The "recipe" that follows is more of a guide to inspire your inner stir-fry chef.

       Adriano's Udon Stir Fry

      • Package of fine udon noodles 
      • Sesame oil 
      • 2 t pre-minced garlic from a jar 
      • 1/2 an onion, chopped
      • 1 orange pepper, sliced  
      • 4 (more, or less) shiitake mushrooms, sliced 
      • 1.5 T Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic sauce 
      • 4 baby bok choy, chopped 
      • Soy sauce, to taste
      • Rice vinegar, to taste  
      • China Bowl hot oil, to taste
      • 1 scallion (the green part) finely chopped
      1. Prepare udon noodles according to package.
      2. While the noodles cook, heat sesame oil, (or any oil) in your wok.
      3. Once the oil is hot, add garlic, pepper and onions to wok.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
      4. Add mushrooms and black bean garlic sauce.  Cook for 1 minute.
      5. Add the bok choy + the soy sauce, hot oil, and rice vinegar to taste.  Cook for 1 minute. Stir constantly.
      6. Add the drained noodles.  Cook for 1 minute.
      7. Serve in big bowls garnished with scallions.
      Note: We decided that next time we will also add some minced ginger to Step 3 and sesame seeds to Step 7.

      What are some your favorite meatless stir-fry combinations?

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      Wednesday, August 03, 2011

      Taking Back Your Time: Is Unplugging the New Green?

      "I'm taking FB/twitter hiatus for August as part of deepening my practice and my ability to listen and be present for this next year."
      - Facebook update by Marianne Manilov, Engage Network

      Maybe it's because it's summer, but lately I've been hearing more and more people talking about spending less time online. Below is a collection of articles and posts about what I think is an upcoming cultural trend: unplugging.

      When Guests Check In, Their iPhones Check Out from The Wall Street Journal

      "With hotels, resorts, and travel companies scrambling to fill rooms, a small but growing number are rolling out 'unplugged' and 'digital detox' packages to entice people who need a push to take a break from their screens."

       Could you go info vegan? A Diet for Information Overload from The Washington Post

      "If that weren’t enough to prove the movement fighting the data deluge is gaining steam, there’s now a nonprofit devoted to tackling the problem: The Information Overload Research Group launched in February to 'conquer information overload' and 'restore sanity' to working professionals."

      The GOOD 30-Day Challenge: Unplug at 8 on

      "The rules are simple: After 8 p.m. on weekdays, you get off the internet. No email, no blogging, you can't even read If you use your computer like a TV for watching movies and shows, that's fine, but nothing else."

      Trendspotting for 2011 - A Call to Marketers
      from Clickosity

      "The need to unplug is emerging as a countertrend to consumers’ technological dependence, born from the fear that too much exposure hurts a person’s relationships and critical thinking abilities" 

      Gwen Bell's Digital Sabbatical story and resources on 

      "I wanted to - and did - learn to untangle my self-worth from what was happening in my digital world."

      Pulling the Plug on Party of 4 

      "Wendy and I have been talking a lot lately about pulling the plug on our various digital devices. We all of us in our family experience the frustration that comes with trying to connect with someone who is physically present, but has their attention on a smart phone, computer, or TV."

      Friday's Confession: I Want to Quit the Internet
      on Crafty Fanny

      "I love 'meeting' new people through their blogs, or facebook, or twitter. I love reading things that inspire me. I love staying informed about what my friends are doing, and feeling like I'm able to be involved in their lives while also maintaining a busy life of my own.

      But sometimes it's too much. Sometimes, I don't know when to stop. Sometimes, I have to go to an extreme self-imposed limit to find some much-needed balance."

      National Day of Unplugging
      March 4-5, 2011

      "For 24 hours, starting at sundown Friday March 4, 2011, individuals, families and community organizations across the nation reclaimed time, slowed down their lives and reconnected with friends, family, the community and themselves."

      What do you think?  Will de-teching, un-plugging, and being an info-vegan, become a new trend?

      How do you balance your online and offline life?

      Photo by me (:

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      Monday, August 01, 2011

      Meatless Monday: 4 Quick Quinoa Dishes for Your Busy Week

      Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see past Meatless Monday posts here.

      Last week flew by without much time for cooking, so I leaned on quinoa for quick and healthy one-pot dishes. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook a cup of quinoa, and it's full of protein (see Quinoa: A Protein-Packed Alternative to Grains on

      One night I mixed all the odds and ends in the fridge and cupboards (garbanzos, avocado, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, hard-boiled egg) into the quinoa with some vinaigrette. I like the Barefoot Contessa's vinaigrette recipe.

      The next night there wasn't quite as much to choose from in the fridge, and I only had a little left in two boxes of quinoa (one red and one white) so I cooked them together and added some garbanzos, a tomato, olive oil, salt and pepper.  It was still yummy (:

      If you have a little more time, the Quinoa Puttanesca recipe from Appetite for Reduction really doesn't take long, and is delish. You can view it on Post Punk Kitchen.

      The Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango from Veganomicon is another good one. You can view the recipe in the Portland Mercury article, "Vegan with a Vegeance: America's Favorite Vegan Cookbook Writer Now Calls Portland Home."

      What are some of your favorite quinoa recipes?

      All photos by me (:

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