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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Updated "About Me" For the Blog

After literally 9 years of not updating my about page on my blog, and people nudging me to update the extremely outdated about me section, I finally did it today. I thought about just linking to it within this post but then this post would be incredibly short, so I just copied it here as well.

For those that are new to my blog, this may help you learn a bit more about me. For those who've been here a while, maybe you'll learn something new?


Hello there and welcome to my about page. It has been far too long since I updated it last (9 years ago!!!!), and it was about time. If you've been reading my blog a while you will probably know about most of these updates already, but for the newbies I wanted to introduce myself and share what this blog is about.

This blog was started 11 years ago when I was in a time of great financial crisis. I had heard about a woman who blogged about her extreme frugality and made money from her blog and I loved writing and felt I had a lot of great ideas to share so took a gamble and started this blog. I was truly penniless then- the 10 dollars to buy the domain name was 10 dollars I didn't have, but I took the risk and I'm so glad I have. 

Fortunately, this blog has been part of why I was able to improve my life and my finances. A win win situation for everyone. I share ideas and help other people, while helping myself at the same time. I got a magazine column out of this blog, published 4 books, 3 ebooks and 1 print book, and I started teaching classes on foraging wild edibles after local people saw me write about what I forage. I also make money via sponsored posts on this blog, but I try my best to not have any sponsored posts containing links for things that go against my morals, and I make sure that there are always more quality posts from me than sponsored posts. The money that this blog brings in is why I can keep this up and dedicate as much time to my blog as I do.

So my finances have greatly improved and I no longer practice the extreme frugality I did at the start of my blog. I'm fortunately no longer penniless, but am sticking with the name.

My focus of my blog, now, therefore is the art of money mindfulness. I need to change the header of my blog to that, but I have ADHD and a very busy life, so I just haven't gotten around to it.

The way I define money mindfulness is being aware of how much money you have, living within your means, while making sure that your money gets spent on things that are important to you, while saving money on things that aren't, but most importantly not letting money slip through your fingers and not knowing where it went, or seeing that it was spent in ways that do not reflect your values and what is important to you. For everyone this looks different. 

For me, for example, it means spending money on therapy, something very important for me, but buying groceries from the scratch and dent stores that are banged up or past the sell-by date, foraging, not owning a car, and doing lots of DIY. For other people, frugality and money mindfulness would look very different, and that's ok. More than ok. That's how it should be. There's no one size fits all answer to how you should spend or not spend your money. What I write about is how I, personally, save money, and where I spend it, but that doesn't mean that you should do the same. My blog is just to give people ideas, suggestions, and support, but do what works for you and your family, please.

I go by the name Penny on my blog, but that is a pseudonym because I keep my identity, location, and some other information about myself private for various reasons, but most importantly to make myself relatable and not to be seen as some sort of foreign culture blog. I grew up in the US, in Cleveland, Ohio, but live in a non English speaking country, so I've got a lot in common with most of the readers here, and I want to highlight what we have in common instead of what is different. The name Penny just came about because it's short for Penniless, what people originally called me on the blog, but Penny is a much nicer name, don't you think?

I have 4 children, let me tell you about them.

My oldest goes by the name Lee, on this blog. At my time of writing this, he's 13, but since it takes me forever to update this post, by the time you read this he may be older. He's an incredible artist, and is wonderful with computers. He's currently in the 9th grade, having skipped 8th grade.

My second son is called Ike on my blog. He was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of 6, and has been in a wonderful school for kids with autism since then. Ike is now 11. He's a bookworm like his mom and loves to read fantasy and write fanfiction. He's also wonderful at math.

My next kid is my first daughter, Anneliese. She's 9 years old and is a very talented singer, dancer, and artist. She's wonderful at drawing and comes up with the most awesome outfits each time. I can picture her being a fashion designer one day. She's a sensitive girl and loves to cuddle with her mom.

My youngest is Rose, 7 years old. Rose is a ball of energy and life and joy. She was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of 4 after she constantly was seeking sensory input in all sorts of fun and interesting ways. She also is in a school for kids with autism. She loves her big sister and has learned from her how to draw and design clothes, and dance. She also is very talented acrobatically.

We have a beautiful and gentle and really special dog, Snickers, who is 4 years old. She's a cross between a few breeds- her mom was a border collie lab mix, and we assume her dad has at least some corgi in him since she has many corgi features. She's absolutely an emotional support and therapy dog for the entire family and she has the patience of a saint when dealing with some of my children.

And as for me? I'm a single mom and if I had to share my three biggest passions, it is adventure, friends, and helping people. Adventure expresses itself in my life by a love of travel and new experiences. But since for a long time I couldn't afford any travel, I'd "travel" via my food and cook foods from many different exotic locations around the globe. Fortunately a few years ago I learned how to travel quite frugally and started going on vacations in random countries to where I could get cheap airline tickets, and since then I've traveled to Poland, Belgium, Romania, Bulgaria, England, Austria, and Greece. I also love adventure in my life and try to take my kids on trips around my country and to new places and have new experiences and make wonderful memories with them.

I love spending time with friends and my good friends are like my family and I cherish them. I also like helping people, and this blog is because of that. Even before I had this blog, I had another blog where I shared ideas, because I like to help people. I try to teach people how to save money, how to budget, how to forage.

A few years ago I came to terms with my mental health issues and trauma that I've been through that I'd been in denial about, and started going to therapy and it's been a big part of my life. Since then I've written a lot about mental health on my blog and have been a big advocate in destigmatizing mental illnesses and encouraging people to get help and take care of their mental health. I've also created some facebook groups for people with mental health issues.

As part of my journey of healing my mental health, I realized that my marriage was not good for my mental health and initiated the divorce process in the summer of 2018, and I officially got divorced yesterday, April 6, 2021. I talk a lot about divorce and single motherhood here and work hard to help get people out of unhealthy and/or abusive marriages, and have made some online support groups for local single moms.

I have been gluten free for over 10 years because of stomach issues and avoid eggs and eat minimal dairy, so most of the recipes I share here are also gluten free but also many of them are vegan because of my dietary limitations.  Oh yes, recipes. I love, love, love sharing recipes with everyone and probably 1/4 of the posts on my blog are recipes. All four of the books I've written so far have been cookbooks. 

I love cooking but I hate cleaning, but love a clean home, it just isn't something that comes easily to me at all. 

I am a blue and purple haired non conformist body positive intuitive eating fat mom, strive to be as authentic as possible, and I blog about what I'm passionate about. Since what I'm passionate about changes over time and over the years, I can't promise that what I blog about now will be what I blog about in the future. But for those who want to follow my journey, this blog is where it's at.

8 comments:

  1. I have followed your blog for ages. I have watched your kiddos grow in size and talent.You have been an inspiration in how you have risen to the many challenges you have faced. It has probably been your honesty and lack of judgement that is even more impressive. Thank you for all you do. You are a force for good in the world. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much! I always appreciate and look forward to your comments!

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  2. I've been following your blog for probably close to a decade (mostly lurking). It's nice to read your new "about" page and hear a little more of your story. I am conscious of how much you've allowed yourself to become more vulnerable over the years, and am filled with admiration for that. It takes courage, which you have in abundance! Also, I've enjoyed making some of your recipes, and am intrigued and impressed by your wide range of ethnic cuisines and unique ingredients, as well as ability to adapt recipes to most any dietary needs. Thanks for what you do!

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    1. Thank you Jan! I appreciate you and your comments as well!

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  3. I've been with you since the very beginning. I love to read about how you are taking care of yourself and your family. I make a quick stop in for a visit with Penny almost every day. You've inspired me, encouraged me, challenged me, made me laugh and made me cry. Thanks for sharing your life.

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  4. Nice summary of who you are and what you're going through. Keep plugging away. You're an inspiration.

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  5. I found your blog when we were in an extreme financial crisis about eight years ago, and it helped me save/stretch money like you wouldn’t believe. I am so grateful for you. Thank you, Penny!

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  6. Penny, I have been reading your blog since the beginning and have your beautiful cookbook. Keep up the amazing work.

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