Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Be the kind of person you want your children to be."

The Wild Sister Manifesto took the place of a new moon vision board this month as it spoke to me so deeply. It hangs primitively with a piece of scotch tape between my bedroom window and the windowsill. I wanted to be able to see it when I opened my eyes every morning.

The one phrase that stood out to me most is "Be the kind of person you want your children to be.". This is a very humbling challenge if ever I heard one. I think as parents it is easy to lose sight of what we are modeling for our kids. Such a powerful reminder...I want my children to be joy-filled, to connect with their joy even when immediate situations or circumstances are not ideal. I want them to be free...to be who they are and to feel what they feel.

Each morning for the last couple weeks I have looked at this phrase and set the intention for my day. Once again, they are my little buddhas, guiding me on my journey as I guide them on theirs. Amazing...

Z, accessorized!
The Wild Sister Manifesto
with my big boys
happy boy early morning

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daring Bakers August 2012 Challenge: Pate a Choux

 Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

Swans did not exactly happen here.  I had some extra helpers in the kitchen. ;)  But we did make some pretty delicious cream puffs!

This was my first time making choux pastry.  I found it to be a much easier process than I expected.  I could see how some very beautiful presentations could be created, and I will link to some of my fellow Daring Bakers below.  But first, check out Kat's swans!  Seriously impressive, right?

For filling I chose to make a chantilly cream with honey.  It was quite delicious and had a more gentle sweetness than the usual pastry cream.  I added a dollop of chocolate frosting at the request of my little helpers.  They loved it, but I think if I make these again I will top with a maple honey glaze.  And cinnamon...yes definitely.

Here's a sampling of a couple others who took this month's challenge.  Thank you, Kat, for the sweet treat!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Moon Intentions: Gratitude and Abundance

I'm a couple days late posting my intentions for this new moon.  For this August moon I will be focusing on gratitude and abundance.  I found this fitting as the kids are about to go back to school in a couple weeks and I know it will be kind of chaotic as we get back into the swing of things.  As we are no strangers to chaos (that's how we roll!) I would like to spend the next couple weeks feeling grateful for our time together this summer and creating a peaceful haven for everyone to come back to at the end of the day.

I go into "creating a peaceful haven" mode quite often and while I am able to make small but powerful changes, it is hard to make them stick.  I often will flip back into "if only I could get these pillows or these chairs or remodel this or that..."  So as I do this during this month, I want to remember that I do not necessarily "need" to procure any more "things" to make our environment more peaceful, and perhaps acknowledging and showing gratitude for what we already have will go a long way in keeping to a more positive, more abundant state of mind.

I can't believe the new school year is almost upon us!  L will be in 2nd grade, C in kindergarten, and the twins starting a new preschool program.  Lots of changes for us here!  In the meantime we're going to enjoy the end of summer vacation and start preparing for the new with a grateful heart.  Many blessings!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Sometimes just looking at the day through a different lens puts things into perspective.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vibrancy and Softness

Participating in another one of the always amazing Hannah Marcotti's Joy Up programs, I have been learning a lesson on how what we choose to focus on, we have the ability to create/manifest.

As an experiment, I chose to focus on the color orange. Orange is my favorite color, and it's energy really calls to me these days. It is a happy, life-giving energy that I find uplifting even on my worst days. Orange is also fierce and brave, the color of a just-lit flame.

As I started focusing on orange, I saw it everywhere, but not always accidentally. As my favorite color, there is a lot of orange in my house. The beautiful Anna Maria Horner voile that I drape everywhere I can, my throw pillows, my bedspread, my new favorite mala...apparently I've done a good job of bringing orange into my life, into my living space.

There is something kind of interesting that I began to notice as I was photographing my many orange things. I like to pair orange with a slightly softer, gentler yet contrasting color. As I thought about this I realized that softness and gentleness are two qualities I have been reaching for lately. While fun, our summer has been a bit crazy and I have been finding myself tense and irritable all too often. So I am choosing to focus on the softer palette that is a bit surprising along with the orange. Those soft blues, greys, silvers, turquoise, the luscious greens and the deep dark yet gentle purples. When I think about softness, when I visualize these colors, I think of a more calming, peaceful, quiet energy, which is what my soul would love to cultivate right now.

There is a quote attributed to Buddha, "What you think, you become.". The best part of that is that we get to choose!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Switching up the morning beverage

So...I decided last week that I needed to lay off the coffee. There were many reasons for this, and at the time I didn't really think I would be giving it up all at once. But, this is day 6 of no coffee...and wow, I miss it!

When I make up my mind to really do something I often need to just jump in with both feet. So in this case, it meant giving up coffee cold turkey. I am considering waiting another week or so and then trying decaf. But in the meantime, I have found it quite interesting how my morning ritual has been shaken up by something so simple as the absence of a beverage!

I never really thought of myself as someone who relies on routine (although it would probably do me a world of good!). But I do enjoy my morning rituals to get a good start on the day. In the absence of coffee, I've been adding some variations to my morning lemon water...mint, basil, strawberries, peach slices, cucumber slices or some combination thereof. Then I drink green tea throughout the day (still not ready to totally kick caffeine).

Habits are interesting. Have you ever established a habit or routine that seemed like an insignificant part of your day until you gave it up?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Once in a blue moon? Not yet, apparently!

So...I have thought that the definition of a blue moon is the occurrence of two full moons in the same month, which would mean we would have a blue moon this month.  While apparently this is a commonly held assumption, health coach & all around lovely lunar goddess Samantha Honey Pollock posted a link on her Facebook page to the Farmers Almanac/ Wikipedia definition of a blue moon, which is four full moons in the same season.  According to this definition, the next blue moon will occur in August 2013!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Full Wort Moon

Time has escaped me this summer, and sitting down to write this post I noticed that my last entry was on the new moon.

I had set my intention to clear some clutter, and I am pleased to report on this full moon that I have made some excellent progress! Of course this is an ongoing goal for me, but it is so nice to look around and see...feel...some SPACE.

Yesterday I looked to find the name of tonight's moon. Different cultures have different names for each full moon, and I find this fascinating. So tonight's moon is known as, among others, the Sturgeon Moon, the Balsamic Moon, the Green Corn Moon, the Grain Moon, and the Wort Moon.

I was interested in the origin of the Wort Moon. Apparently "wort" is an Old English term for plant, herb, or vegetable. How appropriate, since my garden is overflowing with produce! Here in the Midwest we are starting to see a bountiful harvest.

I decided that my meditation for this moon would be on my gratitude for the herbs in my garden. I find it absolutely amazing and awe-inspiring that these plants that have been cultivated on our Earth longer than we have can flourish in the most unexpected places and beckon to us with their gifts...whether the gift of their aroma, their taste, or their medicine.

While we choose our favorite herbs to bring into our garden, there are others, volunteers, all around us, and I believe they can communicate something to us if we pay attention. I have wild red clover growing all over my yard. I have been researching its special properties and finding so many areas in which this herb could provide something that I specifically need.

I am grateful for the heady aroma of mint and lavender as I walk out my back door, and the comforting lemon balm that intensifies in the evening. I am grateful for the tulsi that makes a lovely tea to calm me when I am stressed and frazzled, and the basil that I have started to have in my morning lemon water.

The month of August this year will see two full moons ( this occurrence, if you didn't know, is the infamous "blue moon"). Two fabulous opportunities this month to reflect on all of these magical things...

Spending a few moments meditating on these things becomes extra important when you live with four children who seem to view the full moons as their personal holiday to drive Mama crazy...hence the origin of the word "lunacy". Just saying...