21 Reasons to Live Like It Matters


It’s been almost a year since Mary and I started on this journey of entrepreneurship and we can’t believe how much we’ve learned and grown! Most importantly, we are grateful to all of you for the ways you’ve supported and encouraged us: ordering our box, reading our blog, sharing about us on social media and word of mouth, commenting on our posts and blogs, talking through new ideas, giving us feedback, and so much more! 

The blog wasn’t a focus for us at the beginning, but it has quickly become one of our favorite things about SALT effect. We both enjoy writing, and we’ve discovered how much we love writing for YOU! You give us a reason to explore topics we’re struggling with because we realize we’re not alone. Comments like this from one of our readers (thanks Adrienne!) are more encouraging than you will ever know, and they let us know we’re onto something here:

Hi there, just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. There is a LOT of content on the internet on any given subject, but your blog stands out to me as genuine, thoughtful, research-based, and relatable. I appreciate the “What Does This Look Like” sections to help your readers actually apply the concepts. I’ll keep reading and probably buy boxes as my kids get a little older. Just wanted to say Bravo! and please keep up the great work.

We’re building a community that we love and we can’t wait to see how it grows in 2019! If you missed any of our blogs this year, you’ll find links below. We often think about what we want our kids to say someday as they flip through old photographs and reflect on life growing up. What is our legacy to them? We’ve organized our blogs into categories to help you live like it matters, because it does: Serving and Volunteering, Family and Parenting, Personal Growth, Gift Ideas and Our Story. The excerpts will give you a little more information, and then we’d love to have you read, comment and share. We get pretty excited when we know you’re reading and finding value in what we write!

Serving & Volunteering

We learned so much about serving together as a family this year! Our kids still talk about this Honor Flight event.

  1. TIME: A Four-Letter Word

What’s our most precious commodity and often our biggest enemy? TIME. Last Saturday, we had a free evening. Cue the heavens opening and angels singing. No sports games, no birthday parties or social engagements – NOTHING. As a busy family that often asks if we’re trying to do too much, a free evening is a gift. But then we learned that the 89th Honor Flight would be traveling to Washington, D.C., and that the public was invited to welcome these veterans home at a ceremony at the airport. We decided this was an important learning moment for our kids, and a meaningful way we could give back as a family, so we loaded up our minivan and headed over about 7:45 p.m. to prepare for the 9 p.m. arrival.

  1. Curing a Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

Our family loves a book you’ve probably never read. It’s called Our Tree Named Steve and we lucked out with a signed copy because the illustrator (the AMAZING David Catrow) is an Ohio native who visited my kids’ school a few years back. It’s a touching story about the role of a giant tree in the lives of a family as the kids grow up. I LOVE being outside, and I LOVE making my kids be outside. And I understand the basics of why it’s important to take care of the Earth. But I realized there was so much I didn’t know.

  1. How You Can Give Hope to Sick Kids

Thinking about the number of kids and families affected by serious chronic childhood illness is hard. But there are many, and they need support and hope. The “Give Hope to Sick Kids” box will help your family realize that health is a gift. It will also give you a tangible way to show families with sick kids you care.

  1. The Best Ways to Support Families With Sick Children (From Parents Who Lived It)

Many people know a family whose life changed forever the moment they received a serious diagnosis for a child. More than 500,000 kids in the U.S. are battling life-threatening illnesses right now. We asked three dear families in our lives to share a bit about their journey, which includes childhood illness. You’ll learn the best ways to support families with sick kids straight from the parents who lived it (and who continue to live it).

  1. 6 Fun and Unique Ways for Teens to Earn Required Service Hours

Teens often need to fulfill required service hours for school, church or other organizations and it can be tricky to find opportunities that fit their interests or busy schedules. Or to do things that give back in new ways where teens really see they’re making a difference. Here’s a great free resource to keep service a positive experience for teens!

Family and Parenting 


Life doesn’t always look like an Instagram photograph!

  1. The Best Way to Build Resilient Kids in an Anxious World

Statistics about children and teens presented by The National Alliance on Mental Illness are sobering. We can’t promise our kids a life free of crisis or pain, so we need to equip them with the right attitude and skills. But science and our many years in the classroom agree on the best way to build resilient kids in our very anxious world.

  1. How To Create a Family Tech Plan Everyone Can Agree On

Screen time. Our family argues about this more than anything else. We’ve read all kinds of tips and tricks to reduce screen time, but it seems that nothing consistently works. Technology is a reality and it’s not going away. It also benefits us in a lot of ways. So we decided to stop arguing and start working together–as a family–to figure out how to manage this growing technology addiction. These 5 steps made the process easy.

  1. 4 Traditions That Are Worth Your Time (Every Time)

Kristie and I pooled our favorite fall traditions and dug into them to explore why they mean so much to us. What we found made us realize that the value of solid traditions goes way beyond the “feel-good” factor: they can make us healthier, strengthen our relationships with friends and neighbors, and create memories that link generations together.  Bottom line: some traditions are worth the time even when time is the one thing we never seem to have.

  1. Yes, You Really Can Manage Your Time

PART 1: Time Management Strategies for Parenting. We’re often running on coffee and dry shampoo, but it’s not a good long-term survival technique. If you’re serious about implementing some time management strategies to make life more manageable at work and at home, you’ve come to the right place. We’re kicking off a series of blog posts to help you save time in areas that need the most help: meal planning, parenting and taking care of ourselves. We’ll focus on the big picture first, and then take a look at some time-saving hacks for meal planning and cooking.

  1. Best Parenting Hacks Guaranteed to Save You Time

PART 2: Time Management Strategies for Parenting. We asked, and you answered. These are the best ideas from a whole lot of busy households. Because goodness knows, we don’t have all the answers. We’re back for part 2 of our series on time management strategies to help you make time for what matters most!

  1. How Our House Accidentally Learned a Lesson in Gratitude

How an accidental summer activity for the kids turned a whole lot of complaining into a week of learning to be grateful. Society shows a growing amount of depression and anxiety, and raising GRATEFUL kids can combat those negative feelings.

  1. Ultimate Guide to Raising Grateful Kids

How can we give our kids the tools to face the world with confidence and show empathy to others? We can teach gratitude.

  1. 7 Ways to be a Brave Mom: Lessons I’ve Learned from My Boys

These 7 ways to be brave will help you raise your kids to be all they were meant to be. Intentionally focusing on being brave has changed the way I see my kids. I’m a better mom because of the lessons I’ve learned from my boys.

Personal Growth

Mary and I are glad we didn’t get stuck here! Personal growth for the win.

  1. How to Stop the Comparison Game for Good

Theodore Roosevelt has a great quote that sums things up: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’m least satisfied with my life when I’m too busy looking around and comparing what I see or perceive about others with what I have, do and am. Let’s take a look at the top culprits for making our glass seem half empty and consider tangible ways to be more content with your life.

  1. How Adoption Led to a Breathtaking View of Life

It’s National Adoption Month, and a chance for me to share a decision that changed my life. And to encourage you to take risks and say yes to “tightrope” opportunities – things that seem too big, too hard and just too risky. It’s a scary balancing act, but the view will take your breath away.

  1. The Secret to Contentment in a Season of Selfishness

I find it slightly ironic that the season of thanksgiving and gratitude is directly followed by the season of “I want” and “Can I have.” I find it more ironic still that the key to a less selfish holiday season is right in front of us if we’re intentional about taking hold. I’ll tell you what it is, and just in case you aren’t wowed right out of the box, I’ll build a strong defense for why it carries so much more weight than you realize. Then I’ll dig into four ways you can put it into action for a more content holiday season in your home.

  1. How to Simplify Christmas – Traditions to Stop Doing

We love traditions. But traditions do come at a cost: your time and effort. Add too many cherished family traditions and the scales can tip in an unhealthy direction. So we’ve compiled a list of traditions to stop doing to simplify Christmas. For some of these, you may just opt to scale back rather than stop. You may choose a few traditions to skip just for one year. And others might come to a permanent halt.

  1. How to Survive the Holidays with a Dysfunctional Family

If you deal with dysfunction in your family, just thinking about an upcoming holiday can be stressful. We have 7 tips to help you survive those gatherings, and some suggestions to stop the cycle of dysfunction and bring peace to your family.

Gift Ideas 

  1. 26 Experience Gifts for Families With Enough Stuff

As the holiday gift planning and buying season approaches, do you want to avoid adding more of the same “stuff” to your house? Here is the ultimate guide of 26 experience gift ideas that come with the added bonus of values that last far beyond traditional gifts.

  1. 35 Affordable and Meaningful Gifts That Give Back

As a brand that gives back to partner nonprofits, we love to shine a spotlight on companies who make a difference in the world. So we created the ultimate list of meaningful gifts that give back for everyone on your list. And the best part is that everything on the list is $50 or less!

Our Story

And last but not least, here’s a little bit about how we got started on this whole thing.

  1. Origin Story: The Unlikely Start of SALT effect

Sometimes it’s so hard to stop waiting and start doing – especially when life throws a whole lot of busyness, craziness, stress or sadness at you. Small actions can lead to big changes and we want to encourage you to keep serving and doing. We began SALT effect at a time when many other things in life were out of our control. But it has been a source of hope, and a reminder of the power of doing things with others and for others.

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