Thursday, November 15, 2012

warm & toasty

Today was a beautiful day. Waking before the sun I got to witness a brilliant orange and red sky as the sun burst forth to sine upon a new day. And though I am not generally an early morning person (before 6am makes me make sad face), watching the breath taking sunrise made it worth every groggy moment. The Fall sun shone bright and warm through windows as we chatted over breakfast and giggled over new lessons; we are learning French with using Beth Manners CD's (fun french for kids and magic french for kids) and it is fun to try to sing along.

Today was a calm day, a cozy day, a moving slow and enjoying each moment day. There was crafting to be done; we started making toilet paper roll race cars. We had a blast but will have to finish them another day because we ran out of cardboard for the wheels. Oops! But no worries. The sun was calling us outside to enjoy sweet rays on our faces and damp earth beneath our bottoms. I sat back across the yard watching my Bodhi play with the chickens and the dirt, allowing him to experience his own thoughts. I wonder what makes him suddenly squeal and make thinking face then suddenly look up and catch my eye as though he knew my thoughts. Such a big little man.

ZOOM! Loki speeds by in his cardboard slice of heaven...a silver race car with turning steering wheel and shifter. It's his pride and joy and I must say it is a nifty little creation. He takes such pride in his crafting and I can't help but smile as he runs past like a box of lightening, a group of chickens in hot pursuit of this darting shimmering creature.

All too soon the air gets chilly and the little islands of sun puddled on the grass get smaller and smaller. Our cue to head in for dinner. A yummy recipe flitted across my facebook today, made by a Mary Bogue, called Broccoli Goddess Soup. It looked delicious but as always I couldn't resist putting my own little spin on it. And wowza! So good I surprised myself. Not a drop of dairy but boy the flavor was just like creamy cheese and broccoli soup. This goes into my little stash of delicious goodies.

Green Garden Goddess Soup

-1 whole zucchini sliced into circles
-2 red potatoes (1 red 1 yellow) halved and sliced
-1/2 a bunch of kale
-4 cups of broccoli florets
-3 or 4 cloves of garlic left in the skin
-olive oil
-2 cups vegetable broth

-Medium Sauce Pan

Set the oven to 350 degress. Place the zucchini, potatoes, kale, broccoli, and garlic (still in the skins) onto a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. (I am a liberal user of olive oil and drench more than drizzle at times...go with what looks good to you.) Roast in the oven for 15-18 minutes; or long enough to have the broccoli be just a little tender. The kale will be krispy like kale chips this is okay.Pour the vegetable broth into the blender and place the roasted vegetables into the blender (remember to remove the garlic skin now). Blend until soup is the consistency you desire. I left ours a little chunky. You can heat the soup further on the stove in a sauce pan. Top with seasonal herbs, cheese, or whatever speaks to you. I paired the soup with yummy buttermilk biscuits and topped with cheese and hot sauce.

What a delicious way to end a gorgeous day. 

How do you spend your cozy slow going days?
What yummy meal ends the perfect lovely Fall day for you?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

yummy fall and w.i.p's

This beautiful season of golds and reds and yellows bursting brightly from around every bend always makes me want to stop throw my arms up in the air and spin around in circles grinning madly!
I can't help it, it's Fall!
It just gets under my skin and rattles my leaves like a brisk breeze through a tiny tree.
I dream of this time of year as the other seasons meander by.

Summer is a buddy definitely; all warm and cuddly.
The freedom to roam that is Summer gets under my wings and I fly; but soon roaming becomes dull and I seek the comfort of my cozy home.

Spring is glorious with her brand new babes taking first breaths.
Flowers and fruit and all things living seem to puff up in the super glowing attentions of 
springtime kisses.
Plump is the word for Spring; plump fruit, plump babies.
Everything seems so shiny!
But the newness begins to quickly fade and the springtime high only last but so long.
And our dear friend Winter.

The renewer and bringer of much needed rest.
Yes winter and I have had our love affairs of snow ball fights and hot cocoa by the fire.
Winter is the place I eat cookies til I pass out and come back for more.
No shame lots of love that is my winter friend.

But no matter how much I love these other seasons, again and again I return to Fall.
Fall is the love child of Spring and Winters wild love affair!
It is the warm coat I gently caress in the warm months like and old flame.
It brings introspection with a child's style of delight.
Both daring you to explore and folding you in safety; fall is the Gemini of the seasonal family.
It is books read til the pages begin to fall out and hundreds of soup recipes to experiment with.
It is nuzzling red cheeks and noses of friends new and old in the ancient dance of warmth and affection.
It is the surprise balmy day that takes you to the lake or the beach for one more hurrah before winter sets in.
And it is the early snow that has you diving for your gear and heading for the slopes
before the ground can even turn white.
Fall you are perfection!

And as always, with Fall pressing sweet rays of sunshine on my chilly window panes, I turn my eyes towards projects left to be dealt with later. Sewing and writing and building and cleaning waiting with baited breath for me to pick the winner of my attentions for the day. All of them equally important and all of them making my fingers itch with anticipation!

What to choose, what to choose what to choose?!

Maybe today will be for cutting out patterns and sewing up merchandise for my Etsy store;
Mindful Explosion. Can share my goodies with the world from an empty shop.

Maybe today will be for finishing the rag rug for the kids reading space or getting clothes sewn for the kids; there were some mighty growth spurts this Summer!

A giant piece of me wishes it was the day to finish the chicken coop! Our girls are getting restless and so am I. But this is a multiple person project and I am but one mama (*sigh*).

Do I hear the gentle calling of books being written? Words spilling from my pen and onto pages once starkly blank. Such a satisfying sensation. It's like birth; sometimes rough, sometimes intimidating, sometimes exhilarating, and always at the end something amazing and beautiful to show for your hard work. But which book to choose? Which one calls loudest?

Oh well, maybe today is just the perfect fort of day to be a cozy cuddly mama. To embrace my little ones and take long strolls looking for gnomes under rocks and seeing dragons in the sky. From the rambunctious (and minorly deconstrucionist) sounds coming from my living room, I think I know what the choice will be.

Enjoy these yummy Fall days and all the folks you get to embrace within them!
What are you up to on this wonderful morning?
Give me a shout; I love to hear from you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

this moment

{this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo- no words -capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. (Inspired by Amanda Soule of Soule Mama)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

what a trip

After being away from home and computer for 6 days,
I am ready to share the fantastical experience that was the first Sacred Pregnancy Retreat with you.
I have done many things in my life. 
I have become certified in many wonderful fields.
But never has my mind been so blown in only four days!

There is so much to speak about that it is hard to find a starting point.
I guess the best place to start would be with the ladies themselves.
40 beautiful, amazing, intelligent, and gifted women showed up expecting nothing and accepting all.
40 women with the desire to bring the conversation of birth back to a place of love.
40 women who believe that birth does not need to be feared.
40 women who hold the body, mind, and spirit of women to be Sacred and cherished.
These women came crashing together
to create what is the beginning of the change of birth in this world.
Each of us came to Sacred pregnancy with our skills to share.
Never knowing that we would be given so much.

It is not easy for me to explain the Sacred Pregnancy Retreat because, to me, it is so many different things.
On a technical level we had wonderful speakers and one very gifted musician.
We were honored with the sweet, strong, soulful, and fierce music of Nina Lee.
A woman by whose presence, voice, and songs, we were roused to fire,
quieted to stillness, and brought to tears.
Her creation of the Sacred Pregnancy song is,
in my opinion, a gift of self affirmation for women as they birth in all their power.
We heard the passionate words of Gena Kirby.
A woman who has changed how I look at the beautiful Mexican scarf/shawl called the Rebozo.
Because of her passion, intelligence, and fierce spirit, I can not see myself ever going to another birth without my trusty Rebozo close at hand.
We enjoyed the joyful spirit of Mary Oscategui.
A strong and gentle woman who guides parents through the birth preparation and sleep consultation among many other things) and who is the Founder, CEO, and  President of the International Maternity Institute.
We learned from the fantastic, intelligent, and funny Dr. Robert Biter.
A man who believes in the sacredness of birth so deeply that he has risked his career to make birthing a safe and Sacred experience for all women through his work with Midwives and through his birthing center(s); Babies by the Sea.
And we were all brought together by the dream birthed into reality of Anni Daulter.
A woman who can not be categorized beyond being called a true gift to the world.
She is blessed with so many unique gifts.
An author many times over, a loving mother, the creator of the organic baby food company Bohemian Baby, and now the creator of the Sacred Pregnancy Movement.
Because of Anni's dream to bring trust, intimacy, self love, beauty, and deep sacredness back into birth...
Because of her focus and dedication to changing the conversation and the language around birth...
Because of her shining heart, her keen mind, and he tireless work (day and night, sick or well), we now have in this world the Sacred Pregnancy Certification Retreats.

Following her heart and through her guidance,
we are creating a whole new style of Pregnancy and Birth Education.
Imagine the bliss of a meditation practice, the healing and growth of being with dear friends, and the helpful knowledge of a birth class wrapped up in beauty, sweet smells, and the gift of knowing you can do anything!
This, and so much more, is what the Sacred Pregnancy Instructor Retreats is training us
to bring to the world!
I now return home a Certified Sacred Pregnancy Instructor and I am setting up classes to start in January of 2013 in both Marin and Sonoma County.
Do not fret, though, if you can not make it to one of my classes because we have 39 beautiful and righteous women from Southern California to Finland just waiting to bring you into this
brilliant "whoa-mans"community!

Now prepared to take this to every woman that I meet, all I can say is thank you.
Thank you Anni Daulter, Christy Funk, Sylvia Poareo, and Krista Miracle for everything that you have taught us not just about mothers and birth but about our deepest selves.
Thank you to the Ojai Foundation for the use of the sacred and ancient land, so filled with beauty and strong energy, from which to do our work and Gay for all of the delicious, nutritious, and nourishing vegetarian food that she so lovingly catered to us lunch and dinner for our entire stay.
And finally thank you to all of the "Whoa-men", most especially the "Whomb Warriors". 
Ladies each and every one of you are a special gift to the world and I have the deepest gratitude that I can now call you all sister.
Cindy, Nina, Danielle, Lisa, Amy, Sylvia, Trisha, Maggie, Ivonne, Kim, Kelly, Kristen, Jennifer, Sara, Gabrielle, Kristen, Sara, Amanda, Crysta, Lindsey, Nina, Tnah, Andrea, Katherine, Lauren, Paivi, Melissa, "Tree",and Mary, my Sacred Pregnancy Elders sisters, I will carry you with me forever. 

All I can say is WOW what an experience!
I am ready for Level 2 training; I truly can't wait!

Any one who wants more information let me know. 
This is an experience, these are people,
and Sacred Pregnancy is a phenomenon that should be shared with everyone.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

off to epicness

Today's the day!
I am super excited!
After much planning, and waiting, and nervous pacing, I am off for a week to complete my
Sacred Pregnancy Training!!!!!
Photo: Join us in VA for another offering of the Level 1 Sacred Pregnancy Instructor retreats...Email us for more information:
Off to the Ojai Foundation for some beautiful women connecting!
Photo: Jennifer, Kym, Kelli, Cindi, Maggie, Kristin, Paivi, Ivonne, Kerrin, Andrea, Ruth, Nancee, Melissa, Brooke, Sarah, Loren, Gabrielle, Sylvia, Tricia, Tree, Amy, Tnah Louise, Kathryn, Lindsey, Kristen, Nina, Crysta, Lisa, Christy, Gemma, Gena, Krista, Nina Lee, Heather, Niki, Mary, Lynn, + Amanda...

LOOK OUT OJAI...Here comes Sacred Pregnancy's first Instructors Training Retreat! We are gonna rock it! ONE SPOT LEFT because someone backed out...any takers?

This retreat is going to be 6 days of educating, thought sharing, and growth for myself and my birth work.
I can not wait to share this experience when I return!
Until then be well and have a beautiful week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

apple chip love

We have harvested the last of the apples from the trees.The counters sit filled with apples so red that I keep envisioning Snow White sneaking in to steal a treat. I have so many apple recipes that my head spins and my imagination is full to overflowing with what to do with all these goodies. And while I am delighted by recipes for pies and cakes and breads and unique treats to be made, sometimes it is the simplest treat that catches my fancy the most.

I am forever trying to find ways to make the stuff in life that we need and be far less dependent on the stores or outside sources. My motto is, "if I can make it I can't buy it" (at least not unless I want to support a small farmer or hand crafter that I really admire!). There is nothing more satisfying than making something that you and your family can enjoy. There is a certain pride to be taken from the DIY lifestyle. This time around I made baked apple chips. It is one of the simplest recipe I have made. It requires very little prep time and few ingredients but the end results are very satisfying and delicious!

Baked Apple Chips

What you will need:
An apple corer (I used my peeler and it worked out nicely)

The steps are easy as pie (actually easier)!
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
2. Rinse and core the apples.
3.Slice them into thin-ish circles.
4. Put the slices onto a cookie sheet.
5. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
6. Place into the oven and bake for 2 hours (or until the apple chips are the texture you want them); check them at the one hour mark and turn them over so that they bake evenly.
Raise or lower the temperature of your oven as needed to get the best results.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


It is often that I sit back and take in that which I have been blessed with in my life. The wonderful children who are so smart and sweet, the beautiful home (until I buy my forever home), the bounty always set before me even when times are lean. I have been gifted with abundance in my world. And I am so grateful for it all!

There is nothing like the thrill of getting the first red tomatoes from your garden (even if the plant was dying and they were all picked green). The joy of climbing an apple tree to get the gorgeous red fruits! Our apple tree is small and wonky but my what a producer! We have pulled 6 bags of apples (maybe more) from this one little tree and yet it still yields fruit fresh and sweet and as red as Snow White's own apple. I don't think I have ever purchased an apple (they are Gravenstein) quite as sweet or quite as satisfying as the ones we grab from our own little tree. We have even been lucky enough to have another tiny tree that gave us perfect little kid sized Golden Delicious apples; officially my favorite! Amusingly enough, apples have always made me feel slightly sick before (when purchased from the store all not ripe and sad) but this fresh plucked bounty has never caused me a moment of anything but glee.

It is in the midst of this yummy happiness that I have even more joy to behold. My Loki (all of 8.5 now) has taken to sewing like a fish to water. I actually had to drag him away from the sewing machine yesterday to go play outside for a little while. A mothers pride glowing out of the top of my head! My little crafting boy. He is such an inventive soul in every way already (he can't get enough of technology or science which is thrilling) I can hardly wait to see all of the fantastical creations that come from within him.

My youngest Bodhi, loves to take part in the household antics. He is the best helper (for a 2 year old) and always comes barreling through the yard when it is time to pick apples or water tomatoes or check on the thyme. He takes great pride in his findings of ripe foods. And if many of them have tiny nibbles taken out of them well those will be pie or apple sauce! He is simply sampling his wares. My littlest blessing (especially after all that we have recently been through) we are more than grateful for the life we live!

And though this year we only managed to get tomatoes and apples from our little 1/2 acre, and while the coop is about to be pulled apart and rebuilt for the umpteeth time (my plans were less than perfect but hey I am new at least the girls aren't laying yet  *fingers crossed*), and though the gophers and moles are making it difficult to figure out how best to utilize our sweet little piece of land (we have decided not to kill any of them because as Loki says they have as much right to be here as we do...point well taken) the abundance that comes from the little we have (and shared gifts from the bounty of the gardens of friends) we have more than enough.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the day to day

The freshly torn stash for rag rug creation!

new and improved sewing education zone

not quite completed clothes for the shop

the coop base makes for great car driving terrain 

Being mama is a journey, an adventure, and a joy! There are new experiences constantly with my kids growing and changing and learning and unlearning the world around them. Each new experience is something for my soul to feast on. As the seasons shift to chillier days, inside of our home we are shifting to cozier activities. Many projects lay in wait for busy little hands and happy imaginations (theirs and mine)! Strips have been torn for future rag rugs, clothing is midway through being designed or sewn and making ready to hit my Etsy shop (click on the word etsy to go check me out), and my son (who hated crafting and would cry if I asked him to draw with me) has recently told me he wants to learn the fine art of Arts and Crafting! He wants to make a comfortor for his bed, and candles and gifts for friends and family and my heart is just full to bursting!What's an excited mama to do? As we live the unschooling life we are also busy with the seasonal life stuffs of picking, cooking, canning, and eating many many apples, making, pickles, finding new classes to take (swimming in the fall maybe), finishing up our coop, slowly creating our dream yard (so much yumminess to plant for next season), and just getting into the slower smoother, family flow.

And while we do all of this, in the background, there is much business to be done...
My not for profit is a dream moving swiftly towards realization with the business plan written and looking pretty solid. My clothing is slowly but surely getting created for the shop in the midst of life being lived. Our first print copies of Sacred Pregnancy Magazine have gone out for sale (oh happy days) and are looking oh so beautiful and are filled with some of the most amazing articles! (feel free to click on the words sacred pregnancy to go purchase your very own copy of this glorious magazine!) My first book, "Front Porch Summer Camp", is coming along beautifully and I can hardly wait to have it available to shop to publishers. Oh the sweet joys of the hyperactive and super ambitious heart!

What is going on in your world on your day to day dance? Let me know; I love to hear from you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

that fall feeling

Fall is in the air, in the changing of the leaves, in the breeze brushing by my sun drenched shoulders bringing on a small shiver. And I in all of my Fall loving frenzy could not help but to make a pumpkin pie to celebrate the shift. I know my excitement is a bit early.And no the pumpkin did not come from the garden (organic canned). But it was the right yumminess that we needed to cozy up with yesterday. With my yummy cinnamon and nutmeg whipped cream on top I must say it was a tiny bit of heaven!

And to add a bit of seasonal frenzie to the day the weather report said we would have some thunderstorms. So out we went, after our pie, to wrangle in all of the chickens, put away toys and bikes, and cover up building projects not yet finished (the coop but that's for another day!). And in the midst of our flurry I lost the key to our storage shed...oh mom you fuzzy minded girl! But the mad dash of it all was a sort of game and we all were deeply amused searching for moms lost key; which we never did find. So with chickens and children all snugly set to their happy areas we waited for the storm. And don't you know after all of that nothing happened. No rain, no booms, no lightening to ooh and ahh over.
But even though we got no rain and no grand storm we did get the gift of an amazing night sky. Pink as a rose petal in some places, orange as the summer sun in others. The purple around the edges made me feel like we had fallen into a painting. And the awesome to top the amazingly large rainbow!

This day was definitely a good one! And so onto new projects; blankets to be made, costumes to be created, baby clothes to be knit! Oh I love this time of year!