Cultivating Self, Family, Community



18 reasons my kids hang out on a farm

Our weekend excursion, every weekend: harvesting on the organic farm where I work during the week. Might sound like an awfully difficult way to handle grocery shopping, or maybe just thinly veiled workaholism, but the kids usually end up having a blast and we always end up with a hearty dinner. Continue reading “18 reasons my kids hang out on a farm”


5 Ways to De-Stress with Essential Oils

Numerous scientific studies have uncovered the helpful effects of essential oils on pain, anxiety, memory, attention, mood, relaxation, and sleep. Whether inhaled through aromatherapy, applied directly to the skin (with a safe carrier oil), or ingested via tinctures and teas (more common in Europe than in the US), there is mounting evidence that these organic compounds have a positive effect on the human nervous system. Here are a few ways that you can use nature’s “smell-goods” to lift your mood and combat daily stress. A few of my favorites… Continue reading “5 Ways to De-Stress with Essential Oils”

Do Crystals Really Have Healing Powers?

Hell if I know. But if so, that’s pretty cool, right? I mean, I guess it’s probable that natural formations which have been embedded in the Earth for hundreds or thousands of years might have come to embody certain energetic properties based on their unique vibrational frequencies. Minerals, gemstones, and crystals have been used since ancient times by cultures across the world to enhance physical, mental, and spiritual health.

And plus, they’re just so purrrty. Continue reading “Do Crystals Really Have Healing Powers?”

Fight, Flight, Freeze, or…Feel

Your boss walks in to your performance evaluation with a frown. A waitress gives a snarky response to your question. As you exit a store, a security officer chases after you.

What is your response to each of these situations? To varying degrees, each represents a potential threat or danger to your well-being. Perhaps you’ll end up fired, mistreated, in jail, or worse. Or maybe not. The uncertainty about how each situation will work out only adds to the stress you feel.

In such situations, we tend to respond in conditioned ways that are hard-wired into our DNA. Continue reading “Fight, Flight, Freeze, or…Feel”

Get Wild! What Being in Nature Does for You

I love a nice, big city – crowded sidewalks filled with interesting people, cuisine from all over the world, tons of fun things to do, and every kind of neighborhood you can imagine. But at the end of the day, I’ve learned that nothing restores my sense of inner peace like a walk through the woods, or an afternoon at a quiet beach. Even a few minutes watching the birds at a park can be a healing experience. I find that a quiet morning in the yard can help me to feel more creative, less anxious, and way more centered by the time I get to work. Now science is starting to know why. Continue reading “Get Wild! What Being in Nature Does for You”

Make your own: Black Soap

soap2When my son was a baby, someone recommended African Black Soap for his skin, which was prone to eczema. My Ghanaian husband concurred; black soap is pretty popular in Ghana. But the stuff you find on the store shelves here in the U.S. is not quite like the stuff “back home” in West Africa. I have found that making my own batches of Black Soap (called that because of its dark brown/black color after boiling) can often produce a more satisfying, gentle soap for cleaning and soothing face, hair, and body. Plus…it’s fun to make stuff! 🙂 Continue reading “Make your own: Black Soap”

The 10 Cures for Burnout

We all know that feeling of being done. How many times have you said “I just can’t” in the past week? Might be a sign that you are burning out, and this doesn’t just affect your performance at the j-o-b. Burnout is the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sense of being drained beyond belief. Not only does it affect us as individuals, but friends and family can often feel that they’ve lost us when we are so stressed, tired, and irritable that we can no longer be fully present for them.

So here are 10 self-care strategies for avoiding the dreaded Burnout, at work and everywhere else Continue reading “The 10 Cures for Burnout”

Some of my best friends are vegan…

But I’m not. After I became pregnant with twins in 2013, my vegan lifestyle (which I had strongly advocated for two years) got the boot after I realized that beef was the only thing that my body would tolerate. Turns out that I had run headlong into anemia without realizing it, and was bordering on a serious B12 deficiency despite tons of supplements. Anyway, I reverted to an omnivore diet and I haven’t looked back since. Continue reading “Some of my best friends are vegan…”

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